★★★★★ Slow Cooker Recipes

★★★★★ Slow Cooker Recipes

Dust off your crock pot and bust out these easy slow cooker recipes. Prep in the morning and come home to dinner that’s ready to go. These recipes also make great choices for entertaining (it is potluck season after all). Without further ado, here are some crock pot tips and tasty meals to get you rolling on the slow cooker train.

 

Tips

  • Save time – Skip recipes that call for lots of extra steps, since that’s the appeal of slow cooker cooking. While some recipes call for browning or sautéeing ingredients beforehand, it’s not necessary for the most part. That said, the extra step of pre-cooking  (whether its meat or veggies) does add flavor.
  • Prep ahead – If mornings are all a rush, prepare your crock pot meal the night before and toss it (in the liner) into the fridge. Get the liner out in the morning and let it sit a bit before turning on the slow cooker.
  • Keep it not-so-full – Slow cookers work best when they are a half or two-thirds full. If you are cooking a roast or whole chicken, make sure the lid still fits tightly. Otherwise, size up and use a larger crock.
  • Go light on the liquid – The lid traps moisture. This means the liquid you start with is pretty close to what you will end with. It also means you won’t see a lot of thickening, so keep that in mind.
  • Stop peeking – Every time you open the lid you can add as much as 20 more minutes to the cooking time. As long as you have stirred your ingredients at the beginning, there’s no need to mess with your meal until the cooking time is up.

 

Recipes

  • Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore – The classic recipe gets a nutritional boost with added vegetables. If you are short on time, use quick  cooking rice or quinoa instead of the brown rice.
  • Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Lasagna – Who knew you could make lasagna in a slow-cooker? This lasagna makes a perfect potluck choice to bring a non-meat dish to pass.
  • Slow-Cooker Onion-Herb Focaccia – This no-knead dough cooks up into a fabulous bread that also makes a great base for pizza or a side for soup.
  • Crock Pot Red Beans and Rice – This classic New Orleans recipe uses only five ingredients, but packs a flavorful punch.
  • Jamaican Chicken and Quinoa – Tender chicken thighs mingle with quinoa in this spicy island dish.
  • Crock Pot Black Bean Chili – When cold whether strikes, is there anything better than a big bowl of chili with a steaming slice of cornbread?
  • Herbed Farro with Chicken – This hybrid of pilaf and stew is super easy and flexible. Add more veggies to change up the flavor and add nutrients.
  • Slow-Cooker BBQ Chicken – By the time it’s ready, the chicken will just fall apart – no need for special cutting or shredding!
  • Slow-Cooker Chicken Carnitas – We served these at our staff meeting and there were no leftovers! You can skip the crisping at the end, but it does make the flavor richer.