4 Ingredient Homemade Slow Cooker Applesauce

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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!

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Here’s how to get cooking . . .

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 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

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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!

 

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

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The Simplest Way To Roast a Whole Chicken

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

 

Today we’re going to roast a whole chicken.

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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.

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Let’s roast a chicken.

 

Ready? 🙂

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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.

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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!

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

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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

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Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings
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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!

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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?) 😉

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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 . . .

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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

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Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

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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.

 

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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!

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  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

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Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Glaze

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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!

 

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Crockpot Brown Sugar Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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!
http://passionatepennypincher.com/2015/06/slow-cooker-brown-sugar-pork-tenderloin-with-balsamic-glaze/

 

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

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20 Slow Cooker Sandwich Recipes

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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

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Crock Pot Asian Sliders from Crock Pot Ladies

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Slow Cooked Pulled Pork Root Beer Barbecue

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French Dip  with Horeseradish White Cheddar from A Thrifty Mom

Crockpot Sloppy Joes

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

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Shredded  Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches from 5 Dollar Dinners

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

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

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Crock Pot Barbecue Chicken Recipe from Time2Save Workshops

Slow Cooker Ham  Swiss Cheese Sandwiches

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Slow Cooker Meatball Subs from Sincerely Mindy

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sliders

Slow Cooker Buffalo Ranch Chicken Sliders

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Teriyaki Sliders from House of Yum

Slow Cooker Open Faced Sirloin Sandwich

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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

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Slow Cooker Chicken Caesar Sandwiches from Valerie’s Kitchen

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Honey Hoisin Chicken Sandwiches from Pocket Change Gourmet

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 Crock Pot Grinders from Full Bellies Happy Kids

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Slow Cooker Beef Gyros from Eat at Home Cooks

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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!)

 

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Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak

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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. 😉

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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

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  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

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4 Ingredient Slow Cooker Ranch Chicken Tacos

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We had these Chicken Ranch Tacos on the menu plan last week, and they were a huge hit! Not only were they great for taco night, we used the leftover chicken to make chicken tacos on Super Bowl Sunday.

 

And my husband loved them. Seriously, loved them.

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One day slow cooking for two nights of yummy meals? Yes, please!

 

Apparently this recipe has been around awhile (several folks on Facebook mentioned they’d tried it before), but it was completely new to me. I keep thinking that surely I’ve made every single variation of chicken in the slow cooker on the planet, but this was a new one for me! Here’s how to get dinner finished in your home this week . . .

4 Ingredient Chicken Ranch Tacos

Ingredients

  1. 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
  2. 1 packet taco seasoning (or make your own)
  3. 1 packet ranch seasoning (also try making your own if you’d like)
  4. 1 cup chicken broth
  5. taco fixin’s – tortillas, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, salsa

Directions

  • Place chicken breast in slow cooker.
  • Mix together taco seasoning, ranch seasoning and chicken broth.
  • Pour chicken broth mixture over chicken.
  • Cook on low 5 hours.
  • Shred chicken and cook another 30 minutes on low
  • Serve over tacos – can also use to make chicken nachos

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Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 2/3/15):

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast $1.99/lb at Food Lion & Harris Teeter or $2.50/lb at Meijer
  • Or check out Target with the $5/$20 Target meat coupon
  • Ole Flour tortillas $1 at Kroger
  • Ortega Taco Seasoning $.79 at Giant Eagle or BOGO at Harris Teeter or Bi Lo, use $1/3 coupon from the 1/25 SmartSOurce insert
  • McCormick Taco Seasoning $.53 at Walmart, use $.50/2 coupon from the 1/25 Red Plum insert

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

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Slow Cooker Root Beer Barbecue

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Need an e.a.s.y. recipe on a busy weeknight? 

 

This is for you. 😉

 

Literally ~ just dump a few simple in Mrs. Potts, turn the dial on low, then walk away and let her do the cooking all day.

 

s.i.m.p.l.e.

 

Let’s get dinner started, shall we? 😉

3 Ingredient Pork Barbecue

Ingredients
  • 18 oz bottle barbecue sauce (we used Sweet Baby Ray’s)
  • 2 pound pork tenderloin
  • 12 oz rootbeer
Directions
  • Place pork tenderloin in slow cooker.
  • Rub with salt & pepper (optional – I did add a little salt and pepper to mine.)
  • Pour root beer over pork.
  • Let it cook for 6-7 hours on low.
  • Drain all juices and shred pork.
  • Dump bottle of barbecue sauce on top, let cook for 15 minutes on low until heated through.
  • Serve over hamburger buns – enjoy!

Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 1/14/15):

  • Pork Tenderloin $3.49/lb at Kroger
  • Boneless Pork Tenderloin Buy One Get One Free at Harris Teeter
  • Meijer Pork Tenderloin $2.89/lb.
  • Publix Barbecue Sauce $1.19

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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