Fun with crock pot recipes? Follow my logic. Dicing up some ingredients and throwing them into the slow cooker in the morning means that in the evening:
- You can have a healthy meal at the end of a stressful day, rather than grabbing fast food on your drive home and adding THAT to your guilt tally. And your waistline.
- Various family members running from one activity to the next can dip out a ladle of goodness whenever they have a moment, leaving said love one properly and healthfully caloried-up for nighttime activities.
- You can do what you want to do when you get home from work -- kick off your shoes, laze on the couch and enjoy a glass of wine before dinner -- rather than hustling into the kitchen to cook.
- Hosts can actually spend their dinner parties enjoying their guests rather than trying to flambé something while opening the door, managing coats and handing out cocktails.
See. My slow cooker allows me to get all of the goodness out of home cooking with none of the stress of cooking at the end of full day. I'm a year-round slow cooker advocate, but these are some stick-to-your-rib recipes I like to pull out for the winter months.
Favorite weeknight crock pot recipes
Spicy Chicken Stew – I double up this recipe whenever I make it. It’s so good and it only gets better as it sits. This is also my go-to when I want to share the love: Give it to a friend who wants to take a night off from making dinner and I promise they'll be asking for the recipe.
Slow Cooker Meat Loaf with Shitake Mushrooms – This is a Cooking Light recipe that is so moist and delicious that I don’t need to be dieting to enjoy it. Cooking it in the crock pot is pure genius, eliminating all the issues about dryness that you can get with oven-cooked meat loaves.
Favorite crock pot recipes for entertaining
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork – This simple recipe from Good Housekeeping is crazy delicious. Grab some buns, a bag of chips and some pickles, and you’ve got a party for a crowd.
Cola Shredded Beef Tacos – We call these Dr. Pepper tacos at my house. The recipe calls for Mexican Coke, which I can never find, so instead I buy Dr. Pepper for the syrupy sweetness the recipe is looking for. I make these with frijoles and salsa verde, and they truly wow my guests.
FAVORITE HEALTHY CROCK POT RECIPES
Slow Cooker Chicken Verde - So, yes, sometimes I’ll make the salsa verde from scratch like this recipe recommends. And sometimes I’ll buy chunky chili verde from the produce or deli aisle, puree half of it, and that’s quite alright, too.
Slow Cooker Cabbage Soup -- We're meat eaters in this house (as you may be able to tell) but I imagine you can make this with vegan sausage and it would be just as delicious. You just need something to add the spice and richness that the sausage lends.
Favorite recipes for Sunday dinner
Slow Cooker Tuscan Pot Roast -- This is a long time favorite; while it technically is a pot roast, the meat falls apart and becomes this awesome gravy that I love to ladle in shallow bowls over grilled slices of French bread. Instead of using a cup of wine, I use a half-cup of wine and a half-cup of beef broth to increase the richness.
Classic Beef Stew -- I found this in the same issue of Real Simple as the recipe above. I find both recipes to be simple, dependable recipes that provide a tasty, one-pot winter meal.