It’s time, my friends! It SLOW COOKER SEASON!! If you know…you know. If you are new to the wonderful world of the slow cooker, well, you are about to have your life changed! That’s because the slow cooker takes the stress out of dinner, gives you time back with your family, cooks dinner for YOU – oh and leaves the hair on your head (lol – yes, I have wanted to pull my hair out vs make dinner too)! Because I know first hand how amazing the Slow Cooker is, today I have my top 8 Easy Slow Cooker Dinner Recipes that you really must try this Fall and Winter!
These 8 Slow Cooker Dinner Recipes meet the following criteria:
- EASY – 90% of the Dinner is cooked in the slow cooker. This means that the main protein and veggies are cooked in the slow cooker. The only other parts of the dinner that may be needed are a starch or grain (pasta, rice, quinoa, potato, etc. and potentially a simple salad if you desire.
- KID-FRIENDLY – these recipes are kid-tested and parents have confirmed to me that their kids enjoyed them! Let’s face it, kids are finicky. One day they love something and the next they don’t. So, I don’t pretend that all kids will love these recipes. However, there is nothing too spicy or too polarizing here.
- COMFORTING – It’s getting cold out and we this year, we all need a bit more comfort, right? All of these recipes are sure to warm your insides and give you a cozy and comfy feeling.
- BALANCED – These are recipes that contain a balanced mix of vitamins and nutrients. I don’t shy away from the yummy stuff (ehem, cheese:) but I do try to include a healthy dose of veggies!
A Slow Cooker is a Busy Family’s Best Friend
My slow cooker is one of my most beloved kitchen appliances. Not only does a slow cooker make wonderful food, it helps to make your life easier and gives you peace of mind. You can fill the slow cooker in the morning and let it cook all day while you are at work. You come home to delicious and comforting aromas and have a warm dinner waiting for you.
I absolutely love love love my easy and simple (and not expensive) Crock-Pot. I have the 6-Quart version with 5 settings (low 4-hour, low 6-hour, high 8-hour, high 10-hour, and warm).
There are other fancier versions and if I were in the market for a new slow cooker, I would want THIS one with a browning insert! You can order this today and have it in a few days to start your Slow Cooker Cookin’!
So, here you go!
8 Easy Slow Cooker Dinner Recipes
Beef Stew over Noodles is one of those slow cooker dinner recipes that is just downhome comfort food. It’s full of flavor and texture with carrots, onion, garlic, thyme, beef, and more. Make it in the Slow Cooker and it’s like your Mom made it for you because it cooks all day while you are out and it’s waiting for you when you are home. Now, try pouring that salty, chunky, saucy goodness over noodles…yup, even more amazing!
This Slow Cooker Creamy Broccoli Soup is easy, comforting, and delicious! With Carrots, Broccoli, Onion, Garlic, and Oregano, this is one flavorful soup. And, there is no heavy cream, just milk and a little half and half mixed with cornstarch, so you can feel good about eating this gluten free veggie-loaded soup!
This 5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup is thick, creamy (but, no dairy!), and hearty. It’s filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. But, this version is also the easiest ever because you prepare all of the ingredients ahead (even months ahead) and freeze them until you are ready to cook this wonderful meal. Then you thaw, pour all of the ingredients into the Slow Cooker, set and forget. Forget until those amazing and comforting aromas remind you that you have a Homemade Chicken Soup waiting for you!
Easy Slow Cooker Short Ribs are always a show-stopper and the perfect main dish for entertaining. I have made them for holiday dinner parties, for Sunday family dinners, visits from out-of-towners, and thank you meals for friends. They are incredibly decadent and taste like you slaved away in the kitchen for your guests. The flavors from the onion, carrots, demi-glace, thyme, and garlic all seep into the meat, which is fall-apart tender and absolutely delicious. These Easy Slow Cooker Short Ribs taste amazing with Creamy Parmesan Polenta, so check out that recipe too!
This Paprika Pork Stew Recipe is loaded with flavor and texture. With each spoonful you get a smokey and salty bite flavor from the pork, paprika, oregano, garlic and onion. Carrots balance out this dish with a slightly sweet and tender bite. Finally, the pork is so moist and fork tender. But the best part is that this entire dinner can be made in the slow cooker during the day. Or you can make it ahead in the oven and then reheat on a busy weeknight!
These Slow Cooker Pork Tacos are mouthwateringly fantastic! Top them with with Pickled Onions, Shredded Cheese, and Cilantro Lime Crema drizzled all over! You get the salty and smoky flavor from the perfectly seasoned and slow cooked pork, a sweet and tart bite from the pickled onions, with creaminess from the cheese, and tang from the cilantro lime crema.
This is my easy, made-for-busy-moms Shredded Beef Ragu Recipe! It has a thick meaty texture and a super rich delicious flavor. It’s made with beef chuck, so it’s affordable and easy to work with. It’s made without wine, but instead gets that acidic backdrop from Balsamic Vinegar. And it’s easy for busy moms because it’s made in a slow cooker! Just toss all ingredients in, set for 6-8 hours, shred the beef, and that’s it!
Comfort soups can be good for you too. This Slow Cooker Detox Cabbage Soup is really easy, low-calorie, veggie-packed, which is a great way to get some healthy in between the holiday feastes! This soup is light, but filling with cabbage, tomato, carrots, onion, and garlic. It is also so easy because it is made in the slow cooker, but you can make it faster on the stove as well. It is so good for you and so low calorie, that this makes a great dinner, lunch the next day, and snack whenever you get hungry!
BONUS: 9. Brazilian Black Beans (Feijão)
These Slow Cooker Brazilian Black Beans, known as Feijão, are a traditional dish in Brazil. The slow cooker makes it incredibly easy to make these anytime and it allows all of the flavors from the meat, onion, cilantro, and garlic to cook into the beans for a distinctive, thick, saucy, and hearty dish. They are great as a side or a main dish. If you have never tried these beans, you really MUST and I promise you will love them.
What are YOUR favorite Slow Cooker recipes? Please share in the comments!