Next Week’s Meal Plan: 5 Easy Slow Cooker Dinners

updated May 29, 2019
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

My new mantra is “just get me to October!” September has been busy with back-to-school events (Parents’ Night, Harvest Fest) and lots of solo parenting. Here’s the magic of meal plans, though — when a calendar week is hectic I can use meal planning to make one part of each day easier. (In this case dinner.)

This week’s meal plan includes one slow cooker recipe we stashed in the freezer a few weeks back, plus three new but ultra-easy recipes that everyone will love. There’s still our regularly scheduled pizza on Friday, which uses up leftovers but doesn’t use the slow cooker. Here’s how a week of slow cooker dinners is making my week easier.

Welcome to This Week’s Meal Plan

I believe meal planning is the secret to stress-free weeknight dinners. Since I’m frequently asked by friends and family what I’m cooking for dinner each week, I share my weekly meal plan here. Whether you’re just learning to meal plan and looking for a real-life example of how this works or you’re an old pro on the hunt for inspiration, here’s a peek at how I’m feeding my family this week.

New to meal planning? Start here.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

In early September, I cooked a bunch of big-batch, freezer-friendly dinners and froze the leftovers. So I’m pulling this bean soup from the freezer for dinner tonight. Partnered with store-bought rolls and simple salad, this is Monday ease at its best. If you’re looking for a Meatless Monday main, this curried slow cooker stew is another favorite of ours.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Tinga is a savory, smoky pulled-style chicken that is delicious in tortillas or on taco bowls. We’ll be having ours wrapped in tortillas with a side of canned black beans and frozen corn warmed together with a little butter and salt.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Double up on sausage for this dinner and Friday’s pizza! Breakfast for dinner is always a favorite in our house, but admittedly even making pancakes on a Wednesday evening seems to take an eternity when the kids are hungry. This casserole can be made before we head out for our school’s Harvest Fest fundraiser and be warm and ready when we get home.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Honestly, this recipe is a bit risky because some of the vegetables are in the “no-zone” for my 4-year-old right now. But banking on my kids’ love for teriyaki chicken, we’re trying this out over a simple bed of white rice.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Does anyone have a recipe for pizza from the slow cooker? Because I’d actually love to try that! At least for this week we have a one-pan wonder of sheet pan pizza. This recipe is written for meat-lovers, but we’re taking the basic framework and putting leftover vegetables (thinking red onion from Tuesday, spinach from Wednesday) and sausage from earlier in the week to top this particular pizza.

Click below to get more tips, insights, and ideas from our Meal Plan Club crew and readers like you.