The Best Christmas and Holiday Recipes for a Crock Pot
At this time of year, time is precious. That’s why making a meal in my Crock Pot slow cooker or my Instant pot allows this busy mom to focus on the ho, ho, ho of the holidays. (I mean who doesn’t want easy meal prep during this holiday season?) Prepping the ingredients and tossing everything in together is such a breeze. And the low-and-slow setting means I can run out to finish my holiday shopping and be back in time to eat dinner with my family!
In my experience, the hardest part of using a Crock pot slow cooker is keeping my curious kids from lifting up the glass lid while everything’s still simmering. (TBH, even I sneak a spoonful of warm deliciousness when nobody’s looking.)
When the snow starts falling and the temperatures drop, these are my favorite holiday crock pot recipes to warm up to at home. They’re perfect for a casual night in with friends and family, but they’re just as easy to transport to a Christmas Eve dinner down the block or Christmas morning brunch at Aunt Debbi’s house.
Pineapple glazed ham
At my house, Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a pineapple glazed holiday ham. It only takes 15 minutes to prep the glaze and get the ham cooking — which is all the time I have before the gift-unwrapping madness begins! The trick is to pick up a pre-cooked ham that will fit within your crock pot.
Roast beef with cranberry gravy
If you’re in the mood for a hearty holiday meal, look no further than this recipe for roast beef with cranberry gravy. After simmering all day in with fresh or frozen berries and a cup of cranberry juice, the tender beef becomes infused with spectacular seasonal flavors. Serve this yummy dish with a side of mashed potatoes and green beans — and be sure to leave room for Christmas cookies!
Vegan corn and red pepper chowder
My vegan in-laws adore this sweet, smoky corn and red pepper chowder around the holidays. The prep work takes a little longer since you have to puree the soup in a blender before adding the last few ingredients. But the creaminess it gets from a few Yukon gold potatoes and a splash of soy milk makes it all worth it.
Sweet and sour meatballs
These sweet and sour meatballs are a neighborhood favorite and leave no leftovers (besides the toothpicks!) This recipe only calls for three ingredients: frozen meatballs, a jar of chili sauce, and a cup-and-a-half of grape jelly. Unexpected, I know! But the spicy kick and sticky-sweetness make this dish totally irresistible.
Spiced gingerbread pudding
I started making desserts in my crock pot this year — and I’m never turning back! This gingerbread pudding cake frees up space in my oven for the rest of my holiday cooking and baking. And my kids say it’s 100 times better than store-bought, dry gingerbread cookies. The gooey, indulgent dessert pairs well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Forget the traditional cocktail station this year. (Too messy and too much work!) Instead, bring the holiday magic to any winter gathering with a simmering pot of mulled wine. Combine two bottles of red wine, half a cup of brandy and a healthy dollop of maple syrup with star anise, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Brightly colored orange slices and cranberries make the perfect garnishes.
This time of year, I just love filling my kitchen with fragrant mulling spices and the mouthwatering scent of roasting meat and veggies.
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