Advent Calendar Day 15 – Crockpot To The Rescue

Thanks so much for your well wishes, good thoughts and prayers. Things are starting to look up and I’m read to rule out the flu. I think our daughter just has a bad cold and my shoulder is starting to feel better thanks to some rest yesterday.

Hillbilly Housewife Advent Calendar Day 15 Today we start the week busier than ever. My day is full of errands to run and appointments to keep. We wrap it all up with a school concert tonight that our daughter is supposed to sing in. Fingers crossed that she’ll feel well enough to sing.

Thankfully I have my trusty crockpot to take care of dinner for me. I’m getting ready to start some beef stew in there and by dinner time it will be ready and waiting for us. I’ll just add some biscuits and dinner is done.

I’m sure your days are getting just as busy, so for today’s Advent Calendar Treat, I would like to give you a 50% of coupon for Crockpot Cooking Made Simple. Just use coupon “ADVENT” during checkout. 

With instructions, tips and 500 recipes to chose from, I’m sure you’ll find some new family favorites in there. There are also some great ideas on how to turn traditional family favorites into crockpot meals. And don’t forget about Holiday Cooking. Making a dish or two in your crockpot frees up oven space.

Crockpot Cooking Made Simple

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Today’s Question:

Let’s talk about crockpot cooking today. How often do you use your crockpot? Leave me a comment below and if you’d like let us know what your favorite crockpot recipe is.

Adapting Your Favorite Recipes for the Crockpot

“I wonder if I could cook that in the slow cooker…” Have you asked yourself this before? Many of us with slow cookers have eyeballed them and wondered if we could cook our favorite recipe(s) in them. Often, you can. But before you just throw everything into the slow cooker and hope for the best, there are some general principles you should consider as you adapt your favorite recipes for the slow cooker.

1. Temperature

In most slow cookers, “Low” is around 200 degrees F, and “High” is about 300. Cooking takes about twice as long on Low as it does on High.

If the recipe you want to convert calls for a quick baking time, then you can probably get away with a few hours on Low or one to two hours on High. If your recipe calls for long oven baking or stove top simmering, then you can probably get away with 8-10 hours on Low (a standard cook temperature and time for roasts and red meats).

2. Liquid

Slow cookers produce very moist heat. This means your recipe will retain more moisture than it would if it were baked in the oven. So a good rule of thumb is to reduce the amount of liquid in your recipe by about half. However, if you’re cooking rice or some other grain, then you should use an amount of liquid that is just shy of the standard amount.

The book of recipes and fresh ingredients for cooking3. Oven versus Slow Cooker

Here is a handy guide for oven times converted to slow cooker times:

Oven: 20-30 minutes
Slow cooker: 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours on High; 4 to 6 hours on Low

Oven: 35-45 minutes
Slow cooker: 2 to 3 hours on High; 6 to 8 hours on Low

Oven: 50 minutes to 3 hours
Slow cooker: 4 to 5 hours on High; 8 to 18 hours on Low

4. Know What Holds Up

Roasts, brisket, and flat steak stand up well to long cooking, usually requiring 10 to 12 hours on Low or 6 to 8 on High. But vegetables don’t usually hold up so well, especially ones like snow peas and broccoli.

If you want to adapt a meat recipe that has vegetables in it, you can add them toward the end of cooking time. However, if you combine meat and chopped vegetables that are more dense, like chunked carrots and potatoes, then you can usually cook the whole dish for 8 to 10 hours on Low.

Poultry cooks more quickly than red meat, and fish cooks faster than both.

Ready to adapt your own favorite recipe? Give it a try and let me know what you made and how it turned out.

Crockpot Appetizers – Give Your Old Favorites A New Twist

In the months and weeks before the holiday season, we all usually start dragging out our recipes, including favorite appetizer recipes. Everyone loves those tasty treats and you know your dinner guests like to grab a few bites as they mingle and catch up with each other.

Even when planning a big sit-down meal, your dinner guests will always make room for a few tasty bites before dinner. The trick to serving good appetizers is serving an attractive and delicious variety of dishes. This may be easier said than done when you have become so accustomed to making certain appetizers year-after-year.

It’s time to put your crockpot to work for you as you improve on your classic appetizers like cheese dips, cocktail wieners, and meatballs. Your holiday gathering is special. Shouldn’t your appetizers be special, too? Let’s take a look at how to make your old favorites a bit more special:

Cheese Dip – You can certainly make a simple little cheese dip that would be delicious, but, don’t you want to make a dip that your guests will remember, and talk about, and ask you for the recipe? How about an Artichoke and Cheese Dip? By adding some chopped artichoke hearts and a few spices to your favorite cheese dip you’ve perked this appetizer up enough to make it memorable.

Cocktail Sausages – Think way beyond those little wienies and serve up an easy, but fancy, batch of sweet and Tangy Apple Sausage Appetizers instead. Use any combination of ingredients such as brown sugar, honey, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard, then instead of adding Vienna Sausages, cut up some good apple smoked sausage, some tart apples like Granny Smith, and some sweet onion and add that to the crockpot. If your guests were expecting the standard cocktail wienie appetizer, they’ll be pleasantly surprised when they bite into this sweet and spicy treat.

Meatball Bites – Those little meatballs swimming around in barbecue sauce are tasty, but are they special enough for your holiday event? Go ahead and make your mini meatballs out of your favorite recipe, but when it comes to the sauce, it’s time to do something special. Beer is the ingredient that kicks this appetizer recipe up a couple pegs. This Tangy Meatball Appetizer will have your guests wondering what makes the sauce so yummy. You won’t find these meatballs on just any buffet!

Nutty Snacks – I always think pretty bowls of assorted nuts placed on tables around the room are a nice touch. But, instead of just dumping some mixed nuts in a bowl, why not cook up a batch to surprise your guests? And, because pecans are often associated with sweet snacks and desserts, you can surprise your guests even further by spicing the pecans up with your favorite hot and spicy flavors. When you serve Cajun Style Pecans you will have an appetizer that is the talk of the town!

We all have our favorite appetizers that have become a tradition over the years. We can still enjoy these same appetizers, but don’t they deserve a little updating? And don’t our guests deserve a little special treat this year? Surprise them by tweaking your old crockpot appetizers and maybe you’ll start some brand new traditions!

Want to learn more about how to use your crockpot to create tasty treats and meals, while saving money and time?

Get all the information, recipes, and tips you need with my Crockpot Cooking Made Simple ebook.

Click here and buy this guide now to start creating tasty treats today!

Crockpot Cooking For One Week – Planning Hearty Meals For Cold Weather

If getting from your car to your door seems like a march through the tundra during cold winter days, a trip to the grocery store may be excruciating to think about. You may be entertaining thoughts of staying in your nice warm car and driving through a fast food place for dinner instead. But, that sort of impulse can really defeat a grocery budget, even though the nice warm car is tempting.

How can you feed your family a nice hot meal without suffering those icy cold trips?  By planning one shopping day with one goal in mind – creating enough crockpot meals for at least one whole week.  Let’s see how this can be accomplished.

Start by gathering together your favorite crockpot recipes, picking a variety of dishes so your family doesn’t get tired of the same old food.  Make a grocery list that includes everything you need for the week based on the recipes you’ve chosen. Check your pantry for the standard supplies, too. Now do all your shopping for the week.

When you get home, carefully wrap and freeze the meat for the meals later in the week, chop up all your veggies for each meal and seal in containers. You are well on your way to a week of cozy meals without having to venture out in the cold.  Here we go.

Sunday – Begin the week with a wonderfully aromatic Rotisserie Chicken.  Your crockpot will produce a nice, crispy and juicy chicken just like a deli rotisserie.  Make it a Sunday dinner by including your garlic mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

Monday – A Crockpot French Dip Roast is an easy way to serve a hot and satisfying sandwich for dinner.  It may be just a sandwich, but it sure seems more like a meal when you use a good, hearty hard roll and add mozzarella cheese on top.

Tuesday – Time to spice things up a bit with a hearty White Chicken Chili.  You control the spice, so this meal will satisfy everyone’s tastes.  Serve with a nice crusty bread and no one walks away hungry. You may have enough leftover chicken from Sunday for this dish.

Wednesday – This is your night to go meatless with a fabulously rich Minestrone Soup.  You could replace the beef broth with chicken broth if you choose, but, as is, this is a frugal meal that will please even your staunchest meat eater.

– Time to surprise your family with Homemade Calico Beans for dinner.  This dish is wonderfully satisfying and relatively inexpensive to make using dried cooked beans and ground beef.  Save the leftovers for next week’s lunches.

Friday –  It’s Smorgasbord time!  One day of the week is always busier than the rest.  You’ll be glad to have a refrigerator full of leftovers for that day.  You can use your creative nature to re-invent some of the leftovers into new dishes or you can simply arrange your leftovers on the counter with plates, bowls, and silverware, and have your family dig in.

–  The races are on TV and we’re not budging.  So, when it comes time to eat, putting a platter of Pulled Pork Sandwiches on the table and having everyone help themselves, is a great way to enjoy the races and fill our tummies without missing a moment of the action.

Stocking up and preparing for a week’s worth of meals ensures that you have a house full of food for your family. But, equally as important, when your family finally gets home in out of the cold, they will walk into a house fragrant with the savory aromas of a delicious dinner ready to enjoy.  Give this plan a try for one week and I guarantee you won’t miss those stops at the drive-thru for a moment!

Want to learn more about how to use your crockpot to feed your hungry family easily, while saving money and time?

Get all the information, recipes, and tips you need with my Crockpot Cooking Made Simple ebook.

Click here and buy it today to start saving money and time with your next meal!

Puzzled About How Long To Cook A Whole Chicken In A Crockpot? Let’s Clear This Up

You may be a bit confused about how long to cook a whole chicken in a crockpot. Well, you are not alone. You’ll get ten different answers from ten different cooks. Then, when you actually gather recipes, it gets even more confusing.

The answer varies depending on a great many things. That’s the reason for the muddled answers. When you start looking at recipes, you may get even more baffled. So, let’s start with figuring out the variables you have to look at when choosing to cook a whole chicken in your slowcooker:

The Term Whole – This is not as strange as it seems. When one person refers to a whole chicken they could mean a chicken that is left whole, uncut. However, another person may mean an entire chicken – the “whole” chicken – even though it’s in half, or even in pieces. You might say you are cooking a whole chicken when you cut the chicken in quarters but cook the “whole” thing. Confusing, right? Determine what term a person is using before you figure cooking time.

The Chicken Recipe – If you choose a crispy rotisserie chicken style of recipe, you will time your crockpot differently than if you have a chicken recipe loaded with lots of vegetables. A big pile of carrots and potatoes sitting around your chicken will cause a chicken to cook differently than if it is cooking in dry heat, rotisserie style.

The Preparation – Some people like to brown their chicken before putting it in the crockpot to give it a little extra color and flavor. This process will also shorten the cooking time. Then there’s the question of stuffing. If you add stuffing the bird will need to cook longer because it’s just more dense.

The Bird Size – If you have a big six pound chicken, you’re going to cook it longer than if you have a little three pound chicken. That’s just common sense. However, you also have to consider how much room you have in your crockpot. If your six pound bird is squeezed inside a five quart crockpot, your cooking time will have to be increased. There isn’t enough room around the chicken to let air and heat circulate.

The Crockpot Design – Do you have a brand new crockpot with extra insulation wrapped around to keep the heat in the pot where it belongs? Or are you still using the old metal pot that sits on top of the burner plate. Can you start your meal on high, then turn it to low to finish cooking? Is your cover one of the new ones that fits tight and even locks in place?

You want to know how long to cook a whole chicken in a crockpot? It’s still confusing, isn’t it. Normally, if you find a recipe you like that calls for chicken breasts, add about an hour to your time if you’re using a whole, uncut chicken. This will vary, too, depending on all the other factors mentioned. But don’t fret. Just go ahead and experiment and soon you’ll have a nice collection of your own favorite crockpot recipes!

Are you ready to put your crockpot to good use?

Get all the information, recipes, and tips you need with my Crockpot Cooking Made Simple ebook.

Click on here and buy it today to start saving money and time with your next meal!

Crockpot Cooking Is About More Than Convenience – It’s About Saving Both Time And Money

I bought a crockpot some time ago, thinking that I found the solution to my nightly dinner dilemma.  Like so many other “crockpot fanatics,” the bloom was off the rose as soon as I found myself with a bit more time and money to spend.  So, my crockpot found it’s way into the deep, dark recesses of my pantry, never to be heard from again.  Or so I thought.  My budget is tighter than ever and time is at a premium, as well.  Dinnertime is again centered on a warm and wonderful crockpot meal, much to the delight of my family.

If you have forgotten exactly when you bought your crockpot, or it has a pattern or color that’s reminiscent of the 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s, it’s best to buy a new one.  You’ll be doing yourself a favor spending the $30 to $50, what with all the new energy efficient models available.  There are also some really great new features like additional temperature settings, warming cycles, and secure leak-proof lids.  Although, the best feature of all is that a crockpot saves you both time and money.  That’s great to know, but how exactly does that happen?


Small Appliance Wattage vs Big Wattage Appliance

If you’ve got a pot roast in the oven, you’ve got your oven heating for a long time.  Let’s just figure your pot roast is going to cook for 3 hours.  That’s 3 hours in a roughly 2500 watt appliance, which calculates at about 10 kWh for your pot roast.  Now, put that same pot roast in your crockpot, cook it for 6 hours, and you’ve used 1.2 kWh to cook the same meal.  That’s because your crockpot uses about 200 watts instead of 2500.  Why heat up a big oven, or have a burner on radiating heat for long hours when you’ve got a little personal-sized oven all ready – your crockpot.  Look at the online energy consumption calculators and check out your own appliances to see if this doesn’t make sense.

Bring Home Those Budget Cuts Again

It’s time to try some of those budget cuts of meat again!  This time, when you cook them in your crockpot instead of the oven, the meat will fall right off the bone and you can cut it with a fork.  The sinew and tissue breaks down nicely when cooked with a low, slow method of the crockpot.  Cooking the meat with some liquid added also adds to the tender results.  An expensive, tender cut of meat won’t do in the least in your crockpot; they just don’t come out as well as your budget meats.  So, if you’ve been avoiding the less expensive cuts of meat, now’s the time to try again.  No more disasters, because they’re not going in the oven!

Stay Out Of That Drive Thru

Are you spending money on fast food?  How many times have you rushed through the convenience store, spending money you didn’t have on bad food?  Here’s where your crockpot can save you money with a little planning.  Get your meal planned, shop, and prepare everything ahead of time.  Now, when everybody gets home after school and work, and all that evening chaos begins, at least you know you have dinner bubbling away in the crockpot.  No more quick, and expensive, stops for fast food.

Don’t Add Heat To An Already Stressed Air Conditioner

If your air conditioner is running, you really don’t want to start that oven, or even have a burner going on your stove top for any length of time.  I know you’re thinking, well, it’s hot out so why not just eat salads and sandwiches?  But, if you live in a part of the country where the summer heat lasts sometimes for seven or eight months out of the year, you and your family can really get hungry for a nice pot roast or hearty soup.  And when it’s hot and steamy outside, and the air conditioner is just barely keeping you comfortable, you don’t want to stress it, or yourselves, out by adding more heat to your kitchen.  Your little crockpot just won’t crank out that much additional heat.


Give Up The Watched Pot

If you are watching your pots boil, you are wasting time.  Even stirring soups and sauces take time, especially if you’re making something that could stick to the bottom of the pot if left unattended.  When you make a meal in one pot it truly does save time, but not if you have to watch it!  Sure, you can put a pot roast in the oven and you won’t have to stand over it while it cooks, but now you’re not saving money.  Don’t we want to save both money and time?

Get The Family Helping In The Kitchen

The whole family can help put a crockpot meal together, which frees up some of my time.  I don’t worry about my kids getting burned on a hot stove, so they can wash vegetables and throw them right in the crockpot for me.  You don’t start a crockpot cooking until everything is inside, so it’s safe for the kids to be in the kitchen helping.  And because there are so many recipes for simple crockpot meals, recipes which require only a few main ingredients, anyone, even my non-cooking husband, can grab a recipe and throw together a meal to help out.

Eliminate Running To The Store

Nightly stops at the store to quick grab something to cook for dinner is a serious waste of time.  Now I take one trip to the grocery store, and buy everything I need for at least three crockpot meals.  I can plan several all-in-one-step meals, buy and even prep a lot of the ingredients ahead of time, and pop a meal in the crockpot in the morning.  Now, we can go straight home from the soccer game… home to a hot meal!


Cook Once Eat Twice

I’m a big believer in cooking larger portions so that we’re cooking once and eating twice.  My crockpot is a 6 quart size oval, which is big enough to have leftovers for lunches, so we don’t have to spend money buying lunches at work or school.  We also will cook double and put half in the freezer.  This way, I’m cooking only two or three times a week, and we’re eating from the freezer the other days.  For us, that’s a real time and money saver.

Now that you’ve seen the time and money saving reasons to use your crockpot, I challenge you to give your crockpot a second chance.  Get your crockpot out again, or treat yourself to one of the new models, and browse through some recipes.  It’s time you started cooking, and saving time and money all at the same time!

Ready to get your crockpot fired up?  Find almost 500 recipes plus tips to make your crockpot meals come out perfect every time in this valuable resource Crockpot Cooking Made Simple.

If you don’t have a crockpot yet, this guide will give you all the information you need to help you choose the crockpot that’s right for you.

Click on Crockpot Cooking Made Simple and start saving time and money today!

Sweet Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwiches – Crockpot

1 (5 lb.) pork should roast or butt roast

dry rub:
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

3 small yellow onions cut into large wedges

1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 Tbsp. honey
1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, crushed or grated
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Put the onions in the crockpot first. Blend dry rub ingredients with fork and gently press and rub over the pork roast. The put the pork roast in the crockpot on top of the onions.

In a glass bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients until smooth.  Pour 1/2 the sauce mixture over the pork roast in the crockpot, coating the meat well.  (Store the remaining 1/2 of the sauce mixture in the refrigerator for later.)

Cover the crockpot and set on LOW temperature.  Cook, undisturbed, for 8 to 9 hours.

Remove the meat from the crockpot to a platter and shred with a fork.  Pick the onion out from the crockpot and discard.  Return the shredded meat to the crockpot, add the sauce mixture you refrigerated earlier to the crockpot and stir to combine well.  Put cover back on crockpot and let heat through, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Keep warm and serve on hearty buns. You can make another small batch of the sauce to serve alongside the sandwiches if you wish.  Just heat the sauce in a pan for about 15 minutes on low, then pour into a serving bowl with a ladle.

Ready to learn more about crockpot cooking? Get my Crockpot Cooking Made Simple ebook today and find out how you can work this into your meal plan, how to choose a good crockpot and most importantly how to convert your favorite recipes to work in a slow cooker.

Crockpot Spicy Apple Betty

  • 3 pounds of crisp cooking apples
  • 10 slices of hearty bread, crusts cut off and then bread cubed1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Wash the apples really well.  You don’t need to peel them – I don’t.  Cut each apple into eight wedges, and cut the core out.  Of course, if you have one of those nice combination apple corer and cutter, that’s even better.

Put the apple slices into your crockpot.  Then, in a separate bowl, combine the bread with all the other ingredients, tossing together so the spices and butter combine really well.

Spoon the mixture over the apples in the crockpot.  Put the cover on.  Turn crockpot to the LOW setting and let cook for 2 to 3 hours.  The apples should be cooked but not turn into mush.  This crockpot dessert is sort of like a combination Apple Brown Betty and Bread Pudding.

This dessert will serve about 6 people, more if you’re a little careful.  Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to make this dessert go a little further, and for the extra sweetness!  Very tasty!

Ready to learn more about crockpot cooking? Get my Crockpot Cooking Made Simple ebook today and find out how you can work this into your meal plan, how to choose a good crockpot and most importantly how to convert your favorite recipes to work in a slow cooker.

Crockpot Mini Brewed Meatballs


  • 3 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs (use seasoned bread crumbs if you like)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons cooking oil to fry meatballs


  • 1 (12 ounce) can/bottle of good beer
  • 1 (12 ounce) can/bottle spicy tomato juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1 large bottle (12 ounces) of mild barbecue sauce (or you may substitute ketchup)
  • 1 tsp. horseradish
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Make your meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the ground beef with onion, bread crumbs, and eggs. Use your hands to squish everything together until well mixed, but don’t handle too much or the meat tends to toughen up.  Just make sure the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the ground beef.  Then, form the meat mixture into small meatballs, about the size of a golf ball is usually good.

Pour a bit of cooking oil in a large skillet, heat to medium, add the meatballs (don’t crowd the pan) and brown the meatballs all over. Set the browned meatballs on paper towels on a rack to absorb any extra grease.

Optional: You may choose to brown the meatballs in the oven.  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, put the meatballs on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, turning a couple times to brown all sides.

Make your sauce: In a large saucepan over medium low heat, whisk together all the sauce ingredients and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes.  Don’t let it come to a boil.

Assemble: Turn your crock pot on LOW.  Put the meatballs in, then pour the hot sauce on top of the meatballs.  Gently stir together, being careful not to break up the meatballs.  Cover the crockpot and cook on LOW for about 3 hours.  Stir occasionally, but be sure to be careful that you don’t break up the meatballs.

You can let this simmer slowly for quite a while so you can keep it hot on your buffet without worrying about overcooking.  You’ll have around 65 to 70 meatballs with this recipe so you should have plenty for a crowd.

Ready to learn more about crockpot cooking? Get my Crockpot Cooking Made Simple ebook today and find out how you can work this into your meal plan, how to choose a good crockpot and most importantly how to convert your favorite recipes to work in a slow cooker.

Crockpot Tangy Apple Sausage Appetizer

  • 2 lbs apple smoked/flavored sausage links (or your favorite smoked sausage links), cut into bite size.
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, or similar crisp, tart apple, cut into bite size chunks
  • 1 medium sweet onion, cut into bite size chunks
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons spicy mustard, like Dijon or Cajun style
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey

Put sausage, onion, and apple in your crock pot and toss together a little bit.  In a separate bowl, mix the remaining ingredients until combined well, then pour over the mixture in the crock pot.  Cover and cook on LOW for about 2 to 3 hours, or until the apples and onions are tender, but not mushy.

Ready to learn more about crockpot cooking? Get my Crockpot Cooking Made Simple ebook today and find out how you can work this into your meal plan, how to choose a good crockpot and most importantly how to convert your favorite recipes to work in a slow cooker.

Crockpot Artichoke & Tangy Cheese Dip

  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated onion
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts, drained and diced small
  • 1/4 cup roasted red pepper, chopped fine (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped green onion or chives for topping after cooked (optional)

Lightly spray or butter a 4 quart crockpot. Mix all ingredients in large bowl, then pour into crockpot. Turn crockpot to LOW and cook covered for about 2 hours or until nice and melted and creamy. Sprinkle chopped onion or chives on top when serving if desired for extra color and flavor. Serve alongside a platter or basket of small pieces of crusty bread, nice crackers, or hearty chips.

You can double this recipe if you use a larger crockpot. If the texture isn’t creamy enough for you, add a touch more evaporated milk.

Ready to learn more about crockpot cooking? Get my Crockpot Cooking Made Simple ebook today and find out how you can work this into your meal plan, how to choose a good crockpot and most importantly how to convert your favorite recipes to work in a slow cooker.

Crockpot Turkey Frame Soup

  • 1 carcass (frame of turkey), wings, bones, skin and everything from your leftover cooked turkey
  • 3 stalks celery complete with leaves
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 5 black peppercorns

Remove all the good meat from the carcass, wrap well and set aside in the refrigerator. Then, break up the bones and the turkey frame (carcass)  into pieces small enough to fit into your crock pot.  Be sure you’re using at least a 4 or 5 quart crock pot.  Cover the turkey bones with cold water, about 3 quarts should do it, depending on the bird and the size of your crock pot.  Just try to cover the turkey completely.

Now, wash and cut the celery into big chunks, including the leaves, and throw in the crock pot. Scrub the onion with a brush under running water to remove all dirt, especially in the root. Yes, leave the skin on but be sure the root is clean and all dry or loose skin is removed.  (Cut the root off if you’re not comfortable with this.) Then cut the onion into quarters and put that in the crock pot. Add the rest of the ingredients, put the cover on the crock pot and turn it to LOW setting.  Let the turkey stock cook like that on LOW all day, but if you can, try to leave it for a full 24 hours… the longer the better.  Don’t peek!  Every time you lift the lid it takes a long time to get simmering again.

After you’ve let it simmer in the crock pot for as long as possible, cool a little and dig out as many bones and stuff as possible with a slotted spoon.  Then lift out the crock pot insert and pour through a strainer or colander into a clean soup pot.  Discard everything you strained out.

If you’re saving the stock for another day, cool the stock quickly by putting the strained stock in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.  It can then be moved to the refrigerator.

When you’re ready to make your soup, strain off any fat that may have gathered on top.  Using a big soup pot, bring the stock back up to a boil slowly, then turn down to a nice even simmer and add your soup ingredients.  I suggest:

  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup pasta
  • 1 to 2 cups chopped leftover cooked turkey
  • salt and pepper

Simmer for about 15 minutes. Now taste for salt and pepper and add what you like.  Add about 1 cup of pasta if you like now and let simmer until the pasta is just getting tender.  Then add some diced turkey and keep simmering until the turkey is hot and the pasta is cooked thoroughly.  This crock pot turkey stock recipe will make about 3 or 4 quarts of soup and will freeze very well.

Ready to learn more about crockpot cooking? Get my Crockpot Cooking Made Simple ebook today and find out how you can work this into your meal plan, how to choose a good crockpot and most importantly how to convert your favorite recipes to work in a slow cooker.

Leftover Turkey Crockpot Recipes

After we’ve eaten about as much turkey as we can handle around Thanksgiving and Christmas, I like to freeze the rest of the meat and use it in various crockpot recipes during the cold winter months.

I often buy an extra turkey or two right after Thanksgiving when stores mark them down. I just stick them in the oven and cook them while I’m busy around the house. Once the turkey had a chance to cool, I set some of the meat aside for dinner that night, then remove the rest and chop it up for freezer meals. The remaining turkey carcass can be used to make turkey stock. The finished stock will last about 5 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer and it can be used instead of chicken stock or chicken broth in any recipe.

Crockpot Here are some of my favorite leftover turkey crockpot recipes. All of them are quick and easy to put together and practically cook themselves. Start them in the morning and come home to a hot, home-cooked meal at night.

Let’s start with one of my family’s favorites – chili. It is such a nice change from the traditional turkey dinner flavor. By day three we are usually tired of that and this chili is just perfect. I make a large batch and freeze any leftovers. You can also make this turkey chili with regular ground turkey.

Crockpot Turkey Chili

Then of course there’s the always popular turkey and rice soup. We usually have some of that the day after Thanksgiving. I make the stock (see note above) that night or first thing in the morning and then use it to cook this soup in the slow cooker.

Crockpot Turkey and Rice Soup

Or if you prefer, take a look at this turkey and noodle soup. It’s also delicious as a chicken and noodle soup when you don’t have leftover turkey to work with.

Easy Crockpot Turkey Noodle Soup

Last but not least, there are hot turkey sandwiches. They are just so much yummier than the plain old turkey and mayo ones. Give them a try and see  if you don’t fall in love with this cheesy version as well.

Hot Turkey Sandwiches from the Crockpot

I’m sure there are plenty more crockpot recipes that use leftover turkey. Feel free to post yours as a comment below. I have two more turkeys sitting in my freezer and will have plenty of cooked turkey meat to go around. Can’t wait to try out some new recipes.