Make dinner tonight easy: Try these simple crockpot recipes
With February marking the last leg of rough winter weather and freezing snow storms, there’s not a better way to fight off the cold than with some warm slow-cooked meals. However, busy days just don’t allow us the luxury of time for slow-cooked meals. But these easy crockpot recipes just might be worth your time, made with little effort and tons of flavor.
Crockpot meals are slow-cooked meals that gradually infuse the flavors of spice & herbs into meat or vegetables, making a wholesome combination of delicious foods. The best part about crockpot recipes is they are undeniably easy and can be left to be cooked alone without constant stirring & checking.
Moreover, meals cooked in a crockpot cater to balanced diets and therefore, they are not only yummy & filling but make for healthy lunch options. Another added benefit of crockpot meals is that they’re anti-inflammatory and help in warding off flu, bloated stomach, and more. On that note, take a look at these simple & easy crockpot recipes we’ve gathered for you.
Chicken pumpkin curry
This irresistible Thai-style curry holds creamy pumpkin (or butternut squash) as its main player. Chicken pumpkin curry needs only fifteen minutes of preparation before its slow-cooked & transformed into a beautiful combination of sweet, sour, savory, and tangy flavors.
1 can of coconut milk, 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1.5 to 2 pounds of pumpkin or butternut squash (cubed), 1.5 pounds of boneless chicken breast, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 sliced red bell pepper, 3 cups fresh baby spinach, 1 whole lime juiced, cilantro for garnish.
- In the bowl of your crockpot, stir in the coconut milk, curry paste, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar.
- Add the pumpkin & chicken and nestle it until it’s submerged in the liquid.
- Cook on low for eight hours or high for four hours.
- Switch the slow cooker to high mode if it’s not already, and transfer the chicken to a bowl. Season the liquid with salt and, using a fork or a hand blender (for smoother texture) lightly mash the pumpkin curry together.
- Using two forks, shred the chicken and return it to the cooker along with the bell peppers. Cover and cook the curry for thirty more minutes.
- Add the spinach & lime juice to the pot and stir until spinach begins to wilt. Serve over steamed rice with extra lime & cilantro.
Turmeric chicken & vegetables
This hearty dish has an array of colorful veggies and anti-inflammatory turmeric in it, making it a delicious but healthy crockpot recipe. Soothe the winter chill with this warm meal of chicken & vegetables.
2 tablespoons coconut oil, 8 oz chicken breast, 1/2 cup light coconut milk, 2 teaspoons tomato paste, 1 teaspoon of minced ginger, ¾ teaspoon turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon salt, pinch of pepper, 1 cup small Brussels sprouts, 1 cup broccoli, ½ red bell pepper, cilantro for garnish.
- Pour 1 ½ tablespoons of the coconut oil into the crockpot and sautée. Once hot, add in the chicken and cook until lightly golden brown and no longer pink inside for about four to five minutes.
- While the chicken cooks, whisk all the ingredients (and the remaining oil) up to the Brussels sprouts together until smooth. Once the chicken is cooked, pour the mixture into the crockpot.
- Add in the Brussels sprouts, stirring to coat into the sauce. Cover the crockpot and set it at high for one minute.
- Once cooked, immediately release the steam. Throw in the broccoli & peppers and stir. Cover with the lid and let sit twenty to twenty-five minutes, or until the veggies are steamed.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve.
Garden Minestrone is a copycat dish from Olive Garden. It is a hearty pasta soup dish that includes lots of wholesome veggies & herbs. The crockpot dish is delicious, versatile, and just a tad bit fancy with Italian flavors – making it perfect for dinner nights.
1 finely chopped onion, 4 minced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh oregano or ½ teaspoon dried, ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes, 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth, 1 (15-ounce) can of tomato sauce, 1 cup dried cannellini beans (picked over & rinsed), 2 carrots (cut into 1/2-inch pieces), 1/2 cup small pasta, salt & pepper, 1 zucchini (cut into 1/2-inch pieces), ½ cup chopped fresh basil, grated Parmesan cheese.
- Sautée onion, garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes in a tablespoon of oil until onion is softened for about five minutes in the crockpot.
- Stir in the broth, tomato sauce, beans, and carrots. Cover & cook until beans are tender for about eight to ten hours on high.
- Meanwhile, bring two quarts of water to boil in a large saucepan. Add pasta and one & a half teaspoons salt and cook till al dente.
- Drain pasta, rinse with cold water, then toss with another teaspoon of oil in a bowl and set aside.
- Stir zucchini into soup, cover, and cook on high until tender for twenty to thirty minutes. Stir in pasta and let sit until heated through, about five minutes.
- Stir in basil and season with salt & pepper to taste. Serve with grated Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.