Slow Cooker Pinto Beans

Do you like the idea of cooking dried beans from scratch, but don’t think you have time to stir the pots for hours and hours?

I have a great solution for you. Cook your beans in your slowcooker.

Yes, it takes a little planning ahead, but you’ll come home to a nice big pot of cooked beans. I serve this with my favorite cornbread and some chopped onion.

From the “Thrifty Bean Cookbook” (Kindle Cookbook)

Pinto Beans From the Slowcooker
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. dry pinto beans
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ lb. ham hocks
  • ½ tsp. oregano, dried
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • House Seasoning:
  • ¼ cup garlic powder
  • 1 cup salt
  • ¼ cup pepper
Instructions
  1. Soak the beans in cold water overnight. Drain and dump into a slow cooker. Add the oregano and chili powder and stir to mix.
  2. In a separate pot, soak the ham hock for 2 hours. (You can also soak, refrigerated, overnight if you wish). Add to the slow cooker and add the liquid from soaking the ham. If the ham hock is not fully covered, add more water. Now add the onion and stir well.
  3. Now make the house dressing by mixing together the garlic powder, salt and pepper. Use this seasoning to season the beans.
  4. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for about 5 hours or until beans are very tender.

 

Pinto Beans cooked in a slowcooker and served with a side of cornbread.

Irish Brisket Crockpot Meal

This is a traditional good luck meal that is served on St. Patrick’s Day. This version of an old favorite makes quick work of a delicious meal. If you want to make it for a larger group just double your ingredients and use a 5 or 6 qt. slow cooker.

This is perfect for a busy St. Patrick’s Day. Put everything in your crockpot in the morning before you head out for parades and festivals. By the time you’re back home, the meal will be ready to eat and the house will smell wonderful. I love this one pot meal and leftovers are great reheated the next day.

Irish Brisket Crockpot Meal
 
Ingredients
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 carrots, diced into chunks
  • 2 white potatoes, quartered
  • 1 (1 lb.) corned beef brisket with spice packet
  • ⅓ C apple juice, unsweetened
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • ½ t orange peel, grated
  • ½ t mustard
  • 1 cabbage, wedged
Instructions
  1. Place the onion into the bottom of a 3 qt. size slow cooker.
  2. Place the carrots and then the potatoes over the onion.
  3. Lay the brisket over the top of the vegetables.
  4. Pour the apple juice into a separate bowl.
  5. Add the cloves, brown sugar, orange peel, mustard and spice packet.
  6. Whisk until the ingredients are completely combined.
  7. Pour the mixture over the brisket in the slow cooker.
  8. Cover and cook on high 4 hours.
  9. Add the cabbage wedges to the slow cooker.
  10. Recover and continue cooking 30 minutes or until the meat and vegetables are tender.
  11. Remove the cloves before serving.

 

Irish Brisket Crockpot Meal

How to Make a Quick and Delicious Casserole in Your Crockpot

Most casserole dishes are made in the oven in a piece of bakeware made for creating casseroles. But did you know you can also make casseroles in your crockpot? Here is a simple and delicious recipe that I have been using for years! Quick and delicious casseroles in your crockpot will not only cut down on your time in the kitchen, but it will also help save you money in the process.

 Things You’ll Need

  • 6 thick slices of cooked ham
  • 8 washed and sliced potatoes
  • 1 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • Crock Pot

Instructions

Place two slices of ham on the bottom of the Crock Pot. Add a single layer of potatoes and a single layer of onions, and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.

Add another two slices of ham, a layer of potatoes, a layer of onions and another 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.

Add the remaining ham, potatoes and onions to the Crock Pot.

Pour the soup over the top of the ingredients. Add the rest of the cheese.

Cover the Crock Pot. Cook on high heat for four hours or on low heat for seven hours.

For more delicious crockpot recipes get a copy of my Crockpot Cooking Made Simple cookbook here.

Getting ready to cook a casserole in the slowcooker

Slow Cooker Collard Greens

Down here we traditionally eat ham, collard greens and back-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. This year I’m going to make my collard greens in the slow cooker and thought I’d share the recipe with you. Just get them started around lunch time and by dinner they will be delicious and tender. Flavor and texture is the main reason I started cooking my greens in the slow cooker. Because of the large volume of the raw greens, I saute them in my largest pot first to give them a chance to shrink down a bit before adding them to the crockpot.

Crockpot Collards
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • leftover ham / ham bone
  • 5 lb collard greens
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • dash of black pepper
  • dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
Instructions
  1. Start by prepping your collard greens. Pull the leaves from the stems. Discard the stems. I like to add them along with any other raw veggie pieces to a freezer bag and use them down the road to make broth. Tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Wash and dry the collard greens.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion has softened. I find it helps to add a dash of salt to the onion mixture.
  4. Increase the heat and add the chicken broth. Bring the mixture to the boil, then start adding your greens. Add as many as will comfortably fit, allow them to wilt down, then add more.
  5. Add the ham bone or leftover ham pieces to the bottom of the slowcooker. Pour the collard mixture on top. Add the vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper and stir to combine.
  6. Cover and cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.

 

Collard greens

 

Baking in Your Slow Cooker

Many people don’t realize they can actually bake in their slow cooker. In fact, some recipes make baking in your slow cooker easier than baking in an oven. Also on the plus side, slow cooker baking uses less energy.

Here are some recipes and ideas for baking in your slow cooker.

1. Whole Wheat Bread

Yes, you can bake bread in your slow cooker! It avoids a hot kitchen for one thing, and also uses so much less energy than heating up the large oven for just one loaf. Here’s how to make a 12-serving loaf.

First, you’ll need a deep metal bowl or even a 1-lb coffee can that fits into your slow cooker. Grease the bowl well. Then, turn your empty slow cooker on High to preheat (cover on).

In a small bowl, dissolve 1 tablespoon yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Let it sit while you combine in a bowl:

* 1 cup warm milk or buttermilk
* 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
* 2 tablespoons oil
* 2 tablespoons honey
* 1 egg
* 1/4 cup wheat germ

Mix these together, then add:

* 3 cups whole wheat flour

Knead dough until smooth and elastic – about 10 minutes. Place dough in the greased metal bowl or coffee can, and cover loosely with aluminum foil. In your preheated slow cooker, pour 1/2 cup of water and place a trivet in the bottom. If you don’t have a trivet, you can use crumbled foil. Set the bowl or can on the trivet or foil, cover the slow cooker, and bake for 3 hours. The top of your bread may or may not brown, but it will taste good!

Variation: replace 1/4 cup flour with 1/2 cup rolled oats; add oats into milk mixture.

2. Apple Cake

This serves 8 to 10, and you’ll need a bread or cake pan that fits in your slow cooker.Baking in The Crockpot

In a bowl, beat:

* 2 cups sugar
* 1 cup oil
* 2 eggs
* 2 teaspoons vanilla

Then stir in:

* 2 cups peeled, chopped apples

Sift together:

* 2 cups flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Add these dry ingredients to the apple mixture along with 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional). Stir well and pour into the greased and floured bread pan you chose. Grease a piece of tin foil and place over the top of the pan; place pan into slow cooker, cover, and bake on High 3 to 4 hours.

Let stand 5 minutes before you take the pan out of the slow cooker. Turn cake out onto a rack and allow to cool; then slice.

3. Chocolate Fudge Cake

Here’s a cake that you don’t need a separate bowl for – you bake it right in the crock of the slow cooker.

In a bowl, mix together:

* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1 cup flour
* 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt

Stir in:

* 1/2 cup milk
* 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
* 1 teaspoon vanilla

Spread this mixture over the bottom of your slow cooker. Then, mix together:

* 3/4 cup brown sugar
* 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Sprinkle this over the batter in the slow cooker. Next, boil 1 3/4 cups water and pour over the batter. Don’t stir; just cover and cook on High 2 to 3 hours. A toothpick inserted will come out clean when it’s done.

Crockpot Chicken Corn Chowder

I’ll admit it… I love a nice bowl of homemade chowder. There’s just something about the richness and creaminess that’s hard to beat. The problem for me up until now has been that it takes some time to make and that I always feel guilty about all those calories. Well… consider the problem solved with this slow cooker version of Chicken Corn Chowder. It’s easy to make and good for you. Make up a batch, grab a big bowl of it and dig in.

Chicken Corn Chowder From The Slow Cooker
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Ingredients
  • ½ cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • ⅛ tsp. white pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 potato, peeled and cubed
  • ½ lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" pieces
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans creamed corn
  • ¼ cup dried potato flakes
Instructions
  1. Pour everything except the potato flakes in your crockpot. Cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. Check your potatoes and make sure they are tender. The chicken should also be cooked all the way through.
  2. Turn your crockpot to high and add the potato flakes. Stir them in well (you don’t want clumps) and cook uncovered for a few minutes. Serve with a chunk of hardy bread or a side salad.

Need more Chowder? Give this plain Corn Chowder recipe a try.

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.

Hawaiian Chicken Recipe – Crockpot

This is the recipe that turned me into a crockpot fan. Before I tried this Hawaiian Chicken recipe, my crockpot was hanging out in the very back of one of my kitchen cabinets. I just didn’t know what to do with it until I happened to come across this recipe. I can’t remember if it was in a magazine, cookbook or online (probably not online since it’s been quite some time). I used to make it quite a bit and it was always a big hit with my husband but somehow I had forgotten about it until it just popped in my head today and I mentioned it in the newsletter. Shortly after someone asked me if I could share the recipe. I dug through files and cookbooks and finally found my handwritten note with “Hawaiian Chicken Recipe – Crockpot” scribbled across the top…. so here it is:

Hawaiian Chicken - Crockpot Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 can pineapple chunks, drained
  • 1 can mandarin oranges, drained
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Instructions
  1. Cut the chicken into large bite-sized chunks. Put everything into your crockpot and stir it around until everything is mixed up. Cover it and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5 to 6 hours.

 

 

Bowl of Hawaiian Chicken

I like to serve this Hawaiian chicken over white rice. Fix a simple salad to add on the side and dinner is done.

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.

http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/ebooks/crockpotcooking.htm

Crockpot Cornbread Dressing

Here’s another one of my crockpot dressing recipes. My husband prefers this cornbread version. I usually make the cornbread the night before and leave it sitting on the kitchen counter covered with a clean tea cloth.

  • cornbread
  • 8 slices day old bread, toasted and cubed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 med. onion
  • 1/2 c. chopped celery
  • 1 to 2 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 2 tbsp. butter or margarine

Grease slow cooker. Crumble cornbread into a large mixing bowl. Add all ingredients except the butter. Pour dressing mixture into the slow cooker and dot with butter. Cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 hours.

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.

http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/ebooks/crockpotcooking.htm

Crockpot Stuffing Recipe

My biggest challenge on Thanksgiving has always been getting my stuffing or dressing done before the turkey got cold. I don’t like to cook it in the bird, but cooking it in the oven takes quite some time and since I have only one, it’s always been a bit tough to time things right. For the past few years, I’ve been making it in the crockpot instead. Here’s the recipe.

  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup parsley sprigs
  • 12 cups bread cubes, slightly dry
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sage
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth or turkey broth

Melt butter in a skillet and saute onion and celery until they are tender. The onion will start to turn translucent. Add the parsley and pour the mixture over the bread cubes. I put the bread cubes in a large mixing bowl first. Add the seasonings and stir well. Add the broth and eggs and mix until everything is well combined. Scoop it into the crockpot and cook on high for 50 minutes, then turn to low and cook 4 hours.

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.

http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/ebooks/crockpotcooking.htm

Crockpot Red Beans And Rice

  • 1 cup dried red beans
  • 4 cups water, (or more if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco pepper sauce
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (or 1/4 cup onion flakes)
  • 1 finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic (or a good dash of garlic powder)
  • 1/2 pound spicy smoked sausage, sliced
  • 2 cups diced ham
  • salt and pepper to taste

Sort through your beans and add them to your crock pot along with the water. Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or until the beans are tender. If you prefer, you can also cook the beans on low overnight. Just increase the water to 5 cups.

Add the seasonings, vegetables and meat. Cook on low for another 4 hours or on high for 2 hours. You may need to add a little more water if the mixture gets to thick.

Serve with cooked white rice.

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.

http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/ebooks/crockpotcooking.htm

Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese

3 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
3 Tbl. butter
8 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 ¼ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 cup milk
½ cup heavy cream
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper

Start by cooking the pasta in boiling, salted water for 5 minutes. Drain it well and add the macaroni to your crock pot.
Put everything else in and stir. Cook on high for about 3 hours, stiring your mac and cheese every 30 minutes.

This crock pot marcaroni and cheese dish is perfect for potlucks or big holiday meals.

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.

http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/ebooks/crockpotcooking.htm

Easy Crockpot Beef Stew

There is nothing better on a cold day than a cup of homemade beef stew and a big hunk of homemade bread or a biscuit. My favorite way to cook my beef stew is in the crockpot. It can slowly simmer away all day while I go about my busy day. At dinner time the veggies are tender and the stew meat just melts in your mouth. Yum!

  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • Small bag of baby carrots
  • 1 lg. onion, chopped
  • 2 lbs. stew beef
  • ½ c. soy sauce
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ¾ c. flour
  • 1 cup CONDENSED beef broth
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce

Add the potato, carrots, onion and beef into the bottom of the crockpot. Mix the soy sauce, spices and flour. Add the broth and tomato sauce and whisk with a fork until everything is well combined. Pour it over the meat and vaggies and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours. If you are in a hurry, you can cook it on high for about 4 hours.

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.

http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/ebooks/crockpotcooking.htm