Easy Weeknight Dinner Ideas - FamilyEducation

Weeknight Meal Planner: 5 Easy Crockpot Meals for Your Busy Workweek

by Rebecca Desfosse

Dinner that cooks itself? Yes, please! Check out these five easy slow-cooker meals for your busy workweek.

Slow Cooker Meatloaf

Is it possible to cook a healthy nutritious meal when you get home late from work and don't feel up to slaving over a hot stove? Yes, it is! Say sayonara to questionable TV dinners and expensive takeout. Enter the best life hack around: a crockpot. Just fill the crockpot with healthy ingredients in the morning and walk through the door to a fully home cooked meal. Here's a week's worth of easy crockpot meals to make your life easier:

Monday Meatloaf

Start the week off right with a delicious meatloaf that comes together with just a few moments work in the morning.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3⁄4 cup milk
  • 3⁄4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 2 lbs ground turkey

Directions:

In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients. Mix well and then add meat. Mix and then shape into a loaf shape. Place into crockpot, making sure that the sides don't touch the crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours on low.

Taco Tuesday

Slow Cooker Taco Recipe

This chicken taco recipe works great in crunchy or soft taco shells with sides like cheese, salsa, sour cream, and avocados.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 pound chicken breast

Directions:

Place chicken breasts in the crock pot. Sprinkle the taco seasoning over the chicken and add chicken broth over. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. With two forks, shred the chicken meat.

Garlic Parmesan Chicken on Wednesday

Slow Cooker Chicken and Potatoes Recipe

This creamy, delicious chicken meal will delight all of your senses. Here's how to make it:

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 lb. chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. red potatoes, chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan

Directions:

Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper, and sear, about 4 minutes on each side. Add potatoes, remaining olive oil, butter, garlic, and thyme to the slow cooker and mix. Season with salt and pepper. Add seared chicken to slow cooker and mix gently. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Add grated parmesan to serve.

Lasagna on Thursday

Slow Cooker Lasagna Recipe

Photo source: Flickr

Lasagna on a weeknight? Trust us, it's easier than you think!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 12 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 12 ounces lasagna noodles, uncooked
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef with the onion and garlic. Strain and add tomato sauce. Spoon a layer of meat sauce onto the bottom of the slow cooker. Add a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles. You can break the noodles to fit the crock pot. Top with 1/3 of the ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Repeat another layer of sauce, noodles and cheese and repeat. Finish with a layer of mozzarella cheese. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.

Pot Roast Friday

Slow Cooker Pot Roast Recipe

TGIF! After a long week, sit back and enjoy a delicious pot roast that practically cooks itself.

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds chuck roast
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 packet dry onion soup mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 potatoes, chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped

Directions:

Season the roast with salt and pepper to taste. Brown on all sides in a large skillet over high heat, about 4 minutes per side.Place the roast in the slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients. Mix together , cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Here's a pro tip for these easy crockpot meals: Prep and add all of the ingredients to your crockpot the night before and stash it the fridge overnight. In the morning, fire up the slow cooker and let it simmer all day. You'll walk through the door after work and school to a healthy, home cooked meal with zero hassle.