12 Freezer Friendly Slow Cooker Meals

12 Freezer Friendly Slow Cooker Meals | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

When I was pregnant with my toddler, I put together some freezer meals for the slow cooker for those first few weeks of parenthood from recipes that I found on my blog and online.  And, boy, was I glad that I did it.  The first few weeks were such an adjustment with sleep deprivation and getting into a schedule…I honestly barely remember a lot of it, but I do remember being happy that I had food in the freezer that I could pop in the crock pot, throw over some rice at the end of the day and be done with.

12 Freezer Friendly Slow Cooker Meals | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

So naturally, with baby #2 right around the corner, I went back through my recipes and came up with some favorites for this time around.  Some I used last time and loved so much that I wanted to do them again.  Others are some of my new recipes that are freezer friendly and are perfect for our little family {the pics throughout this post are the finished product from some of my favorites that are included on the list}.

12 Freezer Friendly Slow Cooker Meals | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

12 Freezer Friendly Slow Cooker Meals | Little Kitchen, Big Bites I made sure that all of them would be happily eaten by my toddler this time around too.  And that, for the most part, they’re relatively healthy or at least well rounded with protein and veggies to keep her going in the midst of this transition too.

12 Freezer Friendly Slow Cooker Meals | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

In terms of modifying the linked recipes to become freezer friendly, I put everything in the freezer bag that would normally go into the pot at the beginning of cooking time.  Then, I put a note on each bag listing what I needed to finish it off, which is what was added in the last hour of cooking or what the dish was served over…most of the time this is dairy, more delicate produce like cilantro, and rice or quinoa.

12 Freezer Friendly Slow Cooker Meals | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

This way I can either plan ahead, go to the market, and grab the extras for a couple recipes for the week, or can pop the food into the crock pot in the morning and make a quick stop at the grocery store for whatever I need through the day to top it off at night.

12 Freezer Friendly Slow Cooker Meals | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

The best part about this time around?  I’ve got mom friends who were totally into this idea too and due around the same time.  I may have looked like a little bit of a nut in the Target line {see the below picture of my kitchen pre-assembly…} buying enough cans of beans for each of us, but it was worth it.  They came over, the kids played {i.e. created complete chaos in our house}, and we put our bags together.  They all came together in less than two hours, which was a major accomplishment.  It was a total blast and I’ve got some more fun brewing about the freezer meals and parties coming soon!  But for now, here’s a list of some of the recipes that were easily converted to freezer meals this round.

12 Freezer Friendly Slow Cooker Meals | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

12 Freezer Friendly Slow Cooker Meals For New Moms

Cheddar, Potato & Asparagus Soup
Chicken Taco Soup
Jalapeño Black & White Bean Chicken Chili
Russian Chicken
Honey Balsamic Chicken Sliders
BBQ Buffalo Meatballs
Coconut Vegetable Curry
Sweet & Sour Meatballs
Veggie Quinoa Tacos
Thai Peanut Butter Cashew Chicken
Beef Lettuce Wraps
Italian Veggie & Sausage Soup 12 Freezer Friendly Slow Cooker Meals | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Sweet & Sour Meatballs | Slow Cooker

Sweet & Sour Meatballs | Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

What do you make when you’re so busy preparing for the end of the year party and your kid’s birthday and the multiple workout classes that you’re teaching that you can’t think straight?  Something easy and quick that everyone will like, that’s what.  And that’s exactly what this recipe is.

It’s another one of those where you pretty much throw everything in the crock pot and let it be.  Add some pineapple towards the end {it gets kind of gross and mushy in my experience if you leave it in there the whole time{, throw it over some rice {or quinoa if you’re feelin kinda healthy} and call it a day.

Sweet & Sour Meatballs | Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

It’s got delicious takeout flavor without all of the calories and the guessing game of *who knows what they put in there* and you can add all of the yummy veggies that you want.  So it may not be healthy, but at least it’s better than what you would have gotten from the place down the street.  And honestly, sometimes going out to pick up the takeout {and putting on something other than sweat pants just in case you run into someone you know} {yoga pants count as better than sweat pants} {can I hear an amen mamas} is a bigger pain than doing a little chopping during lunch time and finishing it off when the kid goes down for a nap or throwing it together before you leave for work in the morning.

Want to make it healthier?  Put together your own veggie packed turkey meatballs and then use them for your dish.

4.0 from 1 reviews
Sweet & Sour Asian Meatballs | Slow Cooker
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bag frozen meatballs (chicken or beef, depending on your preference)
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • ¾ cup orange marmalade
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 T preminced garlic
  • 1 t sesame oil
  • 1 t ginger
  • 1 t sriracha
  • 1½ cups chopped pineapple
  • Cooked rice or quinoa for serving
  • Additional sriracha, chopped green onions, and/or sesame seeds for garnish as desired
Instructions
  1. Put everything except for pineapple in the crock pot and cook on low for at least 4-6 hours.
  2. Add pineapple and cook for an additional hour.
  3. Serve over cooked rice or quinoa, garnish as desired.

Sweet & Sour Meatballs | Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites Sweet & Sour Meatballs | Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Slow Cooker Sweet & Spicy Sesame Meatballs

Slow Cooker Sweet & Spicy Sesame Meatballs | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

I know I keep saying I’m going to post some healthy recipes to go along with my fun, active lifestyle/new awesome “job.”  I feel the need to put it in quotes because it totally doesn’t feel like a job for me.  It’s so much fun to plan workouts for these amazing mamas and watch them improve and enjoy themselves just like I do every day.  It’s such a huge compliment to hear that someone felt great after a workout or was sore {in a good way} or that they see their bodies changing and getting stronger as the weeks and months pass.  I just feel so lucky to have found such an amazing group!

Anyway, should I be eating healthy every day?  Obviously.  Do I usually?  Yes.  But do I sometimes just pull a bunch of things that look yummy off the wall at Trader Joe’s and throw them together into something that’s ridiculously easy and fantastically delicious?  Definitely.

Slow Cooker Sweet & Spicy Sesame Meatballs | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

And can we talk for sec about my love affair with Trader Joe’s?  I’m seriously obsessed.  My mama talked me into driving an extra five minutes to go there instead of the Ralphs across the way a while ago and I haven’t looked back.  I don’t think a trip goes by without us finding something new, cheap and amazing that we have to have.  Trader Joe’s does not sponsor this blog…but TJ’s if you’re reading this and you want to, I’ll sell my soul for a can of dark chocolate sea salt brownies.  Or chocolate sea salt covered almonds.  Or just a bottle of $6 chardonnay.

Back to the recipe!  Focus!  I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that this one is healthy.  But boy is it easy and fabulously yummy.  You know I love me a good thr0w-it-in-the-pot-and-forget-it recipe.  It would make a major wow appetizer too…just skip the rice and stick them on toothpicks instead.  They meatballs end up being just the right amount of sticky sweet and the right amount of spicy kick to make it so you don’t want to stop eating.  And the veggies kind of dissolve in with the meatballs and the sauce so you {and your veggie hating husband} don’t even realize you’re eating them.  You could probably even add more if you need to hide them.  And then it’s healthy, right?  Well regardless, if not healthy, this one is just delish!

Slow Cooker Sweet & Spicy Sesame Meatballs | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Slow Cooker Sweet & Spicy Sesame Meatballs
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 bags frozen precooked meatballs
  • 2 zucchini, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 bottle Trader Joe's sweet and spicy chili sauce
  • 1 cup General Tso's sauce
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 t lime juice
  • 1 T rice wine vinegar
  • 1-2 t sriracha, optional
  • 1 T sesame seeds, plus more to garnish
  • 4 cups cooked white rice
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients except sesame seeds and rice in the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
  3. Stir in sesame seeds.
  4. Place white rice in the bottom of a bowl and top with meatballs and desired amount of sauce. Garnish with sesame seeds and enjoy hot.

 

Slow Cooker Coconut Curried Vegetable Soup

Slow Cooker Coconut Curried Vegetable Soup | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

You’re going to laugh at me.  My first recipe back and I’m posting soup in the middle of July.  I can’t help it.  I love me a good soup year round.  Especially one that’s a throw and go in the crock pot.  But here’s the deal with this soup.  It’s actually quite yummy chilled too.  Let’s be honest, that was not my original intention, but I took a bite of it before warming up the leftovers the next day and I ended up eating the whole thing without warming it up.  So let’s pretend I intended it that way.

A soup is also a really good way to get a ton of healthy veggies in for a meal without feeling like you’re eating…well…a big plate of veggies.  It’s like having a salad, but better and more filling.  Especially with the garbanzo beans for some serious substance.  Even my kiddo seemed to like it {but be warned…it’s a little spicy}.

So think about it.  Soup in the summer.  Or pin this one for when October rolls around and the chill comes back into the air in the evening.  It will be sooner than you think.  Michael’s already is putting out their Halloween decorations {yes really}.

Slow Cooker Coconut Curried Vegetable Soup | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Slow Cooker Coconut Curried Vegetable Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 1.5 lbs zucchini, chopped
  • 2 yellow squashes, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1½ T preminced garlic
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 2-3 T curry powder
  • 2 t cumin
  • 1 t cayenne pepper
  • 1 t coriander
  • 2 t salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 t pepper, plus more to taste
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 cup coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Put everything except the coconut milk in the slow cooker and cook on low for 3-4 hours or high for 6-8 hours.
  2. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup, or transfer contents of slow cooker to a blender in batches and blend.
  3. Stir in coconut milk.
  4. Cook for an additional 10 minutes, then serve.
  5. Soup can also be refrigerated at this time and served cold.

 

Slow Cooker Coconut Curried Vegetable Soup | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

 

15 Freezer Friendly Recipes {meals for new mamas}

15 Freezer Friendly Recipes {meals for new mamas} | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Did everyone have a fabulous long weekend?  It was the first weekend in forever that we haven’t had something scheduled, so Hubby and I sat back, relaxed and did projects around the house.  Baby could be here any day now, so we finished up the nursery and spent lots of time sitting in the sun, grilling and enjoying each other’s company.

About half way through the pregnancy, I realized that {at least} the first few weeks after baby were not going to be easy and were not going to be spent whipping up new delights in the kitchen.  So I asked around and learned about freezer meals.  How did I not think of these before?  Pre-make, store in a ziplock, and toss in your crock pot that morning.  It’s like my happy place.

You can see the ridic amount of canned goods that I bought for this below.  This doesn’t show the produce or frozen chicken breasts.  You can also see how 15 bags barely fit into my teeny tiny little freezer…barely…above.

15 Freezer Friendly Recipes {meals for new mamas} | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

 

But, although I’m always ready to try new things, I also wanted to play with some of my old favorites.  Because sometimes, when you need some comfort food on very few hours of sleep, you just want to know that it’s going to be good.

So I collected some new recipes from Pinterest and grabbed some old ones from my blog, made an epic shopping list, and spent a day shopping, chopping, pouring and bagging my heart out.   It only took one day!  I’ve listed the recipes with links that I used below.

I was shocked to find that the whole ordeal only cost about $150…although I must admit that I had a lot of the spices, oils, and seasonings on hand already.  But most of these recipes will make at least 4-6 meals, and some will make many more, so I think that it’s a great deal!

Slow Cooker Cheddar Potato & Asparagus Soup | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

The *new* recipes have freezer instructions included.  For my old recipes, I just poured everything except the broth into a bag, unless it was a dairy product or rice/tortillas/garnish that was added after the majority of the cooking in the recipe.  And I actually tried to do the same thing despite the recipes on the other ones.  I wrote the amount of broth to add at the beginning and what to add and cook for the last 30 minutes to an hour and called it a day.

Food photos in this post are from my previous iterations of the same recipe, not from the freezer version, just to give you a taste.  

Slow Cooker Hot & Spicy Asian Noodle Soup | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

 

Little Kitchen, Big Bites Recipes
Cheddar Potato Asparagus Soup
Hot & Spicy Asian Soup
Chicken Taco Soup
White Jalapeno Chicken Chili
Spicy Black Bean Soup
Honey Balsamic Chicken Sliders
Sausage Jambalya
Sweet & Sour Meatballs

New Recipes
Sausage and Peppers from Ring Around the Rosies
Teriyaki Chicken from Ring Around the Rosies
Chicken Broccoli Alfredo from Six Sisters’ Stuff
Cilantro Lime Chicken w/ Corn and Black Beans from Six Sisters’ Stuff
Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew from Loving My Nest
Honey Sesame Chicken from Baked in the South
Chicken Fajitas from Baked in the South

Honey Balsamic Chicken & Avocado Sliders | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

These blogs have tons of other amazing freezer friendly recipes too…these were just the ones that I pulled out for us.  As usual, I made my own little tweaks to the recipes and will share them as I can when the food gets heated and eaten!

Let me know if you have any questions about how I prepared any of the meals.  Can’t wait to share the results!

Slow Cooker Jalapeno Black & White Chicken Chili | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

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