3 Great Cold-Weather Slow-Cooker Recipes

Baby, it’s cold outside! So why not warm up with one of these great cold-weather slow-cooker recipes? Just in time for your weekend menu planning … enjoy, friends!

Recipe No. 1: Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili

My sweet sister-in-law was the inspiration for my discovering this recipe for Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili. She made a similar dish for my brother-in-law’s birthday dinner, and everyone loved it. So I decided to try my hand at it, too, and was delighted to find this recipe from the October 2009 issue of Southern Living.

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After I cooked the turkey on the stovetop, Little G helped me add it and the remaining ingredients into our slow cooker. I couldn’t ask for a better sous chef. 🙂

Tip: If you’re running short on time, you can cook this dish in the slow cooker on low for less than six hours. You’ve already cooked the meat on the stovetop; the time in the slow cooker simply allows all the ingredients to blend together.

One more tip: The majority of the alcohol content of the beer should “cook out of” the food after about two and a half hours, according to this article. Just FYI in case the alcohol content is a concern for you or your family.

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The turkey chili wouldn’t have been complete without some semi-homemade cornbread. Luckily, HEB carries a delicious mix, Rosemary Olive Oil with Sea Salt. An excellent accompaniment to this great cold-weather slow-cooker recipe!

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Recipe No. 2: Chicken With Carrots and Potatoes

This past Sunday, some good friends came over for dinner. I was excited to try out this recipe for Chicken With Carrots and Potatoes with them, compliments of the September 2012 issue of Cooking Light Slow Cooker Tonight. Slow-cooker recipes work so well for groups—lots of food, efficiently prepared.

Earlier that day, I chopped all the veggies.

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Then around 3 p.m., I got out my nonstick skillet and slow cooker. You definitely want to brown the chicken before adding it to the slow cooker, so that it cooks faster and better. You also definitely want to use chicken thighs that are bone-in, skinned rather than boneless, skinless because the bone and skin help prevent the chicken from drying out in the slow cooker. Trust me on this one, friends—I’ve dried out boneless, skinless chicken in my slow cooker before. 🙂

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Our friends brought along Caesar salad, my favorite. And there you go: dinner! Wonderful, and not least because it was shared in friendship.

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Recipe No. 3: Crock Pot Minestrone Soup

Of the three recipes here, this one’s my favorite. I grew up in an Italian-American home, and I ❤ Italian specialties like minestrone soup. I also love vegetarian food, and you can make this recipe vegetarian—just use vegetable broth instead of chicken. Many thanks to the website Skinnytaste.com (July 2014 post) for sharing this winner!

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You can use either your stovetop or slow cooker for this recipe. Because I had the time, I opted for stovetop.

I highly recommend pureeing the white beans, per the recipe, rather than adding them in whole. It’s an extra step, but the pureed beans ultimately add a wonderfully creamy texture to the soup. And be sure to cook the pasta separately, at the end, and then add it in to your soup bowl(s); otherwise, it will get soggy.

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Now, let me be honest with you: While grocery shopping for this recipe, I inexplicably forgot some key ingredients: celery, fresh parsley, and spinach. (I’m going to blame it on my nine-months-pregnant brain!) Yet the recipe still turned out awesome; my hubby will concur. This one’s truly a winner, even minus a few ingredients.

Eat well, and be well!

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