Do you hate feeling rushed to get dinner made and on the table? Or have little ones tugging on you, whining, or otherwise being needed at the exact moment you start to prepare supper? When I can throw dinner in my Crock Pot while I get other things done, I feel productive. When I serve dinner that my children willingly eat (and one gives me a thumbs up), I call that a Mom Win. This recipe helped me achieve both!
Disclosure: The Zaycon Fresh ground beef used in this recipe was provided to us. I, of course, was thrilled since I love ordering Zaycon Fresh chicken breasts! Our referral link is included as well.
As I mentioned before, I was pretty stoked to be receiving about 40 pounds of lean ground beef from Zaycon Fresh. I've really been getting more and more into freezer cooking over the past year. It helps our budget, saves time in the long run, and overall has lead to a happier me. Dinner shouldn't be so stressful and dining out is a major budget buster. Buying quality meat in bulk from Zaycon Fresh helps me do just that. So, I started making plans on how we'd use up all this meat.
Ordering from Zaycon Fresh is super easy and on event day we drove to the designated parking lot, they loaded our order into the trunk, and we drove home. Once home I put on gloves, got out freezer bags, and got to work separating the ground beef into one pound portions for freezing.
To save space, I spread the meat out flat. It also decreases defrosting time!
I love how my husband humors me for blog post photos.
This pick up was during the week in the late afternoon, so I didn't cook any of the hamburger ahead of time. If I had more time, I would have cooked and seasoned a bunch to make future dinner prep even easier. Being able to pull browned hamburger out of my freezer makes dinner a snap when making something like my Layered Taco Bake recipe.
A good chunk of the ground beef will be coming along with us on vacation. We'll be staying in a rental home and plan to make hamburger patties to throw on the grill, plus sloppy joes, tacos, and other quick and easy recipes.
My goal was to create more of a cheeseburger flavor than I did, but I used ingredients often found in my cupboard. I did have to turn to my spice rack for garlic and onion because I didn't have either on hand, otherwise I would have chopped those up instead. It was still tasty!
We always keep pasta noodles and sauce on hand!
My daughter went through a stretch where she refused to eat much meat. She seems to be a fan of chicken, but hamburger was a no go. However, she loves pasta. Spaghetti is one of her favorites. Recently she began to appreciate the deliciousness of meatballs with her spaghetti. I wasn't sure if I could get her to eat Cheeseburger Spaghetti.
Also, my daughter spotted the hamburger and looked at it suspiciously. I told her they were tiny baby meatballs… Hey, she ate it!
Garlic powder to taste (could mince a clove or two)
Dried minced onion to taste (could use fresh)
Brown the ground beef over medium heat, season with garlic and onion.
Drain grease from the cooked beef.
Pour one jar of spaghetti sauce into the crockpot, covering the bottom.
Add the noodles, breaking them as necessary to fit.
Add ground beef.
Add shredded cheese.
Pour second jar over the top of everything.
Cook on LOW 2-4 hours. (Mine was done by 3)
Stir before serving! (If possible, try to stir about halfway through)
Serve with a side salad and garlic bread. Yum!
I've come to love my Crockpot because it helps me get dinner ready before the mad rush at the end of the day. It doesn't completely stop the kids from whining, but I'm able to focus on them better instead of feeling frustrated and frazzled. At least I can count on everyone eating this meal 98% of the time when it is served!
Darcy lives outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her husband, their 8 year old daughter, 6 year old son, two cats, and a rescue dog. She loves to share kids crafts, simple recipes, and parenting tips to help other moms. She's passionate about education (which is why she is a PTO board member and Box Tops Coordinator) and all things babies. Darcy loves purple, geek culture, and making an ordinary life feel extraordinary. She and her family enjoy exploring Wisconsin and planning local adventures. Author of Breastfeeding 101: Beauty in Breastfeeding, available on Amazon. Her writing has also been featured on Babble, CafeMom, and Mom.me.