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Aug 26, 2013 04:13 AM

Ideas for freeze-ahead slow cooker meals

My mother recently remarried. She didn't cook every night in the first place, but now she barely does at all because: A) husband and step-son are used to bringing home fast food every night, and B) they are remodeling, so she's busy and also has no working oven, and C) she's a teacher and school just started back up.

Since she has no oven, I've decided to put together several frozen crock pot meals that she can just throw in before she goes to work. I've found a few recipes on Pinterest that I'm going to do, but I was wondering if anyone here has any great recipes to share?

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  1. I am cooking for my elderly parents. Most of what i can do is deemed for the crockpot. Its definately not easy to hit the great mark. This site has been very helpful.

    1. I don't have any specific recipies, but frozen spaghetti sauce with meat (bolognaise) works well in the slow cooker, then all that is needed is a salad and cooked pasta. Also, chili, soups and stews are good slow cooker meals. If your mother is not already a decent cook, then I don't know if a slow cooker will help all that much.

      1 Reply
      1. re: John E.

        She's not a bad cook, it's just not her favorite thing. My dad was a nightmare to cook for, and quickly sapped any joy out of it for her.

        That, plus she's very busy with work and trying to adjust to a new household dynamic.

      2. Can you clarify please?
        Are you going to be fully prepping a meal, fully cooked, to be warmed throughout the day in the slow cooker?

        2 Replies
        1. re: monavano

          That is certainly an option, but my plan was for everything to be frozen uncooked, unless something like browning of meat was necessary. I'm open to anything.

          1. re: Kontxesi

            How many meals do you expect to supply them with? Once a week or twice a week?
            I ask because I think browning and sauteing prior to slow cooking really adds to flavor and helps you adjust seasoning more precisely... more "set it and forget it", if you will.

        2. I've done French onion soup in the slow cooker. Maybe you can cook that and freeze it and have her heat it up

          1. Kind as this idea is, few slow cooker meal from frozen raw ingredients are likely to be successful or safe. Most meat will need to be fully cooked, then frozen, then thawed overnight and placed in slow cooker for reheating / finishing. If she has a stovetop, perhaps just package some prepared meals that can be thawed in the microwave or quickly cooked on stovetop.

            If the kitchen is being remodelled, is electricity reliably on all day? If not, slow cooker is a dicey choice for meal prep.

            1 Reply
            1. re: MidwesternerTT

              We put frozen, cooked food into our slow cooker all the time. Stews and soups go in frozen and depending on who might be around, is set to warm, low, or high. (I have found the new slow cooker settings to actually be low, high, and really high.)