Plain and Simple Slow Cooker Recipes

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I had all these great plans to tell you about these stew starters I made during my last round of freezer cooking. The concept was nice: put together a bag of meat and seasonings and aromatics and then freeze. On the day of serving, throw it all in the slow cooker and forget about it.

We’ve eaten two out of three experiments and not loved them. I think it was because I cheated and bought “stew meat” from Costco’s butcher case. I almost never do that, but I was feeling particularly lazy and didn’t want to cube a chuck roast. I read once that “stew meat” is really just a hodge podge of scraps that may or may not be well suited for the mode of preparation you’re using.

Yeah, well, lesson learned. Neither stew was all that tasty. So, until I can test these recipes again with “good meat,” ie a good old chuck roast, cubed, I won’t be sharing them.

Instead I thought I would bring back my top three items that I use my slow cooker for.

Are they excited? Well, I suppose it depends on your perspective.

Are they new and unusual? No, probably not.

Are they reliable, plain old good food that even picky kids will eat? {enthusiastically} Yes!

And that makes them winners in my book.

Taco Soup – my kids adore this soup. It’s easy, it’s frugal, it calls for plain and simple ingredients. Unlike others, it has no expensive spice or dressing packets. Just plain old spices from your cupboard. And your kids can help you make it. Love this! The hominy really makes it.

Slowcooker Red Sauce is a staple at our house. I make big batches and use if for everything: pizza, pasta, lasagne. It’s a winner.

Salsa Verde Beef – There are never any leftovers when I make this dish. And they’re all so happy that I made it. It’s really quite strange.

So, in place of some fabulous new stew to share with you, I’ve got three old standbys. Delicious, easy, and sure-fire winners.

What’s your favorite dish to cook in the slow cooker?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Micha says

    Sometimes simple is best, especially when they are family favorites.

    • Debbie says

      These recipes look great!
      I have noticed that stews taste MUCH better if you dredge the meat first in a salt/flour mixture, then brown it on all sides before adding it to the crockpot. I know this doesn’t help with the stew packet concept, but I think the difference will be worth it!

  2. Mmm thank you for sharing. I love using my slow cooker!

  3. I love slow cooking! My Girl Scout service area made me their food editor for their newsletter and I publish all slow cooker meals. I called it “What to Cook on Meeting Nights”. At the end of the year, I put all the recipes in a cookbook and handed it out to the leaders. I get the same job this year too!

  4. Yum, my favorite subject, crockpots. I love new ideas, thanks!!

  5. LOVE using my crock pot! 🙂 Thanks for simple recipes!

  6. This is perfect timing…as usual!! I just bought a slow cooker and looking for a bunch of recipes to start crocking this month 🙂

  7. Patti says

    I love crock pot cooking! Yesterday I cooked Lasagna in the crock pot for the first time. I am cleaning out my freezer so I used cut up meatballs with spaghetti sauce and spices in one mixture, mozzarella and ricotta cheese in another mixture, and the lasagna noodles (uncooked). I layered it all the night before, adding Parmesan cheese in the layers. I cooked it for about 4 hours on low. YUM!! I also love to make rotisserie chickens in the crock pot. And I cook up dried beans so I have packages of black beans and red beans in the freezer. I can’t wait to see the other recipes as I am in the mood for some slow cooking!!!

  8. Thanks for this! I just pulled my crock pot out this week – am craving fall food and can’t wait to try some of these.

  9. Ellen says

    I’m waiting with great excitement for those slow cooker freezer packet recipes!

    Postpartum with a 5 week old and 2 boys under the age of 5 in N.C. =)

  10. thanks for sharing these recipes. I just increased my hours out of the house and I need to make more crock pot dinners. What a treat to come home to dinner bubbling and ready to serve!

  11. Christine A says

    The Crockpot is one of my favorite things!!!! Here is a real easy recipe I go to about once a week:
    Crockpot Chicken Tacos:
    1 – 16 oz jar of salsa (your choice)
    2lbs chicken frozen
    Cook for 6 – 8 hours.
    You can experiment with the amount of salsa and chicken. The chicken just falls apart and shreds easily. I always make enough for tacos one night and save the left overs to make enchiladas.

  12. Kristi says

    I’m not sure this is my favorite crock pot meal, but it is plain and simple. I put potatoes (whatever variety you prefer and for however many people you are serving) quartered in the bottom of the crock pot. Next, I add sliced onion, salt and pepper, sliced carrots, and boneless, skinless chicken pieces on top. Pour approximately 1 cup of chicken broth over all and cook on high for 4 hours. I like to put Italian seasoning on the chicken and sometimes I add green beans the last hour or so. We like to mash up the potatoes on our plate and put butter and salt on them. Nothing fancy, but it’s quick, economical, and my family loves it.

  13. Fabulous! I am a bit behind on my reading this week, but I’ve been on the hunt for good crock pot recipes. Will be bookmarking these!

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