5 Make Ahead Freezer Meals for Busy Families

 

2 Bowls of Chipotle Chicken Enchilada Stew with sour cream and scallion slices as garnish and slow cooker pot in background. It's one of my Prepped Freezer Meal recipes and it's creamy, cozy, hearty, cheesy, and slightly spicy. All ingredients freeze raw, thaw, then cook in the slow cooker or in the oven. It's a stew because it's thick and hearty with bites of chicken, carrots, onion, chipotle peppers, cumin, garlic and tortilla chips that melt down to thicken this delicious stew.

All ingredients in a labeled freezer bag for Chipotle Chicken Enchilada Stew. It is one of my Prepped Freezer Meal recipes and it's creamy, cozy, hearty, cheesy, and slightly spicy. All ingredients freeze raw, thaw, then cook in the slow cooker or in the oven. It's a stew because it's thick and hearty with bites of chicken, carrots, onion, chipotle peppers, cumin, garlic and tortilla chips that melt down to thicken this delicious stew.

Make Ahead Freezer Meals can be a dinner saver for busy families!  You know those days that you are racing home from a late meeting or going from piano to gymnastics and not getting home with the kids until 7pm?  Well, Make Ahead Freezer Meals are great for those nights!  These are frozen meal kits where you put all of the raw ingredients into a freezer storage container or bag and freeze it for up to 3 months.  Then thaw the day before and either pour into the slow cooker the morning of or onto a sheet pan when you get home.  That’s it, one bag, one cooking vessel, one hot dinner ready to go!!!

“I feel like we are in a dinner rut with 3-4 easy dinners in the rotation”

Sound familiar?  Of course it does!  You are freaking busy!!!!  Do you have a job, kids, activities, or all of the above?  Yes!  You have LIFE going on!  So, you likely turn to what you know and what is easy when it comes to dinners.  However, if you spend 10 minutes throwing all ingredients in a freezer bag, you can try something totally new!!!  I have covered family-friendly flavors across Asian, Moroccan, Mexican, Italian-ish, and American cuisines.

These Make Ahead Freezer Meal recipes meet the most important criteria for busy families:

  1. EASY TO MAKE – Easy to new put the Make Ahead Freezer Meal together in 10 minutes
  2. NEW FAMILY FRIENDLY FLAVORS – the kids will enjoy them too!!
  3. BALANCED MEALS – with protein and veggies
  4. EASY TO COOK – Cooking is either done in a slow cooker so it’s ready when you are or takes 30 minutes on 1 pan in the oven.

Do you have a slow cooker?

Actually, just before I share the recipes with you, I wanted to make sure I shared what I used to cook many of them.  I absolutely love love love my easy and simple (and not expensive) Crock-Pot.  I have the 6-Quart version with 5 settings (low 4-hour, low 6-hour, high 8-hour, high 10-hour, and warm).You can order this today and have it in a few days to start your Slow Cooker Cookin’!

5 MUST-TRY MAKE AHEAD FREEZER MEALS

(Clicks links for full recipes)

1.  Sheet Pan Hoisin Chicken with Ginger & Red Peppers

Hoisin Chicken over rice on a plate with a fork. In back is pan with spatula. This Freezer Hoisin Chicken with Red Peppers, Carrots, Onions, Ginger, and Soy sauce is delicious and so easy to make. You get sweet and savory all in one dish and it's perfect for kids because it's sweet, not spicy at all. Just freeze ahead, thaw, then cook on a sheet pan!

All raw ingredients in freezer bag for Freezer Hoisin Chicken with Red Peppers, Carrots, Onions, Ginger, and Soy sauce is delicious and so easy to make. You get sweet and savory all in one dish and it's perfect for kids because it's sweet, not spicy at all. Just freeze ahead, thaw, then cook on a sheet pan!

This Make-Ahead Freezer Hoisin Chicken with Red Peppers, Carrots, Onions, Ginger, and Soy sauce is absolutely delicious and so easy to make. You get sweet and savory all in one dish and it’s perfect for families with kids because it’s sweet, not spicy at all. All ingredients go into a freezer bag, you thaw the night before, and then cook on a sheet pan…so EASY! Of course, you don’t have to freeze this, you can just make it, but let’s face it, we could all use some meals ready for us on those insanely, crazy, busy nights!

2.  One Pot Creamy Tomato Soup with Chicken and Spinach

Creamy Tomato Soup in a soup pot on napkin on counter with wood spoon on side. It has Ground Chicken and Spinach is creamy and chunky and has a ton of deep flavor. AND it is healthy! It uses all white meat ground chicken that you cook until it is incredibly browned for some serious flavor. Then tomato paste adds the flavor back drop for the soup and a flour roux plus broth creates the amazing creaminess! Finally Spinach is your veggie boost.

This Prep-Ahead Freezer Creamy Tomato Soup with Ground Chicken and Spinach is creamy and chunky and has a ton of deep flavor. AND it is healthy! It uses all white meat ground chicken that you cook until it is incredibly browned for some serious flavor. Then tomato paste adds the flavor back drop for the soup and a flour roux plus broth creates the amazing creaminess! Finally Spinach is your veggie boost. So delicious and so EASY!

3.  5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup with Veggies

5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup in a bowl with spoon and crockpot in background. This soup is thick, creamy, and hearty. It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. You can prepare all of the ingredients ahead and freeze them until you are ready to cook. Then, thaw, pour into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.

5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup ingredients in a labeled Freezer Bag. This recipe is thick, creamy, and hearty. It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. You can prepare all of the ingredients ahead and freeze them until you are ready to cook. Then, thaw, pour into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.

This 5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup is thick, creamy (but, no dairy!), and hearty. It’s filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. But, this version is also the easiest ever because you prepare all of the ingredients ahead (even months ahead) and freeze them until you are ready to cook this wonderful meal. Then you thaw, pour all of the ingredients into the Slow Cooker, set and forget. Forget until those amazing and comforting aromas remind you that you have a Homemade Chicken Soup waiting for you!

4.  Chipotle Chicken Enchilada Stew

2 Bowls of Chipotle Chicken Enchilada Stew with sour cream and scallion slices as garnish and slow cooker pot in background. It's one of my Prepped Freezer Meal recipes and it's creamy, cozy, hearty, cheesy, and slightly spicy. All ingredients freeze raw, thaw, then cook in the slow cooker or in the oven. It's a stew because it's thick and hearty with bites of chicken, carrots, onion, chipotle peppers, cumin, garlic and tortilla chips that melt down to thicken this delicious stew.

All ingredients in a labeled freezer bag for Chipotle Chicken Enchilada Stew. It is one of my Prepped Freezer Meal recipes and it's creamy, cozy, hearty, cheesy, and slightly spicy. All ingredients freeze raw, thaw, then cook in the slow cooker or in the oven. It's a stew because it's thick and hearty with bites of chicken, carrots, onion, chipotle peppers, cumin, garlic and tortilla chips that melt down to thicken this delicious stew.

This Chipotle Chicken Enchilada Stew is creamy, cozy, hearty, cheesy, and slightly spicy. This Stew is a Prepped Freezer Meal recipe, which means it’s a great option to prep ahead and easily make for dinner on a busy weeknight. Ingredients freeze raw, thaw, then cook in the slow cooker or in the oven. It’s a stew because it’s thick and hearty with bites of chicken, carrots, onion, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for spice, cumin, garlic and lots of tortilla chips that melt down to thicken this delicious stew.

5.  Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas

Moroccan Chicken Chili in bowl over white rice with a dollop of Cilantro Lime Yogurt on top and in a bowl to the left. The slow cooker is in background with chili. Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas is loaded with comforting and healthy ingredients and spices. You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Then tons of hearty flavor from browned ground chicken and Shallots. And creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas. You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!

Final labeled freezer bag of all ingredients for Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas is loaded with comforting and healthy ingredients and spices. You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Then tons of hearty flavor from browned ground chicken and Shallots. And creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas. You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!

Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas and a Cilantro Lime Yogurt is loaded with comforting, healthy, and even healing ingredients and spices. You get the warmth from the Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Tons of flavor comes from really browned ground chicken and Shallots. And you get creamy heartiness from the Carrots and Chickpeas. Finally, you get the cool and tangy balance from the Cilantro Lime Yogurt. This Moroccan Chicken Chili has so many warm spices and flavors, it will become a favorite. I like to serve this over white rice, but you can definitely eat it by itself.

 

I hope you try these Make Ahead Freezer Meals and if so, please let me know what you thought in the comments!

😍 Carrie

Freezer 5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup with Veggies

Jump to Recipe

 

This 5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup is thick, creamy (but, no dairy!), and hearty.  It’s filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies.  But, this version is also the easiest ever because you prepare all of the ingredients ahead (even months ahead) and freeze them until you are ready to cook this wonderful meal.  Then you thaw, pour all of the ingredients into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.  Forget until those amazing and comforting aromas remind you that you have a Homemade Chicken Soup waiting for you!

This 5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup is thick, creamy, and hearty. It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. You can prepare all of the ingredients ahead and freeze them until you are ready to cook. Then, thaw, pour into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.

Homemade Chicken Soup is like a warm blanket.  It really does warm you inside and out.  And, these Freezer Prepped Meals make it even easier to have any day of the week!

Have you tried my other Prepped Freezer Meals yet?  Check them out!

5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup in a bowl with spoon and crockpot in background. This soup is thick, creamy, and hearty. It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. You can prepare all of the ingredients ahead and freeze them until you are ready to cook. Then, thaw, pour into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.

5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup in a crockpot with wood spoon. This soup is thick, creamy, and hearty. It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. You can prepare all of the ingredients ahead and freeze them until you are ready to cook. Then, thaw, pour into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

PREP-AHEAD TO MAKE YOUR HOMEMADE CHICKEN SOUP FREEZER DINNER

Start with the chicken breasts.  I’ve love Katie’s Best Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Air-Chilled, Non-GMO, Raised w/o Antibiotics that I can get through Fresh Direct.  I have said it before, but Fresh Direct is a life saver for busy Moms and they source from sustainable local farms which I feel great about.  If you’re not a member, click this link for a discount to join! Get $25 Off Orders of $99 with code LEAF25 at FreshDirect!

To a freezer bag or storage container (see below for recommendation), add the chicken breasts (yes, only 2 needed in this soup!), diced carrots, frozen peas, chicken bouillon, and water.  Note, you can leave the water out if you are concerned with leakage or thaw time.  Just add the water to the slow cooker when you are ready to cook.

Two Chicken Breasts in Freezer Bag for a 5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup. It's thick, creamy, and hearty. It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. You can prepare all of the ingredients ahead and freeze them until you are ready to cook. Then, thaw, pour into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.

Adding diced carrots to Freezer Bag for a 5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup. It's thick, creamy, and hearty. It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. You can prepare all of the ingredients ahead and freeze them until you are ready to cook. Then, thaw, pour into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.

Peas and Carrots added to Freezer Bag for a 5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup. It's thick, creamy, and hearty. It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. You can prepare all of the ingredients ahead and freeze them until you are ready to cook. Then, thaw, pour into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.

Chicken Bouillon added to Freezer Bag for a 5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup. It's thick, creamy, and hearty. It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. You can prepare all of the ingredients ahead and freeze them until you are ready to cook. Then, thaw, pour into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.

Black Pepper added to Freezer Bag for a 5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup. It's thick, creamy, and hearty. It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. You can prepare all of the ingredients ahead and freeze them until you are ready to cook. Then, thaw, pour into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.

Pitcher pouring water to added to Freezer Bag for a 5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup. It's thick, creamy, and hearty. It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. You can prepare all of the ingredients ahead and freeze them until you are ready to cook. Then, thaw, pour into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.

Finally, add a cornstarch slurry to the bag.  This is a great Gluten-Free way to thicken the soup as it cooks.

Corn Starch slurry added to Freezer Bag for a 5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup. It's thick, creamy, and hearty. It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. You can prepare all of the ingredients ahead and freeze them until you are ready to cook. Then, thaw, pour into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.That’s it for prepping your freezer bag (Or Glass Container). Seal the bag tight and then lightly press flat and store in freezer. You can freeze on a sheet pan and then once frozen store standing up vertically or horizontally. You can store it for up to 3 months in the freezer.

5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup ingredients in a labeled Freezer Bag. This recipe is thick, creamy, and hearty. It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. You can prepare all of the ingredients ahead and freeze them until you are ready to cook. Then, thaw, pour into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.

ECO-ALTERNATIVE:

Bags are of course easy and disposable, so less clean up.  However, if you want a more Eco-Friendly and Leak-Proof alternative to freezer bags, I recommend Pyrex Glass Containers.  I use them for all of my storage, whether it’s in the fridge or freezer, and even for cooking in the oven or warming in the microwave.  For this recipe, I recommend:  Pyrex Basics 2 Quart Glass Oblong Baking Dish with Red Plastic Lid – 7 inch x 11 Inch by Pyrex

COOK YOUR HOMEMADE CHICKEN SOUP WITH VEGGIES

When you are ready to make this meal, thaw your frozen Soup bag in the fridge the day prior and overnight (at least 8 hours, but it could take up to 12).  Do not thaw out of the fridge at room temperature, as that invites bacteria.

The morning before you will eat this for dinner, pour the ingredients from the bag to the slow cooker. Mix to break up any remaining ice and then cover and set timer for 4 hours high up to 8 hours low depending on your schedule. If you don’t have a Slow Cooker, click here to see the Crock-Pot that I have and love!

NOTE: If you would rather cook this on the stove, I would let it simmer for an hour in a soup pot.

After the slow cooker time is up, remove the chicken breasts and set aside to cool enough to shred, then shred it into bite-size pieces with your fingers or two forks.  Add back the shredded Chicken and mix.  Taste for seasoning and add salt/pepper to taste.

Two forks shredding cooked chicken for 5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup. This soup is thick, creamy, and hearty. It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. You can prepare all of the ingredients ahead and freeze them until you are ready to cook. Then, thaw, pour into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.

Adding shredding cooked chicken to Crock-pot for 5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup. This soup is thick, creamy, and hearty. It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. You can prepare all of the ingredients ahead and freeze them until you are ready to cook. Then, thaw, pour into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.

5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup in a crockpot with wood spoon. This soup is thick, creamy, and hearty. It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. You can prepare all of the ingredients ahead and freeze them until you are ready to cook. Then, thaw, pour into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.

Serve and enjoy!!

😍 Carrie

5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup in a bowl with spoon and crockpot in background. This soup is thick, creamy, and hearty. It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. You can prepare all of the ingredients ahead and freeze them until you are ready to cook. Then, thaw, pour into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.

Freezer 5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup with Veggies

Homemade Chicken Soup with Veggies is thick, creamy, and hearty.  It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies.  But, this version is also the easiest ever because you prepare all of the ingredients ahead (even months ahead) and freeze them until you are ready to cook this wonderful meal.  Then, you thaw, pour all of the ingredients into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.  

Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken, chicken dinner, chicken soup, freezer meal, freezer meals, gluten free, meal prep, soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Thaw Overnight 8 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 Servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 cup Frozen Sweet Peas
  • 2 cup Carrots Diced
  • 4 Bouillon Cubes or 4 tsp Granulated bouillon or chicken base
  • 2 tbls Corn Starch
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 5.5 cups Water

Instructions

Prep-Ahead to make your Freezer Bag

  1. Peel and dice the carrots.

  2. Label your Freezer Bag or Storage Container with the recipe name and date.  Add the raw Chicken to the bag.  

    Two Chicken Breasts in Freezer Bag for a 5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup. It's thick, creamy, and hearty. It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. You can prepare all of the ingredients ahead and freeze them until you are ready to cook. Then, thaw, pour into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.
  3. To the bag with the chicken, add the diced carrots, frozen peas, chicken bouillon, Salt, and Black Pepper.  Add 5 cups of water.  

    Pitcher pouring water to added to Freezer Bag for a 5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup. It's thick, creamy, and hearty. It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. You can prepare all of the ingredients ahead and freeze them until you are ready to cook. Then, thaw, pour into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.
  4. Finally, for the thickener...to a small mixing bowl or measuring cup, add 1/2 cup cold water and 2 tbls cornstarch. Whisk together until dissolved. Then add into the soup freezer bag.

    Corn Starch slurry added to Freezer Bag for a 5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup. It's thick, creamy, and hearty. It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. You can prepare all of the ingredients ahead and freeze them until you are ready to cook. Then, thaw, pour into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.
  5. That’s it for prepping your freezer bag (Or Glass Container). Seal the bag tight and then lightly press flat and store in freezer. You can freeze on a sheet pan and then once frozen store standing up vertically or horizontally. You can store it for up to 3 months in the freezer.

    5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup ingredients in a labeled Freezer Bag. This recipe is thick, creamy, and hearty. It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. You can prepare all of the ingredients ahead and freeze them until you are ready to cook. Then, thaw, pour into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.

Cook your Homemade Chicken Soup!

  1. When you are ready to make this meal, thaw your frozen Soup bag and in the fridge overnight and the next day.  Do not thaw out of the fridge at room temperature, as that invites bacteria.

  2. The morning before you will eat this for dinner, pour the ingredients from the bag to the slow cooker. Mix to break up any remaining ice and then cover and set timer for 4 hours high up to 8 hours low depending on your schedule. NOTE: If you would rather cook this on the stove, I would let it simmer for an hour in a soup pot.

  3. After the slow cooker time is up, remove the chicken breasts and set aside to cool enough to shred, then shred it into bite-size pieces with your fingers or two forks.

    Two forks shredding cooked chicken for 5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup. This soup is thick, creamy, and hearty. It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. You can prepare all of the ingredients ahead and freeze them until you are ready to cook. Then, thaw, pour into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.
  4. Add back the shredded Chicken and mix.  Taste for seasoning and add salt/pepper to taste.

    Adding shredding cooked chicken to Crock-pot for 5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup. This soup is thick, creamy, and hearty. It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. You can prepare all of the ingredients ahead and freeze them until you are ready to cook. Then, thaw, pour into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.
  5. That's it!  Serve and Enjoy!

    5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup in a bowl with spoon and crockpot in background. This soup is thick, creamy, and hearty. It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. You can prepare all of the ingredients ahead and freeze them until you are ready to cook. Then, thaw, pour into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.