Oh, yes you can. And yes, you should. Because the potential is endless. The slow cooker is a lifesaver.
OK, that may be a little dramatic, but for people with busy schedules, families, or just a general shortage of time, the slow cooker makes everything right. All you need to do is mix up your ingredients (either that morning or the night before — you can always put the pot in the refrigerator overnight!) and turn on the slow cooker. When you are finished with work, school, activities, errands, whatever, you return to a home enriched with the aroma of whatever delicious dish you’re making.
Chill Out with Good Chili
The slow cooker is ideal for lots of recipes, but few meals warm the soul and fill our bellies like good ol’ fashioned chili, especially when you add beans. Whether it’s for tonight’s dinner, or to freeze and eat later for those of you who batch cook, chili delivers time and time again.
While Texas-style chili with lots of beef and chili powder or tomato-based chilies is very popular, shake things up by trying pork with white beans and green chilies in this Winter White Bean Chili. Instead of chili powder, you’ll use mild Mexican green chilies for a flavor that is brighter than deep, dark chili powder. It’s not too spicy, so it’s kid-friendly and you can cook it in four hours on high or eight hours on low, depending on your schedule.
Stews are another staple of your slow cooker. Hunks of beef, vegetables and Mediterranean herbs and spices make this Mediterranean Beef and Bean Stew a real winner for dinner. This recipe calls for crushed rosemary, but add about a teaspoon oregano and two cloves of minced garlic to amp up the flavor. Serve this with some bread to soak up all of that goodness for a full meal.
Have you ever made soup in your slow cooker? With just a few simple steps, you can make enough soup for dinner AND lunch tomorrow.
If you love the flavor of tacos, but don’t want to spend time making them after a busy day, try Taco Soup! You’ll combine beef (you can also use turkey or chicken), pinto beans, and all the flavors you love in tacos — including taco seasoning— to create a soup that doesn’t need all the time and assembly of traditional tacos. Top with a little cheese and sour cream or guacamole for that tasty taco experience you want.
Slow Cooker Creativity
There’s more than one way to use that hot pot of deliciousness you’ve been cooking all day. You can use what you've created in your slow cooker to act as the filling for delicious enchiladas! Just combine a pork shoulder, pinto beans and enchilada sauce in your slow cooker and cook on low for seven to eight hours. When you get home, you’ll have a tender pork shoulder that you can wrap in tortillas for a savory enchilada dinner. Just cover with some more enchilada sauce, and serve with cheese on top.
Beans are a natural fit for the slow cooker, helping you create a meal that has slow-cooked flavor, but none of the work that you'd have if you made these items on the stove. You can enjoy more time with your family and relax just by prepping these meals in the morning and letting the slow cooker do the work for you.