Simple Crock Pot Taco Pasta

After experimenting with the Simple 3-Cheese Crock Pot Pasta and discovering that we can dump uncooked pasta into a crock pot, then walk away and come back to a finished meal a few hours later, I’ve been on a mission to see what other varieties of pasta our crock pots can cook for us.

Not that cooking pasta is difficult, but if we can even skip that step in our real food culinary endeavors, we can consider all of life a vacation. The conversation can go something like this:

Person: What do you do all day?
You and Me: I spend a lot of time not cooking pasta.

We can expand the conversation by explaining that we also spend a lot of our time not thawing meat, and an additional portion of our day not soaking beans. We have become experts at all the kitchen tasks we don’t do while still managing to put amazing, real food meals on the table.

This Simple Meals life is beautiful, isn’t it?!

The Simple 3-Cheese Crock Pot Pasta really saved my neck one day recently when I had only three hours to make a meal for a table full of last minute company. I grabbed a package of pasta and two jars of sauce from my pantry, dumped it all in the crock pot and did not go back into the kitchen until time to serve the cooked meal along with some fresh fruit and fresh greens from our garden.

The Simple Crock Pot Pizza Casserole would have worked just as nicely. And today I will show you how to turn this Simple Skillet Taco Pasta recipe into an effortless crock pot recipe.

crock pot taco pasta1

The first time I made this was a day I had to have one kid out the door by 8:00, another kid and my husband out the door by 8:50, myself out the door by 10:00, and lunch on the table for my entire family plus a house guest by 12:30. I had some leftover taco meat in the fridge, so I dumped it into the crock pot with a package of dry pasta, stirred in two jars of salsa, and added some water. I sprinkled in some sea salt and left the house.

When I came home at 12:15, I stirred the delicious smelling meal, spread on some shredded cheese, and let the food sit while I got out grapes and salad. Lunch was served within minutes of me not being home to cook. I am so grateful for recipes like this!

Crock Pot Taco Pasta

If you don’t want to wait 2-3 hours for this casserole to cook itself in the crock pot, simply follow this Simple Skillet Taco Pasta version instead. It’ll be ready in about 20 minutes from start to finish. But for the I don’t have one minute to spare days...

Simple Crock Pot Taco Pasta

Simple Crock Pot Taco Pasta
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground taco meat (cooked)
  • 16-ounces whole grain pasta (uncooked)
  • 32-ounces salsa
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
Instructions
  1. Stir all ingredients into a crock pot.
  2. Cook on low for 4 hours.
  3. Stir mixture.
  4. Top with cheese and let sit for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Simple Crock Pot Taco Pasta

Obviously it helps to make this recipe easier if you have some leftover meat all cooked and ready to go. I love using seasoned hamburger meat, but leftover Shredded Ranch Chicken would work great too. Any time I’m making seasoned meat, I always make extra so I can use leftovers in salads or meals like this!

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Do you have any other great ideas for me as for sauces to cook pasta in the crock pot?

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Simple Waffle Omelets – perfect for any meal!

We might as well just call these “Womelets” because that’s what keeps coming out of my mouth when I try to talk about Waffle Omelets. I’m excited to share this recipe idea with you, but I’m sorry for causing all of you to be in this tricky verbal situation.

The cool thing is that these Womelets (I’ve given up on  trying to say it correctly) really are fun to make and super tasty.

waffle omlet2

Here are some Waffle Omelet highlights:

  • You can make everyone’s Waffle Omelet to fit each person’s preferences.
  • These are super quick and simple to make.
  • You can make Waffle Omelets for a quick dinner when/if you forgot to thaw meat to prep for your meal.
  • You can prepare ingredients ahead of time and store them in the fridge to pull out and make Womelets at the spur of the moment.
  • These are inexpensive!

By the way, have I ever told you what a messy cook I am? Truly. If there are three people standing side by side putting together making food, you will be able to tell which cooking station was mine because of all the food that had been dripped, drizzled, slopped, and spilled in my area.

I am especially good at making a mess of these Womelets, as I often overestimate how much liquid to pour into the waffle iron. Out of the iron the egg mixture will spill, causing a huge mess of slime down the sides and all over the counter-top. Have I no shame?

In addition, you should see me try to take the Waffle Omelets out of the waffle iron without tearing them to bits. Notice, above, how I finally gave up and took a picture of the omelet directly in the waffle iron? It was better this way.

I finally figured out that if I use hot pads and pick the waffle iron up, then dump the omelet onto the plate, it actually comes out easily and pretty. How about that? No mess! (You’ll see below that it folded itself in half while being dumped, but it was the best I could do.)

waffle omlet

I’ve finally learned that for my waffle iron, it takes somewhere between 1/2-3/4 cup of egg mixture to make one nice waffle omelet without spilling over.

Fill your mixture with any combination of meat, cheese, and chopped veggies that you like! I suggest mixing the eggs, milk, and salt in a bowl, then you can add your “fillings” as you make each individual waffle omelet so you can make it according to taste!

Simple Waffle Omelets

Simple Omelet Waffles - perfect for any meal!
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 10 eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt (more or less to taste)
  • Any variety of chopped meat, diced veggies, and shredded cheeses you like.
Instructions
  1. Whisk together eggs, milk, and salt.
  2. Heat and grease waffle iron.
  3. Scoop egg mixture into waffle iron to fill the bottom about ¾ full. (Mine takes ½-3/4 cup of mixture).
  4. Add in any fillings you like.
  5. Close waffle iron and cook for 3-4 minutes until eggs are cooked through.
  6. Serve right away.

Simple Waffle Omelets

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Simple Tex-Mex Creamy Chicken

I have made a decision. It is a big one and I appreciate your support. Thank you in advance.

As of now, until further notice, I shall not soak and cook my beans.

tex mex chicken1

Canned beans for the Simple Meals win.

I know. This news is big. But my beans and I have valid reasons for such a drastic change in our relationship.

Indeed I used to be a faithful bean soaker and cooker, but the demands of working full time while homeschooling teens, chauffeuring teens, feeding teens, supporting teens, and finding a tiny moment in my day to say hello to my husband have led me to kick bean-prep off my priority list. It’s either buy canned beans or become a beanless family. Long live the bean.

I am well aware that bean-cooking is not difficult. A child could do it. But I found that I almost never remember to soak beans ahead of time because I’m too often in my car running my kids to all of their social/church/work/sports/ministry outings. (And by the way, if one more person says something to me about homeschoolers not getting enough socialization I shall happily throw my van keys and event calendar at them and make them take my kids to all their social events so they can see the truth and laugh as they realize they most definitely never had a need to worry. Said person shall need a nap after this feat, but there’s no time for one – and this is why I don’t soak my beans.)

I can hear what some of you are saying. “Get an Instant Pot!” But we’ve been through all of this so I’ll have to ask that you cheerfully support my decision and let me open my cans of beans in peace.

This post has a point (thank goodness). And also a recipe. It will come as no surprise to you when you see that said recipe includes a can of black beans.

Substitute canned beans with those you have soaked/cooked yourself if you like. Best news of the day: I did the math and learned that when I buy canned black beans by the case it does not cost me anymore than if I were to buy dried beans and make them myself. I had no idea! You might also like learning that this dish I am about to share with you costs around $2.00/serving for my family. Not too shabby for a real food meal that sufficiently fills teenage boys.

Bet you’re hoping I’ll just go ahead and share the recipe already.

Simple Tex-Mex Creamy Chicken

Simple Tex-Mex Creamy Chicken
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 16-ounces salsa
  • 15-ounces black beans
  • 2 cups corn
  • 2 cups sour cream
Instructions
  1. In a skillet, brown chicken pieces in olive oil, seasoning them with chili powder and salt.
  2. Once chicken is cooked through and through (about five minutes on each side) add salsa, black beans, and corn.
  3. Simmer for about two minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.
  5. Serve over brown rice, pasta, or tortilla chips

Simple Tex-Mex Creamy Chicken

Note that adding sour cream to this makes the chicken mixture thick and creamy without any effort to make a cream sauce. That’s what makes this recipe so simple!

A huge time and money saver for our family (and many others!) has been our great Simple Meals program. Join us and be amazed at how this simplifies your life – plus you’ll love the easy, healthy, real food you’ll be putting on the table so quickly each day. We’ll welcome all who soak their beans and all who don’t, because we’re all friends and no one shall be beanless. Check it out and join here!

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Simple Green Chile Chicken

My husband has a prayer lunch with a few other guys every Tuesday at noon. Sometimes he takes his full lunch with him, and some days he takes just a light snack, then eats more when he gets home. One day recently, he had plans to eat light at his prayer lunch, then come home and eat this Simple Green Chile Chicken.

If only I’d told the boys of his plans.

I’d eaten my share of this lunch right after I pulled it out of the oven, but in the hubbub of finishing school assignments throughout the morning, the boys trickled into the table later, little by little. Just a few minutes before Matt was to arrive home, I heard one of the boys say, “Glad Dad already ate since I just had the last of this chicken.”

Oops. Sorry, Matt.

green chile chicken

The good news: This chicken is so good, the whole family will eat it without complaint (and not leave enough for Dad).

The other good news: This recipe is so easy I can actually find time to make it even on a busy school/work morning! Of course, that means it’s quick to make in the evening for dinner too. (Often during soccer season we have our bigger meal at lunchtime – but who am I kidding? We have big meals three times a day.)

Simple Green Chile Chicken

Simple Green Chile Chicken
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2-3 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 8-ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (any variety)
  • 4-ounces green chilies (no need to drain)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place chicken in a 9x13 inch dish.
  2. Mix remaining ingredients (I do this quickly in my Blendtec), and spread the mixture over the chicken evenly.
  3. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Simple Green Chile Chicken

What you might notice about this recipe is the simplicity of blending all the cheese sauce ingredients together before spreading it over your chicken. This is great for a couple of reasons:

  • Making it this way saves time and effort. (Toss ingredients into a blender, mix, then pour over chicken. Easy!)
  • Blending the peppers into the sauce makes picky eaters enjoy this without complaint.

Note to self: Always double this recipe so there is enough for everyone in my family to eat some. (Why I hadn’t already thought of that I do not know.)

And with that, I will present you with our ever-growing list of Simple Recipes that will provide your family with real food that is super delicious, but will make your kitchen efforts minimal!

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Simple Oven Roasted Rotisserie Chicken

Brace yourselves. Today we’re going to learn to butter up a chicken and rub him down with herbs and spices. This might not be the most precious moment of your day, but I guarantee you will find it to all be worth it after you taste your delicious Oven Roasted Rotisserie Chicken.

simple rotisserie chicken

Now, I’ve buttered many a slice of bread in my day. I would even venture to say I’m pretty good at it. But never before had I buttered a bird – until the first day I made this chicken.

Recipe research told me to “brush on the butter.” But that would require that I melt butter in a saucepan and dirty up a pastry brush. In the name of lazyness simplicity, I just slapped butter on my bird with a butter knife.

Did it work? Meh, good enough. I figure what didn’t get spread on smoothly will just melt and drizzle itself over the skin while baking.

Now, beyond the butter, we’ve got to do a little chicken massage for this recipe too. Don’t freak out about this because your hands will wash up just fine afterward. Sure, rubbing spices over a raw piece of meat in the shape of well, a chicken, will feel strange. But you can do this.

Here’s why the buttering up and the rubbing down are well worth your few minutes awkward chicken moments:

  • You will create a most delicious meal for your family. This chicken is incredibly juicy and flavorful.
  • All the “effort” you put forth to create this chicken will take less than 10 minutes.
  • You’ll save money, because making this chicken at home costs less than buying one pre-made.

So gather up your chickens and let the fun begin.

Simple Oven Roasted Rotisserie Chicken

Simple Oven Roasted Rotisserie Chicken
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 3-4 pound chicken
  • 3 Tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
Instructions
  1. Place chicken in a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Remove gizzards from the cavity. Discard them or save them to make broth later.
  3. Spread or brush butter over the chicken.
  4. Mix herbs and spices in a bowl, then rub them all over the chicken.
  5. Bake, uncovered, in a 300 degree oven for 2½ hours.

Oh yes. I failed to mention the “reach up into the ‘cavity’ of the chicken and pull out the little bag of gizzards.” I guess I was trying to stop while I was ahead so as to avoid scaring you away from this recipe. But alas, this task cannot be avoided.

I’ve found it’s best to go ahead and say “eeeewwww” while completing this gizzard removal step, because that’s how I feel and it truly is helpful to express oneself verbally during moments of trouble.

So before you butter and rub your chicken, get the gizzard step over with. After that, you will feel empowered to do anything. All hail queen/king chicken preparers. We are all super heroes.

Simple Oven Roasted Rotisserie Chicken

Keep this meal simple by serving this chicken with tossed salad, a steamed veggie, and fresh fruit (like strawberries, pineapple, or cantaloupe).

Make your life simpler by joining Simple Meals. Then you won’t even have to think about what to cook or what to buy because we do the work for you every single week!

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Simple Build-a-Spanish-Rice-Bowl

Sometimes I think I have picky eaters at my house. Then I realize that my kids eat a huge variety of foods and I should be grateful.

I mean, when I was a little girl, I liked exactly two varieties of fruits and vegetables: green beans (canned) and apples (with the peeling off). Somehow this kept me alive, I made it to college, and learned to eat salads (to avoid the Freshman 15, of course). Later, I got married and found out about a thing called broccoli. Little by little through the years, I’ve tried and liked dozens of fruits and veggies, expanding my repertoire many times over.

Though I still don’t like jicama.

It’s okay though because I often sit in my recliner snacking on raw spinach, which isn’t even weird, not even a little bit, am I right? I can’t figure out why my teenagers tease me about this.

Well anyway, my kids aren’t really picky, I’m realizing, because they like and eat a big variety of fruits and veggies. But still, we all have our preferences. Some of us really like cheese and some of us think it’s fun to snack on spinach.

Because of our wide variety of preferences, sometimes, instead of making a meal that everyone has to eat whether they like it or not, it’s fun to instead set out a big buffet of choices and everyone can build their own plate or bowl.

I love this idea so much that I include a category for this every single week in our Simple Meals plans. Build-Your-Own buffets are a huge time saver and make for a really fun meal too!

Today’s idea is Build a Spanish Rice Bowl.

I used to make Spanish Rice all in one pot, but some people like corn and some don’t. Some like black beans and some don’t. Some want sour cream and some don’t. I have found it easiest to simply set out all the fixin’s and let everyone build their bowl the way they like.

We each pile in our favorites:

spanish rice bowl41

Then stir it up and dive in.

spanish rice bowl11

The bowl above has a lot of greens (bet you can guess which mom that belongs to), no rice (can we even still call it spanish rice?), a whole lotta ground beef and black beans, and a dollop of sour cream.

But this one got piled up with rice, meat, beans, corn, and salsa without the greens and sour cream.

spanish rice bowls21

So it got stirred up to look like this.

spanish rice bowls31

At the end of the meal, everyone was satisfied and happy because their bowl was filled with everything they wanted and nothing they didn’t want. Of course, many participants in this meal filled their bowl more than once, which is also fun because they could either choose to fill it the same way as the first time or create something new the second (or third) time around.

Build a Spanish Rice Bowl

5.0 from 1 reviews
Simple Build-a-Spanish-Rice-Bowl
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef, seasoned with chili powder, garlic powder, and salt
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can sliced olives
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Fresh greens
  • Cooked corn
Instructions
  1. Set out any or all of the ingredients listed above, along with anything else your family might like.
  2. Allow each person to fill their bowl the way they like.

Those are just some of the foods you might want to set out for your Build a Spanish Rice Bowl buffet. I’d love to hear of any add-in ideas your family might like.

Build a Spanish Rice Bowl

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Simple Barbecue Beef Roast (2 Minute Prep!)

Before I tell you about the easiest Barbecue Beef Roast on the planet earth, I must ask this:

How did we ever get through life without knowing how to make the Easiest Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes?? I don’t even know.

Well, I guess I do know. I had given up on making mashed potatoes altogether. Never able to fit it into my schedule, or not wanting to mess with the mess if I did have time – I just stopped making them. We’ve been through all this.

But now that I know I can make them like this and it takes almost no effort, time, or clean-up? I’ve made them for my family at least once each week since.

My children are so happy. My husband is so happy. But I am the happiest because I feel like a great big champion when I’ve made not just a delicious, wholesome dinner but fantastic mashed potatoes too. I feel like a rock star. Mashed potatoes have made me a rock star.

I obviously measure success in ways that no one else does. Everyone else can have their fame, fortune, fancy boats, big houses, and cool cars. We have our mashed potatoes. This is what dreams are made of.

bbq roast beef

Well, perhaps it’s time to move on to information about the Barbecue Beef Roast?

This new recipes is even easier than the potatoes, which of course, is saying something. So if you happen to have two crock pots, you can make both of these on the same day and your family will stand up at the table and give you an ovation.

The first time I made this roast, I did this:

  • Walked to the freezer and got out a roast. (30 seconds)
  • Opened the package and put it into a crock pot. (20 seconds)
  • Got out some barbecue sauce and dumped it on the roast. (20 seconds)
  • Grabbed and onion, pulled off the outer layer, rinsed it, and quartered it, then threw it in with the meat. (40 seconds)
  • Plugged in the crock pot, turned it on low, walked away. (10 seconds)

This, my friends, is how we make dinner in 2 minutes.

My kids scrubbed the potatoes for me and we got those started in our second crock pot a couple hours later. At dinner time, we mashed the potatoes (2 minutes), steamed some green beans (30 seconds of “work”/5 minutes of cook time), and got out a bowl of fresh pineapple.

This dinner is glorious.

P.S. I considered making gravy but decided I had “worked” hard enough to make this dinner. So I chose to simply use the juice in the crock pot. That was still perfection.

Simple Barbecue Beef Roast

5.0 from 1 reviews
Simple Barbecue Beef Roast (2 Minute Prep!)
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 3-4 pound beef roast, frozen or thawed
  • 1-2 cups BBQ sauce
  • 1-2 medium onions
Instructions
  1. Place roast in a crock pot (frozen is fine).
  2. Douse the meat with barbecue sauce.
  3. Quarter the onion and place in the crock pot.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 10 hours if frozen or 8 hours if thawed.

Simple Barbecue Roast Beef

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Simple Crock Pot Pizza Casserole

Of all the Simple Recipes I’ve been sharing around here, this Simple Crock Pot Pizza Casserole has proven to be the very simplest. Get this: No cooking necessary to make this recipe. A two-year-old could make this. Or a very busy adult. Either one will do.

pizza casserole1

This Simple Meal requires one dish (a crock pot) and thirty-seconds of prep (dump/stir/plug in). Your meal cooks itself.

As you can see from the above picture, I even cheated on my veggie side dish by simply setting out mixed greens and grape tomatoes. Therefore absolutely nothing about this meal took any work or actual cooking.

Now, you can add other cooked meats to this if you want. You can chop in some mushrooms and peppers if you want. None of those tasks take long, but they do take a few more minutes of prep. Sometimes I throw those veggies onto the table as side dishes, along with a can of black olives. Or, in a pinch, sometimes I skip it all and just throw out the mixed greens.

Either way, this meal is completely effortless, very inexpensive, and ridiculously good.

This spring, we’ve found this meal great to throw together before leaving for the soccer field. When we get home, we immediately get to sit down to an awesome, warm dinner. (Spring soccer is cold. I have done this cold soccer season for 15 years. When does it end?! Good thing my kids are worth it. Good thing I have a really great coat, and hat, and gloves, and fuzzy blanket. Good thing I can come home to warm comfort food at the end of my wind-blown, drizzly soccer cheering experience.)

Look how effortless this is —>

Simple Crock Pot Pizza Casserole

Simple Crock Pot Pizza Casserole
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 16-ounces UNCOOKED whole grain pasta
  • 50-ounces pizza or spaghetti sauce
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 6-ounces pepperoni
  • Optional: additional cooked meat, sliced olives, chopped sweet pepper, and/or sliced mushrooms
Instructions
  1. Stir uncooked pasta and pizza sauce in a crock pot.
  2. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.
  3. Stir.
  4. Top with shredded cheese and pepperoni.
  5. Cook for an additional 10 minutes on low to melt cheese.

Simple Crock Pot Pizza Casserole

Will your family love this, or what? But trust me: no one will love it as much as you. Because this recipes allows you to cook without cooking. It provides you a great meal without working for it.

And now, if we could all find ourselves such a thing as a Self-Cleaning Crock Pot. (Tip, I soak my crock overnight and everything comes clean easily in the morning. No need to scrub when soaking does the hard work for us, am I right?)

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Simple Crock Pot Shredded Ranch Chicken (for Tacos or Salad)

Once again, feel free to make this new recipe even if you failed to thaw chicken ahead of time. (See also: Simple Crock Pot Chicken Soup with a KickSimple Overnight Saucy Crock Pot ChickenSimple Overnight Melt-in-Your-Mouth Beef Roast, and Simple Garlic Butter Shrimp – all recipes that do not require thawing meat ahead of time.)

You might be thinking, “Do you ever plan ahead? Don’t you ever thaw your meat? This is what lists are for, Laura. Get yourself a planner!”

ranch chicken salad1

I do have a planner. And a calendar. And several phone reminder alarms that go off all week to remind me of important things to do and places to be.

But my planner, calendar, and phone can’t walk to the freezer to get out the chicken, now can they? So basically, frozen meat is what I have learned to deal with in this life, and there’s nothing that can be done about it. My crock pot gently says, “I’m here for you. I’ll thaw and cook your meat – all at the same time. So you just quickly throw it in here and go about your day.”

Hmm. I think I like my crock pot better than my planner. My crock pot saves my neck, makes my house smell amazing so as to make people think I’m actually working at today’s food, then kindly provides my family with dinner. Meanwhile my planner just bosses me around and tells me what to do all day. Rude.

Planner? You could learn a thing or two from Crock Pot. And Phone Alarms? You need to just sssshhhhhhhhhussshhh once in a while. I heard you the first four times you went off. I know I have a deadline. Can you not see that I’m down on the floor trying to sort through these tax forms? Seeing as you are way over there in the other room, one cannot expect me to just bounce off the floor and spring into the kitchen to swipe your sound off. I can’t afford to be inflicted with a strained muscle if I want to try and keep up with everything Planner is making me do.

And Calendar? I’d much appreciate it if you stop staring at me, mocking me with all your words and appointments. Why don’t you just say, “Stay home. Relax.” once in a while? But no. You’re all, “Take your kid to this, head over to that, so-and-so and such-and-such, be sure to, and don’t forget.”

It’s possible that I may need anger management classes as I learn to deal with the organizational tools that help me handle all my responsibilities. In the meantime, I will happily forget to thaw my meat and let my BFF, the Crock Pot, save me once again with another Simple Recipe.

Simple Shredded Ranch Chicken (for tacos or salad)

5.0 from 1 reviews
Simple Shredded Ranch Chicken (for tacos or salad)
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2-3 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Taco Seasoning*
  • 3 Tablespoons dry Ranch Seasoning**
Instructions
  1. Place chicken in the bottom of a crock pot.
  2. Drizzle on olive oil.
  3. Sprinkle on seasoning mixes.
  4. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  5. Shred chicken and serve with favorite taco toppings on hard or soft shells.

*Here’s my Homemade Taco Seasoning recipe.
**Here’s my Homemade Ranch Seasoning recipe.

Simple Crock Pot Shredded Ranch Chicken (for Tacos or Salad)

I now invite you to enjoy more Simple Recipes (which you can get in eBook form if you like):

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Simple Crunchy Ranch Chicken Strips

Did you get your free Simple Recipes, Volume 1 eBook yet? You will LOVE how easy it is to put real food meals on the table. As you can tell with the Simple Garlic Shrimp recipe and now this Simple Crunchy Ranch Chicken Strips recipe – we are now well on our way to Simple Recipes, Volume 2.

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Let’s keep the Simple Recipes coming!

ranch chicken12

Today I’m excited to share a recipe that has been a family favorite for several years at our house. Of course, seeing as I like everything to be simple now, I’ve pared down the steps it used to take to prepare this chicken. (Pick up one little piece of chicken. Dip the piece of chicken. Dip it again. No thank you.) C’mon. We have more important things to do with our lives…like attempting to have a Family Movie Night.

Attempting? Yes. Allow me to share a little issue I have as of late.

I can’t stay awake for a movie. Ever. It goes something like this:

  1. I get excited that our family has an actual free evening.
  2. We decide to have a movie night and discuss which movie to watch together.
  3. We make snacks and special hot drinks to enjoy while we’re watching the movie together.
  4. Everyone takes forever to actually get their food and drinks and get themselves into the living room to start the movie. (I’m always the picture of loving patience during this time.)
  5. I begin to get nervous, knowing my eyes struggle to stay open if it gets too late. HURRY EVERYONE!!! Thankfully, we’ve started the “get the movie set up and snacks on your plates” ritual at 8:00. Surely I can handle staying awake for a movie with it being so early, right? Well, one would think.
  6. We finally get situated and start the movie at 8:32.
  7. I finish my snack and fall asleep promptly at 8:47.
  8. I wake up just as the credits roll at the end.

Every. Single. Time.

It doesn’t matter what movie. It doesn’t matter what time we begin. (I know this because we tested to see if I could stay awake during an afternoon movie while drinking a cup of caffeinated coffee. I still got sleepy. You may as well ruin every movie for me by telling me who gets married and who dies and who the hero is because I may never watch an entire movie again.)

Well, anyway. The Simple Recipes and Simple Meals resources do everything they can to keep you out of the kitchen and offer you more family time. As far as staying awake during a Family Movie Night goes – you’re on your own. There’s obviously nothing I can do to help any of us with this need.

Simple Crunchy Ranch Chicken Strips

Simple Crunchy Ranch Chicken Strips
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup whole grain flour (rice, wheat, corn, etc) or crushed corn flakes
  • 3 Tablespoons Ranch Dressing Mix*
  • 1 cup melted butter, divided
Instructions
  1. Cut chicken into strips about 1 inch wide.
  2. Drizzle ½ cup melted butter into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  3. In a bowl, stir together parmesan cheese, flour, and ranch dressing mix.
  4. Stir in the chicken pieces until they are coated.
  5. Spread the prepared chicken pieces into the butter in the pan.
  6. Drizzle the remaining butter over the chicken.
  7. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.
  8. If desired, broil chicken for about 2 minutes to crisp it up before serving.

*Here’s my Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix recipe.

Simple Crunchy Ranch Chicken

Notice the recipe offers you a “cheater” method to get these chicken pieces into a pan in a short amount of time! You can dip each piece one at a time if you want, but I simply melt the butter into the pan, stir the chicken all together in a bowl with the flour mixture, then dump it into the buttery pan. It’s so simple!

Typically I prefer chicken thighs over breasts because they are juicier and more flavorful. For this recipe though, I like chicken breasts. I also keep my eye out for mark-downs at the store on chicken breasts pre-cut into strips. It’s a time saver and the mark-down keeps the price reasonable!

‘Fess up! Can you stay awake during movies?

Here are more Simple Recipes you’ll love!

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Truly, all of these recipes are ridiculously easy, good, and nourishing.

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