It may not be frigid everywhere, but I think it’s safe to say that plenty of us are winter weary and as done with cooking as we are with gloves with scarves. This last stretch of the cold weather (and the exhausting lack of daylight) is a perfect time to let your crock pot do the work of making these easy slow cooker dinner recipes. With hardly any effort on your part, you can cozy up with a book while dinner cooks. Or, you know, take care of one of the other million things on your to-do list.
Now if only there was an appliance that would bathe my children with hardly any effort on my part.
Take out is tempting when you don’t feel like cooking, but what if you can have homemade Chinese with barely any more work than picking up the phone and ordering take-out? It’s possible with this Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli recipe from Cooking Classy. This version is way healthier and just as delicious than your local spot. I promise.
The Slow Cooker Sweet and Tangy Pulled Chicken from my own site, One Hungry Mama, is among my most popular recipes ever. One commenter said that it was the best things she’s cooked in seven years. (Thank you!) I’m not surprised, given that it’s adapted from the new healthy slow cooker cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen. Grab the recipe and also see my review of the book, which I love. I think you will, too, if you’re into this whole slow cooker doing the work thing.
The beef for these Sweet and Spicy Beef Nachos that I found on A Spicy Perspective is made in a slow cooker and can easily be served for taco night. Or add a can of drained and rinsed canned black beans, swap soft tortillas for chips, and serve with slices of avocado — you’ve got a complete meal right there. Or serve as is for nacho night. Who isn’t going to love that?
I have you covered on Chinese take out and, now, Indian, too. Chungah of Damn Delicious (isn’t that the best food blog name?) lightens up the classic with her Slow Cooker Butter Chicken recipe. With 10 minutes of prep and a ton of calories saved, this recipe is a big hit with me. (also at very top)
Making soup is a cinch in the crock pot and I’m loving the sound of this easy Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup from Two Peas & Their Pod. The best part is that with three minutes of extra prep, you can top this soup with Maple Roasted Chickpeas to make it extra special. Winter food perfection.
We included this Lemon Chicken Stew found on Foodie Crush in our round up of healthy detox recipes for the same reasons it belongs on this list of easy dinner recipes–it’s easy, hearty, and delicious. The healthy part just happens to be incidental, which is how we like it.
The healthy turkey chili for this Three Bean Chili Baked Potatoes from Fit Foodie Finds comes together in your slow cooker with no more prep than throwing all the ingredients into the pot. If you like the way that Lee serves the chili over potatoes, you can microwave them to keep it fast or follow her directions for baked potatoes. Alternatively, you can serve the chili over a big bowl of rice.
Nothing is cozier in the winter than a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, but making it the old fashioned way can be a project. Instead, do a little work ahead of time with this recipe for Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs from Girl Versus Dough. What a smart way to turn a classic family meal into an easy weeknight dinner.