It’s kind of a running joke here: if it stands still long enough, I will try to find a way to cook it in the crockpot.
It’s true. I utilize my crockpot three nights a week, on average. I think of it as one of those tireless servant girls from Proverbs 31– there to make my life easier and free me up to read and teach and fold clothes and maybe even wipe a nose or two. And it does. Hooo boy. Dinner prep done by the time the breakfast dishes are washed up? That’s the way to a busy Momma’s heart right there.
You can make just about anything in a crockpot. And most of it turns out passable. But the great recipes? Not just the good ones– the great ones? They are rarely the “dump and go” variety, and almost always require a little extra legwork an hour or two before serving. It’s extra time invested, yes … but it also pays off in a meal that defies the “mushy meat and overcooked carrots” stereotypes of crockpot meals past.
I have a rotation of tons of convenient crockpot meals. But these? These are our family’s favorites. They range in cost, and they vary in prep time. I can’t do anything about the extra ten minutes rubbing and searing a roast costs me, but I am the queen of cutting the meat and bulking up the beans, veg, or salad portions to feed our family for less. Some of these recipes feature processed food short cuts, but I’ll be sharing my homemade “fixes” to the “cream of everything” dilemma next week. Until then, peruse this list, add a couple to your menu, and get ready for a convenient, yummy dinner that makes your family rise up and call you blessed.
Slow Cooker Pork Loin –You must try this. Make a huge batch of mashed potatoes (heavy on the sour cream) and watch the gravy disappear.
Paula Deen’s Pot Roast — I have several different pot roast variations, but this one is my family’s favorite. I reduce the salt by about half, fyi.
Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatballs — Turns out great in a pinch with pre-made frozen meatballs, but is divine with the real deal. Serve over rice.
Crockpot Ravioli Casserole— I could probably quadruple this recipe and still have people clamoring for more. The spinach makes it. Even if your family isn’t a fan of the green stuff, give it a try! (I double everything but the meat and it turns out great.)
Chicken and cornmeal dumplings — Found this gem during my last dance with gestational diabetes. Add extra veggies and enjoy a one-pot wonder!
Crockpot chicken tacos — So, so easy. Let your 8 year-old make dinner tonight!
40 clove garlic chicken — Not only is this amazing chicken and gravy, but it’s my base recipe for stock. Make the chicken as recommended, throw the bones back in the crockpot overnight with 2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar, and refrigerate. Early the next morning, pull it out, add all those veggie trimmings you’ve been saving in your freezer, and simmer in the crockpot all day. The end result is some very disappointed people (“That’s not dinner? But it’s smelled soooo good all day!”) but some of the most beautiful, golden broth you’ll ever have the luxury of stocking.
Crockpot Santa Fe Chicken— We use this as burrito filling, with the beans doubled. It comes out a little wet, so be prepared with a slotted spoon.
Crockpot angel chicken— A favorite amongst the teen boys.
Taco soup— If you have never made this, be prepared for happiness. Chunky, rich, and just enough heat to make your mouth happy.
Spaghetti Sauce — For days when you want your house to smell like heaven.
Honey Barbecue Sandwiches — Another favorite of the boys, who could each eat about five sandwiches. But won’t … because seriously? Who needs to cram five barbecue sandwiches in their stomach?
Slow cooker French Dip— This one doesn’t pop up in our rotation often simply because of the cost, but when it does, you can be sure that the announcement comes with applause.
Like the recipes you see here? Pinterest is my recipe destination of choice. I list those that I’ve tried (with notes) on my Tried It! board, list recipes that look promising, and even keep a separate board for crockpot recipes I want to give a test run. Follow me there!
Shared at: Hip Homeschooling Moms