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What’s for dinner? Slow cooker freezer meals!

Weeknight meals can be a hassle, especially with competing schedules and limited prep time. Despite our best intentions to buy healthy ingredients and stop ordering in pizza so much, dinner is often the first thing to fall apart after a busy day. 

Consider preparing your dinners ahead of time! Pick a morning or afternoon one day a week when the family can come together to plan and prep. We love these slow cooker freezer meal ideas from Blue Flame Kitchen! Freeze them for up to two months, then take them out to thaw and toss them in the slow cooker when you’re ready to eat.


Here are some general guidelines for choosing slow cooker freezer meals:

  • Choose recipes that do not require the meat to be cooked first. Some meat can grow bacteria when cooked at too low of a temperature for too long of a time, or the texture can be impacted. (For example, ground meat must always be cooked before adding it to the slow cooker.)
  • Use meat that’s as fresh as possible in your recipes.
  • Vegetables such as celery, onions, bell peppers, and carrots should be finely chopped, as they can get a poor texture when frozen. For better texture, sauté and cool vegetables before adding them to the bag.
  • Use good quality freezer bags. 
  • Label the bags with the following information: 
    • Recipe name
    • Date it was assembled
    • Cooking Instructions
    • List of ingredients to be added on the day of cooking
  • Remove as much air from the bag as possible, so that your freezer bags can lay flat in the freezer. 
  • Take out your meal in a bag from the freezer the day before cooking and thaw it in the refrigerator. 
  • Use your slow cooker freezer meals within three months.


There are certain ingredients that do not freeze well and should be added to the slow cooker on the day of cooking: 

  • Any dairy products (they tend to separate and curdle once frozen and then thawed.)
  • Pasta (add near the end of the cooking time to avoid overcooking it.)
  • Any vegetable that has a high water content, such as potatoes, zucchini and most squashes.


Slow Cooker Teriyaki Drumsticks

12 chicken drumsticks, skin removed

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 Tbsp cornstarch

1/4 cup water

5 cups sliced bok choy (green portion only)

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion

1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

  • Place chicken in a six-quart slow cooker.
  • Combine soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, ginger and garlic in a bowl. Pour soy sauce mixture over chicken.
  • Cover and cook on the high heat setting for 30 minutes. Reduce to the low heat setting and continue cooking, covered, until meat is very tender, about three hours.
  • Whisk together cornstarch and water until blended. Uncover slow cooker and drizzle cornstarch mixture over chicken mixture; stir gently to combine. Add bok choy and stir gently to coat.
  • Cover and cook on high heat setting until bok choy wilts and sauce is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with green onion and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Slow Cooker Southwestern Beef Stew 


2 lb (1 kg) boneless beef chuck steak, cubed

1 cup medium salsa

1 cup barbecue sauce

1 package taco seasoning mix

2 cups frozen kernel corn, thawed

1 can (19 oz / 540 mL) chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 can (19 oz / 540 mL) black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

  • Combine the first seven ingredients (beef through black beans) in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for six or seven hours or until beef is tender.
  • Increase to the high heat setting. Whisk together flour and water until smooth. Stir into stew. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until the stew is thickened. Stir in cilantro. May be frozen for up to two months.


Visit Blue Flame Kitchen online at for tips, recipes and cookbooks. Drop by the cafe for breakfast or lunch or to take home a delicious ready-cooked meal for dinner!


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