The EASIEST “Back-to-School” family meal

One of the great things about getting “Back-to-School” is that we also get back to a routine and planned menus. I truly love every moment of the summer & it’s looser schedule, but sometimes it would be after 8 pm & I’d still have no idea what we’d eat for supper. That wonderful luxury of unplanned days unfortunately resulted in unplanned meals. I liked to call these nights FYOM (Fix Your Own Meal). While FYOM was a fun novelty for a time or two, this type of meal management quickly lost its appeal. Sooooo…. Now that the days are more structured, so are the dinners. My family is grateful. And hungry. And they are also really tired. School started on Monday. Need I say more?

EASIEST Back-to-School Crock Pot Meal Ever - can be served 4 ways!

I’ve shared this recipe at the beginning of the past several school years, but it so delicious that it bears repeating. This is truly one of the easiest home-cooked dinners I make. We love it – especially because it can be served in 4 different ways for 4 different meals. I’m all about the quick & easy in the kitchen. If you’re looking for fast and easy in cooking, this is one recipe to remember.

Crockpot BBQ Roast


1 beef roast (whatever size you need – I always check the sale meat section for big roasts, then freeze them until needed)

Rendezvous Seasoning rub (I know, this is a Southern thing – just use any kind of bbq rub you like)

Dales Sauce (another Southern thing – but it may be sold everywhere?)

Heavy aluminum foil

Rub the roast with the dry rub and place it in a foil pouch. Pour Dales over it and seal it well. Place it in a crock pot, along with about 2 cups of water. Cook this on low all day or night. The longer it cooks, the more tender it will be.

(I often wrap greased baking potatoes in foil and place on top of the roast. And, if there is room, I’ll season green beans and wrap them in a foil pouch and place on top, too. I’ve never wrapped baked beans in foil and cooked them this way, but I’m sure it would work, as well.)

When you’re ready to make the BBQ, pull the roast out of the foil, letting the seasoned liquid run back into the crock pot (reserving some liquid in case needed, or incase you desire to drink it or pour it over a piece of loaf bread… but I digress as I confess). Place the roast in a bowl and shred it with a fork.

At this point, you can do four things with it.
1. To make BBQ sandwiches: Mix BBQ sauce in with the roast, and serve on buns. We’ll eat this with a salad and baked beans.

2. To make a “French Dip” style sandwich: Pour a little seasoned liquid onto both sides of a hoagie roll, add cheese, and the roast. Serve some liquid on the side to dip the sandwich in. (My husband likes to add horseradish to his sandwiches.) I serve potato chips and a salad with this meal.

3. To make BBQ Baked Potatoes: Season the roast with BBQ sauce. Cook the potatoes along with the roast. Cut open the potato and fill with butter, salt, pepper, BBQ, grated cheese, and sour cream. Yummm.

4. To make BBQ Nachos: Mix BBQ sauce in with the roast, and serve on tortilla chips. Top with baked beans, cheddar cheese, onions, and sour cream.


About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at


  1. I love quick and easy! I’m going to try this one out Jennifer. Thanks for sharing.

    Blessings and love,

  2. Routine is great! I think that was always my most favorite thing about going back to school. That, and pulling out all the yummy fall recipes!

    Love ya,

  3. All 4 recipes sound delicious!
    Love the photos of your family!

  4. Jennifer, as you know my family LOVES a homecooked meal. And I always look for recipes that are quick and simple to get on the table during this busy season. I will be making this soon! Thank you for sharing!!!! Love to you!!!