You know what I love as we move into fall? Those delicious, hearty, cozy meals that really make it feel like the season has arrived … even if the temperature outside doesn’t always reflect that.
But you know what I don’t have time for, between work, school, family obligations, and everything else that seems to pile up as the seasons change? Cooking those meals.
I needed a sidekick to help me make it through, and make sure my family actually gets fed. Enter the slow cooker. The kitchen appliance that used to just be reserved for making queso dip is now my go-to for dinner at least once a week.
To help you make it through those busy fall evenings in one piece, here are three tried and tested slow cooker recipes to make mealtime easier.
Shredded Buffalo Chicken
This one’s the ultimate multitasker! Throw it in sandwiches, on a salad, in a baked potato, or just eat it straight out of the bowl (I won’t judge). And y’all … it’s STUPID easy.
- Chicken breast (I normally do 2, but you could easily increase this to 4 or 6, depending on how big of a crew you’re feeding and how much leftovers you want.)
- Ranch seasoning
- Buffalo sauce
Season your chicken with the ranch, and then put it in the slow cooker. Pour in enough buffalo sauce to get everything good and coated. Set it to low for 8 hours, and shred it with a fork when it’s done.
Smothered Pork Chops
A favorite of my husband, these pair great with mashed potatoes and whatever green veggies your crew will eat!
- Pork chops (I prefer bone-in)
- 1 packet of onion soup mix
- 1 packet of dry pork gravy mix (brown gravy mix works fine too if you’ve already got it)
- 1 can of chicken broth
- 1 can of cream of chicken soup
In your slow cooker, combine the onion soup mix, gravy mix, chicken broth, and cream of chicken. Whisk it until it’s all mixed together. Add your pork chops, and cook for 6-8 hours on low. Your pork will be tender and flavorful, and the gravy tastes delicious!
Rotisserie Style Chicken
A lot of us are probably guilty of grabbing a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store on the way home, and who can blame us? They’re quick, easy, and delicious. Save yourself the extra stop by cooking the whole chicken in your slow cooker instead. This recipe is made even better by the fact that you can adapt the seasonings and aromatics with whatever you already have in your kitchen.
- 1 whole chicken (remove the giblets!)
- Seasonings: Salt and pepper are the musts here, but you could also add garlic or onion powder, your favorite dried herbs, cayenne, lemon pepper … open your spice cabinet and take your pick.
- Aromatics: I typically go with a whole onion, cut into quarters, and a bunch of garlic cloves. You could also include sliced lemon, celery, or fresh herbs.
Let’s get to work: Mix the dry seasonings together, and cover the outside of the chicken until it’s well coated. Then take your aromatics and stick them inside the cavity of the bird. Put the chicken in the slow cooker, and set it to low for 8 hours. The chicken will be fall-off-the-bone tender, and you didn’t have to make a grocery run on your way home!