It’s not that you have to hold me down and force me to eat my veggies, it’s just that I think they need a little ‘help’ to make them good. If you add cheese, then they’re great and I’m going to eat them like they’re going out of style. This slow cooker cauliflower and cheese is a super-simple way to make a delicious side dish that anyone will love.
I’ve made slow cooker cauliflower with cheese a number of times. Sometimes I mix it up by using half a head each of cauliflower and broccoli. Or just broccoli. Whatever you prefer, it’s good stuff!
For a little kick, add a few pinches of red pepper flake. For a little crunch, serve topped with a few good sprinkles of French fried onions.
Also try my mashed cauliflower.
Slow Cooker Cauliflower and Cheese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 4 -6 servings
- 1 head cauliflower or broccoli cut into florets (or do 1/2 head of each)
- 1 10.5 ounce can condensed cheddar soup
- 1 5 ounce can evaporated milk
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 cup finely diced onion
- 2 cups shredded cheddar
Lightly spray a 3-4 quart slow cooker with non-stick spray.
Add the florets.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the remaining ingredients. Stir until the cheddar has melted.
Pour the cheese mixture over the florets. Cover and cook on low 2 to 3 hours or until crisp-tender. Cook longer if you like your veggies more tender.
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.
Also try my roasted tomato sauce.
Slow Cooker Tomato Sauce
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4 cups
- 5-6 pounds of Roma tomatoes
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 medium sweet onion chopped
- 1 medium carrot chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Honey or sugar optional
Rinse tomatoes and cut in half. Place into a large slow cooker.
Add the garlic, onion, carrot, oil, bay leaf and parsley.
Lightly grind the basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary and pepper flakes using a mortar and pestle. Add to the slow cooker.
Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until the tomatoes have softened, stirring occasionally.
Let cool for 30 minutes.
Working in batches, transfer the tomato mixture to a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
Transfer the pureed liquid to a strainer and remove the pulp, seeds, etc, leaving the tomato sauce.
If the sauce is too thin you can slowly simmer it in a sauce pan on the stove until thick.
Add honey or sugar to sweeten the sauce if desired.
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.
Also check out my slow cooker ravioli lasagna. It has all the flavors of lasagna in a simple slow cooker dish.
Slow Cooker Pizza Casserole
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 45 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings
- 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
- 1/2 medium sweet onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 4 ounces sliced pepperoni divided
- 1 small green bell pepper. chopped
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded divided (plus more for garnish if desired)
- 2 cups uncooked pasta
- Freshly chopped parsley and freshly grated Parmesan for garnish if desired
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Crumble in the sausage and cook until almost done.
Add the onion and cook until the meat is completely done.
Add the garlic and cook for one more minute.
Transfer meat to a slow cooker set to low.
Stir in the tomatoes, water, all but 12 slices of the pepperoni, the oregano, salt, pepper, and 1 cup of the cheese. Mix well.
Add the pasta and stir.
Top with the remaining pepperoni and cheese and cover.
Cook for 5 hours and serve garnished with parsley, Parmesan and more mozzarella cheese.