Easy Dinners for Busy School Nights

School is in full swing and we are starting up the parental relay again  – you know it don’t you? One parent drops off, the other picks up, you meet in a parking lot and trade kids, cars, equipment. When the going gets busy the busy need easy meals!

Easy Dinners for Busy School NightsI have never been a casserole person, probably as a result of being born in the 70’s when casseroles and microwaves were the latest and greatest in food technology! As a rule we generally try to eat whole from scratch meals as a family, but we don’t have time for that every night so I have two secret weapons:

  1. My Crock-Pot
  2. Red Gold Tomatoes

We use our Crock-pot at least once a week and the meal we make out of it gets us through two-three dinners! We don’t use a lot of canned products but of the {very} few types and brands we use Red Gold tomatoes have always been on our list. Not only do the taste the best (we have tried other varieties) we have been wowed by their customer service. We had a problem with one can and when I contacted them, without having the information on hand or the can, they sent us a replacement! No arguing or anything, they even included what has become our favorite reusable shopping bag.

One of the reasons I am sure that Red Gold tastes better to us is that they are locally grown in the Midwest – Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio where the changing of seasons helps positively affect the flavor. Now we are traditionalist and almost always get the plain tomatoes when we purchase them. Red Gold sent me some of their flavored ones including Lime juice & Cilantro, Green Chilies and Garlic & Olive Oil…which will make it easy for me {the undomestic one} to add some flavor to the dinners I have to cook on my own!

So what are my favorite quick and easy recipes for school night dinners?

Favorite Slow Cooker Recipes

  1. Soup: This Tomato Basil Tortellini Soup goes together in less than 15 minutes. I can throw it together while everyone is getting settled and changed after school. We pick a loaf of bread and we’re all set. It’s a small recipe,  so these days we need to double it.
  2. Chili: We do chili every Sunday in the fall/winter. We make a double or triple batch and then I can throw the leftovers in the Crock-pot before heading out the door for the after school parental relay. We come home to a warm hot dinner, no work needed! This is our families football worthy recipe  and some of our other favorites are linked over at our chili Sunday post.
  3. Tacos: Lately our go to has been these slow cooker chili chicken tacos: without sounding like every commenters on a food blog ever (read it’s funny!) I don’t follow the recipe much anymore. I basically take whatever chicken we have, thighs preferred but we have thrown in breasts and even legs. I use their measurements for seasoning but use a whole jar of salsa. It’s a favorite of everyone’s even the picky eater. We use the leftovers to top rice or nachos for a second dinner.
  4. Pulled Pork: We also love to do pulled pork in our slow cooker, this is one of our favorites, perfect for football season is spicy pulled pork. We serve it like tacos in tortillas or on buns.

What are your go to Crock-pot recipes?

Don’t need canned tomatoes because you have your own back yard harvest? Checkout Homesteading with Hyacynth for her easy slow cooker tomatoes to preserve the harvest!


Disclosure: I received product from Red Gold and was asked to share their giveaway with our readers. All thoughts and opinions are my own and no further compensation was received.




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About Melissa Haak 843 Articles
Melissa is mom to 4. She used to dream of traveling the world, now she dreams of a clean kitchen. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair because with this much hair and four kids, you're bound to find something in it.

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