There is nothing better than a home-cooked meal. I take it back; that delicious meal is infinitely better when prepared using my trusty slow cooker. Thanks to this kitchen appliance, I can do other things while our next meal is cooking. All I need to do is prepare the ingredients, pop them in the pot, and the slow cooker will do the heavy lifting. While it usually takes hours to cook using a Crock-Pot, you can use it for last-minute meals with a little planning. Here are my favorite slow cooker recipes that can be prepared on a budget and cooked effortlessly. And to make things even easier, the recipes are grouped according to meal times. Just click on each recipe title for the complete instructions. Enjoy!
BreakfastImage source: cooksmarts.com
Oatmeal is by far my favorite breakfast food, especially when the weather dips. It smells amazing after cooking all night. The best part about this recipe is all the flexibility. You can add your preferred milk, fruits (I like bananas) and spices (cinnamon is my go-to spice). And the quantities in this recipe will ensure that you’re fed all week long and then some.
Do you have friends or family coming over for Sunday brunch? This hearty egg and potato breakfast casserole is a sure-fire hit. It contains three of the five major food groups and will ensure that your guests feel satisfied. You will need to do a little prep the night before, then let it heat on low all night while you sleep. In the morning, the only things you need to worry about are slicing some fruit and pouring a mimosa.
This is a nice twist on a breakfast classic. It can easily be done on a Saturday morning while enjoying cartoons with the kids. As suggested by @thegabels, add cinnamon to complete this dish. This spice is not just for flavor; cinnamon is one of the healthiest spices in the world. It’s also a good way to use up extra bread.
Chicken is extremely versatile and goes well with potatoes, rice and salads. It is also a wonderful sandwich protein. The most amazing part about this chicken recipe by @stockpilingmoms is that it only uses three ingredients. If you’re hesitant about using real butter, try making this with a margarine-based alternative. You can also try replacing the ingredients with a creamy ranch dressing.
This shredded buffalo chicken mix by @hostthetoast is another go-to slow cooker recipe. It uses Frank’s Red Hot, so it is a bit spicy. This zesty filling is great for brown bag lunches in the office, served between thick bread slices or in a wheat tortilla wrap. You can also make a huge batch for picnics or snacks. Need a dip? Simply add cream cheese and reduce the amount of meat. Here is a video that will show you an alternative way to prepare this dish.
6. Crock-Pot Root Beer BBQ Ribs
Fall-off-the-bone barbecue is a must for picnics and casual parties. This savory recipe by @frugalgirls just has five ingredients, counting salt and pepper separately. So, you may only need to buy three items. The root beer and honey BBQ sauce gives the meat a smoky sweetness, so this dish is best with salty side dishes.
It would feel wrong to compile a list of Crock-Pot recipes and not include macaroni and cheese. This rich, creamy, dish is the epitome of comfort food and will smell amazing as it cooks throughout the day. This specific recipe by @MwestCoupCliper only has six major ingredients, many which you may already have at home. You can include additional seasoning if you wish.
This delicious calorie bomb is a perfect dinnertime soup especially on cold nights. It’s best served with a light salad or sandwich. With only four ingredients, it is very inexpensive and easy to make. This is also a creative way to get kids to eat their vegetables. Check out this simple recipe from @ThatHousewife.
You have probably tried cheese fondue and chocolate fondue, but what about caramel fondue? This creamy dessert sauce will wow your guests and is a novel alternative to your usual dips. You can dunk apple slices, sponge cake, pretzels, bananas or anything else you can imagine. This recipe from @CremedelaCrumb1 is a winner. Remember that caramel is extremely high in sugar, so you may want to stick with healthy dipping options.
I hope you enjoyed this list and plan to try a couple of the recipes for yourself! These slow cooker dishes use only a few ingredients, cutting down on grocery costs. They are also very easy to make, even the recipes that require prep work. You definitely won’t need to sweat over a stove top for hours. Try them out and let me know which one is your favorite!