Raise your hand if you’re still getting used to this whole dark at 5pm thing?! Yesterday afternoon I was admiring the setting sun while eagerly awaiting Ben’s arrival through the garage door at any moment (because contact with adults!) when I looked at the clock and THREE OH ONE was staring back at me.
3:01pm! Too early for a cocktail, even! I kid, I kid. ;)
Although we’ve been going through a bit of a heatwave around here, which I am definitely not mad about, darker evenings mean cooler weather and comfort food season is just around the corner.
Friends, it’s officially time to #slowcooksohard! The season is upon us! Forget about driving home when it’s dark out then having to spend a bunch of time in the kitchen cooking dinner when you’d rather hit the couch, or hitting up Chipotle for the fourth time in just as many days (my personal record.) Let your crock pot do the cooking for you!
Today I’m serving up 10 of my favorite easy crock pot recipes to save dinnertime. Many of these recipes can be started in the morning then slow cooked for up to 10 hours which means you can set it in the morning, then forget about it until you arrive home for dinner.
I always get a lot of questions about which crock pot I use, so here’s the lowdown: I own a 6-Quart Programmable Crock Pot (mine has a slightly different handle,) and adore it. This crock pot is the most even-cooking crock pot I’ve ever owned, plus it has a couple great features including:
- Removable stoneware. Since the stoneware comes out of the base you can add all your ingredients into it the night before then store in the refrigerator. The next day, pop onto the base then turn it on. This saves SO much time in the morning!
- Programmable. Don’t worry about being home when cooking time is up because the crock pot automatically turns to “warm” after the timer is done. You can program the crock pot to cook from 30 minutes to 20 hours.
- 6-Quart Size. This crock pot is enormous, but cooks 5lbs of pork roast just as evenly as 2lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts. Whether you have a little or a lot, this crock pot will cook it perfectly.
If you are in the market for a new crock pot, or want to put this baby on your holiday gift list, I’d highly recommend. If you want to give it as a gift, pick out a recipe below then add all the ingredients into the crock pot (sans meat, of course!) so the recipient has something to make right away. How fun would that be?
Crock Pot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
I know I just shared the recipe for Crock Pot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, but you guys are going totally nuts for it so I wanted to make sure it was at the top of this list! Not only is this soup comforting, but it’s easy, healthy, and – BONUS! – toddler-approved. Can I get an Amen.
Crock Pot Shredded Beef Enchiladas
Crock Pot Sausage and Peppers
The recipe for Crock Pot Sausage and Peppers is adapted from my Aunt Mary’s oven-roasted, stove top-finished Italian Sausage and Peppers, and is so good that I want to curl up into a ball and weep after every bite because it means I’m that much closer to the end of the batch. What dramatic episode?
Crock Pot Mojo Pork with Cuban-Style Black Beans
Lots of crock pot recipes can be really heavy, but not Crock Pot Mojo Pork with Cuban-Style Black Beans, which is full of fresh flavors. Bonus: it cooks low and slow for 8-10 hours so you can start cooking it in the morning before work and not have to think about it all day. Easy!
Crock Pot BBQ Chicken with Homemade BBQ Sauce
You all loved the homemade BBQ sauce in my Crock Pot BBQ Chicken. Rather than store-bought BBQ sauce which can be overly sweet and loaded with funky ingredients, my sauce is just sweet/smoky/spicy enough, and made with fridge and pantry staples. Doesn’t get much easier than this recipe!
Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches
Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches have remained one of my most popular Crock Pot recipes since I first posted it over two years ago. These sandwiches are savory, tangy, and made with JUST FIVE INGREDIENTS! They’re perfect for an indulgent-feeling, but really easy dinner.
Crock Pot Ranchero Chicken
I love the recipe for Crock Pot Ranchero Chicken because it’s extremely versatile. Cook chicken in a homemade Ranchero Sauce, which can be made days ahead of time, then use the chicken in everything from salads to tostadas, tacos, nachos, and even soup.
Crock Pot Cuban Nachos with Lighter Nacho Cheese Sauce
Nacho Lovers rejoice – your crunchy corn tortilla + nacho cheese sauce craving can be satisfied with a crock pot! Crock Pot Cuban Nachos are ADDICTING, and the juicy shredded pork made in the crock pot couldn’t be easier to assemble.
Crock Pot Sweet Potato and Quinoa Turkey Chili
Crock Pot Sweet Potato and Quinoa Turkey Chili is another hugely popular crock pot recipe here on IGE. It’s different than any other chili I’ve had – in a good way! – quick to assemble, and leftovers make great easy lunches for the week.
Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole
My OG Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole has continued to be served at every holiday/family gathering in which the feasting of breakfast needs to occur since it was first posted in 2012. This recipe is the definition of easy. Layer breakfast ingredients in a crock pot then turn it on. YUM!