It’s the beginning of the school year and parents everywhere are returning to their busy schedules of juggling work, home, and kids. This year more than most, I have felt overwhelmed by the back to school craziness. By the time that I make it home from work, I’m exhausted. I dread the nightly decision of “What’s for dinner?” To help make weeknights easier, I started looking for ways to cut corners. Enter the old reliable slow cooker. (Cue Lionel Richie’s “Hello.” “Hello? Is it me you’re looking for?”) I have compiled a list of tried and true slow cooker recipes so I can simply dump the ingredients in the morning and enjoy when I get home from work. I have even taken to making multiple meals over the weekend as meal prep for the week.
This one is such a great recipe. It is my go-to recipe for meal trains and when we have company at the house. My friend even claims that this recipe helped her to win over her husband earning it the nickname “Man-bait” among our friends. Full disclosure — when I make this recipe I use pork butt instead of chuck roast. (I like big butts and I cannot lie.) This can be served over rice or with mashed potatoes and veggies. The leftovers are amazing on a piece of fresh French bread and some sliced muenster or provolone cheese.
- a chuck roast
- Ranch dressing mix
- Au jus gravy mix
- 1 stick butter
- 6-8 jarred pepperoncini peppers
Directions: Take chuck roast and sear it in a pan on high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side. Place all ingredients in a slow cooker for 6-7 hours on low.
Red Beans and Rice
It’s not just for Mondays anymore! This one is a crowd pleaser and has won over even the hardest of critics. Its aroma welcomes you home.
- 2 lbs. of sausage (I use pork sausage but it will work with most kinds)
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1-8 oz. package of red beans
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 can Rotel
- 1 Tbsp. cumin
- 4 cups of water
Directions: Chop sausage into bite size pieces. Place all ingredients in slow cooker and set on low for 6-7 hours.
Given to me by a good friend, this recipe hits the spot when you are under the weather.
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed
- 1 c. frozen corn
- 2 bell peppers, chopped
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 1 15-oz. can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1/4 c. freshly chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 c. shredded Monterey jack
- Sliced avocado, for serving
- Sour cream, for serving
- Lime wedges, for serving
Directions:Put chicken, black beans, corn, bell peppers, onions, fire-roasted tomatoes, cilantro, garlic cloves, cumin, chili powder, salt, and chicken broth in a crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. When done, shred the chicken and top with avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese, and lime.
As a bonus, here is a recipe for dessert to round out your meal.
- 1 yellow cake mix
- 1 stick butter
- 1 can of pie filling (you can choose your favorite flavor)
Directions: Put the pie filling in a casserole dish. Spread the dry cake mix evenly over the pie filling. Put the stick of butter on the top (either whole or cut up and spread out). Bake the cake at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.