20 Freezer Meals in 4 Hours

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  20 Freezer Meals in 4 Hours plan PLUS a printable shopping list to make it easy!

We are excited to share with you our 20 Freezer Meals in 4 Hours meal plan.  This plan will allow you to have dinner planned for almost three weeks or more depending on your family size and if they like to eat leftovers! I love to save time in the kitchen so I can enjoy more moments with my boys. I also like to be prepared and know what I am serving for dinner so I am not spending time looking around for what I am going to make. When I freezer cook I save both time and money.

This was my third time prepping freezer meals for my family. I will say that the first time took a long time but I am now getting a rhythm down and get through it in no time. If you think 4 hours is a lot of time you have to consider that you are going to have 20 meals ready at the end of the 4 hour time!  If you are new to preparing freezer meals or don’t have the 4 hours to invest you may want to start with this plan —>How to make 8 Freezer Meals in 2 Hours.  We love it too!

To start you will want to go through your kitchen and pantry and make a list of what ingredients you will need to get at the store and what you already have on hand. I had all of the chicken, beef and spices in my stockpile. I spent the majority of money on buying fresh produce. When you are ready to prepare the meals you will want to set everything out on the counter that you will need.

How to make 20 Freezer Meals in 4 Hours!

Next, you will want to label all your ziploc bags with cooking times and if you need to add anything to the recipe when you place it in or out of the slow cooker. The next step was to cook any meat that needed to be cooked for a recipe (ground beef for Crockpot Taco Soup ). I did this first so that the meat could cool before putting in the bag. Next I got to chopping, slicing  and dicing the veggies and fruit. I put them in bowls to keep together to make it easier when I needed to measure them out into bags.

At this point I started with my meals that contained whole chicken breasts that did not need to be cubed. I filled the bags with the chicken and added ingredients. Placed the bags in the freezer and then started on my meals that needed to be in foil pans or baking dishes (Chicken Divan). After they were completed they went in the freezer (be sure to label the foil you wrap them in).

How to make 20 Freezer Meals in 4 Hours #freezermeal

Now I started on my meals that needed cubed chicken. After they were filled they went in the freezer. Next I worked on my beef meals. If you are making  Easy Crockpot Meatloaf it is important to get this meal in the freezer right away. After completing these I finished with my veggie freezer meals.

Once all the meals were in the freezer I put dishes in the dishwasher and hand washed the skillet and sharp knives. I put all the spices away and took a big deep breath :) I was super excited to know that my family had meals for the next three weeks and I would not have to stress about it. One of the best parts is when I went to the store I spent less than $50 dollars on what I needed, however I did not buy any meat or poultry because it was in my stockpile. You may also want to consider investing in a food saver if you decide to freezer cook on a long term basis.  It extends the life of your frozen food by up to two years according to the manufacturer. 

20 Freezer Meals in Four Hours master shopping list

To make this process even easier for you we have a FREE Printable shopping list for you for the ENTIRE plan!!!!  Just print this list and you are ready for the store!

 How to make 20 Freezer Meals in 4 Hours #freezermeal #crockpot #slowcooker

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20 Freezer Meals in 4 Hours

20 Freezer Meals in 4 Hours Free Printable Shopping  – Shopping list for all 20 meals.

We also have an individual shopping list for each recipe.  We included a single, double, triple and x10 for each recipe.  Hope you enjoy!  You will simply click on the recipe link below and print the recipe then you will print each shopping list or the master shopping list depending on what you prefer.  

Easy Crockpot Meatloaf Recipe – Shopping List

Crockpot Cranberry Orange Chicken Recipe – Shopping List

Crockpot Honey Rosemary Chicken Recipe – Shopping List

Crockpot Cilantro Lime Chicken Recipe – Shopping List

Chicken Casserole Recipe - Shopping List

Baked Ziti Recipe - Shopping List

Crockpot Mexican Chicken Recipe - Shopping List

Cheesy Rigatoni Recipe - Shopping List

Chicken Divan Recipe – Shopping List

Crockpot Chicken Fajitas Recipe - Shopping List

Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken Recipe ( I made 2 of these) – Shopping List

Crockpot Chicken with Apple and Sweet Potato Recipe – Shopping List

Crockpot French Dip Sandwiches Recipe (I made 2 of these – My family’s favorite!) – Shopping List

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore Recipe – Shopping List

Crockpot Veggies in a Bag Recipe (I made 2 of these – Great side dish to most meals!) – Shopping List

Crockpot Taco Soup Recipe – Shopping List

Crockpot Butternut Squash Chili Recipe – Shopping List

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8 Crockpot Freezer Meals Collage

We also have 8 Crockpot Freezer Meals in 2 hours plan too!

Freezer Cooking 101 resized 2

New to Freezer Cooking? We have a Freezer Cooking 101 Series that you may enjoy!

Comments

  1. Wow thanks for all the recipes. Do you happen to have a shopping list done up already for these 20 meals?

  2. That’s an amazing feat! I’d need a second freezer to do this.

  3. I love this idea. Going to try it. Thanks for the tips.

  4. Carnetta says:

    A shopping list would be nice. Did you have a chance to make one? These recipes look wonderful. Thank you so much.

  5. I must not be seeing something but what recipes did you use thw whole chickens for??

  6. How many does each meal serve approximately?

  7. So much food! I Pinned it! Hello from the Penny Pinching Party.

  8. Maralea says:

    Thank you for the great recipes! I love making freezer meals.

  9. Just moved from CA to IA so I had to buy everything. I was able to buy everything for $190. I plan to use the 20 meals for weeknight meals. I have enough meals to last me a 4 weeks. I think I did pretty well price wise.

  10. Thank you for the time and energy you spent on this!! I did this plan a week and a half ago, and it has been such a fabulous time saver!! I have not had any last minute eating outs since I did all the cooking. I have shared my experience with others and plan to do it again!! Thanks again!!

  11. We are taking the bags and breaking them down into even smaller batches – my other half travels with his job – Leaves on Sundays and gets back home on Thursdays, by doing the half bags he is able to take them with him for his crockpot and not eat the same thing for a week. It is just enough for him to have dinner and lunch the next day.

    • Mine better half does the same! I am so glad to find this site and start getting some better meals prepared for him to take when he leaves on Monday morning. He comes home Friday night and leaves in the early morn on Monday!

  12. Tina DeAses says:

    This is awesome! I will be making it tomorrow- spending all of Sunday making meals so for the next 4 weeks I am covered. Thank you so much!!

  13. Christina says:

    Please explain what to do with the two whole chickens. Do we pre roast them and shred them?

  14. For the French dip do you think you could substitute turkey? Turkey breast maybe and if so how long to cook it?

  15. This is a great idea, I think I might try it. I don’t see the recipes list though, or do you just have to go in and print each one separately?

  16. Great recipes. Freezer meals are now a must in my house. If I don’t have any it’s difficult for me to cook dinner. Can’t wait to try these!

    Thanks.

  17. Alexandria says:

    So excited to try these!! Is there some way to print the recipes all at once. I have the complete shopping list but don’t want to have to open each recipe and then print each recipe. These will be great to keep in the freezer when i get home late from work!! Which is 3 our of 5 days a week! TIA!!

  18. What are the 20 meals? Where are the recipes?

  19. I’m confused also. I printed out the master list of ingredients but cannot find the master list of the 20 recipes? HELP!

  20. Thanks for publishing this! I see the list of all 20 shopping lists combined. Is there a way to print all 20 recipes at once?

  21. What are the cooking times for these items? Is that listed anywhere?

  22. Karima Young says:

    Can I check that a crockpot is the same as a slow cooker? Has anyone made these in the UK? Are the ingredients easy to substitute? TIA

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      Yes, crockpot and slow cooker is the same thing :-) I am sure you can. I have friends in England so I may be able to help you with substitutions.

  23. When using meats that are in stockpile are they already frozen? Did you portion them out prior to freezing? I know it’s not safe to refreeze raw meat. I’m trying to understand how to incorporate what I already have in stockpile. Not sure why this confuses me so much.

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      We did not thaw out the meat that was in the stockpile. We had frozen chicken breast and browned ground been already in our stockpile that we used for this plan. Hope that helps!

  24. Love this!! Thank you!

  25. Awesome work! Do you have one that would utilize ground hamburger?

  26. I bought everything on the shopping list and am ready to start cooking but what are the “whole chickens” for?

  27. Nevermind I read they are supposed to be roasted. I guess it’s my fault for not reading ahead. I think you should post somewhere more clear about that since it could throw a lot of people off. I would prefer to have bought extra chicken breast. I have no idea how to cook two whole chickens or how to carve them up. I have four kids and limited time and money. Just a bit frustrated that I have to now roast these chickens…look for a recipe and instructions on how to carve it. Extra time that I do not have when I’m ready to prep right now.

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      Thanks for the feedback. I actually updated the Chicken Divan Recipe to include that you can use store bought Rotisserie chickens, chicken breasts and this is a great way to “cook” a whole chicken that is so easy! http://www.stockpilingmoms.com/2014/11/slow-cooker-herbed-whole-chicken/

      Hope this helps!

      • THANK YOU! After I got over my melt down and made the meals, I was able to get most of them done and in the freezer. We are about 1/2 way through them now and I am so thrilled that my kids LOVE them. They are 10, 7, 4 and 1. Their favorite is the Taco Soup and it will be a new “regular” in our menu plan. Thank you for this, I am sorry if I sounded ungrateful in my previous post. This has saved me so much time. One thing I wanted to tell everyone is to make sure and follow the directions and lay the bags flat in the freezer. I was rushed and didn’t do that, and three of them froze to my freezer shelf. I had to get hubby to loosen them for me, but all was well and they still cooked great. Just a tip for those newbies out there.

    • Debra,
      Instead of roasting the chickens, I would put them in a pressure cooker. When they are done cooking, the meat just falls off the bones and you have great juices. You may have to let the chicken cool a bit then use a fork to get the remaining meat off the bones.

  28. Do you have to cook all the meat prior to putting it in the bags?

  29. Most freezer meal plans I have seen are basically just prep work, without any “real” recipes. This is completely different, and better yet, the recipes sound like stuff we will actually eat and enjoy! Thanks so much! I see several people have asked for a master list of the recipes, and I keep seeing a link, but it only takes me to a master list of the shopping list, NOT the recipes. I don’t really mind going in and printing each one up individually, but if there IS a master recipe “book” without having to go to each link, I think that’s what many are asking for. Thanks again!

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      There is not a master recipe “book” – just head over to each link and print. Thanks so much for your kind words! We may create an ebook soon though because this is so popular.

  30. How many people is each meal supposed to feed?

  31. Hi…

    I totally love this! The meals I can have (I’m allergic to a lot of foods) are awesome! Quick question though…have you used venison as a substitution for the beef? If so, would the cooking time change? Would I need to add a little olive oil or something as it is so lean?

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      Yes, we have actually substituted venison. The biggest changes would be be sure to season well (a little extra) and olive oil is a good idea too!

  32. Mary Anne Looby says:

    I have been doing this for years. If I am making pot roast dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy I will cook two package up the beef and gravy and potoatoes in separate containers that will serve two people. I purchase them by the case at restaurant purveyors and they go from freezer to oven or microwave. I cook the veggies fresh in the microwave each night depending in what we are in the mood for. I do the same with meatballs and sauce, sausage and peppers, chicken cutlets, which can be heated up in the oven to crisp back up and topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese for chicken parm. I also have a food sealer and I make large quantities of soups and freeze in Ziploc freezer bags and then put them into my food sealer bags and seal them up good. My adult kids are constantly coming by to raid my freezer to see what is there. Yesterday my daughter left with potato and leek soup and veal oso buco. Tough to get a combo like that in one night, unless you go out. Then you get all the salts and preservatives from restaurant food. I also have a basic muffin receipe that I use for all kinds of fruit muffins and bake them plain during strawberry season. They I can pop out a few and split them to make individual strawberry shortcakes with fresh local strawberries and fresh whipped cream. It is amazing how much you can cook ahead and save with all these new freezer to oven containers and food sealers. It is like living with homemade tv dinners.

  33. Love love love that a good number of these recipes have their WW’s points plus points on them! That was my hesitancy on doing freezer meals again last time so many were smothered with cheese

  34. Christine says:

    This is such a great idea. Thank you for sharing. I have the list printed and plan to go shopping tomorrow, but I can only find a few of the recipes. Am I over looking the link for them?

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      They are all listed under 20 Freezer Meals in 4 Hours – in green font. Click each link for the recipe.

  35. So I know that if I use beef for a recipe, I will need to cook it before putting it with the rest of the stuff in the bag before freezing, but do you cook the chicken also or will it cook in the crocket with the rest of the stuff?

  36. Printed off a bunch of the recipes that my family would eat. Noticed most of these recipes are chicken based. How about some pork and more beef (not ground) recipes in the future? Looking forward to trying these with our busy family schedule!

  37. Do you do any vegetarians meals ? I looked through quickly and they are all meat.

  38. Loading up to go to store with three kids to get this done today, so excited :)

  39. Thank you so much! I found another blog recently that had a how to plan meals for a year. While I’m not sure I can do a WHOLE year, I’d be totally happy with 3-4 months. I hate meal planning, but it keeps my days sane. These 20 are definitely going on to my plan!!

  40. Willene Willcutt says:

    Lisa, make these up & sell them per bag. I will be your first customer!

  41. Do you by chance have a shopping list formatted on or for Evernote? My printer is broken and I make all my shopping lists on Evernote.

  42. Thank you for taking the time to share this and put together the shopping list. I have a few comments on the list, hope you don’t mind me sharing what I discovered by making all of these.
    ~What are the 9 bulbs of garlic for? Making every recipe with the amount specified I only used one bulb.
    ~For the french dip your list has the chuck roast for two batches, but only enough consomme for one batch. Gotta run back to the store before my beef goes bad!
    ~You have dry bread crumbs listed under boxed and again under canned, I think those should be combined under boxed :)
    Thanks again for posting all of this! I am so happy to be embarking on the freezer meal journey for my family!!

  43. Found my answer. When you open each recipe page, there are directions on how to freeze if you wish to. I had printed out all the recipes. I wish the freezing directions option was on the recipe itself. I will have to add the instructions to my printouts. Looking forward to having a freezer full of ready to go meals. Thanks again.

  44. Finished these over the weekend. So far my (picky) family has had three of the meals. They are a hit around here and I’m feeling like a new woman without the stress and mess of dinner each night. It took me close to 8 hours but I had plenty of distractions (a 3 yr old and 9 mo). Would recommend to anyone. Had to adjust, substitute, guess, and change a few things to fit our family but this is a great plan and I’m so happy to have stumbled across here!

  45. What a great idea! I’m wondering how much freezer room this takes up? Thanks :)

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      Not as much as you think. We used gallon ziploc bags and freeze them flat to save space. For the casseroles use disposable pans to help with space or freeze then pop out and wrap with foil.

  46. Patricialynn says:

    this is great since I will be making some meals for an ill family member..

  47. Should the Chicken Casserole be baked before freezing? I couldn’t see if it should be baked before or after freezing in the recipe.

    • Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

      I bake it after freezing. Just freeze and then put in the refrigerator to thaw and then bake when ready.

  48. Misty Fuentez says:

    Thank you for this! I do bulk shoppig at the end of every month, and I plan to load up the freezer!

  49. For both the Mexican Chicken and the Crock pot mixed veggies do they need to thaw overnight before going in the crock pot or can they go right from the freezer to the crock?

  50. What size are the zip lock freezer bags that you use??

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