Freezer-Crockpot Meals: The Recipes

Here are the recipes for the freezer-crockpot meals I've already prepped and frozen.  I've got plans to try a bunch more, but freezer space is getting slim.

I got started with inspiration from Aimee over at Six Cents, and followed her link to Ring Around The Rosies.  Then I searched out other crockpot favorites in cookbooks and websites I love (like The Pioneer Woman and Southern Living).

I've also just found Six Sisters' Stuff, a blog with a fantastic array of freezer-to-slow cooker meals - including a shopping list, step-by-step instructions, and side dish ideas.  Boo-yah.  None of the recipes I've prepped came from there directly, but there is some overlap.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to pick up the ingredients for the Hearty Beef Stew and Chicken Broccoli Alfredo on my next shopping trip.

A few "tweaks" that I made across the board ... 
1. We prefer dark meat to light, so I bought two giant packages of chicken thighs for these recipes in place of chicken breasts.
2.  I make my own "cream of [whatever] soup" ... I assume one commercial can is about 1 cup of homemade soup, give or take.
3. I chose these recipes because of what was on sale, and what ingredients overlapped.  Onions, tomatoes, and chicken were predominant in the first three, and Italian seasoning shows up in the first and last recipe.  That helped me cut down on having a bunch of leftovers I didn't know what to do with.
4. Since these are "future meals" and not "eat right away meals," I had to decide how to fit the bill into my regular food budget.  I decided that we'd eat a little more modestly this shopping cycle (aka, less meat, more beans) and would not spend any extra on these meals.  It worked!  We've eaten a lot of quesadillas, nachos, soups, sandwiches, and pizza in the last couple of weeks, but I am so pleased that I didn't have to spend money outside of my normal food budget.

Sausage and Peppers (from Ring Around the Rosies)
6 Italian Sausage or chicken sausage
2 green peppers, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 large red onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans Italian diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp Italian seasoning

Split between 2 bags, seal, mix, lay flat, and freeze.
Add drizzle of olive oil, cook on low 8 hours, serve over hot noodles or or fresh French bread with mozzarella cheese.

Chicken Curry (from Six Cents) 
6-8 chicken breasts
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
1 cup of dry cooking sherry
½ cup of butter
8 green onions chopped
4 tsp of curry powder
salt and pepper

Directions: Divide everything except butter into two bags evenly.  Add butter to crockpot when ready to cook.  Cook on low for 8 hours. Serve over rice with a side salad.

Chipotle Lime Chicken (from Six Cents)
2 cups diced onion
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped carrots
8 skinless chicken thighs
salt and pepper to taste
2 cans tomato sauce
1/2 cup lime juice
2 tbsp miced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
4 garlic cloves
1/2 cup cilantro
2 sliced avocodos

Directions:  Split all ingredients into two bags except avocado.  Cook on low 8 hours.  Serve with avocodo on top.  Serve on top of rice or noodles.

Italian Drip Beef (from The Pioneer Woman)

1 whole beef chuck roast, 2.5 To 4 pounds
1 can beef consomme or beef broth
3 Tablespoons (heaping) Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1/2 jar (16 Oz) pepperoncini peppers, with juice
Buttered, toasted deli rolls

*PW's instructions were not specifically for the crockpot, but I made it work ... as with most recipes adapted for a slow cooker, you may require a little more or less seasoning or liquid than the original recipe calls for*
Directions: Place all ingredients in a bag except for the deli rolls.  Cook on low 6-8 hours or until meat is fork-tender and falling apart (if it's not falling apart, keep cooking!)  With two forks, completely shred all meat, leaving no large chunks behind. Serve immediately, or keep warm.
Serve on buttered, toasted rolls. Top with cheese and melt under the broiler if desired. Serve with juices from the pot.

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