I really love my crockpot, but sometimes I’m in a pinch for lunch or dinner and need something that I can cook in a pan on my stovetop. I don’t keep a lot extra meat or veggies on-hand, so lately I’ve been grabbing healthy freezer meals that I prepped for my crockpot and cooking them in a skillet, pan, or pot instead. For example, these Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps are great in the crock, but cook equally well in 15 minutes in a pan. Yay!
What kind of crockpot freezer meals can be made on the stovetop?
- Pretty much any recipe made with ground meat (ground beef, turkey, chicken, or sausage).
- Recipes with sliced chicken or beef roast (because cooking a whole pot roast in a pan doesn’t make sense).
- Any kind of recipe that is commonly cooked on the stovetop (for example, stir fries, chili, and soup).
Since this is such a busy time of year, I decided to make a list of recipes that we love that can be cooked both ways. None of the recipes require any cooking before freezing, so they’re very quick and easy to prep. I’m going to set aside an hour next weekend to make 5-7 at once and stock our freezer with healthy meals for weeks to come. Yippee!
If you know you’re a stovetop person, I wrote a mini eCookbook with seven freezer meals that can be frozen without any cooking ahead of time and then cooked in a pot, pan, or skillet. They include a lot of ingredients that won’t work in the crockpot (like pasta!), so they’re great to have on-hand for variation. Plus, the printable grocery list, freezer labels, and nutritional info can’t be beat.
17 Healthy Freezer Meals That Can Be Cooked in a Crockpot or Skillet
- Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Chicken Fajitas
- Turkey Black Bean Chili
- Chinese Pepper Steak with Green Peppers and Onions (YUM)
- Sweet and Sour BBQ Meatballs (super easy and kid-friendly)
- Chicken Chili
- Italian Wedding Soup
- Mushroom Spinach Stroganoff (vegetarian and so good)
- Chicken Tikka Masala
- Steak Fajitas (thinly slice the beef before freezing)
- Thai Pineapple Curry
- Southwestern Pork Chili
- Peanut Lime Chicken
- Vegetarian Garden Vegetable Soup with Pesto (Panera Copycat)
- Sausage Spinach Tomato Soup
- Japanese Beef Teriyaki (one of my favorite recipes from my Complete Freezer Cooking Bundle; recipe shared for free below)
- Zuppa Toscana with Sweet Potatoes
If you’re motivated to prep and freeze all 17 at once, I typed up exactly how to assemble and cook each one in a crockpot or pan in a printable pdf (I even included a full grocery list!):
CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPES AND GROCERY LIST. NO STRINGS ATTACHED.
I included detailed cooking instructions in the pdf above, but pretty much all you need to do is dump the bag into a big pan and bring it to a boil. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occastionally, and dinner is done. (I recommend thawing the freezer bag in water so it’s not a solid block in the pan.)
These would be great meals to have on-hand during the holidays, so you can have dinner ready at a moment’s notice. Enjoy, Friends!
[…] from New Leaf Wellness has a great list of 17 Healthy Freezer Meals You Can Cook in a Crockpot or Skillet. Her free download includes grocery lists and recipes for all of the […]
Thank you so much for these! I had a question…
My hubs likes to cook meats that are as fresh as possible.
Could we make and freeze these bags ahead of time without putting the meat in the bags, and then when is time to cook them, thaw and add the fresh meat to the crockpot/skillet?
Do you think that would change the flavor in any way since the meat has not had a chance to “marinate”?
Thank you ?
Olga, I think that would be fine…just make sure the rest of the ingredients are completely thawed so that everything is starting out at the same temperature.
Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this! I’m having twins (!) in the spring and am looking at planning some freezer meals for after they’re here. Your list has the most veggies and looks the most tasty of any I’ve seen! I’m excited to try these all!
Julie, congratulations!! Thought you might like to see this post too. 😉 https://thefamilyfreezer.com/2016/01/31/40-pre-baby-freezer-meals/
I made all 17 of these on December 2nd. There are 3 left in the freezer and I’m planning to make them all again when those are gone. I love the flexibility to use a skillet.
The only change is I will not make them all in one day, because when I put them all in the freezer at once it took a few days for everything to freeze.
Kim, Yay!! What kind of freezer are you using?