Dump Dinner

Summer is coming, even if it hasn’t felt like it lately! One of things people often associate with summer is busy schedules. On top of the busy schedules, heat. Because of this, it often makes dinner time a difficult thing to tackle in households during the warm season. I know for me, when it is warm out, I not only dread turning on an oven to make dinner, but I prefer to spend my evenings doing things I enjoy a little more. On top of this, new moms I have found, really enjoy these meals as they are often busy and overwhelmed with their new bundle of joy that dinner can sometimes be the last thing they worry about and fuss over. I am excited to begin using dump dinners more throughout the next few months and experimenting with various foods, but of course it is only natural I have at least a few options I already know work out well and taste great too. You may be wondering what the heck a dump dinner is because well, it sounds kind of gross. Actually, it essentially just a dinner you dump into a crock pot after having previously meal prepped it and pre assembled on a different day and often kept it good in the freezer. I find not only does it cut back on time in the kitchen, but they have also saved me in a pinch that I find I get myself in sometimes. Check out the recipes below and as always, I try to make them cost friendly and pretty simple to do! 🙂

enhanced-27814-1441134583-2Beef and Broccoli

1.5 lbs thin flank steak chopped into 2 in pieces
1-1.5 cup beef broth
2/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp minced garlic or garlic powder (I have used whatever I have on hand, no use in spending extra for this meal)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (can be reduced, increased or left out if heat is an issue)
4 cups broccoli florets
2 tbsp corn starch + 4 tbsp cold water MIXED

Combine all ingredients except corn starch & cold water mixture. Add to ziplock bag and freeze. When it comes time to cook, thaw out the night before. Once thawed, spray your slow cooker with non stick spray, add contents of bag to slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours, low 6-8 hours. If it looks a little dryer than you would like, you can always add water half way through, or additional beef broth to your taste and liking. Makes 4 servings.

Italian Chicken & Rice
(this one is actually made in an oven but the same concept of a dump dinner, just different cooking method)

1 Jar marinara sauce of choice
15 oz diced tomatoes undrained
1.5 lbs skinless boneless chicken breast
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 Cup uncooked long grain rice

Mix Marinara, tomatoes, chicken, seasoning, parsley, rice together and freeze. Once you are ready to cook, thaw and ensure ingredients are mixed well in a 13×9 in baking dish. Cover the dish tightly with foil (ensure no steam will escape). Bake at 375 for 45-55 minutes. Remove foil from dish, spring cheese mixture and place back in oven for 5-10 more minutes, until cheese has melted to desired outcome. Makes 4 servings.

Lemon Garlic ChickenOne-Skillet-Chicken-with-Lemon-Garlic-Cream-Sauce-24

2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp parsley
2 tbsp lemon juice (or 1 whole lemon fully juiced)
4-6 chicken breasts, or 8-10 chicken tenders

Literally combine all ingredients in gallon size freezer bag, ensure chicken is fully coated and freeze flat. Thaw overnight before cooking. Pour in baking dish and bake at 350 for 35 minutes. OR frill on a bbq grill outdoors until no longer pink. OR place frozen in crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. (I literally love how there are SO many options for this dish!)

Crockpot Chicken Teriyaki

1-1.5 lbs chicken breast
Stirfry frozen veggie mix (or any mixture of veggies you prefer, I find this easiest)
1/2 cup Soy Sauce
1/2 cup Re Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1 small onion diced
Seasonings of choice (I always do to taste with this one- usually garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and sesame seeds)

Combine all ingredients in gallon size freezer bag, ensure everything is fully coated and freeze flat. Thaw overnight before cooking. Dump mixture in crock pot and cook on low 4-6 hours until chicken is cooked and veggies are soft.

Ranch Pork Chops

4-6 uncoooked pork chips
1 envelope of dry ranch seasoning mix (I always use Hidden Valley)
2 cans of cream of chicken soup (10 oz)

Mix ingredients together and freeze. Thaw the night before you intend to use and pour into crock pot and cook on low for 4-5 hours. (Note: you will have sauce left over with this dish, usually I use with mashed potatoes- but that is just me)

I hope you try a few and if you do- please let me know! I love hearing how things turned out for my readers and if any changes/substitutions were made. Happy cooking and remember to enjoy spending time doing things you really love instead of cooking all evening this summer! – Unless what you enjoy IS cooking that is!

**Note: Photos are not mine, compliments of google.

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