It’s just the second week of October, and we’ve already pulled out the slow cooker! We love this time of year not only for the crisp weather, but also because there are so many delicious fall recipes to make.
Using our slow cooker makes weeknight dinners a breeze, especially as the school days get busier and the nights get cooler. We like to make meal planning easy by designating one night per week to the slow cooker; it’s especially nice to walk in the door and smell dinner being cooked for you!
Family Friendly Slow Cooker Recipes
Some of my family's favorite slow cooker recipes include:
Asian Short Ribs: Served with jasmine rice and roasted broccoli, these beef fall off the bone short ribs are a great dish for watching football.
Pulled Pork: We like to serve pulled pork with bread to soak up all of the flavors and juices. Add a side fall salad topped with apples, blue cheese, and pecans to make for a well rounded meal.
Chicken Tortilla Soup: We make sure give our kids a healthy, filling meal before we hit the neighborhood for Trick-or-Treating by serving this favorite Halloween dish. Topped with shredded cheese, diced avocado and crushed tortilla chips, this recipe freezes well and is always a great standby when days get crazy.
Pot Roast: We keep this traditional meal easy by serving it with a simple salad on the side.
Tex Mex Chicken: Perfect for hosting guests, we set up a topping bar with cheese, guacamole, black bean and corn salsa for taco night. Serve this family favorite on a cool night with warm tortillas!
Our Favorite Slow Cooker
With its heat resistant handles, simple control panel, and ability to cook all parts of a dish evenly, we prefer using KitchenAid's 6-Qt. Slow Cooker, ranked #1 by Cook’s Illustrated.
Slow Cooker Tips
- When onions and garlic are included in the recipe, sauté them first in order to add depth to the dish.
- While we understand this isn’t always possible, browning meat before putting it in the Crock Pot makes for a more flavorful meal.
- Because there is little to no evaporation with the lid on while the dish is cooking, use a high quality spice rub to add flavor during the cooking process.
- Pasta and vegetables tend to cook fast and will become mushy if they are left in the slow cooker too long. To prevent this, wait until you are closer to end of the cooking cycle to add these ingredients.