Crock Pot Meal Plan Recipe Review: Taco Chicken

Alas, it is the final of the nine recipes I prepped for this freezer meal experiment. Overall the experiment was a huge success. I will post an overview post later. For now, here is my final review.

I give it 3 1/2 stars, but take that as you will since I’ve already admitted I don’t love chicken. What I haven’t mentioned is that I am not a huge fan of tacos. For what it is worth, the Knight really liked this one – and he is a fan of tacos.


I served it in taco shells (Trader Joe’s has good ones that don’t have any yucky ingredients) with some shredded cheese and guacamole on the side. (I also served roasted broccoli which does not go at all with tacos but I wanted a nice green vegetable.)

Taco Chicken
•2-3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs/breasts
•2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
•1 can green chilies (pick which spicy level you like)
•1 envelope low sodium taco seasoning (I like Penzey’s)

Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Crock Pot Meal Plan Review: Honey Sesame Chicken

This recipe wasn’t the huge hit I was expecting, but still a good addition to the repertoire. I think it needs some kick. I will try adding more red pepper flakes or some sriracha next time. I’m giving it a solid four stars. This is very kid friendly and versatile.


  • 2-3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs/breasts
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup honey
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicy)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds


Toss meat, flour, salt & pepper into bag & toss together.  Add remaining ingredients & seal up bag. Once cooked garnish with scallions and serve over brown rice or quinoa.

Freezer Meals Tip

In the process of doing some research for my next round of freezer meals I came across a great tip. If you put the freezer bag in the refrigerator the night before it will be much easier to put in the crock pot. Check out for lots of ideas, recipes and meal plans.

Crock Pot Meal Plan Review: Santa Fe Chicken

Another hit! This one is pretty straight forward.

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken
  • 8 ounces frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • t teaspoon pepper
  • 3 scallions chopped

Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. A half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Adjust salt and seasoning. Serve over rice. Garnish with cilantro and sour cream if desired.


I’m giving it 4 stars. A good, solid recipe. Really good flavor and sufficiently different from the other chicken recipes. I served it with quinoa and roasted vegetables. It would do well in tortillas.


I think I cooked this on low for 8 hours and it was fine. It didn’t make as much as the other recipes so we didn’t freeze any. I had actually planned to use the leftovers to make soup but after two dinners there weren’t any. This could easily be doubled.

Crock Pot Meal Plan Review: Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili

One word: Great!

I could use a lot more words, but that one works.

Five stars!!!



Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili

  • 3-4 chicken breasts/thighs
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 10 oz. frozen corn
  • 1 taco seasoning packet [or 2 heaping tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with chilies

A half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. [The recipe didn’t specify, but I assume you are supposed to cook it a little while longer at this point.] Serve with fresh cilantro, shredded cheese and/or sour cream.

Honestly, I am a little surprised by how much I liked it given my confessed lack of love for chicken. This turned out so well. Tons of flavor, a nice balance of food groups. Everyone in the house loved it.

I diced the chicken instead of shredding it.

So, here is the one thing that needs improvement. This is by far the biggest freezer bag we made. It turned out to be difficult to get in the crock pot in the frozen state. The lid barely closed (after a while it did go down but I worried about the heat loss so I cooked it an extra hour on low). I’m not sure what the solution is. Maybe I should defrost the bag in the sink with cool water for a little while. I am open to suggestions.

As usual, this made a ton and gave us enough for a few meals in addition to a bunch of containers for the freezer. Yum!

Crock Pot Meal Plan Recipe Review: Beef Barbacoa

Good news, recipe fans. This one is a keeper!


Crock Pot Barbacoa

For the freezer bag:

  • 1.5-2 lbs Beef Rump Roast
  • (I used a different cut of beef that I can’t recall)

  • 6-8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2-4 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from the can of chipotle peppers)
  • 1 container of chopped mushrooms (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8 hours [These times don’t sound right to me.] Shred the meat (discard the bay leaf).

Then add:

  • 1 16 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 12-16 ounces can green chiles
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Cook 30-60 minutes longer on high.


The verdict? 4 stars


This was really good. The beef came out tender and flavorful. The spice was just right. It was great with brown rice, in a burrito, and just served with a little cheese and avocado.

Next time, though, I think I would do things a little differently. I don’t see why you have to wait to add the second group of ingredients. I am planning to add the tomato sauce, chiles and spices at the beginning next time (for that matter, I think you can probably just throw everything in the freezer bag).

Hooray for another successful meal. We had enough for a few meals plus a a big container in the freezer. We are well stocked these days and it feels good!

Crock Pot Meal Plan Review: Lentil Sweet Potato Soup

Well, it was bound to happen. My first flop. Okay, flop is a bit harsh. Let me just say this: I am not enjoying this and I have a TON of it.

This is the recipe:

Crock Pot Lentil Sweet Potato Soup

  • 4 large carrots, chopped or sliced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1.5 cups chopped green beans (I used frozen)
  • 2 cups dry green lentils
  • fresh rosemary (the recipe didn’t specify an amount so I used about 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Put above ingredients into the freezer bag. Before cooking, add:

  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 64 oz. vegetable broth

Cook on low for 10 hours. Add additional broth if the soup is too thick after cooking.

Verdict? 2 out of 5 stars.


You see that part about cooking on low for 10 hours? I probably should have tried that. I was short on time, so I cooked on high for an hour and then low for 8 hours. That should have worked but the lentils were crunchy. After 8 hours I tried to give it another hour or so. Better, but not great. The lentils are edible but not how they should be.

The flavor is fine but something is missing. It doesn’t taste bad. It is just not delicious.  It tastes like the healthy, vegetarian soup that it is. I am pretty much forcing myself to eat this for lunch this week but I have had enough. Even Max said “I no like this” and he loves sweet potatoes.

Oh, I reduced the broth (I used chicken). 64 oz seemed like way too much. I did around 45-50 oz. Maybe that is the problem. Or maybe raw lentils are not meant to be frozen.

I used Muir Glen fire-roasted tomatoes for this one because they are generally more flavorful. It didn’t help much (or did it?).

So now I have a ton of leftovers (the Knight is away this week, and the Little Prince won’t eat it. I could freeze it but I’m pretty sure I’d never defrost it. I hate wasting food.

Oh well, they can’t all be big hits. At least I didn’t waste expensive meat on this.


Next day edit: I have been thinking more about this and I have a theory. When I put the contents in the slow cooker the lentils were not covered by the liquid. The bag contents were in one big frozen chunk. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before.

Here is what I will do next time. I am going to break up the contents and ensure that everything is covered by broth. Also, per my friend Razak’s suggestion I am going to add cumin, paprika and maybe some cayenne. Stay tuned.

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