One of my favorite tools in the kitchen has always been the crock pot. Preparing meals has never been easier with one of these little gadgets. If you’ve ever used one, you recognize the smell of a cooked meal the minute you walk through the door at the end of a long day. And dinner is ready to go!
But did you know that you can also make some meals using your crock pot and then freeze them to eat later?
Soups, sauces, and lots more can be made fast and served quick.
I’ve included some great recipes that you can make with your crock pot. These have all been tried and tested and taste great! They can be frozen or served up right away. Your choice!!
Beef Broccoli Soup
1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
3 cup broccoli, chopped
2 cans (4 oz.) mushroom pieces OR… 1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, sliced
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
1 qt. tomato juice (or V-8)
1/2 cup water
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. oregano
Brown beef; drain off fat. Add vegetables, juice, water, seasonings. Place in crock pot, cook on low 8 to 9 hours. Freezes well. Serves 6
Greek Meat Sauce
4 lb Ground beef chuck
2 tbs Olive oil
4 Onions; med, finely chopped
4 cans Tomato paste (6 oz ea)
4 Garlic cloves;minced
1 ts Mixed pickling spice
1 c Dry white wine
1 tbs Salt
Freshly ground pepper
Using a large frying pan, brown meat in 1 tablespoon olive oil until it loses its pink color. Transfer to crockery pot. Add remaining olive oil to pan. Saute` onions until glazed. Transfer to crockery pot. Add tomato paste, garlic, pickling spice, (put in a tea ball or tie in a cheesecloth bag), wine, salt, and pepper. Cover. Cook on LOW 8 hours. Stir once or twice. Cool slightly. Ladle into freezer containers, or serve hot. Makes about 3 quarts.
NOTE: This meat sauce is great for various dishes, but we use it most often over pasta. It is also good spooned over tacos or ladled inside avocado half shells. This recipe makes a large quantity and freezes well.
Split Pea Soup
1 (16 oz.) pkg. dried green split peas, rinsed
1 ham bone, or 2 meaty ham hocks, or 2 c. diced ham
3 carrots, peeled & sliced
1 med. onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery plus leaves, chopped
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
1 tbsp. seasoned salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. fresh pepper
1 1/2 qt. hot water
Layer ingredients in slow cooker, pour in water. DO NOT STIR. Cover and cook on high 4 to 5 hours or on low 8 to 10 hours until peas are very soft and ham falls off bone. Remove bones and bay leaf. Serve garnished with croûtons. Freezes well.
Crockpot Cheesy Ravioli Casserole
1 tablespoon oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 (26 ounce) jars four cheese pasta sauce
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 (25 ounce) packages frozen beef ravioli
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Spray crock pot with cooking spray. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat, add onion and garlic and cook for 4 minutes stirring occasionally.
Stir in pasta sauce, tomato sauce and Italian seasoning. Place 1 cup of sauce in crock pot. Add 1 package of the ravioli, top with 1 cup of the cheese. Top with remaining package of ravioli and 1 cup cheese.
Pour remaining sauce over the top.
Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours. Sprinkle with parsley before serving. Makes 10 (1 1/2 cup) servings.
If you’d like to freeze this recipe, put into resealable freezer bags. Place bag in boiling water to reheat.
Crockpot Stuffed Chicken Rolls
6 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves
6 slices ham, Fully cooked
6 slices swiss cheese
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, Grated
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1/2 cup chicken broth
fresh parsley, Chopped (optional)
Flatten chicken to 1/8-inch thickness. Place ham and cheese on each breast. Roll up and tuck in ends; secure with a toothpick.
Combine the flour, Parmesan cheese, sage, paprika and pepper; coat chicken on all sides. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
In large skillet, brown chicken in oil over medium-high heat. Transfer to a 5 quart slow cooker. Combine soup and broth; pour over chicken.
Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
Remove toothpicks. Garnish with parsley if desired.
This can be frozen if placed in resealable freezer bags. Just place in boiling water when ready to serve.