So you might have to work nights or this might help ease the back-to-school commotion. Maybe you want an extra hour each evening to bike with the kids or visit with your significant other. Oh my gosh or read a book. It doesn’t matter what you have going on, these crockpot recipes get you out of cooking dinner and they free up a good chunk of time.
As a mom and work-from-home writer, I LOVE my crockpot and use it to gain a couple hours of work time on weeknights. My kids run off with their friends after school as soon as I’ll let them, so I take a break for snack and homework when they get home, then turn ’em loose for a couple hours until dinner. Plus, we get a healthy home-cooked meal (and our veggies) without me spending a fortune on pizza.
I also use these recipes when the kids have a function at school…and open house season is upon us. You usually have to be back to the school an hour or two after school lets out and usually results in hurried drive through either on the way there or on the way home. The same thing happens on soccer, gymnastics and karate nights.
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If you don’t have kids, these recipes are still perfect for when you’re on a deadline or just don’t want to stand over the stove. Toss the ingredients into the crockpot in the morning and by dinner time your meal is waiting for you.
Freeze the leftovers into single portions for heat and eat lunches, which we all know are amazing for when you’re ass deep in research but you can’t keep ignoring your stomach.
I’m not talking about mushy pasta casseroles either. We’re gonna do one-pot chicken alfredo, pulled pork sandwiches, cornbread taco bake, potsticker soup and baby back ribs. One more thing, you can cut these recipes in half if your family isn’t as big as mine…but make enough so you can freeze some lunches or you’ll be missing out. Let’s get started!
One-Pot Crockpot Chicken Alfredo
bag frozen broccoli
bag frozen tri-color pepper strips
2 lbs. chicken thighs
2 jars alfredo sauce + half a jar of water
small package sliced mushrooms
one box linguine
1T jarred minced garlic or two cloves minced
salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, italian seasoning to taste
Spray your crockpot with non-stick and add all ingredients (including the seasonings), except the noodles. Set on high and cook 6-8 hours. Stir and taste. Add seasoning if necessary.
Thirty minutes before dinner, break the noodles in half and add them to the crockpot. Stir them in and replace the lid with the crockpot still on high. Stir and check noodles at twenty minutes. When noodles are cooked through, turn off the crockpot, take the crock out of the base, remove the lid and stir the pasta. This will stop the cooking process. If you leave the crock in the base you’ll end up with mush.
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
3-4 lb. Pork Shoulder Roast
bottle of bbq sauce (my favorite is Jack Daniel’s No. 7)
salt and pepper to taste
spicy bread and butter pickles (love!) or coleslaw for topping
Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper and put into sprayed crockpot. Add a quarter inch of water to the bottom of the crockpot, drizzle roast with a little (couple tablespoons) bbq sauce and cook on high for 4-6 hours. Remove any big chunks of fat from the roast and shred the meat in the crockpot with two forks. Add your bbq sauce (sauce ’em how you like ’em) and you’re ready to eat.
Cornbread Taco Bake
package raw chorizo
2 lb. ground turkey
can of black beans, drained
can green chilies
can whole corn, drained
can diced tomatoes, drained
can refried pinto or black beans (optional)
2T hot sauce (optional)
2 boxes cornbread mix, batter prepared (but raw) according to package directions
can of fried onions
2C shredded cheese
Stir together all ingredients (not the toppings) in your sprayed crockpot. Stir half the can of fried onions and half the cheese into the cornbread batter. Pour your finished batter over the meat and veggie mixture. Top with remaining fried onion and shredded cheese. Cook on high for 6-8 hours. Done, son.
3 large chicken or vegetable stock cartons
1C diced white or sweet onion
package fresh sliced mushrooms
1C sliced green onions
package carrot and cabbage cole slaw (raw)
1T jarred minced garlic or 2 cloves minced
1T soy sauce
salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder, dried parsley, seasoning to taste
package frozen potstickers
Add the stock, onions, mushrooms, garlic, soy sauce and seasonings to your sprayed crockpot. Taste and adjust seasonings. Allow to cook on high for 6-8 hours. Add the green onions, slaw and potstickers 20-30 minutes before you eat.
To stop the cooking process once the potstickers are cooked through (and to keep your meal from turning to mush) turn the crockpot off, remove the crock from the base and leave the crock uncovered.
Baby Back Ribs
2 Full Racks of baby back/St. Louis/back ribs (not country or spareribs)
Your favorite bbq sauce
Liquid smoke, couple dashes (technical, huh?)
1T salt, garlic powder, onion powder and Mrs. Dash
1t pepper, chili powder and (optional) red pepper flakes
2t brown sugar
Depending on your schedule, consider cooking the ribs overnight. This will give them time to cool during the day, which will help them hold together when you’re moving them. They will fall apart.
Okay, here we go. First we have to prep the ribs. Really easy, we’re just removing the membrane…it’s that silvery skin on the back of the ribs. This video from Chris Grove shows it best.
After you’ve removed the membrane, cut the ribs in half. Mix all the spices and the brown sugar in a small bowl and apply the rub to the ribs.
Spray the crockpot and add ¼ inch with water and a couple dashes of liquid smoke. Ball up sheets of aluminum foil and put them in the crockpot so the ribs will set above the water.
Add the ribs to the crock, cover and cook eight hours on low.
Allow the ribs to cool before removing them from the crockpot.
Now you have options. You can sauce the ribs and eat them now or you can finish them on the grill or on a sheet tray in the oven. Finishing your ribs gives the sauce that sticky, seared-on goodness and grilling gives them that signature smoky flavor.
Have a crockpot recipe you want to share with your fellow writers? Pop it in the comments below. We’d all love to try your favorite!
I wanted to share a couple more, like Easy Icebox Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie and 2 Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Muffins. If you want more recipes for busy writers you’ll find them on The Frozen Crockpot Chronicles. Yes, it’s another (serial) side project. I think I’ve developed a habit. 🙂 Eatin’ good though!