Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup

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Oh my.

 

This Broccoli Cheese Soup at home is divine. 

 

Better than Panera.

 

And Mrs. Potts will do most of the work for you.

 

You’re welcome. ;)

 

My husband and I loved this recipe, my 14 year old liked it, and my 11 and 7 year old actually ate it. Success? :)

 

Here’s how to get a yummy warm & toasty meal on the table at your home too (and I highly recommend you include a side of homemade bread. Perfection!)

slowcookerbroccolicheesesoup

Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 12 oz cans evaporated milk
  • 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 5 cups broccoli florets (I substituted with frozen broccoli which I cooked in the microwave and drained well - to make sure there wasn't too much liquid I reduced the chicken broth by 1/2 cup as frozen veggies are usually packed with water when they cook)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 12 oz sharp shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 oz parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. In large skillet melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Saute onions until they become transparent, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and flour, as well as a little salt and pepper to flavor.
  4. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Using a whisk, slowly add in evaporated milk and stir well to make it smooth.
  6. Cook mixture until it begins to thicken, then pour into slow cooker with chicken broth, broccoli & thyme.
  7. Cover and cook 2 1/2 - 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
  8. Turn heat off (or warm if you have that option), and add in heavy cream, shredded cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese.
  9. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!
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Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 11/19/14):

  • Broccoli Buy One Get One Free at Giant Eagle and Food Lion
  • Kroger Shredded Cheese $1.99
  • Swanson Chicken Broth $.50 at Dollar General (14 oz) or $1.89 at Walmart & Target (32 oz), use $1/2 Swanson coupon from the 10/5 SmartSource insert or $1/2 Swanson printable coupon

Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy – thanks for a wonderful recipe!  Thanks also to I Heart Publix for the coupon matchups. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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Menu Plan Monday: Week Of 11/17/14

Here’s this week’s menu plan and grocery shopping list! I’m so excited because I have most of the ingredients that we’ll need for these recipes already at home, so it’ll help keep our budget in check too this week.

 

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If you’re hoping to get on track too, check out my Fall Menu Planning board on Pinterest where I’ve got all the links to the recipes we’re eating each week. Head on over HERE to check that out, and I’d love for you to join all the PPP boards on Pinterest too.

 

Shopping List
  • 8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 8 soft or hard taco shells
  • 2 cans Rotel
  • 1 sleeve saltine crackers
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 yellow onion
  • fresh garlic
  • 2 (12 oz) cans evaporated milk
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 5 cups small diced broccoli floret
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups sharp shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • parmesan cheese
  • bag of potatoes for mashed potatoes
  • tortilla chips

Side Dish Extras

  • apples (for salad)
  • grapes (for salad)
  • walnuts (for salad)
  • loaf bread for broccoli cheese soup night (store bought or  homemade bread)
  • carrot sticks or fresh veggies
  • toppings for nachos and tacos – sour cream, black olives, green onion, lettuce, tomato

Pantry Staples

  • salt
  • pepper
  • flour
  • thyme
  • baking powder
  • milk
  • 2 eggs
  • oil
  • onion powder
  • brown sugar
  • minced onion
  • chili powder
  • corn starch
  • cumin
  • red pepper flakes
  • cayenne pepper
  • garlic
  • oregano

Do you have anything yummy on your menu plan this week?  I’d love to hear what you’re having, and if you have any great recipe ideas please leave a comment to share!  Here are a few previous menu plans that you can also try out:

 

Check out my recipes to try board on Pinterest, and see more penny-pinched recipe ideas.  This post is linked up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday where you can find lots more menu planning ideas! 

 

 

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Mini Sliders with Secret Sauce

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minisliderssauce

I’ve found the perfect burger for you when it’s too cold outside to grill. 

 

You’re welcome. ;)

 

We don’t eat hamburgers all that often in the winter, but these taste so good that they’re worth the extra effort! And, since I have a tiny obsession with slider sandwiches (they’re the perfect size for my kids to decide if they just want one or two), these were just a great weeknight meal.

 

There really isn’t all that much to them beyond a regular burger, but the special sauce (and some French’s onions if you’re really going all out), make them a little more exciting than your regular weeknight meal. I ended up shaping the burgers in muffin cups like the original recipe suggested (it made it easy to come out with the right portions), but think you could probably skip this step if you have a good idea of what the size of your burger should be.

 

Here’s what you’ll need to get started . . . 

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Mini Sliders with Secret Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • muffin liners (optional, but this makes them easier to portion)
  • salt and pepper
  • slider buns
  • mayonnaise
  • ketchup
  • dijon mustard
  • relish
  • extra toppings (optional) - lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cheese, French's onions

Instructions

  1. Divide ground beef into 8 portions.
  2. Place muffin liners in muffin tin - sprinkle each cup with salt and pepper.
  3. Shape each portion of beef into a ball and place in lined muffin cup. Season with salt and pepper on top.
  4. Add another liner on top of the meat and push down to form the burger (I skipped this step and just formed the burgers with my hands.)
  5. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat and cook burgers in hot skillet until slightly browned (3 minutes) then flip over and cook another 2-3 minutes until cooked through.
  6. Mix mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, and relish in a small bowl to make the sauce.
  7. Add burger to slider bun, top with secret sauce as well as any other toppings and enjoy!
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Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 11/12/14):

  • Kroger Mayo $3.49 when you buy 10  participating Mega Sale items, use $.75/1 Kraft Mayo
  • Kroger Slider Buns $1.49
  • Publix Hunt’s Ketchup $.93
  • French’s Dijon Mustard $1.97 at Walmart, use $.75/1 French’s coupon

Recipe adapted from All Recipes.  Thanks to I Heart Publix for the coupon matchups. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

 

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{Lightened Up} Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

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pumpkinchocolatechipbread

I’m so excited about this new recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread that I tried out this week! While I love my usual pumpkin bread recipe (it’s so good), I love that this one calls for only whole wheat flour, substitutes the oil for applesauce, and tastes oh-so-good.

 

Most of the recipes that I bake with whole wheat flour call for half whole wheat and half regular white flour, so I wasn’t quite sure how this one would do. It definitely is a little more dense than our regular recipe, but it still tastes delicious. It has 155 calories per serving and 2.9 grams of fat per serving (assuming 12 servings per loaf), which is half the calories of my regular recipe that has about 319 calories per serving and 12.6 grams of fat. I’m pretty sure I won’t make my old recipe again after tasting how yummy this one was!

 

Here’s what you’ll need to get started . . .

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin pie filling (I think I may try substituting it with canned pumpkin next time to cut down on some of the sugar)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 and grease 9x5 loaf pan.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together pumpkin pie filling, applesauce, sugar, egg, egg whites and cinnamon.
  4. Add flour mixture into pumpkin mixture until combined, then add in chocolate chips.
  5. Pour into pan and bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!
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Thanks All Recipes for another great recipe to try! If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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Menu Plan With Grocery List: Week of 10/27/14

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup

Here’s this week’s menu plan and grocery shopping list! I’m so excited because some of these just look so yummy, and I can’t wait to try a few new recipes this week.

 

Wednesdays and Fridays are nuts at our house with kids activities (3 kids going 3 different directions makes for crazy nights around here!), so making big enough portions on Monday, Tuesday & Thursday to have extra leftovers (along with on occasional PB&J) realistically works great for our family. If you cook big meals at home every single night of the week you may need to add in an extra recipe or two, but hopefully this gets you started!

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If you’re hoping to get on track too, check out my Fall Menu Planning board on Pinterest where I’ve got all the links to the recipes we’re eating each week. Head on over HERE to check that out, and I’d love for you to join all the PPP boards on Pinterest too.

 

 
Shopping List
  • 3-4 pound boneless roast beef (chuck, round, or shoulder)
  • 22 oz pre-cooked chicken (recipe calls for Tyson Grill & Ready Fajita strips), or 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked (could try a recipe like this one or just pan fry in olive oil and a few seasonings)
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 6-8 sub sandwich rolls
  • french bread
  • beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 packet au just seasoning mix
  • 3 large onions
  • 3/4 cups sliced swiss cheese
  • 15 oz black beans
  • 15 oz can corn
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 1/2 cups Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips (optional – for Chicken Black Bean Casserole)

Side Dish Extras

  • Homemade or store bought crusty bread for French Onion Soup night
  • carrots
  • salad

Pantry Staples

  • salt
  • pepper
  • Worcestershire
  • soy sauce
  • honey
  • red pepper flakes
  • garlic
  • margarine or butter
  • flour
  • sugar

Do you have anything yummy on your menu plan this week?  I’d love to hear what you’re having, and if you have any great recipe ideas please leave a comment to share!  Here are a few previous menu plans that you can also try out:

 

Check out my recipes to try board on Pinterest, and see more penny-pinched recipe ideas.  This post is linked up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday where you can find lots more menu planning ideas! 

 

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Slow Cooker Meat Lovers Spaghetti

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slowcookerspaghetti

Looking for a new way to spice up spaghetti night? While I love (love love love love love love ~ did you catch that?) my favorite recipe ever for this Heaven Sent Cheesy Baked Spaghetti, I don’t have time for fancy spaghetti every weeknight. So, this one comes in at a close second. ;)

 

It was so easy to pop in Mrs. Potts in the morning, and nice to come home at the end of running kids around town to dinner already done. The best part is it makes a ton (like, L.O.T.S), so you can freeze the leftover sauce and have dinner done on another busy night. (Don’t you just love that?)

 

Here’s how to get dinner on the table (easily) in your home today too.

slowcookermeatloversspaghetti

Slow Cooker Meat Lovers Spaghetti

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 1/4 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 29 oz can tomato sauce
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 15.6 oz can stewed tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Instructions

  1. In skillet, heat olive oil.
  2. Cook and stir onions and Italian sausage until browned, then add those to the slow cooker.
  3. Cook ground beef in same skillet, along with Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
  4. Transfer beef to slow cooker.
  5. Dump remaining ingredients (except the sugar) into crockpot and cook for 8 hours on low.
  6. Add sugar and cook an additional 15 minutes, and serve over cooked pasta.
  7. Enjoy!
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Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 10/22/14):

  • Meijer Ground Beef $3.49/lb.
  • Target Market Pantry Ground Beef Buy One Get One 20% off
  • Publix Italian Sausage $5.79 20 oz
  • Kroger Johnsonville Italian Sausage $4.99, use $1/1 Johnsonville product
  • Kroger or Dollar Tree Hunt’s Tomatoes $1, use $1/4 coupon from the 9/21 SmartSource insert

Recipe adapted from All Recipes. Thanks to I Heart Publix for the coupon matchups. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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Menu Plan Monday: Week Of 10/18/14

spaghetti

Here’s this week’s menu plan and grocery shopping list! I’m actually on my way to North Carolina for a conference this weekend, and since I won’t be home until Tuesday night I’m pretty sure my husband will be feeding my kids frozen pizzas, but I figured I’d put together a menu plan for him anyways. (And maybe he’ll head to the store for me?) ;)

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 9.43.02 PM

 

If you’re hoping to get on track too, check out my Fall Menu Planning board on Pinterest where I’ve got all the links to the recipes we’re eating each week. Head on over HERE to check that out, and I’d love for you to join all the PPP boards on Pinterest too.

 

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Shopping List
  • 4 bone in pork chops
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 26.5 oz jar spaghetti sauce
  • 2 cans rotel
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 2 onions
  • green pepper
  • 2 cans low sodium chicken broth
  • 8 oz pasta
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • small can French’s onions
  • eggs
  • bacon
  • frozen biscuits

Side Dish Extras

  • salad
  • garlic bread
  • fresh fruit
  • baked potatoes
  • canned, fresh or frozen veggies

Pantry Staples

  • garlic powder
  • seasoning salt (I use Lawry’s)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • paprika
  • Worcestershire
  • liquid smoke (optional – I probably won’t use this for the pork chops)
  • chile powder
  • cumin
  • cilantro
  • butter
  • parmasan cheese (for topping spaghetti)

 

Do you have anything yummy on your menu plan this week?  I’d love to hear what you’re having, and if you have any great recipe ideas please leave a comment to share!  Here are a few previous menu plans that you can also try out:

 

Check out my recipes to try board on Pinterest, and see more penny-pinched recipe ideas.  This post is linked up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday where you can find lots more menu planning ideas! 

 

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Slow Cooker Chili Colorado Burritos

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I’m always so excited to find a new way to fix something in Mrs. Potts! So, when I noticed this recipe for Slow Cooker Chili Colorado Burritos, I knew I had to try them out.

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Goodness, this was e.a.s.y., and a great meal to add to our slow cooker rotation. (If you’re a busy momma, you  know how much it helps to have some slow cooked meals up your sleeve!) Literally it took 2 minutes to dump everything in Mrs. Potts in the morning and another five minutes to make the burritos before dinner, and dinner was done. 

 

I love that.

 

Here’s how to get dinner on the table at your house tonight too. ;)

 
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Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs beef stew meat
  • 19 oz can mild red enchilada sauce
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes (do NOT add water)
  • can refried beans
  • 7 burrito size flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • green onions (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)

Instructions

  1. Put stew meat, enchilada sauce, and 2 bouillon cubes in slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low 7-8 hours.
  3. Once meat has cooked, shred beef.
  4. Heat refried beans in microwave for about two minutes.
  5. Cover the bottom of each tortilla with small layer of refried beans, then add 1/2 cup meat mixture.
  6. Repeat on all of the burritos and roll up, then place in 9x13 baking dish.
  7. Spoon remaining enchilada sauce from slow cooker over the enchiladas.
  8. Top with cheddar cheese.
  9. Broil in oven for 2-3 minutes, long enough to melt cheese.
  10. Top with sour cream and green onions if desired - enjoy!
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Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 7/10/13):

  • Beef Stew Meat $4.99/lb at Winn Dixie
  • Old El Paso Tortillas $1.25 at Kroger, use $1/3 Old El Paso Tortillas
  • Or Ole or La Banderita Tortillas $1.50 at Publix
  • Kraft Cheese $2.29
  • Kroger Sour Cream $1.50, or Daisy Sour Cream $2 at Giant Eagle, use $.45/1 coupon from the 7/13 Smart Source or $.60/1 coupon from the 9/7 Smart Source insert

slowcookerburritos

Recipe adapted from Food Pusher.  Thanks to I Heart Publix for the coupon matchups. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

 

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Menu Plan & Grocery List: Week Of 10/12/14

Here’s this week’s menu plan and grocery shopping list! I’m a little behind after having my in-laws visit this weekend, but we had just the best time with them.

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See? ;)

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If you’re hoping to get on track too, check out my Fall Menu Planning board on Pinterest where I’ve got all the links to the recipes we’re eating each week. Head on over HERE to check that out, and I’d love for you to join all the PPP boards on Pinterest too.

 

 Chile Con Carne
Shopping List
  • Ritz Crackers
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds stew meat
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 19 oz large can mild red enchilada sauce
  • artisan loaf bread (may check the day old bread section for this – our local Kroger carries quite a bit and it’s usually still fresh!)
  • 8 slices swiss cheese
  • 1 lb. sliced ham
  • 2 onions
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 4 cups canned tomatoes
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • banana peppers
  • can refried beans
  • 1 16 oz cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • package chili seasoning mix
  • package burrito size flour tortillas
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese (one for enchiladas, 1/2 cup for Red Lobster biscuits and 1/2 cup for topping chili)
  • sour cream (optional – for enchiladas and chili

 

Side Dish Extras

  • potatoes for mashed potatoes
  • fresh, canned or frozen veggies

Pantry Staples

  • Bisquick
  • eggs
  • butter or margarine
  • garlic salt
  • olive oil
  • Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • beef bouillon cubes
  • chili pepper
  • paprika
  • cayenne pepper
  • milk
  • water

 

Do you have anything yummy on your menu plan this week?  I’d love to hear what you’re having, and if you have any great recipe ideas please leave a comment to share!  Here are a few previous menu plans that you can also try out:

 

Check out my recipes to try board on Pinterest, and see more penny-pinched recipe ideas.  This post is linked up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday where you can find lots more menu planning ideas! 

 

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Pepperoni Pizza Braid

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pepperonipizzabraid

 

We tried out this Pepperoni Pizza Braid last night for dinner, and it was a huge hit! Other than thawing out the bread ahead of time (be sure to give yours a few hours to thaw out), it took just a few minutes to throw together and was a great penny-pinched alternative to frozen pizza.

 

My kids loved it, and we doubled the batch so there would be plenty for leftovers for my husband to pack for lunch at work. I love the idea of making these ahead and freezing them too, so if you need an easy way to get dinner on the table on a busy night you may want to try that out! Here’s how to get started . . .

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Thaw bread completely.

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Roll out dough and spread tomato paste and seasonings in the center of the dough.

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Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese.

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Cut small strips along the sides of the dough using a pizza cutter.

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Fold the dough to make your “braid”. (My kids did this – so it wasn’t made all that fancy!)

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Bake in oven at 350 for 25-3o minutes.

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Enjoy!
pizza

Pepperoni Pizza Braid

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf frozen bread dough (I use Rhodes or Kroger brand, could also use Publix dough found in the bakery)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tsp crushed oregano
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • sliced pepperoni
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • butter
  • parmesan

Instructions

  1. Thaw bread completely.
  2. Roll out dough and spread tomato paste and seasonings in the center of the dough.
  3. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese.
  4. Cut small strips along the sides of the dough using a pizza cutter.
  5. Fold the dough to make your "braid".
  6. Bake in oven at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
  7. Brush with a little butter or margarine and sprinkle with Parmesan.
  8. Enjoy!
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Recipe adapted from Must Have Mom – thanks so much for the great recipe idea! If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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