Freezer crockpot meals might be the most genius invention since, well, the crockpot. Here’s how it works – you buy double the ingredients for your crockpot recipe, prep everything all at once and then freeze one portion for another time. So when you have a crazy day next month with no time to cook, just grab the prepped meal and pop it in the crockpot for the day.
Today I’m sharing one of my favorite freezer crockpot meals – beef and vegetable stew. This is a healthier version of beef stew, which is one of my favorites – it has way more veggies than meat. Here’s what you’ll need for to make two portions of this recipe (one for today, and one to freeze):
- 2 pounds of stew beef, cubed
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cups of white button mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups of butternut squash, diced
- 2 cups of fresh green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 cups of carrots, sliced
- 1 cup of frozen sweet corn
- 1 1/2 cups of red potatoes, cubed
- 2 cups of beef stock
- 1 cup of red wine
- 1/2 cup of Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 tablespoons of ketchup
- 2 tablespoons of Adobo seasoning
- 1 tablespoon of crushed black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 2 bay leaves
- Corn Starch (optional)
This will make two portions of stew, each portion serving 4 – the first portion can be cooked immediately in the crockpot, while the other half will go into Ziploc bags for another day.
Begin by chopping everything up. The only ingredient where the size of the chop really matters is the squash – make sure you cut it into smaller cubes than the red potatoes (about 1/2 inch cubed). I like to use squash as a thickener of sorts, and if you cut it smaller than the other ingredients, it will disintegrate into the stew… like magic!
Split all of the ingredients in half (leave the corn starch out for now) and put half in the crockpot to cook right away and put the other half into large Ziploc bags. Put those in the freezer on a sheet pan just in case there’s any leakage, and save them for another day. Be sure to label them and add the cook time.
Cook the ingredients that are currently in the crockpot for 6-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high. Stir occasionally and season with extra salt and pepper at the end if needed. If the stew isn’t thick enough for your taste, sprinkle about a tablespoon of corn starch over the top and stir thoroughly. Let it cook for another 15 minutes and it should thicken up a bit.
Now go enjoy your delicious beef and vegetable stew! It is the perfect hearty soup for a chilly winter night. You can customize the vegetables too – other good ones that you might swap in and out are sweet potatoes, red peppers, turnips and peas. Bon appetit!