slow cooker

Jocelyn Delk Adams

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese on BHG Delish Dish

There are certain dishes that simply MUST make an appearance at my family’s Thanksgiving table, and macaroni and cheese is one of them.

There is something so comforting about a hearty bowl of macaroni and cheese.  I think that’s why I immediately gravitated towards the original recipe of BHG’s Four Cheese Macaroni and Cheese.  The decadence of the dish spoke to me and reminded me of my mother’s classic that she makes every holiday.  I knew I just had to try it!

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese on BHG Delish Dish

I planned on making it just as the recipe called for until my oven randomly stopped working.  I think all of the recent baking made my oven call in sick so I had to change plans right away.  The new plan was to use my crock pot, and Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese was born.  Let’s just say that things always happen for a reason, and this new change in plans was perfecto!

Not only must you add this to your Thanksgiving menu stat, but you must make it once a month just to remind you how delicious the simple things in life can be.  This will save you so much time during the holidays.  Just think about it: While you baste your turkey, make your stuffing, bake several pies and entertain your guests, this amazing macaroni and cheese will be tending to itself and ready in a few hours.  You simple toss all of the ingredients into the slow cooker like below and let it cook away.

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese on BHG Delish Dish

I only made the following changes to the original recipe:

  • I replaced the elbow macaroni pasta with penne but you can definitely still use the macaroni for a more traditional dish.
  • I added two large beaten eggs to the mixture to create more of a custard as it cooked away.
  • I replaced the milk with 1 1/2 cups of evaporated milk and 1 1/2 cups of half and half to make the macaroni and cheese richer. It is for the holidays after all right?
  • I tossed in a 1/2 cup of melted butter as well.
  • I toasted the panko crumbs over my stove top in a saute pan with a tablespoon of butter until golden brown.
  • I tossed all of the ingredients together in the slow cooker except for 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese and the toasted panko crumbs.  Once everything was combined, I topped the pasta with the cheese and panko crumbs and let it cook on low for 2 1/2- 3 1/4 hours.

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese on BHG Delish Dish

  •  Cook less time if you want it super creamy and cook a bit more if you want the mac and cheese a bit firmer.  Just make sure your pasta is nice and soft before stopping the cooking process.

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese on BHG Delish Dish

This macaroni and cheese is really incredible.  You will want to make this over and over again, especially since its so easy now.  You can even have your kids make it.  Now that is something to truly be thankful for.

 

Slow Cooker Sandwiches


Melissa Sperka

Three Cheese Scalloped Potatoes With Ham

Hi y’all I’m Melissa from Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen.  I was over-the-moon when my friends here at BHG approached me about sharing a Month-of-Southern inspired Thanksgiving recipes.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing 4 familiar BHG recipes changing a few ingredients and adding a bit of Southern flair.  I’ll be sharing quick make-ahead appetizers, theses sumptuous slow cooked scalloped potatoes  and  a delightful pumpkin cheesecake.  We all know, that no holiday table would be complete without potatoes in some form.  If your holiday kitchen is like mine the oven tends to be very busy making it difficult to coordinate the preparation needed for all of the special dishes.  While looking through the archives on the BHG website I came  upon this slow cooked Three Cheese Scalloped Potatoes recipe and thought it would be the absolute perfect solution.  The original recipe inspired me to put together this version with just a few ingredient changes.

I tweaked the original recipe a bit and added a slight flavor adjustment  adding a hint of garlic to the oh-so-simple sauce.  I also took the opportunity to add a holiday favorite, cubes of smoked ham.  In place of the sour cream in the original recipe, I used a flavored onion and chive cream cheese, and of course a little melted butter.  These are potatoes after all. You can make this dish your own by creating your own shredded cheese blend using your favorite varieties of cheese.  If you have vegetarians at your holiday table, use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth and leave out the ham.  If you aren’t inclined to bake a whole ham, this dish is a tasty way to include it on your holiday menu with very little fuss.  The creamy no-cook sauce  is so decadent, no one will ever believe you whipped it up in your blender.

Ingredients:

3 lb Yukon gold potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick

3/4 lb smoked ham, cubed

1 small sweet onion, finely diced

3 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese

1 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

1 [10 3/4] oz can cream of potato soup

4 oz onion and chive cream cheese, softened

3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

4 Tbsp butter, melted

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp ground mustard

1 Tbsp chopped chives or parsley

Directions:

Liberally spray the bottom and sides of a 6-quart oval slow cooker with cooking spray.  Cube the ham, dice the onion.  You can mix together additional flavors of shredded at this point if desired, making your own blend of cheese.

To prepare the sauce, pour the chicken broth, potato soup, softened cream cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, melted butter, garlic powder, salt, black pepper and ground mustard into a stand blender.  Process until smooth and fully combined.

Separate all ingredients into thirds.  Begin by layering 1/3 of the sliced potatoes on the bottom of the slow cooker.  Sprinkle with 1/3 of the diced onion and 1/3 of the cubed ham.  Drizzle with 1/3 of the sauce and sprinkle with 1/3 of the shredded cheese.  Repeat layers ending with sauce and cheese.
Cover the opening of the slow cooker with doubled paper towels then place the lid firmly on top.  Cook on the high setting for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-7.  Test the potatoes with a fork for tenderness.  When done, remove the crock from the slow cooker, sprinkle with chopped chives and rest uncovered for 10 minutes before serving.  Serve the scalloped potatoes straight from the slow cooker or arrange on a serving platter, if preferred. Serves: 10-12
Recipe adapted from the original Three Cheese Scalloped Potatoes on the BHG website.
 

About Melissa: 

Melissa Sperka is the Publisher, recipe developer and photographer of the blog Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen. Her blog focuses on creating homemade family-style meals, snacks and desserts as well as many classic Southern favorites. Melissa lives in North Carolina and is a busy Mom to 2 boys.  She is passionate about sharing her love of cooking, baking and entertaining. After winning the National Flour Power! contest, she also gained national attention with her blue ribbon “Nested Potato Skins” featured in Southern Living Magazine. You can also find her at Parade.com as a featured Contributor.

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Side Dishes


BHG Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger: Melanie Makes

Hello, Delish Dish readers!  I’m Melanie from Melanie Makes and I’m thrilled to be guest posting today.  Each day I cook, I create and I care for my family.  Repeat.  I have to say, I’m a pretty lucky girl.

Balsamic Vinegar and Honey Pulled Pork Sliders | Melanie Makes

As winter seems to be never ending in our new home city of Cleveland – they tell me it’s never like this, but I’m not sure I believe them at this point – I’m looking forward to days full of sunshine and eating outside on the patio as my three children run and shriek in the backyard.  These Balsamic Vinegar and Honey Pulled Pork Sliders immediately have me longing for the humidity and bad hair days that summer brings.  I say that now…

Balsamic Vinegar and Honey Pulled Pork Sliders | Melanie Makes

These Balsamic Vinegar and Honey Pulled Pork Sliders have been our go-to choice for Independence Day for the last couple of years.  I mean, how can you go wrong with a fall apart pork shoulder roast, slow cooked all day and shredded with the simple touch of a fork?

Balsamic Vinegar and Honey Pulled Pork Sliders | Melanie Makes

And then there is the great juxtaposition of tastes and textures.  The crunchy tri-color cole slaw and the sweet tang of a bread and butter pickle that stands atop a soft Hawaiian roll.

Balsamic Vinegar and Honey Pulled Pork Sliders | Melanie Makes

Absolute heaven in these delectable, miniature sandwiches.  I’ve also served these Balsamic Vinegar and Honey Pulled Pork Sliders as typically sized sandwich on hamburger buns and kaiser rolls.

Balsamic Vinegar and Honey Pulled Pork Sliders | Melanie Makes

There are very few recipes that  I prepare as without putting my spin on it, but this is one of them.  It’s that good!  The only thing I switch up is the cole slaw component.  Instead of using prepared cole slaw as noted in the recipe, I use a bag of cole slaw mix that you can easily find in any grocery refrigerated case.  No need to add any sauces or condiments to it, I use the fresh vegetables as is to provide the crunch factor.

Balsamic Vinegar and Honey Pulled Pork Sliders | Melanie Makes

Don’t wait for Summer.  I say, bring Summer to you and your dinner table with these delicious Balsamic Vinegar and Honey Pulled Pork Sliders!  These would be the perfect EASY meal to enjoy as you catch a couple – or in my case, as many as possible! – basketball games this month.


Gina Homolka

Slow Cooker Spicy Chicken and Lentil Stew

Hi there, I’m Gina Homolka from Skinnytaste, and I’m thrilled to be a featured this month on Delish Dish! I started Skinnytaste back in 2007 just for fun while experimenting in my kitchen with lighter recipes on a quest to shed a few pounds. I always loved cooking, so coming up with ways to  lighten my favorite recipes was a fun challenge – I never dreamed it would one day become my full time career! And now, here I am guest posting on BHG.com’s Delish Dish, if this is a dream, please don’t wake me up!

January is all about comfort food and I LOVE making soups and stews for my family to warm us up on those chilly winter nights, so this Spicy Chipotle Chicken Lentil Stew really caught my attention on Better Homes and Garden’s Skinny Slow Cooker magazine. I love lentils, and often make Chicken and Lentil Soup for my family, but I’ve never made it in the slow cooker so I was curious to see how it would turn out. I’m not too much a of a chipotle pepper fan, so I swapped them out for one seeded jalapeño pepper and kept this dish a bit milder for my family’s more sensitive palate. I also subbed the onions for scallions and added some chopped cilantro to the stewing liquid. Once the dish was ready, I served it with fresh slices of avocado and additional cilantro on top to add an element of freshness that I think is a must!

Best part about this recipe – the prep time is short and doesn’t require any pre-cooking, plus it makes enough to have leftovers for lunch the next day, a win-win for me!

You can see the original recipe here, enjoy!

Spicy Chipotle Chicken Lentil Stew

 


Kristin Porter

Pulled Pork Enchiladas

There’s nothing more satisfying than coming home after a long day of work to a dinner that’s been cooking itself all day long, amIright? That’s one of the many reasons why I love cooking with my crock pot. Throw a bunch of ingredients into the crock in the morning, press play, then voila – a hot and bubbly meal is ready to go when you are.

I usually shy away from crock pot recipes that call for an extra step either before or after cooking, but recently I made an exception for Pulled Pork Enchiladas and oh dear me, it was totally worth it!

Lean pork is simmered in a savory broth all day then shredded and wrapped with crumbly cotija cheese in flour tortillas. The dish is smothered in a green-chili spiked enchilada sauce then baked until golden brown and bubbly. So, so amazing. My husband and I both flipped for this meal!

True, there is some work to be done after the pork comes out of the crock pot, but you can definitely make the pork a day or two ahead of time, assemble the enchiladas the following day, then cover with sauce and bake the next. Easy!

Start with a 3lb boneless pork shoulder. Trim of any visible fat then cut into big hunks if you want the dish to cook a bit faster. I actually shaved half the recipe’s recommended cooking time off by doing this vs cooking it whole.

Next add the seasonings including chicken broth, a roughly chopped onion, and chopped garlic cloves. Mmmm…savory.

Finally add spices like ground cumin, chili powder, and salt. Mmmm…spicy!

Cook the pork until it’s fall apart-tender and shreds easily with two forks, then mix with enchilada sauce and some of the cooking liquid.

Now get the enchilada filling ready, starting with shredded Cotija cheese. Cotija cheese is slightly crumbly, salty, and really unique tasting. I was able to pick it out of each bite of enchilada, which I really loved.

Shred the Cotija cheese then sprinkle it on top of some shredded pork placed into the center of a flour tortilla.

Roll then place in a baking dish and smother in enchilada sauce mixed with diced green chilis and more of the pork cooking liquid.

Bake, topping with more cheese when there’s 5 minutes left, then top with fresh tomatoes or salsa, and cilantro.

Juicy, decadent, cheesy, and packed full of flavor. I cannot recommend this recipe enough. Enjoy it this week for dinner!

Click here for the Pulled Pork Enchiladas recipe > 


Delish Dish Editor

South of the Border Sandwich

Hi there, this is Carlos, one of the food editors for Better Homes and Garden’s special editions. Now, it’s no secret among my colleagues and friends that I’m loco for Mexican cuisine, especially those wonderful South of the border sandwiches called tortas!

I also love experimenting with my trusty slow cooker, so it was a happy day recently when I was able to marry these passions together in one awesome recipe: Cola-Chipotle Pork Tortas.

These delicious Spanish grinders consist of sandwich rolls stuffed with Mexican quick pickled onions called cebollas encurtidas, sliced avocado, and lots of tasty pulled pork that’s been braised in a heady mixture of cola, spices, garlic, and chipotle chile peppers. That’s where the slow cooker comes in.

The pork, a 5-pound roast, is simmered in the slow cooker along with the cola marinade until it’s melt-in-your-mouth tender, about 8 hours on low. Trust me, the aroma is divine! I especially appreciate being able to start the pork in the morning and have it ready to eat when I get home from work. Ah, the magic of slow cooking! Then, all that’s left to do is shred the pork and assemble the tortas!

This makes enough for eight sandwiches although I like to use the pork in tacos and enchiladas as well. I recommend taking the time to make the quick pickled onions but you could also substitute with purchased pickled jalapeños or deli sliced peperoncinis.

For more great recipes, check out this sensational slideshow for weeknight-easy Mexican dishes. You can also find  our latest Mexican magazine here or at newsstands everywhere.