Thursday, August 22, 2013

5 Slow Cooker Meals that are Sure to Please


I have long been a fan of the good ol' slow cooker.  There's nothing better than walking in from a long day and having your food just waiting on you.  Throw a few simple sides together and you're set.  With school back in session, easy is definitely the name of the game.  The less you have to do when you walk through the door the better.

You don't have to wait until fall and winter to drag your slow cooker out, I use mine year around.  From soups and stews to roasts, and even shredded chicken for tacos or burritos; your slow cooker can be utilized for so many different meals. 

Crock pot sausage, pepper and onions
Serve this flavorful mixture of meat and veggies over rice, pasta, with crusty bread or on a hoagie with melted cheese.

This is a meal in and of itself.  Loaded with sausage, tons of peppers and plenty of onions; it's hearty and filling.  The sausage can be browned the night before, making it easier to assemble the following morning.  Just add all the ingredients to the crock pot, turn on and head out the door.  When you come home from work or your errands you'll have a delicious and flavorful meal waiting on you.  This is perfect over rice, served with crunchy bread, or on a hoagie roll with some melted cheese.  However you decide to serve this, your family will definitely be satisfied!

Cream cheese chicken
Wrap this creamy, shredded chicken up in a flour tortilla with a little cheese, make a quesadilla or even serve over rice.

Who knew 5 ingredients could be bursting with so much flavor?  This is probably one of the easiest meals I think I've ever made.  You can even start this meal with frozen chicken.  The epitome of easy.  Simply place the chicken (thawed or frozen) in the crock pot then add your beans, corn, salsa and cream cheese.  That's it, let the crock pot do the rest.  Once you get home, stir and the chicken with instantly start breaking apart.  Serve as tacos, quesadillas or even over some rice.  Add some black beans and/or rice and you're set.

French dip brisket
The most tender and perfect meat just waiting to be piled high on crusty bread with a does of gooey cheese all waiting ot be dipped in a delicious au jus.

The meat is pan seared to lock in all the juices then placed in the slow cooker.  Add a few other seasonings, spices and herbs, turn the crock pot on and let it go.  When you get home simply slice your bread, piled on the meat and cheese and sprinkle with some fresh parsley and that's it.  This sandwich can be served open faced and drizzled with the au jus or traditional style with a bowl of au jus on the side.  Serve this sandwich with a green salad and sweet potato fries and you've got a a meal that will make anyone happy.

Pork roast
This isn't your average roast.  This is pan seared to form a nice crust then placed in the crock pot with various seasonings and now here's where the difference comes in, instead of beef broth add red wine and allow to cook.

This roast is bursting with flavor.  The red wine flavor is penetrated throughout the meat, while it's not overpowering you can definitely detect the flavor.  Roast is a favorite in our house and this variation is definitely a go to.  We love this roasted served with mashed potatoes, butter beans and yeast rolls.  A well-rounded meal that is great for weeknight suppers but perfect for Sunday lunch as well.

Loaded baked potato soup
Just like a jumbo baked potato piled high with bacon, cheese, sour cream and onions...but in soup form.  This screams comfort food.

I love baked potatoes; they are easy, versatile and can be piled high with a variety of toppings.  While I love playing around with different toppings, nothing beats a traditional loaded baked potato.  This soup takes that traditional loaded baked potato and puts all that goodness into a sopu.  Creamy soup full of tender potatoes, gooey melted cheese, salty and crunchy bacon and it's all topped with sour cream.  Serve this in a bread bowl topped with more cheese and green onions and I promise you won't be disappointed.

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