Even on the busiest days you can dish up healthy, home-cooked meals for your family by preparing make-ahead meals including savory, hearty soup recipes and other easy Crock-Pot meals. Plus, cooking cheap Crock-Pot meals in big batches saves you even more.
Make-ahead freezer meals let you enjoy a meal on the day you cook, plus you can freeze the leftovers for reheating any night of the week. These meals help you stretch your food budget by picking up food in bulk when you find your family's favorites on sale.
Here are two recipes you can whip up in an Instant Pot, Crock-Pot, or other type of slow cooker are great for saving time: You just toss the ingredients in, cook for a few hours while you tackle other tasks, and, voila, supper is ready.
Speedy Chili for Busy Nights
- 2 pounds lean ground beef, pre-browned and drained
- 1 clove minced garlic or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 small diced onion or 2 tablespoons dried minced onion
- 1 minced hot pepper or 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 quarts tomato juice
- 1 15-ounce can kidney beans
- 1 15-ounce can pinto beans
- Put everything in your slow cooker.
- Set the pressure on high and the time for 18 minutes.
- Quick-release the pressure.
- Serve your Speedy Chili with sour cream, cheese, crackers, or cornbread.
Mushroom Burger Stew in the Slow Cooker
- 2 pounds ground beef shaped into 2-inch patties
- 1 large onion, sliced thin
- 1/2-pound fresh mushroom slices
- 2 large sliced carrots
- 2 12-ounce cans mushroom soup
- 2 cups milk
- Put a thin layer of onion slices in the cooker followed by mushrooms, carrots, and the mini beef patties.
- Keep layering until all the raw ingredients are in the slow cooker.
- Spread the canned mushroom soup on top and gently pour the milk on top of everything.
- Set the Crock Pot on low and cook for four to six hours.
- Serve the Mushroom Burger Stew alone or drizzle it over mashed potatoes for a rib-sticking treat.