Crock Pot Dinner Ideas for the Holidays
The holidays can be hectic, usually requiring lots of time in the kitchen making lots of food for lots of people. You can use your crock pot to help minimize some of that effort. We've got some helpful suggestions to get you out of the kitchen, able to spend more time with you family this holiday season.
Cooking Up Crock Pot Meals During the Holidays
If youíve read some of our articles here, youíve seen many of our crock pot dinner ideas and how convenient it is to use one. The holidays are the perfect time to use one as well. This year, how about spending some of that holiday time actually visiting with friends and family instead of slaving over a hot stove all day?
If you have a crock pot, you can and should be using it for a holiday meal solution that frees you up to enjoy the holiday. Check out these ideas for turning your crock pot into the perfect holiday helper.
Crock Pot Drinks
On a cold, winterís day, a hot drink is the perfect end to a day of sledding or shopping. You can simmer a number of hot drinks like apple cider or a warm adult beverage in your crock pot. Your slow cooker should have an adjustable temperature setting, so drinks can simmer and stay warm as the day goes on. You can fill the house with soothing smells by adding a couple cinnamon sticks or a few cloves to your drink mix.
Crock Pot Appetizers
A nice, hot dip or your favorite holiday appetizer whets your appetite for more to come. What are some of the possibilities you can think of? How about some smoked sausages with barbecue sauce or a spinach and artichoke dip to shake off the winter chill?
Make it even simpler on yourself. Toast a bowl of assorted nuts in the crock pot with a spicy or sweet blend of spices. You donít even need a serving dish, since your crock pot allows people to serve themselves when youíre finished cooking. This is the type of effortless entertaining you need during the holidays, and it gives you more time and more space on the stove for preparing the rest of your meal.
Crock Pot Soups
Many traditional holiday staples can be prepared in a crock pot. Classic chowders and soups can be put together in advance and left to cook while youíre watching sports or enjoying quality time with family. Think of a satisfying bowl of chili as the perfect accompaniment to the holiday tradition of watching your favorite Bowl Games.
Crock Pot Side Dishes
What do macaroni and cheese, scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole, brown sugar glazed carrots, and candied yams all have in common? Right Ė all of them can be easily prepared in a slow cooker, leaving you free to do something else you enjoy. You may find yourself feeling a bit odd, spending time out of the kitchen during a holiday gathering, but relaxing and enjoying the day while the crock pot works for you will become a habit youíll warm up to quickly.
Crock Pot Main Courses
Unfortunately, you canít fit a full-size turkey into a crock pot, so a little creativity will be required to create main courses made with your crock pot. For small gatherings, you can substitute turkey breast or sections instead of a whole turkey.
If youíre feeding more than a few, you could prepare several smaller main dishes like roast chickens or Cornish hens, to compliment the big turkey roasting in the oven. You could also buy a pre-cooked ham or slice one first before putting it in the slow cooker.
Donít slave over a hot stove this holiday season while everyone else is enjoying themselves. Crock pots are a handy appliance that makes holiday cooking easy. With a little preparation, you can simply plug it in, turn up the heat, and join the family for a more memorable holiday.