When the colder temperatures hit, it's hard not to want to whip out the Crock-Pot every day. Sure, I get the pressure cooker craze, but there's really nothing better than letting ingredients meld all day in a slow cooker, with the intoxicating aromas wafting through the house. Okay, there is one thing better — when the recipe is also super easy. When it comes to these 9 Crock-Pot recipes that use five ingredients or less, the convenience can't be beat.
There's something almost romantic about letting ingredients simmer and stew for hours on end. In this chaotic world we live in, it's nice to let a slow cooker take its time. What's more, you might be surprised at just how many of these types of recipes call for only a handful of ingredients, especially if you're not considering water, oil, and basic seasoning ingredients, like salt and pepper as part of your ingredients list — because you know that they're already in your kitchen pantry.
Of course, I do totally feel like a midwestern mom when I've got my Crock-Pot on the counter, but is it wrong that I'm loving every minute of it? You can too with the nine delicious, efficient recipes below. And if all your have is an Instant Pot in your kitchen, don't worry — there's a slow cook setting on that appliance, too.
1. Five-Ingredient Easy White Chicken Chili
This soul-warming white chicken chili recipe from Gimme Some Oven is perfect for those busy school nights, and it's great for freezing too. It calls for just five simple ingredients, most of which are probably already in your pantry. Of course, you can have fun adding some additional toppings like avocado, cilantro, chopped green onions, sour cream and whatever else you're craving, but it's also comforting without.
2. Teriyaki Beef with Pineapple
This yummy teriyaki beef with pineapple recipe from Eat At Home is almost too easy. It calls for just three ingredients (beef, Teriyaki sauce, canned pineapple), but it tastes better than take-out. You can also opt to throw in some veggies to make it a more balanced meal.
3. Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
Buttery mashed potatoes are the ultimate autumn side dish. This slow cooker mashed potato recipe from No. 2 Pencil is so easy, and so, so good. The cream cheese and half and half makes this potato dish extra rich. Trust me, this will soon become your family's favorite dinner side.
4. Slow Cooker Carnitas
I love Crock-Pot recipes that supply me with enough protein for a week's worth of meals, and this slow cooker carnitas recipe from A Spicy Perspective does just that. The mix of flavors (garlic, orange, and spices), yields the most delectable pork that can then be used in tacos, burrito bowls, or over rice and beans. Save time and double the recipe to save for later, like lunch the next day.
5. Slow Cooker Ham
Are you ready to taste the most delicious ham of your life? This slow cooker ham recipe from No. 2 Pencil is caramelized, crispy, and totally craveable. Blogger Melissa suggests grabbing unsliced ham, to prevent it from drying out in the slow-cooker.
6. Slow Cooker Overnight Oatmeal
If you like to start your morning with some steel-cut oats, this slow cooker overnight oatmeal recipe from A Spicy Perspective is everything. It calls for soy milk as opposed to cow's milk, so it'a great vegan dish, and the secret ingredient is pumpkin spice seasoning, which gives it total fall vibes. Top it off with your favorite fruit if you wish, and you have one healthy, hearty breakfast.
7. Slow Cooker Creamed Corn
Creamed corn will always remind me of holiday meals at my grandma's, and this slow cooker creamed corn recipe from Gimme Some Oven has that same comforting quality. You can use canned corn (it's all about convenience here). It's a great side to make for any night of the week, especially as an addition to your your Thanksgiving feast.
8. Slow Cooker Cranberry Orange Chicken
Cranberries are in season, and their telltale tart flavor shines in this exceptional cranberry orange chicken recipe from No. 2 Pencil. This easy dish calls for two types of cranberries: sauce and dried, and the orange zest gives it a night slight tang.
9. Homemade Crock Pot Cinnamon Apple Sauce
If you just hit the apple orchard and are swimming in apples, it's time to break out the slow cooker for this awesome cinnamon apple sauce recipe from Meatloaf & Melodrama. It's a great way to make the most of those apples from your latest apple picking adventure.