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Back to School Bootcamp: Rock the Crockpot

Posted by on Aug. 13, 2012 at 12:00 AM
  • 50 Replies
1 mom liked this

On Wednesdays, my kiddo will have piano class. Thursdays, it is yoga. Add in a few afterschool playdates, and it seems we will be walking in the door almost every day right as we should be sitting down for dinner. As you guys know, I am not a great cook, let alone a good cook. Whipping up a meal is just not part of my DNA.

Which is why I love love LOVE my crockpot. Did I mention I love it? Seriously, I can chunk in some ingredients at 10 in the morning, work, run errands, pick up the kid, do whatever we have to do after school and walk into the apartment with dinner ready to go. A perfect timesaver for every mom. Here are a few I'm going to try this fall:

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili (From Young Married Chic)

What you need:

One red onion, chopped, one 16-oz can black beans, one 16-oz can kidney beans, one 8-oz can tomato sauce, one 10 oz package frozen corn kernels, two 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes w/chilies, one packet taco seasoning,
1 tbsp chili powder,
Salt and Pepper to taste,
4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts

What you do:

Combine beans, onion, tomatoes, corn, tomato sauce, chili powder, and taco seasoning.
Place chicken on top and cover with a thin layer of the sauce and beans.
Cook on high for 6 hours.
About a half an hour before serving, remove chicken and shred in a separate bowl. Place shredded chicken into the slow cooker and stir in to combine with beans etc.
Cover and place slow cooker on "warm" setting for 30 minutes to allow chicken to soak in the chili flavor.

Tex-Mex Beef Casserole (From The Simple Skillet)

What you need:

1 pound ground beef, extra lean, 1 onion(s), medium, chopped, 1 zucchini(s), optional, 15 ounces black beans, canned, 1 cup corn, frozen white kernels, 14 1/2 ounces tomatoes, canned with green chilies, 6 tortillas, corn, 2 cups cheese, cheddar or jack, shredded, 1 cup salsa, 1 avocado(s), Haas or any, 2 teaspoons cumin, ground, cooking spray


Place a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add ground beef and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until browned. Add onion and cook for 2 more minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, chopped zucchini, corn, salsa and cumin. Mix well. Spray inside of slow cooker with cooking spray. Place two tortillas in the slow cooker. Spoon one third of the ground beef mixture over that, then a half cup of grated cheese over that. Continue with two more layers, reserve the remaining cheese in the refrigerator for later. Cook in a slow cooker for 3 hours on low. When done, top with remaining cheese and avocado slices. This would also be good with a dollop of light sour cream on top.

Chicken Merlot with Mushrooms (From Taste of Home)

What you need:

3/4 pound sliced fresh mushrooms, 1 large onion, chopped, 2 garlic cloves, minced, 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste, 3/4 cup chicken broth, 1/4 cup merlot or additional chicken broth, 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, Hot cooked pasta, optional


Place the mushrooms, onion and garlic in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Top with chicken. In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste, broth, wine, tapioca, sugar, basil, salt and pepper. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until chicken is tender. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve with pasta if desired. 

Apples (From WiseBread - okay, this one isn't really for dinner, but perfect for that PTA potluck!)

What you need:

2 bags of Gala apples (18-20), 1.5 sticks of unsalted butter, 1/2 cup of dried cranberries (or use fresh cranberries), 1/3 cup each of brown sugar and regular sugar (though my friend tells me that you can use Splenda instead), 1/4 cup of honey, 2 tablespoons of apple pie spice, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.


Core and chop the apples (peel if desired) and toss them and the rest of the ingredients in the crock pot. Cook for several hours on low, stirring occasionally.

Do you have a crockpot/clow cooker? What is your best school night dinner you fix with it?  


by on Aug. 13, 2012 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Dawn on Aug. 13, 2012 at 4:54 AM
Yes were have a crock pot. I like to make chicken and rice or italian beef both are easy.
by Gold Member on Aug. 13, 2012 at 6:40 AM
I use my crockpot a LOT the whole year, not just during school. An easy one is spicy roasted chicken. Another one (we're having it today, in fact) is beef roast with potatoes and carrots. I also like to make chili, stews, soups, misc. casseroles, baked potatoes (white or sweet), roasted ham, Swiss steak, steak & gravy, taco soup, cheesy chicken & ham, Philly cheesesteak casserole, pepper steak, stuffed peppers, baked apples, baked squash, and even desserts. I know there's more that I'm not remembering; I've gone for weeks using only my crockpot to cook.
by on Aug. 13, 2012 at 6:41 AM
Omg thank you..... I've needed new recipes to try
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by Cheryl on Aug. 13, 2012 at 6:48 AM

I try & use my crock pot alot during the school yr. I cook all day long at school & it's a nice way to come home & not do much then. I like Roast with Potatoes & carrots, Stew ,chicken, Roast Pork

by Nikki on Aug. 13, 2012 at 7:39 AM

I rarely ever use mine. I need to give it a go.

by on Aug. 13, 2012 at 7:44 AM
I love mine
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by Member on Aug. 13, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Yes and I use it all the time.  I make roast with potatoes, carrots and onions.  Chilli is also good in the crock.

by on Aug. 13, 2012 at 9:08 AM

yes we do and these are great ideas thank you!

by Member on Aug. 13, 2012 at 9:10 AM

 I love my crockpot.  my kids love sloppy joes!

by Bronze Member on Aug. 13, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Yes I do use it. I just made a roast last night. I have also made lasagna in it.

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