10 Slow Cooker Recipes that Transform Grocery Staples into Ridiculously Easy Meals | Working Mother

10 Slow Cooker Recipes that Transform Grocery Staples into Ridiculously Easy Meals

Elevate your staid staples into something delicious with minimal effort.

If you're stuck in a dinner rut, break out your slow cooker and some pantry staples to make the insanely simple yet delicious dishes below. We picked 10 of our favorite recipes from Shay Shull's, new cookbook Mix & Match Mama Simmers: Slow-Cooker Creations Your Family Will Love. With Shay's help, you can serve new meals with minimal work (just drop ingredients in the pot). And as the title hints, your kids will actually eat these up.

Brisket and Bacon Grilled Cheese

brisket bacon grilled cheese

A childhood classic that even the adults can indulge in.

Harvest House Publishers

Serves 4

Some nights you just need a big ol' bite of comfort food. Shay took her favorite brisket and turned it into this tasty grilled cheese sandwich with bacon. Brisket, bacon, cheese and crusty bread ... If that’s not comfort food, we don’t know what is.

Ingredients
1 pound beef brisket, cooked and shredded
About 2 cups BBQ sauce
8 slices bacon, cooked until crispy
2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
8 slices of good quality French bread (or whatever bread you love!)
About 2 tablespoons butter

Directions
1. Heat a large skillet or griddle to medium-high heat.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the shredded brisket and BBQ sauce. Set aside.
3. Lay out four slices of bread. Top each slice with two pieces of cooked and crispy bacon. Next, add a big scoop of the BBQ brisket and then top with shredded cheese. Place another slice of bread on top and get ready to grill.
4. Add the butter to the hot griddle or skillet and allow to melt. One at a time, add your sandwiches and slightly press down with a spatula. After a few minutes, flip them over and brown the other side. Remove from grill, slice in half, and serve immediately.

2. Sweet and Tangy Meatballs over Rice

sweet tangy meatballs

This is a painless recipe that kids will love for its sweetness.

Harvest House Publishers

Serves 4

This recipe is so simple, you’ll think it’s wrong. The key is using a good quality frozen meatball. Shull loves turkey meatballs—but beef, pork or chicken also work.

Ingredients
1 (1-pound) bag frozen meatballs
1 (18-ounce) jar grape jelly
1 (18-ounce) bottle BBQ sauce
About 4 cups cooked rice (Shull uses wild rice)
Green onions for garnish, chopped

Directions
1. Place the frozen meatballs in the slow cooker. Next, pour in the jar of grape jelly, followed by the bottle of BBQ sauce. Put the lid on your slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
2. To serve, add cooked rice to each plate, and then spoon the meatballs and sauce over the rice. Garnish with some green onions and dinner is done.

3. King Ranch Joes

king ranch sloppy joes

The sloppy joe gets a makeover.

Harvest House Publishers

Serves 4

The King Ranch Casserole reigns supreme in the South where Shay lives, so she married it with another supper royalty—the sloppy joe—and created this masterpiece. Cooked, shredded chicken from your slow cooker gets this meal on the table in no time.

Ingredients
1 pound cooked, shredded chicken 1 (10-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (10-ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1 (10-ounce) can RoTel tomatoes
2 tablespoons chili powder
4 thick slices of corn bread for serving
Cheddar cheese for garnish, shredded Green onions for garnish, chopped

Directions
1. Prepare a batch of cooked, shredded chicken.
2. About an hour before you’re ready to eat, discard the liquid and place the shredded chicken back into your slow cooker and turn it on to high. Stir in the cream soups, tomatoes, and chili powder. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes to an hour.
3. When you’re ready to serve, place a nice, thick piece of corn bread on each plate. Next, add a big dollop of the chicken mixture on top. Garnish with a little cheese and some green onions.

4. Classic Queso

queso

You can never go wrong with cheese.

Harvest House Publishers

Serves 6-8

Everyone needs a basic queso recipe. This one will be in your slow cooker a lot. It’s a classic worth repeating every single time.

Ingredients
1 pound breakfast sausage (Shay uses Owen’s regular pork sausage. You can omit this step and make your dip vegetarian.)
1 (16-ounce) package Velveeta cheese
1 (10-ounce) can Ro-Tel tomatoes

Directions
1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the sausage until it’s crumbly and cooked through. Place the sausage in your slow cooker. Add the Velveeta cheese (cutting it into chunks helps it melt faster) and pour the tomatoes over the top. Cover and cook on high at least an hour before you remove the lid and stir.
2. Once the dip is nice and melted, turn heat to low or “keep warm,” and keep the device turned on as you enjoy your dip straight out of the slow cooker.

5. Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Soup

chicken enchilada quinoa soup

This dish is a triple threat.

Harvest House Publishers

Serves 4

Shay wanted to make a soup that tasted like an enchilada, had quinoa in it and was made in the slow cooker. Done, done and done. You place everything in the slow cooker. Turn it on, walk away and come back later to the most delicious dinner your family has had in ages. Make sure you run your quinoa under cold water to rinse it off before using. Rinse and then shake the excess water out before adding into soup.

Ingredients
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (15-ounce) can ranch-style beans (do not drain)
1½ cups quinoa (rinsed and drained)
1 (14-ounce) can enchilada sauce (she uses mild)
1 (10-ounce) can Ro-Tel tomatoes
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies
2 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper
Green onions for garnish, chopped
Cheddar cheese for garnish, shredded

Directions
1. Place the chicken breasts, beans, quinoa, enchilada sauce, tomatoes, chilies, stock and a big pinch of salt and pepper in the bottom of the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
2. When you’re ready to eat, remove the lid and shred the chicken inside the slow cooker using two forks. Next, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish it with green onions and cheese.

6. Chicken Tortilla Soup

chicken tortilla soup

With so many flavors, you'll never get sick of this meal.

Harvest House Publishers

Serves 4

This recipe will probably be the one you refer to the most in this collection. A classic chicken tortilla soup recipe that just cannot be beaten. It’s always on point.

Ingredients
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (10-ounce) can Ro-Tel tomatoes
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (14-ounce) can ranch-style beans
1 (1-ounce) packet taco seasoning
1 (10-ounce) can cream of chicken soup
2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
Monterey Jack cheese for garnish, shredded
Green onions for garnish, chopped

Directions
1. In the slow cooker, layer the chicken, tomatoes, beans, taco seasoning and cream of chicken soup. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
2. About 20 minutes before you’re ready to serve, remove the lid and stir in the corn. Replace the lid and heat until the corn is hot.
3. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with cheese and green onions.

7. Mama’s Minestrone

mamas minestrone

It must be good if it's named after mom.

Harvest House Publishers

Serves 4

This soup is so hearty and filling that the carnivores in your family will never even miss the meat.

Ingredients
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 onion, chopped
1 (1-ounce) packet dry ranch seasoning mix
2 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper
1 (10-ounce) package frozen vegetable medley (Shull uses carrots and squash)
1 pound short cut pasta (elbow noodles work great)
Parsley for garnish, chopped
Parmesan cheese for garnish, grated

Directions
1. Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, ranch seasoning mix and stock along with a hearty pinch of salt and pepper to your slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours or on high 3 to 4 hours.
2. About 30 minutes before you’re ready to eat, remove the lid and stir in the frozen vegetables and pasta. Cover and cook on high for another 20 to 30 minutes.
3. Remove the lid and ladle into bowls. Serve with a garnish of parsley and a little Parmesan.

8. Potato Soup

potato soup

Perfect to snuggle up with.

Harvest House Publishers

Serves 4

On a chilly night, the most comforting thing is, of course, potato soup. Shay uses frozen hash browns in her recipe for a quick-cooking, easy-to-prepare, creamy, yummy bowl of goodness.

Ingredients
1 (32-ounce) bag frozen cubed hash brown potatoes
1 onion, chopped
8 slices raw bacon, chopped, and divided
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper
Green onions for garnish, chopped
Cheddar cheese for garnish, shredded

Directions
1. In the slow cooker, place the frozen hash browns, onion, 4 slices of bacon pieces (reserve the other pieces for later), milk, stock and a big pinch of both salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
2. Right before serving, cook the remaining pieces of bacon in a skillet until crisp. Pat them dry with a paper towel and then crumble them.
3. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with the bacon crumbles, green onions, and cheese.

9. Cinnamon Pumpkin Cake

cinnamon pumpkin cake

Slow cooker cake? Yes, please.

Harvest House Publishers

Serves 4-6

Here is a yummy pumpkin cake that smells and tastes just like fall, cooked up in the slow cooker.

Ingredients
1 box yellow cake mix
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
1 egg
½ cup water
1½ tablespoons cinnamon

Directions
1. Mix all ingredients with an electric mixer and then spread in the bottom of a greased slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours.
2. Remove the lid and serve.

10. Gooey Butterscotch Cake

gooey butterscotch cake

Pure decadence.

Harvest House Publishers

Serves 4-6

This gooey little cake makes the perfect dessert for any occasion.

Ingredients
1 box yellow cake mix
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 egg
½ cup water
2 cups butterscotch chips, plus a few more for garnish
Butterscotch ice cream topping to drizzle

Directions
1. Spray your slow cooker liberally with cooking spray. Then, in a mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, sour cream, egg, and water with a wooden spoon.
2. Spoon this layer on the bottom of your slow cooker. Next, sprinkle the butterscotch chips across the top. Cover and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours.
3. Remove from slow cooker and serve with a drizzle of butterscotch sauce and a few more butterscotch chips.


Recipes excerpted from Mix & Match Mama Simmers: Slow-Cooker Creations Your Family Will Love. Copyright © 2017 by Shay Shull. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon. Used by Permission.

Shay Shull is a wife, mom, author and entrepreneur. On her Mix and Match Mama blog, she writes about motherhood, adoption, world travel and, of course, yummy food. She and her husband and their four children live near Dallas, Texas. Shay is the author of five books including Mix & Match Meal Planner, Mix & Match Cakes, Mix & Match Mama Eats, Mix & Match Mama Kids in The Kitchen, and Mix & Match Mama Simmers.

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