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Entries in Crockpot (3)


Crockpot Minestroni

I've made this one before, and the original recipe I found calls it Italian Vegetable Soup, but I like the sound of Crockpot Minestroni better, and I've played with both the method and the ingredients so I think I've earned the right to rename it. This meal is great on so many levels: it's vegetarian, it's quick, it's easy, and it makes great leftovers. Plus, it won't break the bank; I made it using bags of 365 label frozen organic veggies, cans of Eden organic beans (Eden is one of the few companies that does not use BPA in can linings, by the way), 365 label organic vegetable juice, and homemade organic vegetable stock (the 365 label organic stocks won't break the bank either). All together the meal cost about $20 and will provide at least two full meals for the three of us (we'll eat it for two dinners and there will be some left for lunches). I served it with homemade roasted garlic and rosemary Italian wheat bread.

Crockpot Minestroni

  ● 1  12- oz. package frozen cut green beans
  ● 1 12-oz. package frozen cauliflower (mine had carrots, too)
  ● 4-5  cups diced tomatoes
  ● 1  cup chopped onion
  ● 1+  cup chopped celery
  ● 1  cup regular barley
  ● 2  cloves garlic, minced
  ● basil, oregano, rosemary, and ground black pepper to taste
  ● 4  cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  ● 2-1/2  cups reduced-sodium vegetable juice
  ● 4 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  ● Finely shredded Parmesean cheese (optional)

1. In your slow cooker or crockpot, place frozen green beans, cauliflower, tomatoes, onion, celery, barley, garlic, beans, and seasonings. Add vegetable broth and vegetable juice and stir to combine well. Add more vegetable juice as needed to bring liquid to desired level.

2. Cover and cook on low-heat for 6 to 8 hours. Top servings with Parmesean cheese.


Creamy tortellini soup

I love crock pot recipes, so I jumped for this one from our Healthy Cooking magazine. In the end it wasn't as good as I wanted it to be, although it wasn't a train wreck, and there are some things I will do next time that I think will fix it. I don't normally post recipes until I've played with them and feel happy with the results, but there were a lot of requests for this one, so I make note of those things I would change in the recipe following. Let me know what you think!

Creamy Tortellini Soup

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes            
Cooking Time: 6 to 7 hours (on low)

  ● 1  1.8- ounce envelope white sauce mix (I made my own with 2T butter, 1/4 cup flour, 2 cups milk.  See note)
  ● 4  cups water (I used only 2)
  ● 14 ounces vegetable broth
  ● 1-1/2  cups sliced mushrooms
  ● 1/2  cup chopped onion
  ● 3  cloves garlic, minced
  ● 1  tsp. dried basil
  ● 1/4  tsp. salt
  ● 1/8  tsp. cayenne pepper
  ● 30 ounces rehydrated cannellini beans (can substitute canned, but add them later)
  ● 1  7- to 8-ounce package dried cheese tortellini (I used 22oz. frozen, organic)
  ● 1  12- ounce can evaporated milk (see note)
  ● 6  cups fresh baby spinach leaves or torn spinach
  ● Ground black pepper (optional)
  ● Finely shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Original directions: Place dry white sauce mix in slow cooker. Gradually add the water to the white sauce mix, stirring until smooth. Stir in broth, mushrooms, onion, garlic, basil, salt, oregano, and cayenne pepper. To make my own white sauce I melted 2T butter, stirred in 1/4 cup flour, then blended in two cups of milk and 2 cups of warm water.

2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 3-4 hours. Add rehydrated cannellini beans and cook for 2 more hours (if using canned beans, add them with the tortellini).

3. Stir in tortellini and cook for 1 more hour.

4. Stir in evaporated milk and fresh spinach and cook until heated through (careful not to overcook the spinach! I left mine in while I cut a few mangoes, and it was more wilted than I would have liked). Sprinkle individual servings with black pepper and Parmesan cheese.

Two Notes for next time:
First, I've never bought a packet of white sauce mix, and don't plan on ever doing so, but when I made my own this time I did all the the work right in the crock pot and the sauce turned out a bit lumpy. In the future I think I will actually make a quick microwave white sauce and then pour it into the crock pot, already heated on low, before adding the additional ingredients.

Second, In our opinion the soup was way too sweet. Next time I plan to either cut the evaporated milk in half, or skip it all together, adding more vegetable broth to make up the liquid content.


Thai curried chicken

This is a recipe I got from my Healthy Cooking magazine (love that magazine!) a while back and have saved for the kind of night when a warm crock pot recipe was warranted.  Tonight was that night - it's chilly, we're all tired, and I feel like I'm coming down with a cold.  Unfortunately, this dish lacked the kick I was hoping for.  The only real alteration I made was adding carrots to the crockpot for the last 20 minutes in order to make it an all in one meal.

• 2+ lbs chicken breast halves, ~ 6 breasts at 6oz each
• 1 1/4 tsp salt
• 14 oz. light coconut milk
• 1 tsp curry powder
• 1/2 tsp turmeric, ground
• 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
• 3 pieces green onions, sliced, divided
• 2 tbsp cornstarch
• 2 tbsp cold water
• 1-2 tbsp lime juice
• 3 cup hot cooked rice

Sprinkle chicken with salt and brown both sides in a large nonstick skillet. Place in a 5qt slow cooker.
Combine the coconut milk, curry, turmeric and cayenne; pour over chicken. Sprinkle with half of the onions. Cover and cook on low for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours or until chicken in tender.
Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Stir in lime juice. Serve chicken and sauce over rice. Sprinkle with remaining onions.