This post may contain affiliate links. We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. Please know, we only share products we love!
Freezer meals can make life so much easier! Recently I spent a few hours creating freezer meals. My goal was to make each meal "complete" with at least a protein and some veggies. I made some for the crock pot, like today's recipe, and some to go right in the oven. This garlic lemon Tilapia freezer meal is an easy, delicious dinner recipe.
Tilapia, the non-fish eater's fish
I recommend you eat freezer meals within 3-6 months. Lemon Garlic Tilapia is a simple, yet flavorful dish. Even people who aren't crazy about fish like this recipe. Tilapia is a mild, flaky white fish that's a good intro to eating fish. Foil packets help seal in flavor and moisture of the fish and other ingredients. This recipe is super low in carbs. You can add rice, potatoes or bread if you feel a need for some starch with your meal.
5 freezer meals!
Our recipe makes five freezer meals (each with two servings.) It's easy to put one fillet in each packet if you'd like to store them singly. Don't put more than two fillets in one packet, as you want the packets to sit flat on the bottom of your crock pot. The directions start with two feet of foil, lightly sprayed with cooking oil to prevent sticking.
Cut a Tablespoon of butter in half and put down two squares where the Tilapia fillet will rest. Next place sliced tomatoes over the foil/butter.
Spinach and lemon
Then place handfuls of spinach over the tomatoes and top them with lemon slices. Lay fillets directly over the lemon slices.
Next, salt and pepper the fillets to your taste. Add minced garlic with a ratio of one clove per fillet. Finally add the remaining lemon slices to top off the recipe.
The crock pot
You could bake these packets in the oven, but we really like the tenderness that comes from cooking in the crockpot. A bit of water (¼ cup will do) is all you need in the bottom of your crockpot to prevent scorching.
Making the packet
Fold the sides of the foil up, then roll together and seal to prevent leaking. I always label the freezer meals with the name, amount of food, and cooking instructions. Adding the date is also important.
When you're ready to use this meal, pre-heat the crock pot for at least 20 minutes, then cook on high for two hours. Check to make sure it's done by carefully unwrapping and testing with a fork. If the fish flakes easily, it's done (2 hours on high has been enough time in my crock pot, but it tends to run hot), if it doesn't flake super easily, rewrap then cook on high for an additional 30 minutes. Just remember to be careful when opening the packet as it will be hot!
- 10 (4-ounce) frozen Tilapia fillets
- 10 cups baby spinach leaves (2.5 pound bag)
- 10 Roma tomatoes, sliced
- 5 lemons. sliced
- 10 Tablespoons butter (1 stick + 2 Tablespoons)
- 10 garlic cloves, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Aluminum foil
- Cooking oil spray (Pam or other)
- Lay out sheets of foil about 2 feet long. Spray with cooking oil spray.
- Cut Tablespoons of butter in half (you'll have 20 squares.) Place 2 butter squares about 6 inches apart in middle of foil (they will lay under each fillet.)
- Place ingredients over butter on foil in this order: tomato slices, spinach leaves, half of lemon slices, tilapia fillets (see pictures.)
- Salt and pepper each fillet according to your taste.
- Sprinkle minced garlic over each fillet.
- Place remaining half of the lemon slices atop the fillets.
- Pull foil up on sides and create an envelope. Secure any edges.
- Place in freezer.
- From Freezer: Preheat crock pot by turning to high for at least 20 minutes.
- Add ¼ cup water to prevent scorching.
- Place foil packet in crock pot.
- Cook on high for two hours, then low for 2 or more hours.
- Remove foil packet with tongs and carefully open to serve.
- You can serve over rice, or alone for a carb-free meal.
Recipe makes 5 dinner packages of 2 fillets each. You can wrap fillets individually, but don't try putting more than 2 in a packet.
If you are not freezing the packet, put it in the crockpot on low temperature for 2 hours only.