Temps are dropping, days are shortening, and we’re getting hungry for all things cozy and warm – let’s bust out those slow cookers!
Temps are dropping, days are shortening, and we’re getting hungry for all things cozy and warm – pretty sure it’s all just a scheme of the universe to get us to bust out our slow cookers.
So today let’s dust off the crockpots slash slow cookers slash whatever you want to call them and get them to magically make us something delicious (and easy – always, always easy) for dinner. Magic + delicious + easy: this is how we roll around here.
Let’s just address this right off the bat – there is absolutely a certain amount of food-fancy-ism in the cooking world related to use of the slow cooker. Like, there are people in the world who are above it. 😭 I know, right? Does the slow cooker have a certain dowdy Midwestern vibe to it? Maybe a little bit. Maybe a lot. But does it make incredible meals that basically cook themselves? I repeat: INCREDIBLE MEALS THAT COOK THEMSELVES? This is life-changing, time-saving magic we’re talking about.
If you’re looking for a really good slow cooker, check out this one. It’s our tried-and-true favorite around here. Really any brand will do though. Just get to making these fall-apart, swoonworthy, cooked-for-you meals.
Tis the season for slow cooking, friends!
Why it’s great for the slow cooker: The chicken shreds so easily right in the crockpot, and the long cooking time allows all the flavors to blend together into a really delicious flavor combo. The sausage gives it a hearty boost, too. YUM. It’s a good one!
Why it’s great for the slow cooker: At the risk of sounding Midwestern-slow-cooker-dowdy, this is a classic “dump it in and forget it” recipe. Slow cooker beef always turns out incredibly moist and tender, and this did not disappoint. You should sear the exterior of the meat first for best results, but if it’s Monday morning and you’re on the way out the door – no. Not happening. This is a forgiving recipe that can work either way. It’s really convenient and yummy with polenta or mashed potatoes or pasta.
Why it’s great for the slow cooker: That’s right. Pasta. In the crockpot. It’s happening. So quick to layer all the ingredients together, and then you can leave it all day until dinner. Easiest recipe on the list, for sure! (and a personal favorite of mine thanks to all those veggies and cheese!)
Why it’s great for the slow cooker: This is a go-to for me when we are entertaining because I can leave it cooking all day and then just pop it in the oven at the end for browning, right when our friends walk in the door. Also: because of the slow, long cooking time, the meat gets really tender and flavorful, and it’s really easy to shred right in the crockpot once it’s cooked.
Why it’s great for the slow cooker: Maybe I’m starting to sound like a broken record here, but it’s easy! Also, the chicken becomes really moist and tender from all the liquids staying in the crockpot. It’ll create a bit of a broth right in the crockpot. Keep the veggies, broth, and some of the meat right in the crockpot and you’ll have your base for chicken noodle soup – just add the noodles! If you prefer to get a crispy skin at the end, you just need to put the chicken under the broiler for a little bit.
Why it’s great for the slow cooker: It’s a good alternative option to making granola in the oven, especially if you don’t have access to an oven or you simply don’t want to use the oven and heat up the kitchen (I’m looking at you, California). It will yield a different (but still delicious) type of granola – one with fewer clusters and a softer texture.
Why it’s great for the slow cooker: This chili recipe is perfect for the crockpot because the meat gets so tender and flavorful over the long cooking time. My friend Ang introduced us to this recipe and it’s been a favorite in our little friend circle ever since – it’s a great have-people-over-and-put-chili-on-anything kind of meal.
Why it’s great for the slow cooker: This recipe = less hands-on time, and using the hand mixer saves lots of time and energy in the mashing process. It’s not the same perfect fluffiness as ricing the potatoes one at a time and mashing them by hand, but this is how we have it every year at Thanksgiving with Bjork’s family and it’s really darn good.
Why it’s great for the slow cooker: This is a really easy recipe that yields delicious results! The peaches get a little caramelization from the crockpot (!!), and the topping is perfect. Talk about great for when you have guests for dinner – you can do it all ahead of time, but then still serve a nice warm cobbler when dinnertime rolls around.
10: Red Lentil Curry
Why it’s great for the slow cooker: First of all, because red lentil curry is meatless and AMAZING. Secondly, lentils are so perfect for the crockpot because they get a great texture and they soak up all the flavors of the other ingredients during the long cooking time. Plus – easy!
Why it’s great for the slow cooker: Let me start by saying this one doesn’t look like much, but it is EVERYTHING. The non-slow-cooker version of this soup is what we make at Christmastime, and the slow cooker version is for busy weeknights all throughout the winter. The chicken gets really tender and is super easy to shred (saves time from boiling chicken and then chopping it), the wild rice can cook at its own super slow pace, and you add in the creamy roux to make it all luscious and velvety at the end.
12: Pot Roast
Why it’s great for the slow cooker: The meat stays tender and flavorful, and the broth created in the crockpot can be used to make a delicious homemade gravy. GRAVY!!!
And that’s a wrap!
If you have other favorite slow cooker recipe ideas, please leave them in the comments because we’re a champion slow cooking team together and every recipe counts!