Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

I haven’t made this recipe in a while, and I really don’t know why.

This Spicy Shredded BBQ Chicken is great.  And it’s a Freezer Crock Pot meal, so you store them in the freezer, and then on the day you want to eat it, you just pull the bag out of the freezer and dump it into the crock pot.

A bit of work to shred it, but after that, you’re done!

And there’s leftovers, too.  Can’t beat that!

This recipe makes two bags, but you easily can double or triple it and fill up your freezer.

But remember, it IS spicy.  If you’re looking for a more mild version, go easy on the chili powder and consider using fewer green chilies per bag (the recipe calls for 2 oz) or splitting the 4 oz can between 4 bags instead of 2.

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Here’s what I love about this (besides the ease of cooking and the leftovers):  you just dump all the ingredients in a bag.

That’s it.

The prep is literally this:  dump everything in the bag.

Sweeeeeeeet.

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Make sure you write your instructions on your freezer bags first, before you fill them.

Then prop up the bags on the counter by folding the edges over themselves to keep it open.

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Okay, okay…. there is ONE step before the dumping.

You do have to dice up the onions and garlic.

I use a garlic press and squeeze those babies right in the bag.

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

See?

Chicken in the bottom and everything else piled in on top.  You may have to cut one chicken thigh in half if you have an uneven amount in your package.

And I guess you could – theoretically – measure out everything, but when it comes to the tomato sauce and chilies, I just go ahead and dump or scoop what looks like half the can into each bag.  It’s close enough.

After that, the easiest way to mix it up is to massage the bag gently with your fingers for a minute.

Then you’ll want to squeeze out as much air as possible and seal the bag.

Lay each bag flat in the freezer on a tray or large box or anything that will allow it to freeze flat.  Smooth flat any lumpy sections that might be sticking up.

Check after a couple of hours.  Once frozen solid, the bags can be stacked or arranged on a shelf in an upright position.

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

When you take the bag out of the freezer, run it under the cold water in the sink for one minute to break up any large chunks – making sure the bag is still sealed and no water gets inside.

Then dump it in the crock pot.  Cover and cook.

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

You can flip the chicken over a few times and stir it, if you like.

Or you can just leave it and let it cook.  It doesn’t need stirring.  But I compulsively check on crock pot stuff if I’m home when it’s cooking.  Especially if it smells good.  ;)

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Once it’s cooked, remove the chicken to a bowl or plate and shred it with two forks.

As you work, add the shredded chicken back to the pot.

It should shred easily, and it’s best to have it shredded finely so that the sauce can cling to all the tiny moist pieces, but even if you’re in a super hurry, you can still mush it up pretty quickly.

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Doesn’t that look good?  And it’s not even mixed in yet!

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Stir the shredded chicken back into the sauce and set the crock pot to the “stay warm” setting until you’re ready to serve it.

And there are so many ways to serve it.  I sometimes serve it by itself with rice on the side, or you could put it on the rice.  You can put it on a salad, in a taco, on some nachos, or – like in the photo at the top of the page – in a hamburger bun.

If you put it in a bun, you’ll want to toast the inside of the bun to help hold in all the juicy goodness.  Maybe even top it with a little cole slaw.

From one bag, we made a dinner of sloppy joes (in the hamburger bun I mentioned), and then the next day, I constructed some taquitos with the leftovers, pictured below.  I put a little chicken and a little cheese in a 6-inch tortilla, rolled up 15 of them and put them in a 13-by-9-inch dish with some nonstick spray.  Then I baked them at 375°F for about 20 minutes and we dunked them in a little dish of sour cream to eat.  My kids devoured them.

(Oh… and I turned on the broiler for a minute and walked away.  Don’t do that.  Don’t ever walk away from an active broiler… just sayin’)

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Here’s the recipe:

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Ingredients:

2 to 3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 sweet onion, diced
3 to 4 garlic gloves, diced or pressed
8 oz. can tomato sauce
4 oz. can diced green chilies, drained
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon sweet or smoked paprika
2 teaspoons dry powdered mustard
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Label two gallon-sized freezer plastic bags with the instructions:  Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken.  Cook on low 5-6 hours (or high 3-4 hours).  Remove chicken, shred, return to sauce, stir, serve.

Evenly distribute all of the ingredients between both bags; for example half the chicken (even if you have to cut one thigh in half), 4 oz. of tomato sauce, 1 ½ tablespoons cider vinegar, et cetera, in each.

Gently massage the bag to mix the ingredients and press out as much air as you can before sealing.  Lay the bags flat in the freezer, on a box or tray, and allow to freeze solid.  Then you can stack them or store them upright until ready to use.

When ready to eat, dump the contents of the bag into a crock pot.  You can run the closed plastic bag under cool water in the sink for a few minutes to make it easier to break it up.  Put the lid on the crock pot and cook for 5 to 6 hours on low or 3 to 4 hours on high.

Remove the chicken to a plate or bowl and shred it with two forks.  Allow it to cool first, if you need to.  Return the shredded chicken to the crock pot and stir well.  Serve or put on the “keep warm” setting until ready to eat.

Serving suggestions: over rice, inside hamburger buns, inside tacos or burritos, on a salad, or all by itself.

This recipe makes two bags/dinners.  Each bag serves 6 to 8 people.

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To print the PDF version of the recipe, click here:

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Happy Eating!

Roaming Rosie Signature

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Freezer Crock Pot Meals: Jambalaya

Freezer Crock Pot Jambalaya

With the colors and excitement of Mardi Gras around me, I felt inspired to make some jambalaya.

It’s been on my To Do list for awhile, and I really haven’t been keeping up with making new Freezer Meals anyway, so it felt like great timing.

Technically Mardi Gras had already passed when I made it, but it is a warmly spicy and flavorful dish that’s a comforting {and super easy} meal anytime.

Why is it so easy?  As you can see in the pictures below, everything gets thrown into one freezer bag, and then the contents of that freezer bag later get thrown into a crock pot.  Done.

It’s best with rice, but that’s also something you can make ahead of time and have stored in the fridge.

Freezer Crock Pot Jambalaya

Freezer Crock Pot Jambalaya

Freezer Crock Pot Jambalaya

I typed up my recipe with the ingredients measured out for one meal:  one freezer bag portion that serves 4.

However, you can see that I actually made two.

And if chicken hadn’t been so expensive when I was in the mood for this, I would have made even more.

Freezer Crock Pot Jambalaya

Once you put all of the ingredients in the bag, you freeze it overnight while it’s flat.

I like to put mine on top of pizza boxes or baking sheets, or something else smooth, because if you freeze them right on wire shelves, they’ll have little bumps on one side.  That doesn’t hurt the recipe, but it takes up waaaay more space in the freezer.

And the whole point is that you can stack these frozen meals vertically or horizontally without them taking up much space.

Freezer Crock Pot Jambalaya

And when you’re ready to eat, you just pull a bag out of the freezer and dump the contents into the crock pot.

I run mine under some warm {not hot} water in the sink for just a couple of minutes, to help break the large chunk into a few smaller chunks.

You can throw it right in the crockpot when it’s still completely frozen, it just fits better in smaller chunks.

Oh, and as you can see in the photos, there’s an excess of broth.  It will look wet when you first put it into the bowl, but once you stir in a scoop of rice, the rice will soak up most of the liquid.

So the finished product is not as soupy as it appears when still in the crock pot.

Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your own taste!  I like my food spicy, and though the heat was strong, I didn’t think it was too much.  But you can just use less hot sauce or a milder sausage if you prefer.

Freezer Crock Pot Jambalaya

Freezer Crock Pot Jambalaya

Ingredients:
14 to 16 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast
8 oz. Andouille sausage
1 (28 oz.) can diced or petite diced tomatoes
1 medium to large sweet onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 cup chicken or beef broth
2 garlic cloves, diced
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Prepare a gallon freezer baggy by writing today’s date and the instructions on it. Set aside.

Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes. Cut sausage into slices or dice it.

Put chicken and sausage into a one gallon freezer baggy. Add the rest of the ingredients to bag. Seal bag, squeezing out as much air as possible. Place the bag into the freezer on a flat surface, like a baking pan, to freeze overnight. Once frozen, you can store the bags upright.

When you’re ready to cook, remove baggy from freezer and run under warm water just long enough to break the contents into a few smaller pieces, about 2 minutes. Pour contents into crock pot and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 3 hours. Discard bay leaves before serving.

Serve with rice. Serves 4.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR BAG: Jambalaya ~ Cook on high 7-8 hours / low 3 hours ~ Serve with rice ~ Date

NOTE: This recipe makes one freezer bag portion but is easily doubled or tripled, making it easy to assemble multiple meals at one time, like you see in the photos.

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To print the free PDF copy of the recipe, click here:  Freezer Crock Pot Jambalaya

Enjoy!

Roaming Rosie Signature