Cold air is blasting its way through the country — a firm, frigid reminder warm days are not on the horizon. It’s good that slow cooker or crock-pot recipes are ideal for thawing chilled bones and require minimal time in kitchen. That makes it a perfect way to cook dinner while hunkering down under a blanket or near the fire. Here are 8 slow cooker recipes that will put an end to any freezing temperatures.
Posole, or pozole, is a traditional Mexican dish. Known for its rich flavors, the authentic version calls for a pig’s head. Since many people may be put off by such an ingredient, other versions — like the one below from Oxmoor House — of this hominy stew have been created. It serves 8.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins, cut into 1½-inch pieces
- 4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
- 1⅔ cups chopped onion (about 1 medium)
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 (15.5 ounce) cans white hominy, rinsed and drained
- 2 (4.5 ounce) cans chopped green chiles, undrained
- 1 cup packaged angel hair slaw
- ½ cup thinly sliced radishes (4 radishes)
- ½ cup diced peeled avocado
- 2 limes, each cut into 4 wedges (optional)
Directions: Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add pork to pan. Cook 8 minutes, browning on all sides. Combine pork, broth, and 9 ingredients (through chiles) in a 5-quart electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Ladle posole into bowls; top with slaw, radishes, and avocado. Serve with lime wedges if desired.
2. Turkey Chili
Turkey is one of the best proteins around. One serving gives you 65 percent of your daily protein needs, and it is an excellent source of B vitamins as well. So gobble up All Recipes’ chili and prove that turkey isn’t only for Thanksgiving. It will yield 8 servings.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 2 (10.75 ounce) cans low sodium tomato soup
- 2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
- ½ medium onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- ½ tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- 1 pinch ground allspice
- salt to taste
Directions: Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place turkey in the skillet, and cook until evenly brown; drain. Coat the inside of a slow cooker with cooking spray, and mix in turkey, tomato soup, kidney beans, black beans, and onion. Season with chili powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, cumin, black pepper, allspice, and salt. Cover and cook 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.
3. Beef Stroganoff
A little more effort goes into this slow cooker stroganoff from All Recipes, but if you need your dinner to be ready in under two hours, then this is the stroganoff for you.
- 2 pounds beef chuck roast
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 ounces butter
- 4 green onions, sliced (white parts only)
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed beef broth
- 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
- 1 (6 ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- ⅓ cup white wine
- Salt to taste
- Ground black pepper to taste
Directions: Remove any fat and gristle from the roast and cut into strips ½-inch thick by 2 inches long. Season with ½ teaspoon of both salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and brown the beef strips quickly, then push the beef strips off to one side. Add the onions and cook slowly for 3 to 5 minutes, then push to the side with the beef strips.
Stir the flour into the juices on the empty side of the pan. Pour in beef broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and stir in mustard. Cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the meat is tender. Five minutes before serving, stir in the mushrooms, sour cream, and white wine. Heat briefly then salt and pepper to taste.
4. Beef Stew
Emeril is known for bringing BAM to his recipes, and his stew the Food Network is no exception. In his signature style, he kicks the dish up a notch with a recipe for his Creole seasoning.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
- ¾ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ pound button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups veal or beef stock, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 pound small (golf ball size) new potatoes, quartered
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed
- ½ cup frozen green peas, thawed
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 2½ tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Directions: Combine all seasoning ingredients. It will yield about ⅔ cup of ESSENCE Creole Seasoning.
Set a 12-inch saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the pan and season the beef with 1 teaspoon of the salt, 1 teaspoon Essence, and ½ teaspoons of the black pepper. Sear the beef (in 2 batches) in the saute pan for about 2 or 3 minutes per side.
Add the butter, mushrooms, flour, veal stock, tomato paste, herbs, spices, and browned meat to a slow cooker. Cover the slow cooker and set the temperature to high. Cook for 1 hour. Add the potatoes and carrots and continue to cook the stew for another 7 hours. During the last hour of cooking, add the pearl onions and replace the lid. Once the stew is cooked, stir in the peas and parsley and serve immediately.
5. Root Vegetable Stew
Eating in season can help cut down on food costs, and root vegetables are seasonal winter fare. You may also be able to buy local when cooking this Chow recipe, another proven money saver.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, large dice
- Kosher salt
- 1¼ teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Pinch saffron threads
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes (about 3 large), large dice
- 1 pound carrots (about 4 to 5 medium), peeled and large dice
- 1 pound parsnips (about 4 medium), peeled and large dice
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 pounds sugar baby pumpkin or butternut squash (about 1 small), peeled, seeded, and large dice
- 1 pound sweet potatoes (about 2 medium), peeled and large dice
- 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (about 1½ cups)
- ½ cup golden raisins (sultanas)
- 1 bunch spinach, trimmed and washed (about 4 cups loosely packed)
- 1½ tablespoons cider vinegar, plus more as needed
Directions: Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the ginger, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, cayenne, saffron, and a pinch of pepper and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a slow cooker, add the potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and broth, season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Cover and cook on high for 1½ hours.
Add the pumpkin or squash, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and raisins, season with salt and stir to combine. Cover and continue to cook on high until a knife easily pierces the vegetables, about 2 hours more, stirring after 1 hour. Add the spinach and gently mix (do not overmix). Let sit until wilted. Gently stir in the vinegar, taste, and season with more salt, pepper, and vinegar as needed.
6. Texas-Style Barbecued Beef Brisket
For some barbecue aficionados, the “Texas-Style” in the title may deter them from making Southern Living’s recipe. For those who can look past the version of barbecue, this full-flavor brisket is the perfect option for a cold winter’s night. If you want to sop up the leftover pan juices, consider making Texas toast as well.
- 1 large sweet onion, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon jarred beef soup base
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1½ teaspoons hickory liquid smoke
- 1 (2 to 3 pound) beef brisket flat, trimmed
- ¼ cup beer
- 3 tablespoons bottled chili sauce
Directions: Lightly grease a 6-quart slow cooker; add onion and garlic. Stir together chili powder and next 5 ingredients. Rub over brisket; place brisket over onion mixture in slow cooker. Whisk together beer and chili sauce. Slowly pour mixture around brisket (to avoid removing spices from brisket).
Cover and cook on low 7 to 8 hours (or on HIGH 4 to 5 hours) or until fork-tender. Uncover and let stand in slow cooker 20 minutes. Remove brisket from slow cooker; cut brisket across the grain into thin slices. Return brisket to slow cooker and spoon pan juices over meat.
7. Chili Chicken Tacos
If you have a slow cooker emergency right before preparing this Martha Stewart recipe, you’ll be happy to know it can also be made using an oven method. To do so, first, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In step 1, use a 5-quart Dutch oven or ovenproof pot with a tight-fitting lid; add 2 cups water. Cover; bake until chicken is fork-tender, about 2 hours. Proceed with the second step.
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 6)
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- ½ cup prepared tomato salsa, plus more for serving (optional)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 8 hard corn taco shells
- Cilantro, shredded cheese, lime wedges, and sour cream for serving (optional)
Directions: In slow cooker, combine chicken, garlic, salsa, chiles, chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and teaspoon pepper. Cover; cook on high, 4 hours (or on low, 8 hours). Transfer chicken to a serving bowl, and shred, using two forks; moisten with cooking juices. Serve in taco shells with toppings if desired.
8. Macaroni and Cheese
This recipe originated in the book Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Recipes for Two, and various adaptations have popped up all over the Internet. If you don’t want to use Italian fontina cheese in A Whisk and A Prayer’s version, others have used an Italian cheese blend.
- 1½ cups milk
- 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
- ¼ cup (½ stick) butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 3 eggs
- ½ teaspoons salt
- 3 cups shredded Italian fontina cheese
- ½ pound elbow macaroni
- Black pepper
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Directions: Grease the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray. Combine milk, evaporated milk, butter, eggs, and salt in slow cooker and whisk until smooth. Add the Italian cheese and macaroni and sprinkle with pepper to taste, stir gently to coat evenly. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, reduce the temperature to low and cook for 1.5-2 hours, until center does not jiggle and pasta is tender, serve.