Slow Cooker Rigatoni

Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you go!

Here’s just about the easiest slow cooker recipe I’ve ever made. 

 

(Well, maybe not.

 

This one and this one are pretty easy too ~ maybe all things in the slow cooker are just easy?) 😉 

 

This one though is perfect if you have a pasta loving family, and a great way to get dinner done quick for a busy weeknight. 

 

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

 

 

slowcookerrigatoni2

 

 

Ingredients

  • 28 oz spaghetti sauce
  • 12 oz rigatoni pasta, cooked to al dente
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef or ground sausage, cooked and drained
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella
  • pepperoni (optional)
  • sliced mushrooms, black olives, or onion (optional)

Instructions

  1. Layer half of the spaghetti sauce in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Then add half the pasta, half the ground beef, and half of the mozzarella cheese.
  3. Layer pepperoni, mushrooms or black olives (optional.)
  4. Add another layer of all the ingredients.
  5. Cook on low 3-4 hours.
  6. Enjoy!

 

Be sure to download your free Crocktober grocery list, menu plan and cookbook over HERE too while you’re at it!

 

Looking for more slow cooker recipes?

Print Friendly and PDF

4 Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

ppp4ingredientsalsachickena

Oh my. 

 

I was so excited to find a 21 Day Fix recipe that also works in Mrs. Potts.

 

WOO-stinkin’-HOOO!

 

(I know, I know, that’s a little too much excitement, but cooking in Mrs. Potts makes me happy, and there aren’t all that many 21 Day Fix recipes that work well in my crockpot!)

 

But this one does. 

 

It’s simple.

 

(Really simple.)

 

And, you can cook up a ton of chicken breast like I did if you like, bake some for dinner tonight, then leave the rest in the slow cooker to cook a wee bit longer and shred it up for nachos.

 

If you’re 21 day fixin’, you can use the meat for Mexican lettuce wraps or taco salad. You’re welcome. 🙂  

Let’s get started. 

 

ppp3ingredientchicken1

Dump your chicken in Mrs. Potts.

ppp3ingredientchicken2

ppp3ingredientchicken3

Pour on some taco seasoning (if you’re doing the 21 Day Fix perfectly, pick up low sodium taco seasoning – this is what I had in my pantry, so I decided to work with it!)

ppp3ingredientchicken4

ppp3ingredientchicken5

Pour on a jar of salsa.

ppp3ingredientchicken6

ppp3ingredientchicken7

ppp3ingredientchicken8

Let Mrs. Potts do the cooking for about 2 hours on high. (Don’t let her cook longer than that or the meat will shred up and you won’t be able to bake it.

ppp3ingredientchicken9

Once meat has cooked, transfer to baking dish.

ppp3ingredientchicken10

Top with some shredded cheese.

ppp3ingredientchicken11

Bake for 15 more minutes . . .

ppp3ingredientchicken12

And top with a little extra salsa.

ppp3ingredientchicken13

Perfection!

ppp3ingredientchicken14

 

 

4 Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

PRINT RECIPERecipe adapted from jocooks.

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
  • 1 jar mild salsa (about 2 cups – low sugar salsa is best on 21 Day Fix)
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning (low sodium taco seasoning is best on 21 Day Fix)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, Mexican blend

Instructions

  1. Place chicken breasts in slow cooker and pour the salsa to cover them. Cook between 1½ to 2 hours on high, don’t cook longer because it will start to fall apart.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 F degrees.
  3. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray or grease and carefully place the chicken in the dish. Spoon the leftover salsa/sauce (from the slow cooker) over the chicken and sprinkle with the cheese.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes or until it’s nice and golden brown, and you see the sauce and cheese bubbling.

ppp3ingredientchicken16

Note: I baked all 10 chicken breasts that I had, but only pulled out 4 to bake for dinner. I left the rest in Mrs. Potts to cook for another hour, then shredded it to use for tacos, nachos, and taco salads (I even froze some for a quick dinner in a pinch.) Love that!

21 Day Fix Counts

  • 1 red container
  • 1/2 green container
  • 1 blue container for cheese (use less if you’d rather it count for less!)

 PRINT RECIPE

 

pppbruschettachickena

 

Looking for more chicken recipes:

 

Print Friendly and PDF

3 Ingredient Slow Cooker Beef Tacos

Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you go!

Slow Cooker Beef Tacos

slowcookershreddedbeeftacosa


 

I’m so stinkin’ excited about this! If you’ve been following along with PPP, you know we’re working on our 4 Weeks to a Better Grocery Budget series this month, and this, my friends is how it’s done.

 

 

slowcookershreddedbeeftacos8

It’s called.

 

Dinner.

 

And.

 

it’s amazing.

 

Because it’s planned. And prepared. And actually on the table when it’s supposed to be. 

slowcookershreddedbeeftacos7

I just love that. 😉

 

As I shared yesterday, I’m using my friend Tiffany’s menu plan (I LOVE IT!), and this week her recipe for slow cooker beef tacos were so good I couldn’t wait to share them with you.

 

Plus they were ridiculously easy.

 

So you’ve got absolutely no excuse at all not to pull out Mrs. Potts and get to work. 🙂

 

slowcookershreddedbeeftacos9

 

Monday we made Tiffany’s recipe for Chicken Florentine Quesadillas (so, so, so good), and tonight we’re having her loaded baked potatoes with Homemade Cheese Sauce. She’s got three meal plans to choose from (Slow Cooker, Whole Foods, and Traditional Menu Plans), and we’re using her Whole Foods plan this week.

 

All this organization is even impressing myself. 🙂 
motionmailapp.com

If you’re interested in joining me with getting your menu plan and grocery budget in place, I HIGHLY recommend Tiffany’s Menu Plans (they go up in price in just a few days, so this is a great time to get started!) As I mentioned yesterday, just by using her list I drastically dropped our grocery budget, and actually only spent $46 on everything I needed for the week.

 

Success. 

 

Check her menu plans out over HERE

 

. . . and finally . . . on to the recipe. 😉

PRINT RECIPE

3 Ingredient Slow Cooker Beef Tacos

Ingredients

  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • 1 can chopped green chiles
  • 1 2-3 lb beef roast (I used a shoulder roast)
  • taco seasoning (optional ~ my  homemade version is over HERE)
  • taco toppings (lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, green onions)

 

Directions

  1. Place roast in your slow cooker.
  2. Pour enchilada sauce and green chiles on top of roast.
  3. Slow cook 8 hours on low.
  4. Shred beef and serve on tacos ~ easy!

PRINT RECIPE

motionmailapp.com

Would you love to get dinner done tonight easily too?

 

Head on over HERE and check out Tiffany’s Menu Plans ~ through next week they cost as little as 1.15 per week, and I really do just love mine. If you’ve tried them out in the past I’d love to know if they’ve worked for you!

 

slow-cooker-rigatoni

Looking for more slow cooker recipes?

 

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy to learn more.

Print Friendly and PDF

12 Days Christmas Baking: Slow Cooker Christmas Candy

 

I’m so excited about today’s yummy Christmas recipe, but even a wee bit more excited about all the fun packaging supplies I scored yesterday at Hobby Lobby! 

While I’ve found quite a few cute tins, bags, and wraps at Michael’s and the Dollar Tree for Christmas baking, the fun ways to gift at Hobby Lobby just made me so happy. (As you can see in the video ~ they just made my day!)

I’d love for you to download your free 12 Days of Christmas Baking Grocery List and Cookbook over HERE. I’m amazed at how much easier it is to get ready for Christmas with a plan in place, and having this list has just made Christmas easier at our house this year.
christmasbaking1

I’d love for you to join me, and can’t wait to spend this month taking care of our families and friends while we prepare for Christmas! If you’re making any yummy recipes this month, I’d s0 love for you to leave a comment and share what you’re making.

Looking for more ideas? Here you go:

Looking for more penny pinched dessert ideas? Here you go.

Print Friendly and PDF

Crock-tober Day 20: Slow Cooker Whole Chicken + Why I Need To Text You!

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

20 slow cooker recipes in 20 days

Click HERE to see video if it’s not working for you. 

I’m so excited to have dinner done, but I’m a wee bit sad that this is the last day of Crock-tober! I have sooooooo loved sharing these recipes and hearing from you each day, and am planning to do another round in February (just mark your calendar.) 🙂

chicken

See how easy it is to pop dinner in Mrs. Potts (definitely check us out on Facebook Live as well where you can check out reader’s comments ~ I love hearing from you!), and be sure to download your free Crock-tober cookbook for a few more days while it lasts. 

 

finalholidaytextdeals2015green
And, as I mentioned in the video, you can sign up for FREE mobile text alerts from PPP of the very best deals.

Here’s how to sign up: 

  • Text Follow ppphotdeals to 40404
  • You’ll receive a message from Twitter that says “want to tweet? Welcome to Twitter! You’re now following @ppphotdeals and you’ll receive your Tweents on  your phone. (Std msg rates apply. Reply w/HELP for more.)
  • To STOP getting updates, just text Off ppphotdeals to 40404

Note that this will not be all of the deals – my thought is that it would be no more than five to ten texts per week, and most likely fewer (especially after the Christmas season is over.) Here are a few ideas of what I would consider “BEST” deals:

  • American Girl savings
  • HUGE Lego sale
  • 50% or more sale on Pyrex or Cooking items
  • Big sale on Kids ride on toys
  • Items that are high value but I know won’t last

 

This is run through Twitter, however you DON’T need a Twitter account to sign up (and you won’t be contacted by me through Twitter.) It’s just a program that easily lets me send you the deals, and hopefully will help you save on the hot items that sell out quickly!
Crocktober - I'd Love This!

Happy Happy Happy Crocktober! 

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Crock-tober Day 19: Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

 

20 slow cooker recipes in 20 days

Click HERE to see video if it’s not working for you. 

I’m so excited to have dinner done today! See how easy it is to pop dinner in Mrs. Potts (definitely check us out on Facebook Live as well where you can check out reader’s comments ~ I love hearing from you!), and join me as we cook real food for our family all month long this Crock-tober.

 

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 6.50.18 AM


Check out the full recipe over HERE, and remember you can sign up for your free Crock-tober grocery list, menu plan and cookbook right HERE. I’ll pop in later today with a pic when dinner’s done and would love for you to share this with anyone you know who struggles to get dinner on the table too. 🙂

 

finalholidaytextdeals2015green

Also, as I mentioned in the video, you can sign up for FREE mobile text alerts from PPP of the very best deals.

Here’s how to sign up: 

  • Text Follow ppphotdeals to 40404
  • You’ll receive a message from Twitter that says “want to tweet? Welcome to Twitter! You’re now following @ppphotdeals and you’ll receive your Tweents on  your phone. (Std msg rates apply. Reply w/HELP for more.)
  • To STOP getting updates, just text Off ppphotdeals to 40404

Note that this will not be all of the deals – my thought is that it would be no more than five to ten texts per week, and most likely fewer (especially after the Christmas season is over.) Here are a few ideas of what I would consider “BEST” deals:

  • American Girl savings
  • HUGE Lego sale
  • 50% or more sale on Pyrex or Cooking items
  • Big sale on Kids ride on toys
  • Items that are high value but I know won’t last

 

This is run through Twitter, however you DON’T need a Twitter account to sign up (and you won’t be contacted by me through Twitter.) It’s just a program that easily lets me send you the deals, and hopefully will help you save on the hot items that sell out quickly!

Crocktober - I'd Love This!

Let me know if you have any thoughts or suggestions, and hurry to sign up today – I can’t wait to see all the deals coming up over the next few weeks and am excited about an extra way to share them with you!

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Crock-tober Day 18: Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joe’s

20 slow cooker recipes in 20 days

Click HERE to see video if it’s not working for you. 

I’m so excited to have dinner done today! See how easy it is to pop dinner in Mrs. Potts (definitely check us out on Facebook Live as well where you can check out reader’s comments ~ I love hearing from you!), and join me as we cook real food for our family all month long this Crock-tober.

 

I also figured out what to do with all those apples yesterday (they taste amazing this today), and scored a few fun items at Goodwill for $7.49. Success! 🙂
Crockpot Sloppy Joes
Check out the full Sloppy Joe recipe over HERE, and remember you can sign up for your free Crock-tober grocery list, menu plan and cookbook right HERE. I’ll pop in later today with a pic when dinner’s done and would love for you to share this with anyone you know who struggles to get dinner on the table too. 🙂
Crocktober - I'd Love This!

Happy Crocktober! 

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Crock-tober Day 17: Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

20 slow cooker recipes in 20 days

Click HERE to see video if it’s not working for you. 

I’m so excited to have dinner done today! See how easy it is to pop dinner in Mrs. Potts (definitely check us out on Facebook Live as well where you can check out reader’s comments ~ I love hearing from you!), and join me as we cook real food for our family all month long this Crock-tober.

 

And, if you have a few ideas for what I should do with all those apples (eek!) I’d love to hear them. The biggest problem is they won’t peel easily, so any recipes that can be baked with the skin on the apples would be greatly appreciated!
slowcookerchickenfajitas
Check out the full recipe over HERE, and remember you can sign up for your free Crock-tober grocery list, menu plan and cookbook right HERE. I’ll pop in later today with a pic when dinner’s done and would love for you to share this with anyone you know who struggles to get dinner on the table too. 🙂
Crocktober - I'd Love This!

Happy Crocktober! 

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Crock-tober Day 16: Slow Cooker Chicken & Dressing

Passionate Penny Pincher Slow Cooker Chicken & Dressing

20 slow cooker recipes in 20 days

Click HERE to see video if it’s not working for you. 

I’m so excited to have dinner done today! See how easy it is to pop dinner in Mrs. Potts (definitely check us out on Facebook Live as well where you can check out reader’s comments ~ I love hearing from you!), and join me as we cook real food for our family all month long this Crock-tober.


Check out the full recipe over HERE, and remember you can sign up for your free Crock-tober grocery list, menu plan and cookbook right HERE. I’ll pop in later today with a pic when dinner’s done and would love for you to share this with anyone you know who struggles to get dinner on the table too. 🙂
Crocktober - I'd Love This!

Happy Crocktober! 

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Crock-tober Day 15: Slow Cooker Chicken Philly Cheesesteaks

Slow Cooker Chicken Philly Cheesesteaks

 

20 slow cooker recipes in 20 days

Click HERE to see video if it’s not working for you. 

I’m so excited to have dinner done today! See how easy it is to pop dinner in Mrs. Potts (definitely check us out on Facebook Live as well where you can check out reader’s comments ~ I love hearing from you!), and join me as we cook real food for our family all month long this Crock-tober.

Check out the full recipe over HERE, and remember you can sign up for your free Crock-tober grocery list, menu plan and cookbook right HERE. I’ll pop in later today with a pic when dinner’s done and would love for you to share this with anyone you know who struggles to get dinner on the table too. 🙂
Crocktober - I'd Love This!

Happy Crocktober! 

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Crock-tober Day 14: Slow Cooker Cheeseburger Soup (I don’t wanna!)

Slow Cooker Cheeseburger Soup

 

20 slow cooker recipes in 20 days

Click HERE to see video if it’s not working for you. 

I didn’t want to make dinner today.

 

I didn’t want to clean out Mrs. Potts (who didn’t get a good bath last night), 😉 I didn’t want to brown the ground beef, and I didn’t want to chop up one more onion.

 

not. at. all.

 

But because I knew a few folks might be watching (eek), I sucked it up and gave Mrs. Potts a good scrub. And I browned the ground beef. And I even chopped up a whopping cup of onion.

 

And it took all of about 13 minutes.

 

To have dinner done.

 

And skip the drive thru.

 

And save my  hubby from cereal for dinner.

 

I seriously won today. 😉

 

If you’re like me and just don’t want to get it together and get dinner done, 

 

you are not alone.

 

But it’s 13 minutes.

 

And you’ll feel so good.

 

And your house will smell so  yummy.

 

And your family will call you a rockstar. 🙂

 

(Okay, they probably won’t call you a rockstar, but YOU can call you a rockstar and I’m over here calling you a rockstar today too.)

 

 

See how easy it is to pop dinner in Mrs. Potts (definitely check us out on Facebook Live as well where you can check out reader’s comments ~ I love hearing from you!), and join me as we cook real food for our family all month long this Crock-tober.

 

We’ve got this.

 

Whew. 
cheeseburger soup - PINTEREST
Check out the full recipe over HERE, and remember you can sign up for your free Crock-tober grocery list, menu plan and cookbook right HERE. I’ll pop in later today with a pic when dinner’s done and would love for you to share this with anyone you know who struggles to get dinner on the table too. 🙂
Crocktober - I'd Love This!

Happy Crocktober! 

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Crock-tober Day 13: Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Alfredo

Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Alfredo

20 slow cooker recipes in 20 days

Click HERE to see video if it’s not working for you. 

I’m loving having dinner done every day this month (you have no idea how much more peaceful our evenings are each day thanks to my crockpot!)  See how easy it is to pop dinner in Mrs. Potts (definitely check us out on Facebook Live as well where you can check out reader’s comments ~ I love hearing from you!), and join me as we cook real food for our family all month long this Crock-tober.
slowcookerchickenalfredo
Check out the full recipe over HERE, and remember you can sign up for your free Crock-tober grocery list, menu plan and cookbook right HERE. I’ll pop in later today with a pic when dinner’s done and would love for you to share this with anyone you know who struggles to get dinner on the table too. 🙂
Crocktober - I'd Love This!

Happy Crocktober! 

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Crock-tober Day 12: Slow Cooker Taco Meat

Slow Cooker Taco Meat

20 slow cooker recipes in 20 days

Click HERE to see video if it’s not working for you. 

Dinner is done today! See how easy it is to pop dinner in Mrs. Potts (definitely check us out on Facebook Live as well where you can check out reader’s comments ~ I love hearing from you!), and join me as we cook real food for our family all month long this Crock-tober.

 

Check out the full recipe for Slow Cooker Taco Meat over HERE, and remember you can sign up for your free Crock-tober grocery list, menu plan and cookbook right HERE. I’ll pop in later today with a pic when dinner’s done and would love for you to share this with anyone you know who struggles to get dinner on the table too. 🙂
Crocktober - I'd Love This!

Happy Crocktober! 

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Crock-tober Day 11: Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings

Passionate Penny Pincher CROCK-TOBER Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings

20 slow cooker recipes in 20 days

Click HERE to see video if it’s not working for you. 

I’m so excited to have my family’s all time favorite dinner done today! See how easy it is to pop dinner in Mrs. Potts (definitely check us out on Facebook Live as well where you can check out reader’s comments ~ I love hearing from you!), and join me as we cook real food for our family all month long this Crock-tober.

Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings

 
Check out the full Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings recipe over HERE, and remember you can sign up for your free Crock-tober grocery list, menu plan and cookbook right HERE. I’ll pop in later today with a pic when dinner’s done and would love for you to share this with anyone you know who struggles to get dinner on the table too. 🙂
Crocktober - I'd Love This!

Happy Crocktober! 

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Crock-tober Day 10: Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak

Passionate Penny Pincher CROCK-TOBER

20 slow cooker recipes in 20 days

Click HERE to see video if it’s not working for you. 

I’m so excited to have dinner done today! Today’s dinner is one of my hubby’s favorites, and I love knowing what’s on the menu plan already for the day.  See how easy it is to pop dinner in Mrs. Potts (definitely check us out on Facebook Live as well where you can check out reader’s comments ~ I love hearing from you!), and join me as we cook real food for our family all month long this Crock-tober.
slowcookersalisburysteak
Check out the full recipe over HERE, and remember you can sign up for your free Crock-tober grocery list, menu plan and cookbook right HERE. I’ll pop in later today with a pic when dinner’s done and would love for you to share this with anyone you know who struggles to get dinner on the table too. 🙂
Crocktober - I'd Love This!

Happy Crocktober! 

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Crock-tober Day 9: Buffalo Chicken Sliders

Passionate Penny Pincher CROCK-TOBER

Click HERE to see video if it’s not working for you. 

I’m so excited to have dinner done today! See how easy it is to pop dinner in Mrs. Potts (definitely check us out on Facebook Live as well where you can check out reader’s comments ~ I love hearing from you!), and join me as we cook real food for our family all month long this Crock-tober.

 

Not only has Crock-tober made me feel so much more organized when it’s come to menu planning, it’s helped me save $100 each week too ~ I. love. that. 🙂
buffalochickensliders

Check out the full recipe over HERE, and remember you can sign up for your free Crock-tober grocery list, menu plan and cookbook right HERE. I’ll pop in later today with a pic when dinner’s done and would love for you to share this with anyone you know who struggles to get dinner on the table too. 🙂
Crocktober - I'd Love This!

Happy Crocktober! 

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Crock-tober Day 8 + When You Really Just Mess Up

Passionate Penny Pincher CROCK-TOBER

Click HERE to see video if it’s not working for you. 

I’m so excited to have dinner done today! However, making dinner on Facebook Live today was nothing short of a hot mess, so I decided not to share the video over here. instead you can see above how I tried out the Silhouette Cameo today – it’s on sale for a crazy price, so grab one while it’s on sale today only if you’ve been looking for one of these!

 

 

I’m not gonna lie ~ doing these FB live videos is hard for me, and here’s what this morning’s schedule at our house looked like before going live:

  • 5:00 AM – wake up
  • 5:20 AM – head to gym (looking good, right?) 🙂
  • 6:20 AM – leave class at gym early to run by Kroger on way home because we needed gluten free taco shells and graham crackers as we’re making dinner tonight for company
  • 6:45 AM – at Kroger. No gluten free graham crackers. Forgot that corn tortillas are gluten free. Gr.
  • 6:50 AM – phone call from daughter that she needs me home now to take her to school for science group – race home – pick up 2 cute kids. Drive to school. 🙂
  • 7:10 AM – remember next kiddo has to be at school early today – hurry to shower – hurry to get dressed – hurry to brush hair – HURRY. 🙂
  • 8:02 AM – drop off next kiddo at school, hurry to Fresh Thyme to hunt down gluten free stuff and a few bargains
  • 8:32 AM – no bargains at Fresh Thyme (really?) but everything gluten free was there 🙂
  • 8:55 AM – race home to start dinner – get ingredients ready for FB live, except everything I kinda forgot everything we needed for dinner. (Dessert was good though, so it’s okay, right?)
  • 9:30 AM – press the button to go live on FB ~ yikes 🙂
  • 9:33 AM – realize I so do not have my act together ~ then my dog starts losing it because the garbage truck’s here while a few thousand folks watch me scramble. Not fun. 
  • 10:00 AM – decide I’m never ever never going to be cut out to be a famous cook, and really have no business doing FB live at all, but the reality is Facebook allows live videos to be seen more than anything else so I decide not to crawl up in a ball and cry although I’d really love to.  If all else fails, at least maybe I can encourage you that you’re not the only one having a messy day! 🙂

 

Yup – so if you want to see the end result of that mess, head on over HERE. 

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 9.31.47 AM

clicktosave

However, I didn’t quit (CAN I JUST TELL YOU HOW BADLY I WANTED TO QUIT?) and as promised shared how easy it is to make fun stuff with the Silhouette Cameo that’s on sale today for it’s lowest price ever. If you’ve been waiting for this thing I’d hurry and grab it today, it’s selling for $20 less than I paid on it’s lowest sale price ever and a crazy good deal.

 


And… you can check out the full recipe over HERE for these chicken tacos (my house smells amazing right now!) and remember you can sign up for your free Crock-tober grocery list, menu plan and cookbook right HERE.
Crocktober - I'd Love This!

Happy Crocktober . . . WHEW! 🙂 

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Crock-tober Day 7: Slow Cooker Spaghetti With Meatballs

Passionate Penny Pincher CROCK-TOBER

Slow Cooker Spaghetti with Meatballs

Click HERE to see video if it’s not working for you. 

I’m so excited to have dinner done today! While this definitely isn’t a big fancy dinner, it keeps you out of the drive-thru lane, and in under 3 minutes you can get dinner done. Success!
slowcookermeatballs


Check out the full recipe over HERE, and remember you can sign up for your free Crock-tober grocery list, menu plan and cookbook right HERE. I’ll pop in later today with a pic when dinner’s done and would love for you to share this with anyone you know who struggles to get dinner on the table too. 🙂
Crocktober - I'd Love This!

Happy Crocktober! 

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Crock-tober Day 6: Best Ever Slow Cooker Roast (+ My Favorite Scarf!)

Passionate Penny Pincher CROCK-TOBER

 

20 slow cooker recipes in 20 days

Click HERE to see video if it’s not working for you. 

I’m so excited to have dinner done today!  This slow cooker pot roast is one of my absolute favorite recipes, and I hope you love it too.

 

See how easy it is to pop dinner in Mrs. Potts (definitely check us out on Facebook Live as well where you can check out reader’s comments ~ I love hearing from you!), and join me as we cook real food for our family all month long this Crock-tober.
besteverslowcookerpotroast1
Check out the full recipe over HERE, and remember you can sign up for your free Crock-tober grocery list, menu plan and cookbook right HERE. I’ll pop in later today with a pic when dinner’s done and would love for you to share this with anyone you know who struggles to get dinner on the table too. 🙂
Crocktober - I'd Love This!

Happy Crocktober! 

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Crock-tober Day 5: Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili + Homemade Bread

Passionate Penny Pincher CROCK-TOBER

 

20 slow cooker recipes in 20 days

Click HERE to see video if it’s not working for you. 

I’m so excited to have dinner done today! See how easy it is to pop dinner in Mrs. Potts (definitely check us out on Facebook Live as well where you can check out reader’s comments ~ I love hearing from you!), and join me as we cook real food for our family all month long this Crock-tober.
chili1

Today we’re making Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili with Homemade Bread ~ so simple and in under 10 minutes dinner was done. 

breadmachinefb
Check out the full recipe over HERE, and remember you can sign up for your free Crock-tober grocery list, menu plan and cookbook right HERE. I’ll pop in later today with a pic when dinner’s done and would love for you to share this with anyone you know who struggles to get dinner on the table too. 🙂
Crocktober - I'd Love This!

Happy Crocktober! 

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Crock-tober Day 4: Slow Cooker Ranch Pork Chops

Passionate Penny Pincher CROCK-TOBER Slow Cooker Ranch Pork Chops

 

 

Click HERE to see video if it’s not working for you ~ be patient, the sound at the beginning of the video was not working correctly, sorry guys! 

I’m so excited to have dinner done today! See how easy it is to pop dinner in Mrs. Potts (definitely check us out on Facebook Live as well where you can check out reader’s comments ~ I love hearing from you!), and join me as we cook real food for our family all month long this Crock-tober.

 

This is one of our family’s favorite recipes, but I haven’t made it in ages ~ hoping your family loves it as much as mine does!

 

pork1
Check out the full recipe over HERE, and remember you can sign up for your free Crock-tober grocery list, menu plan and cookbook right HERE. I’ll pop in later today with a pic when dinner’s done and would love for you to share this with anyone you know who struggles to get dinner on the table too. 🙂
Crocktober - I'd Love This!

Happy Crocktober! 

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Crock-tober Day 3: Slow Cooker Rigatoni

Passionate Penny Pincher CROCK-TOBER

20 slow cooker recipes in 20 days

Click HERE to see video if it’s not working for you. 

I’m so excited to have dinner done today! See how easy it is to pop dinner in Mrs. Potts (definitely check us out on Facebook Live as well where you can check out reader’s comments ~ I love hearing from you!), and join me as we cook real food for our family all month long this Crock-tober.
slow-cooker-rigatoni
Check out the full recipe over HERE, and remember you can sign up for your free Crock-tober grocery list, menu plan and cookbook right HERE. I’ll pop in later today with a pic when dinner’s done and would love for you to share this with anyone you know who struggles to get dinner on the table too. 🙂
Crocktober - I'd Love This!

Happy Crocktober! 

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Crock-tober Day 2: Slow Cooker Chicken Nachos

Passionate Penny Pincher CROCK-TOBER

20 slow cooker recipes in 20 days

Click HERE to see video if it’s not working for you. 

I’m so excited to have dinner done today! See how easy it is to pop dinner in Mrs. Potts (definitely check us out on Facebook Live as well where you can check out reader’s comments ~ I love hearing from you!), and join me as we cook real food for our family all month long this Crock-tober.


Check out the full recipe over HERE, and remember you can sign up for your free Crock-tober grocery list, menu plan and cookbook right HERE. I’ll pop in later today with a pic when dinner’s done and would love for you to share this with anyone you know who struggles to get dinner on the table too. 🙂
Crocktober - I'd Love This!

Happy Crocktober! 

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Slow Cooker Taco Meat

Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you go!

Easiest Slow Cooker Taco Meat - PINTEREST

This is a re-post of one of my favorite slow cooker recipes. Enjoy!

How to Cook Taco Meat in the Slow Cooker

This recipe just might change the way you look at ground beef, my friends.

And, really, give you a whole new reason to love your slow cooker. 

For years I’ve been convinced that there was no way on earth to cook ground beef in the crockpot (unless I pre-cooked it ahead of time for something like chili), however, I’ve thankfully been proved wrong.

 

With the way my children’s afternoon/evening schedules have looked, I’ve had a hard time getting much besides cereal on the table if Mrs. Potts doesn’t do the cooking, so I was determined to give it a shot.

Guess what?

It worked. 

 

We used the new Old El Paso Stand & Stuff Tacos that I found a few weeks ago on sale ~ my family loved them!

Everyone walked in for dinner around 6:15, I rolled out the fixins’ for our home-cooked taco bar, and everyone (this momma especially) was pretty well pleased.

I also made a little “secret sauce” for my husband and I to add to ours ~ just equal parts low fat ranch dressing and barbecue sauce.  To really fluff things up I even put out some stockpiled French’s Fried Onions for my husband to add to his, and he declared it one of the best meals we’ve had in awhile.

Whew.

‘Cause y’all know I worry that he likes his dinner. 😉

And to make things even better (does it get much better than a happy family at dinner time?), everything I used were items I’d gotten on sale for some crazy good deals. I’m pretty sure I spent less than $6 to feed our family of five ~ happy happy happy.

tacomeatslowcooker

Here’s how to get started if you’d like a penny-pinched-delicious-and-easy meal too this week.

How To Cook Taco Meat In The Slow Cooker {Perfect For Homemade Taco Bar Night}

Ingredients

  • Taco Seasoning packet (or make it from scratch if you'd prefer ~ I was just in a hurry)
  • 2 lbs. ground beef (get more if you'd like to make extra to freeze)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Instructions

  1. Place ground beef, water, onion, salt, and garlic powder in slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally (I stirred it twice throughout the day)
  3. When meat is almost cooked through, stir again and turn your slow cooker down to low.
  4. Cook an additional 1-2 hours.
  5. Add in taco seasoning packet and give it a stir, then cook 20 more minutes.
  6. Drain completely (will be a little liquidy from the water and some of the fat in the beef).
  7. Serve over tacos, and freeze any leftovers so that you don't have to start from scratch the next time around!
http://passionatepennypincher.com/2016/06/slow-cooker-taco-meat/

Note: I don’t think this is the kind of slow cooker meal that I’d start and then leave on all day if you’re not going to be home – I think you need to be there to give it a quick stir every so often. If you’re looking for a delicious beef recipe with just about no work involved, check this out. 

Print Friendly and PDF

Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs

slowcookerbarbecueribs

Ready for another slow cooker recipe? If you’d like ribs but don’t want to fire up the grill, these are a simple way to make them inside. So good, and you only need five ingredients . . . love that!

 

I think I’ve finally figured out ribs in the slow cooker (WOOHOO!)  After reading through a few suggestions on how to cook ribs in the crockpot, I made these today and they were perfect. 

 

And EASY. 

 

What more could a girl ask for? 🙂

 

slowcookerbarbecueribs2

 

Here’s the trick:  do NOT just put the ribs in the slow cooker.

 

(I know, I know . . . that takes a little of the fun out of slow cooking, but I promise spending a few minutes to prepare those ribs in the morning will reward you with some fall-apart-heavenly ribs!) 

 

Allow just thirty minutes in the morning to pre-bake them in the oven, and then let your slow cooker to the rest of the cooking for you.  These were so good that my family declared them better than Logan’s Roadhouse, and liked them as much as our favorite rib recipe for the grill.

 

 

Yup, I was a rockstar at our house this week. 

 

Here’s the recipe if you’d like to be a rockstar today too. 🙂 

PRINT RECIPE

Ingredients

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Salt
  • Barbecue Sauce (we used Sweet Baby Rays)
  • 3-4 lbs. Pork Long Country Style Ribs, or Pork Sirloin Chops

Instructions

  1. Season ribs with salt, pepper and garlic salt.
  2. Bake at 350 in oven for 15 minutes, then turn ribs over and bake another 15 minutes.
  3. Transfer ribs to slow cooker (you may need to cut them to fit into Mrs. Potts!) 🙂
  4. Pour bottle of barbecue sauce over top of the ribs.
  5. Cook for 6-7 hours on low.
  6. Serve along with extra barbecue sauce (optional).

PRINT RECIPE

slowcookerbarbecueribs1

 

Looking for more slow cooker recipes to add to your menu plan this week? Here you go . . .

Print Friendly and PDF

15 Slow Cooker Secrets To Success

slowcookersecrets4

Have I mentioned lately I love my slow cooker (aka Mrs. Potts?) 🙂 Y’all know I do ~ seriously one of my favorite things ever to use in my kitchen.

 

If you don’t use a slow cooker very often though, there are a few secrets you’ll want to know before slow cooking to help the process go more smoothly. Here are the things I stick to when I slow cook . . .

 

1. A slow cooker and crock pot are the same thing.

Crock Pot is a specific brand of slow cooker, so if you find a recipes for a slow cooker or crockpot, they’ll all work in your slow cooker (or crock pot.) 🙂 

2. Find the right size slow cooker.

Slow cookers come in all different sizes, and depending on the size of your family you’ll want to make sure you use the right size. I use a 4 1/2 quart slow cooker for our family for most recipes, but also have an 8 quart for making larger recipes (I sometimes use it to cook 2 whole chickens at once.) Depending on the size of your family, you’ll want to get one that’s big enough, but not too big so things cook correctly.

slowcookerchickencacciatore
3.  Pick the right cut of meat.

While I cook just about everything in the slow cooker, there are certain cuts of meat that seem to do better for me. Here are my “proven winners”:

  • Beef shoulder roasts (also chuck roasts, but I think shoulder roasts tend to be less fatty)
  • Boneless skinless chicken breast
  • short ribs
  • pork shoulder
  • pork tenderloin

4. Plan ahead.

Be sure to plan slow cooker meals ahead of time, especially if you’re heading out the door early in the morning. Chop your veggies, set out your ingredients, and make sure to have your meat ready to go.  If a recipe requires the meat to be pre-cooked, take care of that the night before too.

5. Most recipes that tell you to brown the meat ahead of time are okay without the extra browning step.

If you’re in a hurry and a recipe (typically for pork or beef) tells you to brown the meat ahead of time, skip this step in a pinch. The recipe may be a little more flavorful if you have a few minutes to saute the meat, but most recipes will be fine even without that extra step.

slowcookerbroccolicheesesoup
6. Fill your slow cooker no more than 3/4 way full.

Also, you don’t want your slow cooker too empty or the food will dry out, so make sure it’s at least half full. 

7. Know where the heat comes from.

The heat in your slow cooker comes from below the crockpot, so you want to place items that take longest to cook (typically veggies like potatoes and carrots) on the bottom. 

8. Layer your ingredients.

Most recipes recommend putting veggies in the bottom before adding meat on top. Here’s a general guideline:

  • Layer root veggies (carrots, potatoes) first (make sure these and all veggies are cubed before adding to crockpot)
  • Then add in other vegetables
  • Next add in meat or poultry
  • Lastly add on additional seasonings or sauces
tacomeatslowcooker
9. Keep the lid on.

To keep the heat in and make sure your meal cooks properly, keep the lid on your slow cooker throughout the day. 

 

10. Most crockpot recipes (other than soups) don’t require much liquid.

It’s easy to want to ad quite a bit of liquid to recipes, however because liquids don’t evaporate easily in the slow cooker, most of the moisture cooked out of your meat will keep it moist. Add the recommended liquids in the recipe, but don’t overdo it.

11. Newer slow cooker cook much more quickly than older models.

If you’ve purchased a slow cooker in the last few years, you’ll notice it cooks much faster than an older version. If you get a new slow cooker, I recommend trying it out the first few times while you’re at home to gauge how quickly it cooks.

(For example, my newer slow cooker easily cooks boneless, skinless chicken breast in four hours on low.)

 

Slow Cooker Pot Roast
12. As a rule, meat needs to be cooked to 140° or above.
  • Poultry cooked to 180°
  • Meat cooked to 165°

 

13. To prevent food from sticking to your slow cooker, spray with cooking spray prior to cooking.

I’ve also heard you can add bacon to the bottom of your slow cooker to prevent food from sticking and add extra flavor. I haven’t tried it myself, but yum. 🙂 

14. Many recipes can be changed to slow cooker recipes by changing the cooking times.

Typically, when cooking on the “low” setting on your slow cooker it should be cooking around 200°, and the “high” setting cooks around 300°.

Here’s a general idea of how to swap things out . . .

chart

 

15. Some things don’t cook well in the slow cooker.

While you can cook many (many) things in the slow cooker, not everything will work. Here are a few things I generally avoid cooking in Mrs. Potts.

  • rice
  • pasta – instead cook on stove top and add it for the last 30 minutes of cooking if you’re making a recipe that requires cooked pasta (note – I have made macaroni and cheese in the slow cooker, I still cook the pasta ahead of time, and the entire recipe cooks for just 2 hours)
  • tender veggies (think peas and asparagus)
  • seafood
  • most dairy products – if a recipe calls for dairy, make sure to add it in add the end of the cooking time to keep it from curdling

slowcookersecrets3

Looking for a great slow cooker? Here are a few I recommend . . . 

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 4.22.05 PM

Hamilton Beach Stay or Go 6-Quart Portable Slow Cooker (lowest price ever $23.99)

 

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 2.27.39 PM

 Crock Pot Manual Stainless Steel Slow Cooker (lowest price ever $23.99)

 

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 12.22.26 PM

Crock-Pot Casserole Crock 3.5-Quart Slow Cookers in Black (lowest price ever $29.99)

 

chickenanddumplings2
 Not sure what to make in your slow cooker this weekend?  Here are a few of our family’s favorite recipes to try. . .

Can’t get enough of your slow cooker? Here are 5 Reasons You Need to Use Your Slow Cooker Every Single Week + a few more recipes to get you started.

Print Friendly and PDF

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sliders

 buffalochickensliders 

I was completely scared off the first time I made these after reading through the ingredients, however since our pantry always has a few bottles of Frank’s Hot Sauce (because my hubby is addicted to Buffalo Chicken Dip), I decided to try them out a few years ago, and now they’re on our regular dinner rotation.

Here’s a quick warning though:  this recipe is just a wee bit on the spicy side (obviously!), so if you tend to shy away from spicy foods try out these yummy-slow-cooker-not-spicy-at-all barbecue sandwiches. 😉

To pinch those pennies on dry ranch packets, we use this homemade mix.

I’m super excited because not only is this good for you, you can seriously pinch some pennies on this recipe this week. Check this out:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breast $1.67/lb this week at Fresh Thyme or Sprouts
  • $.50/1 Frank’s Red Hot Sauce coupon should make it around 9¢ if your store doubles, 59¢ without coupon doubles
  • Watch for rolls on clearance ~ I lucked into those whole wheat dinner rolls at Kroger for just $.88 and they were perfect

 

pppbuffalochickenslideringredients

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sliders

PRINT RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 10 oz. Frank’s Hot Sauce (use $.50/1 Frank’s Hot Sauce coupon)
  • 1 dry ranch dressing packet
  • 1 package dinner Rolls (our favorite are King’s Hawaiian Rolls)
  • ranch dressing for topping

Instructions

  1. Place chicken in crockpot.
  2. Mix together ranch seasoning and hot sauce, pour over the meat.
  3. Cook on low 6-8 hours.
  4. Shred chicken, and slice buns in half.
  5. Add chicken to buns, drizzle with ranch dressing.
  6. Enjoy!

 PRINT RECIPE

buffalochickensliders2

Need a slow cooker to get started? Here are a few decent deals on Amazon:

 

See more Slow Cooker recipes HERE.
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.  If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE, and don’t miss this penny-pinched collection of Slow Cooker Recipes!

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Slow Cooker Pork Cacciatore

Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you go!

porkcacciatore

Looking for a twist on plain old chicken cacciatore? Here you go!

 

After scoring a great price on pork chops last week at Fresh Thyme, I had to come up with something to actually do with them.

porkcacc3

And while normally I’d grill them or bake them, I came across this recipe and decided to try it out. (My husband loves any type of spaghetti and I haven’t made it in ages.)

porkcacc6

This was so good, and easy. I did brown the pork chops ahead of time but several commenters shared that they skipped that step and it worked out fine too ~ easy way to make a different meal and have it all ready early in the day for a busy weeknight!

 

porkcacciatore3

Here’s how to get started . . . 

 

Slow Cooker Pork Cacciatore

 

porkcacc2

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 boneless pork chops
  • 18 oz jar pasta sauce
  • 18 oz diced tomatoes
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced (I omitted them because I didn’t have any, but they would have been so good!)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
  • 4 slices mozzarella cheese (substituted with shredded Mozzarella)

porkcacc4

Directions

  1. Lightly brown pork chops in olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Place pork chops in slow cooker.
  3. Cook onion same pan over medium heat until browned.
  4. Add in mushrooms and bell pepper, cook until these vegetables are tender.
  5. Add in pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, and white wine or chicken broth.
  6. Season with Italian seasoning, basil, and garlic.
  7. Cover pork chops with tomato sauce.
  8. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.
  9. Serve over cooked pasta, and top with mozzarella cheese. Enjoy!

 

5 reasons to use your slow cooker

Love slow cooker recipes? Here are 5 reasons you need to use your slow cooker every single week + 17 recipes to help you get started. 

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 11.54.40 AM

 

And if you’re looking for a decent slow cooker, this one has fantastic reviews!

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

Print Friendly and PDF

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you go!
slowcookerwhitechickenchili

I love me some white chicken chili.

 

Like really, L.O.V.E. it. 

 

And with Thanksgiving right around the corner, you can easily swap out leftover turkey with chicken too.  I made up this pot last week for dinner, and loved that we had plenty for leftovers for dinner, plus I ate it for lunch all week too. Yum!

scwhitechickenchili1

Here’s how to get started . . . 

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili (makes 8 servings)

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 14 oz can chicken broth
  • 14 oz can navy beans
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • (2) 14 oz. cans white corn
  • (2) 4 oz cans cohpped green chiles
  • (4) 14 oz cans navy beans, rinsed & drained
slowcookerwhitechickenchilifb

Directions

  1. Add chicken to slow cooker.
  2. Cover with remaining ingredients.
  3. Cook on low 7-8 hours.
  4. Remove chicken and shred.
  5. Return chicken to slow cooker.
  6. Cook an additional 30 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!
scwhitechickenchili3

 

 

5 reasons to use your slow cooker

Love slow cooker recipes? Here are 5 reasons you need to use your slow cooker every single week + 17 recipes to help you get started. 

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 11.54.40 AM

 

And if you’re looking for a decent slow cooker, this one has fantastic reviews!

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

Print Friendly and PDF

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dressing

Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you go!

This is one of those meals we hardly ever have at our house, but it’s my husband’s favorite so I  made it this week. (Honestly, he likes this one even better but using my slow cooker once a week is oh-so-worth it so I decided to make the slow cooker version instead.)

If you need a super easy meal mixed up in 5 minutes, this one’s for you. Such a great way to get dinner done in a pinch!

 

IMG_3669

Slow Cooker Chicken & Dressing

Ingredients

  1. 1 can cream of chicken soup (reduced fat is fine)
  2. 4 – 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used 4 the last time and for our family of 5 that wasn’t nearly enough – will definitely add in 6 next time!)
  3. 1 1/4 cup water
  4. 1/4 cup margarine, melted (I’m betting you could use just a tablespoon if you’d like to reduce the calories)
  5. 6 oz. package dressing

Directions

  1. Place chicken breast in the bottom of the crockpot (frozen chicken breast is fine also, you may just want to add a little extra cooking time but I think it makes the meat more tender)
  2. Pour soup on top of the chicken breast.
  3. Mix together melted margarine and water.  Stir in dressing.
  4. Pour dressing mixture over the chicken and soup.
  5. Cook on low for four hours in the crockpot.
  6. Serve.

 

5 reasons to use your slow cooker

Love slow cooker recipes? Here are 5 reasons you need to use your slow cooker every single week + 17 recipes to help you get started. 

If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

Print Friendly and PDF

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you go!

chicken-fajitas

Like I shared Monday, I love my slow cooker. Mrs. Potts requires me to plan ahead, and guarantees that we have something yummy for dinner on the nights when I’m willing to pull her out of her cupboard. 🙂

 

And having dinner done in less than 10 minutes is such a gift around here. If you need a night off from really cooking, this recipe’s for you. The best part is that it makes a bunch, so odds are you can serve it as fajitas one night, then hang onto the leftovers to make Chicken Nachos later in the week (that’s our plan for tomorrow night.) Love that! Here’s the recipe so you can get slow cooking to . . .

slowcookerchickenfajitas

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • 3 large peppers (I used 2 green and one red), cut into strips
  • 3/4 cup chunky salsa
  • 2 packages fajita seasoning mix
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 16 10-inch flour tortillas
  • fajita toppings – shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole

Directions

  1. Put chicken in slow cooker.
  2. Add onion and peppers.
  3. In bowl, mix salsa, fajita seasoning mix, and cayenne pepper. Pour over chicken.
  4. Put lid on slow cooker and cook on low 6-7 hours or high 3-4 hours.
  5. Shred chicken with a fork.
  6. Serve over tortillas and add toppings, then save leftovers for chicken nachos or taco salad. Enjoy!

5 reasons to use your slow cooker

Looking for more reasons to use your slow cooker? Check out these 5 reasons to use your slow cooker every week, including 17 more recipes to get you started!

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

Print Friendly and PDF

5 Reasons You Need to Use Your Slow Cooker Every Single Week

5 reasons to use your slow cooker

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 7.46.40 AM

clicktosave

Update: Today (8/26/16), Amazon has this Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker on sale for $39.99, which is the lowest price I’ve seen it at! Go HERE to check it out. 

I was just dumping dinner in Mrs. Potts (I love her . . . ) and was reminded once again of all the reasons I love slow cooking. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it completely limits your options to go over your budget.

 

Of course, because it seems like everything online has to start with a list these days (I’ll never understand why, but since it works I’m sticking with it. . .), here are my top 5 reasons to use my slow cooker every single week. (And why you should too!)

slowcookerchickennachos

1. It’s easy.

Most slow cooker recipes require 5-10 minutes of prep work, so you can get dinner started early in the day with just a few minutes of planning. I rarely (ever?) pre-cook my meat ahead of time, and it always turns out well!

tacomeatslowcooker

(Um, that may not be true. I sometimes cook ground beef ahead of time, unless I remember to use this slow cooker ground beef recipe the day before to cook the meat. It just depends on how much of a hurry I’m in!)

2. It’s cheap.

Most slow cooker recipes use inexpensive meats, and because you’re cooking them over the course of a day they have plenty of time to tenderize. My slow cooker recipes cost so much less than just about anything else I make, and we eat better than if we headed out to a restaurant.

 

rsz_slowcookeditalianbeef_sb

3. It forces me to plan ahead.

Using my slow cooker once a week forces me to plan my meals ahead so that I know what to dump in Mrs. Potts at least once a week. Because we have 3 or 4 favorite slow cooker recipes that require 5 or fewer ingredients, I always have the ingredient list for those items tucked away in my head and can easily run into the store and grab them. (In case I don’t already have them on hand in my kitchen . . . usually I try to keep those recipes stocked though!)

 chickenanddumplings2
4. It ensures that we skip the drive thru.

This is probably my absolute favorite reason to use the slow cooker, and I can’t stress to you the importance of this one enough. When 6 o’clock rolls around and my family is all begging for dinner, having a meal already cooking in Mrs. Potts easily keeps my budget in tact.

If dinnertime comes and I don’t have anything planned, the temptation to eat dinner out (or eat pb&j sandwiches for dinner . . . again . . . ) often takes over. But if my kitchen smells yummy and dinner’s already done, eating at home just becomes the easy choice.

 

ranch chicken tacos

5. It’s forgiving.

Probably more than any other method of cooking, slow cooker recipes are just forgiving. If I’m out of a certain seasoning or spice I can usually swap it out with something else or skip it entirely, and no one will ever know the difference.

 

UPDATE: Reason #6 🙂 It makes your home smell good, which makes you feel good too.

I love this. 🙂 Coming home to my home smelling yummy and dinner being done just makes me feel ahead of the game. In so many other areas I’m so not on top of things, that it just feels good to know I have it together in one small area of my life (and my family appreciates it too.)

 

roastchicken2.jopg

Curious what our family’s favorite slow cooker recipes are? Here you go:

  1. Slow Cooked Italian Beef Sliders
  2. Slow Cooked Chicken & Dumplings
  3. Slow Cooked Italian Beef
  4. Slow Cooked French Dip Sliders
  5. Slow Cooked Chicken Tortilla Soup
  6. Slow Cooked Creamy Italian Chicken
  7. Ranch House Slow Cooked Pork Chops
  8. Slow Cooked Chicken & Dressing
  9. Rotisserie Style Chicken
  10. Open Faced Sirloin Sandwich
  11. Perfect Slow Cooked Pot Roast
  12. Slow Cooker Chicken Minestrone Soup
  13. Slow Cooker Ranch Chicken Tacos
  14. Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
  15. Slow Cooker Cheeseburger Soup
  16. Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili 
  17. Taco Meat in the Slow Cooker
  18. JUST ADDED: 6 Can 21 Day Fix Slow Cooker Chicken Soup

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 1.34.01 PM

And in case you’re wondering what slow cooker I use, I have this one (which honestly I wouldn’t recommend – it cooks very quickly and there are better prices on higher quality slow cookers out there.) Here are a few great slow cookers though that are priced reasonably right now:

 

Do you love using your slow cooker too? I’d love to hear your favorite slow cooker recipes in the comments – leave a comment to share!
Print Friendly and PDF

4 Ingredient Homemade Slow Cooker Applesauce

Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you go!

4ingredientapplesauce3

Note – mine turned out very brown ~ I think because of the cinnamon? I did use lemon juice which should have kept it from browning, but added a little more cinnamon than some recipes called for because we love cinnamon at our house. Would love to hear if yours turns out that color or if it’s lighter!

 

I’m so excited about this! Over the weekend I shared over on Facebook that I was trying my hand at homemade apple sauce, and it worked. I’d tried to make it years ago (but it may have been apple butter that I tried to make? I’m old. I can’t remember. ahem.) But whatever it was, I burned it completely and just about chargrilled Mrs. Potts by baking her in blackened-apple-crusty-this-is-a-disaster-stuff.

 

But when I found apples for $.59/lb. last week, I decided to try it out again. I was thrilled with how yummy it turned out ~ served warm or cold it’s just the best.

 

(My family claimed it almost as good as Cracker Barrel ~ high praise around here.) 🙂

 

If you’re trying to determine a decent price on apples to make any apple recipes (like Apple Cake, Apple Dumplings, Skillet Apple Pie, Snickers Apple Saladwhatever), aim to pay less between $.50-$.80/lb. during the fall season. And if you’re lucky enough to live near an apple orchard (or have a friend who has an apple tree), this is a great time to stock up!

IMG_3502

Here’s how to get cooking . . .

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 2.49.45 PM

 

 4 Ingredient Homemade Slow Cooker ApplesauceIngredients

  • 4 lbs tart apples, peeled and cored (I use this peeler/corer – it makes this recipe so much easier!)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

IMG_3504

Directions

  1. Mix apples, cinnamon, and sugar and place in the slow cooker.
  2. Add water and lemon juice.
  3. Cook on low 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally and mashing with a fork depending on how “mashed” you want them to be. My slow cooker cooks very quickly and mine were just about ready at 3 hours, so I turned them to the “warming” option on my slow cooker and let them cook another 2 hours.
  4. Serve warm or cold – yum!

 

skilletapplepie

 

Looking for a few apple recipes? Here are our favorites:

4ingredientapplesauce4

Print Friendly and PDF

The Simplest Way To Roast a Whole Chicken

Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you go!

chicken

 

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

 

Today we’re going to roast a whole chicken.

screen_shot_2015-10-07_at_22838_pm

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.

screen_shot_2015-10-07_at_22852_pm

Let’s roast a chicken.

 

Ready? 🙂

screen_shot_2015-10-07_at_22645_pm

Here’s what you’ll need: 

Ingredients

  • 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)

Directions

  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.

screen_shot_2015-10-07_at_22857_pm

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!

roastchicken2.jopg

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

Ingredients

  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)

Directions

  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!

chickenanddumplings2

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?) 😉

chickenanddumplings

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 . . .

IMG_2665

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

Ingredients

  • 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 small bouillon cube to 10 oz water)
  • 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

Directions

  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