A slow cooker can really come in handy as you can have a delicious meal waiting for you when you get home at the end of a long day, eliminating the temptation to order take-out, which often isn’t the most nutritious, not to mention being pricey.
According to Food & Wine magazine, more than 80 percent of households have one, and if yours is stashed away in the back of a kitchen cabinet somewhere, it’s time to get it out and use it to make these easy foods.
Corn Chowder with a Twist
Simmered all day in a slow cooker, this corn chowder recipe practically cooks itself, featuring fresh veggies, tender potato chunks, smoky bacon, and a creamy corn base garnished with bacon jam for a delicious twist. Served with crusty bread, it’s sure to be a hit. While it includes a long list of ingredients, you won’t need to do much more than chop your veggies and toss everything into the cooker.
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- ½ large onion, chopped
- 4 potatoes, chopped
- 1 10-oz bag of frozen corn
- 2 16-oz cans of creamed corn
- 4 cups chicken broth
- ½ pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
- ½ tsp thyme
- ½ tp dried parsley
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- 1 12-oz can evaporated milk
- 2 T cornstarch
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Bacon jam (dollop for each bowl served)
- Add everything except the evaporated milk, cornstarch, and bacon jam to the slow cooker.
- Add just enjoy water to cover the ingredients.
- Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or until vegetables are soft and tender.
- Combine evaporated milk and cornstarch and then stir into the slow cooker about 30 minutes before serving.
- Add salt and pepper as needed, to taste.
- When serving, add a dollop of bacon jam to the center of the chowder.
Slow Cooker Carnitas
This recipe is ideal for a crowd and perfect any time you’re craving the tasty flavor of carnitas. All you need is a boneless pork shoulder (boneless makes for much easier shredding), dried herbs and spices like oregano, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper, garlic cloves, orange and lime juice. Mix up your spices before rubbing them over the pork shoulder and adding the garlic, lime and orange juices. That’s all there is to it. Now cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, and the meat will fall apart, making it super easy to shred.
Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs
When made in a slow cooker, ribs will be fall-off-the-bone tender, and there’s no need to get out the grill unless you want to. Choose baby back ribs, and you’ll get a thicker layer of meat, and be sure to season well on all sides for the best flavor.
- 4 tsp chili powder
- 2 T brown sugar, packed
- 3 tsp seasoning salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 3 to 4 lbs of pork ribs
- ½ cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
Combine everything but the ribs and BBQ sauce in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture over both sides of whole ribs, or ribs cut into four sections. Lightly grease your slow cooker, lining the sections of ribs around the edges with the meat against the sides. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Remove and brush with BBQ sauce, then broil for a few minutes or place them on a grill for 5 to 6 minutes, until the sauce has slightly caramelized.
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