I would’ve liked to have made this slow cooker tomato sauce using tomatoes from our garden. For some reason, our tomatoes just didn’t produce this year. Usually I have to worry about the raccoons stealing them but not this time. They just didn’t come out. So, Plan B, I picked up a big batch of ripe tomatoes at the grocery store. The end result came out very, very flavorful. Quite honestly, I had my sights set on using this sauce to make pizza sauce, but it’s so good by itself you could easily serve it as-is as tomato soup. I used Roma tomatoes because I like how they taste. You can substitute any good tomato, just make sure they’re good and ripe. Do not use those hard-as-cardboard tomatoes you often find at your grocery store. If you’re lucky enough to be near a farmer’s market, it’s well worth the trip. When tomatoes are at peak you’ll want to make several batches of this slow cooker tomato sauce and freeze it for later.
All the flavors of pizza in a casserole, made in a slow cooker. There’s plenty of cheese and pepperoni so you can overlook the lack of a crunchy crust. The perfect one-pot meal on a rainy, cool late winter evening. You can make it more ‘your way’ by adding Canadian bacon, mushrooms, different cheeses… whatever you prefer. Be careful to not overcook the pasta. Pasta is not the most slow cooker-friendly item in the world. If you over cook the pasta it will become mushy. Not happy mushy either. So error on the side of caution and serve this slow cooker pizza casserole as soon as the pasta is cooked. It’s sorta like my pizza pasta bake, but with a twist.
As much as I prefer cooking outdoors, I still love cooking dishes inside in a slow cooker, specially on days when the weather is a bit questionable. Preparation is almost always simple, even though the final results can be quite fantastic. I went into making this slow cooker ravioli lasagna thinking it’d be ‘ok’. I came out thinking ‘wow, that was excellent’. All the flavors of a great lasagna, but done so easily with very little effort. The sauce was nice and tasty, the ravioli cooked up perfectly, and of course, there was ooey-gooey cheese. You can substitute frozen raviolis if you like, but nothing beats the taste of fresh ravioli. Even though this is a quick not-much-from-scratch dish, there’s no reason to not add some fresh ingredients. Fresh ravioli are hidden in the pasta aisle in our local grocery store, far away from the main fridge section, in a tiny refrigerator.
It’s possible that I added a few pinches of red pepper flake to this lasagna because, well, I like a little kick in everything I make. I left it out of the recipe below.
It was a cold, rainy day. The kind of day that screams slow cooker. Since I work from home I get to enjoy the aroma of a great dish cooking all day long. By dinner time I’m starving and anticipating that first bite. I’d been wanting to make a beef stroganoff for a while. An easy version, in the slow cooker. This recipe fit the bill perfectly. The end result is creamy, beefy, and delicious. This slow cooker beef stroganoff could not possibly be any easier to make. It is perfect over egg noodles.
I have a slow cooker (er, crockpot) for the same reasons everyone else does. I on occasion like a great, easy meal that I can toss into the pot and not have to fuss with. A Dutch oven over low heats works just as well, specially if you need to brown something first. For this spicy spaghetti and meatball soup it doesn’t matter whether you go low-and-slow in the crockpot or Dutch oven, the end result is great. It’s like having Campbell’s SpaghettiOs™ but with much better, richer flavor, and a nice kick. And really big meatballs. Who didn’t want more meatballs in their SpaghettiOs™ when they were a kid? Well, problem solved! I used packaged frozen meatballs for this slow cooker spicy spaghetti meatball soup, but our homemade Italian meatballs (made on the stovetop or in the Char-Broil Big Easy) would be great too. Outstanding, even.
You can leave out the red pepper flake, but I think you’ll want to add at least a little. And don’t be shy with the basil either.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try out my homemade SpaghettiOs. They’re fun to make and even more fun to eat.
Anita and I definitely both agreed that these slow cooker spicy Italian beef sandwiches were absolutely fantastic. Besides tender, juicy beef, you get great Italian spice flavors, pepperoncini and Giardiniera, along with the kick of hot pepper and the pickling juice from the pepperoncini. All served on a sub bun with plenty of smoky provolone cheese. Every bite of this sandwich is perfect. To really kick up your sandwiches use hot pepperoncini and Giardiniera, and substitute habanero jack cheese for the provolone. You’ll have the perfect game-time sandwich.
You may or may not need all of the peppers and Giardiniera I listed for the sandwich build. It all depends on how much you like on your sandwiches. Me, I like pepperoncini, and lots of it, on top. I only used the Giardiniera in the slow cooker and didn’t add any to the sandwich. To each his own!
Melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The absolutely perfect, easy dish for a cold winter day. The sauce is not too thick, not too thin, with a little sweet and a little heat. The beef is incredibly tender. This slow cooker Mongolian beef was a big hit here, and is definitely going to end up on our dinner menu on a very regular basis.
I added a bit of dried red pepper flake to offset the sweetness of the brown sugar and carrots. You can leave it out, of course, or substitute your favorite hot pepper, chopped. The dish is going to be great either way, that’s for sure!
I’ve made my share of pot roasts. In the oven. In a crockpot. Heck, I’ve even smoked a pot roast (and boy, was it ever heavenly). There’s a 3-way tie on my list of my favorite things to make during the fall and winter: chili, gumbo, and pot roast. And when it comes to an easy-to-make pot roast, this Mississippi pot roast is the king. 6 ingredients and 8 hours and you’ll be enjoying an absolutely flavor-packed fall-apart roast.
Do not be tempted to add beef broth or any other liquid to the roast. It will make it’s own gravy just fine by itself. Add everything to the crockpot and go away. Leave it be.