Slow cookers can be a wonderful way to come home to an already cooked, healthy meal. Put in your ingredients, turn it on, get your kids off to school and you off to work. When you return, you can quickly prepare your sides and dinner is done!
1.Slow-Cooker Bean and Spinach Enchiladas, Real Simple
Mexican themed family dinner sounds fun doesn’t it! This would be a great mid-week treat.
- 115.5-ounce can black beans, rinsed
- 110-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
- 1cup frozen corn
- 1/2teaspoon ground cumin
- 8ounces sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 216-ounce jars salsa (3 1/2 cups)
- 86-inch corn tortillas, warmed
- 1medium head romaine lettuce, chopped (6 cups)
- 4radishes, cut into matchsticks
- 1/2cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2cucumber, halved and sliced
- 3tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2tablespoons olive oil
- sliced scallions, for serving
- In a medium bowl, mash half the beans. Add the spinach, corn, cumin, 1 cup of the Cheddar, the remaining beans, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and mix to combine.
- Spread 1 jar of the salsa in the bottom of a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Dividing evenly, roll up the bean mixture in the tortillas (about ½ cup each) and place the rolls seam-side down in a single layer in the slow cooker. Top with the remaining salsa and Cheddar.
- Cover and cook until heated through, on low for 2½ to 3 hours.
- Before serving, toss the lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, and cucumber in a large bowl with the lime juice, oil, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Serve with the enchiladas and sprinkle with the scallions.
2. Creamy Crockpot Chicken Alfredo, Smashed Peas and Carrots
- 2 large or 4 medium chicken breasts (can be frozen!)
- 1 can cream of chicken (or mushroom) soup
- ½ cup Italian dressing
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 small can sliced mushrooms, drained
- 1 8 oz block of cream cheese
- ½ to 1 bag of frozen peas or broccoli
- 1 lb spaghetti or other noodles
- Place chicken breasts in crockpot and add in the cream of chicken soup, Italian dressing, minced garlic, and mushrooms.
- Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
- About 20 minutes before serving, pull chicken out and shred or cut into cubes and return to the crockpot.
- Add in the block of cream cheese and stir until combined.
- Boil water and cook your noodles.
- minutes before noodles are done, mix in frozen peas or broccoli into the boiling water with noodles and stir.
- Drain noodles (and veggies) and pour alfredo sauce over top…Enjoy!
3.Crock Pot Pizza Casserole, The Chaos and The Clutter
Who says you cannot eat pizza out of a crock pot! This one also allows you to make the main ingredients ahead and freeze for later.
2 cups of cubed ham (Note: Could also use other meats or make meatless for healthier alternative.)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
10 oz. can chopped mushrooms
28 oz. tomato sauce
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 cups small pasta
To make this into a freezer meal, mix all the ingredients except for the pasta in a large resealable freezer bag. Put 2 cups of pasta in a medium sized resealable freezer bag. Seal both and staple them together. Lay flat in the freezer.
On the day you want to serve it, thaw, put the ingredients from the large bag into the crock pot and cook for 4 hours on low. Cook the pasta on the stovetop and stir into the casserole just before serving.
4.Butternut Squash Coconut Risotto, The Crafty Kitty
- 705ml water
- 280g Arborio Rice
- 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 2 tbsp bouillon powder (I use Marigold swiss vegetable reduced salt vegan bouillon powder)
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- 320g prepared butternut squash (or equivalent from a whole butternut squash)
- splash of olive oil
- 25g creamed coconut ( I use blue dragon brand)*
Add water, rice, garlic, bouillon powder and herbs to the slow cooker. Cook on low until the rice is ready, for between 1.5-2.5 hours, stirring every 30 mins, and adding extra water if necessary.
Preheat oven to 180C. Toss the butternut squash in a little olive oil and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes (depending on size of pieces).
5.Cool Ranch Crockpot Chicken, Family Fresh Meals
Kids tend to adore ranch and it is a great way to change up your chicken recipes for something different.
Here is what you need:
- 4 chicken breast (about 1 1/2 lbs)
- 1 packet of taco seasoning
- 1 packet of ranch dressing
- 14 ounces of chicken broth
Put chicken breasts, taco & ranch mixes and chicken broth in crock pot.Set crock pot on low for 5 hours. After 5 hours, shred chicken with 2 forks. Replace lid and continue cooking on low for 30 more minutes.
Serve shredded chicken on tostadas, tacos burritos or salad, with your favorite toppings!
6.Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff, Yummy Healthy Easy
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ¼ tsp. paprika
- 1¾ lb. boneless beef round steak
- 1 (10.75-oz) can cream of mushroom soup
- ½ cup water
- 1 envelope dried onion soup mix
- 8-oz. sliced fresh button mushrooms
- ½ cup light sour cream
- chopped parsley, for serving
- Combine flour, garlic powder, pepper and paprika in slow cooker. Cut beef into 1-1/2 inch by ½ inch strips. Place in flour mixture and toss until thoroughly coated.
- In medium bowl, combine cream of mushroom soup, water and onion soup mix. Stir until well blended. Pour into slow cooker and mix with beef. Add mushrooms and stir.
- Cover slow cooker and cook on HIGH 3½ hours or LOW 6-7 hours.
- Stir in sour cream and cook on HIGH 10-15 minutes or until heated through. We like it served with brown rice! ENJOY!!
7.Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs with Spaghetti, Mommy Hates Cooking
- 1 lb of Ground Turkey
- 2 Egg Whites
- 3 Tbsp of Minced Onion or 1 Cup of Fresh Chopped Onion 1 Cup of Italian Bread Crumbs
- 1 Tsp of Garlic Powder
- Angel Hair Pasta or Gluten Free Pasta
- 1 Jar of Marinara Sauce
- Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Mix all of the ingredients together and form small balls, then I put them in the slow cooker on high for 4 hours. I would then cook on low for an hour to be sure they are fully cooked. This was a great alternative to using the oven or being short on time and using store bought meatballs. They were ready by the time I was home from work. You can also make extra and freeze for future use.
While the meatballs were in the slow cooker, I boiled 4 cups of water with 8 oz of angel hair pasta. I drained the pasta and put back in the pot. I warmed a 26oz jar of marinara sauce and then added this to the pasta. I mixed the cooked meatballs in and added a little mozzarella cheese to the top of the dish. There you have it, Spaghetti with Slow Cooker Meatballs.
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Which one will you try first?