The situation with the hot water heater cause a bit more chaos than I expected. Mr. C has been doing dishes by heating water in the coffee maker but I feel a bit guilty about cooking when things are the way they are. We’ve been dining on our freezer meals since the weekend since I don’t have to mess up a lot of baking dishes, etc. Today it hit me. Why haven’t I pulled out the slow cooker? I’m sure you too have days when slow cooker meals are a life-saver so here are 5 Slow Cooker Recipes to Make Your Life Easy!
These recipes are from various sites around the Internet.
Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Pasta
From Damn Delicious
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Place chicken into a 6-qt slow cooker.
- In a large bowl, combine crushed tomatoes, onion, basil, oregano, parsley and red pepper flakes, if using. Stir into the slow cooker and gently toss to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for 4 hours.
- Remove chicken from the slow cooker and shred, using two forks.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
- Stir pasta and chicken into the slow cooker; top with cheeses. Cover and cook on low heat for an additional 10-20 minutes, or until the cheeses have melted.
- Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.
Slow Cooker Pork Ragu
From Country Living
- 1 can whole tomatoes
- 4 clove garlic
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 large onion
- 1/2 c. dry white wine
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 2 1/2 lb. pork shoulder
- 12 oz. pappardelle or other wide noodle
- 1/2 c. fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4c. grated Parmesan (1 oz)
- In a 5- to 6-qt slow cooker, combine the tomatoes, garlic, carrots, onion, wine, oregano, and 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper.
- Add the pork to the slow cooker and cook, covered, until the pork is cooked through and easily pulls apart, 6 to 8 hours on low or 4 to 5 hours on high.
- Twenty minutes before serving, cook the pasta according to package directions. Using a fork, break the meat into smaller pieces, then stir it into its cooking liquid; fold in the parsley. Serve the pork over the pasta and sprinkle with the Parmesan.
Tips & Techniques:
Freeze the ragu for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in a large saucepan, covered, over medium heat, about 10 minutes (if it starts to dry out, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water or chicken broth).
Slow Cooker Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Pasta
From Slow Cooker Gourmet
- 1 to 11/2 pound boneless skinless chicken
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1/2cup buffalo wing sauce (1/4 cup now, 1/4 cup later)
- 1 tablespoon ranch dressing mix (dried packet kind)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
- 1 tablespoon corn starch + 1 tablespoon water
- 16 oz. linguine noodles
- Chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
- Place chicken, broth, ¼ cup buffalo sauce, and seasonings in crock
- Top with cream cheese and shredded cheese
- Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8
- When chicken is fully cooked remove to separate bowl and shred with two forks
- Add remaining ¼ cup buffalo sauce to chicken and toss to coat
- Set aside chicken
- Whisk together corn starch and water and add to crock
- Use a whisk and stir until cheese and cream cheese is all combined and smooth
- Break noodles in half and place in crock
- Top with chicken and cover
- Turn crock on high for 30-60 minutes until noodles are fully cooked, stir 3-4 times during cooking
- If noodles are not done you can add extra broth or water ¼ cup at a time
- Garnish with cilantro if desired and serve immediately
I made this in my 5 quart crock. It wasn’t full but it gave me plenty of room to stir.
Slow-Cooked Brisket and Onions
From The Kitchn
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds yellow or red onions (about 2 large onions), sliced into half moons
3 1/2 pounds beef brisket
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari, if gluten-free)
- Heat a deep sauté pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat with the olive oil. Add the onions and cook on medium-low to medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes or until the onions have caramelized lightly.
- While the onions are cooking, take the brisket out of its packaging and pat it dry. Season the meat generously with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat and turn on your vent or fan, if you have one. Sear the brisket until a golden brown crust appears on both sides of the meat. Remove and place in a slow-cooker insert, fatty side up.
- Sprinkle the minced garlic over the meat. When the onions are lightly browned, pile them on top and around the meat. Mix the broth, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce, and pour into the slow-cooker insert.
- Cover and cook in the slow cooker on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or until the brisket is very tender. Let rest for at least 20 minutes before serving in the slow cooker set on WARM. (If your slow cooker doesn’t have a WARM setting, transfer to a baking dish and cover tightly with foil while resting.)
- The brisket can be sliced or shredded immediately and served with the onions and juices. Or let the meat cool then refrigerate overnight. Before reheating, scrape away and discard the layer of fat that has formed around the meat.
To reheat: Heat the oven to 300°F. Transfer the brisket and all its juices to a baking dish and cover tightly with a lid or two layers of foil. Warm in the oven for 1 hour or until warmed through (time will depend greatly on the size and shape of the brisket; cut into smaller pieces for faster reheating).
Cooking time: Personally I like brisket very tender and shredded, almost like pulled beef. But if you prefer to slice the meat for a more formal presentation, aim for the shorter end of the recommended cooking time. Final cooking time will depend on the size and shape of the meat.
Oven instructions: No slow cooker? Cook in the oven instead, in a baking dish covered tightly with foil or in a Dutch oven, covered with a lid. Cook at 325°F for 3 to 4 hours or until very tender.
Slow-Cooker Chicken in Milk
Adapted from Jamie Oliver recipe by The Kitchn
Serves 4 to 6
- 4- to 5-pound chicken
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil or canola oil
1 cup hard cider or apple juice
10 cloves garlic, left unpeeled
1/4 cup lightly packed sage leaves
1/2 whole cinnamon stick (about 3 inches long)
Zest from two medium lemons
2 1/4 cups whole milk
- Remove the chicken from its packaging and pull the bundle of giblets from inside; discard or reserve the giblets for another use. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Mix together the salt and pepper, and rub this all over the chicken.
- At this point, you can sear the chicken for deeper flavor, or you can transfer it directly to a 6-quart or larger slow cooker, breast-side down. If you skip the searing step, reduce the amount of cider to 1/2 cup and don’t use the olive oil.
- To sear the chicken, warm the tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Sear the chicken on all sides until deep golden-brown; use tongs to help turn it as you sear. The heat in the pan should be hot enough that you hear a constant sizzle as you sear the chicken; reduce the heat slightly if the oil begins to smoke.
- Transfer the seared chicken to the bowl of a 6-quart or larger slow cooker and lay it breast-side down.
- Pour off any grease left in the pan and return the pan to heat. Add the cider and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan as the cider simmers. Continue simmering the cider until it has reduced by roughly half. Pour the cider over the chicken.
- Rub any loose papery skins from the garlic cloves, but otherwise leave them in their peels. Scatter the garlic cloves, sage leaves, cinnamon stick, and lemon zest on top of and around the chicken, then pour the milk over top.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook for 4 to 6 hours on low heat.
- To serve, lift the chicken from the slow cooker and transfer it to a cutting board; the legs or wings may fall off. Carve the chicken into pieces; you can leave the skin on or remove it, as you like.
- Scoop the garlic cloves from the cooking liquid and scatter them over the chicken pieces. Transfer the liquid to a serving dish, straining if you’d prefer to remove the solid curds (although they’re tasty!). Serve everything while still piping hot.
All photographs of the food are courtesy of the respective websites.