Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

Even chili purists who believe that ground beef is the ONLY meat for chili will love this dish. As you can see from the picture (sorry, I forgot to take a photo while cooking) the chili looks like, well, chili and believe me when I tell you it tastes very, very good.

chicken chili


1 lb. ground chicken
1/2 cup grated yellow onion
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 cans Hormel® chili beans with sauce
2 cans red kidney beans, drained
2 1/2 cups V8 juice or tomato juice


Brown the chicken in a medium skillet until done. Dump it into the slow cooker and add all the other ingredients, stirring well. Cover and cook on low 4-5 hours until most of the tomato juice is absorbed and the mixture resembles the above photograph. For spicier chili add more chili powder and a dash of hot sauce.

Serve with shredded cheddar, sour cream and tortilla chips for a Southwestern type of meal, or serve with fresh grated Parmesan or Asiago and a dollap of creme fraiche for a different taste altogether.

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A New Era of Slow Cooker Goodness

It’s been awhile since we posted anything on this site but it is for good reason – we wrote some books!  Pretty soon you’ll be able to buy Holiday Slow Cooker and Slow Cooker Desserts to add to your cookbook collection.

Also, if you’re looking for some great smoothie recipes, Elizabeth co-wrote a book with Shell Harris from SmoothieWeb called Skinny Smoothies.  Available in January.

We’ll be posting some new slow cooker/crockpot recipes soon, so stay tuned!

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Saucy Smokey Pork Chops

If you’ve got liquid smoke around the house, this is a great pork recipe to try.  Part of a 7-part all pork recipe phenomenon.

saucy pork chops


4 bone-in pork chops
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp light pure canola oil
2 cups ketchup
1 tsp Liquid Smoke


In a skillet, warm the canola oil.  Sprinkle both sides of pork chops with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Combine the ketchup, liquid smoke, and brown sugar and stir until smooth.  Pour half of that mixture into a 3 qt crock pot.  Brown the chops in the skillet and then place them into the crock pot and cover with the rest of the sauce.  Cover and cook on low for 5 1/2 hours until pork chops are tender.

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Italian Beef Stew

If you are tired of the standard, classic beef stew and pot roast recipes, give this one a try.  I got the basis of the recipe from Taste of Home, but I tweaked it a bit and added some things.  It’s a little more labor-intensive, but it is totally worth it.

special slow cooked beef


3 lb boneless beef chuck roast, cubed
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp Italian seasoning (I like Penzey’s)
1 tsp salt (you’ll likely want to add more)
1 1/2 clove of garlic – minced
1/2 cup black olives (optional)
1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup fresh, peeled pearl onions
1 cup sliced porcini or baby bella mushrooms
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup water


Brown the meat in a skillet.  You’ll probably have to do it in a couple of batches.  Drain it on a paper towel and transfer all of it into the crock pot (hopefully you’re working with a 5 or so quart crock pot).  Shake the Italian seasoning and salt over the beef.  Throw in the garlic, and put the mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives, and add the broth and the onions.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours – make sure you get the meat nice and tender.

After the meat is cooked, spoon the solid pieces of the dish onto a serving platter and cover with tented foil to keep it warm.  Pour all the juices into a saucepan.  If there is any fat floating at the top, skim it off with a spoon or dab it with a paper towel.

Combine the flour and water and make a roux.  You might need to add flour or water to get the right consistency, which is a buttermilky texture.  You should have the cooking juices on high.  Stir the roux into the cooking juices and bring to a boil.  Continue to stir until thickened.  Bam!  Gravy!  Pour that over the whole lot and chow down.

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Apple Butterscotch Crisp

This is a delicious dessert that can be made a number of ways, but the tastiest results come out of a crock pot.

butterscotch apple crispIngredients

3 cups thin-sliced Granny Smith apples, peeled
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup cook-and-serve butterscotch pudding mix
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup cold butter


Put your apples in the slow cooker.  In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, flour, pudding mix, oats, and cinnamon.  With a hand mixer, cut in the cold butter until the dry mixture and butter look like coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle all that over the apples.  Cover and cook on low for 3 hours or until apples are tender.

**note – this recipe is for a 1-qt slow cooker, so you may need to adjust the cooking time.

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Hot and Cool Buffalo Chicken Dip

This is great for a football party, board game night, and any other occasion where people will want to be snacking on some yummy treats.

hot wing dipIngredients

2 1/2 cups cooked chicken (shredded) – you can use store-bought rotisserie chicken or even canned chicken if you want
8 oz. cream cheese
1 1/4 cups shredded medium cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup Hidden Valley Ranch dressing (don’t use low fat or fat free – it’ll be gross)  If you prefer blue cheese dressing, use a chunky style, or add some blue cheese crumbles.
1/2 cup hot sauce (I use Frank’s RedHot sauce)


Put all ingredients into your crock pot, cover, and cook on low for an hour or so – until all the cheese is melted.  One recipe suggested that you serve with shrimp toast (toast with a piece of shrimp and a piece of cheese melted on it), and another suggested that you serve with celery sticks.  I just serve mine with little bread rounds.

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Crock Pot Crunchy Snack Mix

This is a great recipe if you’re having people over to play cards, or if you’re having movie night.  It’s a crunchy snack mix that incorporates coconut and curry for a complex and pleasing taste.

snack mixIngredients

4 1/2 cups chow mein noodles
4 cups Rice Chex
1 cup flaked toasted coconut
1 can salted cashews
1/2 cup melted butter
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 1/4 tsp curry powder
3/4 tsp ground ginger


Whisk the butter, curry, ginger, and soy sauce in a small bowl.  In your crock pot, mix together the Rice Chex, the coconut, the cashews, and the noodles.  Drizzle the butter mixture over the dry mixture and mix it all up.  Cover and cook on low for about 2 hours, stirring every half hour.

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Crock Pot Salsa Pot Roast

For a taste of something a little different, try out this spicy and savory beef roast recipe for your crock pot.

salsa pot roastIngredients

3 lb bottom round roast, trimmed and cut in half
1 jar Pace Picante sauce
1 can tomato sauce
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 envelope low-sodium taco seasoning
1/4 cup water


Put your two roast halves down into the crock pot.  In a separate bowl mix up the picante sauce, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning and pour it over the meat.  Cover and cook on low for about 8 hours…more if the roast isn’t tender yet.  Once the meat is tender, take it out of the crock pot and put it on a serving platter.  Tent some foil over it to keep it warm.  Skim the fat out of the crock pot juices and put three or so cups of the leftover juice into a saucepan.  Bring that liquid to a boil.  While you’re waiting for it to boil combine the cornstarch and water and stir until its smooth.

Gradually stir the cornstarch and water solution into the liquid in the small saucepan.  Bring the sauce back to a boil and stir continuously for 2-4 minutes (until it thickens).  Slice up the roast and pour the sauce over it.  Serve with Spanish rice.

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Pear and Caramel Dessert Pudding

This is a yummy dish any time of year, but it’s especially good in the wintertime.

caramel pear puddingIngredients

4 pears, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup skim or 2 % milk
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup boiling water


Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl, and then stir in the milk until the mixture is smooth.  Add in pears, and place mixture into a greased crock pot.  In another bowl, stir the brown sugar and butter together, and then add the boiling water.  Pour this mixture over the mixture you already placed into the crock pot but DO NOT STIR it in.  Cover and cook on low for about 4 hours.  Serve warm – maybe with a little vanilla ice cream.

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Spicy Holiday Punch

This is a great punch to make for a holiday party – just make sure you have the remnants of the last dish cleaned out really well.  You don’t want punch with bits of pot roast in it!

red spicy punch


1 quart pure apple juice (unsweetened)
1 quart brewed tea
1 quart 50% less sugar orange juice
1 quart unsweetened pineapple juice (pulp removed)
8 ounces red-hot candies


Dump everything into your crock pot, cover, and cook on low for 4 hours.  The candy has to melt, so make sure you stir it occasionally.  You can serve the punch warm or over ice.  If you’re feeling especially jolly, you can add a little rum before serving.  Yum!

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