Not just for soups and stews, slow cookers make it easy to have breakfast and dinner—even dessert—ready whenever you are.
How to Be a Slow Cooker Rock Star
1. Don’t fill the slow cooker more than three-fourths full.
2. Finish a soup or stew with a splash of vinegar or lemon juice. Adding an acid and the end brightens the flavor.
3. When making cakes or breads, place a paper towel across the top of the cooker before putting on the lid to keep condensation from dripping on the food.
4. Once you’ve used your slow cooker a few times, you may notice it has a “hot spot” on one side. When you’re cooking cakes or quiches, you can put a piece of foil over this spot before adding the batter and it will keep the food from getting too brown in one spot.
1 (18-oz) can French onion soup (like Progresso)
1 (10-oz) can beef consommé (like Campbell’s)
1 (12-oz) bottle beer
8 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 onion, sliced into rings
1 1/2 tsp each garlic powder and onion powder
1 (3-lb) boneless chuck roast
8 French rolls
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1. Pour onion soup, consommé, beer and Worcestershire sauce in a slow cooker. Add onion, garlic powder and onion powder. Place chuck roast on top of onions.
2. Cover and cook 7 to 9 hours on LOW or 5 to 6 hours on high.
3. When ready to serve, heat oven to 350°F. Split 8 French rolls. Spread butter and sprinkle mozzarella on cut sides of rolls. Bake 10 minutes.
4. Remove beef from cooker and shred using two forks. Put onions on buns and top with meat. Pour liquid from slow cooker into a bowl and serve on the side for dipping.
Cinnamon French Toast Casserole
2 (16-oz) loaves cinnamon swirl bread
4 cups 2 percent milk
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1. Cut bread into 1/2-inch pieces and leave out overnight to harden.
2. Coat inside of slow cooker with cooking spray. Place bread in cooker.
3. Mix together eggs, milk, brown sugar, ground cinnamon vanilla extract and salt. Pour over bread.
4. Cover and cook 6 to 8 hours on LOW, removing lid for the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
5. Spoon onto plates. Serve with powdered sugar, fresh berries and syrup, if desired.
1 cup 2 percent milk
1 tsp each salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder
1/2 cup chopped onions
5 slices turkey bacon, diced
2 oz fresh spinach leaves
8 oz shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
1. Coat inside of cooker with cooking spray. Whisk eggs, milk, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder until combined, then pour into slow cooker.
2. Sprinkle onions and turkey bacon over top. Layer spinach and cheese on top. Push spinach and cheese into egg mixture, using the back of a large spoon.
3. Cover and cook on low 2 to 3 hours in a 7-qt cooker, 4 to 6 hours in a smaller cooker.
4. When quiche is slightly brown around the edges and the middle is nearly solid, turn off cooker, remove lid and let sit at least 30 minutes. Slide quiche out of cooker.
Honey Mustard Pretzel Meatloaf
2 lb 93 percent lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onions
2 cups honey mustard and onion pretzel pieces, crushed into crumbs
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp pepper
1. Break up ground beef in a large bowl. Add onions, pretzel pieces, eggs, garlic powder, onion powder. and pepper. Mix well and form into a loaf.
2. Place in slow cooker. Cover and cook 6 to 8 hours on low or 3 to 4 hours on high.
2 large eggplants
2 beaten eggs
1 1/2 to 2 cups Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
3 cups marinara sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Dried crushed basil
1. Peel eggplants and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Salt both sides of each slice and place on a baking rack for 30 minutes. Pat each slice dry with a paper towel.
2. Coat inside of slow cooker with cooking spray.
3. Dip 3 or 4 eggplant slices in eggs and then in bread crumbs. Place in the bottom of slow cooker. Spread about 1 cup marinara sauce on top, then sprinkle with about 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella. Sprinkle pepper and dried crushed basil on top. Repeat to create 2 more layers, ending with mozzarella, pepper and basil.
4. Cover and cook 4 to 5 hours on low. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top.
Lemon Rosemary Chicken
4 lemon wedges
4 to 6 rosemary sprigs
1 (3- to 4-lb) whole chicken
2 to 3 Tbsp olive oil
2 to 3 Tbsp poultry seasoning
1. Ball up 4 pieces of aluminum foil and place in the bottom of slow cooker. Place lemon wedges and rosemary sprigs inside chicken. Rub with olive oil and sprinkle with poultry seasoning. Place chicken on top of foil.
2. Cover and cook 8 to 10 hours on low or 5 to 6 hours on high.
Raspberry Lemon Cake
1 (15-oz) box yellow cake mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 (4-oz) box instant lemon pudding mix
1 cup raspberries
1. Mix yellow cake mix with water, vegetable oil and eggs. Stir in instant lemon pudding mix. Fold in raspberries.
2. Coat inside of slow cooker with cooking spray. Pour in batter. Stretch a paper towel across the top of cooker and place lid on top.
3. Cover and cook 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours on low, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove lid and let cool completely. Run a knife around the edge.
4. Invert cooker over a plate and shake gently to release. Dust with powdered sugar.