4 Easy Crockpot Dinners for Warm and Cozy Meals

When lazy summer days are over and the busy days of fall kick in, a parent’s best friend can be the crockpot. Not only does it make hot, nourishing meals as the days grow colder, it also makes cooking from scratch ridiculously easy!
Here are some kid-friendly crockpot meals to enjoy:

Crockpot Ravioli

Pasta is an easy sell for most kids – and goes down particularly well as the weather cools down in the fall. This recipe is simple to make, and when paired with garlic bread and a green salad, makes a meal that the whole family can enjoy!

1 15-oz. can tomato juice
2 12-oz. cans of diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 red onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 pound ground lean, organic beef, cooked and drained.
Dash of oregano
Dash of basil
Pinch of salt
1 package of ravioli

In the morning, place all ingredients (except the ravioli) in the crockpot, and turn on low before leaving the house. Allow it to cook all day. Just before dinner, prepare the ravioli as directed on the package (it usually takes only a few minutes once the water boils). Add the ravioli to the crockpot, stir to mix it in, then serve it up with the bread and salad on the side.

Thanksgiving in a Crockpot

Thanksgiving may only happen once a year – but you can enjoy the traditional flavors of your family’s favorite meal more often than that! This recipe combines the turkey, vegetables, and stuffing of a traditional dinner. You can serve it up with sides of buttered green beans and cranberry relish to complete the effect!

1 boneless, skinless turkey breast
1 box organic vegetable broth
8-10 small red potatoes, halved
½ cups baby carrots
1 red onion, chopped coarsely
Dash of salt and pepper
½ tablespoon sage
1 package stuffing

Pour about an inch of broth into the bottom of the crockpot. Arrange potatoes, onions and carrots at the bottom, then lay the turkey breast over it. Add the stuffing mix and arrange it around the turkey. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining broth with the salt, pepper, and sage. Pour over the turkey and stuffing. Start it in the morning on low so it will be done when you get home from school. When you do get home, check it and if the dish looks dry, add a little more broth.

Serve this up with the green beans and cranberry jelly for a simplified, weekday version of Thanksgiving. This dish can be transformed into turkey and cranberry sandwiches for lunch the next day as well!

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are a messy but very budget-friendly family favorite that can be made up in the crockpot ahead of time so that dinner is pretty much ready when you get home. Serve it up on whole wheat buns with a homemade coleslaw on the side for a healthy and very easy dinner!

2 pounds lean, organic, grass-fed beef
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
2 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Dash of ground red pepper
Dash of salt
Dash of pepper

Brown the beef in a skillet and drain, then add to the crockpot. Add all the chopped vegetables and stir together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the tomato sauce and paste until well-blended; then add the Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and all the spices and whisk again. Pour into crockpot and stir. Set on low before you leave for work so that it will be done when you get home.

Chicken Fajita Soup

Mexican food tends to be a big hit with the kiddos. If you are in the mood for a faintly spicy, Mexican-inspired dish, give this one a try. It’s easy to make and can be served with multigrain chips and fresh guacamole as sides. For extra flavor, garnish the soup with diced tomatoes, onions, fresh cilantro, and a little sour cream!

2 boxes organic, low-sodium chicken broth
1 red onion, minced
1 red bell pepper, minced
1 yellow bell pepper, minced
1 green bell pepper, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of cumin
1 pound chicken (sliced)
½ cup half-and-half

Pour the two boxes of broth into the crockpot. In a skillet, sauté the onions, peppers, and garlic until soft, then add to the crockpot. Add chicken and a pinch of cumin. Let cook on low all day. By the time you are ready to serve, it will be thick and creamy!

What crockpot dinners are your favorites at home? Share your recipes with us in the comments below!

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