I always have time to make a fully homemade, gourmet dinner for my family… SAID NO ONE EVER! Between piano lessons, show choir practice, evening board meetings and homework, my family of 5 seems to be running in that many directions on any given night! One thing that remains important to me no matter what we have going on is that my family eats together as much as possible. The easiest way I have found to make this happen is to use that lovely little wedding gift everyone receives, as much as possible – the Crock Pot!
This is Steph, chief cook for my family of 5 and Brand Collaborations Coordinator here at Living in Yellow. I love cooking, but what I love more is making stress free meals when my life feels busy and stressful. I’m popping in today to share 3 recipes I use regularly to keep my family fed on our busy weeknights. Slow cooker, crockpot, magical dinner saving machine – whatever you want to call it, I am using it a lot. As you’ll see from the pictures, apparently I have 3 different brands of these babies all of which I love. Fun fact: My husband purchased the programmable Crock Pot with locking lid [similar] in the beef & noodles picture for our last anniversary. When he went through the checkout with that and an anniversary card he got a strange look [you might call it sympathy] from the cashier. But you know what – man knows what he’s doing because I was embarrassingly excited when I opened it and I use it ALL. THE. TIME. I also don’t spill chili in the car anymore. It’s a win-win! Let’s get down to business…
First up, meatballs for subs or spaghetti!
Easy 3 Ingredient Recipe for a quick dinner! Use meatballs for meatball subs or spaghetti!
- 1/2 bag Frozen Meatballs
- 1 jar Spaghetti Sauce
- 1/2 bottle Parmesan Cheese
Pour all ingredients into slow cooker. Cook on High for 4 hours.
Serve as meatball subs or with spaghetti. Tip: I like to bake sub buns with butter, garlic powder and parmesan cheese before topping with meatballs. 5 minutes at 400 degrees. YUM!
Seriously the easiest dinner! Just purchase the 3 store bought ingredients shown (any brand you prefer), dump them in the Crockpot and go about your day! I love this recipe for nights when my family has a lot going on because each family member can just grab a bun and make their sub before jetting off to their practice or meeting. No finishing details required!
Next up, this easy chicken taco recipe I borrowed from this post [thanks, Erin!]
Easy Chicken Tacos
Use store bought ingredients and let your slow cooker do the work for you! Delicious chicken tacos made easy!
- 4-5 Chicken Breasts boneless, skinless
- 1 envelope Low Sodium Taco Seasoning
- 1 packet Ranch Dressing Seasoning
- 2 cups Chicken Broth
Poor all ingredients into slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Shred chicken and enjoy!
Another super easy recipe! Simply throw all of your ingredients in the Crock Pot, cook on low for 4-6 hours and get to shredding! To shred the chicken I take two forks, lift the chicken to a plate, shred with the forks and pour it back in to soak up all of that liquidy goodness. What I also love about this recipe are the delicious leftover possibilities! I’ve been known to use leftover chicken to make nachos and my family’s favorite quesadillas. You can also make a larger batch, pour the extra into freezer containers or freezer ziplock baggies and keep it on hand for another busy night.
Last, the queen of all comfort foods – beef & noodles!
Crockpot Beef & Noodles
The ultimate comfort food - beef & noodles! Your slow cooker does all of the work for you, you come home to a delicious smelling house and an even better tasting meal!
- 1 2-3 lb Beef Roast
- 1 envelope Beefy Onion Soup Mix
- 1 can Mushroom Soup
- 1 bag Egg Noodles
Place roast in slow cooker. Salt and Pepper on both sides. Add Beefy Onion Soup Mix and Mushroom Soup. Cook on low for 8 hours. Shred, return to slow cooker.
Prepare noodles as directed on package. Stir into shredded beef and serve! Tip: I like to use beef broth to cook the noodles for a little extra flavor!
Maybe it’s because I grew up in the heart of Midwestern Amish country – but there are not many meals more satisfying to me than beef & noodles, mashed potatoes and green beans on a cold day! Talk about ultimate comfort food [and ultimate carbs, but that’s not the point!]. This recipe is perfect for the days you are running around like crazy and have about half an hour to finish up dinner before your busy evening begins! Add a beef roast, beefy onion soup mix and a can of mushroom soup into a slow cooker – turn it on low for 8 hours and come home to the most heavenly smelling house! About half an hour before you’re ready to eat, prepare your egg noodles by following package directions (I like to use beef broth instead of water for extra flavor). Use two forks to shred the beef while waiting for your water to boil- I promise you it will be falling apart! When the noodles are fully cooked, drain and add them to the beef in the crockpot, you’re ready to eat! I love this recipe because it is one I can truly say the leftovers taste just as good as the first round! MmmmmMMMMmmmm!
There you have it friends, 3 easy and fulfilling meals made with minimal effort for maximum satisfaction! Enjoy!
As our Director of Operations, Steph is single-handedly responsible for any structure that exists here at LIY. Between communicating with our amazing brand partners, organizing blog content, managing the team, Steph loves organization *almost* as much as she does the latest cookie recipe she came up with from scratch. Give her a puzzle to be put together, a candle to burn and new sprigs of green growing out of her garden, and you’ve just explained the perfect day in Steph’s world.