Eating a healthy dinner that doesn’t require much preparation or too many ingredients – that’s the dream.
Many people turn to their slow cooker recipes to get a large quantity of food prepared ahead of time, and The Easy 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Dinner offers some simple meals if you like prepping a meal in the morning then coming home to a crockpot dinner full of food in the evening.
Our take? Many of these recipes still require hands-on chopping time when you’re ready to assemble the whole meal and eat. Like the Baked Potatoes with Avocado Pico de Gallo – the slow cooker bakes the potatoes, but you still have to chop all the vegetables at dinnertime.
If you like the idea of completing almost all your food prep ahead of time, we like the FreezerFit method. This way, you devote one hour to doing all your chopping and preparation for multiple recipes, which are then immediately ready for cooking whenever you want to thaw and eat.
You can check out a free video tutorial of the method here.
Who Is This Freezer Meal Cookbook For?
If you’re looking to save as much time as possible when cooking, it’s a good idea to get familiar with the slow cooker. Also often called by its well-known brand name “Crock-Pot,” the slow cooker is exactly what it sounds like – an electronic pot that cooks food slowly, usually over 6-8 hours.
If you already love your slow cooker recipes or want to learn how to use one without reducing your dinner to unidentifiable mush, The Easy 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Cookbook will teach you some solid basics along with some simple recipes to get started.
This cookbook is also for people who want a little more flavor variety with their slow cooker recipes without having to invest the time in making anything really complicated. Barbecue beef sandwiches, garlic-lime chicken, and cream cheese chicken sandwiches are examples of some of the crockpot recipes here.
If you’re looking for primarily main dishes, this is a good cookbook for you. While the cookbook claims that these are “complete meal recipes,” many of them are sandwich fillings that you’ll probably want to add a salad to in order to feel like you’re having a finished dinner.
Who Is This Cookbook NOT For?
Even though the title is the “5-ingredient cookbook,” the author tells readers right off the bat that they should have a stocked pantry of basic staples to complete the recipes.
This won’t be a problem for most people, since these are items like broth, rice, milk, basic spices, and canned tomatoes. The 5 “main” ingredients that you need to shop for in each recipe are highlighted so you know they’re the heroes of the dish.
This ingredient breakdown can be confusing when reading the book or for people who truly want an ONLY 5-ingredient cookbook. If you’re working with extremely limited food storage space, you might end up doing more grocery shopping for one week’s worth of recipes than you really have space for.
This cookbook is also not specifically tailored to people with food allergies or specialty diets, although it is noted if each recipe is allergen-free at the top. Some of the meals will be adaptable to special diets, but many contain dairy, gluten, and meat (though there is a small meatless section). So those with food sensitivities or looking for mostly vegetarian or vegan meals might want to look elsewhere.
The Easy 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Cookbook in a Nutshell
This is a cookbook for people who want to learn basic slow cooker instructions and a roster of simple recipes that don’t require a lot of additional prep work. Think traditional favorites like enchilada soup, baked potatoes, and chicken.
The book is divided into sections dealing with breakfast, soups, stews, meatless, etc. There’s a nice variety of recipes to try different things with your crockpot, though the emphasis is on large main dishes with meat.
Nutritional information is included with each crockpot recipe, to help those trying to live a healthier lifestyle or who need to track their calorie or carb intake. It’s noted if the recipe is free of certain allergens – like Top 8 Free.
The title calls these “no-fuss meals for busy people.” That’s mostly accurate – the recipes don’t require a lot of specialty ingredients or complex cooking. Many of them will require some additional cooking to make a “complete” meal. For example, the “Mexican Pulled Pork” will give you a crock pot pulled pork recipe that’s great, but you’ll still be doing a lot of chopping if you want to assemble a full taco bar or burrito bowl for dinner.
This is a good choice for people who are in a rut with their familiar slow cooker recipes or who are just learning how to cook and don’t have a lot of time to invest in prep and cooking time.
Our Verdict: The Easy 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Cookbook Review
If you already have a slow cooker at home and really want to max out the number of recipes you can make with it, this cookbook full of slow cooker recipes might be a good one to add to your shelf.
If you’re looking for more of a complete meal prep system, then FreezerFit may be a better match for you, since it teaches you how to prep everything you need to quickly prepare dinner at one time – with no last-minute chopping.
Interested? Check out our full review here.