All-Day Wintry Meals In The Slow Cooker

Slow-cooked tortellini (Photos by Christy Hinko)
Slow-cooked tortellini (Photos by Christy Hinko)

Nothing says cozy days like all-day meals cooking into greatness in the slow cooker. The ease of cooking with a slow cooker is preferred because it’s typically a one-pot dish with minimal fix-it and forget-it preparation steps. Some recipes call for a small amount of stovetop cooking, usually to brown meats (which do not brown on their own in the slow cooker).

A tiny bit of prep work yields a soul-satisfying culmination. Here are four of my personal slow cooker recipes.

Slow Cooker Chicken

Seasoned salt
Minced garlic
Dried parsley
1 c water
4 chicken bouillon cubes
whole cut-up chicken
4 Tbsp butter

Add 1 c water and 4 chicken bouillon cubes to slow cooker. Place chicken cuts in slow cooker. Season to taste with seasoned salt (I use Lawry’s or Goya seasoning salt, but use whichever you prefer), minced garlic and dried parsley.

Cut small 1 Tbsp pats of butter and place randomly over cuts of chicken. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

slow cooker recipes
Brats & Kraut

Brats & Kraut

Serves 6

5 bratwurst links, cut into 1-inch pieces
5 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
27 oz sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
1 medium tart green apple, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
¼ c packed brown sugar
½ tsp salt

In a large skillet, brown pieces of bratwurst on all sides. In slow cooker, combine all ingredients. Stir in brats and pan drippings. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or until potatoes and apple are tender.

Slow Cooked Cabbage Rolls

½ c cooked white rice
12 leaves cabbage
1 egg, beaten
¼ c milk
¼ c minced onion
1 lb extra-lean ground beef
1¼ tsp salt
1¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil cabbage leaves 2 minutes; drain.
In large bowl, combine 1 cup cooked rice, egg, milk, onion, ground beef, salt and pepper; stir well to combine.

Place about ¼ cup of meat mixture in center of each cabbage leaf, and roll up, tucking in ends.

Place rolls in slow cooker, tucked side down. In small bowl, combine tomato sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice and Worcestershire.

Pour over cabbage rolls. Cover and cook on low 8 to 9 hours.

Slow Cooked Tortellini

1 lb ground beef
1 lb Italian sausage
30 oz marinara sauce
1 c sliced mushrooms
2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained
18 oz tortellini, premade-frozen
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown and drain meat. Spray slow cooker with cooking spray.

Cook meat, sauce, mushrooms and tomatoes for 7 hours on low. Sauce will be thick.

Stir in frozen tortellini and cheese. Cook 15 minutes and serve.

Christy Hinko
Christy Hinko is a managing editor at Anton Media Group. She is a New York Press Association (NYPA) and Press Club of Long Island (PCLI) award-winning writer and photographer.

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