Use Your Slow Cooker

Investing in a slow cooker can be life changing. However, so many slow cooker owners just use the appliance to make pasta sauce or soup and otherwise allow it to sit in the cupboard, unused. There are so many things you can do with a slow cooker to save you time during the hectic week, especially in culinary academy. They just require a little bit of prep time. Try these pre-prepared meals so you have a dinner just waiting for you in your slow cooker when you get home from work.

  • Before you prep: All of these meals can be stored in one-gallon bags to save space in your freezer. If you’re planning to double the recipe, store it in two bags because the contents will expand a bit when they’re frozen.
  • Before you cook: Allow your bag to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before putting it in the slow cooker.

Mexican Chicken Soup
Try this twist on the classic chicken soup recipe. Made with chili powder, tomato, garlic, fennel seeds and lime, it has a Southwest feel with a little bit of a bite. This recipe is gluten and dairy-free, but feel free to add beans, noodles or anything else you’d like to bulk it up a bit.

Beef Fajitas
The only thing better than fajitas for dinner is fajitas that cooked themselves while you were at work or school. Beef gets tender and juicy in a slow cooker, even if you aren’t using the best cut. Stock up on tortillas, cheese and guacamole so you’ll have all of the fixings ready when you decide to pull this one out of the freezer.

Pulled Pork
This pulled pork recipe is seasoned with a dry rub, so you don’t need barbecue sauce. It isn’t even necessary to add liquids to the slow cooker, because the juices from the pork and onions make your pulled pork moist enough. This couldn’t be any easier to make.

Chicken Cacciatore
Yep, even Italian food can be prepared ahead of time for a quick dinner. This zesty red sauce is made up of peppers, mushrooms, onion, garlic, tomato and chicken broth and tastes just perfect atop a bed of angel hair pasta or mashed potatoes.

Orange Chicken
This meal prep version of orange chicken is so much healthier than the deep fried dish you get at your favorite Chinese restaurant. This is made with real orange juice and ginger and spiced up with some sriracha. Serve it with your favorite rice or stir-fried vegetables.

Honey Garlic Chicken
This chicken can be prepared on the bones, or shredded for sandwiches. Your freezer bag will only consist of chicken, soy sauce, garlic, ketchup, barbecue sauce, honey and some seasonings. It’s quicker to prepare this for dinner next week than it is to order and wait for take out!

  • After you cook: Taste your meal before serving it up and adjust seasonings accordingly.
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