Easy Slow Cooker Recipes to Try in Your Student Apartment

Food in a bowl

A slow cooker is an essential cooking tool for all college students. You simply add the ingredients, leave it running for a few hours (perhaps while you’re in class or studying), and return to a delicious meal. The possibilities for recipes are endless, but here are some options that are simple, nutritious, and tasty.

1. Baked Potatoes

Possibly the easiest recipe of all for your slow cooker is baked potatoes. Russet potatoes are ideal, although anything with a thick skin will work. Wash the potatoes thoroughly, dry them, and pierce them with a fork. Then, sprinkle on some salt and wrap each in aluminum foil. They’ll take eight hours to cook on a low heat and four to five on a high heat. They’re ready as soon as they feel soft.

Once your potatoes are baked, all they need is a topping. Some great choices include shredded cheese, green onions, and sour cream.

2. Hawaiian Chicken

Another particularly easy recipe is Hawaiian chicken. Cover your slow cooker in nonstick spray and place a few pieces of boneless chicken inside. Drain a can of crushed pineapple, mix the fruit with twice as much barbeque sauce, and then pour everything over the chicken. It will be cooked after three to four hours on a high heat and six to eight hours on a low heat. Complete the meal by serving the chicken over rice.

3. Honey Garlic Chicken

Another way to cook chicken is with honey and garlic. Prepare your slow cooker in the same way as above. Then, mix together ⅓ cup of soy sauce, ⅓ cup of honey, two tablespoons of tomato paste, two teaspoons of chili paste, one tablespoon of rice vinegar, and four cloves of garlic (minced). This is enough for at least half a kilo of chicken. Cook everything for four to five hours on low heat or two to three hours on high heat. It’s best if half way through you can flip the chicken over.

4. Spicy Chili

Warm up in the winter with some spicy chili. Start by frying some ground turkey, beef, or a vegetarian alternative. Cook on medium heat until the meat has browned and then add it to your slow cooker along with a can of diced tomatoes, a can of kidney beans, a can of black beans, and a packet of chili seasoning. You can also add a diced jalapeño if you want to add some extra spice. Leave it to cook on a low heat for three to four hours.

5. Baked Ziti or Penne

You can even cook pasta in a slow cooker — ziti or penne are top choices, but other short pasta will do. This recipe calls for pasta sauce, but you can always buy some ready made. Add it to the slow cooker with enough water or broth for the amount of pasta you’re cooking, a can of diced tomatoes, and a little dried basil and dried parsley. You can also add your choice of meat: ground beef, turkey, or Italian sausage are ideal. Fry the meat with one onion until it is browned, then add a clove of garlic and leave it to cook for one more minute.

Cook all of the above ingredients for six hours on a low temperature or three hours on a high temperature. Then, add the pasta and cook it on high for another 15 minutes. Check to see if the pasta is done at this point — it may need up to 30 minutes more depending on the temperature your slow cooker reaches. To serve, sprinkle some cheese on top and wait for it to melt before you dig in.

To benefit from a slow cooker, you’ll need a decent kitchen in your student housing. Waterloo students receive a large kitchen equipped with modern appliances when they live at MyRez. Plus, you’ll only be sharing with four other students. Check out the apartments by booking a video tour.

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