Bulked Up Marinara {Crockpot Recipe}

I debated on what to call this recipe… “Crockpot Dump Sauce” just didn’t sound appealing, ‘ya know?!
(Even though that is literally all I did!)

 
People ask me all the time how I go about meal prepping. I get that the idea is completely overwhelming if you’ve never done it before.
You can be prepared / set yourself up to stay on track with your goals without spending all weekend in the kitchen. Do not over complicate things! Trust me, I learned the hard way, but you can just go the easy route and learn from my trial and error. 😉
I literally used to spend the entire weekend getting ready for the week ahead. While I enjoyed it at first, it got old when I never had time for anything else. Now I let good enough actually *be* good enough, and make sure to spend time relaxing on there weekend. That’s what they are for after all!
That brings me back to my case in point: this meal prep plan for the week. A few convenience items along with fresh and frozen veggies and you have a healthy meal that doesn’t take a lot of time. A jar of marinara may be higher in sodium than homemade, but it is still healthy in opinion. Once it has been bulked up with all the veggies and slow-cooked in the crockpot, the servings go much farther and the extra sodium isn’t adding up as quickly. I didn’t add any additional seasoning for this reason, but you could add fresh herbs along with the veggies.
 
I used half the bag of carrots and all of everything else shown. Just dumped it in the crockpot and cooked on high for 4 hours. Amount shown made enough to freeze half for another week!
Feel free to use whatever type of pasta for serving it with. I used spaghetti squash, but you could use any kind of noodles or even zoodles (zucchini noodles).
Did you know you can cook spaghetti squash in the microwave? Wash the squash, poke holes in it with a knife (I usually do 7-8 in various locations), and microwave in intervals of 3-4 minutes turning each time. It is done when soft to the touch and poking at it leaves a mark (use a kitchen mit or towel when turning or poking, or you’ll burn yourself). Let cool, cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, then use a fork to shred the strands into a bowl and you’re done!

I also added precooked chicken from Moes Southwest Grill for my protein, but you could add any meat you have on hand, or leave it out if vegetarian.

 

Meal prep isn’t for everyone, but I’ve mentioned before that with my job/commute, if I don’t prepare in advance, I won’t have anything to eat!🍴

 

| Kaci

Reader questions:
1/ Do you ever meal prep in advance of the week (even if it is just part of the meal or your snacks)?
2/ Have you ever cooked spaghetti squash in the microwave?

Thanks to Amanda for hosting the linkup!
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