Slow cookers, or crockpots, are a great time saving appliance. They work though electrical heating and cook over a number of hours in what an oven would do in just one. What makes them fantastic is that you can set out a meal in the morning and have it slowly cook all day. When you come home from work there’s a meal all ready for you without the work. We have collected 10 great recipes from around the internet that show just how versatile a slow cooker is. All of these recipes use fresh ingredients, but a crockpot can cook from frozen. To make a freezer to slowcooker meal, take all the ingredients and prepare them like the recipe calls for except for the cooking. Freeze all of the ingredients in a plastic bag until needed. Then, in the morning, peel off the bag and put the ingredients into the slow cooker on low. As the machine heats slowly, the ingredients will thaw and then cook without any issues. Not all ingredients can handle freezing, so experiment and have fun!
1. Slow Cooker Bread. This is probably the most amazing idea, but you can make fantastic bread in the slow cooker. Check this recipe out for a how-to on baking in a crockpot.
2. Slow Cooker Soup. Many soups use tough cuts of meat and require a very long cooking time to make it tender. This is perfect for a slow cooker!
3. Slow Cooker Roast Chicken. Larger slow cookers can hold a lot of food, and many can fit a whole chicken. A great idea is to layer your vegetables and potatoes on the bottom and the chicken on top to make an entire meal.
4. Slow Cooker Apple Sauce. For busy parents with young chicken, home made apple sauce can seem impossible to make because of how long it cooks. By using a slow cooker, it does all the work for you.
5. Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese. Turn this multi-step process into one easy prep by making your mac and cheese in the crocpot. These recipes use the natural starch from your pasta water to thicken the cheese sauce and keep it from splitting.
6. Slow Cooker Cake. Like the crockpot bread, cake is easy to make in the slow cooker. It is guaranteed to be moist as the air recirculates in the machine and steams the top.
7. Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken. This three ingredient dinner is packed with a punch of heat. The chicken shreds easily because it is so moist. Use it in sandwiches, on pizza, or with salad.
8. Slow Cooker Roast Beef. Many people are familiar with slow cooker stews, but you can make a whole roast in the appliance. Braise it before to maximize the flavor, and then cook it with some wine for a great meal.
9. Slow Cooker Chili. Put the slow cooker to work bringing out the flavors in chili. The longer it cooks and sits together, the happier the spices are. Chili is a very healthy meal packed with protein and fiber. There’s no excuses not to make it when it’s so easy with a crockpot.
10. Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes. This Thanksgiving, when your oven is busy with turkey and dressing, save some space by cooking your mashed potatoes in your slow cooker. If you like your mash with garlic, add it in right at the beginning so the garlic cloves can mellow out with the potatoes.