Next Week's Meal Plan: 5 Easy Dinners with Help from the Slow Cooker

Next Week's Meal Plan: 5 Easy Dinners with Help from the Slow Cooker

Meghan Splawn
Mar 3, 2018
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

The slow cooker is often the hero of weeknight dinner. And while the idea of coming home to a hot dinner five nights in a row sounds broadly appealing, the thought of having dinner every night from the slow cooker itself does not.

Luckily the slow cooker excels at bulk cooking. This week we're going to use the slow cooker to batch cook sweet potatoes and salsa chicken to use throughout the week. Do this and you won't have to cook anything on Sunday either. Here's how to have a week of easy dinners with help from the slow cooker.

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: Sarah E Crowder)

Monday: Sweet Potatoes with Chickpea Tomato Sauce

Monday morning's assignment is to load the slow cooker with sweet potatoes before you leave for work and set it to low. Yes, you're going to "bake" the sweet potatoes in the slow cooker using this method. When you come home, make a sauce from some onions, tomatoes, and a can of chickpeas for the fastest, most filling meatless Monday dinner. Be sure to make an extra sweet potato for Wednesday dinner or maybe a few for lunches throughout the week.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Salsa Pulled Chicken

This is the last day you're going to load up the slow cooker before work — pinkie promise. This pulled chicken is pretty much just jarred salsa and chicken breast, so it shouldn't be too hard to put together. When you come home, toast some tortillas, grate some cheese, and enjoy the chicken for Taco Tuesday. Save the leftovers (this recipe makes a lot) for sandwiches on Thursday.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Wednesday: Sweet Potato Pancakes

That extra sweet potato on Monday becomes breakfast for dinner on Wednesday. Serve these pancakes with some spicy breakfast sausage or smoky bacon and plenty of maple syrup.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Thursday: Slow Cooker Ranch Chicken Sandwiches

We're only using this recipe as a reference point because remember that salsa chicken you made on Tuesday? Use it here in place of the ranch chicken. Make the broccoli slaw — it's delicious — and use the buns and bacon called for here.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Friday: How To Make Calzones at Home

Pizza Friday can totally include calzones, in my opinion. One thing I love about calzones is that you can fill them with just about anything, I'm planning to fill this batch with leftover chicken, sweet potatoes, bacon, and broccoli slaw leftover from the rest of the week.

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