Photo Credit: Maya Visnyei
How do you feel about the smell of sautéing meat before your first sip of coffee? Chopping onions in your PJ’s? Can you operate a simple appliance before you jump in the shower? Meh, okay and sure? That’s alright, you don’t have to give an enthusiastic “yes” to graduate to slow-cooker readiness. There’s plenty of time for the high-fives you’re going to want to give me.
Busting out the slow cooker you got as a wedding gift (but have allowed to grow dusty on a high shelf) is the best thing you can do to bring dinner time sanity back into your life. Yes, pre-sunrise dinner prep feels a bit odd at first, but it’s more than compensated for when you come home to dinner that’s nearly made. Particularly over the holidays when your schedule is packed with extra errands, school plays and work parties, why not give yourself the gift of some slow cooker dinners?
Here are five our favorite slow cooker life-savers, starting with Chicken Chili Tacos, possibly the easiest slow cooker meal around, with nearly no prep at all. Plus, kids can make their tacos however they’d like them!
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Chicken Chili Tacos
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 6)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup prepared tomato salsa, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 cup shaved montery jack cheese
8 corn taco shells
fresh cilantro and sour cream for serving
1. Combine chicken, garlic, salsa and chili powder in slow cooker. Cover and cook on High (4 hours) or low (8 hours).
2. Remove chicken from slow cooker and place on plate. Shred chicken and then toss with juices from cooker. Serve with taco shells, cheese, cilantro and sour cream.
This chicken is so moist and delicious it falls apart when it comes out of the slow cooker. When serving the meal, you can sub in any ingredients your family likes. Try guacamole, bean dip, additional salsa or even corn.
Here are four more simple, kid-pleasing slow cooker meals:
Pork and Black Bean Chili is a nice, slightly sophisticated change from typical ground-beef chilis. The bit of morning prep is well worth it.
Slow Cooker Oatmeal Got an early ballet class or hockey game? Wouldn’t this be nice to come home to?
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