As the dog days of summer bear down on us, I find myself trading the grill for the crock pot more nights than not. I put my slow cooker in the laundry room so I don't heat up the kitchen - and so the tantalizing aromas don't make my tummy rumble all day when I'm trying to get things done around the house!
A good slow cooked meal is great for busy days, work lunches, meal prep, and keeping my food budget down. Whether you're working from home, away from home more than usual, or packing lunches for work or school, I think you'll really enjoy some of these recipes.
1. Two Ingredient Tex-Mex Chicken
Serve this one to your friends and relatives - they'll never guess something so delicious was so easy!
4 large chicken breasts or thighs, or one quartered chicken
1 jar Fredericksburg Farms Salsa of your choice
Place chicken in slow cooker. If things tend to stick, you can apply oil or nonstick cooking spray first.
Open your jar of salsa and pour it over the chicken.
Turn the slow cooker on high, put the lid on, and cook for 3-4 hours. On low, cook 7-9 hours. The chicken should reach an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Serve 1/2 breast or thigh over Spanish rice with a dollop of sour cream.
Add salt, beans, corn, cilantro, diced onion, shredded cheese, and hot sauce as you like!
Got leftovers? Shred the chicken and use to fill tacos, enchiladas, or tamales.
This recipe works great with Bar-B-Q Sauce or Grilling Glaze instead of salsa!
2. Span-ish Rice
This is not authentic, old family, spent-all-day-on-it Spanish rice, but it's approximately 95% as tasty and takes 5 minutes to put together. Save the fancy recipe for special occasions and use this one for weeknights!
Apply a generous amount of oil, butter, or non-stick cooking spray to the inside of your slow cooker.
Mix all ingredients together and add to slow cooker.
Cook on high with the lid on for 2.5-3 hours.
Serve with our "2 Ingredient Tex-Mex Chicken" recipe above.
Replace the chicken broth with veggie stock or your favorite tomato-veggie juice for a vegetarian friendly recipe.
Add veggies (we recommend corn, tomatoes, and bell peppers) for the last half hour of cooking to make a more complete meal.
3. Three Ingredient Carrots
A side dish equal parts easy and delicious, with enough flavor to entice even reluctant veggie eaters.
6 large carrots, julienned or cut into sticks
1/2 cup Fredericksburg Farms Ginger Chipotle Grilling Glaze
1/2 cup chicken broth
Place carrots in the bottom of your slow cooker.
Mix broth & glaze together, then pour over the carrots. This should leave a shallow pool of liquid across the entire bottom of the dish- if the liquid level seems low, you can add more broth/glaze mix.
Cook on medium for 1-3 hours, until the carrots are as done as you like them.
Replace the chicken broth with veggie broth for vegetarians.
Replace the chicken broth with apple juice to make the recipe sweeter.
Replace the chicken broth with rice wine for a bright, complex flavor.
Replace Ginger Chipotle Grilling Glaze with Orange Chipotle or Honey Red Grilling Glazes.
Add extra broth/glaze mix when you start cooking. Remove carrots when they're done. Mix 1/2 tsp of corn or potato starch with just enough water to make a slurry; add the slurry to the crock pot and stir. After a couple of minutes, the glaze/broth mixture will have thickened into a tasty, sticky sauce.
4. Slow Cooker Texas Chili
Chilli is a Texas classic, generally associated with the cooler months. With this recipe, you can enjoy it year-round with the cool convenience of your slow cooker!
1 package Fredericksburg Farms Texas Trail Drive Chili Mix
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 small to medium white onion, diced
1 jar Watershed Ranch Roasted Chipotle Salsa
12oz beef broth (use the salsa jar to measure!)
Optional: cook the onion with a dash of oil in a cast iron skillet. I recommend browning it, but anywhere from translucent to fully blackened is fine. Once the onion is done, put the meat in the skillet and brown it too.
Add meat, onions, and chili mix to slow cooker, mix until the powder is evenly distributed.
Add wet ingredients and mix well.
Cook on low for 8 hours.
Top with shredded cheese, fresh diced onions, green onions, hot sauce, sour cream, and salt to taste.
If the chili seems too dry at any point, add broth or water.
If it's too soupy when it's time to serve, dice up a corn tortilla, mix it in, and wait 10 minutes for the masa to thicken your chili.
Feel free to add a can of beans, but don't tell anybody we said that it's okay!
Serve leftover chili on grits for a hearty breakfast that's as Texan as it gets.
5. Hot Crabmeat Dip
Have you ever had an appetizer so good, your first thought is "wow, I wish I could just have this for dinner instead".
Well, here's your chance!
8 ounces regular lump crabmeat
8 oz package cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup Fredericksburg Farms Watershed Ranch Roasted Chipotle Salsa
Carefully pick through the crabmeat to remove any bits of shell or cartilage.
Add all ingredients to your crock pot and turn it on to medium power. Cover.
Stir every 5 minutes until all the cream cheese has melted and dip is smooth and spreadable.
Turn the crock pot on low to keep the dip warm for serving.
Top with toasted almonds and paprika for a nutty, smokey crunch.
Brush thinly sliced baguettes lightly with melted butter or olive oil and bake at a low temperature until they turn into the perfect crunchy dipping toasts.
Go all-out and use garlic bread or garlic knots as your dipper!
6. Bubba's Meatball Sandwich
If a meatball sandwich, a burger, and good old fashioned barbecue all had a baby together, this would be that baby*.
*Fredericksburg Farms does not typically condone eating babies, but will make this delicious exception
2lbs lean ground beef
1/2 package Fredericksburg Farms Chuck Wagon Steak Seasoning
1 bottle Fredericksburg Farms South Texas Mesquite Bar-B-Q Sauce
Your favorite sandwich rolls (4-8, depending on size)
Remove ground beef & eggs from fridge, and allow them to warm for 20-40 minutes to make them easier to handle.
Combine beef, eggs, and steak seasoning; mix well.
Form beef mixture into 1.5 inch balls and place into slow cooker. (if things tend to stick, you might want to use cooking spray or butter)
Cover the balls with the South Texas Mesquite Bar-B-Q Sauce. Depending on the size of your slow cooker, this may not take the whole bottle.
Cook on high for 1.5-2 hours, or until the interior of the meatballs has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Toast your sandwich rolls slightly, if desired, then make your meatball sandwich!
Top with sliced onions, pickled cucumbers or peppers, cheese, fresh tomato, and lettuce as you like.
Roll biscuit dough into mini pizza crusts and top with cooked meatballs, sauce, and cheese for bubba-Q beef pizza! I recommend cooking the crusts fully first, then topping, then putting back in the oven for a moment to melt the cheese.
If your ground beef isn't too lean, cook your meatballs for at least 30 mins without the sauce, then spoon away all the rendered fat and add the barbecue sauce then.
7. Easy Beef Hash
Any steak-and-potatoes guy will be thrilled by this weeknight supper. The crock pot makes it easy on the cook, and the European flavors make it special.
2 lbs corned beef, cubed
5 medium white or red potatoes, cubed
1 white or yellow onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
5 celery stalks, chopped
1 package Fredericksburg Farms Herbes de Provence Bread Dipping Mix
3/4 cup beef stock
2 Tbs butter
Put all but the final 3 ingredients in your slow cooker, already chopped.
Melt the butter into the stock and add the herb mix.
Pour stock mixture into the crock pot and mix well.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 4-5.
The meat in this dish is very flexible. Corned beef is traditional, but I'm fond of the rich flavor in shoulder roast. Lamb or veal are tasty, but you should compensate with extra butter. Mutton, goat, and venison are all good picks, but be sure to cook on low for a long period of time to let them tenderize completely.
Replace the beef stock with red wine for an elegant twist. I highly recommend this for venison!
Add or replace vegetables as you like: celeriac, peas, green beans, mushrooms, and parsnips are excellent traditional choices. Bell pepper, beans, sweet potatoes, and tender squash add new world flair.
8. Peachy French Toast Casserole
Make this up the night before for an easy & tasty brunch that feeds a crowd.
12 slices of bread
1 cup milk
1 jar Fredericksburg Farms Homemade Peach Preserves
Use butter or nonstick cooking spray to prep your slow cooker.
Mix milk, eggs, and Homemade Peach Preserves together in a pitcher or bowl with pour spout.
Put a layer of bread over the bottom of the crock pot.
Pour the milk mixture over the bread until it's saturated.
Repeat previous two steps until you run out of bread; pour any excess liquid over the top.
Cook for 6-8 hours on low, or until eggs are set. (if the mixture still has a lot of liquid towards the end, remove the lid to allow it to evaporate off)
Season with salt, black pepper, vanilla, cayenne, cinnamon, and nutmeg to taste - or pour some Peach Pecan Amaretto Syrup over the top!
Add slices of ham luncheon meat for a savory, salty contrast.
Use a fruit, nut, or spice bread for a twist.
Take a walk on the wild side and replace Homemade Peach Preserves with our Jalapeacheno Jelly - or just skip straight to Jalapeno Jelly.
Alternately, try Homemade Strawberry Preserves or Mustang Grape Jelly if peaches aren't your thing.
9. Spaghetti Squash & Lamb Meatballs
Healthy, elegant, and all done in a slow cooker? Yes please!
1 small-to-medium spaghetti squash, depending on the size of your slow cooker
1 lb ground lamb (or turkey)
1 package Fredericksburg Farms Citrus Garlic Bread Dipping Mix
1 lemon, juiced
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (or chicken)
Wash and scrub your spaghetti squash thoroughly; remove stem.
Halve your spaghetti squash (short ways usually works better) and put it in the slow cooker. If it won't fit, keep halving it until it does. Position it with the skin side up and the flesh down to absorb the juices and flavor.
Combine broth, lemon juice, and half the package of Citrus Garlic Mix; pour into slow cooker.
Combine the other half of the Citrus Garlic mix, the egg, and the ground lamb; form the mixture into 1 inch meatballs.
Place the meatballs in the slow cooker, as much into the liquid as possible.
Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 6 to 7. The internal temperature of the meatballs should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove the spaghetti squash chunks once fully cooked. Use tongs or a fork to pull the flesh away from the rind and return it to the slow cooker for a few minutes to absorb more of the broth mixture.
Add a pat of butter or drizzle of olive oil when serving if your meat is very lean.
Serve with tzatziki sauce or aioli for creaminess and extra flavor.
9. Fiesta Quinoa
A meal unto itself, this Quinoa also makes a pretty killer side dish.
1 cup quinoa
1 jar Fredericksburg Farms Rio Grande Black Bean & Corn Salsa
1 package Fredericksburg Farms Green Chile Ole Dip
1 can black beans, drained
1 can chili beans
1 can corn, drained
1 bell pepper, diced (any color)
1 medium white onion, diced
2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Combine all ingredients in the crock pot, mix well.
Cook on high for 2-4 hours, stirring occasionally and adding water or broth if needed, until beans & quinoa are tender enough for your liking.
Sour cream, plain greek yogurt, or guacamole add a nice creaminess to the dish. Add these after plating; it will likely need salt.
Fiesta blend cheese kicks the dish up a notch, especially this is a main course. Sprinkle it on top a few minutes before serving so it forms a nice melty layer!
Serve with corn chips for a fun, salty crunch.
11. Simple Weeknight Roast
A pot roast is a traditional Sunday night dinner, but with a recipe this easy and convenient you can make it any night of the week!
1 small to medium roast, any cut
1 small or medium yellow onion, diced
1 large or 2 small potatoes per serving of meat, cut into 1 inch chunks
1/2 carrot per serving, cut into 1 inch chunks
4 small mushrooms per serving, cut as you like
1 can low sodium cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup of water
1 package Chisholm Trail Beef Rub
Dash of oil
Place all diced vegetables in your slow cooker. Use oil or nonstick cooking spray if needed.
Mix cream of mushroom soup with 1/2 package of Chisholm Trail Beef Rub and 1/2 cup of water. Pour this mixture over the vegetables.
Combine other half of Chisholm Trail Beef Rub with just enough oil to form a paste, and rub all of the paste onto your roast. (optionally, do 1-12 hours in advance to let the meat soak up the flavor)
Place your seasoned roast on top of the vegetables and cook on high for 2.5-4 hours, depending on the size of your roast and power of your slow cooker. The middle of the roast should be at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the meat has finished cooking, remove it from the slow cooker and sear it in a cast iron skillet to give it a nice brown crust - no one will know you used a slow cooker!
You can use a venison roast instead with Texas Wild Game Rub, a pork roast with Hog Wild Pork Rub, or a whole small chicken with Hen Scratch Poultry Rub. If using a chicken, replace the cream of mushroom soup with a similar quantity of instant chicken or turkey gravy, or chicken stock mixed with 1/2 tsp of corn starch.
12. Honey Red Beef & Broccoli
Grab some microwave rice & make a quick batch of egg drop soup for the next best thing to take-out.
1.5 lbs sirloin steak (or similar cut), sliced thin
2 cups broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup Fredericksburg Farms Honey Red Grilling Glaze
1 cup beef broth
Add all ingredients to slow cooker and mix well.
Cook on high for 2-4 hours, until beef has reached an internal temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit and is tenderized.
Black pepper and minced garlic can be added while cooking for extra flavor.
Top with chopped green onions and/or sesame seeds.
Add 1 Tablespoon cornstarch slurry to the sauce if you'd like a thicker, stickier texture.
13. Salsa Verde Chicken Soup
Chicken soup with fewer carbs than the noodle version and much more Tex-Mex flavor- what's not to love?
1 chicken breast or thigh
1 jar Fredericksburg Farms Old San Antonio Tomatillo Salsa (mild) or South Texas Salsa Verde (hot!)
1 can corn, drained
2 cans white beans, drained
6 cups chicken broth
Put all ingredients in slow cooker, mix.
Cook on low until the chicken is cooked through and easy to shred, 5-6 hours.
Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred with forks into bite-sized bits.
Return shredded chicken to slow cooker, taste for salt, and serve.
Used canned, pre-cooked chicken to save time - just heat and eat.
Add diced onion, peppers, and celery for fresh veggie deliciousness.
Top with tortilla strips, cotija, avocado slices, and/or fresh lime juice.
Enjoy, and please share any improvements & alterations to the recipes in the comments section or on our Facebook page!
-Sabine at Fredericksburg Farms