I feel like I’ve cracked a very important code_ how to get meals made weeks — yes weeks — ahead of when you need them. It’s easier than you think. Stick with me here and I’ll explain.


It all starts with your favorite slow cooker recipes. Just put all of your ingredients in a gallon size zipper bag, label it and toss it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Do this with several recipes on a weekend when you have some time and you’ll have a freezer full of healthful, easy clean-up meals ready whenever you need them. Whenever you’re ready to cook one just open the bag and pour the frozen contents into the slow cooker. Press a button and one hour later you’ll have a mouthwatering, heavenly smelling meal that requires basically zero work from you.


I like this method of cooking because it ensures you can serve your family a fresh home-cooked meal even on the busiest of days. I prefer to double, triple, even quadruple a recipe so I can keep multiples in the freezer (especially when the ingredients are seasonal) or so I can share them with friends. If you have a sick friend or know a mom who just delivered a new baby, deliver a few of these frozen bags with cooking instructions over to them and you’ll be the lifesaver they’ve been needing. Simply multiply your ingredient list by however many meals you want to make, create an assembly line and put your bags together in no time.


This Mexican Pulled Pork is a perfect example of my new system. It takes just minutes to measure out all the ingredients and toss them into the bag. And all you will need after it cooks are two forks to shred the tender, juicy meat and some tortilla or taco shells to serve it up in (although the last time I made this dish I just served it in a bowl topped with tomatoes and lettuce).


If you are in need of other ideas for this make-ahead freezer method, here are a bunch of other recipes the work great_

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

Crock Pot Lentil Veggie Stew

Crock Pot Black Bean Soup

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken

Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Sauerkraut

Baked Beans in the Crock Pot

Crock Pot Mexican Corn and Bean Soup

Beef Stew in the Crock Pot

Crock Pot Pulled Pork Tacos

Crock Pot Ribs



Mexican Pulled Pork Shoulder in the Slow Cooker

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Author: Catherine McCord
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes


  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 small onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 4 ounce can diced green chilies
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, excess fat trimmed


  • Place all the ingredients except the pork shoulder in a gallon freezer bag and mix together by pressing on the outside of the bag.
  • Add the pork shoulder, and turn to coat in the mixture.
  • Seal bag, labe1 tablespoon and freeze until ready to use. Be sure to get as much air as possible out the bag so that it doesn't form ice crystals inside when freezing.
  • When ready, remove the frozen mixture from the bag and place it all into the crock pot. Set the heat to low and cook for 8-10 hours, until hot and cooked through.
  • Shred the meat with two forks and serve with desired accompaniments.
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About the Author

Catherine is a mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.


  1. Turned out terrific! But since it is pulled pork, I’d serve it North Carolina style which is either served on a chopped platter with coleslaw and hush puppies. Or as a sandwich on a bun with coleslaw

  2. super easy and super delicious. Even better than going out to Mexican food. Made it with your Mexican rice and had all kinds of side fixings. The whole family loved it and my 5 year old ate 2 1/2 tacos!!

  3. I made this yesterday and it was soooo delicious! My kids who are both picky eaters loved! Please include some more healthy crockpot recipes in the future. Thanks Catherine!

  4. Can you make this with a piece of meat that is half the size? Will it still work in the slow cooker? That’s a lot of meat!

  5. This was SO good! FYI: I did 5 lb w/ bone in, not frozen, low for 8 hours. The bone came right out and I barely had to shred the pork it was so tender. The fat in this type of cut keeps the pork from drying out. Thanks for the great recipe!

  6. This is THE BEST pork I have ever had! We have not ever eaten pork tacos! This is definitely a keeper! Thank you for the awesome recipe.

  7. You can try a mexican carniceria (meat market) …they tend to sell more pork than other stores I think. I get mine, $1.39/lb. in 15 lb packages (which is 2 shoulders, about 7-8 lbs each) …only thing is, it comes with that thick skin (hide?) on it…I guess some people leave it on, I don’t know…but I’m always trying to cut down on the fat, so I cut it off…and it takes me a bit. (or I’m just getting old, idk ) today I started around 12:15 and when I checked the start time, it was 1:45 …so I guess I’m a very slow ‘assembler’ …but I attribute much of that to trimming the fat, which I probably obsess over.

  8. I find it in the meat case. You can certainly ask the butcher at the counter for a small piece!

  9. Do you buy the pork shoulder in the meat case of your regular grocery store? Or do you need to specifically ask the butcher for it? The reason I ask is that I rarely – if ever – find pork shoulder that is less than 8-10 pounds (and usually it’s bone-in). Maybe my grocery store just has very limited selection?

  10. no, green (or “ortega” ) chilies are completely mild…zero heat. More like bell peppers, different flavor though.

  11. Do the green chillies add a lot of spice? I have a 2-yr old who will be eating this. Can you recommend a substitite or is it okay to just leave out?

  12. I love recipes like this one. Pulled pork is a huge hit at our house. Can’t wait to try this one. xx

  13. Do you have a substitute for apple cider vinegar? I think I have everything else I need to make it tonight!

  14. What a fantastic idea! If I want to try this with some of the other recipes you mentioned that would work well, how much time should I add to cook them from a frozen state?

  15. I’m kinda embarrassed to admit this, but I have never done a pork shoulder in my slow cooker! I always make soups or stews. Yet, I love shredded pork deliciousness. I guess part of my problem is that I am one person at home (well, plus my cat), and so pork shoulder is a big commitment. But this sounds so delicious, so maybe I should just make one and send leftovers to neighbours 😉

  16. Love this post Catherine! One if my faves that you have written. Such a great idea to prepare meals to freeze when you have time for busy nights with the kiddies and hubby, or to help out another family for whatever the reason. Thank you

  17. Do you need to thaw out the before the slow cooker? I have heard it is best to thaw first as the slow cooker doesn’t get the meat hot fast enough and can be a problem with bacteria. Thoughts? I would love to throwing in frozen meat to cook.

  18. It is frozen when you put it in the crock pot. If you chose to not freeze it first, then I would cook it for 4-6 hours!

  19. If this wasn’t frozen (the meat was fresh), would the cook time be the same?
    That is, when you put it in the crock pot, it’s frozen, correct?

  20. I use fresh pork shoulder, put it all in the bag together, freeze it, and then when I’m ready I put the whole frozen block into the slow cooker!

  21. Can you use frozen pork shoulder to make this initially or should it be fresh before freezing? Then so you put the frozen contents in the slow cooker or do you defrost first? Thanks!

  22. What a genius idea! I really need to get a crock pot, but I suppose it would work in a Dutch oven too. What do you think?

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