Summer Crock Pot Meals: My Go-To List
If you are anything like me, than you often forget how much you love your crock pot, swearing every time you use it that you need to use it more. I try to plan at least one crock-pot meal a week in the winter, which is easy with things like roasts and hearty stews.
Somehow, fresh produce and great grilling weather typically cause me to forget all about my crock pot in the summer. This is until I sat down with a group of mom-friends who swear by the ease of it when you want to be anywhere but near a hot stove in the kitchen at 5:00.
As these women shared their favorite summer crock-pot recipes, it took very little time to win me over. Now, I'm a convert. Dinner often gets pushed later because of the longer days, but now, weekday summer camp, soccer practice, and afternoons at the pool no longer have me stressed over quick meals when we arrive home hungry. When it is in the crock-pot, dinner is ready when we are.
Summer Crock-Pot Meal Ideas
Most of these require little to no explanation, so complete recipes will not be provided. Use your best judgement on things you could add or subtract to your family's personal taste. Substitutions can be made from the main meat dish (chicken and pork are completely interchangeable in my opinion), to the spices, to the sauce, to the sides. I hope this gives some of you busy moms (and dads) the opportunity to stress less when it comes to dinner tomorrow night.
For clarification, the crock-pot dish is in bold, everything else is a suggested side.
- Pulled pork BBQ (butt roast, BBQ sauce, mustard) sandwiches, slaw, corn on the cob.
- Southwestern chicken (frozen chicken breasts, canned corn, canned black beans, small jar of salsa, top with cream cheese at the very end), tortillas, mangos.
- Sweet and sour meatballs (I use the frozen ones in a bag, grape jelly, and chili sauce), mashed potatoes, salad.
- Pork and apples (or any leftover cooked meat you might have in bite-sized chunks, cut up apples, cinnamon, and water), rice, green beans.
- White Chicken Chili (chicken breasts, cannellini beans, onion, chicken broth, coconut milk, spices), serve topped with Fritos, avocado, sour cream, and cheese.
- Shredded beef tacos (chuck roast, taco seasoning, water), tortillas or taco shells, taco fixins
- Apricot turkey legs (frozen turkey legs or pork chops, apricot preserves, salt, splash of white wine around the edges), red potatoes, steamed asparagus.
- Beef Stroganoff (beef stew meat or frozen meatballs, mushrooms, onions, Worcestershire, white wine, cream of mushroom soup or sour cream, salt/pepper/spices to taste), egg noodles, steamed vegetable medley or salad.
- Tuna noodle casserole (egg noodles, tuna, peas or broccoli, cream of mushroom soup, cheddar cheese). This one requires no sides as it is truly a one-pot wonder, but if I'm feeling adventurous I top mine with a soft-boiled egg. * You might want to look up a recipe for exact proportions when using uncooked egg noodles.
- Balsamic Chicken or Beef: (chicken breasts or London broil, a hearty dash of balsamic vinegar, a dash of olive oil, salt and pepper), cut up and serve warm or cold on a spinach salad.
- Lipton Onion Beef: (any kind of beef -- ground, stew meat, leftover cuts of steak, anything --, a package of Lipton Onion Soup Mix), let this one cook low and slow all day long until you can shred the beef. It will create its own gravy. Serve on top of rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes.
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