Most families are constantly on the run these days. It is very common for both parents in a household to work full-time jobs while juggling household duties and running their children around for extra curricular activities. I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for ways that I can save time. Anything that I can do to take the stress out of my day is on the very top of my list. I have come to the conclusion that a crockpot can be your very best friend in the kitchen. You can create some incredibly delicious and satisfying meals just by throwing together some simple ingredients, turning it on and walking out the door. There is nothing better at the end of a busy day than walking in the door to a house that is filled with the smell of a delicious meal that is cooked and waiting for you!!
I am pretty fearless when it comes to cooking in the kitchen. I can't even count how many times I've just thrown in any number of random ingredients in the crockpot, turned it on and walked away. Once you've successfully cooked a handful of recipes in your crockpot, you'll likely gain some confidence and be willing to try some on your own as well. There are a few no fail recipes for the crockpot that I would like to share with you.
Pot Roast with Egg Noodles
- 2-3lb bottom rump roast
- 1 packet dry onion soup mix
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
- 2 1/2 cups beef broth
- 1/2 cup (or more) fresh sliced mushrooms
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 12 oz bag egg noodles
Mix the flour with the garlic salt and pepper. Rub the flour mixture over the roast and cover it completely. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and then brown the roast on all sides. This usually only takes a few minutes per side. You aren't trying to cook the roast, just give it a nice sear. Once the roast is browned on all sides, remove it from the pan and set aside.
Using the remaining olive oil and any pan drippings, add the onion and mushrooms to the pan and cook them for 2-3 minutes.
Spray your crockpot with a little bit of non-stick spray. Add the cream of mushroom soup, onion soup packet and beef broth to the bottom of the crockpot and stir until combined. Add the onions and mushrooms from the skillet. Put the browned roast in the crockpot and spoon some of the liquid/onions/mushrooms over the top. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
When it is getting close to dinner time, take the roast out and slice it and then return it to the crockpot. Boil some water and cook your egg noodles. Drain and then add to the crockpot before serving. Garnish with a little fresh parsley if desired. This is incredible served with garlic bread and a nice salad.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 packet taco seasoning (mild or hot, your choice!)
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 10oz bag frozen corn
- 2 10oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 4oz can green chilies
- 1 15oz can black beans, drained
- 1 15oz can cannellini beans, undrained
- 1 8oz can tomato sauce
- 2 tsp olive oil
Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the onion and saute 3 minutes. Remove from pan. Add all of the ingredients to the crockpot except the chicken and stir to combine. Add the chicken and be sure it is submerged in the liquid. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. When you are ready to eat, take the chicken out, shred with a fork and return it to the crockpot.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheese, green onions and crushed tortilla chips.
Selecting the right crockpot is also important. One of my main regrets was buying a crockpot that wasn't big enough. I highly recommend picking a 7qt or larger capacity. This will give you enough room to make large meals if you choose to. You should also look for one that has an auto warm feature. This will keep your meal at the same temperature even after it's finished cooking. This comes in handy if your meal would finish cooking before you're scheduled to get home from work.
After doing some research, this is the one that is on my wishlist. Great features, nice capacity and good reviews from customers who own it.
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I hope you have fun experimenting with recipes in your crockpot and take advantage of all of the time savings benefits of using it!