Crock Pot Freezing FAQ

I’ve had so many questions about how I do my crock pot freezer cooking I thought it would be a good idea to compile all of the questions into one place for everyone else to see! This is a great place to look over  before you delve into chopping as there are also some great reader suggestions!

How many meals will the posted shopping list make?
How did you get to 34 meals, I only see 10 recipes?
When you are putting the bags together, and everything is already chopped, how do you measure how much one carrot or one zucchini is being that they are different sizes?
Do all the recipes have to be thawed before putting in crock pot? Why not just put them in there frozen?
How long can you freeze these for?
Advice for the first time? This will all be new to me, and honestly quite daunting since I absolutely HATE to cook.

How many meals will the posted shopping list make?
The shopping list is for a single recipe worth of the recipes listed on the recipe page. Take into consideration that 1 recipe is linked to another site (it’s not my recipe) and her recipe is for 2 meals worth. So, there’s 9 of my recipes, 1 of the outside link (that makes 2 meals). The shopping list is for a total of 11 meals. If you want to make more you’ll need to adjust accordingly.

How did you get to 34 meals, I only see 10 recipes!
Again – there’s that link for Healthy Mama BBQ, most people don’t see it because it’s a link to the recipe I used. Regardless. I doubled and tripled many of the recipes listed. I also bought a ton of ground beef that was on sale and made some seasoned taco meat and hamburger patties. All of those added together made the 34 meals for just under $150.00.

When you are putting the bags together, and everything is already chopped, how do you measure how much one carrot or one zucchini is being that they are different sizes?
When I was cutting everything up I grabbed 1 “average” sized of whatever I was cutting (carrot, zucchini) Chopped or shredded or whatever needed to be done and measured what 1 of each thing was (cut in the various ways). Then I just did a little math to convert each numbered item into a meaured amount when I filled the bag.

Do all the recipes have to be thawed before putting in crock pot? Why not just put them in there frozen?


I do put them in mostly frozen, the problem is getting them out of the bag and fitting in the crock pot in the frozen chunk that’s formed the zip lock bag, especially for the recipes that fill the bags to the brim. Those that fit frozen solid, I put in earlier and just cook a little longer on low, usually closer to the higher end of the range for cooking time.

Some ideas from readers to make them fit frozen is to freeze the bags in round use ice cream buckets (if you have a round crock pot, or use zip lock containers if they fit in your crock pot. Another idea is to wrap in freezer paper (or any paper, rubber bands or masking tape even) for the bag to hold the shape of your crock pot while freezing.

How long can you freeze these for?
I freeze them for 3-4 months. I’m sure if you used a food saver system they could go longer – but they really don’t last that long!

Advice for the first time? This will all be new to me, and honestly quite daunting since I absolutely HATE to cook.
I sure hope that you do decide to try this! But a few words of advice. Don’t do 34 meals on your first go-around. When I first did this I think I did 6 meals. I too was like, “how is this all going to work?” but I just started chopping and bag stuffing and didn’t look back. Overall I would say – start small, do like 4 meals that you think your family would like and start with that. 4 is better than none and you can get an idea of its something that you could maybe do more of later. Another thing you could try is invite a friend over and double whatever you decide on – chop and prep together (two are better than one!) and then you both get some meals to take home and freeze.



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38 Responses to Crock Pot Freezer Cooking FAQ

  1. Dee Clingan says:

    I always thought you had to blanch certain vegetables in order to freeze them. It looks like you just throw everything in the bag raw, so my question is, do some of the vegetables come out rubbery or mushy?

    • Jessica says:

      Hi! I just throw them in raw and they do fine! I’ve never had them be rubbery. If you cook it too long the veggies can become mushy but because they are over cooked, not due to lack of blanching.

  2. April says:

    I have always been afraid to freeze raw potatoes and zucchini! Do they hold up well? Thank you love your info!!!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi April, the potatoes do fine for me, the zucchini can fall apart and get a but mushy, but no more than when I crock pot cook with them fresh. I think the key is to not over cook it!

  3. Jen says:

    I cook for 6 young adult to adult people each night…How many do these recipes generally feed…
    Sorry if this has been answered already…I couldn’t find it…=0}

    • Jessica says:

      Hi! The serving estimate is on each recipe, at the end I think. You might need to either have more side dishes or double some if these. If it’s 6 growing teenage boys I would bet you would, but check out the suggestions and see what you think from the eating habits of those eating.

  4. mandy says:

    I always thought u had to brown the meat before putting in a crock pot. do u even put your ground beef in raw?

    • Jessica says:

      I do brown my ground beef before I freeze it, but all my other meats I put in raw.

      • Em says:

        I thought it was bad to put meat in with veges before it was cooked? To be placed in bags and then frozen, thawed and cooked.. have u had any problems with bad tummys?

        • Jessica says:

          Nope, because everything is cooked before you eat it. It’s no different than mixing the veggies and meat in the crock pot with out freezing and cooking it. :-)

  5. Karen Heller says:

    how do you cook the chicken for the CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP?

  6. Brandy says:

    I was wondering how many crockpots u use, or do you just us the same crockpot night after night?

  7. Kristin says:

    I have been having a problem with potatoes in the freezer bags….they have been turning black?? And ideas?

    • Jessica says:

      Potatoes do turn color when they are frozen, but they aren’t bad or ruined at all, just discolored. However, after you cook them they’re covered in the sauce and we’ve never had issue with it. If it’s something that bothers you or your family you can just cut a potato and add it when you put the bag in. Hope that helps!

  8. Leslie says:

    I was wondering do you put any liquids in the bags before you freeze or is that something you do when you put the food in the crock pot?

    • Jessica says:

      I usually put all that the recipe calls for in the bag except for broth and this is only because I have my own broth already frozen in 2 cup increments, so I just put the recipe and a bag (or 2 or how many ever I need) in when I want to cook it. If I didn’t have it pre-frozen, I would add it to the bag so long as everything fit.

  9. April says:

    What commonly used items do not do well being freezed?

  10. Heather says:

    How much freezer space do you need to accommodate all these meals?

    • Jessica says:

      For all the meals in my 34 meal I would say that you’d need a separate freezer for sure, but it wouldn’t need to be that large. If you don’t really have anything else in your main house freezer you’d be able to fit most of these in them I think. We have a large chest freezer that we put them in though.

  11. Liz Q says:

    I ran into your blog on Pinterest and I love the Crock Pot Freezer Cooking concept, it’s geniuous!! I would like to know if you use a food processor, mandoline or chopper for the vegitables? If so, can you recommend one :)

    Thank you!

    Liz

  12. amanda townes says:

    How many people will each recipe feed? I have two adults and 4 children under the age of 13. Will one recipe be sufficient for one meal?

  13. hannah says:

    searched and searched but couldnt find an answer…. roughly what size crock pot do you use? Do you think it would be possible to cut these down to fit a small crock pot?

  14. JanieGunn says:

    Love this idea! Went ingredient shopping today & am planning to make my freezer bags tomorrow. I am only cooking for 2 adults & a toddler though, so I am wondering if leftovers of the meals, once cooked in the crockpot, can be frozen or not (since ingredients were frozen & thawed to begin with). Please let me know if you know anyone who has done this, or if we are better off refrigerating leftovers and consuming them until they are finished (which may take 2-3 days of eating the same thing every day). Thanks!

    • Jessica says:

      They sure can! I would do this a while back before kids, make a huge lasagna or other dish, cook then freeze in individual serving sizes to take as lunches to work. Someone had also commented about freezing in muffin tins for younger kids!

  15. Debbie Fitzsimmons says:

    Hi,
    I just finished making the 34 meal plan bags yesterday. The whole family helped which cut down on the work load. Because I have 2 teenage boys, I doubled most of the recipes.
    I have a question about the shopping list though. When you say 1 large can of spaghetti sauce, what do you mean? 32oz.? My first thought was the restaurant size can…lol.
    I also didn’t see the 4 cans of tomato paste on the grocery list that is needed in Stephanie’s Goulash.
    I can’t tell you how great I felt when I looked in my freezer this morning and knew that the planning and cooking was finished for the next few weeks. AHH!
    Thank you for doing all the ground work for this project. :) :)
    Deb

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Debbie,

      I do mean the 32oz size – I didn’t think about the fact that they had the REALLY large ones. I don’t have Stephanie’s Goulash as one of the meals for this round. The recipe that I used from that site was the Healthy Mama BBQ Chicken.

      So glad you got your freezer full and that the whole family helped out too!

  16. Jenny says:

    I was wondering if I use fresh chicken or if I can use chicken from the freezer for the crockpot freezer recipes? Thanks look forward to getting started

  17. Alexis says:

    Hello! What would you suggest as a good meat supplement to the pork and veggies recipe? I do not eat pork and hoping to still make this one as it looks so good! Thanks! Alexis

  18. Amanda Windberg says:

    I am so excited to try this!! I am a stay at home mom and it is just my husband and 2 year old. I would love to be able to set it and forget it. I use my crockpot A LOT, so I can’t wait to try some new recipes and make life a little easier. Thanks!

  19. Rachelle Hunter says:

    What size Crockpot would you recommend for these recipes? i have a family of 6

  20. Carol says:

    What size Freezer bags do you use?

  21. Patti says:

    Couple of questions.
    1. Do you have nutrition information for these? I am trying to find some recipes that I can freeze and then give to a group of gals I know going through cancer treatment and many want to live healthier lifestyles.
    2. Can these be cooked from frozen?

  22. Katie says:

    I have 2 questions. 1) I see that you double the recipes sometimes. I’m curious if you can half them, store them in smaller frozen bag portions and cook them in a 3 quart crockpot instead. If you are only cooking for 2 and don’t want to much leftovers? 2) Also would the 8 hour cook time on low plus maybe an hour or 2 on the automatic warm setting over cook it (for both the regular size or the proposed smaller size)?

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