Possibly one of the most tiring things about being an adult is the responsibility of having to figure out what to have for dinner every night, for the rest of your life. Who’d have known that would be a thing? Well not to fear, I’m here to help make your adulting just a little bit easier with these 10 easy slow cooker meals that won’t make you dread dinner time.
1. BBQ Pulled Chicken or Pork
A classic dish that requires little to no work on your part to make. Using either chicken breast or pork roast, simply plop the meat into the slow cooker, add either some BBQ sauce or a pre-made slow cooker sauce packet and go. You can put everything together in the morning, setting your crockpot to cook on low, and by the time you get back from work or school, you’ll have dinner ready to serve. Pulled pork or chicken can be made into a sandwich, put on a tortilla, or even eaten straight from a bowl. It’s simple, easy, and delicious any day of the week.
2. Beef Stew
Beef stew is a classic in the realm of slow cooker meals, and it is another personal favorite of mine, and it can be made in a couple of easy steps. Grab some pre-cut beef stew meat, a packet of dry seasoning, and any veggies you may want to include; peas, potatoes, carrots, etc. Place the meat in the slow cooker and add the seasoning, along with enough water to cover everything. You can cook it on high for around 6 hours, adding in the veggies once the meat is complete. Once everything is done you can serve and go!
3. Sweet or Spicy Pot Roast
Pot roast, similar to the beef stew, is simple to make. Instead of stew meat, grab a good-sized beef roast and toss it in the pot. If you want to make it spicy, add in a whole jar of hot giardiniera. The flavor will permeate the entire roast as it cooks, leaving you with a deliciously tender and spicy pot roast dinner! On the other hand, if spice isn’t for you, you can switch things up and add a can of either Dr. Pepper or Coke. The soda helps tenderize the meat and will give you a slightly sweet flavor once fully cooked. Additionally, these two recipes can be customized as much as you like. If you want to add vegetables you definitely can; however, the meat is absolutely delicious all on its own.
4. Corned Beef Roast
Whether or not it’s St. Patrick’s Day, you can enjoy an easy corned beef dinner. Pick up a packed corned beef roast, the one with the seasoning packet inside, and toss it in your crockpot. You can add potatoes and carrots, if you want them, right at the start, or you can wait towards the end; cabbage can also be added around the last hour of cooking. This roast can be cooked on high, but low is recommended to help keep the meat tender. Overall the most you’ll have to do is chop the cabbage. Small red and gold potatoes can be added whole, and carrots can be bought pre-cut. Slow cooker meals don’t get much easier than this!
5. Chicken Cacciatore
Another easy slow cooker meal is chicken cacciatore. This savory Italian style dish can be easily made by placing chicken breasts and Arrabbiata sauce into the crockpot and cooking it for around 4 to 5 hours on low. Once done, simply boil your desired pasta noodles and voila! You have an easy and filling dish that you can eat off of for two days at least!
6. Thick and Savory Chili
As the weather turns colder, there is nothing better than a hot bowl of chili. An easy way to make this hearty dish is by loading one pound of ground beef, a 15oz can of chili starter tomato sauce, and a 15oz can of chili beans into your crockpot. Cook everything on low for 6 hours, or high or 4 hours, and then top with cheese or sour cream and dig in! If you want to have enough leftovers to last a couple of days, double up the ingredients and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Alternatively, you can also freeze chili for up to 6 months, just store it in a freezer bag and thaw in the fridge overnight. This is a great way to plan ahead for those nights when you just want to reheat and eat!
7. The Easiest Mashed Potatoes
Maybe it’s the Irish in me, but I go through a lot of potatoes, and one of my favorite ways of making mashed potatoes is in the crockpot. These can be made as a side dish, or as the main dish themselves! (They’re literally that good.) This recipe is my inspiration; however, I forgo the thyme and nutmeg. In essence, the only ingredients you really need to add are butter, sour cream, salt and pepper, garlic, and milk. Cook the potatoes for 3 to 4 hours on high, whip everything together and eat up! You can also use this recipe to make leftovers into delicious pancakes if you’re feeling adventurous!
8. Brown Sugar Ribs
One childhood favorite of mine is slow-cooked beef ribs. For this recipe, divide two racks of rib in half and pop them in the crockpot with sliced onion. For the sauce, mix a cup of ketchup, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Cover the ribs with the sauce and cook on high for 5 hours, or low for 7. Trust me when I say, this will end up being your favorite way to make ribs going forward. Not only is the flavor out of this world, but it’s so easy to make!
9. Slow Cooker Apple Cake
Slow cooker meals aren’t just for savory dishes, and you know I couldn’t go without mentioning some sweets! To make this amazing dessert dump a can of apple pie filling into your crockpot and line the bottom with it. Cover that with yellow cake mix, and place a stick of butter on top. That’s it! Cook the whole thing on low for 4 hours and then marvel at the incredibly delicious creation you just made. Pro-tip: You can substitute the apples for blueberries, peaches, cherries, strawberries, really any pie filling you choose. Alternatively, you can cut up fresh fruit and use that as well!
10. Cinnamon Rolls
Slow-cooked cinnamon rolls are not only mouthwatering, but they make your house smell heavenly. For minimal effort pick up a container of Pillsbury Cinnamon Roll dough, separate the rolls and line them along the bottom of your slow cooker. (You can line the cooker with parchment paper to make for easy removal.) Let everything cook for 2 hours, top with icing, and enjoy the sweet gooey deliciousness. If you want to make the dough yourself, this recipe gives you two ways to whip it up.
So, which recipe do you feel like making tonight? Do you have a favorite recipe that isn’t on the list? Let us know in the comments below what slow cooker meals are your go-to!
Featured Image Source: www.pinterest.com
Shawna is a theatre major and writer living in rural Illinois. When not writing, she spends time reading, watching documentaries, and pondering the complexities of the human condition. Her favorite things include; thunderstorms, the color black, and a good cup of tea.