Crockpot recipes are often viewed as comfort food, but they certainly don't have to be. If you're on a low-calorie diet or love eating healthy, Yummly has easy weeknight dinner recipes the whole family will enjoy. Turn those dreaded weeknight meals into family favorite recipes you'll make over and over again. Search thousands of recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and more…

Breakfast Crockpot Recipes

There is nothing more satisfying than waking up to a breakfast that's already cooked. Start cooking your breakfast at night and leave them in the crockpot to bubble and sizzle all night for a warm, gooey, delicious breakfast to jump-start your morning right when you get out of bed. Need a gluten-free option for your mornings. Try strawberries and cream oatmeal recipe that's packed with strawberries and cinnamon for a sweet, nutrient-dense breakfast. Don't like oatmeal? Substitute quinoa instead and top with warm berries. If you're looking for something more on the sweet side and less on the healthy side, try your hand at french toast in the crock pot. Not a sweet breakfast kind of person? Try a cheesy potato breakfast with andouille sausage, bell pepper, and shredded cheddar cheese or a bacon, egg, and hash brown casserole.

Crockpot Lunch Recipes

Skip the peanut butter and jelly sandwich and get excited about your lunches again. Packing your lunch doesn't have to be a chore. Stop wasting all your money on take-out when you can make something way better at home. How does crock pot honey sesame chicken sound on a Monday that would usually have been spent throwing together a ham and cheese sandwich and a bag of chips as you were running out the door? What about crockpot chicken soup or chicken broth on a cold winter day? Or maybe spice it up a bit by adding tortilla chips for a crockpot chicken tortilla soup. Creamy chicken more your style? Add some parmesan cheese for a considerable flavor kick. How about some Asian chicken tacos?

Crockpot Dinner Recipes

When it comes to easy crock pot recipes, the possibilities are endless. You can go the traditional route and make hearty comfort food meals like slow cooker beef stew or chili, or you could venture out of your comfort zone and make your family an easy recipe that's usually reserved for a pan on the stove- slow cooker pork chops. Care for a chicken dinner instead? Use some boneless skinless chicken breasts and make some honey garlic chicken fingers. There's so much you can do to spice up a chicken recipe. Add some red wine to your chicken thighs or add vegetables to your dish. Your family could be in the mood for some chicken with sweet potatoes.

Crockpot Side Dishes

Don't limit yourself to only bringing out the crockpot for main dishes. Sides are important too, and there are so many options that warrant the use of a crock pot. The best part is that these recipes require very little prep and contain bold flavors to help out main dishes that may need a little extra attention. Any vegetable, rice or potato dish can be made in a slow cooker to serve as a side to any main dish. For any backyard barbecue, you can make a delicious mac and cheese or barbecue beans in the crockpot. For Thanksgiving dinner, whip up a green bean casserole or an all-time favorite- sweet potato casserole. Your crockpot can help free up some of your oven space for the turkey or any of the rest of your dishes. As a side to for an easy weeknight meal, make some scalloped potatoes with ham, wild rice pilaf, or cornbread dressing.

Crockpot Desserts

Didn't think you could make dessert in your crockpot? Think again! When your oven is being used to make dinner, turn to your crockpot for an easy way to satisfy your sweet tooth. From delicious cakes to pudding and fudge, and even creme brûlée, there's not much you can't do in a crockpot. Creme brûlée, you say?! But how? With only five minutes of prep, and two hours cook-time. Since you can’t set the ramekin directly on the surface of the crock pot, you need to take a twelve inch or so sheet of foil, roll it up into a worm, and then curl it into a ring to set the ramekin on and then pour in some water to let it stew. The best part is that the crockpot cooks the creme brûlée more evenly than the oven does– the entire custard will be set when its done instead of having to play the guessing game of what the right amount of wiggle in the middle is.

That seems simple enough, right? But what about a caramel peanut butter hot fudge molten lava cake? Even the name sounds complicated! But the recipe could not be easier. You can make it with a bowl and spoon - no mixer is required. You can stir together the peanut butter batter and spread it in the bottom of the pot and then press some Rolos on top. Mix some cocoa and sugar with boiling water to make the hot fudge and pour it slowly over the cake. The chocolate sauce becomes thicker as it cooks, so it starts resembling hot fudge. On high power, it will take about two hours to cook. When it finishes cooking, let it cool a bit and serve it with big spoonfuls of ice cream, because who wants hot fudge without ice cream?

Can dessert get any easier to make in the crockpot? It actually can with monkey bread! With just two cans of cinnamon rolls, brown sugar, and melted butter, you can have it done in two hours with browned edges and a gooey center. With no surprise, cooking it in the crockpot is so much better than the oven because it's more doughy. Monkey bread made in the oven gets hard and crunchy. By making this slow cooker cinnamon roll monkey bread in the crockpot, the bread steams as it cooks, which keeps it soft and doughy and baked evenly all over. It also gets a little browned around the edges for a nice soft crunch for the perfect monkey bread.

Crockpot Pro Tips

The beauty of a crockpot is that it's so simple to use. Once you prep your ingredients and add them to the crock pot, you're done cooking dinner. While they are easy to use, there are definite differences in a good crock pot meal and a great one, and it starts by using the right size. The majority of crockpot recipes will work best in a five to six-quart crock pot, but each recipe will recommend what size should be used to prevent over- or under-filling the pot so your meal can cook properly. Over-filling your pot can cause serious safety hazards. Most manufacturers recommend filling it no more than two-thirds full, but it depends on the brand. The owner's manual will state the recommended amount. A good rule of thumb is that if your ingredients fill all the way up to the top of the slow cooker, then you need to use a bigger one instead of trying to cut the recipe or eliminate ingredients. Altering the recipe could overcook your meal or alter the flavor.

Opening the crock pot while it's cooking lets heat and moisture escape so resist the urge to open the lid and look at your meal. Leave the lid on until the very end of the cooking time range. If the recipe calls for six to eight hours, it's okay to remove the lid at hour six to test temperatures and tenderness. If it needs more time to cook, only remove the lid every thirty to forty minutes to check on it again once you put the lid back on. If you're constantly lifting the lid and stirring the contents of the pot, it will slow your cook time and mess with the way your ingredients cook.

With crock pot meals, it's best to plan your meals ahead of time due to the long cook time. You'll want to start your meals first thing in the morning so be sure to do all your prep work the night before. Cut and trim meat, chop veggies, prepare sauces, and measure out all your ingredients. Be sure to refrigerate all the elements of your dish in separate containers and avoid refrigerating in the crockpot insert as a cold insert will take too long to heat up, which will affect cooking times. When you decide to start cooking in the morning, add all the ingredients to the pot according to the recipe. If the recipe calls for a sauce, reheat it to a simmer before adding it to the pot. If you know you won't be home close to the end of the cooking time, make sure to cook your meal in a crock pot that can switch to a warming setting when the cooking time is up.

Because crockpot meals are typically made in the morning, there's a good chance you'll be in a hurry to dump everything in the pot before you leave for work or school. However, if you happen to have a little time before you start cooking, maximize flavors by browning the meats and vegetables in a skillet before adding them to the cooker. Add some liquid to the pan to get the caramelized bits into the slow cooker to add a richer flavor to your meal. When you start cooking, make sure to keep the temperature in mind.

##Crockpot Usage While convenient, if not used correctly, several food-safety hazards could likely occur. You want to avoid temperatures between forty and one hundred forty degrees, as they fall into the danger zone of temperatures where bacteria thrive. Take precautions with your crock pot to keep the food from being in the temperature danger zone for too long: Never add frozen ingredients to the pot, refrigerate all ingredients in separate containers (to avoid contamination) after you've prepped them and before you add them to the pot, jump-start the heating process by bring liquids to a simmer on the low setting of the crock pot before adding other ingredients to the pot, and never attempt to cook whole chickens or roasts in the crock pot as they won't cook all the way through unless they are cut into smaller pieces.

To get the best out of your crockpot meal, it's best to have one a programmable one to avoid scheduling mishaps. If your 30-year-old basic crockpot needs you to be present to turn it on and off, it's probably time to get a new one. On busy weekdays when there's no telling when you're going to be able to make it home, get one that will make your life a whole lot easier. A programmable cooker will switch to a warming setting after a set amount of time, so you don't have to worry about dinner burning while you're stuck in after-work traffic.

Crockpot recipes are so versatile; the only hard part is deciding what you're going to cook first. It doesn't get any easier than dumping all your ingredients in the pot and waiting for them to cook. With Yummly's easy recipes, you'll be hard-pressed to not find the perfect breakfast, lunch, or dinner recipe you're family will crave for years to come.

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