12 Days of Giveaways - Spin & Win! Sign up before Dec. 25th to win daily prizes and a $250 Amazon.com Gift Card. Find out details.

10 Simple Crock-Pot Recipes to Warm You Up on Cold Winter Nights

10 Simple Crock-Pot Recipes to Warm You Up on Cold Winter Nights

Winter is already here for many of us, and that means many cold, dark nights ahead. There’s something about the warmth and aromas of your favorite dishes slowly cooking throughout a winter’s day that makes cooking with crock-pots so much more enjoyable during these winter months. Whether it’s your favorite comfort dish, a simple appetizer to take to that upcoming holiday party, or a dessert you just can’t wait to sink into with a warm cup of tea, here are ten delicious slow cooker meals guaranteed to be gobbled up by your family and requested by guests when they come to visit. 

  • 1. Brisket and Bacon Grilled Cheese

    Some nights you just need a big old bite of comfort food. I took my favorite brisket and turned it into this insanely delicious grilled cheese sandwich with bacon. With bacon. Brisket, bacon, cheese, and crusty bread...if that’s not comfort food, I don’t know what is.

    This recipe serves four.

    INGREDIENTS

    1 pound beef brisket, cooked and shredded
    About 2 cups BBQ sauce
    
8 slices bacon, cooked until crispy
    
2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
    8 slices of good quality French bread (or whatever bread you love!)
    About 2 tablespoons butter

    Preheat a large skillet or griddle to medium-high heat. 
In a mixing bowl, combine the shredded brisket and BBQ sauce. Set aside.
 Lay out four slices of bread. Top each slice with two pieces of cooked and crispy bacon. Next, add a big scoop of the BBQ brisket and then top with shredded cheese. Place another slice of bread on top and get ready to grill.

    Add the butter to the hot griddle or skillet and allow to melt. One at a time, add your sandwiches and slightly press down with a spatula. After a few minutes, flip them over and brown the other side. Remove from grill, slice in half, and serve immediately. 

    Image Credit: Harvest House Publishers

  • 2. Apple Cider Pork Tenderloin

    We’re big fans of pork tenderloin in the slow cooker. You don’t have to brown it first—you just stick it in first thing in the morning, add your liquids, cover, and cook on high all day. That’s it! By the end of the day, you have the most tender, ready-to-eat supper around. I’m telling you, pork cooked in the slow cooker is the best! On some evenings, we serve our pork over quinoa, but you could serve it on buns as a sandwich, over a baked potato, over rice, or over anything you want—or just eat it by itself! The apple cider gives the meat just a hint of fall flavor, and then we finish it off with chopped green onions. This meal looks fancy enough to serve to guests but is simple enough for even your busiest weeknights.

    This recipe serves about six big portions.

    INGREDIENTS

    For the pork

    1 (2 to 3 pounds) pork tenderloin (you might need two)

    2 liters (about 8 cups) apple cider, divided
    (you can also use apple juice)
    1 cup ketchup

    1 tablespoon mustard
    
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

    For the quinoa

    1 cup quinoa, rinsed under cold water and drained
1
    1⁄2 cups chicken stock or water

    Extra virgin olive oil
    Salt and pepper

    Place the tenderloin(s) in the bottom of the slow cooker and then add 6 cups of apple cider. Cover and cook on high 6 to 10 hours (the longer, the better).

    About 30 minutes to an hour before you’re ready to eat, remove the lid and pull the meat out and into a bowl (it will be so tender and will fall apart immediately). Drain all of the liquid from the slow cooker. Place the meat back in the empty slow cooker and shred the meat using two forks. Next, add the ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and remaining two cups of cider. Cover and cook on low for another 30 minutes to an hour.

    Meanwhile, if you want to serve this over quinoa, add the rinsed quinoa and chicken stock to a small pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes. (Do not remove the lid while it’s simmering.) After 15 minutes, remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Drizzle in just a tiny bit of olive oil or a tablespoon of butter, and a nice pinch of salt and pepper. Serve the shredded pork tenderloin straight from the slow cooker over the quinoa. 

    Image Credit: Harvest House Publishers

  • 3. Sweet and Tangy Meatballs over Rice

    This recipe is so simple, you’ll think it’s wrong. The key is using a good quality frozen meatball. We love turkey meatballs, but beef, pork, or chicken also work.

    This recipe serves four.

    INGREDIENTS

    1 (1 pound) bag frozen meatballs

    1 (18 ounce) jar grape jelly

    1 (18 ounce) bottle BBQ sauce

    About 4 cups cooked rice (we use wild rice)
    Green onions for garnish, chopped

    Place the frozen meatballs in the slow cooker. Next, pour in the jar of grape jelly, followed by the bottle of BBQ sauce. Put the lid on your slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.

    To serve, add cooked rice to each plate, and then spoon the meatballs and sauce over the rice. Garnish with some green onions and dinner is done. 

    Image Credit: Harvest House Publishers

  • 4. Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Soup

    I wanted to make a soup that tasted like an enchilada, had quinoa in it, and was made in the slow cooker. Done, done, and done. You place everything in the slow cooker. Turn it on, walk away, and come back later to the most delicious dinner your family has had in ages. I’m telling you, make this tonight. You’ll thank me! Make sure you run your quinoa under cold water to rinse it off before using. Rinse and then shake the excess water out before adding into soup.

    This recipe serves four adults.

    INGREDIENTS

    1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

    1 (15 ounce) can ranch-style beans (do not drain)
    11⁄2 cups quinoa (rinsed and drained)
    
1 (14 ounce) can enchilada sauce (I use mild)

    1 (10 ounce) can Ro-Tel tomatoes
    
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies
    
2 cups chicken stock
    
Salt and pepper
    
Green onions for garnish, chopped

    Cheddar cheese for garnish, shredded

    Place the chicken breasts, beans, quinoa, enchilada sauce, tomatoes, chilies, stock, and a big pinch of salt and pepper in the bottom of the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.

    When you’re ready to eat, remove the lid and shred the chicken inside the slow cooker using two forks. Next, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish it with green onions and cheese. 

    Image Credit: Harvest House Publishers

  • 5. Cinnamon Pumpkin Cake

    Here is a yummy pumpkin cake that smells and tastes just like fall, cooked up in my slow cooker.

    This recipe serves four to six.

    INGREDIENTS

    1 box yellow cake mix

    1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
    1 egg

    1⁄2 cup water

    11⁄2 tablespoons cinnamon

    Mix all ingredients with an electric mixer and then spread in the bottom of a greased slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours. Remove the lid and serve.

    Image Credit: Harvest House Publishers

  • 6. Chicken Tortilla Soup

    This recipe right here will probably be the one you refer to the most. A classic chicken tortilla soup recipe that just cannot be beaten. It’s always on point.

    This recipe serves four.

    INGREDIENTS

    1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    1 (10 ounce) can Ro-Tel tomatoes

    1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes

    1 (14 ounce) can ranch-style beans
    1 (1 ounce) packet taco seasoning
    
1 (10 ounce) can cream of chicken soup

    2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
    Monterey Jack cheese for garnish, shredded
    Green onions for garnish, chopped

    In the slow cooker, layer the chicken, tomatoes, beans, taco seasoning, and cream of chicken soup. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours. About 20 minutes before you’re ready to serve, remove the lid and stir in the corn. Replace the lid and heat until the corn is hot. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with cheese and green onions. 

    Image Credit: Harvest House Publishers

  • 7. Classic Queso

    Everyone needs a basic queso recipe. This one right here will be in your slow cooker a lot. It’s a classic worth repeating every single time.

    This recipe serves six to eight.

    INGREDIENTS

    1 pound breakfast sausage (I use Owen’s regular pork sausage. You can omit this step and make your dip vegetarian.)

    1 (16 ounce) package Velveeta cheese

    1 (10 ounce) can Ro-Tel tomatoes

    In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the sausage until it’s crumbly and cooked through. Place the sausage in your slow cooker. Add the Velveeta cheese (I cut mine into chunks to help it melt faster) and pour the tomatoes over the top. Cover and cook on high at least an hour before you remove the lid and stir. Once the dip is nice and melted, turn heat to low or “keep warm,” and keep the device turned on as you enjoy your dip straight out of the slow cooker. 

    Image Credit: Harvest House Publishers

  • 8. Gooey Butterscotch Cake

    This gooey little cake cooks up in the slow cooker and then makes the perfect dessert for any occasion. Who knew you could bake cakes in the slow cooker?

    This recipe serves four to six.

    INGREDIENTS

    1 box yellow cake mix

    1 (8 ounce ) container sour cream
    
1 egg

    1⁄2 cup water
    
2 cups butterscotch chips, plus a few more for garnish
    Butterscotch ice cream topping to drizzle

    Spray your slow cooker liberally with cooking spray. Then, in a mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, sour cream, egg, and water with a wooden spoon. Spoon this layer on the bottom of your slow cooker. Next, sprinkle the butterscotch chips across the top. Cover and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours. Remove from slow cooker and serve with a drizzle of butterscotch sauce and a few more butterscotch chips. 

    Image Credit: Harvest House Publishers

  • 9. Chicken and Mushrooms over Rice

    Tonight’s dinner is a classic slow-cooker meal. Layer your ingredients in the slow cooker, pop on the lid, let it cook all day, make some rice, dish out on plates, serve, and enjoy. This is a staple recipe you’ll use over and over again. Bonus—you can use pasta, quinoa, or any other grain you like instead of the rice.

    This recipe serves four.

    INGREDIENTS

    1 pound chicken breasts

    1 (10 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup

    2 cups fresh mushrooms, chopped (Portobello is a good option)
    1 (1 ounce) packet dry ranch dressing mix

    1 cup chicken stock or water
    
About 3 to 4 cups prepared rice for serving
    
Green onions for garnish, chopped

    In your slow cooker, layer the chicken, mushroom soup, mushrooms, ranch dressing mix, and stock. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours. When you’re ready to serve, remove the lid and shred the chicken right inside the slow cooker with two forks.

    To serve, add cooked rice to each plate and then ladle the chicken and mushroom mixture on top. Garnish with green onions. 

    Image Credit: Harvest House Publishers

  • 10. Ritzy Chicken Casserole

    Ritzy Chicken Casserole. A box of buttery crackers, some of our Perfect Chicken, and a supper dish your whole family will love!

    This recipe serves four.

    INGREDIENTS

    1 pound Perfect Chicken, shredded

    1 (10 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
    
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
    
About 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
    1 (10 ounce) box frozen spinach, thawed and drained of excess water
    1⁄2 cup chicken stock (or water)

    11⁄2 tablespoons Italian seasoning blend
    Salt and pepper

    1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
    
1 sleeve (about 35 crackers) Ritz crackers, lightly crushed

    4 tablespoons butter, melted

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
 Lightly spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside. 
In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken, soup, Parmesan cheese, mushrooms, spinach, stock or water, Italian seasoning, and a generous pinch of both salt and pepper. Spread this mixture in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top, and then sprinkle on the Ritz crackers. Drizzle melted butter over everything.

    Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until the sides are bubbly and the crackers lightly browned. Remove from oven and serve immediately. 

    Image Credit: Harvest House Publishers

  • About Shay

    Taken from: Mix & Match Mama Simmers: Slow-Cooker Creations Your Family Will Love. Copyright © 2017 by Shay Shull. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon. www.harvesthousepublishers.com. Used by Permission.

    Shay Shull is a wife, mom, author and entrepreneur. On her Mix and Match Mama blog (MixandMatchMama.com), she writes about motherhood, adoption, world travel, and, of course, yummy food.

    After struggling with infertility, Shay and her husband were blessed with the miracle of childbirth twice, as well as the joy of adopting two children. She and her husband and their four children live near Dallas, Texas. 

    Shay’s brother Sean Lowe was the star of The Bachelor (2013). Shay is the author of five books including Mix & Match Meal Planner, Mix & Match Cakes, Mix & Match Mama Eats, Mix & Match Mama Kids in The Kitchen, and Mix & Match Mama Simmers. She has been featured on national television shows including The Today Show, Hallmark’s Home & Family, and Fox & Friends.

    Image Credit: Harvest House Publishers