25 Easy Crock Pot Meal Ideas

25 Easy Crock Pot MealsIt’s no secret that life gets busy and sometimes cooking dinner isn’t always convenient – with three kids actively involved in a pre-professional classical ballet company, a musical theater company, and a travel baseball team, sit down dinners are few and far between. It’s just our season of life. If you have crazy busy weeks like our family, consider making some slow cooker meals in your crock pot to save time and energy!

These crock pot meal ideas are simple to make and delicious! They can also double as leftovers for lunches the next day (a bonus when you homeschool and lunch is normally at home) and feed the family for cheap.

There is definitely something for everyone on this list below … test out and find some go to crock pot meals for your family.

1. Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan
2. Chicken Baja Soup
3. Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup
4. Asian Spice Slow Cooker Wings
5. Easy Crock Pot BBQ Chicken
6. Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup
7. Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
8. Orange Slow Cooker Chicken
9. Easy Crock Pot Chili
10. Chicken Noodle Soup
11. Salsa Verde Pork Tostadas
12. Cheesy Ranch Chicken Pasta
13. Slow Cooker Boneless BBQ Pork Ribs
14. Creamy Salsa Verde Chicken
15. Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken
16. Slow Cooker Beef Ragu
17. Butter Chicken Sliders
18. Broccoli Cheese Soup
19. Jalapeno Corn Chowder
20. Crock Pot Mediterranean Chicken
21. Slow Cooker Taco Meat
22. Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies
23. Salsa Chicken
24. Sweet Potato Pulled Pork Tacos
25. Crock Pot Ribs

Which ones are your favorite? Do you have any ideas for quick meals for families on the go? I would love to hear them in your comments below.

Happy 4th of July and my Smores Dip Recipe

red white blue flag and flowers

Happy 4th of July … hope you have some super fun plans to celebrate this great holiday weekend.

We are enjoying fireworks tonight in our neighborhood and a block party tomorrow night on our street. Our french foreign exchange student is looking forward to taking part in the activities.

Tonight we will enjoy an All American Dinner of Fried Chicken and Homemade Mac n Cheese (recipe to follow). Tomorrow night it is hot dogs and we will be bringing a side dish to share at the street party. One of our new favorite recipes for summer is Smores Dip! It is so super simple and it saves us from being eaten alive outside at night during the summer while roasting marshmallows.

All you need is two ingredients (semi-sweet chocolate chips and mini marshmallows), some graham crackers for dipping and you are set.

Smores Dip

Smores Dip

– Preheat your oven to 450 Degrees.

– Butter a large non-stick frying pan or cast iron skillet.

– Place a bag of chocolate chips in the bottom.

– Cover the chocolate chips with mini-marshmallows.

– Bake at 450 degrees for 8 minutes.

– Pull the pan out once the marshmallows are toasted to a perfect shade of brown.

Smores Dip CloseUpRemember, before scooping out a huge helping, to let it cool for a few minutes.

Have a safe 4th of July!

{Recipe} Quick Easy Cheesy Sliders

I have a confession to make … I hate touching ground beef, more so than chicken – which is probably much more germier – go figure. Anyway, I love all these fun slider recipes I have found but, realized real quick it wasn’t going to happen in my kitchen. Now, I know you can use gloves but, for some reason that creeps me out even more, trust me, I ‘ve tried it.

So, this is what I came up with – a slider alternative. It was originally a recipe my sister made at a party we had – she placed the mixture on pumpernickel bread but, I figured – place it on a slider bun and now you have Quick Easy Cheesy Sliders.



Here are the ingredients:

1 pound low fat ground beef
1 pound ground mild sausage
3/4 pound Velveeta Cheese (cubed)
Slider Buns (toasted)

Directions:

1. Brown ground beef and mild sausage together. I like to use my handy meat browning tool to break up all the beef and sausage – this especially comes in handy when you are using low fat grass fed beef.

2. Drain any fat off and return skillet to cook top.
3. Add cubed cheese to ground beef mixture.

4. Stir frequently until cheese is melted.

5. Now, the hard part, allow mixture to cool until when scooped it holds its form. This gives it a nice patty look but, if you don’t care about appearances just dig in.

And, while I am on the subject of food … why hasn’t anyone told me about these …

I totally missed out on the Girl Scout Samoa cookies this season. So, of course, when we spotted these cookies in the store we had to give them a try. They are a little smaller but, the taste is almost the same.

{Recipe} : Best Ever Banana Cake

With a recipe title like that I just had to give it a try! Ava Mae and I have been trying to come up with activities to keep her busy while Lexi is spending the month in summer dance intensive. I had four over ripe bananas sitting in our fruit basket that I was going to toss out and then I remembered this cake recipe.
One warning, it is not a quick recipe but, it is so super yummy! The only substitution I made from the original recipe was to replace the buttermilk with fat-free milk – making the cake a little bit lighter. Also, I ended up using a store bought whipped cream cheese frosting rather than the homemade frosting the recipe calls for.
The cake was a huge hit in our home and my girlfriend’s two year old daughter also loved it! It reminds me of banana bread – just a little bit lighter. Make sure you follow the recipe’s slow cooking approach at a lower temp. It seems those who tried to speed things up ended up with a mushy center to their cake. Ours turned out perfectly – so good I hardly even had any left to get a good picture of.
You can find the recipe here at food.com.

Simple Recipe: Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili

This summer I worked on compiling a Fall menu for our family. I wanted dinners that were simple and utilized, for the most part, whole foods and a big plus, if they could be made in the crock pot. I planned five dinners – we eat at church on Wednesday nights and Friday and Saturday are our nights out.

Tonight we tested out Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili – a recipe I found on Pinterest.

Ingredients:

1 – 16 oz can black beans

1 – 16 oz jar salsa

1 – 10 oz package frozen corn

1 – packet taco seasoning

1 – cup water

3 – boneless skinless chicken breasts

Directions:

Pour salsa in the bottom of crock pot.

Lay Chicken on top of salsa – sprinkle with taco seasoning.


Layer rest of ingredients in crock pot.


Cook on Low for 8 hours. {Note: I stirred everything at about 4 hours in}


When ready to serve – shred chicken and stir.


Optional: Serve with Sour Cream and Shredded Cheddar Cheese {we used Low Fat}

I prepped everything before church this morning and by the time we arrived home this afternoon the house smelled wonderful. Dinner was a big it and we had enough left to bag up some individual servings to give to a friend, who is single, and grieving the loss of her mom. It will be easy for her to defrost these overnight and warm up for lunch.


Thanksgiving at Home

As previously posted … we spent Thanksgiving at home this year with little ones who were recovering from upper respiratory infections. A change in plans brought me the opportunity to cook the Thanksgiving meal, which I really enjoyed.

My husband was great and took the kids to several movies during our Thanksgiving Holiday giving me time to cook and also work through my “to do” list. Which I am so happy to report is now completely done.


Here are some photos from Thanksgiving …


My signature dish at holidays – Company Potatoes:


Lexi’s favorite part of Thanksgiving Dinner – getting to eat the turkey leg:


Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Cake – my husband said better than Pumpkin Pie:

After Thanksgiving Activity – Decorating our Christmas Tree:

Ava Mae and Maggie taking a nap after all the fun:

It was a wonderful holiday with time to be with my husband and kids and be thankful for all God has provided for us.