If you're not doing this already, it's time to add your slow cooker to your weekend meal prep routine. It is nothing short of life-changing when it comes to getting a stress-free dinner on the table.
Each and every week during meal prep I always make a point to make one thing in the slow cooker that I can stash in the freezer for later. It has become the answer to easy lunches and dinner for extra-busy weeks.
Here are my 10 favorite things to prep and freeze for easy meals.
This spice-rubbed pulled pork is the gift that keeps on giving. Once the meat is shredded and cooled, I divvy it up into several containers I can toss in the freezer. I use it later to make everything from tacos and sandwiches to fried rice and dinner salads.
Even though warmer days are here, having home-cooked chicken soup at your fingertips is always a good idea. This recipe starts with the whole bird, which guarantees a big-batch soup (about four quarts worth) packed with flavor and lots of shredded meat.
Slow cooker shredded chicken is a meal prep miracle. Even if you don't have plans for it in the week ahead, stash it in the freezer to be turned into tacos, sandwiches, grain bowls, or an extra-hearty pasta dinner on busy weeknights.
Chicken stock is the workhorse that brings so many meals to life, and having a batch of the homemade stuff on hand always feels like a little victory. Plus when you make it in the slow cooker, it couldn't be easier.
There's something about the warmer weather that makes me cycle sandwich night into my meal plan more and more, and there is nothing like a sandwich made on homemade bread. Lean on your slow cooker to make it happen.
This version of carnitas screams warm weather and is a favorite to keep stocked in the freezer starting in spring. Hold off on making the salsa until you plan to serve the carnitas, and if you can't find good peaches just yet, a store-bought fruit salsa makes a fine substitute.
I've made this veggie-heavy stew more times than I can count, and I love it both for its versatility and large yield, which promises plenty of leftovers that still taste as good when they're reheated from the freezer.
This is such a great meal to have handy when you need to feed a crowd at the last minute. Prep and freeze the hoisin-slicked shredded pork now, but hold off on making the slaw until your ready to serve this crowd-pleaser.
This two-ingredient slow cooker recipe calls for three pounds of chicken, which means there's enough for tonight's dinner as well as future dinners you can pull from the freezer.
Thanks to a combo of chickpeas and potatoes, this soup is thick and creamy, but a dollop of yogurt, generous squeeze of fresh lemon, and shower of cilantro just before serving make it feel perfect for springtime.