With the right recipes, a slow cooker can be your kitchen’s hero appliance. Despite its name, the slow cooker saves time by allowing busy cooks to toss ingredients into the pot, turn up the temperature, and come back later to a fully cooked meal. They also use less energy than conventional stovetops and ovens. Finally, they can help you save money at the grocery store as well. How? The slow cooking method tenderizes the meat and helps it to absorb more flavor. That means you can choose less expensive cuts than you might need if you were to use a different cooking method. Not used to cooking in a slow cooker? No worries. Here are three easy slow-cooker recipes to get you started.
Spicy Pumpkin Chili
This chili is a great cold-weather recipe and an easy way to pack a lot of nutritious ingredients into one dish. The main ingredients in this dish are ground beef, kidney beans, black beans, great northern beans, tomato sauce, and pumpkin puree. Your slow cooker will need one to two hours to bring all these flavors together for a spicy, autumn-inspired dinner. Even if you’d never think to add pumpkin to a savory dish like chili , it makes for a wonderful flavor. As a bonus, the pumpkin spices will make your kitchen smell warm and cozy.
Cabbage and Beef Soup
The prep time for this dish is only twenty minutes but you’ll want to start your slow cooker early in the morning or let this one simmer overnight. This filling recipe calls for cabbage, kidney beans, ground beef, and tomato sauce. Prepping this meal is only two quick steps. First, brown one pound of ground meat in a large skillet with half of an onion, drain, and transfer the meat to the slow cooker. Step two — add all the other ingredients of this recipe and let it cook for eight hours on low.
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Slow Cooker Pasta Faggioli Soup
This is another overnighter, but this Italian-inspired dish is worth the wait and takes only a few minutes of prep time to make. Just brown your meat, add all of your ingredients. Then, come back five hours later for a delicious soup.
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