As we’re cooking more at home these days, we’re looking for easy, delicious recipes that can last us throughout the week. And if you can “set it and forget it,” then you can use a slow cooker. Ideal for a beginner cook, let your slow cooker do the grunt work in churning out satisfying fare with minimal time spent fussing on prep. Given grocery constraints right now, feel free to substitute as you see fit if all ingredients are not available (we provided some suggestions, as well).
Organically Addison’s founder Addie isn’t kidding when she says, ““Let it simmer away all day and you’ll be left with the most tender and flavorful soup.” Coconut milk lends the soup a mildly sweet note, balanced out by the onions and garlic, and hot sauce. No cilantro? Don’t sweat it. Garnish with freshly cracked black pepper or red chile pepper flakes for some extra heat.
3-4 lbs. chicken thighs 1 Tbsp. olive oil ½ cup onion, chopped finely 3-4 potatoes, cubed 4-5 large carrots, chopped 1 tsp. minced garlic 3 cups chicken broth ½ cup hot sauce ⅓ to ½ cup full-fat coconut milk Cilantro, to garnish
How to make it:
Add all ingredients except coconut milk and cilantro to your slow cooker.
Cook on high 3-4 hours or low 6-7 hours.
About 20 minutes before serving, stir in coconut milk.
Garnish with cilantro if desired. Serve and enjoy.
Slow Cooker Green Enchiladas Chicken Soup
We can’t get enough of this warming recipe from Kori Shuda of Seeking Good Eats. “[This] chicken soup [has] a Mexican flair, creamy, cheesy broth, chunks of tender chicken, and a bit of spice,” notes Shuda. “This soup uses mainly pantry ingredients, chicken from the freezer, and a couple of fridge items,” she says, adding that you can feel free to swap the protein, different salsas, and cheeses based on what you have on hand.
Kori Shuda of Seeking Good Eats’ Slow Cooker Green Enchiladas Chicken Soup
2.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts) 28 oz. can green enchilada sauce 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth 1 cup cream (or half-and-half) 2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated (Pepper Jack, cheddar, mozzarella also work well) 4 oz. cream cheese, softened 4 oz. green salsa Salt and pepper, to taste
How to make it:
Add chicken, green enchilada sauce, and chicken broth to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Turn the slow cooker to warm. Remove chicken, shred, and add back to the cooker.
Add grated cheese, cream cheese, cream, and green salsa to the slow cooker. Stir cheese until melted.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add additional salsa if desired. Serve and enjoy.
Slow Cooker Crab Mac and Cheese
Even amidst quarantine living, sometimes you just gotta indulge. You can’t do much better than this velvety cauldron of all things cheesy and briny from nutritionist Rima Kleiner MS, RD, and blogger at Dish on Fish. “Using basic pantry ingredients, seafoodies can now enjoy crab in their favorite pasta dish. Not only is crab delicious, but it is rich in important nutrients like antioxidant selenium,” says Kleiner. In lieu of crab, feel free to sub in another fish like scallops, lobster, or shrimp. Serve with sautéed greens, like kale or spinach.
Rima Kieiner of Dish on Fish’s Crab Mac and Cheese
Makes 6 to 8 servings Cook time: 15 minutes Prep time: 15 minutes
2 tsp. olive oil ½ cup onion, chopped 1 lb. whole-grain pasta (elbows or cavatappi) 4 cups water 2-3 tbsp. butter ½ tsp. kosher salt ½ tsp. ground black pepper ½ tsp. garlic powder 3-4 tsp. Old Bay seasoning 2 cups cheddar cheese ½ cup fresh mozzarella ½ cup Parmesan ¼ cup milk (suggest using 2% milk) ½ lb. lump crabmeat, drained 1 tsp. hot sauce (optional) Toasted panko (optional)
How to make it:
Add olive oil and onion to Instant Pot and turn the pot to sautée setting. Stir and cook until the onion is tender, about three minutes.
Turn off sauté function. Add pasta and the next six ingredients on the list (from water through Old Bay seasoning) to Instant Pot. Place lid on Instant Pot and switch steam release handle position on lid from venting to sealing; select manual function on pot and cook contents on high for 5 minutes.
While pasta is cooking, shred all the cheeses using a grater or food processor. (Can use pre-shredded cheeses, but they will not melt as smoothly because they contain an anti-caking agent.)
When pasta has finished cooking, release pressure in Instant Pot using a quick pressure release switch (turn to venting position). Add milk to the pot and stir it in with the pasta. Then slowly fold in the cheeses–up to one cup at a time–making sure the pasta mixture remains creamy between each addition.
Add crabmeat to pot, replace lid on pot and allow mac-and-cheese to warm up for two-to-three minutes; then stir. Top with hot sauce and toasted panko, if desired.
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Soup
This delectable soup from the Greedy Gourmet is an excellent choice for a variety of dietary preferences. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free and also freezes well. Don’t have fresh garlic or ginger? Use garlic and ginger powder.
3 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped 2 stalks celery, washed and chopped 1 onion, peeled and chopped 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped 2 cloves garlic, peeled 1 can coconut milk 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped 4 cups vegetable stock/broth 2 green chillies, washed and chopped (optional)
How to make it:
Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker.
Cook for six hours on the low setting, or four hours on high.
At the end of cooking time, process the soup in batches until everything is silky smooth.
Serve with your favorite toppings such as fresh chillies, spring onions, and herbs.
Slow Cooker Japanese Cheesecake
This four-ingredient cheesecake is the easy-to-make yet a decadent dessert you deserve right about now. Created by Corrie Duffy of Corrie Cooks, you can get really fancy and add orange extract if you have it on your spice rack. Or, try almond; lemon, or vanilla extract, if you have either of those.
Corrie Duffy of Corrie Cooks’ Slow Cooker Japanese Cheesecake
Makes 6 servings Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
3 large eggs 4 oz. cream cheese 4 oz. white chocolate 1 pinch salt 1 tsp. orange extract (optional)
How to make it:
Start by separating the eggs. Place egg yolks in one bowl and egg whites into another separate bowl. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate over steam or in a microwave until runny.
Combine cream cheese and melted chocolate until smooth. Fold in egg yolks. You can also add the orange extract if you found some in your pantry (optional).
Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until firm. Gradually add egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.
Line a six-inch springform with baking paper and pour in the mixture. Fill the slow cooker with one-inch hot water. Set three balls of aluminum foil into the center. Place the cake on top. Wrap the slow-cooker lid tightly with a clean kitchen towel, gathering the ends at the top to absorb condensation.
Close the slow cooker lid and cook the cake for 1 ½ hours on high. Once done, turn off the slow cooker and let the cake cool down for one hour inside the cooker.
Take the cake out and chill it in the fridge before serving.