Saved by the slow cooker

Saved by the slow cooker

by: Jessica Zen | .
Stripes Europe | .
published: August 07, 2018

With summer in full swing and temperatures often well exceeding 80 degrees, who wants to turn the oven on and cook for a few hours? No one? That’s what I thought. Skip the extra heat and save yourself some time with three easy slow cooker recipes. The kids will love these meals. They might even love you more if you took them to the pool with all the time you’re going to save.

Steak fajitas

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. beef chuck roast, sliced into strips
  • 1-2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 20 oz. salsa
  • 1 packet fajita seasoning
  • Tortillas

Instructions:

Put salsa in bottom of slow cooker. Add beef, bell peppers, onions and fajita seasoning. Stir well. Cook for 6-8 hours on “low” or 3-4 hours on “high.”Add the desired amount of cooked fajita meat mixture to tortillas. Enjoy!

Chicken, broccoli and rice casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 1 cup long grain brown rice (not instant), rinsed and drained
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp pepper
  • 14.5 oz. can low sodium chicken broth (1 ¾ cups)
  • 1 cup water (or omit the water and use a total of 2 ¾ cups chicken broth)
  • 4-5 cups of broccoli florets (about 1 pound)
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions:

Combine onion and rice in the slow cooker, create even layer. Place chicken on top. Sprinkle with garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper. Add chicken broth and water (cover all rice). Cover and cook on low heat for 6-7 hours or on high for 3 ½ hours (until rice is tender and almost all liquid is absorbed). Remove chicken and either dice or shred and return into the slow cooker with rice. Steam broccoli in a microwave by placing it in microwave safe bowl. Add enough water to fill the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high 3 to 6 minutes until crisp/tender. Drain. While broccoli is cooking, add Greek yogurt, parmesan and cheddar cheese into the slow cooker. When broccoli is done, add to slow cooker. Stir and serve.   

Mac and cheese

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups macaroni noodles
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup gruyere cheese

Instructions:

Boil macaroni noodles until al dente (1 minute less than directions on box). Drain and rinse under cold water. Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 3 hours, stirring once or twice. Serve hot.

Don’t get beat by the heat this summer. Get out of the kitchen, away from the stove, and spend more quality time with your family. Fun fact- it doesn’t have to be summer to use these cooking hacks. Avoid the kitchen year round if you really want with these easy slow cooker recipes! 

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Tags: slow cooker, easy cooking, summer recipes, slow cooker meals
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