I have to cook dinner now???

I don't know about you, but I am usually done by the time school is over.  All I want to do is go lay down on the couch and relax.  However life has other plans for me (as do three little kiddos and a husband, plus a house and well, you know...life!) so laying on the couch eating bon bons is just not really an option for me.  Things must get done, one of which is dinner.

Making dinner.  Ugh.  The bane of my existence.   Can't we just eat cereal every night??

I suppose not.

So I have discovered something that has changed everything in my household.  Wait for it......

My CROCK POT!!!

Why has no one ever mentioned how incredibly amazing and fabulous (not to mention easy!) this machine is in all of my 38 years????  It really is a teachers' dream.  Set it and forget it as they used to say :)

Because I am now officially obsessed with my Crock Pot, I thought I would share a few recipes with you that my kids and I enjoy.  They are easy to make and taste so yummy!  Plus, they make dinner a breeze at home.  I just put everything in before work, set the timer, and leave.  I come home to a nicely cooked meal.

Salsa Chicken

This is the easiest thing on the face of the planet.  You need:

1lb chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
1 jar salsa (any kind...I like medium)
1 packet of taco seasoning (generic is fine.  I like low sodium)

Place all ingredients in the slow cooker.  I tend to only use half of the taco seasoning packet.  Cook on low for 5 hours.  Shred chicken and serve with "taco stuff" (tortillas, cheese, sour cream, guac, tomatoes...whatever floats your boat on taco night)




Parmesan Chicken

This is a nice one because it is a self contained meal. You can eat just this and have all of your bases covered (although, we do usually serve with a salad or veggie in my house....something green....it looks pretty on the plate.)
This tastes better than it looks, I promise :)

1lb of chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
1 packet of onion soup
1 cup of uncooked rice
1 cup of Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cup milk
2 cans of cream of chicken (actually cream of anything will do....I used cream of potato once and it was fine)
6 tbsp of butter

Mix everything except chicken and butter in a bowl.  Lay chicken breasts in the slow cooker and place the butter on top of them.  Then pour the mixture from the bowl on top of that.  Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or high 4 to 6 hours.  You can add salt and pepper if you want, but I find it to be plenty salty with the onion soup and parm in there already.

Brisket

OK...so this isn't a Crock Pot recipe, but it is so so so so so easy that I had to share it.  You can actually cook this the night before, put it in the fridge, then pop it back in the oven for an hour right after you get home from school.

1 3lb brisket
3 cans condensed french onion soup

Place brisket in a baking dish fat side up.  Pour the cans of soup over it.  Add water to the baking dish until the brisket is completely covered.  Cover with tin foil.  Bake in the oven at 350 for around 3 hours.  When the brisket is tender, cut it into slices and you have a nice main dish!

What are some of your EASY go to recipes for school nights?  Please share in the comments!!!

20 comments

  1. Personally, I would be quite happy with cereal every night, so I would be a good dinner companion! Thanks for the recipes, BlogFriend. I may get brave and try the chicken one. Or, perhaps, I'll be un-brave and just have Cocoa Krispies...

    Kim
    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

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  2. I concur! Why can't I just skip dinner altogether?!
    I got a crock pot for my wedding shower last year, and I vowed that this summer, I would experiment with tons of recipes for the husband and me. I have made a few dishes, but not quite as many as I thought I would. But the summer is still young! I'm hoping to use it a lot when school starts back up in Aug. Your recipes look yummy! :)

    Jamie
    Thrills in Third Grade

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  3. I love my crock pot! Thank you for sharing the recipes. I'm going to have to try the Chicken Parmesan.

    Mary
    Fit to be Fourth

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  4. I am a crockpot lover as well! Two of my faves are chicken alfredo and chicken spaghetti! I love those because I just tear up a rotisserie chicken and use that instead of having to let the chicken cook for hours. That way I can set it up as soon as I get home from school and it's hot and ready by the time my hubby gets home! I definitely need to try your recipes! Thanks for posting them!

    Jamie
    Life As I Know It

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  5. Easy! Four chicken breasts in the crockpot. In a bowl mix an envelope of dry Italian salad dressing mix, an envelope of Ranch dressing mix and two cans cream of chicken soup (I like the herbed chicken one). Cover chicken with soup mix and cook on low all day. I serve it with minute rice since it's fast. I've never tried to add rice to crockpot. I've also taken the gravy from the crock and added some cornstarch to thicken if needed. Love it!

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  6. Cream Cheese Chicken
    2 pounds chicken (breast or tenders)
    1 package italian salad dressing mix
    4 tablespoons butter
    1 onion chopped
    1 clove garlic diced
    8 ounces cream cheese
    1 can cream of chicken soup
    1 cup chicken stock

    Directions: Place all ingredients except stock and cream cheese in bag and freeze. Add chicken stock and cream cheese along with bag of ingredients to crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

    Meatball Stroganoff

    Ingredients:
    1 large bag frozen meatballs
    1 cup chopped onions
    2 cans cream of mushroom soup (if you can find the organic version, use that instead)
    2 cups sliced mushrooms
    1 package cream cheese
    1 8 oz container of sour cream
    hot pasta or rice

    Directions: Place meatball, onions, cream soup and mushrooms in freezer bag and freeze until ready to cook. Thaw slightly and place in crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir in the cream cheese and sour cream during last hour of cooking. Serve over hot pasta or rice.

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  7. Chicken & Corn Salsa
    4 skinless, boneless chicken breast
    halves
    1 (16 ounce) jar salsa
    2 teaspoons garlic powder
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    salt to taste
    ground black pepper to taste
    1 (11 ounce) can Mexican-style corn
    1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans
    Place chicken and salsa in the slow cooker the night before you want to eat this chili. Season with garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Cook 6 to 8 hours on Low setting. I like to start the chicken the night before I go to bed. Shred the chicken in the morning then add the corn and pinto beans.

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  8. I have baked potatoes in my crock pot right now. Just wrap the potatoes in foil and drop them in. Easy and the house doesn't get hot!

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  9. A favorite at my house: Pot roast and noodles. VERY simple-In the morning before you go to school, put any cut of beef you like-I just pick what is cheapest that week:pot roast, chuck roast, etc.- add 2 to 3 cans of cream of mushroom soup depending on how much gravy you like, and 1 envelope of dry onion soup. Cook on low all day. When you get home, boil a pot of noodles, and you have meat, noodles and gravy...serve with a green veggie or salad and you are good to go!!! Thanks so much for sharing your ideas!!! I too, love my crock pot and am always looking for good ideas : )

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  10. My favorite is potato soup. Dice a couple of potatoes (or grab a bag of cubed hash browns from the frozen section), brown some sausage and/or bacon with minced garlic (the hardest part of the recipe), toss the meat & potatoes in the crock pot & add enough chicken broth to fill it, but not completely. Put it in the fridge overnight - not required, but a time saver in the morning - and then cook it on low all day. When you get home, add some type of milk/cream to help cool it down quickly and make it creamy - even fat free milk tastes good in it. Serve. -If you want it spicier, toss in some red pepper flakes before you cook it. I made this - at school - for my students. They LOVED it.

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  11. RIBS! BBQ sauce, brown sugar, any spices, & 1 can COLA....cook on low ( until you get home from work)...We throw on the bbq to "crisp" 5 min or so...So tender the meat FALLS OFF THE BONE! SOOOOOOO good! Get the crock POT LINERS....they don't melt & clean up is a BREEZE! Wendy 1stgradefireworks

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  12. I am loving all of these new recipes to try. I love cooking in the crock pot because I figure I can't mess it up to much. I usually just grab one of the slower cooker seasoning packets from teh grocery store and follow the directions on the back. One recipe a coworker gave that I tried and it turned out pretty good is for cheesy chicken over rice.
    Package of chicken breasts
    1 can of cheese soup
    1 can of cream of something soup (i use broccoli or potato usually)
    Put it all in the crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours. Serve over rice. I usually add more veggies such as a bag of frozen broccoli.

    Caitlin
    Learning Ahoy!

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  13. I love my crock pot! I also like to take it to school and fix things with the kids!

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  14. Pork Roast - couple lb pork roast, taco seasoning packet, handful of cumin, some garlic powder, some onion powder, about 1 c water. Cook while at school. Shred when you get home and serve with taco fixings. Super easy and super yummy!

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  15. I keep my slow cooker recipes on a blog so I can access them anytime I need them, from any device. At least once a week, if not more, I take my slow cooker to school with me and leave in my office area for dinner on those nights that we have activities after school. Here are a few of our favorites.

    Shredded Chicken Sandwiches ~
    One of my favorite slow cooker recipes. I always double or triple this and freeze the extra. Then I can pull it out of the freezer, drop it in the slow cooker and get on with my day. I got the basis for this from a Taste of Homes recipe book and modified it just a bit to fit our families needs.

    Shredded Chicken Sandwiches -
    4-5 chicken breasts (I use frozen)
    1 pkt dry onion soup mix
    1/4 tsp garlic powder
    1/4 cup prepared Italian salad dressing
    1/4 cup water
    1 pkg crushed stuffing mix
    hamburger buns

    Place chicken in the slow cooker. Add dry onion soup mix, garlic powder, dressing and water. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove chicken and shred. Place chicken back in slow cooker. Add crushed stuffing mix to attain the desired consistency of shredded chicken mix. Serve on hamburger buns.

    Tavern Burgers ~
    Another one that I can also make a double or triple the batch and put it in the freezer. Pull it out and warm it through in the slow cooker - quick and easy dinner.

    2 lbs ground beef - browned
    1/2 cup ketchup
    1/4 cup packed brown sugar
    1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
    hamburger buns

    Place browned ground beef in slow cooker. Add ketchup, sugar and mustard - mix well. Cover, cook on low 4-6 hours. Serve on buns.

    Did you know you can make dessert in your slow cooker?!! Um - YES Please!

    Slow Cooker Fudgy S’more Cake ~


    1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® triple chocolate fudge cake mix
    Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
    2 cups miniature marshmallows
    1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz)
    Graham cracker squares, if desired
    Spray 2- to 3 1/2-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Make cake batter as called for on box. Pour batter into slow cooker.
    Cover; cook on High heat setting 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
    Turn off slow cooker, and sprinkle marshmallows and chocolate chips over top of cake. Cover 10 minutes. Spoon warm cake into dessert dishes, and serve with graham cracker squares

    I also throw my meatloaf in the slow cooker as well. One of the easiest meals I do in the slow cooker when I don't have time is to take a box of au gratin potatoe mix with ham. Make as the box says (I start with about 1/2 the amount of water, watch it and see if you need to add more) and add in the cubed ham. Cook for 3-4 hours. Super easy!

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  16. Add a Coke or Dr,.Pepper plus chili sauce and onion soup to your brisket. It is amazing.

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  17. French Dip

    3 pounds top round roast
    2 cups water
    ½ cup soy sauce
    1 tsp. thyme
    1 tsp. garlic powder
    1 bay leaf
    3 whole peppercorns
    French rolls

    Throw all but rolls in the crockpot. Cook on high for 5-6 hours. Shred meat. Strain broth from fat. Serve on rolls with juice as the au jus.

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  18. Tex-Mex Chicken

    1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained
    1 ¼ cups salsa verde
    1 tablespoon cumin
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    ½ t salt
    ½ t pepper
    4 chicken breast
    1 red pepper
    1 yellow pepper
    1 small onion
    1 can black beans, drained

    Combine everything (except black beans and only half of salsa verde) in crockpot for 3 hours on high or 6 on low.
    Remove chick and shred.
    Add beans and cook 20 minutes on high.
    Put chicken back in with rest of salsa verde and heat on low. Serve when everything is warm.
    Serve on tortillas with favorite cheese, sour cream, guac or whatever.

    (I use frozen chicken breast and cook all day on low.)

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  19. Stephanie, I love your blog! I just stumbled onto it today...and this post drew me right in. I am a crock pot junkie. I also am a BIG fan of freezer cooking. Super easy to spend a few hours on a Sunday making up 15-20 meals, put them in freezer bags, and pop them in the deep freeze. Then when you want to cook them, take them out of the freezer, put in the fridge overnight to thaw, and place in the crockpot in the morning. Most of the recipes in the comments above would work great for freezer meals. Busy teacher's dream :)
    Meador in the Middle with Whole Brain Teaching

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  20. I couldn't live without my slow cooker. The easier the recipe, the better.

    The link to one of my favorite recipes is below. It's so easy, even a caveman can do it!

    http://www.food.com/recipe/crock-pot-chicken-with-black-beans-cream-cheese-89204

    -Beth
    Common Core Galore and More

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