A few weeks into July and summer is in full swing…days are hot and seemingly endless. People are packing up their cars and hitting the road for quick trips to the beach and heading out of town for weekend camping excursions. These are the days of campfires and s’mores, swimming and lawn games, fireflies and thunderstorms. We wait all year for this time of year, especially when the winter before refuses to loosen its grip. Let’s be honest, few of us want these summer days to fade away despite the often sweltering heat, including me–a die-hard winter fanatic. And sometimes the last thing we want to do is plan and prepare complicated meals…they prevent us from taking advantage of all the wonderful activities summer has to offer.
Last summer, while on vacation with my family, everyone took turns making the day’s main meal. Though everybody admittedly made delicious meals, if I had to choose one best new and innovative recipe (at least to me), I would have to give the award to my sister, Melissa. She introduced us to the wonder of crockpot turkey sandwiches, a recipe that requires a crockpot, a package or two of store-bought hamburger buns, and three ingredients. That’s right, just three! Turkey breast, ranch seasoning, and butter. Basically, you throw all three into the crockpot, turn it on low, and let the slow cooker work its magic. Eight hours later, simply take two forks and shred the turkey meat to serve pulled-style on a hamburger bun. You’ll have such delicious, flavorful, mouth-watering turkey that you’ll swear someone snuck into the kitchen while you were out enjoying the beautiful summer weather and added some secret ingredients to your mixture. Alas, no kitchen elves are required, and these simple sandwiches are the perfect solution to getting the most out of every summer day.*
Crockpot Turkey Sandwiches
3 lb. boneless, skinless turkey breast
1 packet of ranch seasoning (3 tblsp. bulk ranch seasoning)
1 stick of butter, cut into four or five chunks.
Place all ingredients into a crockpot. Cover, and cook on low for approximately 8 hours, at which time use two forks to shred the turkey breast. Serve immediately with hamburger buns. Makes approximately 12, 4 oz. servings.
Bryce and I recently utilized this recipe when we headed off to spend the day at the beach with some friends of ours. We added an onion, chopped, to the bottom of the crockpot. It was perfect! We came home to the smell of roasting turkey and a meal ready to enjoy, complete with caramelized onions to stir in. But because it’s just the two of us, we were faced with quite a hefty amount of leftovers. In addition to enjoying a few more turkey sandwiches throughout the following week, we also reconstituted the pulled turkey into a number of different recipes. Bryce added diced onions, potatoes, and fried eggs to make a turkey hash. I stirred in some Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce, making BBQ Pulled-Turkey Sandwiches and Nachos. The possibilities are many!
* The turkey sandwiches prove useful all year round, not just during the busy summer months.