Springtime can be busy, and a crock pot meal waiting in the kitchen is convenient when sports, activities or park playdates run late. Forget a day of making freezer meals — these simple ideas will help you spring into creative chicken dinners.

Easy Mexican – Few dishes are easier than chicken dumped in the crock pot with a jar of salsa. Serve with chips and cheese for nachos, open a can of beans for burritos, and leftovers are ready for enchiladas later in the week.

Spicy – Picky eaters may be satisfied with old-fashioned barbeque sauce. More adventurous families can try Indian or Thai curry paste. Throw in your favorite veggies, and serve over rice.

Chicken Paprikash – Just because this is a Martha Stewart recipe doesn’t make it hard. If you can boil egg noodles, this recipe is within your skill set. The only special ingredient is a good quality paprika, which you add to canned tomatoes and chopped onion. Sour cream or yogurt mixes with the sauce when serving.

Pickle Juice? – Pinterest claims you can “cheat” your favorite chicken sandwich recipe with some pickle juice. My kids preferred Chick Fil A, but it was good!

Hawaiian chicken – Pineapple juice, soy sauce and ginger – that’s easy as 1-2-3.

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