How Long Does it Take to Make Sunday Dinner?

In my effort to prove that cooking healthy food does not have to take a long time, I got a wild hair last Sunday and asked Justus, our 12 year old, to time me to see how long it took me to prepare our noon meal. 

This is what all women think about while getting their families ready to head out the door for church on a Sunday morning, right? “Hmm, I wonder how long it takes me to put our meal in the crock pot? Since Sunday mornings are always so calm and relaxing, we should get out the stop watch…”

Okay, you’re right, this is not typical.   At least not at my house.  Maybe you do a better job than I do of being organized on a Sunday morning, but I guarantee, my thoughts usually have nothing to do with a stop watch and everything to do with making sure my boys are actually getting themselves out of bed and finding the shoes that should have been placed by the door last night like I asked, but instead ended up on the window sill behind the curtain. (That was, of course, just a fictitious scenario that I made up off the top of my head.  Shoes have never been found on window sills at my house as we struggle in vain to leave for church on time…)  ;)

Anyway, knowing that this was a very healthy, yet very easy meal to put together, on Sunday I asked Justus to see how long it took me to make our lunch. I had not done anything ahead of time. The crock pot was still in the cabinet. The roast was still in the freezer.

Still in the freezer? Yes, rock solid frozen it was. (That’s one of the great things about Italian Roast!)

Justus started the clock, and I got to work. Out came the crock pot. I headed to the freezer in our storage room and grabbed a roast. Back in the kitchen, I opened the roast and put it in the crock pot. (In case you are concerned, you should know that after all of this extremely hard work, I didn’t even break a sweat.)

I then dumped some frozen green beans and some baby carrots into the crock pot. (Yes, I did cheat and use baby carrots. It’s all I had on hand and shucks, even I use “convenience” foods sometimes.)

I finished the job by sprinkling on some Italian Dressing Mix that I had already made up and had stored in my pantry. I plugged in the crock pot and turned it on (always recommended). Then, I was done. Justus, how did I do?

One minute, forty eight point nine seconds. Total. To make a complete meal for my family to come home to and eat after church.

Italian Roast with Green Beans and Carrots

Why yes, our house did smell good when we walked in the door. Why yes, this is one of the easiest meals to make. Why yes, we really have found shoes on window sills before when we’re trying to leave and be on time for church. But you probably figured that out already. ;)

What’s one of your favorite, quick and easy Sunday meals?


  1. Angela says

    Wow, I always thought you couldn’t put frozen meat in the crockpot!? My life just became simpler…


    Nora@ The Dollar Holllering Homemaker Reply:


    Frozen meat in the slow cooker is one of my favorite ways to cook. The only thing you need to watch out for is ground beef as sometimes you may need to drain the fat.



    Marsha Reply:

    I don’t think it is recommended because supposedly the crock-pot doesn’t
    heat the meat quickly enough so it stays in the “danger-zone” temp range
    longer than it should. However, using clean grass-fed meat, I have never
    worried about it and never had any problems using frozen meat…turns out
    more tender a lot of times too.


    Priscilla F. Reply:

    Ahhh… I couldn’t turn out a good tender roast to save my neck till I began doing it from frozen in the crockpot. And if the chicken will fit, I do them that way too, then just throw the bones back in later and make broth – don’t clean the crock out till after the broth is done cooking.


  2. Carolyn says

    my favorite for sundays is a whole chicken with garlic cloves. So glad my house is not the only crazy house sunday mornings. Yeesh!


  3. Jenifer Parker says

    I bought the 7 Qt Crock Pot (brand) slow cooker and it has a snap closed lid to transport. “We” are only “3” but I cook and freeze other portions for ‘later’. SUCH a treat to just ‘heat-n-eat’. I always thought the frozen meat thing was dangerous too but you could always cut the roast in half before freezing it and it would cook to past the danger point quicker, right?
    When I do a chicken I take a few basil leaves, a sprig of rosemary, a sprig of parsley and wrap them with a bunch of garlic chives and stuff the chicken with that after dusting it inside and out with Lawry’s seasoned salt and garlic powder. Now THAT’S an aroma you want to lie down and die for. Oh, and I always cook 2 chickens at a time and sometimes freeze one whole or zip lock breast for later chicken salad etc.
    I do love your ideas. ((flattering you by imitating you)) LOL


  4. Ashley says

    Salsa Chicken is really good in the crockpot! Just put your chicken in the crock pot, and dump salsa on it! And if you are feeling sassy add some corn to it LOL!
    I need to buy a new crockpot b/c I sold mine, because I thought it had lead in it =( I’m trying to find a lead free or more so then the one I had…any recommendations?


    Laura Reply:

    I have this crock pot from Hamilton Beach: After some research, it seemed to be the safest, lead free crock pot.


    Ashley Reply:

    Thanks so much I’ll check it out!!


    Tammy Reply:

    My friend gave me a recipe – you put one can of kidney beans, and one can of black beans (I can my own beans, so I use one pint of each) then a few chicken breasts and throw a jar of salsa over the top (I also can my own salsa, so I put in one pint). Cook in the crockpot for about 4-5 hours and then pull apart the chicken. Serve in tortilla shells, cover with cheese & sour cream……it’s so good.


  5. Tami says

    So if you put a roast in the crock pot still frozen, what is the cooking time?


    Laura Reply:

    I did ours for about 4.5 hours on high.


  6. says

    We always eat dinner at church with everyone else. I generally take some sort of soup or stew which I throw together Sunday morning. This morning, I used leftover baked potatoes, leftover boiled potatoes, leftover sausages, a cup or so of goose meat picked off the bones and two quarts of broth from said bones, a few bits of leftover chicken, two chopped onions, a quart of canned carrots, and seasoned it with salt and Italian seasoning. It took maybe 15 minutes to put together, with all that chopping, and made about 7 quarts. We brought enough home for tomorrow’s lunch, so that’s two meals for the time I spent making it! Healthy food does not need to take very long.


  7. says

    I generally try to take the time to sear my roast before I put it in the crock pot (which takes all of what, 10 minutes extra tops?). If I’m really pressed for time I will put it in without the extra step, but it really makes a big difference in the flavor! Same thing goes for the meat when I make beef stews, stroganoff, and such – definitely worth the time if you have it!


  8. Gina Hershey says

    Really? I always put my frozen meat in the eve. before, adding the veg. in the morning. Just morning cooking is enough? High, low, how many hours?


    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    High heat for 4-5 hours should do it. :)


  9. Laura says

    Love the less than 2 minutes! That is less time than you might spend in the drive-through. I love the smell of a homemade meal when you come in the door after church.


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