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Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumpling Stew

By Polly Conner

Chicken and Dumplings in the slow cooker? Yes! It can be done!

This classic comfort food will fill your home with delicious smells and is a total crowd pleaser. To make Chicken and Dumplings even more versatile for you, we’ve included instructions not only for the crock pot but also for how to make it a freezer meal AND how to make it in the Instant Pot!

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings in a white bowl
Image credit: Helene Dujardin/From Freezer to Cooker (Rodale)

This easy Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumpling recipe comes from our cookbook, From Freezer to Cooker ,and was good enough to make national television. Seriously! Here is a segment of us cooking Chicken & Dumplings on Hallmark Home & Family!

Polly Conner and Rachel Tiemeyer on Hallmark Channel

In fact, all of the photos in this post were pulled from this very cooking segment on Hallmark.

Hopefully the process photos will give you a visual of how easily our Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumpling Stew comes together.

How to Make Chicken and Dumplings in the Slow Cooker

SAUTÉ YOUR VEGGIES

While we would love to not have to pre-cook vegetables for this slow cooker meal, we found that they don’t get cooked enough in the 3-4 hours it takes for the chicken to get done in the slow cooker. Plus, sautéing vegetables adds lots of flavor!

Sautéd vegetables for chicken and dumplings

SEASON THE CHICKEN THIGHS

Once those veggies start to get tender and you’ve added your garlic and seasonings, transfer them to the slow cooker and season your chicken.

We use chicken thighs for the recipe because they stay incredibly tender and juice when cooking in the slow cooker. Just make sure you cook the chicken the correct amount of time!

Chicken thighs on a baking sheet being seasoned

COOK IN THE SLOW COOKER

Add the chicken, broth, and bay leaves to the slow cooker and stir to combine.

Cover and cook on Low for 3 to 4 hours. (The chicken is done when it registers 165°F internally.) Trust us, this is really only how long you cook it or else it will turn out dry! Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and set aside. Remove and discard the bay leaves (make sure to return the lid to the cooker quickly).

MAKE THE DUMPLINGS

Set the slow cooker to High. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and parsley. In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave the butter and milk together until warm, about 1 minute, then whisk to melt the butter and combine. Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture until just combined (do not overmix).

Making dumplings in a glass bowl

ADD YOUR DUMPLINGS TO THE SLOW COOKER

Working quickly and using a soup spoon or tablespoon, uncover the slow cooker, scoop out heaping tablespoons of dumpling batter, and drop into the stew. (Wet your hands to prevent sticking and use them to help slide the batter off the spoon and into the stew.)

Try to spread the dumplings out so they cover the whole surface and aren’t on top of one another. Get the lid back on the cooker as soon as possible.

Cook on High for 30 to 40 minutes or until the dumplings have doubled in size and a toothpick inserted into the center of a dumpling comes out clean.

Scooping out dumplings into the slow cooker

DICE YOUR CHICKEN AND ADD IT BACK IN

Meanwhile, shred or chop the chicken into bite-size pieces and set aside.

When the dumplings are done, gently stir the chicken and peas into the stew. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Moving chicken into slow cooker

Can I Make Chicken and Dumplings in the Instant Pot?

One of the beauties of this recipe is that it can be made in both the slow cooker AND the Instant Pot.

INSTANT POT INSTRUCTIONS

  1. For the stew: Set the Instant Pot to “Sauté.” Place the butter in the pot. When the butter has melted, add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook, stirring, until they just begin to soften, 4 to 5 minutes, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper and stirring in the poultry seasoning and garlic during the last 30 to 60 seconds of cooking. Watch to make sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Press “Cancel.” (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  2. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken, broth, and bay leaves to the pot and stir to combine.
  3. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 6 minutes, then quick release the pressure. (The chicken is done when it registers 165°F internally.) Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and set aside. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
  4. For the dumplings: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and parsley. In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave the butter and milk together until warm, about 1 minute, then whisk to melt butter and combine. Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture until just combined (do not overmix).
  5. Set the Instant Pot to “Sauté” and bring the stew to a boil. Using a soup spoon or tablespoon, scoop out heaping tablespoons of dumpling batter, and drop into the stew. (Wet your hands to prevent sticking and use them to help slide the batter off the spoon and into the stew.) Try to spread the dumplings out so they cover the whole surface and aren’t on top of one another. Cover the Instant Pot loosely with the lid, leaving a crack. Cook for about 12 minutes, until the dumplings double in size and a toothpick inserted into the center of a dumpling comes out clean.
  6. Meanwhile, shred or chop the chicken into bite-size pieces and set aside.
  7. When the dumplings are done, gently stir the chicken and peas into the stew. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

INSTANT POT FREEZER MEAL INSTRUCTIONS

FREEZE FOR LATER: Follow step 1. Let the veggies cool. Season both sides of the chicken lightly with salt and pepper and place the chicken in a gallon-size freezer bag or round container (do not stack the chicken thighs in the bag/container; instead, place them side by side). Add the broth, bay leaves, and cooled veggies. Seal and freeze (if using a freezer bag, set it in a bowl or round container with a diameter similar to the Instant Pot so it will fit in the pot when frozen). Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and parsley in a quart-size freezer bag or container. Seal and freeze alongside the stew.

PREPARE FROM FROZEN: Note: You will need to have butter, milk, and frozen peas on hand to complete this meal. Set aside the dry dumpling mix. Set the Instant Pot to “Sauté.” Transfer the frozen stew to the pot and cook for 5 minutes to release some liquid. Press “Cancel.” Follow step 3, but cook at high pressure for 15 to 20 minutes. Follow steps 4 through 7, using the bag of dry mix to make the dumplings in step 4.

Can I Freeze Chicken and Dumplings for the Slow Cooker?

You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for fabulous freezer meals. THIS IS WHAT WE DO!

Many would not consider Chicken and Dumplings to be a great freezer meal. Wrong! We have devised a way that Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings can be frozen and thawed and still taste like a fresh, delicious meal.

Holding a freezer meal of chicken and dumplings

FREEZER MEAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE SLOW COOKER VERSION

FREEZE FOR LATER: Follow step 1. Let the veggies cool. Season both sides of the chicken lightly with salt and pepper and place the chicken in a gallon-size freezer bag or container. Add the broth, bay leaves, and cooled veggies. Seal and freeze. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and parsley in a quart-size freezer bag or container. Seal and freeze alongside the stew.

PREPARE FROM FROZEN: Note: You will need to have butter, milk, and frozen peas on hand to complete this meal. Thaw. Transfer the chicken-vegetable mixture to the slow cooker and follow steps 3 through 7, using the bag of dry mix to make the dumplings in step 4.

What should I serve with this dish?

We love that Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings are a one-pot wonder. You’ve got vegetables, protein, and bread/starch all in one delicious bowl! But, if you’d like to add in something on side, here are a few ideas to round out this comfort meal…

Autumn Chopped Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Crock Pot Cinnamon Apples

Have questions? Feedback? Leave a comment and let us know!

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Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: american

Description

Chicken and Dumplings are probably the ultimate comfort food.  This one-pot-wonder is filled with tender vegetables, juicy shredded chicken, and soft dumplings in a rich creamy-brothy gravy.


Ingredients

Stew

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 4 carrots, sliced ¼ inch thick (about 1 ½ cups)
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Dumplings

  • 1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (You can sub white whole wheat flour, but we do not recommend subbing whole wheat flour.)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons dried parsley
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter
  • ¾ cup milk (your choice)

Instructions

Make It Now

  1. For the stew: In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook, stirring, until they just begin to soften, 4 to 5 minutes, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper and stirring in the poultry seasoning and garlic during the last 30 to 60 seconds of cooking. Watch to make sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Remove from the heat. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  2. Transfer the vegetables to the slow cooker. Lightly season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper and place in the slow cooker. Add the broth and bay leaves and stir to combine.
  3. Cover and cook on Low for 3 to 4 hours. (The chicken is done when it registers 165°F internally.) Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and set aside. Remove and discard the bay leaves (make sure to return the lid to the cooker quickly). Set the slow cooker to High.
  4. For the dumplings: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and parsley. In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave the butter and milk together until warm, about 1 minute, then whisk to melt the butter and combine. Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture until just combined (do not overmix).
  5. Working quickly and using a soup spoon or tablespoon, uncover the slow cooker, scoop out heaping tablespoons of dumpling batter, and drop into the stew. (Wet your hands to prevent sticking and use them to help slide the batter off the spoon and into the stew.) Try to spread the dumplings out so they cover the whole surface and aren’t on top of one another. Get the lid back on the cooker as soon as possible. Cook on High for 30 to 40 minutes or until the dumplings have doubled in size and a toothpick inserted into the center of a dumpling comes out clean.
  6. Meanwhile, shred or chop the chicken into bite-size pieces and set aside.
  7. When the dumplings are done, gently stir the chicken and peas into the stew. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Freeze for Later:

Follow step 1. Let the veggies cool. Season both sides of the chicken lightly with salt and pepper and place the chicken in a gallon-size freezer bag or container. Add the broth, bay leaves, and cooled veggies. Seal and freeze. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and parsley in a quart-size freezer bag or container. Seal and freeze alongside the stew.

Prepare From Frozen:

Note: You will need to have butter, milk, and frozen peas on hand to complete this meal. Thaw. Transfer the chicken-vegetable mixture to the slow cooker and follow steps 3 through 7, using the bag of dry mix to make the dumplings in step 4.


Notes

“I added some leftover grilled corn to it, and that was an excellent addition.” —Ashley D.

Want to Stock Your Freezer with 6 Meals in 1 Hour?

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How to Grill Corn on the Cob

By Polly Conner

This is one of my best tricks to grilling corn on the cob. It keeps the corn moist but also adds a nice light char if done right. Use this method on how to cook corn on the grill at your next BBQ!

Corn wrapped in foil on a grill and grilled corn.

I have a great little trick that will help you grill delicious corn on the cob. In fact, we grill corn no other way after using this method. I almost always use this method when feeding groups of people.

While you could easily boil or cook corn on the cob in the microwave, grilling corn brings out a different, richer flavor and adds that tasty char to the outside of the corn. Want to know my secret?

A Short Video on How to Grill Corn on the Cob

How to Grill Corn on the Cob

Step 1: Strip that corn down, baby. Remove the husk and little stringies.

Corn on the cob on a sheet of foil

Step 2: Wrap the corn in a damp paper towel. Not dripping but wet enough so you could squeeze a few drops out if needed. This gives the corn its own personal little steam bath while also allowing for it to get a bit crispy on the edges.

Corn on the cob wrapped in a paper towel

Step 3: Wrap it up tightly in foil.

Corn on the cob wrapped in foil

Now repeat for however many cobs you’re making.

Step 4:  Preheat grill to 350-400°F. (For gas grills, turn the burners to medium). Once the grill is warmed up, place the wrapped up corn cobs on the grill and close the lid. Let them cook for about 10 minutes. Now flip them over on the other side and give them another 10 minutes. 

If you are only doing 3-4 ears of corn, reduce the cooking time by a few minutes.

Corn on the cob stacked

Step 5: Remove them from the heat and unwrap them when they are ready to eat. Add a little butter, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, or whatever blows your skirt up.

Corn on the cob with pepper

So delish!

corn on the cob wrapped in foil on a grill

Be sure to Pin the image below, so you can remember how to grill corn on the cob next time you need to…

stacked image of the best way to grill corn on the cob

What Should I Serve with Grilled Corn on the Cob?

Here are a few dishes that might go well with your grilled corn on the cob.

Southwest Chicken Kabobs

Southwest Grilled Chicken Kabobs

Mini Italian Burgers

Mini Italian Burgers

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Grilled Asparagus

Firecracker Asian Salmon

Firecracker Asian Salmon - A healthy and deeply flavorful marinated fish recipe.

Recipe for Grilled Corn on the Cob

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How to Grill Corn on the Cob

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: American8

Description

The simplest trick to guarantee the best grilled corn on the cob that you’ll ever eat!


Ingredients

  • 810 ears of corn
  • 810 individual paper towels
  • 810 pieces of aluminum foil
  • 1/2 stick butter (more or less depending on number of ears of corn)
  • Sea salt
  • Ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Strip the corn down by removing the husk and little stringies.
  2. Wrap each corn ear in a damp paper towel. Not dripping but wet enough so you could squeeze a few drops out if needed. This gives the corn its own personal little steam bath while also allowing for it to get a little crispy on the edges.
  3. Wrap each ear tightly in foil.
  4. Preheat grill to 350-400°F. (Burners on medium). Once grill is warmed up, place the corn on and close the lid. Let it cook for about 10 minutes. Then, flip them over on the other side and give them another 10 minutes. (Note: If you’re only cooking 3-4 ears, reduce the time by a few minutes on each side.)
  5. Remove them from the heat and unwrap them when you are ready to eat. Add a little butter, salt,  and pepper. Or maybe add a little Parmesan cheese, too.
  6. Serve the corn warm and enjoy.

Make sure to check out our 30+ Real Food Grilling Recipes too!

A great round up of real food grilling recipe ideas. Lots of freezer-friendly dinners, too.

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

By Rachel Tiemeyer

This pantry staple Vegetarian Tortilla Soup recipe is a meatless “one pot wonder” that I’ve been making and freezing for years for my family. Filled with beans, tomatoes, chilis, corn, and more, it only gets better the longer it sits in the fridge.

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
Photo Credit: Hélène Dejardin: From Freezer to Cooker

Why Make Vegetarian Tortilla Soup?

Years ago I implemented a small goal of having at least one day a week be meatless for our family. This is for three reasons: it’s cheap, it’s often healthier, and it’s better for the environment (raising animals utilizes much more of our natural resources than raising crops).

The great thing about Vegetarian Tortilla Soup is that it’s hearty enough for any meat eater in your family and makes a big batch for a crowd or just to have on hand all week long.

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup in a large stock pot

Another benefit is the flexibility of this soup. You can prepare it on the stove, in the Instant pot, or in the slow cooker. Plus, we also include instructions for how to make it ahead and freeze a batch for later.

Not only that, but you can use up what you have on hand with this “kitchen sink”-type soup. Don’t have green chilis? Add a little more salsa. Don’t have rice? Try quinoa. Have fresh veggies on hand? I’ve thrown in chopped zucchini, spinach, and diced bell pepper before with great results (just cook until they are soft).

Ingredients for Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

While I typically stick to the ingredients below, feel free to use up what you have on hand with this “kitchen sink”-type soup. Don’t have green chilis? Add a little more salsa. Don’t have rice? Try quinoa. Have fresh veggies on hand? I’ve thrown in chopped zucchini, spinach, and diced bell pepper before with great results. They will all cook just fine. Here is where to start though:

  • Vegetable broth or chicken broth (make your own chicken broth here)
  • Vegetarian refried beans
  • Black beans
  • Corn
  • Petite diced tomatoes
  • Diced green chilis
  • Mild or medium salsa
  • Taco seasoning (Use our homemade taco seasoning here)
  • Cooked brown rice (or throw cauliflower rice in with all the ingredients and cook with all the other ingredients!)

Keep these pantry staple ingredients on hand all the time, and you’ll always have a delicious, healthy meal ready to go in minutes.

Can I Make this Soup in the Slow Cooker or Instant Pot?

Yep!

Slow Cooker Method: Combine broth, refried beans, black beans, corn, tomatoes, chiles, salsa, and taco seasoning in the crockpot. Stir and break up the refried beans as much as possible. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours. Stir in the cooked rice and serve warm with optional toppings.

Instant Pot Method: We have written a whole post on how to make Instant Pot Tortilla Soup here. Hop on over!

How to Make Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

It’s hard to mess up Vegetarian Tortilla Soup! Just follow this simple recipe using either the stovetop or slow cooker instructions. You can also freeze it! Freezer meal instructions are in the recipe.

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Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

This one-pot wonder is packed with flavor but is also vegetarian! This winning combination of ingredients and flavors is sure to impress your family and friends.


Ingredients

  • 1 (32 ounce) box vegetable stock (Sub: chicken stock or broth)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can vegetarian refried beans* (Sub: drained pinto beans that have been smashed with a fork)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed (Sub: kidney or pinto beans)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can corn, drained (Sub: 2 cups frozen corn)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes (juice and all) (Tip: Fire-roasted diced tomatoes are delicious!)
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles (Sub: 1/2 cup salsa)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 tablespoons all-natural taco seasoning mix
  • 12 cups cooked brown rice (Sub: cooked quinoa)
  • Optional Toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, jalapeños, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, crushed tortilla chips, lime wedges, diced avocado

Instructions

Make It Now:

Stovetop Method: In a large pot, combine broth, refried beans, black beans, corn, tomatoes, chiles, salsa, and taco seasoning. Stir and break up the refried beans as much as possible. Bring to a boil and quickly reduce to a simmer. Cook over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally while it cooks. Stir in the cooked rice and serve warm with optional toppings.

Slow Cooker Method: Combine broth, refried beans, black beans, corn, tomatoes, chiles, salsa, and taco seasoning in the crockpot. Stir and break up the refried beans as much as possible. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours. Stir in the cooked rice and serve warm with optional toppings.

Instant Pot Method: Combine broth, refried beans, black beans, corn, tomatoes, chiles, salsa, and taco seasoning in the crockpot. Stir and break up the refried beans as much as possible. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes, then quick release the pressure. Stir in the cooked rice and serve warm with optional toppings.

Freeze For Later:

Method 1 (Uncooked): Combine all ingredients in a pot/bowl, except rice and optional toppings. (Don’t worry if the refried beans aren’t completely integrated.) Carefully ladle the soup into gallon-sized freezer bags or containers and seal. Package the cooked rice in a small freezer bag and freeze alongside the soup.

Method 2 (Fully Cooked): Fully cook the soup according to instructions. Stir in the rice. Let cool. Freeze in freezer bags or containers, as individual servings or one full meal. Freeze until ready to use.

Prepare From Frozen: 

Method 1 (Uncooked): Fully thaw the soup. Cook according to instructions.

Method 2 (Fully Cooked):

Stove or Slow Cooker: Warm over low heat on the stove or in the slow cooker.

Instant Pot: Turn on Saute button and warm over low, stirring frequently.*


Notes

*If you want to cook the soup from frozen in the Instant Pot, you’ll need to freeze it in a round container that is smaller than the diameter of the pot. When ready to cook, turn on the “Saute” function and saute the frozen block of soup for 5-10 minutes to release some liquid. Press “Cancel”. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 12-17 minutes with a quick release.

Gluten-Free: If using a taco seasoning packet from the store, be sure to buy one that is gluten-free.

Dairy-Free: Omit using any cheese or sour cream on top.

How to Cook Corn on the Cob in the Microwave

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Thank you to my mother-in-law for this quick trick on how to cook corn on the cob in the microwave! Did you know that cooking corn on the cob doesn’t require dirtying up a pot, heating up the kitchen, or waiting for a gallon of water to boil? I sure didn’t.

Microwaved corn on a gray plate with butter

Get this. You can cook your corn on the cob to perfection in the microwave. It’s especially helpful when you only need to cook a few ears at a time.

Video Tutorial: How to Cook Corn on the Cob in the Microwave

Directions to Microwave Corn on the Cob (Without Husk)

Here’s the foolproof and ridiculously easy trick that I like to call the 3-Minute No Boil Corn on the Cob Method:

1 – Take your shucked ear of corn and wrap it in a moist paper towel so that it is entirely wrapped.

Raw corn wrapped in a damp paper towel

2 – Place it in your microwave and nuke for 3-4 minutes. 3 minutes works for my microwave, but yours may take a smidgen longer. Note: I usually do two ears at the same time and they turn out fine.

Corn in the microwave

3 – Using a potholder or towel, remove the hot ears of corn. They will continue to cook a bit if you leave it in the paper towel after you remove it.

Corn on the cob after being cooked in the microwave

4 – Butter and salt and enjoy some perfectly done corn on the cob!

How Long Do You Microwave Corn on the Cob Without a Husk?

Bottom line: Wrap each shucked ear of corn on the cob in a damp paper towel and microwave for 3-4 minutes, depending on your microwave oven.

I sure hope you enjoy this simple method for cooking corn!

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How to Cook Corn in the Microwave

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 minutes
  • Yield: 4 ears 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Microwave
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Don’t have time to wait for water to boil? Not enough daylight left to turn on your grill? Then try this 3-minute, no boil microwave method for corn on the cob. It’s a winner!


Ingredients

  • 4 ears of corn, shucked
  • paper towels
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Take your shucked ear of corn and wrap it in a moist paper towel so that it is entirely wrapped.
  2. Place it in your microwave and nuke for 3-4 minutes. *3 minutes works for my microwave, but yours may take a smidgen longer. Note: I usually do two ears at the same time and they turn out fine.
  3. Using a pot holder or towel, remove the hot ears of corn. They will continue to cook a bit if you leave it in the paper towel after you remove it.
  4. Butter and salt and enjoy some perfectly done corn on the cob!
Microwaved corn on the cob with butter

If you do have time to grill, make sure to check out our Simple Trick on How to Grill Corn on the Cob.

You also might like our 30+ Real Food Grilling Recipes!

collage image of grilling recipes.

On-the-Go Chicken Burritos {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

These simple, individual chicken burritos make for a filling, healthy, and satisfying lunch or dinner anywhere and anytime. Be sure to double the batch and freeze some for later.

These simple, individual chicken burritos make for a filling, healthy, and satisfying lunch or dinner anywhere and anytime. #freezermeal #realfood

Why We Love On-the-Go Chicken Burritos

Our family is kind of obsessed with these make-ahead chicken burritos. I regularly pull them straight from the freezer to either warm in the oven or microwave for a quick and healthy lunch or dinner. Keep them in the freezer at work, send in a child’s lunch box (simply heat and wrap in foil), or grab-and-go on busy nights.I have a feeling we are going to depend strongly on these once the school chaos starts up again!

These simple, individual chicken burritos make for a filling, healthy, and satisfying lunch or dinner anywhere and anytime. #freezermeal #realfood

Similar Recipes to On-the-Go Chicken Burritos

If you want an even simpler, meatless burrito version, try our Make Ahead Lunch Wraps. It doesn’t get much easier to make healthy food in bulk!

Make Ahead Lunch Wraps

Or try our delicious Beef and Bean Burritos from our popular cookbook, From Freezer to Table. We include all the freezer instructions, too.

What Sides Should I Serve with On-the-Go Chicken Burritos?

We have several delicious Mexican-inspired and other side dishes that would go well with these burritos. Give one of of these healthy and delicious options a try…

Homemade Guacamole

Guacamole

Texas Caviar Dip

Avocado Lime Salsa

Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

On-the-Go Chicken Burritos are perfect for those crazy evenings when you’re in and out or for a slower sit-down meal around the table. Either way they are great!

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On-the-Go Chicken Burritos

On-the-Go Chicken Burritos {Freezer Meal}

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 burritos 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

These simple, individual chicken burritos make for a filling, healthy, and satisfying lunch or dinner anywhere and anytime. 


Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 (about 1 lb) chicken breasts, diced and patted very dry
  • 1 packet store-bought mild taco seasoning (or use this homemade taco seasoning)
  • 2/3 cups water
  • 3/4 cup cooked black beans (or half of 15 ounce can of black beans, drained)
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn
  • 3/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • ½1 cup mild salsa (adjust to taste)
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 (8-inch) whole wheat tortillas
  • Optional toppings: Guacamole or Creamy Avocado Dip, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, pico de gallo

Instructions

Make It Now: 

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 
  2. When the oil is shimmery, add the chicken and sauté until cooked through (no longer pink), about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add water, taco seasoning, black beans, corn, brown rice, and salsa. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then turn the heat down to low. Let mixture simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Assemble burritos. To each tortilla, add a generous 1/3 cup chicken and bean mixture and 3 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese . Pull in each end of tortilla and roll up tightly. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  5. Warming options:
    1. Wrap tortilla in foil and heat through in a 350 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes. (from frozen, 20-30 minutes)
    2. Wrap tortilla in a moist paper towel and warm in the microwave in 30 second increments until heated through.
  6. Serve with optional toppings.

Freeze for Later: Complete recipe through Step 4. Wrap each individual burrito in foil and place in gallon-sized freezer bag. Seal and freeze.

Prepare from Frozen: Options for reheating:

Option 1: Thawed: Thaw burritos in the refrigerator overnight and then place in a 350°F oven for 15-20 minutes, until warmed through. Another thaw option is to remove foil, wrap burrito in moist paper towel, and microwave in 30 second increments until heated through (about 2 minutes depending on microwave). Open up the burrito halfway through reheating, to allow the inside ingredients to get warmed.

Option #1: Frozen: Preheat oven to 350°F. Keep burrito(s) wrapped in the foil. Heat in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until heated through. Another thaw option is to remove foil, wrap burrito in moist paper towel, and microwave in 30 second increments until heated through (about 4 minutes depending on microwave). Open up the burrito halfway through reheating, to allow the inside ingredients to get warmed.

 

COOKING NOTES:

How to Make in the Slow Cooker:

1. Place whole chicken breasts (note: do not dice!) in the slow cooker and top with the water and taco seasoning. Cook on LOW for 2 1/2 – 3 hours, just until cooked through (no more pink in the center and shreds easily).

2. Shred the chicken. Stir in the beans, corn, cooked rice, and salsa.

3. Following directions from above starting with Step 4.

Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa - A BIG batch freezer recipe that your family and friends will love. Perfect for all those summer veggies!

Last week, while our little ones were at preschool together, Polly and I spent the four quick morning hours making, canning, and freezing Roasted Corn Salsa.

We actually walked away from the whole project with two versions of corn salsa recipe. This particular one is for freezing for later or eating fresh now. We’ll link to another canned version next week when Polly teaches a reluctant learner (that’s me) and you how to can using a water bath. Get excited!

The #1 thing I love about this Roasted Corn Salsa is that my kids love it! It’s sweet with a hint of heat, which makes it palatable and delicious for all ages. I’m planning to try it tomorrow for lunch with some fresh avocado tossed with it. (This may or may not make the third day in a row I’ve eaten it at noon.) I might even hit it with a little extra squeeze of lime. Cue mouth watering.

Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa - A BIG batch freezer recipe that your family and friends will love. Perfect for all those summer veggies!

The #2 thing I heart about this Roasted Corn Salsa is that it’s freezable. I’ve also been handing them to friends and family left and right. To thaw this frozen Roasted Corn Salsa, simply set it in the refrigerator overnight.

One of the keys to the depth of flavor in this recipe is the roasted corn. You can either grill it or simply use your broiler in the oven to brown the ears. This bit of toastiness enhances the flavor of the corn kernels like nobody’s business.

Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa - A BIG batch freezer recipe that your family and friends will love. Perfect for all those summer veggies!

And, will you just look at all those fresh veggies in the pot? I can’t wait to try this recipe with the fruit of my (or my mom’s) garden. Mmmm, tomatoes, peppers, onions, corn, cilantro, and garlic. Oh the smell.

It’s salsa heaven. Even the salesman who rang the doorbell during our cooking session commented, “Wow, smells great. You must be cooking.” (Thanks. Yep, we sure are buddy. And, no thanks, we don’t want to buy the meat (??) you’re selling.)

Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa - A BIG batch freezer recipe that your family and friends will love. Perfect for all those summer veggies!

Of course, Polly and I had to take a little break between cooking, learning to can, and staging photos to eat our weight in Roasted Corn Salsa with some chips for lunch. I’m confident our green side salads cross-canceled all those chips.

Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa - A BIG batch freezer recipe that your family and friends will love. Perfect for all those summer veggies!

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Freezable Roasted Corn Salsa Recipe--Freezer Friendly |Thriving Home

Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa {Freezer Meal}

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: about 10 cups salsa 1x
  • Category: Dip
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Roasted Corn Salsa has a savory-sweet combination which results in a delicious salsa that kids and adults alike will enjoy.


Ingredients

  • 8 ears of fresh corn, shucks with silks removed (Here’s the best way to cut corn off the cob)
  • 5 cups chopped and seeded fresh tomatoes (about 3 pounds tomatoes; squeeze out extra liquid)
  • 2 medium poblano peppers, seeded, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, minced (may want to leave out if making for kids)
  • 1 cup chopped red onion (1 medium onion) (Here’s a quick way to chop it like a pro!)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (juice of about about 4 limes) (Check out this tip for juicing a lime)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (can add a little more for more heat)
  • salt and pepper, to taste (we used 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven broiler*. Place corn on a sheet pan with sides. Roast corn under the broiler turning every 3-4 minutes, until lightly browned (about 10-15 minutes).
  2. After corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off the cob.
  3. In a large pot, combine all ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool.

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions:

To Freeze:
Put cooled salsa in freezer jars (or bags). Be sure to leave at least an inch at the top of a jar, because it will expand when frozen.
To Prepare:
Place in the refrigerator until thawed. Serve and enjoy!

Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken {Freezer Meal}

By Polly Conner

This easy dump and go freezer meal will become a regular family dinner in your home. This freezer friendly dinner is so versatile too. Eat it straight from the slow cooker, put it in wraps, or turn it into nachos. Choose your own Cilantro Lime Chicken adventure! Great healthy dinner idea to make in bulk or at freezer cooking parties. 

Slow cooker cilantro lime chicken

I’ve has my fair share of slow cooker freezer meal recipes. I can understand why so many people want these types of recipes. I mean who doesn’t want a meal that you can assemble quickly and be thrown in a slow cooker?!

While I am all about a great dump and go freezer meal, finding a GOOD one can be hard. Most real food recipes that go into the slow cooker need a little help up front or a little help at the end. Otherwise you’re relying on artificial ingredients to bring the flavors you want.

However, I am proud to present to you a meal that actually works well as a dump and go slow cooker freezer meal: Cilantro Lime Chicken!

Close up of cilantro lime chicken in a wrap

Now here’s the key to a great slow cooker meal with chicken: DO NOT OVERCOOK THE CHICKEN. Believe it or not, boneless skinless chicken breast is done in the slow cooker in about 3 hours. Seriously! As we’ve been writing our cookbook, From Freezer to Cooker, we have tested hundreds of recipes. Chicken is done (reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees) between 2.5-3.5 hours, depending on your slow cooker.

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If you go much further past that, chicken will start to dry out. Let as simple meat thermometer like this one be your guide!

Once you’ve cooked your Cilantro Lime Chicken, (You did double it and make it a freezer meal, right?!) you can now choose how you want to devour it.

One option (my personal favorite) is to put it in wraps and top with your favorite Mexican toppings.

Slow cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken

Another option (my kids’ personal favorite) is to shred that meat up, put it over nachos.

This was inspired by our Baked Nachos recipe. We simply spread out chips on a cookie sheet, spread out our leftovers over the chips, and topped it with shredded cheddar cheese. After baking it in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes, we scarfed down our baked nachos.

Cilantro Lime Chicken Nachos

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Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken Recipe

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

Cilantro lime chicken recipe. So easy to make! Dump ingredients into a slow cooker and come back hours later for a delicious, family friendly healthy dinner.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 (16 oz) bag frozen corn (or once can of corn, drained)
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (I only used 1/2 can because I’m not crazy about beans)
  • Whole wheat tortillas or tortilla chips, for serving
  • Your favorite Mexican toppings, for serving (i.e. cheddar cheese, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, lettuce, and chopped tomatoes).

Instructions

  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and the cumin on both sides. Then, place all ingredients into the slow cooker and stir until mixed together.
  2. Cook on LOW for 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 hours. Shred the chicken with two forks and stir back into the slow cooker. Taste and season with salt and pepper, to your preference.
  3. Serve chicken with tortillas and toppings, such as with cheddar cheese, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and lettuce. Or, spread chicken out over tortilla chips, top with cheese, and bake at 350°F for about 10 minutes (until cheese is melted).

Freeze For Later: Place all the ingredients in a gallon-sized freezer bag. (You will NOT slow cook this meal ahead of time.) Seal and freeze.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw using one of these three safe ways. Follow Steps 2-3.

 

Want more slow cooke freezer meal ideas? Here are 101 Real Food Slow Cooker Freezer Meals

101 Real Food Slow Cooker Freezer Meals - Your life just got easier and healthier with this list of the best whole foods freezer meals for the slow cooker. Enjoy these real food crockpot recipes today or freeze for later.

Creamy Corn Chowder: A Lighter Version {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

It’s a winter day fit for Creamy Corn Chowder, I say.  Why?  Here’s a peek out my front door.

This lighter version of Corn Chowder yields a creamy, rich-tasting soup without all the calories. You won't miss the cheese and bacon in this one!

With a wind chill of something like -4 degrees and several inches of snow, soup was a must for lunch today.  I tried out a quick and healthy Corn Chowder recipe (see below), making quite a few adaptations.  My friend Jeannette stopped by (which made for an even better lunch!), and we both thought the chowder was very good.  The kids didn’t mind it.  “Meal success” also equals “no outright rejection of the food by the kids,” so I count this as a win.

This lighter version of Corn Chowder yields a creamy, rich-tasting soup without all the calories. You won't miss the cheese and bacon in this one!
If you’d like to “unhealth” it a little, you could always add a bit of bacon or ham at the beginning and cook the veggies in that fat.  You could also add cheese.  But, quite honestly, the flavor of this meatless, low-fat soup held it’s own.  I will definitely make it again.

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Lighter Creamy Corn Chowder

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 23 minutes
  • Total Time: 28 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This lighter version of Corn Chowder yields a creamy, rich-tasting soup without all the calories. You won’t miss the cheese and bacon in this one!


Ingredients

  • 3 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 in pieces, divided
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 medium to large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 2/3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/3 cups reduced fat milk
  • 2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • Dried or fresh parsley (for garnish)

Instructions

  1. In small saucepan, put two of the potatoes in enough cold water to cover them. Liberally salt the water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender (about 8-10 minutes).
  2. While potatoes are cooking, heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute over medium heat for about 3 minutes, until soft. Add celery, carrot, and garlic, and season with a dash of salt and pepper (maybe 1/4 teaspoon of each). Saute until soft, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add remaining potato, broth, bay leaf, and Italian seasoning. Cover; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, and cook, partially covered, until potato is tender, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, once the two potatoes in the small saucepan are done cooking, drain the water. Add 2 tablespoons butter, a splash of chicken stock, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and mash well. Add this mashed potato mixture to soup in medium saucepan. Stir to combine.
  5. Place milk and 1 cup corn kernels in blender. Place cover on blender jar. Blend until well combined, about 25-30 seconds. Add this mixture and remaining 1 cup of corn to the soup. Stir until well combined.
  6. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed. Cook gently over low heat until warmed through. Add a little dried or finely minced fresh parsley for garnish, if desired.

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions:
To Freeze:
Fully cook the soup, cool, and freeze.
To Prepare:
Thaw in the refrigerator and then warm at a low temperature on the stovetop.