5 Family-Friendly Dinners with Help from the Slow Cooker

5 Family-Friendly Dinners with Help from the Slow Cooker

Meghan Splawn
May 5, 2018
(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

You'd think that the beginning of spring and the end of school would bring some relief to our already hectic schedule, but no — May brings summer camp planning, soccer parties, PTA fundraisers, and class parties that fill up our calendar quickly.

Once again, I'm calling on the power of the slow cooker to feed my family this next week with a few family-friendly favorites that make dinnertime 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.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

Monday: Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad

Sunday night I plan on making pesto from an overrun of basil leaves a neighbor gifted us. Some of the pesto will be frozen for future use, but I'm also using it three times this week! This pesto pasta is perfect for picnicking (say that three-times fast), which is exactly what we will be doing with it after soccer practice on Monday. Double up on the cherry tomatoes at the market, as we will use them again later in the week.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn)

Tuesday: One-Pot Cheesy Taco Pasta

I usually try to keep pasta to a once-a-week occasion, but this taco pasta was a request from my husband and we have extra kids to feed tonight (and this pasta feeds a crowd!). Plus, it only requires one pot and packs a vegetable punch.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Pesto Chicken

This slow cooker pesto chicken will be my dinner savior on Wednesday, which just happens to be the busiest day of the week. Sunday's pesto and Monday's cherry tomatoes will be making an appearance here. I'm serving this chicken on rolls as a sandwich, but it makes a tasty salad too.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Thursday: Slow Cooker Sausages with Peppers and Onions

We love this slow cooker recipe. It's not just for sausages — you can also add hot dogs to the mix so everyone at the table (parents and kids alike!) can get something they want. Serve this with frozen tater tots and make your Thursday night super easy.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Friday: French Bread Pesto Chicken Pizza

Shout out to pizza Friday for always, always making the most of leftovers. Sunday's pesto, Wednesday's chicken, cherry tomatoes from the week — they are all here.

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