Friday 28 February 2020

Family Favourite Slow Cooker Meal Ideas

I'm a bit of a sucker for a kitchen gadget, anything that proclaims to help me make a job quicker or easier in the kitchen is a winner to me. However of all the kitchen gadgets and equipment I have there are none that are quite as well used as my trusty slow cooker!

(Photo Credit - Rebecca from Northamptonshire mums and kids)

The slow cooker is such a handy piece of equipment, especially if you are a busy family! It enables you to throw everything into it, press a few buttons and go on about your day without worrying about what is going on inside. Then later on in the day you are greeted with a delicious family meal (and the house smelling amazing too!) with minimal effort and maximum taste.

When I first started using the slow cooker I had no idea just how versatile it was, I used to mostly use it took cook whole chickens or joints of meat (which the slow cooker is perfect for by the way!). But it is amazing for so much more than that, so I thought I would share some of the tasty, delicious and comforting family meals I have spotted that are perfect for family meal times.

Slow Cooker Meatballs with Pasta

(Photo Credit - Dad's Delicious Dinners)

Pasta and meatballs is such a classic family meal and this meatball dish will be even more popular with the adults since most of it can be placed into the slow cooker and left to cook itself all day! These turkeys meatballs make a refreshing change to the usual beef meatballs and are cooked within a tomato based sauce in the slow cooker.

Once you have made your meatballs you can either place them straight into the slow cooker, along with the sauce or brown them off first, this is just down to personal preference. This is a great recipe to make in advance as the meatballs can be cooked and then cooled and frozen ready to be defrosted and reheated at a later date for a quick and easy tea time meal. Perfect for those busy parents always on the go or for those who like to meal prep for a week at a time etc.

Slow Cooker Roast Beef

(Photo Credit - Katykicker)

Who doesn't love a roast dinner? But a good roast, especially the meat takes time and effort right? Well this slow cooker roast beef is a total game changer, that's because not only can it be left in the slow cooker to cook by itself but you can also throw in your veggies too and cook them at the same time. This not only saves you time, but washing up too and that is always a winner in my eyes!

You can choose to cook this for around 4-6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low and either way you will be left with a deliciously soft joint of meat that can be used for roast dinners or even sandwiches to next day too.

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

(Photo Credit - Boo Roo and Tigger Too)

Sometimes after a busy or stressful day we all just need some comfort food in our lives and this delicious BBQ pulled pork recipe ticks all the boxes. Not only is it delicious but super versatile too, you could choose to serve this with chips, in a jacket potato, with a simple side salad or even stuffed into a warm baguette.

The BBQ sauce for this recipe is ideally created in a pan to help thicken it up first. However this takes around 10-15 minutes and once the sauce is made everything can be placed in the slow cooker and left to do its thing. Once inside cook everything on low for 6-8 hours for a delicious pulled pork that can then be shredded with two forks with very minimal effort at all.

Slow Cooker Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins

(Photo Credit - Baking Queen 74)

Delicious rich mini chocolate chip muffins are the perfect chocolate fix and make great additions to lunch boxes, picnics or even as a yummy after school snack for the kids. This recipe creates around 14 mini muffins although you may need to cook these in two batches. The first bath will take around 1 hour 45 minutes to cook whilst the second batch should only take around 45 minutes due to the slow cooker already being warm from the first bath.

These mini muffins are light and airy whilst still managing the pack a real chocolate hit and are a must for any chocolate fans. You will need a silicone mould to make these muffins, this will allow them to cook evenly in the slow cooker and then be easily removed once cooked.

Slow Cooker Campfire Stew

(Photo Credit - Two Hearts One Roof)

Have you ever heard of campfire stew? If not then its a dish you are definitely going to want to try as its always such a winner with the kids in our house. This hearty, warming and filling meal is a combination of soft shredded gammon in a flavourful sauce and a variety of veg.

The gammon is shredded after booking for that ultimate comfort food feel and what's more you can even bulk make this dish and freeze it so you have portions in the freezer ready to defrost and warm up when you are busy.

Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

(Photo credit - Baking Queen 74)

Mac & Cheese is such a firm family favourite and delicious comfort meal. Its my daughters go to meal whenever I ask her what she wants for tea and there is just something so delicious about this cheesy carb loaded meal, right?

But switching from making this on the hob to in the slow cooker means you can leave this to cook whilst you get on with other jobs. No more standing at the hob stirring pasta etc you just pop it all into the slow cooker, along with a little extra water to allow the pasta to cook. Then in around 2 hours time you are left with a deliciously thick, creamy, cheesy macaroni cheese dish which is loaded with flavour.

Do you have any firm family favourite slow cooker meals or recipes? Or do any of the above take your fancy? Let me know the comments below!


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