1 day every few months that I prepare and freeze a ton of meals that can simply be dumped into a slow cooker, rather then cooking dinner for my family every night. These meals have been a LIFESAVER, both time and money wise; especially since Jude has become a crazy active toddler. My previous post includes all of my ground beef recipes, and this one is all chicken. Included is the cost of each meal WITHOUT the meat. Meat prices vary too much for me to give you an accurate cost.
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. You can also save money by making several bags at a time and buy ingredients in bulk or by cooking the beans yourself, rather then buying canned. Here is an awesome link on how to cook beans. I bulk order meat through Zaycon, which is a serious money saver. (If you do decide to use Zaycon, use referral code “bethnee” to get a discount ;) you’re welcome)
Now a few tips before we get started:
*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.
*Skinless chicken works best for slowcookers, although it will still turn out ok if you leave the skin on.
*Add all of the chicken to the bags you are making FIRST, then sanitize, clean up, and finish filling the bags. This prevents having to clean and sanitize 15 million times….
* I haven’t included serving size with these ones because I really don’t know. It depends on how much chicken you use and how much everyone in your household eats.
*ALWAYS check temperature of chicken before serving. It should be at least 165 F.
Thai Peanut Chicken
Cost per bag before meat: about $2
- 2-3 lbs chicken (drumsticks, wings, or thighs work best)
- 1 cup salsa
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2T soy sauce
- 1T lime juice
- 2t grated ginger (optional)
Mix all ingredients in ziplock bag and remove air. Freeze flat and store up to 6 months. Cook low 6-8 hours or high 3-6. Serve with rice.
Lime Chicken with black beans
Cost per bag before meat: about $4
- 6 chicken breasts or thighs
- 1-2T lime juice
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 16 oz bag frozen corn
- 2T minced garlic
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 16 oz black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 T cumin
- 2t chili powder
Mix all ingredients in ziplock bag and remove air. Freeze flat and store up to 6 months. Cook low 6-8 hours or high 4-6 hours. Serve with rice.
Healthy BBQ chicken with veggies
Cost per bag before meat: about $5
- 1-2 lbs chicken (thighs work best)
- 2 medium unpeeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, about 2 cups
- 1 large green pepper, cut into strips or cubes, about 2 cups
- 1 large red pepper, cut into strips or cubes, about 1 cup
- 1 zucchini, chopped, about 2 cups
- 1 onion, chopped or diced
- 2 tablespoon quick cooking tapioca (or flour, or some other thickening agent)
- 15oz cans of tomato sauce
- 2 T packed brown sugar
- 2 T Worcestershire sauce
- 2 T ground yellow mustard
- 2 T garlic
- 1 t salt
Mix all ingredients in ziplock bag and remove air. Freeze flat and store up to 6 months. Cook low 6-8 hours or high 4-6 hours.
Chicken Pot Pie
Cost per bag before meat: about $3
- 1-2 lbs chicken, cubed
- 16 oz bag mixed frozen veggies (i.e corn, green beans, carrots, peas)
- 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 3 celery stalks, chopped (optional)
- 1T garlic
- pinch salt
- pinch pepper
Mix all ingredients in ziplock bag and remove air. Freeze flat and store up to 6 months. Cook low 5-7 hours or high 3-4 hours. Serve over rolls or biscuits.