Easy Recipes: Crockpot Mac and Cheese

I’m a fan of Lisa’s Cheddar Spirals for my crockpot mac and cheese needs, but I admit that I’m curious enough about the Easy Recipes: Crockpot Mac and Cheese from Crystal & Co. that I may give it a try. I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a Mac and Cheese recipe with eggs before. I’m guessing it makes a custard-like sauce. Will have to check it out.

Slow Cooker Reuben Dip

There are versions of this recipe all over the Internet. This one came from the AllRecipes site (original here). Slow Cooker Reuben Dip is the eighth of my 25 Appetizers of Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) jar sauerkraut, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cooked corned beef
  • ¼ cup thousand island dressing
  • Crackers (ideally Rye Triscuit) or cocktail rye

Directions

  1. In a slow cooker, combine the sauerkraut, cream cheese, Swiss cheese, corned beef and thousand island dressing.
  2. Cover, and cook on high for 45 minutes if you’re in a hurry, low for longer if you’re not, or just until hot and cheese is melted.
  3. Stir occasionally while cooking.
  4. Serve with cocktail rye or crackers.

Variations

  • You can also bake this mixture in a 350° oven for 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Or microwave until heated through.
  • You can leave out the sauerkraut, but the mixture will be a bit looser.
  • You can substitute cream cheese for the mayonnaise if desired.

Corn, Ham and Potato Scallop

This simple crockpot casserole from Betty Crocker recipe (original here) is a warm and cheesy treat. The Expert Tips with the recipe suggest that you can “Substitute cooked roast beef for the ham.”

Ingredients

  • 6 cups 1-inch cubes peeled baking potatoes
  • 1½ cups cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1 can (15¼ oz) whole kernel corn, drained
  • ¼ cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons instant minced onion
  • 1can (10¾ oz) condensed Cheddar cheese soup
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Mix potatoes, ham, corn, bell pepper and onion in 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker.
  2. Mix soup, milk and flour in small bowl; beat with wire whisk until smooth.
  3. Pour soup mixture over potato mixture; stir gently to mix.
  4. Cover and cook on Low heat setting 7 to 9 hours.

Hamburger Hash

This Betty Crocker recipe (original here) is described as an “Easy hamburger dish that’s made in slow cooker—perfect for a dinner.” Certainly worth a try. The Expert Tip with the recipes says, “This recipe is a tried-and-true kid pleaser. Take it to Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts or school events, and there’s little chance you’ll have leftovers.”

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato puree
  • 1 can (10¾ oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can (10½ oz) condensed French onion soup with beef stock
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 bag (28 oz) frozen O’Brien potatoes with onions and peppers, thawed
  • 4 medium carrots, diced (2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Cook beef in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown; drain.
  2. Mix tomato puree and mushroom soup in medium bowl.
  3. Stir in onion soup and water.
  4. Spray 5- to 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.
  5. Reserve 1 cup of the potatoes.
  6. Gently mix beef, remaining potatoes, carrots, salt and soup mixture in cooker.
  7. Sprinkle with reserved 1 cup potatoes.
  8. Cover and cook on low heat setting 8 to 9 hours or until vegetables are tender.
  9. Hash will hold on low heat setting up to 2 hours.

Variations

  • NOTE: For tender potatoes, make sure to thaw them before adding to the slow cooker.

Senate Bean Soup

Don’t let this pork and bean soup recipe from Betty Crocker (original here) trick you. This isn’t pork and beans. This is the real thing—a warm soup made with great Northern beans and ham, thickened with mashed potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried navy beans or Great Northern beans (1 lb), sorted and rinsed
  • 12 cups water
  • 1 ham bone, 2 lb ham shanks or 2 lb smoked pork hocks
  • 2½ cups mashed potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 medium stalks celery, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Directions

  1. In 4-quart Dutch oven, heat beans and water to boiling.
  2. Boil uncovered 2 minutes; remove from heat.
  3. Cover and let stand 1 hour.
  4. Add ham bone.
  5. Heat to boiling; reduce heat.
  6. Cover and simmer about 2 hours or until beans are tender.
  7. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  8. Cover and simmer 1 hour.
  9. Remove ham bone; let stand until cool enough to handle.
  10. Remove ham from bone. Remove excess fat from ham; cut ham into 1/2-inch pieces.
  11. Stir ham into soup.

Variations

  • Add 1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles, 1 tablespoon chili powder and 1 teaspoon ground cumin with remaining ingredients in step 7. Top soup with salsa if desired.

Slow Cooker Barbecued Beans and Polish Sausage

Here’s a Betty Crocker recipe (original here) that is perfect for a chilly night, and since it’s a crockpot meal, you can serve it up as soon as you get home.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (15.5 oz each) Green Giant® great northern beans, drained, rinsed
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) Progresso® black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 ring (1 to 1¼ lb) fully cooked smoked Polish sausage

Directions

  1. Spray 3- to 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. Mix all ingredients except sausage in cooker.
  3. Place sausage ring on bean mixture.
  4. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 5 to 6 hours.

Variations

  • To simplify serving, remove the sausage ring and slice into chunks then return to the crockpot to keep warm.
  • Substitute your favorite sausage. We like kielbasa.
  • Chunks of bacon would also be a nice addition to the crockpot.

White-Bean and Sausage Stew

The photo of this recipe, with chunks of sausage and lots of beans, has me ready for a soup night. From the October 2006 issue of All You (original here), this crockpot soup is bound to fill the house with a wonderful aroma!

Ingredients

  • 6 (3 oz.) Italian sausages
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans white beans (Great Northern or navy), rinsed and drained
  • 1 (28 oz.) can chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Poke holes in sausages and put in a large nonstick skillet.
  2. Add 1/4 cup water; bring to a boil.
  3. Lower heat and cook sausages, turning, until lightly browned and water has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a plate.
  5. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, about 3 minutes.
  7. Add beans, tomatoes and thyme.
  8. Put half of bean mixture into a slow cooker.
  9. Arrange sausages on top, followed by remaining beans.
  10. Cook on high for 4 hours.
  11. Check after 2 hours and add water if mixture looks dry.
  12. Remove sausages; slice thickly.
  13. Season beans with salt and pepper.
  14. Return sausage to stew. (Stew can be kept, frozen and tightly sealed, for up to 1 month.)

Classic Minestrone

Oddly, our family has never favored a minestrone recipe. When we think Italian food, it’s always a plate of pasta. This recipe from the October 2011 issue of All You (original here) might be worth sneaking into the line-up however. Everyone likes all those ingredients—and I bet if I add some meatballs, that pot of soup will disappear.

Ingredients

  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes with liquid
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup small shell pasta or macaroni
  • 1 cup shredded escarole or kale
  • 1 15.5-oz. can cannellini or navy beans, drained
  • Grated Parmesan, for serving, optional

Directions

  1. Combine carrots, celery, onion and garlic in slow cooker.
  2. Pour in broth and stir in tomatoes, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper and Italian seasoning.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.
  4. Thirty minutes before serving, stir in pasta, escarole and beans.
  5. Cover, increase heat to high and cook until pasta is tender, about 30 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot, sprinkled with Parmesan, if desired.

Variations

  • I will probably add two dozen small meatballs with the vegetables and broth.
  • This would be a great candidate for a bread bowl. Mmm.

Slow-Cooker Enchilada Casserole

I’m always intrigued by the stacked tortilla recipes that I see, but I often wonder how difficult they are to serve. This recipe from the July 2011 issue of All You (original here) is different from others that I’ve seen because the tortillas are toasted before going in the crockpot. I can’t wait to give it a try.

Ingredients

  • 9 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1 15-oz. can can or jar enchilada sauce
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar

Directions

  1. Place an oven rack about 5 inches from broiler and preheat broiler to high.
  2. Toast tortillas under broiler, turning once, until lightly spotted, 2 to 3 minutes total. Set aside.
  3. Reserve 2 Tbsp. enchilada sauce.
  4. Combine beans and remaining sauce in a bowl.
  5. Mist slow-cooker insert with cooking spray.
  6. Place 3 tortillas in bottom, breaking one into pieces if necessary to cover bottom.
  7. Spread half of bean mixture over tortillas.
  8. Sprinkle with 1 cup corn and 1/2 cup cheese.
  9. Repeat with 3 more tortillas, remaining bean mixture, remaining corn and 1 cup cheese.
  10. Top with 3 remaining tortillas, reserved sauce and remaining 1 cup cheese.
  11. Cover and cook on low until cheese has melted and is beginning to crisp on edges, 2 to 3 hours.

Variations

  • I’m not sure the vegetarian meal would pass the Board of Inquiry at this house, so I will probably add some canned chicken or browned ground beef with the beans and sauce mixture.
  • I suspect that a Mexican blend of cheese would be a nice substitute for the Cheddar.

Slow Cooker Ham & Scalloped Potato Casserole

According to the recipe from Campbell’s (original online), “The slow cooker makes it easy to make this mouthwatering casserole, packed with potatoes, ham and a creamy Cheddar cheese sauce.”

Ingredients

  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1 pound diced cooked ham (about 2 cups)
  • 4 pounds potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 8 cups)
  • 1 large onion, sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cans (10 3/4 ounces each) Campbell’s® Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Directions

  1. Spray the inside of a 5 to 6-quart slow cooker with the cooking spray.
  2. Layer the ham, potatoes and onion in the cooker.
  3. Stir the soup and milk in a small bowl.
  4. Pour the soup mixture over the potato mixture and sprinkle with the paprika.
  5. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours or until the potatoes are tender.

Variations

  • Time-Saving: Or you may cook the recipe on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours.

Time Required: 7 hours

Servings: 8