Oh, the holidays. Hosting various friends and family for weeks on end means you might need to have a trick or two up your sleeve to get everything on your to-do list done.
Luckily, with a few of these slow cooker recipes on hand, you will be able to host and enjoy the party without being stuck in the kitchen the whole time.
Couldn't-be-easier French toast
Forget waking up earlier than everyone else just to get breakfast ready. With this slow cooker French toast recipe, all you need to do is take 5 minutes the night before to put everything in your crockpot, set the temperature, and wake up to a cinnamon spiced breakfast everyone will love.
Overnight steel cut oatmeal
Steel cut oatmeal is certainly a wintertime favorite. It's warm and filling and studded with apples if you're lucky. All you need to do is mix up all your ingredients, plug in your crockpot, and go to bed (seriously). Put out bowls and spoons out the night before and topping in the fridge to really get ahead of yourself; guests will be able to serve themselves breakfast and you can enjoy a little more shuteye.
Subtly spiced applesauce
A holiday favorite! Making applesauce at home may seem a little daunting, but the slow cooker makes it easy. Just wash and quarter your apples and throw them in a warmed slow cooker. No need to peel or core the bunch, because the mixture gets strained out in the next step. Add sugar and spice to taste, and you're done!
Chicken and mushroom potpies
With the frigid weather outside, serving up a hearty stew is the way to go. With this crockpot recipe for chicken and mushroom pot pies, you can enjoy an afternoon of ice skating outside without slaving over the stove beforehand. A little round of puff pastry baked in the oven really puts this dish over the edge, but is completely delicious without it.
White beans, spinach and sausage (oh my!)
Forget the fuss and stress of trying to arrange an elaborate dinner when you have a dozen other things to worry about this holiday season. Instead, have everyone curl up with a bowl of this delicious and hearty soup. Add a slice or two of crusty bread, and dinner is good to go.
Centerpiece Pot Roast
Chef Tyler Florence knows how to make a show stopper meal a cinch with this recipe. Plus, cute baby vegetables create the ideal place to put your perfectly cooked pot roast. It's an easy recipe that doubles to be quite the dinner show stopper.
Christmas Eve cocoa
Though hot chocolate might not be a difficult recipe on its own, this recipe makes things as easy as can be. Pour just 5 ingredients into your trusty crockpot and turn it on.
The chocolate chips melt with the milk and sweetened condensed milk (and other goodies) into the creamiest, richest cocoa that's perfect for Christmas Eve.
Now, all you have to do is dole out steaming mugs to friends and family and try not to drink it all yourself.
If you have a little crockpot hiding in your cabinets, it's time to bring it out and dust it off. This recipe couldn't be simpler, but really will wow your friends and family.
Let chocolate chips, evaporated milk and a little sugar melt together into a rich chocolate fondue that is perfect for dipping fruit, pretzels, candy canes, and cookies.
You'll probably earn a few points with Santa if you left this out for him Christmas Eve.
Perfectly baked apples
Apple pie gets a brilliantly simple update with this recipe. There's no need to fuss with crust in this dessert; just hollow out your apples and top them with a delicious sugar streusel before placing them in your slow cooker. A few hours later, scoop out the tender apples and serve with ice cream for a dessert fit for a king (and a crowd).
While your slow cooker can't wrap presents, run to the grocery store, or send out the Christmas cards, it really can give you a hand when it comes to planning out your meals this holiday season.