On your busiest days, you need meals that you can throw in your slow cooker and ignore.
Here are 5 delicious and easy meals you can put together whenever you have a free 20 minutes—and they’re flexible, so you don’t have to worry about exact quantities. They’re even healthy, (don’t tell the kids), which means you can have that holiday cookie!
1. Lasagna – Use no-cook lasagna noodles, which you’ll have to break up to evenly cover the round or oval insert. Each layer needs noodles, sauce, ricotta, mozzarella and ground beef or veggies like frozen spinach. Add about ½ cup water to the cooker. Cooks in 4-6 hours on low.
2. Pot Roast – Use your recipe, or for a sweet and sour twist put onions, carrots and 4 pounds of chuck roast into the cooker and add ½ cup water, ¼ cup brown sugar, ½ cup apple cider vinegar and 1 cup ketchup. Good one to start in the morning, since it needs 6-8 hours on low.
3. Enchilada casserole – Layer corn tortillas, enchilada sauce, canned and rinsed black beans, and shredded cheddar cheese. Sneak in some veggies like frozen corn, diced black olives, diced zucchini or diced red pepper. Cook on low 5-6 hours. Serve with salsa and sour cream.
4. Lentil or split pea soups – The legumes gets soft—not mushy—in the slow cooker. To 1 pound of dried lentils or peas, add carrots, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf and cooked bacon or sausage (or go totally veggie). For flavor, add 2-3 tablespoons tomato paste and 8 cups of chicken or veggie broth. Set on low for 8-9 hours.
5. Asian Meatballs – Use 1 pound of frozen meatballs (we won’t tell) and mix with 1 cup canned coconut milk, 1 tablespoon Sriracha chili sauce (or Tabasco), 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Throw it all in the cooker for 4-6 hours on low or 2-3 on high. Serve over rice.
Do you have a slow cooker recipe you swear by? Add a comment and share!