Freezer Meal Prep With 30 Lbs of Chicken - Super Easy Recipes (2024)

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I love freezer meal prep.

When I cook, I usually double everything so I can have leftovers for the freezer or a ready-to-heat second casserole in the freezer.

I mean, I’m busy, so why not minimize the nights I have to cook a whole meal as well as the extra dishes that come with that?

And why not always have healthy(ish), home-cooked food available for my family?

Thus, enter mass freezer meal prep where I prepare 15-20 meals at a time for the freezer.

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Table of Contents

Why I Love Mass Chicken Freezer Meal Prep

One day I came across a great coupon for Zaycon Fresh and decided to try it out.

They’re an in-bulk meat ordering company that delivers to your city. (Edit: I’m so sad they are no longer around! They were replaced by Fresh Farms USA, which is not near as impressive with pricing.)

With Zaycon, I was able to order 40 lb of chicken for 99 cents per lb.

So, I jumped on that offer and set to preparing a freezer meal prep day to use 30 lbs of the chicken.

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See, here’s my big box of chicken in the refrigerator! I had to do some serious fridge cleanout to fit the whole box on the top shelf.

Before I picked up my chicken though, I had to make plans for how I was going to use it, which you’ll find below.

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Best Freezer Meal Prep Supplies

1. Crock-Pot

I love my Crock-Pot, and as a tired mom, I also like to use disposable liners because that thing can be a beast to clean!

Overcooking tends to decrease taste with the Crock-Pot, and sometimes the texture is a bit weird, but you just can’t beat the convenience.

2. Instant Pot

I have a 6-quart instant potwhich I can’t say I’m in love with, but I’m definitely in like with.

It has a steeper learning curve than the Crock-Pot, and sometimes it is finicky and burns stuff.

That being said, I still recommend it solely because it cuts cooking time WAY down from the crock-pot for those days I forget to start the crock-pot over my daughter’s naptime.

3. Lots of gallon plastic bags

Make sure your plastic bags are freezer-safe, and if they’re poor quality, you will want to double bag to prevent mess.

4. A Sharpie or Pre-printed Labels

You can make and print your own freezer bag labels if you would like.

I’ve never had too much of a problem myself just using a good old Sharpie, and I like to save time.

I simply write the name of the dish, the date, and then instructions on how to cook on the outside of the bag or aluminum foil.

5. Foil Baking Containers

I buy aluminum pans from Dollar Tree, where they are the cheapest I’ve been able to find them.

I don’t like to tie up my Pyrex in the freezer with meal prep.

6. Aluminum Foil and Glad Press ‘n Seal

You’ll need a way to cover the aluminum pans, so I recommend a layer of Glad Press ‘N Seal followed by aluminum foil to make things air-tight.

If you’ve never tried the Press ‘n Seal, I highly recommend it!

7.Baggy Rack Bag Holders

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I used to make bag meals without them and had so much spillage, but since using my baggy rack holders, I haven’t had a bag topple over yet.

I also highly recommend having a couple of these for making meal bag prep so much easier!

Freezer Chicken Meals I Prepared

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When I freezer meal prep in mass quantities, I’ve found it best to make meals that I can cook in the Instant Pot, Crock-Pot, and the oven.

I’m not super reliable with doing dishes in a timely manner, and I like to have some variety so we don’t get tired of chicken all cooked with one method.

Plus, these meals will do well in more than one method of cooking. For instance, a Crock-Pot chicken freezer meal can go in the oven in a pinch, if needed.

I freezer meal prepped two types of meals: bagged freezer meals with raw chicken and then casseroles with shredded, cooked chicken.

I’ll show you in what order I prepared them after the lists.

Bagged Freezer Chicken Meals

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These are the freezer meals that I prepared with raw chicken. (I like making duplicates of meals for convenience purposes when I meal prep.)

  1. Crock-Pot Chicken Fajitas from this blog, Crock-Pot (2 bags)
  2. Cafe Rio Crock-Pot Chicken from Chef In Training, Crock-Pot (2 bags)
  3. Cool Ranch Shredded Chicken Tacos from New Leaf Wellness, Crock-Pot (2 bags)
  4. Lemon and Garlic Dump Chicken from One Good Thing By Jillee, Oven (2 bags)
  5. Soy Honey Garlic Chicken, each bag with 2 lbs chicken, from Sweet Peas and Saffron, Oven (2 bags)
  6. Thai Peanut Chicken, each bag with 1.5 lbs of chicken, from Sweet Peas and Saffron, Oven (2 bags)
  7. BBQ Chicken from Emily Enchanted, Instant Pot (2 bags)

I tried to put around 2 lbs of chicken breasts per bag except for the Thai Peanut Chicken.

Those 14 bags thus used up 27 lbs of the chicken!

Freezer Chicken Casseroles I Prepared

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These all required cooked, shredded chicken.

  1. Tuscan Chicken Pasta from Six Sisters’ Stuff, Oven (2 pans)
  2. Southwestern Chicken and Rice from Diary of A Fit Mommy, Oven (2 pans)
  3. Freezer Chicken Penne Casserole from Taste of Home, Oven *This recipe is already doubled and just needs to be split into two pans.

How to Prepare the Chicken Freezer Meal Prep Bags

This took me a little over an hour to make all of the freezer bags.

Here’s the method I like to follow when doing freezer meal prep:

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First, I put all the dry, nonperishable ingredients in the night before and set up the bags around my kitchen.

This means I’ll add in the spices and set the other items I’ll need that don’t require refrigeration out next to the appropriate bags.

On the day of, I go around and put all the more perishable items in the bags.

This means the cans, the oil, etc.

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The very last thing I do is then add the chicken.

I’m very particular about how I prepare my chicken, so I have to trim, pound, and then cut it in pieces to get it to a texture I like if I don’t use tenderloins.

Once I finish adding all the ingredients to the bags, I seal them and freeze them!

For storage in our garage deep freeze, I lay them flat to freeze. This takes up way less space than just throwing them in standing up.

Meal Prepping the Freezer Chicken Casseroles

I also used my Instant Pot to cook roughly 3 lbs of chicken after preparing the bags.

This was incredibly easy to do–just add water, and cook.

For me, I used 1/2 cup of water with my 3 lbs of chicken and cooked 12 minutes on Manual with a natural release.

You can add broth or season your chicken, but I felt this wasn’t necessary from the recipes I used. (And if you don’t have an Instant Pot, at this point, just cook 3 lbs of chicken however you prefer.)

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After a natural pressure release on my Instant Pot, I drained any residual the water and shredded the chicken with my hand mixer.

I left this in the fridge overnight and planned to make 6 more meals the next day so I didn’t have to be on my feet too long the same day I prepped the freezer chicken meal bags.

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The next day, I was able to turn out these six oven casseroles in less than an hour total.

I followed the instructions on the recipes making a few little adjustments based on what I had around the house and my family’s food preferences.

After the casseroles were prepared, I wrapped them in a layer of the Press ‘n Seal and then followed with a couple of layers of aluminum foil.

Again, I labeled them with a Sharpie with the name of the dish, the date, and the cooking instructions. And then I froze them!

And that’s how I made 20 freezer meals using 30 lbs of chicken in roughly 2 hours. Easy peasy!

Special Considerations

As a final note, I have adjusted some of the cooking times and instructions from these recipes to fit better with my experience with my oven and Crock-Pot.

For instance, I always find my frozen casseroles need more time in the oven than suggested even after thawing overnight.

Also, I ALWAYS thaw all bags overnight before putting them in the Crock-Pot. After reading this article regarding food safety, I’m not willing to take a chance with food poisoning!

Speaking of food quality, for best taste, these should be used within 3 months.

So, how do you like to meal prep? Any additional suggestions? This was such a success, I’m thinking of doing it again soon but with different recipes.

And while you’re here, check out my freezer breakfast burritos and freezer green-smoothies recipes!

Freezer Meal Prep With 30 Lbs of Chicken - Super Easy Recipes (2024)

FAQs

How many pounds of chicken for meal prep? ›

First, decide how much chicken you'll need for the week. If you're cooking for you and maybe one other person, about 3-4 pounds of chicken breast fillets should do the trick. If you have a larger family or want more leftovers, aim for 6-8 pounds.

How long does cooked chicken last in the freezer meal prep? ›

If you're freezing cooked chicken, you can expect that to last for 2–6 months. Freezing cooked chicken is a great way to reduce food waste. When freezing cooked chicken, it's a good idea to mark the bag with the date it was cooked and frozen so you remember to use it while it's still good.

Can you meal prep chicken for 5 days? ›

Chicken is one of the best meats for meal prep because it's inexpensive and lasts for up to four days in the fridge after you've cooked it, so we're here to make sure that when it comes to chicken, your prep is perfect.

Should I freeze raw chicken or cook it first? ›

For best quality, taste and texture, keep whole raw chicken in the freezer up to one year; parts, 9 months; and giblets or ground chicken, 3 to 4 months.

Can you meal prep and freeze chicken and rice? ›

Chicken and rice can last up to five days in the fridge. Meal prep salads can last up to three days in the fridge. Meal prep food can also be stored in the freezer. This is an ace option if you want to meal prep for a longer period of time.

How many pounds of chicken do I need to feed 20 people? ›

A good rule of thumb is to plan on about 1/2 pound of meat per person. For chicken, you will want to plan on about 1 pound per person if it is the main dish, and 1/2 pound per person if it is just one part of a larger meal.

How many pounds of chicken do I need to feed 100 people? ›

How Much Food to Serve at a Party
FOODSERVE 25SERVE 100
Meats
Chicken or turkey breast8–9 pounds32–36 pounds
Fish (fillets or steaks)7-1/2 pounds30 pounds
Hamburgers6-1/2–9-1/2 pounds26–30 pounds
35 more rows
Apr 1, 2024

How much chicken should I buy for a week of meal prep? ›

For meat, account for about 25% cooking loss. For example, 4 oz. of cooked chicken x 3 servings = 12 oz. cooked chicken, so plan to purchase about 16 oz.

Is 2 year old frozen chicken still good? ›

How long can you store chicken in your freezer? According to the USDA, frozen chicken will be "safe indefinitely" as long as you keep it continuously frozen (i.e., you're not unfreezing it and then re-freezing it because you didn't have a chance to cook or eat it).

Is 1 year old frozen chicken still good? ›

A whole chicken or turkey can be kept in the freezer for up to one year. Chicken or turkey in pieces can be kept in the freezer for up to nine months. Ground chicken or turkey is best consumed within three to four months if frozen from the date of purchase.

How to keep meal prep chicken juicy? ›

How do you cook chicken breasts for meal prep without them getting dry?
  1. Buy high quality, free-range, organic, chicken breasts when possible. ...
  2. Don't overcook the chicken. ...
  3. Use a marinade, brine, or seasoning rub to flavor and tenderize the chicken. ...
  4. Cook it with a sauce.
May 27, 2022

How to make meal prep chicken taste good? ›

Whether you season chicken in one flavor profile or you prep multiple flavors at once, go ahead and marinade or season your chicken. Don't forget the salt and pepper. Choose your preferred cooking method or follow your recipes.

Can you meal prep chicken for 4 days? ›

So recommend bulk cooking the chicken and freeze half and the other half depending on how many people you need to feed to make only enough for 3 – 4 day max with your leafy greens or fresh vegetables that you still want a bit of crunch too and place them in the fridge.

Is it safe to freeze cooked chicken and reheat? ›

You can also reheat frozen cooked chicken if you are planning on eating it immediately. Defrost in the fridge and reheat to serve. Once you've reheated it, you should consume it completely and not store/chill/freeze/reheat the leftovers. It's best to only defrost and reheat what you are able to eat.

What can you not freeze for meal prep? ›

Can You Freeze Anything for Meal Prep? The short answer is that pretty much any food can be frozen. The US Department of Agriculture explains that you can freeze almost any food, except eggs in their shell and canned products. However, you may not want to eat every food after it has been frozen.

Can you freeze cooked chicken after 3 days? ›

It's not advised to freeze cooked chicken after four days in the fridge due to possible bacteria growth. Why can't you freeze chicken hot? Hot chicken may lead to temperature changes in your freezer, which could lead to the growth of harmful bacteria. Let the chicken cool to room temperature before freezing.

How to prep chicken for freezing? ›

How to Freeze Chicken
  1. Ditch the supermarket packaging. ...
  2. Wrap each chicken part (or whole bird, if you bought it whole) in plastic wrap, as tightly as possible.
  3. Place those wrapped parts in a zipper-lock freezer bag in a single layer. ...
  4. Store frozen chicken in the back of the freezer. ...
  5. Use it within two months.
May 30, 2023

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