31 Slow Cooker Recipes for Fall and Winter
We can't think of many things better than walking through the door after a long day and knowing that a warm, home-cooked, meal awaits us.
These easy to prepare slow cooker meal prep recipes take just a little bit of prep work in the morning, or the night before, and then rely on the slow cooker to do the rest of the work. Your future self will thank you...and us for this post! =)
Because there are so many dietary restrictions and needs, we broke these slow cooker recipes down by dietary preference;
Benefits of using a Slow Cooker:
- The extended cooking times allow better distribution of flavors in many recipes.
- The lower temperatures lessen the chance of scorching foods that tend to stick to the bottom of a pan or burn in an oven.
- Less expensive or tough meats, such as chuck steaks, roast, and less-lean stewing beef, are tenderized through the long cooking process. The slow cooker is an excellent choice for cooking many venison dishes.
- The slow cooker frees your oven and stove top for other uses, and it is a splendid choice for large gatherings or holiday meals. Many people swear by their slow cooker dressing or mashed potatoes.
- There's no need to scrub several pots and pans. In most cases, you'll only have to wash the slow cooker and maybe a few prep utensils.
- Slow cookers use less energy than a standard electric oven.
- The slow cooker won't heat the kitchen up the way a large oven will, a real plus on a hot summer day.
- A slow cooker travels well. Take it from your kitchen to the office or party. Just plug it in and serve.
- Convenience! A slow cooker can usually be left unattended all day for many recipes.* You can put recipe ingredients in it before going to work and come home to a meal. A slow cooker meal is an excellent choice for a busy day, whether you work in or out of your home.
*Note: Whenever you purchase a new slow cooker, use it a few times on both HIGH and LOW settings before leaving it unattended.
Our Favorite Slow Cooker:
UPDATE: Feb. 17, 2015. I have used this Crock-Pot a dozen times since writing my review ... and it gets better and better! I've made casseroles, breakfast dishes, beans, roast, ribs, Mexican food dishes - all just great (including the chicken/rice recipe with the rice cooked in the Crock-Pot)! The stoneware liner is easy to clean and food is NOT sticking to the sides or bottom. Warmer feature is super and it does not appear to be too hot. I found that when a cooking time range is given, such as 6-8 hours, I should probably go with the low or middle part of the range. For someone who actually HATES to cook, I'm becoming a regular Betty Crocker, and even experimenting, because cooking is SO easy with this appliance. I'm SO glad I made this purchase! Now ... back to your regular programming with the original review ...
I have an old Crock-Pot and it still works, but is too small for a roast, etc. So I got this one for two reasons: 1) bigger, 2) can program the time and temperature setting. I've only used it twice and, at this point, I am extremely satisfied. Should things change, I most definitely will update.The programmable feature is really nice because you can set the cooking temperature on LOW or HIGH and set the cooking time in 30-minute increments all the way up to 20 hours. Some other "programmable" slow cookers have a few time/temp combination options but they are quite limited - this one gives you total control. Once the programmed cooking time is finished, the Crock-Pot automatically turns to "warm." The controls are touch (instead of turn dials) and very user-friendly. The user manual is small, but complete, and includes a couple recipes.
My first dish: Breakfast Casserole (photo attached). Very tasty and the Crock-Pot worked perfectly. There was some extra browning around the edges so I probably need to adjust the cook time a bit ... and you'll have to do that with any slow cooker. Second dish: Hot Sausage Stew. Again, the appliance worked perfectly and the "warm" feature is great because the food finished cooking before I was ready to eat. Keep in mind: you may consider the "warm" temp to be hotter than you expect but that's because of government regulations, not the Crock-Pot.
This Crock-Pot holds a LOT of food! I'm cooking for just me so I put some in the fridge and the rest in smaller containers in the freezer. And since I truly hate to cook, this is the best way to keep me out of the kitchen but still have good food to eat.
The food I prepared didn't stick to the stoneware and it was super easy to clean. Just hot, soapy water and rinse. You can also put the stoneware and the glass lid in the dishwasher. I will probably never use the "carry" function but I did try the locked lid and the rubber seal is tight and should make it easy to take your dish to the potluck, etc. Just don't lock the lid while you're cooking!
Bottom line: the ability to truly program the cooking time/temp ... and the "warm" function ... make this my top kitchen appliance (right along side my George Foreman grill). I'm actually looking for slow cooker recipes to try - and I can't believe I'm doing that! My old Crock-Pot is at least 15 years old and that's why I chose this brand. Because of the "computer" that allows the programming, I know the chances of it lasting that long are probably slim because the fancier you get, the more chances you have of something going wrong. But the price is right and, so far, I'm very happy with my purchase. Amazon shipping was fast and the slow cooker was packed in its original box with plenty of protection.
Gluten Free Slow Cooker Meals:
Slow Cooker Keto Pork Carnitas
Slow Cooker Asian Pot Roast Meal Prep
Slow Cooker Recipe: Ropa Vieja
One Pot Crockpot BBQ Chicken Meal Prep
Watch the recipe video here:
Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken
Gluten Free Zuppa Toscana
Clean Eating Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce with Meatball ecipe
Fire Roasted Slow Cooker Shrimp Taco Recipe
Low-Calorie Slow Cooker Meals
Crock Pot Salsa Chicken Meal Prep Recipe Video
Crock Pot Skinny Chicken Jambalaya
Crock Pot Tomato Soup
Weight Loss Vegetable Soup Recipe
The Best Healthy Turkey Chili Meal Prep Recipe
One Pot Crockpot BBQ Chicken Meal Prep
Low Carb Slow Cooker Meals
Low Carb Crockpot Beef Ragu
Slow Cooker Eggplant Parmesan
Slow Cooker Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs
Slow Cooker Honey Sriracha Chicken
Crock Pot Low Carb Lasagna
Crock Pot 3-Ingredient Balsamic Chicken
Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff with Zucchini Noodles
Paleo Slow Cooker Meals
Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken
Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli
Slow Cooker Paleo Beef Stew
Slow Cooker Paleo Turket Meatballs
Crock Pot Paleo Sweet Potato Chipotle Chili
Slow Cooker Butter Chicken recipe
Vegetarian Slow Cooker Meals
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Black Bean Enchiladas Recipe
Slow Cooker Lentil and Quinoa Chili
Slow Cooker Coconut Quinoa Curry
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lasagna Soup
Slow Cooker Southwestern Fajita Quinoa
Crockpot Breakfast Casserole
Slow Cooker Meal Prep Ready Vegetables