Freezer Cooking in an Hour: Southwestern Slow Cooker 2-Bean Chicken, Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls

Yesterday’s Freezer Cooking Session was so simple that it’s hard to even say it qualifies as a Freezer Cooking in an Hour session. And I guess that’s the beauty of letting your appliances do the work for you.

I stuck all of the ingredients for the Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls in the bread machine.

The chocolate chips sort of jumped out of the freezer while I was getting the yeast out… so I had to help the bag be a little lighter so it wouldn’t keep jumping out of the freezer like it always seems to. 😉

And then I dumped all of the ingredients for the Southwestern Slow Cooker 2-Bean Chicken in the crockpot. That was just about the easiest recipe known to man… er, woman.

A little while later, I came back and rolled out the Cinnamon Rolls, let them rise, and baked them.

A few hours later, I turned off the crockpot. And I was D-O-N-E with this week’s freezer cooking. Talk about simple, it almost seems a little hypocritical to label it as a Freezer Cooking Session.

But hey, on a busy week like this week, I’ll take it. :)

Recipes I Made:

Southwestern Slow Cooker 2-Bean Chicken — So easy, but we thought it was somewhat lacking in flavor. Anyone have suggestions or ideas on things I should try adding next time around?
Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls — These are SO good. If you haven’t tried them, you are seriously missing out. Just sayin’.

Did you do any freezer cooking this week? If so, tell us about it!

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  1. Julie says

    I have a similar recipe. I also put in mine sweet red peppers and bleck olives. About 30 min before it is done I add a block of cream cheese. When melted I mix it in real good. My kids like it served over rice.

  2. Diane says

    I would suggest 1TBS chili powder, too. Maybe black olives if your family likes them. I made a cheesy beans and rice that is very good and the chili powder helps it be pretty flavorful.

  3. Liz E. says

    I do alot of cooking by “feel”. I would also add some cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, & “Ancho” Chile powder. I like using this because it adds a depth of flavor, but is MILD for the kiddos. Also, drain the tomatoes, since you are adding the salsa, & replace with chicken broth. Dash or two of black pepper. Since you are adding chicken broth, I would check towards end of cooking if you need any additional salt.

  4. Bernadette says

    I would add some cumin or a can of green chilies, or both. :) It didn’t have hardly any spice in it, salsa doesn’t have enough to carry that whole thing, so adding in some cumin, chili powder, a dash of cayenne or some red pepper flakes would help!

  5. KimH says

    As for the chili… Lots of cumin, garlic, onion, and smoked Spanish paprika.. and/or use a chili powder blend.. I have some dried smoked chipotle and it is out of this world awesome if you like that smokey flavor… Chipotle chili powder…super cheap at San Francisco Herb Company… where you buy in 1# packages for cheap!

  6. Amanda says

    I think others have mentioned it, but I made something similar this week and using Rotel tomatoes with peppers gave it some kick. My recipe didn’t have salsa, but called for a packet of ranch dressing mix, which I didn’t want to use, so I googled how to make it. I ended up using onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, black pepper and a few grains of coarse salt. Definitely had a lot of flavor.

  7. says

    Others have mentioned this but I’d say, after reading the recipe, that it’s lacking in salt. At least, the emphasis on watching the sodium was my clue. Not everyone needs to do that!

    Sauteed onions always lend a depth of flavor, certainly, and that’s lacking in a lot of crockpot recipes. Fresh cilantro sounds good, too.

  8. Michelle says

    We made one that is basically the same. We add 15 oz can tomato sauce, 15 oz can diced tomatoes, 15 oz can black beans (drained), 15 oz can corn (drained), small can of diced green chilis, 2 chicken breast, and olives if you like them. Place in the slower cooker and cook on high for 4-6 hours. Serve with torilla chips, cheese and sour cream. LOVE IT!

  9. Michelle says

    I would recommend replacing the canned tomatoes with Rotel tomatoes with green chilies . I would reduce the salsa and add garlic and cumin.

  10. kathy says

    I would either use regular tomatoes vs. Low salt or add in a bit of salt. Also would add some chopped sweet (like vidalia ) onion and chili powder. Another thing you could try would be to look at your favorite beef chili recipe and see what spices are added that you are missing. Good luck and many thanks for the recipes.

  11. Carolyn says

    I know this adds a bit of work… but only a few minutes and it is the hands down easiest way to add flavor.

    In a skillet, saute a chopped onion in a little fat (butter, olive oil, etc.) until just starting to brown. Add spices that match the dish you are making… southwest; cumin, chili powder, garlic…cook for a minute or two more. Add a bit of liquid from the diced canned tomatoes and stir pan to get all the little browned bits up. Dump into slow-cooker and add everything else.

    If you start this step first, then by the time you wash, open and pour everything else in, you really aren’t out much time. :)

  12. susan l. says

    I think cilantro…especially dried would be great here…it would make it almost like my favorite chicken tortilla soup recipe

  13. says

    Hi all!
    This might be a silly question…after cooking the chili do you freeze it and that is why it qualifies as “freezer cooking” or is it labeled freezer cooking because some of the ingredients came from the freezer? As a full-time working mother, my crock pot is my “go-to” and I’m trying to make my way into freezer cooking….newbie here. :-)


  14. Emily says

    I make a similar recipe and I just use the equivalent of two cans of black beans and 2 cans of corn with Jack’s fresh salsa on top of the corn, beans and chicken. The cilantro and spices from the salsa give it a lot of flavor. Maybe the extra tomatoes water it down a bit. And I have to say, my family lOVES the cinnamon roles! Too bad For them I am on a diet and don’t have the willpower to make them!

  15. Norma says

    I think on the Southwest 2-bean chicken you could add some flavor by adding some cumin and a can (4 or 7 oz.) of chopped green chilis. Of course if it only has 54 mg of sodium per serving, you really might need just a little more.

  16. Dineen says

    I haven’t read all the suggestions for increasing the flavor of your Slow Cooker Southwestern 2 Bean Chicken, but my first thought was that it’s very low fat with chicken breasts and no oils of sauteeing to help carry flavor you can sometimes have flat tasting things in long, slow cooking. I personally don’t care for breast meat cooked so long because it loses flavor. Using chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts can give you more flavor. While boneless, skinless chicken thighs don’t seem to go on sale around me as often as breasts, the bone-in thighs and legs do. It will take a little more work to remove the meat at the end of cooking, but you would end up with a more flavorful sauce. You can chill it, skim some of the fat and debone the meat the following day for portioning into meals. If you really want to stick to chicken breasts, I would cut them up into bite size pieces (again more work, but perhaps less than what would be needed for the bone-in thighs) and not cook for more like 3-4 hours instead of 5-7 because the flavors of not just the meat, but the salsa break down over such a long time. At the end, stir in a little butter or whatever fat you like to cook with (coconut oil, olive oil, all good healthy fats and “clean”).
    Really good flavorful shredded chicken tends be cooked with its skin and bones and it later shredded down, when it’s cooked as boneless-skinless breasts it tends to be flavorless with long cooking. So, even using bone-in breasts would give you a big boost in flavor, but too long of a cooking time on breast meat can really over-do it even when it’s in a liquid.
    As I already mentioned about long slow cooking leeching flavor, I’ve learned that using whole spices helps a lot. So for a chili, I would use a whole dried pepper in the crock and remove it before serving. (My mom used dried banana peppers from our garden to flavor simmered ‘barbecue’ beef in this way.) There are so many peppers available now and you know your family’s taste, I wouldn’t know which one to recommend. Even 5 or six whole peppercorns can really nicely season a crock of stew/soup (just make sure you remember to account for all the peppercorns when you are serving it).

  17. Crystal says

    You could try adding a can of enchilada sauce. I made a soup that called for it and it gave it a nice flavor. You can choose a mild version to keep it from being too spicy. Hope that helps!

  18. says

    Instead of plain tomatoes, I would use chili tomatoes, the ones with chili powder or green chilies added. I haven’t use regular tomatoes in years and my family is happy…LOL!

  19. Karen says

    I made the cinnamon rolls up last night and put them in the fridge for this morning. The kids were so excited to try them. They are definitely a hit! We are stuck in the house for the day, as we are in the midst of an ice storm, so I am pretty sure none of them will make it to the freezer!

  20. Kerrie Wilson says

    Any chef will tell you that a food cooked without salt and pepper will never taste good, it will be bland. A good recipe should always have those two ingredients listed. :) Happy cooking.

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