I've been on bed rest for three months, and I have three more months to go. I've had to figure out a new routine and method for how to take care of my family's needs while I can't be as hands on! Something that's been an absolute LIFE SAVER is cooking a majority of our dinner meals in our slow cooker from Walmart. I've found that one of the easiest ways to dinner is to be able to have a very simple meal plan, with ingredients that can all be thrown into the slow cooker, and then it's just ready to go at dinnertime.
I'm so excited to share with you a slow cooker that's super affordable and that we've been loving. Plus some super yummy, easy slow cooker recipes that are my go-to's!
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The prettiest slow cooker you've ever seen
Walmart sells this beautiful slow cooker and because we have a big family with soon to be seven of us, I ended up getting the 8 quart size! This is one of the more affordable slow cookers out there – it's only $50! A lot of times an 8 quart slow cooker is over $100, so this is a huge steal!
The one we have has a manual knob on the front to change the cook settings. The Beautiful brand by Drew Barrymore did just come out with a digital version, but it's 6 quart size! That would work great if you don't have a huge family like me, or you're just making a side dish or a dish that feeds 4-6 people.
HOT TIP: Walmart sells these crockpot liners that are genius because it makes cleanup so easy! Before you throw in all of your ingredients, you line your slow cooker with this liner and when you're all done eating and ready to cleanup, just remove the liner and throw it in the garbage. They won't melt or catch on fire because they're slow cooker-safe and they're a lifesaving hack. If you're looking for something to make your life a little bit easier, these are the best!
Are slow cookers worth it?
100% YES. Using a slow cooker to prep + make meals absolutely is the easiest way to do dinner when you have kids with a bunch of different schedules.
I saw this funny meme recently that said “dinner time is either 4 pm or 9 pm in the fall time.” This is so accurate for our family because our kids have so many different schedules in the fall where my oldest daughter has volleyball practices or games far away, and our other daughter has cheer practice in the late afternoons. If anyone's like us with these chaotic kids' schedules, the slow cooker is amazing because the weeknight dinners stay warm and fresh for so long without getting overcooked! It's the perfect solution for a family with lots of different schedules.
What can I cook in a slow cooker?
The options are ENDLESS for the things you can cook in a slow cooker. Here are some of my very favorite, yummy go-to slow cooker recipes:
Mississippi Pot Roast
This was by far, hands down, the #1 recommended recipe by my IG followers when I polled everyone on their best and favorite slow cooker recipe! Over and over people shouted, “MISSISSIPPI POT ROAST!” So we tried it and guess what: WE LOVED IT! Neil was especially a huge fan because it took like 90 seconds to prepare. Pair it with some mashed potatoes and a side salad and you've got a home-run Sunday dinner.
Pesto Mozzarella Chicken Pasta
My kids absolutely loved this slow cooker chicken/mozzarella cheese pasta! It does take a second step of cooking the noodles on the stove and adding them at the end, so do this on a night when you're at home right before everyone eats.
I was so surprised how much this tasted just like real enchiladas! Super easy and stayed yummy all through the random dinner times we had that night.
This one was a HUGE hit in our house! I love that with this recipe, you cook the noodles in the slow cooker. Way less of a mess, and the chicken always comes out so tender and soft!
Sara's Southwest Soup
Is there anything better than soups/stews in the fall? This yummy, healthy soup is one my kids have loved for years. Don't forget to have the toppings on hand – the avocado, sour cream, and chips really make this meal heaven in a bowl.
For sure one of the EASIEST meals on this list of top 10ers. Everyone is happy when this is on the dinner menu, and I love that it's so simple to make in a crock-pot! All it takes is chicken breasts, salsa, black beans, corn, grated cheese, and cream cheese. Done!
Aunt Sheri's Chicken Lasagna
This recipe of my aunt Sheri's really is the ultimate comfort food dish. It's my go-to for bringing a meal to a mom with a new baby, and it's always what I want when I have a cold and just need something yummy to cheer me up!
Honey Sesame Chicken
A yummy Asian-flavored dish that goes great with a bed of rice and steamed broccoli/veggies. The soy sauce/honey combo is amazing in this! I leave the red pepper flakes out for my kids who don't like spice, but it adds a great extra flavor if you like a little kick.
Definitely one of the best, and for sure the most surprising, top 10 slow cooker recipes we tried! I can't believe how amazing this lasagna tastes, and it comes together really fast, too.
French Dip Sandwich
I was SO happy to find this online because it's a recipe I've loved for years from a cookbook that was made by local moms in Salt Lake City several years ago. This is not your average french dip recipe, it's about 100x better. The flavor is insane. Just trust me on this one!
Cutest gold kitchen tools for your slow cooker
I also found these really pretty gold kitchen tools to use when serving and mixing your slow cooker recipes! These would be so perfect for gifting during the holidays. You can gift the whole gold set or choose just one or two of the gold kitchen tools. Such a useful and pretty gift idea!
Dinnerware to go with slow cooker recipes
These stoneware dishes are a Walmart best seller and for good reason!
Right now this set's only $46 – normally a set like this would cost closer to $100!
It comes with 12 pieces, and everything's dishwasher/microwave safe. So when you're in a rush after dinner, just throw these in the dishwasher and call it a day! And of course I love that they're super cute, too. I'll use these all year round!
Cooking made easy!
The holidays are full of cooking and baking in the kitchen, and this slow cooker is the secret to making it a breeze! Walmart has everything you need for prepping meals and treats in the kitchen. I've rounded up all of the kitchen tools we use the most and will use all throughout the season, and they're all so incredibly affordable! Let's get cookin'!