5 Easy Dinner Ideas for Busy Moms (Have You Hugged Your Crockpot Lately?)

easy dinner ideas

Being a working mom with two middle schoolers who is admittedly somewhat of a slacker on meal planning I need all the help I can get. I love easy crockpot dinner ideas. Coming home to a house that smells like an amazing home-cooked meal is such a bonus!

Here are five easy dinner ideas that I’ve had in heavy rotation this winter on busy school and work nights. Pizza and threats of peanut butter sandwiches just get old ya’ll!

tortellini soup


Tortellini Soup


Oh my WORD this soup is amazing. My sister-in-law made it for a Christmas family get together and it was a big hit with my girls. It is so easy to make it’s not even funny.

Directions

Brown Italian sausage. Cook chicken broth and cream cheese until cheese melts. Add everything except for the tortellini. Simmer about 15 minutes. Add tortellini and cook until thawed.

Crockpot Creamy Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti


(via Crockpot Gourmet)

This is a great comfort food and also got a thumbs up from my kids!


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used one really big one!)

  • 1 shallot, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)

  • 3 cloves minced garlic

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper

  • 3 cups chicken broth

  • 16 oz spaghetti noodles, uncooked

  • 8 oz cream cheese

  • 2 cups shredded cheese (such as a Cheddar, Colby, and Monterey Jack blend)



Directions

  1. Add the chicken breast, shallot, garlic, salt, pepper and broth to the crockpot

  2. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8

  3. Shred chicken breast and return to crockpot

  4. Break uncooked noodles in half and add to crockpot along with cream cheese and shredded cheese

  5. Give it a stir and replace cover and let it cook for another 30-60 minutes until noodles are done (add another ½ cup water or broth if necessary)

  6. Stir everything to combine and serve immediately

Creamy Crockpot Spaghetti


(via Picky Palette)

For those of you who want a more traditional red sauce spaghetti, this is a yummy budget friendly crockpot version that again garnered two thumbs up from my girls.



  • 1 pound lean ground beef

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or salt

  • 3 jars 26 ounce pasta sauce (I use 2 or 2 1/2)

  • 1 pound spaghetti noodles

  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese

  • 4 ounces cream cheese

  • 1-2 cups chicken broth

Directions

1. Cook/brown beef into a medium skillet over medium heat until crumbled and browned Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Drain fat from pan if necessary.

2. Pour one jar of pasta sauce into bottom of crock pot on high heat. Break spaghetti noodles in half and place noodles over sauce. Pour cooked beef over noodles, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and top with cubes of cream cheese. Pour another jar of pasta over cream cheese, close lid and let cook on high for 3 hours. After 3 hours, give a good stir (will be thick) and add last jar of pasta sauce and 1-2 cups of chicken broth (more if you want a thinner sauce). Close lid and let cook another hour or until ready to serve.

Makes 10-12 servings

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff


Another comfort food winner with my children. Cue the choir of angels and hug your crockpot.2 pounds cubed stew meat

  • 2 cans Condensed Golden Mushroom Soup (I use Campbell’s)

  • 1 largish onion diced

  • 2-3-4 tables of Worcestershire

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 8 o.z of cream cheese

  • Couple dashes of hot Paprika if you want to kick it up a notch

Directions

In the slow cooker stir in all the ingredients, except the meat AND the Cream Cheese, together. Once combined add the meat and mix together.

Cook on Low for 8 hours. Cut up the cream cheese into cubes just before serving and turn crockpot on high. Stir the cream cheese in until all combined. You might have to put the lid back on and leave for 10 minutes.

Serve over egg noodles.




Slow Cooker Loaded Potato Soup


Via Cooking Classy

Not gonna lie to ya’ll I may be the only one in my house who really really loved this soup which is a damn shame. (Weeps softly). If you like potato soup, you will LOVE this recipe!

Ingredients


  • 3 to 3 1/2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch pieces (about 7 medium potatoes, 8 – 9 cups)

  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced (1 cup)

  • 3 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 cup evaporated milk

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1/3 cup butter

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (6 oz)

  • 9 oz bacon, cooked and diced or crumbled

  • 4 green onions, diced

Directions


  • To a 6 or 7-quart slow cooker, add potatoes, onion, chicken broth, evaporated milk and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with lid and cook on HIGH heat for 4 hours or LOW heat for 8 hours (poke potatoes with a fork to check make sure they’re soft).

  • Ladle out 2 cups liquid from soup mixture in crock pot into a liquid measuring cup, set aside. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. While whisking, slowly pour 2 cups liquid in measuring cup into butter mixture (it will thicken quickly). Pour butter mixture into slow cooker and stir to blend. If desired, mash potatoes with a potato masher to break down into smaller pieces or use an emersion blender to puree. Cover and cook on HIGH heat until thickened, about 10 minutes. Turn heat off (or to warm), stir in sour cream. Serve warm topped with cheddar, bacon and green onions (you can just mix in those three remaining ingredients into slow cooker or top individual servings).

Disclosure: Amazon affiliate link used

 

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