Ever feel like you’re in a rut with your meal planning? Whether it’s just every-day meal decisions or around the holidays when your time is oh-so limited, it’s easy to fall into the “same-old same-old” trap where it seems all you can come up with is boneless skinless chicken breasts and steamed vegetables.
Your slow cooker can come to your rescue and open up a world of new and tasty meals for you and your family during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season.
So before you get stuck in a boiled and baked rut, the many options a slow cooker gives you!
Slow Cooker Recipe Ideas
Struggling for slow cooker recipe ideas or creative ways to use your slow cooker?
Click on any of these to get you started!
1. Plan Larger Meals
When you plan your slow cooker meals, try planning for much larger meals that fill your slow cooker. This can easily give you two to three dinners and a lunch or two.
You don’t have to eat on it for a week either. You can dish out the meal for the evening, then take the rest and freeze it for later meals.
This can cut down on prep time later in the month and give you more meals than you expected for your money. Some meals to consider for this are chili, chicken stew and biscuits, and crock pot lasagna.
2. Cook Meats First
If you have several crockpot meals that use shredded chicken or pork, consider making all the meat first. You can put in a crockpot full of chicken or pork, add a cup of water, and cook on low for six to eight hours.
This will allow you to cook the meat base for several meals at once. You can even separate the shredded meat into multiple bags with a little of the broth and no seasoning.
When you get ready to make your meal, pull out the meat, and use your choice of spices or add it to your meal. This way you don’t have a ton of taco meat or seasoned meat ready for a specific meal instead of meat ready for any meal.
3. Plan Longer Meals for Overnight
If you have meals that require eight hours of cooking in the slow cooker, consider starting them when you go to bed. Most people sleep between six and eight hours a night which allows you to sleep while letting the food cook.
You don’t have to worry about it burning and you are home if something goes wrong. This also means your meal for the day is ready to go without any stress.
Remember, slow cookers can make a lot of food. Around the holidays, if you’re having guests, this can be a huge benefit for one or two immediate meals. But the rest of the year, be sure to plan accordingly.
When you make a meal, consider freezing the remainder or having it again later in the week. You will save time and money and allow you to more easily stick to your meal plan.
From Freezer to Crockpot: Super Easy Weeknight Dinners Using Your Slow Cooker
Your slow cooker is all about (or should be anyway) saving you precious time with your meal planning and preparation.
In this video, see a variety nutritious almost-instant meals assembled and created in less than half an hour. These ideas are sure to help you get through the busiest of family schedules.
You have a lot of choices when it comes to slow cookers. If you’re looking to get your first one or need a replacement or an upgrade, consider choosing from these highly-rated models.