5 Slow-Cooker Dinners for Fall

By: Foodlets

Related To:

Mushroom Barley Risotto

FNK SLOW COOKER MUSHROOM BARLEY RISOTTO

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Matt Armendariz, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

I’ll admit it: I’m late to the slow-cooker party. But in my defense, I could never seem to find a slow-cooker recipe that doesn’t involve a packet of onion soup mix, gravy mix or can of soup — until now. Behold, five delicious, real-food dinner recipes that politely cook themselves over the course of an afternoon. Now that’s something to celebrate.

A vegetarian dish that’s as healthy as it is hearty? We’re sold on this one (pictured above) full of carrots, cremini mushrooms and Parmesan cheese.

As a mom of four small kids, I like meals that are simple, inexpensive and versatile. That’s why this one is a staple in our house. Any cut of pork will do, and slathering it with a mustard-based sauce before cooking gives it just the right amount of flavor. Add BBQ sauce, use it for tacos, sandwiches or whatever you (and the kids) like.

Who said a slow-cooked meal has to be soupy? Throw a boneless pork shoulder into the slow cooker before work and come home to sandwiches ready for the making.

The trick to this one-pot meal is a bottle of stout beer. So bring on the Guinness and don’t forget a nice loaf of bread to soak up all those extra juices.

Like our favorite slow-cooker pork recipe, this one starts with any type of chicken meat you have on hand. Beans and corn come last to round out a hearty meal that can be served over rice, in taco shells or mixed with pasta again later in the week.

Charity Curley Mathews is a former executive at Martha Stewart.com, HGTV.com and the founder of Foodlets.com: Mini Foodies in the Making…Maybe. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and four small children where she dreams of someday getting the dishwasher unloaded before it’s time to cook dinner again. For more of her practical recipes and ideas for feeding kids real food, visit Foodlets.com.

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