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Stop Stressing About Side Dishes

Slow Cooker to the Rescue

Easter is almost here and, if you’re reading this, I’m willing to bet that you’re already getting ready for the big Sunday family meal. Maybe you’re cooking for a few friends, or you’re having your extended family over for a nice ham dinner. Perhaps you’ve been asked to bring a dish or two to the church potluck dinner. Whatever the case may be, there’s no need to stress about getting everything cooked and keeping it hot and ready. There’s an easy way to cook up delicious sides without all the stress – in your slow cooker.

One of the big advantages of using your slow cooker is that you end up with a dish that’s very portable and it’s easy to keep warm. Just keep it plugged in until your guests arrive or when you get to your dinner destination. It also leaves your oven free to bake the ham and maybe even a pie or two for dessert.

What You Can Make in a Slow Cooker

There are all sorts of delicious side dishes you can make with this handy kitchen appliance. If you like potatoes with your ham, try making a batch of creamy mashed potatoes in there, or how about some cheesy scalloped potatoes. Macaroni and cheese is always a big hit with the kids. You can even repurpose your crockpot as a rice cooker and whip up a yummy flavored rice dish for the dinner table.

root vegetables do well in a slow cookerLet’s not forget about the vegetables. You can cook up all sorts of delicious vegetable dishes and casserole style sides right in your slow cooker. Root vegetables are particularly suitable for long and slow cooking. Try fixing your glazed carrots or a mix of potatoes, carrots, turnips and onions seasoned with garlic and rosemary mixed with a little olive oil and cooked on low for 8 hours or until all the vegetables are tender.

Cauliflower and broccoli in cheese sauce is always a big hit. Brussels sprouts or asparagus slowly steamed in the slow cooker can be incredibly delicious.

And remember casseroles. Most of your holiday favorite recipes can easily be adapted to be made in a slow cooker. You can either search for a crockpot specific version of your family’s favorite casseroles or follow the tip below.

How to Adapt Casserole Recipes

Cook the casserole on high for 4 hours for every hour you would bake it in the oven. Precook your meat before adding it and add most vegetables raw, at the beginning of the cooking process. Spring vegetables like peas, summer squash, zucchini, etc. only need about 2 hours to cook, so add them later. Reserve toppings for the last 30 to 45 minutes.

Cooking your favorite holiday side dishes in the slow cooker is easy-peasy lemon squeezy. Give it a try this Easter and see if you can’t free up some valuable oven space in the process.


 

Planning an Easter Meal at Home?

Easy Easter at HomeMake it a relaxing, easy event with the tips, suggestions and recipes included in Easy Easter at Home, Carma’s Cookery’s latest report. Take a sneak peak at the Table of Contents, then grab a copy of your own!

  1. Introduction
  2. Planning Ahead: Easter Activities & Decorations
  3. Hosting Easter Without the Stress
  4. Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch or Dinner?
  5. Share The Joy – You Don’t Have To Do Everything Yourself
  6. It’s Not Just About the Easter Bunny – A Short History of Easter
  7. Getting Creative with Leftovers
  8. Closing Words
  9. Recipes
  10. Crafting Ideas

Buy it now

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About the author

Carma Spence has been experimenting in the kitchen since she was four years old and loves trying out new recipe ideas. She is the author of Bonkers for Bundt Cakes and Your Perfect Pie, as well as author and contributor to several more non-food-related books. With Carma's Cookery, she is taking her passion for empowering people and blending it with her passion for cooking, gift-giving and entertaining.