After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, January is the month we like to rest and recoup, batten down the hatches for the winter, and bundle up all warm and cozy like with a warm meal.
We crave comfort food, but no one wants to slave for hours in the kitchen over a hot stove. So why not let your slow-cooker do the work for you? Just throw all of your ingredients in one pot, set on slow-simmered, and serve your family a warm meal that’ll satisfy even the coldest bellies.
Here are seven hot and nourishing, all-in-one crock pot recipes that are a synch to prepare and clean up…
1. Slow-Cooker New Orleans Red Beans & Rice
Kiss those days of preparing red bean and rice in a box goodbye! This deliciously spicy slow-cooker recipe kicks the traditional New Orleans dish into comfort food territory. It features savory chunks of Andouille sausage, garlic, fresh herbs, and of course hearty red beans. And all you need to do is toss all of the ingredients into a slow cooker, set on simmer for 7 hours and serve over a mound of white, brown, wild, or basmati (your choice) of fluffy rice. A little garnish of sour cream and parsley on top should do the trick!
[Recipe & image from SouthernLiving.com]
2. Creamy Crock Pot Tortellini Soup
My family and I crave hearty soups that eat like a meal come winter time. And this filling, cream-based soup made with soup stock, a little heavy cream to thicken it up, sautéed mushrooms, butter, and tortellini is welcome in the coldest, snow filled evenings when you’re huddled around a fire, reading a book. Again, just add all of your ingredients to the crock pot and set to simmer.
[Recipe & image from Better Homes & Gardens]
3. Beef Stroganoff
If you’re like me, you grew up with beef stroganoff served once a week at your family table. It was simple to prepare—with ground beef and a can of cream of mushroom soup, and sour cream served over egg noodles. However, when I decided to make it for my own family, I found a fresh spin on the old classic recipe! Instead of heavy cream of mushroom soup, I used a healthier can of reduced fat mushroom soup, and I added roasted garlic, chopped onions, fresh button mushrooms and low fat sour cream to my slow cooker.
[Recipe & Image from Heather’s Bytes]
4. Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich
French dip sammies are a substantial crock pot lunch or dinner when served on big, crusty French rolls. But it’s the meat preparation that makes all the difference! This slow cooker version features succulent beef that’s slow cooked in its own juices. You can even collect the juice from the bottom of the crock pot for dipping. And because it simmered for hours, the beef turns out incredibly tender and flavorful—slurp!
[Recipe & image from BakingBites.com]
5. All-American Chili Bowl
Nothing warms the laurels come winter like a big and satisfying bowl of chili! The classic comfort dish nourishes the belly and the soul on a cold winter’s day. It’s great after a day spent outside, skiing or tobogganing with the family, and even better for those informal winter gatherings. This one dish meal is jam-packed full of vigorous beans and veggies, and can be served over rice or pasta with a sprinkle of shredded cheese, sour cream, and chopped onions for added zest.
[Recipe & image from McCormick.com]
6. Slow-Cooker Spanish Meatballs
The piquant flavor of the Spanish-inspired sauce in this recipe will take a standard family favorite to whole new level. So give it a go when you mix meatballs (made with ground beef, lamb, chicken, or turkey) with a hot and smoky paprika-based sauce, set them to simmer on low, and slow cook them for ensures extra pop-able tenderness. Serve them over rice, pasta, or a la buns for a spicy hoagie treat!
[Recipe & image from MarthaStewart.com]
7. Slow Cooker Hot Cocoa Cake
You can make lunch and dinner in your crock pot—why not whip up dessert too? Try a bowl of sinful chocolate indulgence while snuggled under a blanket with your sweetie! This hot cocoa cake is extremely moist, thanks to the slow cooker preparation. I served my version sprinkled with candy cane flakes for added mouth-watering gratification.
[Recipe & image from YumSugar.com]