Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork Roast

This comforting meal is perfect for a busy weeknight – with only five minutes of prep, you’ll have a dinner packed with fall flavors thanks to a few simple ingredients and the magic of the slow cooker.

The star of this recipe is the cranberry sauce – which also makes it an ideal use for any cranberry sauce leftover from Thanksgiving dinner!

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Slow Cooker Frito Pie

The slow cooker has been saving me in this season of life. Seriously. It’s the only way I get dinner on the table in any sort of timely fashion on Mondays, and it’s been in heavy rotation on weekends too.

There’s something about kicking back and watching football while the slow cooker does the work that just fills my heart. It truly feels like a break.

This game day dinner is a recent hit here – an all-day-long simmered chili served over corn chips and topped off with cheese and sour cream. It was a hit with everyone

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Apple Bacon BBQ Chicken

This quick-prep dinner uses just a few ingredients to make a dish packed with flavor. In about 5 minutes, you’ll have dinner prepped – the most time-consuming part is shredding an apple.

Let it simmer all day in the slow cooker or make it quickly in the instant pot – it’s perfect for any night!

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10 Recipes to try this Crocktober

Welcome October, welcome Crocktober!

October is all about sharing slow cooker dishes. It makes total sense – the weather is cooling down and schedules are hectic so it’s the perfect time to break out the slow cooker and make cozy, hands-off meals.

Pictures of slow cooker sandwiches and soup, with the words, "10 Recipes to Try this Crocktober".

I’m excited to share some new slow cooker recipes this month – and some updated favorites. Today, I’m kicking things off with 10 previously-blogged recipes you should add to your meal plan this month!

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Candied Spiced Nuts #improvcooking

Even though it’s October (and the weather is still feeling like August…), I’m starting to think about Thanksgiving. I know, I know, but I get to host this year and I’m pumped! We’re not sure if we’ll have a big crowd or just the four of us, so I’ve got several menus floating around in my head.

I knew this month’s Improv Challenge theme, Sugar and Spice,  was perfect for trying out some of the recipes I’m considering. Sugar and spice is SO fall – apple spice, pumpkin spice – but I couldn’t get these nuts off my mind, so they won out.

This is such an easy recipe – the slow cooker makes it totally hands off. Just mix, let the slow cooker do it’s thing, then spread them out to cool. They were so good – and a perfect pre-Thanksgiving dinner snack!

CandiedSpicedNuts

Candied Spiced Nuts
(adapted from Crunchy, Creamy, Sweet)
Makes 3 1/2 cups

1 1/2 cups almonds
2 cups pecans
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves

Grease the crock of a slow cooker and add the nuts. Add the sugars and cinnamon and stir. Add the water and stir until everything is evenly combined and wet.

Cook on high for 3 hours.

Remove nuts to a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool. Sprinkle with remaining  seasonings. Once fully cooled, store in an airtight container.

You can check out the other Sugar and Spice themed recipes that bloggers made here:

Slow Cooker Ranch Chex Mix

Just about two weeks until the Super Bowl! Are you having a party? We’re going to one with some of our best friends and I’m super excited about it.

We’ve been chatting about the menu for weeks. Chili, a nacho bar, and pickle dip are all on the short list. This is a contender, too.

I made this up as a Christmas day munchie and it was well received. This is a great make-ahead option and it’s done in the slow cooker, which is awesome. I used a slow cooker bag for this to aide with cleanup (it was a breeze!) but I also kept the mix in the bag while it cooled, instead of spreading it on baking sheets. I just shook the bag/ mixed it around every few minutes until it was fully cooled. Super easy and it worked perfectly!

RanchChexMix

Slow Cooker Ranch Chex Mix
(from Oh Sweet Basil)
Serves 8-10

1/3 cup butter, melted
1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
4 cups corn Chex cereal
3 cups mini pretzels
3 cups oyster crackers
3 cups Cheezit crackers
1 cup dry roasted, lightly salted peanuts

Line your slow cooker with a slow cooker bag or spray with non-stick spray.

Whisk together the butter, ranch mix, Worcestershire, sugar and corn syrup in a small bowl.

Mix remaining ingredients together in the slow cooker. Pour liquid mixture over and stir to coat.

Cover and cook on low for 3 hours, stirring every half hour. When finished, pour the contents onto large baking sheet sand continue stirring as it cools to avoid it lumping together. Store in an airtight container.

Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Honey Butter

I love sweet potatoes. And I love that making them in the IP is so damn quick.

This is a great, basic method for cooking them. I served them mashed with cinnamon honey butter (yum!) but if you were baking them to top with pulled pork or cooking them to use for another recipe, this is the way to go!

IPSweetPotatoes

Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Honey Butter
(method from Add a Pinch)
Serves 4

4 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean
1 cup water
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. cinnamon

Place a steamer basket in the Instant Pot and add sweet potatoes. Pour 1 cup of water over. Cook on manual for 10 minutes, then let the pressure naturally release for 25 minutes.

While the potatoes cook, mix together the butter, honey and cinnamon.

Serve the potatoes topped with cinnamon honey butter.

Slow Cooker Honey Mustard Pulled Chicken

I had bought chicken to make something else – and then realized that my day was entirely too busy to make what was planned. After scrambling around Pinterest for a few minutes for something I already had ingredients, I found this recipe.

This is simple, but good. My toddler totally devoured it. And demanded most of the leftovers for himself.

HoneyMustardPulledChicken

Slow Cooker Honey Mustard Pulled Chicken
(from Wonky Wonderful)
Serves 6

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup honey
3 Tbsp. whole grain Dijon mustard
1/4 cup water +2 Tbsp., divided
2 tsp. cornstarch

2 cups shredded red cabbage
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp. whole grain Dijon mustard
2 tsp. honey
2 tsp. sugar

Sandwich rolls, for serving

In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, Dijon and 1/4 cup water.

Add the chicken to the slow cooker. Pour the honey mustard mixture over and toss to coat. Cook on low for 4 1/2 hours, remove chicken and shred.

Whisk together the remaining 2 Tbsp. water and cornstarch until smooth. Whisk into the slow cooker. Return chicken and stir to coat. Cook for another 20 minutes, or until thickened.

While the chicken cooks, in a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, Dijon, honey and sugar. Toss with red cabbage. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve pulled chicken on rolls, topped with cabbage slaw.

Hawaiian Pork Burrito Bowls

Seven months into motherhood and I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that I can’t do everything. It been a lesson in “OR” lately.

You can spend time making dinner OR go visit the adorable new twins across the street OR get another load of laundry done.

You can make that nice stew that simmers all day OR go to the baby play date OR run errands at the mall.

It seems that more and more, I’m pushing dinner to the back burner so I’ve been trying to plan easier, more hands-off meals. This slow cooker meal was a huge win – healthy, flavorful and quickly prepped before my busy day got out of hand. It was so nice to plop on the couch for baby cuddles instead of starting dinner after running around!

HawaiiPorkBurritoBowls

Hawaiian Pork Burrito Bowls
(adapted from The Housewife in Training Files)
Serves 6

1 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. paprika
Pinch of cayenne
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup pineapple juice
2 lbs. pork sirloin roast
6 cups of cooked rice
2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
Pineapple, sliced into rings
Avocado, sliced

In the slow cooker, whisk together the first 11 ingredients (tomato sauce to pineapple juice). Add the pork and turn to coat. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove pork, shred and return to slow cooker, stirring to combine with the juices.

When the pork is just about done, heat a grill pan. Grill peppers and pineapple until peppers have char marks and the pineapple is starting to caramelize.

Serve pork in bowls with rice, peppers, pineapple and avocado.

 

Slow Cooker Chicken Gyros

Most people don’t think of slow cooker meals as a summer thing, but there are plenty of great, summery recipes for the slow cooker. This one is particularly good – fresh lemon juices and herbs make up the marinade for the chicken. Pair the cooked chicken with fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes and cool tzatziki sauce for a great summer meal.

This also freezes well – before or after cooking – making it a great option to stock the freezer during the warm months!

ChickenGryos

Slow Cooker Chicken Gyros
(from Six Sisters’ Stuff)
Serves 4

1 lb. chicken breasts
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1 onion, diced
1/4 c. water
1 T. olive oil
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 t. oregano
1/4 t. allspice
1 t. lemon pepper
Tzatziki sauce, tomatoes and pitas, for serving

Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker. Whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Shred and serve in pitas with tzatziki sauce and sliced tomatoes.