Whether you’re trying to work remote or juggling keeping the kids busy while preparing breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and working remote), there’s one thing you can count on – your trusty slow cooker. These six slow cooker recipes can be put together fast with pantry staples and then cook unattended until your family is ready to eat.I happen to be the queen of condiments, so I always have a lot of flavorful ingredients on hand to add to a recipe. However, my pantry might not be your pantry. It’s been a while since I had children in the house all day, so I checked in with my daughter Alison who has twin first graders and a soon-to-be five year old. “What pantry staples do you reach for to make dinner?” I asked.
“The fewer ingredients the better,” she said. “And it would be great if the recipe included a packet like ranch dressing or barbecue sauce.” With that in mind, I suggested some of our favorite slow cooker recipes and made a list from the ones that sparked a positive reaction. When I read her back the list, she said, “Which one are you making for me?” That wasn’t the question Alison.
Keep in mind you can always make substitutions
If you like the sound of the pork chop recipe but only have chicken, use that. Ground beef can fill-in for ground turkey or vice versa. Don’t have the seasoning packets, use a spice blend or several spices that you have on hand. Salsa is a great substitute for diced tomatoes. Just use what you have. Experiment. Have fun! If the recipe is too large of a quantity, Alison suggests involving the kids and using it as a math lesson. Have them help you cut it down and measure the ingredients. Or, make the entire batch and freeze the leftovers for a quick meal in the future. I hope the following recipes will be a thumbs up for you and fun, easy options for the family to help make dinner.
Lastly, for a treat, this is a Test Kitchen favorite:
Let us know some of your go-to slow cooker recipes in the comments below!