Freezer to Crockpot meals: Ground Beef

I get a lot of people asking about the freezer meals I prep for my family. I usually have 1 day every few months that I prepare and freeze a ton of meals that can simply be dumped into a slow cooker. These meals have been a LIFESAVER, both time and money wise. In this post I’ll include all of my ground beef recipes (or ground turkey, if you prefer). I will be posting a separate one that will include all of the chicken meals. I’ve also included the cost of each meal WITHOUT the meat. Meat prices vary too much for me to give you an accurate price.The price also doesn’t include what the meal should be served with i.e the pasta for the spaghetti.

If you don’t feel like spending a lot per meal because of meat, you can always increase the amount of veggies in a meal and lower the amount of meat. I usually make meals with half a pound instead of a whole pound to make my money go further. You can also save money by making several bags at a time and buy ingredients in bulk or cooking the beans yourself, rather then buying canned. Here is an awesome link on how to cook beans.

Every few months, I bulk order meat through Zaycon, and prepare as many meals as possible the same day as pick up. (If you do decide to use Zaycon, use referral code “bethnee” to get a discount ;) you’re welcome) This month, I ordered 80lbs of ground beef, 5 of which I am sharing with my mom. With the remaining 75lbs, I’m going to make 120 meals, plus 200 meatballs.

All of the meals should be moved to the fridge to thaw 12 – 24 hours before you put them in the crockpot. If they are still frozen when you want to cook them, add 2 hours to the cook time on low, or 1 hour on high.

Now with all that in mind, lets get started!

Nacho Topping: Serves 4

Cost per bag BEFORE beef: about $4

  • 1 lb lean ground beef, Cooked and drained
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 package mild taco seasoning mix (I just make my own blend of paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, salt, and pepper)
  • 16 oz frozen corn
  • 16 oz can black beans drained and rinsed (you could use kidney beans or pinto beans)
  • 14 oz stewed tomatoes
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce

Mix all ingredients in ziplock bag and remove air. Freeze flat and store up to 6 months. Cook low 3-4 hours or high 1-2 hours. Add shredded cheese 10 minutes prior to serving. Serve over chips.

Olive Garden copy cat Pasta E Fagioli: Serves 6

Cost per bag before beef: about $5

  • lb ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • carrots, chopped
  • stalks celery, chopped
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 16 oz can red kidney beans, drained
  • 16 oz can white kidney beans, drained
  • 30 oz beef stock
  • 3 t oregano
  • 2 t pepper
  • t parsley
  • 1 tTabasco sauce (optional)

Mix all ingredients in ziplock bag and remove air. Freeze flat and store up to 6 months. Cook low 6 -8 hours, Adding 8 oz pasta (rotini or shells is best) during last hour of cooking, or high 3 – 4 hours, adding pasta for last half hour.

**Tip: Make sure all the pasta is covered with liquid when added. If not, add warm water to crockpot to cover noodles.

Spaghetti: Serves 4

Cost per bag before meat: about $3

  • 1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 T garlic
  • 4 small cans of tomato paste OR 16 oz tomato sauce
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 – 2 T brown sugar (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup grated zuccini and/or carrots
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped or diced
  • 1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 tsp Oregano
  • 3 tsp. Basil

Mix all ingredients in ziplock bag and remove air. Freeze flat and store up to 6 months. Cook high 2-4 hours or low 3-6. You can also simmer this on the stove, covered, at med-low heat for 30 mins. Serve over pasta.

Sloppy Joe Mix: Makes about 6 sandwiches 

Cost per bag before beef: about $2

  • 1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 T vinegar, (I use cider vinegar)
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 t dry mustard
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 1/2 cup water

Mix all ingredients in ziplock bag and remove air. Freeze flat and store up to 6 months. Cook low 3-4 hours or high 1-2 hours. Serve on buns or in pita pockets.

Beef Stroganoff: Serves 4

Cost per bag before beef: $4

  • 1lb ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 4 cans of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 T worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 2T minced garlic
  • packet of onion soup mix

Mix all ingredients in ziplock bag and remove air. Freeze flat and store up to 6 months. Cook low 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours. Serve over egg noodles.

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