It’s official, guys…fall is here. I mean, who cares if it’s supposed to be 80 degrees this weekend? The Pumpkin Spice Latte as are (more importantly) pumpkin scones, and nothing else matters. ;)
In all seriousness, though, fall brings back all the feels for me. I loved the going-back-to-school feeling and am a big fan of anything pumpkin spice, cinnamon, or clove scented. The idea of having a warm meal on a crisp fall evening is like a big hug for my heart. Okay, that might sound weird but it’s true.
With little M keeping me busy, I have been trying to come up with super easy dinners that don’t require a lot of work on my part. Slow cooker recipes are perfect, because you literally can throw a bunch of ingredients in one pot and let it cook all day…then by dinner time, BAM! You have a fabulous dinner ready for you. For some reason I equate fall to slow cooker season, probably because that is when I tend to do the most cooking with it. Plus, all of my favorite recipes tend to fit right in with that “warm food on a crisp fall evening” feel. Even though none of my favorite recipes actually have pumpkin spice, cinnamon or cloves in them. HA! Go figure.
Another plus for slow cooker meals is you can prep them ahead of time and freeze them until you are ready to make them. Just take them out of the freezer the night before so they have time to defrost. I like to think that if M had not come so early we would have been able to make a few of these dinners ahead of time (but really, who am I kidding??).
Today I thought I would share three of my favorite slow cooker recipes with you. I do recommend making these ahead of time and either freezing them or letting them marinate for a day, it brings out the flavor of the meat and tastes amazing. If you don’t have time to do that, though, they will still be awesome.
These recipes are all adapted from http://www.onceamonthmeals.com. If you are looking for more easy make-ahead recipes, I highly recommend checking out their site!
**So, apparently we can only add in one printable recipe for each blog post. I’ve gone ahead and combined all three recipes into one card so you have all three! I tried to clearly mark everything but let me know if you have any questions.**
- 1 medium green pepper, sliced
- 1 medium red pepper, sliced
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled and sliced
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 TBS honey
- juice from one lime
- 1 TBS chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced
- 8 medium carrots (about 1 lb), peeled and sliced
- 2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeds & juice removed, chopped
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 1 medium yellow squash, chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 15-oz. can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 24-oz. jar of pasta sauce
- 1 lb ground beef (optional, I also think italian sausage would be yummy)
- 4 cups fat free, reduced sodium chicken broth (not needed until the day you cook this)
- 2 lb boneless beef chuck shoulder roast (this is a must, no substitutes...it can be expensive so plan accordingly).
- 2 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces (this is A LOT OF CARROTS. I won't judge you if you use half this much and add in potatoes or something else instead)
- 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 2 TBS red wine vinegar
- 2 TBS + 1.5 tsp taco seasoning (homemade, or store-bought)
- Add chicken to the slow cooker first, and cover with remaining ingredients.
- Cook on "low" for 4-8 hours, or until chicken is cooked through and tender.
- Serve warm, with tortillas, cheese and sour cream (if desired).
- If you are using meat, add that to the bottom of the slow cooker first and then cover with rest of ingredients, including chicken broth.
- Cook on "low" for 6-8 hours or until the meat is cooked through.
- Serve warm, with biscuits and jam (recommended...by me!)
- Set beef in slow cooker first, cover with carrots and other ingredients.
- Cook on "low" for 8-12 hours or until the meat pulls apart easily with a fork. (note: I only have to cook this for 7 hours with my slow cooker because any longer will dry out the meat. Just know how your slow cooker normally cooks and use your best judgment.)
- Serve warm with beef shredded. Also tasty with green beans or salad as a side dish.
Do you have any favorite slow cooker recipes? I’m always looking for some good ones to try, feel free to share!
Have a great day, and happy cooking!