The Simplest Way To Roast a Whole Chicken

Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you go!



Okie dokie ladies (and whatever gents are awesome enough to read this slightly girlie site . . . ) :)


Today we’re going to roast a whole chicken.


I know it’s gross. I know touching uncooked-chicken-skin is n.a.s.t.y. 


But, I have full confidence that you can do this.


(Because if I can do it? Anyone can. For real.)


It’s so not my favorite way to deal with meat. But it’s penny pinched. And relatively simple. And really, you are a seriously amazing chick.


You can do this.


Let’s roast a chicken.


Ready? :)


Here’s what you’ll need: 


  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 whole chicken (I usually look for the largest one I can find)


  1. In small bowl, mix together first 5 ingredients.
  2. Rinse chicken and pat dry.
  3. Place whole chicken in slow cooker (be sure to remove the package of giblets from inside the bird prior to cooking)
  4. Rub seasoning mixture into chicken.
  5. Cook on low 5-8 hours, until chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees. Remove from slow cooker.
  6. If you’d like to brown the skin a bit, cook under broiler in oven for about 5 minutes, until skin is golden brown.


In case you’re wondering, my stock up price on whole chicken is $.99/lb ~ if I can’t find it at that price I’ll choose boneless skinless chicken breast for $1.99/lb because I feel like I get more meat that way. I typically make one or two whole chickens at a time (if I’m making two I use my larger slow cooker) then freeze the meat for casseroles, soups or stews. It really is simple, and the meat just tastes so. good.

You’ll never settle for a Costco, Publix, or Kroger Rotisserie chicken again.

You’re welcome. 😉

And if you have a little more energy and will be home all day, try out this fantastic recipe for roast sticky chicken in the oven too. You’ve got this!


If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE.

Print Friendly and PDF

Chicken Alfredo Lasagna Rollups

Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you go!

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 10.54.32 AM

This is one of my family’s favorite recipes, and when a friend mentioned their family made it last week I couldn’t wait to get it back on the menu plan!


It’s easy, quick, and perfect on a busy night. You can definitely skip the jarred alfredo sauce and make it from scratch, but we were in a hurry this week so I took advantage of the Kroger Mega Sale on Private Selection Products (and made my life a wee bit easier.) :)


And on a totally random note, if you’re not following a menu plan, can I just encourage you to try? After just a few days of decent dinners at home because I spent 10 minutes planning our menu this Monday our home has almost instantly run smoother. Go HERE to see what we’re planning this week, and see dozens of menu planning lists that we’ve used before over HERE.


Chicken Alfredo Lasagna Rollups


  1. 12 lasagna noodles
  2. 2 jars alfredo sauce (or make from scratch ~ see recipe below)
  3. 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  4. oregano
  5. garlic salt
  6. 3 cups shredded mozzarella



  • Spray 9×12 pan with cooking spray and cover the bottom of the pan with 3/4 cup alfredo sauce.
  • Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions, until al dente.
  • Drain & rinse noodles in cold water, then lay out noodles to fill.


  1. Spread about 2 tbs. alfredo sauce on each noodle. Then sprinkle with a little garlic salt, oregano add shredded chicken, and about 3 tbs. of mozzarella.
  2. Carefully roll up lasagna starting at one end, and place in pan seam side down.  (This is a little messy, but you can do it!)


  • Pour remaining alfredo sauce over the top, then add the rest of the cheese.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Enjoy!



Homemade Garlic Alfredo Sauce (this recipe is just delicious!)Ingredients

  1. 1/2 cup butter
  2. 2 oz. cream cheese
  3. 2 cups heavy cream or half and half (we used half and half, which made the sauce a little bit thinner but was worth it to save the calories)
  4. 2 tsp. garlic powder
  5. 1/2 tsp. fresh minced garlic
  6. salt & pepper
  7. 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  8. 2/3 cup parmesan cheese


  1.  Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat.  Add fresh minced garlic, then cook for one minute.
  2. Add cream cheese & whisk until smooth and cream cheese has melted.
  3. Whisk in heavy cream.
  4. Season with garlic powder, salt & pepper, and bring sauce to a simmer while whisking frequently.
  5. Continue to heat and whisk sauce together until sauce thickets, which will take around 15 minutes.  (Mine never really thickened much while on the stove, but I used half and half, which might have been the problem!  It did thicken some once I removed it from the heat.)
  6. Stir in parmesan, then remove from heat to serve.


Recipe adapted from Mmm…cafe. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE



Print Friendly and PDF

Quesadilla Casserole

Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you go!



Oh my gracious.


This recipe was sooooo good.


Like, really, really delicious.


Honestly, when I pulled it out of the oven it didn’t look all that appetizing, but goodness gracious it was fantastic!

In fact, my husband was even highly impressed (and he’s always my toughest critic.) 


Here’s the recipe so you can impress your family too ~ yum! 😉


Quesadilla Casserole



  1. Brown ground beef over medium high heat, drain fat from skillet.
  2. Add in tomato sauce, black beans, Rotel, corn, and green chiles. Then add in additional seasonings and cook on low 5 minutes.
  3. Add 1/2 cup beef mixture to bottom of baking dish.
  4. Then layer 3 tortillas, spread another 1/2 cup beef mixture.
  5. Sprinkle cheese over beef.
  6. Add another layer of tortillas, another layer of beef mixture, and another layer of cheddar cheese.
  7. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
  8. Cool 5 minutes & enjoy!

Recipe adapted from All Recipes. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

Print Friendly and PDF

Slow Cooker Nacho Bake

I love a good crock pot recipe that doesn’t require any prep work . . . and try really hard to find those most  of the time, but sometimes that’s awfully hard to do with ground beef recipes!  However, I’ve found that during the school year my afternoons are the busiest part of my days,so I’m more than happy to do a little prep work in the morning if it saves me big work when the craziness hits around here.


So, while this isn’t the easiest slow cooker recipe ever, it requires less than 20 minutes of prep work, which can be done on your own schedule. If you don’t have time to brown the beef in the morning, just brown the beef the night before and then throw in the crockpot heading out in the morning.  And, enjoy a yummy plate of nachos when you get home!


Slow Cooker Nacho Bake


  1. 1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained
  2. 1 can refried beans (we were out of these, so I left them out!)
  3. 1 can red kidney beans, undrained
  4. 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  5. 1 pkg. taco seasoning
  6. 1 cup salsa
  7. 1/2 cup water
  8. salt and pepper to taste
  9. 1 tsp. garlic powder
  10. tortilla chips 
  11. Shredded Cheese
  12. Extra toppings (we used lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green onions, salsa and sour cream)


  1. Brown ground beef in skillet on stove.  Drain off any grease.
  2. Add ground beef, refried beans, kidney beans, tomato paste, taco seasoning, water, and garlic powder to crockpot.
  3. Cook on low 4-6 hours or high 2-3 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Arrange chips in the bottom of a large baking sheet.
  6. Spoon meat mixture over tortilla chips.
  7. Top with cheese and tomato.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese has melted.
  9. Top with extra toppings, and enjoy!


Recipe adapted Full Bellies Happy Kids.  If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

Print Friendly and PDF

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings
Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you go!

Of all the recipes I’ve posted here on Passionate Penny Pincher, these Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings (and of course everyone’s favorite Italian Beef) are consistently the ones people mention to me, and I notice folks searching for them almost daily on PPP. My kids love them and would happily eat them once a week if I’d make them that often!


These are just so easy, and while I love to make these homemade Chicken and Dumplings (so good too!), you can’t beat these for a busy weeknight. (You can also try out this Chicken & Dumpling Casserole  . . . can you tell we like some Chicken & Dumplings around here?) 😉


If you have extra time you could make your own cream of chicken soup, and even use homemade biscuit doughThis recipe is super adaptable, and some yummy comfort food if your family loves chicken and dumplings like my bunch does. Here’s the recipe so you can get started . . .


Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings


  • 1-2 pounds chicken breast
  • 2 10 oz cans cream of chicken soup (can substitute with homemade cream of chicken soup)
  • 1 10 oz. can chicken broth (I use bouillon cubes)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 2 10 0z cans inexpensive biscuits cut in quarters


  1. Place chicken breast, soup, broth, water, salt, garlic powder, pepper & onion in crockpot.
  2. Cook on low six to seven hours.
  3. 1 hours before dinner time, add quartered biscuits to crockpot. (I use kitchen scissors to cut the biscuits.)
  4. Gently stir in biscuits so that they’re covered.
  5. Cook one more hours on low. Enjoy!

If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

Print Friendly and PDF

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you go!

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 6.50.18 AM

We made this recipe from Eat at Home Cooks two weeks ago and I loved it, so much so that while visiting my in-laws I made it for them again last night! It’s such an easy way to cook up a bunch of veggies, and since the sauce is gluten free (my mother-in-law eats a gluten free diet), we easily cooked up gluten free pasta to make a simple gluten free meal for her too.



I’ve just about decided it’s my new go-to simple crockpot meal because it tastes great, and there’s just nothing like coming home to a home smelling like a yummy Italian meal. It’s an easy way to change out every day spaghetti, and we’ll definitely add it to our menu plan at least once a month!


Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore (adapted from Eat at Home Cooks)


  • 1-2 pounds frozen chicken tenders
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 1 sliced green pepper
  • 1 sliced red pepper
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb cooked pasta


  1. Place frozen chicken in the bottom of slow cooker.
  2. Add sliced onion and green peppers on top of the chicken.
  3. Mixed together crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper, then pour sauce over chicken and veggies.
  4. Cook on low 7 hours or high 4-5 hours.
  5. Serve over pasta with fresh parmesan cheese and enjoy!


If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

Print Friendly and PDF

Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Glaze



Oh my goodness this recipe is sooooo good and super easy!  This has quickly become one of my favorite meat dishes, and I don’t even like pork all that much. :)



This is great to throw in the crockpot on a busy day, then come home and finish up the glaze while getting ready for dinner. I’d love to hear if you try it, definitely a new favorite at our house!



Crockpot Brown Sugar Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin


  • 1-2 pound pork tenderloin
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage or thyme (we used thyme)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce


  1. Mix together the salt, pepper, garlic, and sage or thyme.
  2. Rub over tenderloin.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of water to slow cooker, place tenderloin in slow cooker.
  4. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  5. An hour before the roast is finished, mix together the ingredients for the glaze in a small saucepan.
  6. Cook over medium heat and stir about 4 minutes, until mixture thickens.
  7. Brush roast with the glaze sauce every 20 minutes for the last hour of cooking.
  8. Serve with remaining glaze on the side - enjoy!


Looking for more Slow Cooker Recipes? Here are a few more favorites . . .

Adapted from Laura Sweet Spot! If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

Print Friendly and PDF

Red Robin Whiskey River Barbecue Chicken Wrap

Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you go!


Not sure this qualifies as real cooking, but if you’re in a hurry and need a quick meal this week, this recipe is perfect. My friend Shannon keeps reminding me about it, so I figured it was time to update the recipe and picture from when I originally posted it way back in 2012. 😉



Grill the chicken yourself of make life easy on a busy night like I did and take advantage of pre-cooked chicken. Either way dinner will be done fast, and your family will love it! Here you go . . .


Mix together equal parts barbecue sauce and ranch dressing and warm chicken up in microwave.


Add chicken to wrap.


Then add lettuce,


and onions (red onions are my favorite.)


Sprinkle with cheese . . . img_2070

Top with tortilla chips or French’s onions.

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 1.06.05 PM

Drizzle with ranch dressing and barbecue sauce mixture,


Wrap it all up . . .

And enjoy!

Red Robin Whiskey River Barbecue Chicken Wrap


  • 1 package flour tortillas (we use the Mission Spinach variety)
  • 1 cup cooked and sliced chicken breast (to make life easy I used pre-cooked Tyson Grilled & Ready Strips, but you could easily make them yourself – try out this chicken marinade!)
  • 1/2 cup light ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • lettuce
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 red onion
  • tortilla strips or French’s onions we used stockpiled French’s onions
  • bacon (optional)


  1. Mix together barbecue sauce and ranch dressing, set aside.
  2. Chop onion.
  3. Warm chicken according to package directions and cook bacon.
  4. Add lettuce, chicken, bacon, cheese, onion, and tortilla strips to wrap.
  5. Drizzle with barbecue sauce dressing mixture, and enjoy!

If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

Print Friendly and PDF

20 Slow Cooker Sandwich Recipes


You all know I love (seriously, adore) Mrs. Potts (aka, my crockpot), so I thought it would be fun to share 10 slow cooker sandwich recipes to make cooking easy in the summertime!


While I love Mrs. Potts in the winter for roasts, soups, and stews, in the summertime it’s nice to have something simple cooking up to because we’re usually out and about, and it keeps us eating at home when dinner’s already cooking up throughout the day. Many of these can also be cooked and then served over a baked potato (one of our favorite ways to enjoy them) or even in a taco shell, so there are all kind of fun options out there!


If you’re looking for more recipes to try out in you crock pot, head on over HERE.

Slow Cooked Italian Beef Sliders

Slow Cooker Chicken Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 11.09.43 AM

Crock Pot Asian Sliders from Crock Pot Ladies


Slow Cooked Pulled Pork Root Beer Barbecue

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.05.29 AM

French Dip  with Horeseradish White Cheddar from A Thrifty Mom

Crockpot Sloppy Joes

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.20.31 AM

Shredded  Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches from 5 Dollar Dinners

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.03.53 AM

Slow Cooker Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwiches with Creamy Slaw from Eat at Home Cooks

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.07.20 AM

Crock Pot Barbecue Chicken Recipe from Time2Save Workshops

Slow Cooker Ham  Swiss Cheese Sandwiches

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.51.50 AM

Slow Cooker Meatball Subs from Sincerely Mindy

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sliders

Slow Cooker Buffalo Ranch Chicken Sliders

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.49.20 AM

Teriyaki Sliders from House of Yum

Slow Cooker Open Faced Sirloin Sandwich

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.46.28 AM

Crock Pot Pizza Burgers from Recipes that CrockScreen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.45.00 AM

Slow Cooker Philly Cheesesteaks from Mormon Time Out

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.42.44 AM

Slow Cooker Chicken Caesar Sandwiches from Valerie’s Kitchen

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.18.28 AM

Honey Hoisin Chicken Sandwiches from Pocket Change Gourmet

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.22.27 AM

 Crock Pot Grinders from Full Bellies Happy Kids

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 9.33.34 AM

Slow Cooker Beef Gyros from Eat at Home Cooks


Do you have any other slow cooker sandwich recipes that I’ve missed? I’d love to hear your ideas ~ leave a comment to share (I love hearing from you!)


Print Friendly and PDF

Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak

Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you go!


For almost 19 years (yikes!) my poor husband has been asking me to make Salisbury Steak every once in awhile for dinner. But, because I’m a chicken-loving girl, I honestly have made it only one other time in all those years.


Seriously folks. The poor guy!


So, when I came across this recipe for Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak I was intrigued (especially after reading through the reviews), and decided I might just try to make his favorite one night. I adjusted it some to limit the cream soup, and think you could probably substitute a homemade cream soup to even limit your processed foods even more.


Folks, it was actually good. And easy. And, even though I still prefer chicken (just about any way you make it . . . ), this was yummy comfort food that made me feel like his mom cooking back in the late 70’s. 😉


We had it over mashed potatoes with green beans and salads, and even though my kids turned their noses up they actually all ate every bite on their plate. If this is one of those recipes that someone special in your family would love too, it’s an easy way to try it out, and just might make their night! Here’s the recipe  . . .


Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 envelope dry onion soup mix (can make your own using this recipe)
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 can golden mushroom soup (can make your own using this recipe)
  • 1 package Au Jus seasoning mix (can make your own using this recipe)
  • 1 1/4 cups water


  1. In medium bowl, mix together ground beef, soup mix, bread crumbs and milk.
  2. Form into 8 patties.
  3. In medium non-stick skillet, grill patties for just a minute to brown sides over medium high heat.
  4. Place in slow cooker stacked in a pyramid shape.
  5. Mix together golden mushroom soup, Au Jus seasoning and water.
  6. Pour over meat in slow cooker.
  7. Cook on low for 3-4 hours, until meat is done. (You could also choose to cook in oven until cooked through if you’re in a hurry.)


Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 4/15/15):

  • Earth Fare Antibiotic Free Ground Chuck $4.48/lb (great price for hormone free beef!)
  • Meijer Ground Round $2.99/lb.
  • Libby’s Canned Vegetables on sale $.79 at Dollar Tree, use $1/4 Libby’s Canned Vegetables coupon
  • Publix Red 5 pound Potatoes on sale $3.49 or Potato Inspirations  Honey Gold Potatoes BOGO $1.99

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

Print Friendly and PDF

Join Me: