4 Simple Slow-Cooker Recipes for Those Days When You Just Don’t Have Time

If you usually put away your slow cooker during the warmer months, it’s time to rethink that strategy. There’s no need to deprive yourself of this handy time-saving tool just because the daylight hours are longer.

For busy families, slow cookers are worth their weight in gold. All too often, a packed schedule can make it difficult to put together a satisfying and nutritious meal in the evening. Here are three quick and easy recipes that you can use to plan ahead.

Garlic-Parmesan Chicken

Everyone in the family is sure to love this savory, tender chicken dish, especially when they’re coming to it after a busy day of work, school, and other activities. It takes only minutes to put together, and the chicken thighs become silky and succulent as they simmer. Best of all, it can be put together using mainly pantry staples—garlic, red potatoes, parmesan, parsley, and fresh thyme. If you don’t have any thyme on hand, feel free to experiment with sage, tarragon, or rosemary in its place. This recipe is naturally gluten-free, and pork chops can be substituted for the chicken.

You will need:

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 pounds bone in chicken thighs, can also use boneless thighs or boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 pounds baby red potatoes, quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oregano, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese for serving
  • garnish with fresh parsley

Get the full recipe here: Slow Cooker Parmesan Garlic Herb Chicken and Potatoes

Penne with Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Cream Sauce

Instead of the regular spaghetti dinner for days when you’re in a rush and out of ideas, try this flavorful twist on boring old pasta and tomato sauce. It’s also super easy to make vegetarian or gluten-free for family members with special dietary needs. This recipe makes an amazing autumn meal, but it can enjoyed any time of the year.

You will need:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 16 oz penne
  • 3/4-1 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 28 oz can San Marzano peeled tomatoes (not San-Marzano style)
  • 1 12 oz jar roasted red peppers in water
  • 1 large yellow onion, roughly diced into large chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves, left whole
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Get the full recipe here: Penne with Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Cream Sauce

Healthy Salisbury Steak

This recipe is sure to banish all thoughts of frozen TV-dinner Salisbury steak from your mind. It’s also especially kid-friendly—a huge plus if you have picky eaters. Note that it can easily be made gluten-free by substituting rice flour or another alternative.

You will need:

  • 6 pre-formed hamburger patties
  • 1 Tbsp steak seasoning
  • 1 ½ cups frozen chopped onion
  • 1 pkg sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • ¼  cups flour (white, gluten free or whole wheat)
  • 1 ½  cups beef broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 cups salad greens
  • 1 bag frozen mashed potato steamer

Get the full recipe here: Healthy Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak Recipe

Glazed Pork Ribs with White Beans

The ribs become more succulent and fall-off-the-bone tender as they simmer, so allow for plenty of cooking time. Feel free to experiment with different types of beans—black or navy would both work well. This recipe is both gluten- and dairy-free, and it is especially delicious when served over egg noodles. If you like, try using beef short ribs in place of the pork.

You will need:

  • 3 pounds country-style pork ribs
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼  cup olive oil
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 1 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • ¼  cup all-purpose flour
  • ½  pound dried white navy beans
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (14 ½ -ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Emeril’s Original Essence
  • ¼  cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Steamed white rice, for serving

Get the full recipe here: Braised Country Style Ribs With White Beans And Fresh Herbs

With so many customizable and delectable recipes to choose from, you can put your slow cooker to work year-round. When you see how much time and effort you’ll save by throwing together a few simple ingredients ahead of time, you might just find “slow-cooker nights” earning a regular spot on your roster.

You’ll always need salt and pepper in your cooking, so making sure you have top of the line grinders. Check out Home EC Salt and Pepper Shakers today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *