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What a great time to have the recipes for slow cookers. It’s so cold outside that it’s just nice to come up with something that has been cooking all day. Then when you get home, all you have to do is come up with a salad, and you’re ready to eat.

Barbecue Chicken Sliders

3 large boneless, skinless, chicken breasts

1 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray’s)

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 to 2 packages prepared dinner rolls

Garnish — lettuce, tomatoes, pickles or onions

Place chicken breasts in the slow cooker. Pour soup and barbecue sauce over the chicken. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Shred chicken when fully cooked. Slice dinner rolls and stuff with barbecue chicken. Add desired garnish.

Amazing Pork Chops

4 bone-in thick cut pork chops

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 packet onion soup mix

1 packet dry pork gravy mix

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

Place the pork chops in the bottom of the slow cooker. Mix the remaining four ingredients in a bowl, than pour over the top of the meat. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Swiss Steak

2 pounds round steak

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 egg, beaten

Italian bread crumbs, for coating

Oil for browning

1 large can petite chopped tomatoes

1 cup mozzarella cheese

Cooked rice or mashed potatoes

Cut round steak into serving size pieces; salt and pepper to taste. Dredge meat in egg and then coat with Italian bread crumbs. Place in skillet with 1/4 inch preheated oil. Brown on both sides. Place meat into slow cooker. Pour tomatoes, over meat and cook on high 4 to 5 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours. Thirty minutes before serving, sprinkle cheese over the meat mixture. Serve with rice or mashed potatoes.

Salisbury Steak

2 pounds lean ground beef

1 packet onion mushroom soup mix

1/2 cup crushed saltine crackers

1 egg

3/4 cup milk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/4 cup flour

2 cans cream of mushroom soup

1 packet brown gravy mix

In a large bowl, mix together the beef, onion mushroom soup mix, crushed saltine crackers, eggs and milk. Using your hands, shape meat mixture into 8 patties. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Dredge the patties in flour just to oat and brown on both sides. Place the browned patties into the slower cooker (overlapping is OK). In a medium bowl, prepare the brown gravy according to package instructions. Mix in both cans of mushroom soup. Pour gravy mixture over patties. Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or until beef is done.

Hickory Smoked Brisket

3- to 4-pound beef brisket

3/4 cup liquid smoke

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Place beef on a piece of foil. Sprinkle with remaining ingredients. Wrap foil securely around beef. Place in the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 8 to 12 hours. Serve warm with juice ladled over the top.

Hungarian Goulash

2 pounds round steak

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced (add more if desired)

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed

1 bay leaf

1 large can or 1 quart canned tomatoes

1 cup sour cream

Chop tenderized round steak into bite-size pieces. Mix together all ingredients, except sour cream. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours. Remove bay leaf. Add sour cream 30 minutes before eating. Serve over buttered noodles or rice. I prefer the noodles, but others prefer the rice as it soaks up the gravy.

Sweet and Sour Ribs

2 pounds of short ribs

1 cup cola

1 large can baked beans

1 large can kidney beans

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon red pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Spray the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray, add the ribs. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over the ribs. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.

Ranch Potatoes

1 large bag frozen hash brown chunk potatoes

1 8-ounce block cream cheese

1 package ranch dressing mix

Put all the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 3 to 6 hours.

All-Day Mac and Cheese

8 ounces elbow macaroni

4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

1 12-ounce can evaporated milk

1 1/2 cups milk

2 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a large pot, cook the macaroni in boiling water for 10 minutes or until done; drain. In a large bowl, mix the cooked macaroni, 3 cups cheddar cheese, evaporated milk, milk, eggs and salt and pepper. Transfer to a slow cooker coated with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or until the mixture is firm and golden around the edges. Do not remove the cover or stir the mixture until it has finished cooking.

Cheddar Spirals

16 ounces spiral-shaped pasta

2 cups half and half

1 can cheddar cheese soup

4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 to 2 cups leftover meat of your choice

Cook pasta and drain. Combine half and half and soup, stir in pasta, cheese and your choice of meat. Place in the slow cooker and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.

Apple Crisp

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 cup white sugar, divided

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 pinch salt

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), cut into pieces

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

6 cups apples, cored and chopped, (can peel if you desire)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Mix together the flour, brown sugar, 1/2 cup of white sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl. Combine butter with the mixture using a fork or your fingers until coarse crumbs form. Stir in walnuts and set aside. Whisk together 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, ginger and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Place the apples in the bottom of the slow cooker, then stir in the cornstarch mixture, toss with lemon juice. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 hours or until apples are tender. After cooking time is complete, uncover the slow cooker to allow the topping to harden for about an hour.

Cowboy Beans

1/3 cup ketchup

2/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon dry mustard or can substitute with table mustard

2 tablespoons vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 pound hamburger meat, browned and drained

1/2 pound bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled

1 medium onion, chopped

1 can baby lime beans, drained

1 can pork and beans, drained

1 can kidney beans, drained

1 can baby butter beans, drained or regular size

Mix ketchup, sugars, mustard, vinegar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add in (already cooked) meat, onions and beans and place in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours or on high for 1 to 2 hours.

Triple Chocolate Mess

1 package chocolate cake mix

1 pint sour cream

1 package instant chocolate pudding

1 6-ounce bag chocolate chips

3/4 cup oil

4 eggs

1 cup water

Spray the slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Mix all the ingredients until smooth and pour into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Remove the cooker from the base and let cool for 30 minutes or more. When ready to serve, serve with Cool Whip.

This will give you a number of easy-to-make slow cooker meals. You might need two slow cookers and have a whole meal ready. If you need to reach me, you can email me at judyd2313@frontier.com or drop a line to my attention to the BCR, P.O. Box 340, Princeton, IL 61356.

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