Of all the ways to make preparing dinner for a hungry family easier, we find there is none better than a make-ahead, freezable, slow cooker recipe! As if setting a crock pot and going about your day wasn’t simple enough, with meals like these ones, you don’t even have to worry about getting up before work to slice and dice veggies or spice up the meat. No, you just grab a freezer bag, dump it in the crock pot, set it, and GO. That’s it, and that’s awesome. Whether you’re the type to plan a few weeks’ worth of menus and prep them all in a marathon cooking weekend, or you just want to have some on hand for days and nights that get away from you, you’ll appreciate lists like this one from New Leaf Wellness, which not only offers freezable crock pot recipes, it includes all healthy ones, too! It inspired us to search the Internet for our own inspiration for make-ahead meals. Here’s what we found.
- Slow Cooker Maple Chicken
This sweet-and-savory recipe includes sweet potatoes for an extra dose of nutrients. PLUS, it’s gluten-free, and even Paleo!
- Lemon and Garlic Chicken
For this recipe from The Chaos and the Clutter, all you need are chicken, garlic, olive oil, parsley, lemon juice and pepper. Simple and delicious!
- Shredded Tex-Mex Chicken
This recipe from Good Life Eats doesn’t sound like it should be healthy, but don’t fear! All the flavor in these shredded boneless and skinless breasts comes from smart spice use, not fat. You can prep it, freeze it, and use it for everything from sandwiches to soup to enchiladas.
- White Chicken Chili
Chili doesn’t have to be fattening, either! Pair the whole ingredients in this recipe with some skim-or-low-fat cheese – or skip it entirely! – and adapt the spices for your family’s tastes.
- Beef and Broccoli
Throw away your menus! This “healthified” version of the Chinese-take-out standby has had a huge reduction in sugar and sodium to turn into a dish that has only 290 calories per serving.
- Italian Greens and Beans
Need some vegetarian options? Try this simple and delicious dish that’s almost like a soup . . .
- Mushroom and Spinach Stroganoff
. . . or this one, so good that you won’t miss the meat or the extra calories!
- Stuffed Peppers
You know you can make stuffed peppers in the crock pot, but did you know you can freeze them ahead of time? It’s true! These ones are stuffed with ground turkey and topped with your favorite tomato sauce.
- Cranberry Pork Roast
This one sounds like it should be labor-intensive, expensive, and fancy. Instead, it only takes four ingredients, almost zero prep, cooks in a crock pot and freezes!
- Philly Cheesesteak
Cheesesteak? Healthy? In the crock pot? It’s totally possible! This recipe swaps in chicken instead of fattier meats, and fills in the rest with whole ingredients.
- Pot Roast and Green Beans
The Sunday dinner classic transforms into an easy meal for busy weeknights. What stays the same? The satisfying, good-for-you taste!
- Mushroom Barley Stew
While it’s always great to see how you can make classic recipes using the convenience of the freezer and the crock pot, don’t miss out on the opportunity to try something new! This stew combines mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion, tomatoes and barley for an easy vegetarian dish.
- Meatball Veggie Soup
Italian wedding soup meets garden vegetable soup for a one-of-a-kind creation the whole family will love.
- Lentil Butternut Squash Curry
Crock pot curry? Let’s do it— AND make it vegetarian!
- Turkey White Bean Kale Soup
Turkey is obviously a fantastic meat choice for anybody looking to eat healthily, so incorporate it into your freezer crock pot recipes with this soup . . .
- Tomato Turkey Vegetable Soup
. . . or this one . . .
- Turkey Black Bean Chili
. . . or this chili, full of savory and spicy goodness!
Who would have thought you could make meatloaf in a slow cooker AND have it be healthy? This one has a very general list of ingredients you can adapt for any dietary needs. It also has us thinking that any meatloaf recipe you love will work with this freezer prep and crock pot cook method!
- Chicken Cacciatore
This recipe is so simple, using only five ingredients for super-easy prep. You can serve it over spaghetti if you want, or keep it gluten-free and eat it straight.
- Ginger Peach Chicken
We’re looking forward to spring and peach season already with this creative recipe that also uses red onion, brown sugar, Tamari and coriander for a taste palette like nothing else.
- Spring Chicken Soup
You know when you’ll really want these freezer meals on hand? When you’re sick. And we all know what we need when we’re sick: chicken soup! Try this more classic, vegetable-heavy version . . .
- Mexican Chicken Soup
. . . or this one incorporating traditional Mexican seasonings.
- White Wine Chicken With Artichokes
This recipe will be your go-to when you want to make something special and “fancy,” but have neither the time nor the energy.
- Red Pepper Chicken
We know this list is full of chicken, but can you blame us when there are recipes like this one? It’s a great way to keep things healthy but also tasty— and full of protein!
- Chicken Curry
Just ONE more chicken recipe, we promise! This one’s a little more adventurous.
- Chickpea, Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Stew
No chicken here— and no meat of any other kind, either! Instead, this stew is totally VEGAN.
- Split Pea Soup
This soup? It’s vegan too!
- Spinach and Artichoke Casserole
Not vegan but still vegetarian? Try this recipe, which tastes super-indulgent.
- Spicy Banana Pepper Beef
Missing the meat? Let’s close out with this recipe that makes every day taste like a barbecue, WITHOUT sweating it out over the grill.
Convenient, organized, easy and delicious. Does it get any better? Be sure to check out New Leaf Wellness’ original post where there are, believe it or not, even MORE recipes. Which one will you be trying first? Are you somebody who does a lot of prep for the week over the weekends?