Posted by: dinainsuburbia | August 12, 2010

Slow Cooker Frenzy!

The past 2 weeks I’ve been on a slow cooker kick.  As a self-proclaimed “foodie” I’m never super thrilled with food out of a crock pot… but I’ve found a few good ones that I’ll definitely add into the rotation.  Most of these recipes are better for the warmer weather as they have gravy or they’re soup/chili style.

Now that I’m a mom of two, it’s harder-and-harder to get dinner on the table while keeping my sanity.  I find my slow cooker, paired with my favorite Hello Kitty rice cooker (which has a timer.. YES) really takes the pressure off.

So if you’re a mom.. or, just a late worker, and you want something reasonably healthy to eat, check out these recipes:

Country Style Pork Ribs with Gravy:


  • 3-4 pounds country style pork ribs
  • 1 package Knorr Leek Soup Mix
  • 1 can of Progresso Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • fresh ground pepper

This one can’t get any easier… if you want, you can brown off the ribs first before putting them, and all the other ingredients, into the crock pot.  Cook on low 8-9  hours and serve over egg noodles.  Paired with a salad, this one is pretty tasty.  Haute cuisine?  No.. but tasty nonetheless.  I imagine this would be good with boneless-skinless chicken thighs too.

Gumbolaya (sort of Gumbo sort of Jambalaya). Original recipe here


  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice ( I used 14 oz can of chopped, and the rest crushed as we aren’t too into big pieces of tomatoes)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chicken broth (I used beef as I didn’t have chicken broth)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 pound frozen cooked shrimp without tails  (we didn’t have shrimp on hand- so did without, and it was fine)


In a slow cooker, mix the chicken, sausage, tomatoes with juice, onion, green bell pepper, celery, and broth. Season with oregano, parsley, Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, and thyme.

Cover, and cook 7 to 8 hours on Low, or 3 to 4 hours on High. Stir in the shrimp during the last 30 minutes of cook time.

If you have a rice cooker with a timer, set it up to start cooking at 7 hours- so everything will be done together!

Slow-cooker Pulled Pork:


  • 3-4 lb pork shoulder
  • 12 ounce bottle of root beer
  • whole container of barbecue sauce (I used original Kraft)

This one couldn’t be easier either… throw everything into the crock pot and cook on low 9-12 hours… until meat pulls away easily with a fork.  Take the pork out and put into a pan and shred, removing fat… While I was doing that, I put the crock pot on high and allowed the reserved juice to simmer.  I skimmed any visible fat off the top of the reserved gravy.  Once shredded I put the pork back into the gravy and allowed it to “get happy” on high for about 20-30 minutes!  Serve on toasted buns rubbed with garlic and baked beans & cole slaw!

Paula Deen’s Taco Soup, original recipe here


  • 2 pounds ground beef (I used 1 lb 90/10 ground beef and 1 lb ground turkey to lighten it up)
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans pinto beans (DO NOT DRAIN THE BEANS)
  • 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can pink kidney beans
  • 1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tomatoes with chiles
  • 2 (4 1/2-ounce) cans diced green chiles
  • 1 (4.6-ounce) can black olives, drained and sliced, optional
  • 1/2 cup green olives, sliced, optional
  • 1 (1 1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 (1-ounce) package ranch salad dressing mix
  • Corn chips, for serving
  • Sour cream, for garnish
  • Grated cheese, for garnish
  • Chopped green onions, for garnish
  • Pickled jalapenos, for garnish

Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet; drain the excess fat, then transfer the browned beef and onions to a large slow cooker or a stockpot. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles, black olives, green olives, taco seasoning, and ranch dressing mix, and cook in a slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours or simmer over low heat for about 1 hour in a pot on the stove. To serve, place a few corn chips in each bowl and ladle soup over them. Top with sour cream, cheese, green onions and jalapenos.



  1. Thanks D! You’re my foodie savior!

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