Well, it’s September. I’m not sure how that happened, but summer is a happy memory and all our chickies are back to school with their new backpacks and school shoes. And one thing is for sure…they will come home hungry. And needing to be taken to soccer practice and karate and to Staples for that school project that involves building a roller coaster out of foamcore (yes, this happened to me!) all at the same time. And since you may also have a thing or two on your OWN to-do list, this is when the slow cooker turns into your new best friend. Here are seven recipes that are favorites in my house…and have turned many a crazy day into a calm and delicious evening. Well…relatively calm, anyway. I’d love to hear about some of your favorites too, and together we can conquer the back-to-school dinner hour!
I decided to round up these recipes when a friend of mine asked me about slow cooker recipes now that it was back to school time. And even though it’s been a few years since my own chickie was around for back to school, the memories came whooshing back, and I remembered how shockingly great it was when I would pop something in the slow cooker, run around like a crazy person for 8 hours, come back having forgotten all about it, and realized that dinner was Almost Ready. The best feeling ever.
My friend’s two little duckings went back to school in pretty dresses and hair bands and backpacks as big as they are.
These days, back to school for my bunny looks like this…
Anyway! For all you busy cooks out there, here are seven slow cooker favorites that will make suppertime just a little less hectic. You can either click on on the link or the picture to go right to the recipe.
When You Need Comfort Food: Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings
Some days you just know you are going to need something that is the supper equivalent of a blankie. This warm, tender chicken and dumplings is the cure. Guaranteed.
2. When You Live With People Who Only Eat Macaroni and Cheese: Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese
Been there, lived with someone like that. And yes, if you serve it in an ice cream sundae glass, it will taste that much better.
3. When You Want To Kick Your Meatloaf Up A Notch: Slow Cooker Mexican Meatloaf
I like to scoop this one right out of the slow cooker, because who has the energy to slice things? Top it with some taco sauce and sour cream and nobody will ever complain about meatloaf for dinner again.
4. When You Want Dinner To Be A Little Exotic: Slow Cooker Tikka Masala
One of my favorite slow cooker recipes EVER. And it is fun to say!
5. When You Want Dinner To Be A Little Fancy: Slow Cooker Short Ribs with Carrots and Apples
As far as I am concerned, things don’t get much fancier than short ribs. And they can really jazz up a Wednesday night, let me tell you.
6. When You Just…Need…SOUP: Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup.
The best. Thick and delicious and perfect, especially when eaten out of a Peter Rabbit Bowl.
7. When You Want Dinner To Involve Zero Cutlery: Slow Cooker Hawaiian Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
Some hamburger rolls, some pulled chicken, a table of happy eaters. And okay, you might want to have a fork hanging around in case anything drips out of the bun.
And as a bonus, here’s my beloved recipe for Slow Cooker Brownie Cake. Everyone once in a while, serve this and only this for dinner, topped with ice cream. It will be a memory that your chickies will cherish when they have chickies of their own.
Now it’s your turn – leave a link to your favorite slow cooker recipe in the comments below, and I will add it to my Slow Cooker Pinterest Board so we can all keep track! In the meantime, happy slow cooking, my friends!
Hi there! I’m Kate, and I’m a recipe writer, food photographer and devoted bacon lover. I started Framed Cooks in 2009, and my mission is to create and share family-friendly recipes that make cooking both easy and fun…yes, I said FUN! My kitchen is my happy place, and I want yours to be that place too. Let’s cook together!