And just like that, the Crock Pot Challenge has come to an end. Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers invited her readers to start using their crock pots and slow cookers more often, and to find and make 10 new recipes in January and February.
While I didn’t quite hit 10 new meals (I completed 8 and have 1 more in the freezer ready to cook this week!), I did gain a huge appreciation for the ease of slow cooking. I’ve started prepping meals on Sundays and then popping them in Ziplock bags in the freezer. So any given day of the week, I have at least 1 meal ready to throw in the crock pot to enjoy after work.
We loved this soup. It was crazy easy to make. Sweat some onions in a skillet loaded with butter, pour into a crock pot and cover with beef broth. Add some seasonings, cook on low for 5-8 hours. Serve with good crusty bread and melt. We will absolutely make this again!
Another quick, easy, and delicious meal. I liked it a lot more than Blair did (he didn’t think it was filling enough). If we make it again, I’ll be sure to add more chicken and serve it with a side of cilantro lime rice to help fill him up.
Hold onto your hats, ladies and gentlemen. This dinner will take your breath away and impress anyone you serve it to. Anyone. This is Blair’s hands down favorite crock pot meal, and maybe his favorite meal ever. We originally made it in January, but had to give it another go last night. It was just as amazing the second time around, and will stay in my recipe book forever. Make this ASAP!
Let’s switch gears and make a crock pot breakfast! This was one of the easiest breakfasts I’ve ever made that wasn’t toast or cereal. I prepped it all the night before, set an alarm for 4:30am, flipped the crock pot on, and went back to bed. At 8am, the kitchen smelled awesome and we had a fully prepared breakfast ready and waiting to be in our bellies.
Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! For real, this is the best bread ever. I’ve probably made nearly 10 loaves in the past month. Everyone loves it. I’ve used the bread as a side with nearly every hearty meal I’ve served. I’ve made homemade croutons and breadcrumbs with it. I’ve buttered it and piled fresh cheddar cheese on it for a grown-up grilled cheese sandwich. I’ve snacked on it. I love it.
If you think you can’t make homemade bread, think again. Check out this recipe and prepare to pat yourself on the back.
6. Pulled Chicken with Homemade Apple Bacon BBQ Sauce
Serves 12. Adapted from Peace, Love, and Barbecue.
We’ve made this BBQ sauce before, and always serve it with Blair’s special smoked brisket. But we wanted to switch gears and make pulled chicken sandwiches with it instead. This recipe is special. It’s a little bit more hands-on than some crock pot recipes, but well worth the effort. The chicken is crazy flavorful and moist, not dry and gross like some slow cooked chicken.
I whipped up a 3-cup serving of sauce, poured it into the crock pot, added chicken breasts and thighs, and cooked for 4 hours on high. Once the chicken was cooked, I blended the BBQ sauce in my Ninja Blender until smooth, added a little bit back into the crock pot with the chicken, and boiled the rest to make a thick, rich BBQ sauce. Blair couldn’t believe this was chicken – he says it’s the best chicken BBQ ever. And he knows food.
Yum, yum, yum! A real one-dish meal. Black beans are amazing… they are so full of protein and fiber that 1 bowl of this soup filled us up and left us satisfied all night. Not like regular soup that doesn’t hold up to Blair’s expectations. This was fantastic. Tangy, citrusy, and spicy. I call it detox soup because it’s totally vegetarian and full of good-for-you ingredients. We’ll definitely make this again!
There is nothing like saving the best
for last for second to last. These turkey meatballs were easily my favorite meal of the Crock Pot Challenge. Blair loved them as well, but his heart chose Beef Brasato as his favorite. Lucky for us, both recipes are fan-freaking-tastic.
I just posted this recipe last night, but have made 3 batches of meatballs in the past week. We ate one batch last week, and there are 2 more sitting pretty in the freezer just waiting to be cooked and devoured. Truly delicious, saucy, and healthy, these meatballs hold a special place in my heart and my recipe box. I can’t profess my love enough. Please, for the love of all things crock pot, make these meatballs!
9. Chicken and Black Bean Tacos
Serves 4 hungry adults.
This was probably the easiest crock pot dinner I’ve ever made. Potentially because I didn’t follow a recipe, but made it up on the fly with what I had on hand. I am so pleasantly surprised at the results! We really enjoyed these tacos, topped with fresh avocado and cilantro. The more I eat chicken tacos, the less I want to eat beef tacos. Is this normal? Who cares. Yum!
Although the challenge is over, my love affairs with Mr. Hamilton Beach Stay or Go 6-quart Slow Cooker and his younger brother Mr. Rival 4-Quart Crock Pot are far from over.
I would love it if you’d share your favorite crock pot meals with me! Now that I’ve got the itch, I’m looking for bigger and better recipes to whip up. If you participated in the Crock Pot Challenge, feel free to leave your recap link below and I’ll add it to the post. Sharing is caring!