Few aromas beat the smell of a home-cooked meal as families walk through the door after a long day at work and school. For some, it's the smell alone that brings happiness, igniting their appetite for what's to come. But for the cooks of the family, that smell symbolizes more. It goes beyond the anticipated taste of the food; it's the idea that they don't have to continue the work of the day by slaving away in the kitchen.

Slow cookers make that happiness possible. For singles, couples and families who prefer easy, weeknight meals prepared ahead of time, try these three Crock-Pot recipes:

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Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich

French dips make for the perfect meal on a cold, February day, Sunday afternoon while watching football or a busy Tuesday night with filled with family activities. The option to cook them in the Crock-Pot makes the sandwich even more appealing and the au jus for dipping is the perfect touch.

Serves: 6 to 8 sandwiches


1 (3 to 4-pound) chuck roast, remove excess fat

Montreal steak seasoning

2 teaspoons olive oil

¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup water

4 whole black peppercorns

2 cups beef broth

½ teaspoon dried, crushed rosemary

½ teaspoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon minced onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic

6 to 8 french rolls

6 to 8 slices of cheese, provolone suggested


Remove excess fat from roast. Sprinkle with Montreal steak seasoning. Brown both sides) in olive oil. Place in slow cooker. Mix together soy sauce, beef broth, water, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, garlic and onion. Pour mixture over roast. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or high for 5 to 6. Cook until tender and easy to shred. Shred with a fork and the place on sandwich buns. Strain remaining juice and use for dipping.

Recipe courtesy of Yourhomebasedmom.com

Crock-Pot Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup

Copycat recipes are often a favorite for foodies who love to cook. This particular recipe makes the task easy, requiring just 15 minutes to prep before cooking in the Crock-Pot for half a day. By pairing with a salad, bread or sandwich, this recipe is sure to win over the hearts of all.

Serves: 4 to 6


1 pound ground pork sausage

¾ cup onion, diced

6 slices bacon, diced

1¼ teaspoons garlic, minced

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces

2 cups kale, thinly sliced

¾ cup whipping cream


Cook sausage in a large skillet and brown over medium heat. Drain and set aside. Place onion and bacon in the skillet and saute over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Place sausage, onions, bacon and garlic in slow cooker along with remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. Add kale and whipping cream to your crock pot and stir before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Recipesthatcrock.com

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas

Enchiladas are a tasty dinner option, but making them in the slow cooker ensures they'll feed the whole family. By stacking two or even three rows of enchiladas, families are sure to have delicious leftovers. To streamline the process, opt for pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. And for those looking for extra flavor, homemade enchilada sauce adds flair to the dish.

Serves: 6 servings


3 cups shredded chicken

½ cup salsa

12 (6-inch) flour tortillas

2 (10-ounce) cans of enchilada sauce, or 3 cups homemade healthy enchilada sauce

1 (4-ounce) can mild green chiles

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


Spray the inside the slow cooker with nonstick spray. Combine shredded chicken, salsa and approximately ½ cup of the enchilada sauce. In a separate bowl, combine remaining enchilada sauce and chiles, set aside. Divide the chicken mixture over the tortillas - approximately ¼ cup each. Roll each tortilla and place seam side down in the slow cooker. (I was able to fit 6 per layer, topping each layer with enchilada sauce.) Top with cheese. Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours.

Recipe courtesy of Spendwithpennies.com

Visit alexandrafloersch.areavoices.com for more recipes including Skinny Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken, Crock-Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu and Slow Cooker Taco Soup.