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Food & Recipes

5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Recipes That’ll Make Dinner Super Easy

With about three and a half weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, hitting the mall, attending holiday parties and planning for guests can leave even the most organized begging for more time. One way to make each day easier? Using a slow cooker to prepare dinner. 

By simmering food at a low temperature, you can ready your ingredients in the morning then return later in the day to a hot, ready-to-eat meal, no stirring required.

“I love the set-it-and-forget-it idea of slow-cookers,” says Cory Gheen, MS, RD, assistant professor nutrition and dietetics and chef at Loma Linda University School of Allied Health Professions. “Steel cut oatmeal with dried fruit bits can be started before bed and enjoyed in the morning with almost no work. Chili can be started in the morning and will be ready when you get home from work. Talk about easy meals.”

So we’ve gathered five meals that not only can be cooked in a slow cooker, but also only use just about five ingredients. You can follow these or choose your own recipe, but Gheen warns come ingredients work better than others. “Tender veggies like onions will virtually liquefy under long-slow cooking, which might be desirable in something like a goulash or chili, but is disappointing in a soup,” he says. “Sometimes you have to stage the addition of ingredients in order to manage their cooking times for best results. Starchy and dense veggies work best in slow-cookers, especially for overnight cooking. Think potatoes, parsnip, beet, carrot, rutabaga, and corn.”

Ahead, easy 5-ingredient slow cooker that will satisfy the whole family. 

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