Crockpot Freezer Meals: Postpartum Survival Guide

by Natalie Broders, Portland Birth Photographer

If you’ve had a baby before, you know how tough it can be to feed yourself postpartum.. Let alone cook for your whole family. These crockpot freezer meals can be made ahead and frozen, so all you (or your partner) has to do to start dinner is throw it in the crockpot.

Making crockpot freezer meals ahead was an absolute LIFESAVER for me! I also loved having packaged snacks, like almonds, protein bars, granola bars, and pop-tarts. What was your favorite postpartum snack? Shoot me an email and let me know. (Seriously, I’m making a list of the best postpartum snacks to bring moms after birth)

Teriyaki Chicken

Serves 4

Cook time: 8 hours on LOW

2 pounds chicken thighs
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
one 20-ounce can pineapple chunks (drained)

Serve with: cooked white or brown rice, green veggies

Sloppy Joes

Serves 4

Cook time: 3-4 hours on HIGH

One pound ground beef
1 diced onion
1 diced green bell pepper
15-ounce can tomato sauce (or 1 6-ounce can tomato paste mixed with 1 cup water)
one Sloppy Joes seasoning mix packet

Serve with: buns, fries

Beef Stroganoff

Serves 4

Cook time: 8 hours on LOW

2 pounds stew meat
1 pound sliced mushrooms
1 diced onion
1/2 cup red wine
1 tablespoon beef stock paste (or 2 bouillon cubes)

Extra directions: Add 1 cup water to slow cooker before cooking. Stir in 1/2 cup sour cream before serving (do not freeze with other ingredients or add at beginning of cooking time or it will curdle)

Serve with: fettuccine noodles or rice

Ham and Pinto Bean Soup

Serves 4

Cook time: 5-6 hours on HIGH or 8 hours on LOW

1 pound dried pinto beans
1.5 pound bone-in ham shank
3/4 cup ketchup
Water
Salt, to taste

Directions –
Night before: place beans in crockpot and cover with 8 cups of water. Let sit overnight (don’t turn the crockpot on)
In the morning: add ham shank. Cover and cook 5-6 hours on HIGH or 8 hours on LOW.
After cook time, add ketchup and salt to taste. Ham should fall off the bone.

Serve with: crusty bread or salad

Creamy Italian Chicken

Serves 4

Cook time: 4 hours on LOW or 8 hours on HIGH

1 and 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, cut up in one inch pieces
1 bar of cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 packet zesty Italian salad dressing mix
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cup green beans, frozen or fresh

Extra directions: Add 1 cup water to slow cooker before cooking. Stir in 1/2 cup sour cream before serving (do not freeze with other ingredients or add at beginning of cooking time or it will curdle)

Serve with: noodles and Parmesan

Vegetable Beef Stew

Serves 4

Cook time: 8-10 hours on LOW

2 pounds stew meat
1 diced onion
2 sliced carrots
1 sliced parsnip
1 large rutabaga (peeled and cut into cubes)
1/2 cup red wine
2 tablespoons beef stock base or 3 bouillon cubes
1 1/2 cups water

Serve with: mashed potatoes or rice

How-To

Step 1: Add raw ingredients to a gallon size freezer bag, then freeze

Step 2: Night before: move the meal from the freezer to the fridge to defrost overnight

Step 3: Throw it in the crockpot.

Pro tip: make 2 of each!

Shopping list for all the recipes:

CLICK HERE TO PRINT

Here’s your freezer meal shopping list:

* you probably already have these items in your cupboard

2 pounds chicken thighs
1.5 pounds chicken breasts
1 pound ground beef
2 pounds stew meat
1.5 pound bone-in ham shank
brown rice
fettucine noodles
bowtie noodles
ketchup  *
1/2 cup soy sauce *
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar *
1/4 cup brown sugar  *
red wine (1 cup)
1 packet zesty Italian salad dressing mix
one Sloppy Joes seasoning mix packet
beef stock paste (or beef bouillon cubes) *
frozen french fries
frozen green beans
1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks
15-ounce can tomato sauce (or 1 6-ounce can tomato paste mixed with 1 cup water)
1 pound dried pinto beans
1 can cream of chicken soup
3 yellow onion
1 diced green bell pepper
1 pound sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots
1 parsnip (substitute a carrot if you want)
1 large rutabaga (substitute a potato if you want)
Parmesan
1 bar of cream cheese

Day-of shopping list – Buy when you’re ready to cook it:
broccoli ( or other green veggie)
whole wheat buns
sour cream
crusty bread
salad mix
country crock pre-made mashed potatoes from the deli

CLICK HERE TO PRINT

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