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What Are Dump Dinners, And Which Recipes Are Easiest?

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What Are Dump Dinners, And Which Recipes Are Easiest?

For tired moms and busy nights, dump dinners are a lifesaver. But what are dump dinners, exactly? Dump dinner refers to putting most of the ingredients into one pot, like a crockpot or casserole dish, and having most of the work done already. You can make a dump dinner with your oven, stovetop, or, my favorite, the crockpot. Many people like to make dump dinners with easy ingredients that are not expensive to buy. A variety of vegetables are a favorite, such as green beans, potatoes, carrots, etc. Using vegetable or chicken stock also makes quick and delicious dinners. Some great dump dinner dishes are casseroles, soups, stews, and sheet pan dinners. 

What Do You Need to Make a Dump Dinner?

  • Any ingredient specified in the recipe
  • Your oven or stove
  • Instant pot
  • Crockpot

Any of these will work to make a quick and easy dump dinner for a busy night! 

Crockpot Dump Dinners

Crockpots are a time saver when you know you will be busy during the day and only have a little free time to prep a big meal. However, you can still make a delicious and hearty dinner that your family will devour. The best crockpot meals are stews, soups, and dinners where the ingredients are all cooked together. Here are some of the easiest crockpot dump dinners.

Slow-Cooker Pork Fajitas

To make slow cooker pork fajitas, you need:

  • One pork boneless loin roast, trimmed of fat
  • Two tablespoons of fajita seasoning
  • One cup of thick and chunky salsa
  • One bag of frozen stir-fried bell peppers and onions, thawed- you can also use fresh
  • Two packages of tortillas for burritos
  • Two cups shredded Mexican-style taco cheese (8 ounces)
  • One cup of sour cream, if desired

Gather all of your ingredients. Place your pork on the bottom of the slow cooker, and season with the fajita seasoning. Pour salsa over the top of the pork. Cook on low for eight to ten hours. Shred the pork with a fork and then return to the crockpot. Next, pour the thawed bag of bell peppers and onions into the crockpot and cook for 30 more minutes on high. You can either eat this dish as soup or strain out the juice and eat it in a tortilla topped with cheese.

You can replace the pork with chicken and cook the same, using 4-5 thawed chicken breasts. If you are using fresh vegetables, cook them with the pork from the beginning of cook time.

Pork fajitas are simple and delicious, making weeknight dinners easy to prepare!

Classic Pot Roast

Pot roast is a family favorite. It is so simple to make and has very little prep involved. The ingredients you need are: 

  • Roast
  • A pack of carrots
  • Onion
  • Red potatoes
  • Beef stock

Season your roast in any way you desire. Place your roast on the bottom of the crockpot. Next, place your onions and carrots on top of the roast. Cover with beef stock and cook on low for four hours or high for three hours. Add the red potatoes and cook for two-four more hours on low or one to two more hours on high. Shred your roast, and then enjoy! 

Mississippi Pot Roast 

Mississippi pot roast is a yummy alternative to the classic pot roast. Especially if you like a little bit of heat in your dinner. The ingredients you need are: 

  • Four Pounds of roast chuck
  • 1/4 cup of pepperoncini 
  • One pack of brown gravy 
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • One ranch packet 
  • 3/4 cup of beef broth

Season and sear your roast chuck before placing it in the bottom of the crockpot. You do not have to do this step, but it does help cook the roast faster. Top the roast with brown gravy, ranch, butter, and pepperoncini. Add the 3/4 cup of beef broth to the bottom of the crockpot. Cook on low for eight hours or high for four to six hours. You will know your roast is done when it easily shreds with two forks.


Chili is a staple in many homes across America, especially in the winter months. This is because the prep is easy, and the ingredients are simple! There are many different ways to make chili. One of the most traditional ways only requires these ingredients: 

  • Two to four cans of kidney beans. You can also substitute a few cans for chili beans. 
  • A large can or jar of tomato juice
  • One pound of ground hamburger
  • Chili seasoning
  • Diced green chilis

Brown the hamburger. Next, drain the juice from the kidney beans. Then add the ingredients to your crockpot.  After adding the ingredients, mix in the chili seasoning. Cook on low for six to eight hours, long enough to soften the beans and deepen the seasoning. You can eat chili like this or add many different favorites, such as cheese, crackers, tortilla chips, sour cream, and more! If you want more chili recipes, check out these awesome ones for quick, tasty weeknight dinners.

Top 20 Crock Pot Recipes
Chili is an easy dump dinner that is also a classic comfort food.

Sausage, Green Beans, and Potatoes

Sausage and potatoes are quick and easy, making coming home to a hot meal in the crockpot satisfying! All you need for this dump dinner is the following:

  • Any variety of potatoes. I like to use red
  • Two to three sausage link packs, sliced into one-inch round sausages
  • Three to four cans of green beans 
  • Beef stock

There are three ways to prepare this recipe, making it versatile. You can make this on your stovetop, dump all your ingredients in a pot together and cook for one to two hours or until the potatoes are soft. You can place the sausage and potato slices on a sheet pan and place them in the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for a crispier dinner. Just cook your green beans on the stovetop. Lastly, you can dump all the ingredients into your crockpot. Season with salt and pepper and any other seasoning you would like. Then cook on low for six to eight hours or high for three to four hours. Now you have a delicious meal for dinner in three ways! 

BBQ Chicken

BBQ chicken is an easy way to make delicious meat for dinner. Serve it on its own, or make BBQ sandwiches! The ingredients you need are: 

  • One bottle of BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Three to four chicken breasts

Add your chicken breasts to the bottom of the crockpot. Season with salt and pepper. Next, mix the BBQ sauce and brown sugar. Then pour over the chicken and cook on high for three to four hours. Take chicken out of the crockpot and shred it with a fork. Next, place it back into the crockpot and cook for 20 more minutes. Enjoy this delicious BBQ chicken with any side of your choice! 

White Chicken Chili

White chicken chili is an excellent alternative to classic chili. It's a yummy comfort food that is great all year, especially in winter. To make white chicken chili, the ingredients you need are: 

  • 32 ounces of chicken broth
  • One onion diced
  • Three to four cans of white northern beans
  • Three chicken breasts
  • One teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of oregano
  • Two teaspoons of cumin
  • One to two cans of corn
  • Heavy cream

Place chicken on the bottom of the crockpot. Add all the ingredients to the crockpot, stir, and cook on low for six to eight hours.  Add a small amount of heavy cream and stir to thicken the soup. Continue adding the heavy cream until the consistency is how you like it. Alternatively, if you do not want to add dairy, you can make a thickening slurry with one can of white kidney beans and one cup of soup by mixing both in a blender. Then add to the crockpot and mix to thicken. Continue cooking for 15-20 minutes. Then serve hot with any toppings you like, such as cheese, sour cream, or tortillas. 

Chicken Noodle Soup 

Chicken noodle soup is not just for when you are sick. This classic comfort food is simple and easy to make for any day of the week. What you need to make this delicious crockpot meal is:

  • Four to five chicken breasts
  • One chopped onion
  • One bag of carrots
  • Minced garlic 
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 10 cups of chicken broth
  • One bag of egg noodles, around eight ounces.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and lay it on the bottom of the crockpot. Add in the rest of the vegetables and seasoning. Cover with the chicken broth and cook on low heat for six hours. Shred the chicken and add in the egg noodles. Cook the noodles for 30 minutes or until they are tender. This crockpot dinner is an easier alternative to this delicious chicken and noodle recipe.

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings are another classic favorite. To make easy chicken and dumplings, all you need are the following: 

  • Two cups of cooked chicken
  • One can condense cream of mushroom soup diluted with one can of water
  • One can condense cream of chicken soup diluted with one can of water
  • Four teaspoons of all-purpose flour
  • Two teaspoons of chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • One teaspoon chicken seasoning blend
  • Eight canned refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • peas and carrots (optional)

Season the chicken and place it in the bottom of the crockpot. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the biscuits, and stir. Add the peas and carrots if using. Pull the dough apart, shaping them into little balls if you desire. Replace the lid and cook for four hours on low or until done. Make sure the biscuits are cooked through before serving. Chicken and dumplings is a dinner the whole family can enjoy.

Chicken-and-Dumplings, Soup, Heat - Temperature, Steamed, Appetizer, Backgrounds
Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

Vegetable Soup 

Vegetable soup is an excellent dump dinner to make on a busy day. What you need is: 

  • Five to six medium potatoes chopped; You can also use frozen potatoes
  • Frozen corn
  • frozen green beans
  • One yellow onion diced
  • Frozen peas
  • Two stalks of celery  (optional)
  • One pound of ground hamburger browned (optional)
  • 64 ounces of beef broth 

Mix all the vegetables and beef broth in your crockpot—season with salt and pepper. Next, brown the hamburger and add it to the crockpot (optional step). Cook on low for six to eight hours. Now you have a delicious vegetable soup in three easy steps! If you want more vegetable soup recipes, check out these delicious ones here.

Oven Dump Dinners

Oven-baked dump dinners are also possible! The best dump dinners that go in an oven are casseroles. That is because the ingredients can be mixed and prepared the night before. This makes sticking your meal in the oven and eating in 30 minutes to one hour a breeze. 

Baked Italian Chicken

Oven-baked Italian chicken is a family favorite. All you need for this simple and tasty meal is the following: 

  • A bottle of Italian dressing
  • Chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • Any type of cheese (optional)

Place your chicken breasts in a casserole dish and season with salt and pepper. Pour the Italian dressing over the chicken breast and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 15-20 minutes. Pull the chicken out of the oven and sprinkle it with any cheese if desired. Return to the oven and bake for 10 more minutes or until the cheese is melted and the chicken is done. This is one of the easiest yet tastiest dump dinners around! 

The Easiest Mexican Casserole

Who doesn't love a good Mexican dish? This tasty meal makes weeknight dinners simple and satisfying.  The ingredients you need are: 

  • One bag of tortilla chips divided
  • Two pounds of lean ground beef
  • One can of Mexican stewed tomatoes, about 10 ounces
  • One package of shredded Mexican 4-cheese blend, about 8 ounces

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, brown the ground beef until cooked, and drain. Then crush the bag of tortilla chips and spread half into a casserole dish. Mix the cheese, stewed tomatoes, and ground beef together. Spread over the crushed tortilla chips. Top the casserole dish with the rest of the crushed tortilla chips. Bake for 40 minutes or until done. Serve hot, and enjoy! 

Tater-Topped Casserole

Does your family love tater tots? This tater-topped casserole is perfect for your crew, then! The ingredients are simple, and the prep is minimal. The ingredients you need are: 

  • One pound of lean ground beef
  • ½ pound extra-lean ground turkey
  • One package of frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and drained
  • ¾ cup French-fried onions
  • One can reduced-fat, reduced-sodium condensed cream of celery soup
  • One can reduced-fat, reduced-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup
  • ½ cup fat-free milk
  • Four cups frozen tater tots, thawed

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, brown the ground beef and ground turkey in a large skillet. Then in a greased 13×9 baking dish, place the meat on the bottom. Layer the vegetables on top. Next, place the french-fried onions over top of the vegetables. Mix the cream of celery soup, chicken soup, and milk in a bowl. Lastly, pour over the onions and place the tater tots on top. Bake uncovered for 55-60 minutes or until the tater tots are golden brown.

The tater-topped casserole is a kid's favorite!

Hashbrown Casserole

Hashbrown casserole makes a great stand-alone dish for breakfast or can be eaten as a delicious side! To make hashbrown casserole, all you need is the following:

  • A bag of shredded country-style hash browns
  • One can of cream chicken soup
  • One container of sour cream
  • Bag of cheddar cheese, 8 ounces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, mix all the ingredients in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Last, cook for one hour. Here is a simple yet tasty recipe for hashbrown casserole. There are many different variations of this dish.

Chicken, Green Beans, Potatoes

Chicken is a versatile staple. You can add it to so many different recipes. Here is another dump dinner that is so simple it doesn't even feel like you are cooking! The ingredients are: 

  • Chicken
  • Italian seasoning 
  • Red potatoes
  • Three to four cans of green beans
  • One stick of butter
  • Salt and pepper

Place your chicken on 1/3 of a baking dish and season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Next, place your cut potatoes on the other side of the baking dish. In the middle, place your green beans. Season the vegetables with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Slice the butter and place it over your vegetables and potatoes. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes or until the chicken is done and the potatoes are soft. You can switch this recipe up and use lemon pepper and lemon juice instead of Italian seasoning!

In Conclusion

Dump dinners are an excellent option for busy nights and tired parents. The prep is minimal, and the options are plenty, making finding something your family will love while making mealtime easy for you a cinch!

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