Imagine: it’s been a long day at work. You come home, open the door, and it smells like your grandmother’s kitchen. Or you’ve been at the beach all day and open the door to the spicy warm heat of chili waiting for you to dig in.
Slow-cookers are genius. 10-15 minutes of preparation and then you just leave it all alone for hours. When you come back home, it’s like magic has happened right on your kitchen counter.
Here are 3 super easy, crazy delicious slow-cooker meals to try.
Soup in general is a great choice for a slow-cooker, but there’s something extra special about chili, and it’s amazingly simple with just a few ingredients and a flavor that develops the longer it cooks.
Meat: brown your own beef or use pre-cooked meat. Rotisserie chicken is a great shortcut, and vegetarian crumbles are a great choice, too.
Veggies: a simple can of diced tomatoes does the trick, but adding beans definitely takes it up a notch! Don’t be afraid to experiment, either. Black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans are all classic chili beans, but sub in anything you like. Don’t forget to add someone onions if you like them.
Seasoning: If you’re looking for the easiest route, you can buy pre-mixed and measured chili seasonings from the store. If you’re doing it by hand, you’ll likely want: chili powder, cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, cayenne, and paprika.
Add them all to the slow-cooker and let them cook for as long as you want!
You can’t get much more versatile or delicious than a humble meatball. Whether your roll them yourself or buy them pre-made, throwing some meatballs in a crock-pot with the sauce of your choice is a simple solution to mealtime.
Raw meatballs will take 8-10 hours on low heat or 4-6 on the higher setting. When you’re ready to serve, toss them over some pasta, rice, or a sub roll. A sprinkle of grated cheese and you’re ready for some real comfort food.
Meat & Rice
Rice and meat are such a perfect combination, and actually a no-brainer for a slow-cooker.
Remember that the ratio of rice to liquid is at least 1:2, that is, 2 cups of liquid to every one cup of rice. Water or stock is usually the best choice, or a mixture!
Chicken and pork do exceptionally well with this method, coming out tender and juicy. Just remember to season your meat before putting it in.
Add the veggies and spices that you like to the rice, liquid, and meat and let it go. Again, 8-10 hours on low or 4-6 on high is a good number to shoot for when working with raw meat.
A little prep, a lot of flavor, and no reason to sweat the meal–these slow-cooker recipes are awesome.