Blissful and Domestic - Creating a Beautiful Life on Less: March Freezer Cooking: Sweet Salsa Chicken, Alfredo Chicken, BBQ Meatballs, and More!

Monday, March 21, 2016

March Freezer Cooking: Sweet Salsa Chicken, Alfredo Chicken, BBQ Meatballs, and More!


Last week I shared this picture on instagram. I was super excited after a day of making freezer meals that I had to share my efforts with all you lovelies over on instagram. A lot of you asked for the recipes and the details, so I thought I would spend today doing just that.

To start off I have to tell you one key fact that defines my methods when freezer cooking...

I am lazy when it comes to freezer meals :) I don't like freezer meal recipes that required a lot of pre-cooking. I am not a fan of recipes that require me to spend hours in my kitchen. That never sounds fun to me. I like things to be quick and easy. That's my cooking love language, so keep it in mind as you check out the recipes I did this month. These require very little prep work, so we can spend less time in the kitchen and more time with that family of ours :)

To get my freezer meal prep under way, I ordered 40 lbs of chicken from Zaycon Foods (that's a referral link) back in February. I spent $67.60 on the chicken. That made the chicken $1.69/pound. I haven't been able to snag chicken for under $1.99 here in forever. My midwife had told me about Zaycon foods and then I asked you all about it on the Blissful and Domestic Facebook Page. You guys raved about it, so I decided to give it a try. I'm really glad that I did.

I picked up my chicken last Thursday morning. The night before I had made a list of what freezer meals I wanted to make. I based my meals off of things I already had on hand, which needed to be used up. I was finally able to use up my molasses, Alfredo seasoning, canned corn and few other things that were really needing to be used this month. Basing my freezer meals off of things I already had, really helped me to keep my costs down. I also shopped earlier in the month to make sure all my pantry staples were in stock. Keeping our pantry staples always in stock really helps when meal prep time comes around.

Before assembling my meals, I made sure that any items I needed were pulled out and ready to go. I also had my onions all chopped. The kids were able to help me with this one. I used my quick and easy technique with my food processor. Once all my items were out and ready to go, I got started.

The chicken breasts from Zaycon were HUGE friends. I ended up using 1 to 1 1/2 chicken breasts per freezer bag. If you are a bigger meat eater, you may want to do more. I started out by making my sweet salsa chicken. This recipe is pretty similar to my sweet salsa pork.

(the blue bag in the sink is my chicken. I placed it in there, while getting everything together)

I made four batches of crockpot sweet salsa chicken. I labeled and dated each bag. I then placed one large chicken breast in each bag. Next I dumped in 1 can of drained corn, 1 12 oz. jar of salsa (see how I made that here), 1 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 cup taco seasoning. I sealed the bag and squished the bag a bit to mix everything together. I placed my bags flat in the freezer. When you're ready to cook, I thaw my bags in the fridge overnight or in a sink full of cold water. Place in the crockpot for 4-6 hours on low. Serve over rice.


The next recipe I got together is a family favorite. We eat this at least twice a month. It is BBQ chicken. I used one large bottle of BBQ sauce from Costco to make four bags of BBQ chicken. The BBQ sauce is Masterpiece brand and is 45 oz. I placed 1 1/2 chicken breasts in each bag. I then added half a can of pineapple rings in each bag. I drained the pineapple beforehand (Keagan loves drinking the juice). I divided the BBQ sauce between the four bags. Seal bag and then squish to mix everything together. Lay flat in your freezer. When you are ready to cook, thaw in the fridge overnight or in a sink of cold water for an hour. Place in crockpot for 4-6 hours on low. Shred chicken, once it is cooked through. Serve on hamburger buns or over rice.



Strawberry chicken was my next meal to get together. I had a bottle of strawberry vinaigrette to be used in my fridge. I had originally bought it for a salad night, but we ended up changing our plans. I love using vinaigrettes as cooking marinades. They are so yummy. This vinaigrette is made by Kraft. I placed one large chicken breasts in each bag. I then divided my one bottle of dressing between both bags. I sealed my bag. Don't forget to label and date yours. Place flat in the freezer. When you are ready to cook, thaw in the fridge overnight or in a sink of cold water for an hour. Place in crockpot for 4-6 hours on low. We'll be eating this with brown rice. Yum!


Next I made Chicken Alfredo. I can't wait to eat this one. Alfredo has been a baby favorite lately :) To make this recipe, I placed 1 1/2 chicken breasts in each bag. In a mixing bowl I combined two packets of McCormick Alfredo Sauce, 1 pint of whipping cream, one cup milk, and some garlic salt. Mix well. I divided the sauce between the two bags. I then divided a bag of frozen broccoli between the two bags of Alfredo chicken. Seal and squish to combine. When you are ready to cook, thaw in the fridge overnight or in a sink of cold water for an hour. Place in crockpot for 4-6 hours on low. We will be serving this over noddles.


Next I made Garlic and Brown Sugar Chicken. I adapted this from a recipe I found in my Six Sisters Stuff cookbook. I made two batches of this. Each bag has one large chicken breast in it. In each bag I also placed 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 2/3 cup vinegar, 3 tbl minced garlic, 2 tbl soy sauce, 1 tsp black pepper, 2 tbl cornstarch, and 2 tbl water. Seal and squish to combine. Place flat in freezer. When you are ready to cook, thaw in the fridge overnight or in a sink of cold water for an hour. Place in crockpot for 4-6 hours on low.

I also made another vinaigrette chicken recipe, just like the one above. This one I used red pepper dressing that needed to be used up. I also made a batch of teriyaki chicken.


For the terriyaki chicken I followed a recipe from my 101 Things to Do with a Crockpot cookbook. I love this book. I got it as a wedding gift 12+ years ago and I use it all the time. For teriyaki chicken I placed one large chicken breast in each bag, 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms, and 1 bottle of teriyaki sauce (18 ounces). Easy peasy! Place flat in freezer. When you are ready to cook, thaw in the fridge overnight or in a sink of cold water for an hour. Place in crockpot for 4-6 hours on low. 


From the same cookbook, I made three batches of orange chicken. Each bag got one chicken breast, 1/4 cup molasses, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 2 tbl cider vinegar, 2 tbl orange juice, 2 tbl Worcestershire sauce, 2 tsp Dijon mustard, and 1/8 tsp hot pepper sauce. Seal and squish to combine ingredients. Place flat in freezer. When you are ready to cook, thaw in the fridge overnight or in a sink of cold water for an hour. Place in crockpot for 4-6 hours on low.

The last meal I put together was for Hawaiian Haystacks. We love making this at least once a month. It's a comfort food for us and taste so dang good. I got this recipe out of the same book I made the teriyaki chicken from.


To make Hawiaan haystacks, I placed 1 1/2 chicken breasts in each bag. I made four batches of this one. In each bag I placed 1 cup chicken broth, 2 cans cream of chicken soup, 1/2 cup chopped onions, 1 can evaporated milk, and seasoning salt. Place flat in freezer. When you are ready to cook, thaw in the fridge overnight or in a sink of cold water for an hour. Place in crockpot for 4-6 hours on low.  We will eat this over rice. Yum!

While I made all of these meals, I had a crockpot going filled to the top with chicken breasts, onions, and seasoning salt. When these were done cooking, I placed 2 cup portions of shredded chicken into freezer bags. These will be used in casseroles, pizza, salads, etc. I also left 4 cups of shredded chicken in my fridge and we are using them in some recipes this week.

All together I made 27 freezer meals. Not mentioned above is the four pounds of ground turkey I used to make my oven baked meatballs. These I placed in bags with either tomato sauce, Alfredo sauce, or BBQ sauce.


It makes me so happy to have a full month's worth of meals stocked in my freezer. Over the next few months, as we gear up for our big move, we will be eating from our pantry and freezer a lot. We have quite a bit of stuff to be used up. I'll try to keep sharing how we're using stuff and such.



I hope you are all having a fabulous Monday. Let me know what you guys are up to this week :)

XO Danielle

15 comments:

  1. I love freezer cooking! Quick question--once frozen, how long will it last? I've heard 3 months. I just wanted to make sure!

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    1. They last about 3-6 months. It just depends on how they are stored and what it is.

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  2. This is so amazing. I wish I had a big freezer like yours so I could prepare meals ahead of time.
    Do you have any suggestions for someone who is JUST starting out and does not have a big freezer?
    We have hardly any money and are going through a real big tight spot. I started looking around for budgeting ideas and found your blog and have been inspired this is how we should be living.
    I'm not sure how to start though bc we are already broke and have no freezer room for a lot of meals :)

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    Replies
    1. I would look at making freezer meals out of what you already have on hand. Try to stretch your current stock as much as you can. Also, you can do freezer meals without a freezer chest. Just make what will fit in your freezer. Start off small and work your way up.

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  3. Great thanks for posting! I know you mentioned you were moving after baby is born what state will you be moving to? Good luck God Bless..

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  4. Those are some great recipes! Do you ever have a problem with the ones in sauce (particularly soy sauce) not fully freezing?

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  5. I can't wait to try some of these recipes! Freezer cooking, here I come!

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  6. I've never heard of Zaycon! I'm very interested in it!! When they say that the chicken comes in a 40 lb case--about how many chicken breasts would that be? (just a guesstimate!) Thanks!

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  7. Hi, they seem interessting. I have two questions... Will you shredder the chicken when it is cooked, like with the Seasame Honey Chicken? And do you have any recipes for those sauces you have bought (Alfredo, BBQ, Teriaki) as I don't have them in Switzerland. I'm especially interested in Alfredo and BBQ Sauces.

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  8. I just bought 2 cases of chicken breasts from Sams club..it is usually $1.88/pound but if you buy a case, it becomes $1.57/pound. The chicken is huge and so good! thanks for all the recipes!

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  9. Thanks so much for this post! It's a great way to be introduced to freezer meal prep without being overwhelmed. :) I hope you do more posts like this in the future.

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  10. I used pork instead of chicken in the sweet salsa recipe a few days ago. It was delicious!!! We served it over brown rice with steamed veggies.

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  11. Can't wait to try the chicken recipes! We are limiting our consumption of ground beef so the chicken will be great! I, like you, don't like complicated recipes! Thanks!

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