a week of crockpot meal ideas

it's confession time.

are you ready?

i'm not always crazy about cooking dinner.

oh, you too?

you see, we have a rule in this house. you either cook or you wash dishes. i'd rather cook than wash dirty dishes any day so my husband so graciously takes cleaning duty every night.

it's not that i hate cooking; sometimes it is a wonderful creative outlet for me. it's just that after work, going to the gym & dealing with the not-so-glamorous parts of my life all day, i'm a walking zombie come dinner time.

queue the crockpot.

bless the crockpot.

i used to have this weird guilt thing about my crockpot. i thought that if i made dinner in our crockpot, i was actually cheating & the meal wouldn't be as delicious or complete. 

well, i'm here to tell you today that i believe in The Crockpot & it's time saving graces. i've made some delicious meals from our crockpot & this week's dinners are no different.

i thought i'd share my meal plan with you this week just in case you're suffering from the cooking blues & need some inspiration...

side note: i don't always cook a week of crockpot meals. this week just happens to be a busy one so i am relying on my crockpot to make meals ahead of time. i do actually make dinner in the pm hours every once in awhile, hah!

monday: crockpot pinto beans & homemade cornbread - simply add dried pintos to your crockpot & cover them with a generous amount of water. cook on low for 7-9 hours. you'll come home to a pipping hot southern dinner around 5 pm! add toppings, such as cheese, to your pintos & enjoy with cornbread & sautéed veggies.

wednesday: crockpot enchiladas - i use the recipe from simply in season (buy this cookbook if you don't already have it!), but this recipe from skinnytaste is similar (substitute flour tortillas for corn tortillas if you're gluten free)

thursday: crockpot tomato bisque soup with garden fresh salad

friday - saturday: i will be out of town so leftovers will be plentiful for luke. the benefit of crockpot meals is that there are almost always leftovers.

sunday: family dinner night!

supplemental reading: details on how i meal plan & how i save money on our food budget

printables: my meal planning printable comes from here & my grocery list printable comes from here. 

do you use the crockpot regularly? what are some of your favorite crockpot meals? please share!


p.s. don't forget! registration opens TOMORROW for the holiday craft party! you can find more details about the workshop & how to register here.


Tory C said...

When my husband and I purchased our home in Dec. 2012 the oven never worked. Sellers claimed to have fixed it but we were without an operating oven or stove for two months! Including the holiday season. I cooked every meal in the crock pot and/or microwave. There is no shame in crockpot! I love mine and use it weekly!

lisa valinsky said...

We don't have a crockpot, and sadly, I've been in a major cooking funk for the last many months. But! I made a big pot of soup last night that we'll enjoy for a few days, and today I'm planning to make a big batch of applesauce for the week. Even if I don't use a crockpot, I'm all for making things easy (like one pot meals, or things that can simmer for a while).

Anonymous said...

I love my crockpot and here's one of my favorite go to meals!

Fiesta Chicken
4 Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts (Or more if you'd like.)
1 Pkg Taco Seasoning (I make my own, so any you like will do.)
1 Small jar of your favorite picante sauce.

Layer the chicken in the crockpot. Sprinkle the taco seasoning evenly over the chicken. Pour the jar of salsa over the chicken. Cover and let cook on high for 6 hours.

I serve this 2 different ways. You can shred the chicken in the juices and use to make tacos. Add any toppings that you like.

The other way is to leave the chicken whole. I add some shredded pepper jack cheese to each serving, a dollop of sour cream and serve with black beans and Spanish rice.

We eat this a couple of times a month.

Katie said...

I've been using my slow cooker a lot lately, too. My favourite way to cook a whole chicken came from your blog! It's the best feeling, after coming in from a day away from home, to walk in the door to the smell of a ready-to-eat meal. We're trying Whole30 next week, so I know I'll be using it regularly this month.

The seal on our slow cooker is going (I've had it since we were married seven years ago) so I asked my parents for a programmable one for Christmas this year. It'll feel luxurious to be able to set the time for later in the day!

Carleigh said...

just ordered Simply in Season :) Happy Monday, Friend!

Anonymous said...

I love the blog http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/ and her book 365 Slow Cooker Recipes. Every single recipe we have tried has been yummy and fantastic. The plus side is she does all of her recipes gluten free!!! -Gretchen

Cedar said...

As a mama of one, with the second due any day now, I have been spending the past few months collecting and trying out new slow cooker recipes (I currently have a pot of red beans, for red beans and rice, bubbling away on the counter!). Before these past few months though, it had been years since I pulled out the old crockpot. Now I am getting in the habit of doubling things like soups and beans and popping half of it into thr fridge for those days when I really, really don't want to cook dinner--or can't! Looking forward to trying out some of your recommendations.

Joy said...

I could not survive without my slow cooker, for sure. It is my sanity.

Janis said...

I love my crockpot so much, I have two! Simply in Season is a great cookbook! Bought it when you mentioned it previously. Thanks for sharing!

Heather said...

Ooooh yes, do I EVER use my crock pot! Especially with the baby....it ensures that no matter what is going on at dinner prep time, dinner gets done. One of our new favorite meals is bratwursts cooked in saurkraut in the crockpot, paired with mashed potatoes.
I also love white chili-- chicken cooked with white beans and green chilis then dolloped with sour cream.

Sometimes I just cook my meat in it for dinner to ensure its tender--- tonight I'm going to cook chicken breasts covered in caesar dressing to use for caesar salad. Love that crock pot, hehe!

Anonymous said...

Hi! Just started following your blog- which is wonderful BTW!

I have a budgeting question. I'm thinking about starting an envelope system for budgeting my groceries. I think I spend too much because I allow myself to follow my whims, rather than eating what I actually have at home! How do you handle purchases that will last you several weeks or even several months? For example- I am nearly out of olive oil. A new bottle will cost me close to $10 , but it will last me probably 6 months. Do you save a few extra dollars each week when you know that kind of purchase is coming up? Or do you just factor it into that week and figure "I better eat cheap this week"?

oceangal said...

My children's after school activities have taken off this month. The crockpot is my lifesaver.

We tried this recipe out this week which is both gluten free and easily modified to dairy free.


I just subbed coconut milk for the sour cream in the recipe and it came out insanely good.

Anonymous said...

I love using the crockpot! I used to be like you and feel guilty for using it and then not also doing the dishes afterwards. One of my favorite sources for crockpot meals are Danielle Walker'scookbooks: Against All Grain and Meals Made Simple.

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