Kayla Loves: Crockpot Cooking | My favorite crockpot recipies

The chilly air has settled in, the leaves are turning orange and all I want is my home to smell like warm home-cooked goodness. Enter stage left, my crock pot. How I lived life so long without it I’ll never know. We are big crock pot lovers in the White house and will typically eat about 2 crock pot meals a week ( especially during the cold months).  As I’m gearing up and stocking the fridge I thought I’d share some of my favorite recipes and tips.

First of all, crock pot liners! Trust me.. run to your nearest grocery store or click on this link and stock up! These things are like gold in our house and so easy to use. I hate having to wash the crock pot after something delicious has been simmering all day ( it’s so heavy!) but when we use these liners you just hold the liner close and throw it out. Clean up done!

Secondly if you are not familiar with the website Get Crocked, get familiar! Jenn has the biggest collection of crock pot recipes I’ve ever found. I follow her on all social media and get her newsletter. She is always coming up with new meal ideas! Plus I own her e-book ‘ Get Crocked‘ which has over 400 recipes. Every so often I sit down with the book ( I printed out the e-book and put it into a binder) and a pretty highlighter and find new meals for us to try. So far we’ve loved everything we’ve tried!

Thirdly, freeze freeze freeze! I saw the ‘freeze ahead’ crock pot ideas spread across Pinterest and couldn’t help but to join in! Normally I find about 5 or 6 recipes for the upcoming weeks. I do one big grocery shopping trip ( and usually stay within a $150 budget) and then spend 1 afternoon preparing the meals. Some are as easy as ‘ open chicken package, open spaghetti sauce, dump everything into ziplock bag’ and some involve a few more steps. I write on the outside of each bag what the meal is and any additional directions I may need which makes them easy to identify later. Then into the freezer they all go! That way we have ready made meals. When it’s time to cook, I put the bag ( still sealed) under hot water for a minute or two and then slip the entire bag contents into the crock pot. It couldn’t be easier!

We have a number of favorite crock pot meals, but these are some of our go-to’s!
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Meatballs are a big win in our house. Whenever I see Ground Turkey on sale ( we prefer it to ground beef) I always grab a few pounds. I try and make a few batches of meatballs and bake them until cooked through ( usually about 20 minutes in the oven). Then I divide out the meatballs into ziplock bags and into the freezer they go. When I add them to the crock pot I usually dump a jar of sauce on top of them. ( I’ve also added a container of bbq instead of red sauce! )

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Why didn’t I think of this sooner?! When I’m stocking up on turkey for the meatballs, I also grab a few pounds just for cooking ahead. Dump the ground beef, turkey or chicken into the crock pot and leave it on low for about 2 hours. I stir it every so often and keep an eye on it but when it’s done we have fully cooked ground meat!

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Anything with a mexican flavor is a big hit for us. Plus this one is another simple recipe! Following the link will take you to the original recipe but I’ve also made this with just chicken breasts, a jar of salsa and hot sauce. It was also yummy (but not as yummy as the original if I’m being honest).

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 This is my favorite fall recipe. When the apples are fresh and crispy in all of the stores I try to make as much applesauce as I can! Follow the original recipe to a tee and you’ll be just as happy as I am!

Do you have any favorite crock pot meals? I’d love to add more to my ever growing list!

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