More Than Just Chili: 2 Unexpected Slow Cooker Recipes

Slow cookers save both time and energy by allowing you to put a full meal in ahead of time and let it simmer to perfection in eight hours or less. Even though many people use the slow cooker to make their favorite chili recipe, the truth is that the slow cooker is capable of making a variety of healthy recipes beyond your standard bean chili. Keep reading for two unexpected crock pot recipes that you can add to your repertoire today.

Chicken Take-Out

Why spend the extra money on Chinese delivery or take-out when you can make this delicious take on sweet and sour chicken and simmer it all day?

  • 1 lb chicken breast halves
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 1/4 ounce can of sliced pineapple in syrup
  • 8 ounce can sliced water chestnuts
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 6 cups cooked rice
  • 6 tablespoons crunchy chow mein noodles

Sprinkle salt and pepper over chicken, then heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Cook chicken pieces in batches, about three minutes on each side. Put chicken into a slow cooker coated with cooking spray.

Drain the pineapple, but save the syrup. Drain the water chestnuts and arrange them and quartered pineapple slices over the chicken. Combine the pineapple juice, chicken broth, ginger and garlic and pour over the chicken.

Cover and cook on high for one hour. Reduce to low and cook for six or seven hours. Remove the chicken from the cooker and keep warm. Turn the cooker up to high.

Combine the soy sauce, vinegar and cornstarch in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Stir the mixture into the slow cooker, then add green onions. Cook for about 10 minutes until thickened, stirring frequently. Serve the chicken over the rice and top with sauce and crunchy chow mein noodles.

Sunday Pot Roast

One of many delicious slow cooker recipes is the quintessential pot roast. This is a great weekend meal that works for company, or plenty of leftovers for the following week. After marinating, this recipe comes together quickly.

  • 2 pound boneless chuck roast, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 cup of beef broth
  • 8 ounce package sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 quartered medium onions
  • 16 ounce package of baby carrots
  • 2 pounds small red potatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white flour
  • 3 tablespoons water

Combine beef, soy sauce and garlic in a plastic bag. Seal and marinate for eight hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

Remove the roast from the bag and save the marinade. Coat the roast with the pepper, pressing to adhere the spice. Combine the marinade with the beef broth and tomato paste. Stir well and set aside. Place mushrooms, onions, carrots and potatoes in a slow cooker coated with cooking spray. Toss gently to mix.

Heat oil in a large skillet and brown roast on all sides. Place roast on top of vegetables in the slow cooker. Pour broth mixture into skillet and scrape up browned bits. Pour the mixture over the roast and vegetables. Cover and cook on high for one hour. Reduce to low and cook for another eight hours. Remove roast and vegetables to a serving platter and keep warm. Turn slow cooker to high.

Put flour into a small bowl and gradually add water while stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add the mixture to the slow cooker and cook for about 15 minutes, or until thickened. Stir frequently. Serve the gravy over the roast and vegetables.

These are just two of a variety of unique slow cooker recipes that can help you rein in a busy week and make meal planning a snap.