Thrive in Chapter Five, Embrace Your Journey

Self-discovery and Inspiration

10 Make Ahead Meals in 1 Hour

make ahead meals

“A Sunday well spent brings a week of content.”

– Unknown

(Not sure who to quote on that, but it pretty much sums up how perfect make ahead meals are.)

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With school back in session and fall in the air, warm and hearty meals are always needed!

I love make ahead freezer meals and as often as I can will spend a Sunday afternoon meal prepping for the week. 

It usually includes a few glasses of wine and a good movie playing, but that’s besides the point.  

Today I made 10 meals.  Two meals of chili and eight meals from 4 crock pot recipes inspired by

It literally only took me an hour including the grocery shopping from start to finish.

First, rather than spending hours at the grocery store, I ordered the items from  It took about 5 minutes to place the order.  I took my dog for a walk while my groceries were being collected and delivered.  How cool is that?!  

If you don’t have Shipt, it’s worth it!  Email me at  If it’s available in your community, you can get 50% off a one year membership for free grocery shopping and delivery.  


The four crock pot recipes are super easy, just dump and seal.  With an almost-empty nest, our meals are based on 3 people.  Sometimes, it’s only two and I am able to use the left-overs for lunch the next day. 

I doubled the ingredients and made two meals of each then sealed in a pre-labeled zip-lock bag. 

Creamy Italian Chicken

  • 3-4 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 (8 oz.) Cream Cheese
  • 1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 Dry Packet of Italian Seasoning

Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then cook on low 4-6 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.

Hawaiian Chicken

  • 3-4 Chicken Breasts
  • 1/2 Cup of Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup of Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
  • 1/2 Can of Large Pineapple Chunks
  • 1/2 Cup of Pineapple Juice (From the Can)

Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then cook on low 6-7 hours.  Shred and serve over rice.

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

  • 3 Chicken Breasts, Cut in Strips
  • 1 (16 oz.) Bag of Frozen Broccoli
  • 1/2 Bag (5 oz.) Frozen Green Pepper
  • 2 (16 oz.) Jars of Alfredo Sauce 

Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then cook 4-6 hours on low.  Serve over noodles. 

Barbecue Chicken

  • 3 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 (12 oz.) Bottle of Barbecue Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup of Vinegar
  • 1/8 Tsp. of Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Minced Garlic

Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then cook 4-6 hours on low. Shred and serve with buns as a sandwich or over rice. 


This is a recipe handed down from my mom, great for a chilly fall night. 

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot. 
  • Add 1 chopped onion sautee for about 5 minutes.
  • Add 2 pounds of ground beef and break it apart with a spoon.
  • Add chili powder, cumin, sugar, 1 small can of tomato paste, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and seasoning salt. 
    Stir until well combined.
  • Cook until browned, about 10 minutes.
  • Add 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 2 cans of kidney beans, 1 can of black beans, 1 cup of beef broth, and 1 cup of spaghetti sauce. 
    Stir well.

Cool before pouring in the zip-lock bags. 

I don’t usually cook this in the crock pot.  Just thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm it up when I get home. 

Optional Toppings:

  • Shredded Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Sliced Avocados
  • Crackers

And Wa-la!  There ya have it, 10 meals! We are ready for the week.

Make sure to get as much air out of the bags as possible, and once it’s in the bag, squish it around as much as possible so the contents are distributed evenly.  They can lay flat and stacked so not to take much space in the freezer. 


Freezer Meals

10 not enough? Check out the Seriously Good Freezer Meals Cookbook with 150 easy recipes:


Seriously Good Freezer Meals: 150 Easy Recipes to Save Your Time, Money and Sanity


Do you meal prep with make ahead meals?  If so, what are your favorites?



*Disclaimer: This site contains affiliate links.  I am a Target and Amazon Affiliate.  If you purchase something via a link on my site, I will receive a commission, but at no additional cost to you.  

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