Easy Slow-Cooker Cheesy Potato Soup

Easy Slow-Cooker Cheesy Potato Soup

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Photo Credit: Betty Crocker

You can’t get any easier than this recipe.  You don’t even have to chop potatoes… or onion!  What makes this recipe so great is the leftovers may just taste even better than the first time.  Oh, and it has bacon… who doesn’t like bacon???  I modified Betty Crocker‘s recipe to create this simple set-it-and-forget-it soup recipe.  Check out the original here!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 bag (32 oz) frozen southern-style diced hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 1/2 cup frozen chopped onion (from 12-oz bag), thawed
  • 1 medium stalk celery, diced (1/2 cup)
  • 1 carton (32-oz) chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 bag (8 oz) shredded American-Cheddar cheese blend (2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled bacon (more or less according to taste)
  • 4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)

Directions

  1. In slow cooker, mix potatoes, onion, celery, broth and water.

  2. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 6 to 8 hours.
  3. In small bowl, mix flour into milk; stir into potato mixture. Increase heat setting to High. Cover; cook 20 to 30 minutes or until mixture thickens. Stir in cheese until melted. Garnish individual servings with bacon and green onions. Sprinkle with pepper if desired.

This is a recipe I typically make when I don’t know what to make or when I have nothing in the house to put together for a meal.  I don’t typically keep celery on hand, so if I happen to not have any on hand, I simply omit it.  I also don’t typically have an American-Cheddar blend cheese in the fridge, so I use whatever we happen to have.  Colby-Jack and mild Cheddar have been favorites of mine in this recipe.  I also omit green onion if I don’t have it.

Wait for a crisp, fall day and fill up on this one!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip

No details needed for this on.  Yum.  Just yum.  I found this recipe from A ‘lil Country Sugar-check out the original recipe here!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Ranch dressing (I like to use Buttermilk Ranch, but traditional Ranch and Blue Cheese work well!)
  • 1/2 cup Buffalo sauce (I love Sweet Baby Ray’s)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2-10 oz cans chicken
  • Tortilla chips, celery, or carrots (for serving)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Mix all ingredients in an oven safe baking dish.
  3. Heat in oven 15-20 minutes or until warmed throughout.
  4. Stir and serve with tortilla chips, celery, or carrots.
Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork

pulled pork
Photo Credit: psychedilemma, allrecipes

I love pulled pork, but never really knew how to make tender pulled pork in the crock pot.  I always used pork tenderloin, which never yielded good results.  I mentioned this to my mom one day and she said “oh!  You need a shoulder butt!”.  Never knew that was a thing.  Well, it is a thing… and it makes for awesome pulled pork!  They had them on sale this week, so… pulled pork all around!  It made for a hearty meal everyone loved.  It cooked all day and was ready for dinner with minimal prep beforehand.  Thumbs up for a weeknight meal.

I found this recipe on allrecipes and I think it made for a pretty good flavor for the pulled pork.  Check out the original recipe on allrecipes!

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 (4 pound) pork shoulder roast
  • 1 cup barbeque sauce
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 extra large onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 8 hamburger buns, for serving
  • slaw, for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. Pour the vegetable oil into the bottom of a slow cooker. Place the pork roast into the slow cooker; pour in the barbecue sauce, apple cider vinegar, and chicken broth. Stir in the brown sugar, yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, onion, garlic, and thyme. Cover and cook on High until the roast shreds easily with a fork, 5 to 6 hours.
  2. Remove the roast from the slow cooker, and shred the meat using two forks. Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker, and stir the meat into the juices.
  3. Spread the inside of both halves of hamburger buns with butter. Toast the buns, butter side down, in a skillet over medium heat until golden brown. Spoon pork and slaw onto the toasted buns.
I skipped the toasted buns part… ain’t nobody got time for that.  I did, however, add slaw to the ingredient list because I love slaw with my pulled pork!
Caramelized Baked Chicken Legs (Slow Cooker Option!)

Caramelized Baked Chicken Legs (Slow Cooker Option!)

Caramelized chicken legs honey soy sauce baked easy edited
Photo Credit: Bless This Mess.

These chicken legs are absolutely amazing.  They’re sweet, savory, juicy, and tender.  Heck, even my four-year-old says “you make the best chicken, mom!” when I make these for dinner.  I love making them on a weeknight because I can sit out all of the ingredients the night before, mix the sauce, pour it over the chicken, and BOOM-delicious protein with very little prep.  Our oldest loves to do the “ingredients” when I cook, so he usually adds all of the ingredients of the sauce to the bowl, mixes it all up (or “mixa mixa mixa” if you’re privy to Danielle Tiger… if you are, I’m sorry :/), then I add the mixture to the chicken.  I got this recipe from Bless This Mess.-check out the original recipe here!

There is even a slow cooker option for these chicken legs.  I typically prefer chicken legs in the oven because they get a little crispier, but since these are in a sauce anyway it makes for a great slow cooker recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs chicken legs
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Oven Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lay the chicken legs out and give them a good sprinkling of salt and pepper on both sides. Put them in a foil-lined baking dish with high sides (the foil is to make clean up easier – it’s not essential). A high-sided sheet pan is the best option because it has sides to keep everything in, but it is big enough that the chicken isn’t drowning in the sauce. It will caramelize best if half of the chicken is poking out of the sauce while cooking.
  2. In a glass measuring cup measure out the honey, soy sauce, and ketchup. Add the minced garlic and stir. If the mixture doesn’t combine well, microwave it on high for thirty seconds and stir again. Pour the honey mixture over the chicken legs.
  3. Put the chicken legs in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Take the chicken out of the oven and rotate it so that the bottom that was in the sauce is now on the top out of the sauce. Put the legs back in the oven. Raise the heat to 425 degrees and bake until the sauce is bubbly and starts to caramelize on the chicken legs. This should take about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Slow Cooker Directions

  1. Place all of the chicken legs in the bottom of a slow cooker. Pour the sauce over the chicken legs. Slow cook on low for 6 hour or on high for 4 hours, until the largest piece of chicken registers 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer.

Enjoy!  Be sure to check out Bless This Mess. for more awesome recipe ideas!

Reuben Crescent Bake

Reuben Crescent Bake

reubenReuben.  ‘Nuff said.  This Reuben dish feeds an entire family and combines all of the favorite ingredients of a Reuben with a crescent dough.  Now, if I’m being honest, I’ll have to say that the rye bread makes the sandwich, because it does.  But, on a busy weeknight this meal is a great option!  I have adapted the recipe (larger quantity mainly) from this one found here at allrecipes.  Check it out if you’d like to see the original!

Ingredients

  • 2 rolls Pillsbury crescent dough (8 oz)
  • 1 1/4 lb corned beef deli meat (I prefer it to be sliced thick, but any thickness will do!)
  •  16 (at least) slices of Swiss or baby Swiss cheese
  • 2/3 cup Thousand Island Dressing
  • 1 1/2 cups sauerkraut, drained and squeezed dry
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • caraway seeds (according to taste)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease a 9″x13″ glass baking dish.
  2. Mix together the sauerkraut and Thousand Island Dressing until well combined.  Unroll the crescent roll dough into the bottom of the greased baking pan.
  3. Bake the dough crust in the baking dish until lightly browned, 8 – 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and place slices of cheese in a single layer on top of the baked dough.  Top the slices of cheese with a layer (or two) of the corned beef.  Next, layer the sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing mixture on top of the corned beef.  Add another layer of Swiss cheese.  Lay the second sheet of crescent dough over the Swiss cheese.  Brush the top of the dough with beaten egg white and sprinkle with the desired amount of caraway seeds.
  4. Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown, 15-20 minutes.  Let stand 5 minutes prior to serving.

Enjoy!

Easy Baked Ziti

Easy Baked Ziti

I love pasta.  I mean, I really LOVE pasta. So, this recipe is one of my favorites-pasta, cheese, and Italian sausage… what’s not to love?!

Ingredients

  • 16 oz small pasta (I use whole wheat)
  • 1 lb mild ground Italian sausage
  • 1 package fresh baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 24 oz (+) jar pasta sauce (I use tomato basil)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Basil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions and brown Italian sausage until fully cooked.
  3. Once pasta is cooked and sausage is browned, mix jar of sauce (I used a little more than one jar to make sure the ziti didn’t dry out while baking), mushrooms, and sausage into pasta.
  4. Add half of the pasta mixture to a 9″x13″ baking dish.  Top with half of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and half of the fresh basil.
  5. Add remaining pasta mixture to top of cheese and basil.
  6. Add remaining mozzarella to pasta mixture and bake in oven 20-25 minutes until heated through.
  7. Add remaining Parmesan cheese and fresh basil to baked pasta and serve immediately.

I love this recipe because I can layer all of the ingredients in a baking pan, pop it in the fridge (or even freezer!) to be baked later.  It’s a hearty meal that feeds several people easily.  You can customize it however you like by using chicken instead of sausage or going meatless.  You can also leave out the mushrooms or basil for picky eaters.  This makes a great weeknight meal!

Pizzadillas

Pizzadillas

I have to give credit where credit is due on this one… thanks, Mom!  This recipe is quick, easy, and pleases even the pickiest of eaters.  As long as you have tortillas and cheese in the house, I guarantee you have any other ingredients you will need to make this easy recipe.

Ingredients

  • Flour tortillas (I like the large burrito size)
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Pizza toppings.  Here are some of our favorites
    • turkey pepperoni (makes for a less greasy and easier to eat pizzadilla, but traditional pepperoni works just fine, too!)
    • diced ham
    • shredded or diced chicken
    • mushrooms
    • black olives
    • fresh spinach
    • diced bell pepper
    • diced onion

Directions

  1. Heat a large skillet on medium heat and spray non-stick spray in the skillet evenly.
  2. Add toppings such as cheese, meat, and vegetables to half of a tortilla and fold over.
  3. Heat the pizzadilla with toppings inside in skillet until partially melted and lightly browned on the bottom.
  4. Flip pizzadilla and brown other side.
  5. Cut into even triangles using pizza cutter or knife.
  6. Serve with pizza sauce or pasta sauce of choice.

The best part of this recipe is that you can use anything you have on hand.  Picky eaters?  No problem!  They can have whatever their hearts desire in their pizzadilla!