In exactly two weeks, Christmas break begins, though it won't exactly be a break for you. Your house that is normally calm between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. will become a play land for children hopped up on Christmas treats and anticipation for Santa (aka walking terrors). Plus, any second you don't have to devote to keeping them happy will go to wrapping presents, so to make things a bit less stressful, here are 17 Christmas Eve recipes to make in your Crock-Pot.
The Crock-Pot will definitely make your Christmas Eve dinner simpler, but it can also add some bonus festivity to the night. Most holiday food traditions are for Christmas day rather than Christmas Eve, though there are a few that are just for December 24 you can try. There's an Italian Catholic tradition called the Feast of the Seven Fishes, where seven different kinds of fish are served for dinner, according to Bon Appetit. (Even if you're not Catholic or Italian, enjoying some fish before the heavy meats traditionally served on Christmas Eve sounds refreshing.) Soups and stews are also popular for the day before Christmas in many cultures, all of which are super simple to prepare in your Crock-Pot. Plus, using a slow cooker for your "night before Christmas" meal means the oven and stove are free so you can get as much cooking for the next day done as possible. It sounds like slow cookers were basically designed with Christmas Eve in mind to me.
These are the kind of Crock-Pot recipes you could find yourself coming back to every holiday season. And by the way... if you happen to be a two-pot household (as in, you have a Crock-Pot and an Instant Pot), check out these easy Christmas Eve Instant Pot recipes. You'll have all the inspo you need for a truly impressive (and especially convenient) holiday spread.
1. Crock-Pot Split Pea Soup
2. Crock-Pot Cheesy Pierogi and Kielbasa Casserole
It's a Polish tradition to have Pierogis on Christmas Eve, as Culture.pl reports, but I'd be making this crock-pot cheesy pierogi and kielbasa casserole from The Country Cook even if it wasn't because it sounds delicious. Smart hack: make it without the kielbasa if you're looking for a non-meat dish.
3. Easy Crock-Pot Fire Roasted Tomato Shrimp Tacos
These Crock-Pot fire-roasted tomato shrimp tacos courtesy of Cotter Crunch are a fun and creative way to stick with the fish theme. Psst: there's a Paleo option on Cotter Crunch's site if you need it.
4. Crock-Pot Peppermint Pretzel Candy
Cookies and Cups' chocolate-y peppermint treats would make the perfect snack to munch on while you wrap those final few presents.
5. Slow Cooker Guinness Beef Stew
For anyone who doesn't have qualms about eating meat on Christmas Eve, you'll love the subtle beer flavor of this hearty beef stew from Baked By Rachel. It takes about four hours to cook, so pop the ingredients in and let the ambrosia of meat and spices fill your kitchen while you get into the holiday spirit.
6. Slow Cooked Salmon
Salmon is a go-to for an easy fish dinner, and this slow cooked salmon with citrus from Clean Cuisine gets even easier with your Crock-Pot. Say hello to a delicious and refreshing dinner in just 45 minutes.
7. Slow Cooker Winter Vegetable Soup With Split Red Lentils
Lentil soup is a German classic for Christmas Eve according to the German Food Guide, so A Beautiful Plate's slow cooker winter vegetable soup with split red lentils seems like just the ticket for a chilly Christmas Eve night.
8. Slow Cooker Lasagna
Lasagna is one of the ultimate comfort foods, and I think it would feel extra homey on Christmas Eve. This recipe courtesy of Climbing Grier Mountain features a festive pumpkin sauce and uses pork instead of beef, so it'll be a nice twist on the classic.
9. Slow Cooker Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie
You deserve Christmas cookies just as much as Santa, and thanks to this cookie cake recipe from BakingQueen74, getting your cookie cake fix has never been easier. Top with ice cream for even more deliciousness.
10. Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup
You might want to keep it lighter for Christmas Eve dinner so you can eat as many cookies as you want, which would make this slow cooker broccoli cheese soup from Well Plated perfect for your family.
11. Crock-Pot Pumpkin & Crab Chowder
Combining pumpkin and crab might seem like a strange move, but this flavorful chowder from The Urban Poser will have you feeling those holiday vibes in no time. The coconut milk definitely adds a little something too.
12. Slow Cooker Corn Casserole
Looking for an easy side dish for your Christmas Eve feast? Mom Endeavors has your back. This slow cooker corn casserole will serve a crowd and only requires five minutes of prep from you, so it's a no brainer for any Christmas Eve host.
13. Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
I love that this healthy chili recipe courtesy of Two Peas and Their Pod is made with lean turkey rather than beef and that you'll only have to do ten minutes of prep. It serves eight to ten, so you can make it for a larger group or keep the leftovers for Christmas day lunch.
14. Slow Cooker Eggnog Bread Pudding
Eggnog could probably be the official food (beverage?) mascot of Christmas, and the combination of eggnog and bread pudding is almost too festive. This recipe courtesy of Samantha at Five Heart Home can be served as a dessert or a delicious brunch treat, so you really have no reason not to make it.
15. Slow Cooker Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Say hello to the most adorable after dinner treat for Christmas Eve. This slow cooker peppermint hot chocolate from The Cookie Rookie has all the flavors of Christmas, and it's the perfect drink to sip on while you tell the kids the story of Santa.
This first-time mom wants to have a home birth, but is she ready? Watch how a doula supports a military mom who's determined to have a home birth in Episode One of Romper's Doula Diaries, Season Two, below. Visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for the next three episodes, launching Mondays in December.