We’re all familiar with yummy main dishes to make in the slow cooker. Soups, stews and roasts are all great dishes to fix. But what about side dishes? Slow cookers are there to help you out in the kitchen. When you are busy doing other things, like cooking a turkey or baking a loaf of bread, your slow cooker can perform some of the smaller tasks, like side dishes. Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities for side dishes you can make:
Everyday Side Dishes
Baked beans, German potato salad, and glazed carrots are a breeze in the slow cooker. Just drop in the ingredients and let time take care of the rest. Your side dishes should not be difficult or time consuming for you. After all, you are busy doing other things you would rather do – like relaxing! Or maybe you have to break down and clean the house, bleh.
Scalloped potatoes are incredibly easy in a slow cooker. Not only are they easy, but they are a hearty side dish. Great with almost any main course, this creamy potato creation will have your family wondering how you found time to slave over a hot stove with your busy schedule.
You don’t have to juggle dishes in and out of the oven when you have a slow cooker cooking the side dishes for you. You can even bake potatoes in your crock pot.
Holiday Side Dishes
Classic holiday dishes are another great match for your slow cooker. Green bean casserole is quite heavenly. The extended cooking time enhances the smooth, yummy goodness of this creamy classic. You’ll want to make an extra big batch so you have plenty for leftovers. Other holiday side dish favorites like stuffing, creamed corn, macaroni and cheese, and rice pudding can be relegated to the slow cooker, freeing up valuable stove top and oven space for your main holiday fare.
If your holiday dishes include soups, like matzo ball soup or French onion soup, then the crock pot can be your best friend. Instead of having to keep an eye on the stove for extended periods of time, try plugging in your slow cooker near the dining room table. Then you can sit down and relax while you prepare a great holiday feast for your family.
I’ll be posting even more holiday recipes for the slow cooker to help you prepare some amazing holiday meals with minimum work. Make sure you are signed up for the newsletter so you don’t miss them.
Old Fashioned Side Dishes
Some of the best side dishes are slow cooked. When your parents and grandparents used to make your favorite dishes, they would often use a nice, heavy Dutch oven and cook it for a long, long time over very low heat. Unless you have inherited their Dutch oven, it is difficult to replicate the same taste of these slow cooked specialties.
Luckily, your slow cooker comes close in recreating these wonderful side dishes you remember. Because of the long cooking time, your side dishes will taste like they have the same amount of love poured into them as if you stirred the pot for hours.
The crock pot seems to have been designed for old fashioned side dishes. Dishes like corn pudding, black-eyed peas, green beans and hamhocks, red beans and rice, and calico beans are a few sides that are reminiscent of old time kitchens. Typically, these old fashioned side dishes require quite a bit of preparation work and attention. With a slow cooker, once the ingredients are in, your work is done – no stirring and no worrying over the heat setting. You can walk away and return to your favorite side dish from days gone by.
Go ahead and put your roast or turkey in the oven, then put your slow cooker to work slow simmering your favorite side dish. Enjoy a filling meal without all the fuss, but with all the flavor.
Never worry about what's for dinner again. I've got you covered with the meal plans in the Once a Week Cooking Club. Cook once, eat all week.
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