Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Crock Pot Wonders


Crock Pot Wonders
I know a few of my last posts have been crock pot meals, but I just can’t help myself.  They are so easy and such a great go-to for those lazy (or super busy) days!  I find myself using up a few crock pot meals in the days right after I do a big cooking day.  I’m usually tired from all that cooking, but more so I just don’t want to do any more dishes! My husband laughs, but I’m serious…when we remodel our kitchen I told him most people go for the double oven.  Well, I’m starting a new trend: double dishwashers!  I’m telling ya, I’m gonna make it happen!

But anyway, back to the topic at hand: crock pot meals.  I also think crock pot freezer meals are great because if you do a large cooking day and prep all at once, you’re not actually cooking! Plus, the crock pot makes the house smell yummy AND you can use a liner so little to no clean up.  Prepping crock pot meals is a great way to get started and boost your confidence in freezer cooking.   I've come up with a list of our favorites that are super easy to prepare and super easy to eat!  We also have a Crock PotWonder pin board for you to follow!  All of these dinners we have tried (or created) ourselves and enjoyed.  Below are the recipes with our adaptations and freezing instructions!  We hope you enjoy and let us know what your favorite crock pot recipe is!

Stay full!

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner
1 whole oven roaster (size depends on your crock pot)
2-4 Large Baking potatoes
Onion, celery & carrots
Fresh herbs of your choice

1.        Rinse and dry your chicken, removing any giblets inside
2.       Rub your chicken liberally with softened butter.  Season with salt and pepper and fresh herbs.
3.       Place carrots, celery and onion (large chop) in the cavity of the chicken.
4.       Cover potatoes tightly in foil.
5.       Place covered potatoes on the bottom of your crock pot and then place the chicken on top.
6.       Cover and cook on low about 6 hours. Juices should run clear, not pink, when the chicken is done.
At this point, your chicken and potatoes are cooked and are ready to enjoy!  If you’d like to crisp up the skin, place your chicken in a roasting pan and place under the broiler until crispy.  The potatoes will stay warm fairly long as long as you keep them wrapped.  If you are broiling your chicken, you could use this time to add a slurry (equal parts water and corn starch—I’d use ¼ c of each) to the juice in your crock pot and turn it on high.  This should create nice brown gravy to complete your meal!  {You may want to skim some of the fat off of the juice prior to adding your slurry.}

1.       Chop veggies and place in freezer bag and freeze.
2.       Thaw oven roaster in refrigerator for 24 hours prior to cooking.
3.       Follow directions above and enjoy!

Chicken and Dumplin’s
1 lb chicken breast (boneless, skinless)
1 small onion, diced {I use about a cup of frozen diced onion)
2 cans cream of celery soup
1 can of chicken broth
1 can refrigerated biscuit dough
Fresh parsley, chopped
1.       Place chicken breasts into crock pot, along with onion, cream of celery soup and broth.  Cook on low about 6 hours. 
2.       Remove chicken and using a fork shred the chicken and return it back to the crock pot.
3.       Break raw biscuits into pieces and place in crock pot until top layer is covered. Crank that bad boy up to high and cook biscuits for 30 minutes or until done. 
4.       Sprinkle on fresh parsley and enjoy!

1.       Place all ingredients except for biscuit dough into a labeled freezer bag and freeze.
2.        Place contents of bag into crock pot and follow cooking directions as stated. Enjoy!

Beef Stew with Dumplings
2lbs stew beef, cut in chunks
4 ribs celery, cut into chunks
4 carrots, cut into chunks
2 onions, sliced
shrooms, if you like 'em
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp ground mustard
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
3/4 c red wine (or be boring and use beef broth)
6 oz can tomato sauce
1 beef bouillon cube
salt to taste

to thicken later:
1/4 c water
1/4 c flour

1/2 c milk
1 1/2 c bisquick mix
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp oregano

1.       Sear the beef on all sides and remove from pan.
2.       Add beef, veggies, spices, wine, tomato sauce & bullion into crock pot.
3.       Cook it on low for 8-10 hours
4.       Combine water & flour; add to stew.
5.       Combine dumpling ingredients; drop by spoonful into stew.  Cover and turn on high for 30 minutes.

1.       Combine all ingredients except for slurry and dumplings into freezer bag and freeze.
2.       Follow directions from 3-5 and enjoy!

Slow Cooker Spaghetti
1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
24 ounces spaghetti sauce
8 ounces (uncooked) spaghetti, about 2/3 of a 13.25 oz box, break into small pieces before adding to meat mixture
2 cups low fat ricotta cheese
1 cup skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Kosher or sea Salt to taste

1.       Sauté onion and garlic until softened, about 2-3 minutes. 
2.       Add beef and cook in a large skillet over medium heat, breaking into small pieces while cooking. Ensure the beef loses its pink color before removing from heat. Drain, discard any fat and set aside.
3.       Combine meat with marinara and broken spaghetti pieces.
4.       In a medium bowl combine cooked meat with the remaining ingredients
5.       Add to slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 2-3 hours or until spaghetti is al dente and cheese is bubbly.
6.       Serve and sprinkle with parmesan if desired.

1.       Follow directions up to and including numer 4. 
2.       Allow all cooked mixtures to cool before mixing with other ingredients. 
3.       Place cooled ingredients in labeled freezer bag and freeze.
4.       Cook as stated and enjoy!

Easy Peasy Pulled BBQ Chicken
1.5 lbs chicken breasts (boneless/skinless)
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Thousand Island dressing
1 bottle of BBQ Sauce

1.       Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low 4-6 hours
2.       Shred chicken and enjoy on buns!

1.       Combine all ingredients into freezer bag and freeze.
2.       Pour contents into crock pot and cook as directed.  Enjoy

Angela’s Slow Cooker Chili
1.5 lbs lean ground beef
2 small onions,  diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cans (14.5 oz) kidney beans, drained
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (no salt added) tomato sauce
1 cup low sodium chicken or beef stock
3 TBSP chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp salt

1.       Combine beef, onions, pepper, garlic, beans, tomatoes, sauce, broth 2 TBSP chili powder, ½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp oregano in crock pot.
2.       Cover and cook on High for 4 hours (or low for 6).
3.       Stir in remaining spices and salt
4.       Serve warm and enjoy!

1.       Combine all ingredients into gallon freezer bag and freeze.
2.       Pour contents into crock pot and cook as directed.  Enjoy!

Salsa Chicken

1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken breasts
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can rotel chili with tomatoes
1/2 packet taco seasoning
1 bag of frozen corn
3 cups cooked rice

11.      Add all ingredients into crock pot,
22.     cook on low for 7 hours
33.   serve over rice. Enjoy

11. Combine all ingredients except rice into freezer bag and freeze.
22.       Pour into crock pot and cook as directed.

33.       Serve over rice.

General Tso Chicken
1lb chicken breast, cubed
4 tsp garlic, minced
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp minced ginger
4 tbsp soy sauce
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
1 frozen package of stir fry veggies
Slurry (¼ c water mixed with ¼ c flour)

1.       Place first 6 ingredients into crock pot and turn on low.  Cook 5-6 hours
2.       Mix together slurry and add to crock put during the last half hour of cooking.
3.       Turn on high and add veggies after adding slurry.
4.       Serve over rice and enjoy!

1.       Combine first 6 ingredients into freezer bag and seal.  Place this freezer bag into a larger one and place the bag of frozen stir fry veggies along with it, so they are kept together.
2.       To cook, place contents of the chicken bag into crock pot and then cook as directed. Enjoy!

Steak Fajitas
2 lbs flank steak (or London broil…that’s what I got on sale)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 ½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 (7oz) can of green chilies
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 bell peppers, any color, cut into slices
1 large onion, cut into slices

1.       Mix together spices and rub on steak.
2.       Slice veggies and place in crock pot.
3.       Place steak on top of veggies and sprinkle with garlic and soy sauce.
4.       Cook on high 5-6 hours until steak can be shredded easily.
5.       Serve on warm tortillas and enjoy!

1.       Rub spices on meat and slice veggies. 
2.       Place ingredients into freezer bag and freeze.
3.       Pour contents into slow cooker and cook according to directions. Enjoy!

Balsamic Pork
2lb pork tenderloin
½ tsp ground sage
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
½ c water
For the glaze:
½ c brown sugar
¼ c balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
½ c water
1 tbsp corn starch
1.       Rub spices on tenderloin and place in slow cooker with water.
2.       Cook on low 6-8 hours.
3.       About an hour prior to end time, combine glaze ingredients in small pan and heat on low until mixture thickens. 
4.       Baste roast several times during the last hour of cooking.  Drizzle remaining glaze on roast before serving.

1.       Rub spices onto pork loin and place in bag labeled with “add ½ cup water” and freeze.
2.       Cook as directed, making glaze the day of. Enjoy!

Loaded Potato Soup
4 lbs of potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 chicken bouillon cube
8 cups water
1 16oz package of cream cheese, cubed
Green onion
Dollop of sour cream

1.       Add all ingredients except for the cream cheese and toppings into crock pot and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.
2.       Half hour prior to end time, add cream cheese and cook for an additional 30 minutes
3.       Use an immersion blender to get desired consistency (this is an optional step).
4.       Give it a good stir and serve using toppings of your choice!

1.       Cook completely according to directions. 
2.       Allow soup to cool and put into containers. Freeze.
3.       Thaw and reheat over low heat.  Stir frequently.  Enjoy!
(Adapted from: http://www.penzeys.com)

Crock Pot Pulled Pork
2lb boneless pork tenderloin
1 1/2 cups ketchup
4oz tomato sauce
2 TBPS brown sugar
1 TBSP molasses
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
2 TBSP BBQ sauce
1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Kaiser rolls

1tsp garlic powder
1TBS onion powder
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp black pepper

11.       Mix the rub ingredients together and rub into pork.  
22.       Allow to sit over night. 
33.       Place in crock pot for 1 hour on high.
44.       Reduce heat to low and allow to cook for four hours.
55.       Cut pork into chucks, pour in remaining ingredients.
66.       Cook on low for 1 hour then shred pork and serve on Kaiser rolls.
11.       Make rub and apply to pork.
22.       Wrap tightly and freeze
33.       Place in crock pot and follow cooking directions. Enjoy!


  1. this ALL looks awesome! I cant wait to make these! I want to try winner winner chicken dinner

  2. Thanks!!! Let me know how it turns out! I have some ripe bananas on my counter and I think your ultimate banana bread is the perfect recipe for them!