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This healthy Crockpot freezer meal chili is an easy, delicious combination of vegetables, beans, and seasonings. Freeze the ingredients ahead of time for a no-effort slow cooker meal.
Some days, I have no time to prepare dinner. Takeout is always tempting, but it’s also nice to have a meal on hand that’s ready to go. This slow cooker freezer meal chili recipe is perfect for those nights.
This vegan chili is so hearty and flavorful. The seasonings and Rotel give it just the right amount of spice, and the lime juice, broth, and tomato sauce come together for the perfect chili base.
I like to use the Crockpot to let the chili cook slowly throughout the day. The flavors come together so well with this method, and it takes no time or effort on the day I want to serve it.
Crockpot Freezer Meal Chili Tips
To make this chili in the slow cooker, defrost the mixture overnight in the refrigerator before cooking. It isn’t considered safe to put frozen food directly into the slow cooker because the slow increase in temperature can lead to food-borne illness.
You can saute the onion, pepper, and celery ahead of time if you’d like, but I don’t. They cook well in the slow cooker even without sauteing first.
For a meat chili, I recommend browning a pound of ground beef or turkey in the morning before you cook the chili. Add the browned meat to the slow cooker along with the other chili ingredients.
If you’re in a hurry, you can gently simmer this mixture in a pot on the stovetop for about an hour instead of using a slow cooker.
I recommend tasting this chili after it cooks and adjusting the seasonings to suit your tastes. You can add hot sauce for an extra spicy version.
Try my vegan butternut squash chili for another easy, delicious meal.
Crockpot Freezer Meal Chili Recipe
- 14 oz diced tomatoes
- 10 oz Rotel tomatoes and chili peppers
- 14 oz tomato sauce
- 2 15 oz cans pinto beans, rinsed (or other beans of choice)
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 bell pepper (red or green) chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 1/2 tbs chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 2 tbs lime juice
- In a large bowl, mix together the diced tomatoes, Rotel, tomato sauce, beans, chopped onion, chopped peppers, chopped celery, corn, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and cayenne pepper. Add the vegetable stock and lime juice, then stir to combine everything.
- Transfer the chili to 2 large storage containers or gallon-sized zipper bags. Label the containers with the date and contents. If using zipper bags, remove as much air as possible from the bags and seal them. Lay the bags flat on a shelf in the freezer for efficient storage.
- When you’re ready to cook the chili, thaw it out in the refrigerator overnight. If you only want to cook 4 servings, thaw just one portion of the mixture. In the morning, place the chili in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours. (If you’re going to be out for longer than that, it’s okay to cook it longer.) Serve with your favorite chili toppings (e.g. grated cheese, avocado, sour cream, diced scallions).
Approximate Nutrition Info
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This recipe costs $8.35 to make, or $1.04 per serving (1½ cups). Try this easy Crockpot freezer meal chili for a quick dinner on a busy night.
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