Marinara Sauce


3 cans crushed tomatoes (28 oz) - No salt added variety

2 cans diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)

5 garlic cloves (or 3 tbsp of minced garlic)

1 large onion, chopped

2 tbsp dried oregano

2 tbsp dried basil

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper



Mix all of the ingredients into a slow cooker.

Cook on low for 8 hours.  Let cool completely before freezing.

Roasted Vegetable Soup


2 onions, cut into 1 inch dice

2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch sticks

2 celery ribs, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices

1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch dice

1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch dice

8 white mushrooms, cleaned and quartered

4 large garlic cloves, whole and unpeeled

2 tbsp olive oil

6 cups vegetable broth, divided

1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes, with their juices

1 tsp Kosher salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed

1/2 tsp dried thyme

2 tbsp chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley

3 tbsp quinoa 


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

Toss the carrots, onions, celery, bell pepper, sweet potato, mushrooms, and garlic with olive oil on a rimmed sheet pan

Spread into an even layer and roast for 30 minutes (until veggies tender & lightly browned)

Scrape vegetables into a slow cooker 

Pour 1 cup of the vegetable broth onto the sheet pan and scrape up any bits into the cooker

Add remaining 5 cups of broth, diced tomatoes, and spices

Cover and cook 2-3 hours on high (or 4-6 hours on low)

Stir in quinoa and cook for another hour

Stir in parsley and cook for additional 5 minutes

Black Bean Chili


1 pound ground turkey breast or extra lean ground beef

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 fresh garlic cloves, minced

1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 large can (29 oz) diced tomatoes

2 tbsp tomato paste

2 cups water

1 small green pepper, diced

1 small red pepper, diced

1 small yellow pepper, diced

7 oz diced green chilies

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper


Cook meat and garlic together in a skillet over medium heat until meat is no longer pink

Drain and transfer meat to slow cooker

Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine and cook on high for 4 hours

Beef Tips


2 pounds lean chuck - Cut into small cubes

1 can 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup

1 package onion soup mix

1 can diet sprite or 7-up


Put meat in slow cooker

Pour soup and soda on top of meat

Cook all day on low (or high for at least 4 hours)

Turn off and let sit for 30 minutes before serving

BBQ Beef


2 1/2 pounds extra lean boneless chuck roast

1/4 cup ketchup

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1/4 tsp liquid smoke flavoring

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

1 cup BBQ sauce


Place beef in slow cooker

Combine remaining ingredients and pour over meat

Cook on low for 8-9 hours

Shred beef by pulling it apart with 2 forks

Add 1 cup of favorite BBQ sauce

Serve on rolls

Chicken Stew


2 tbsp olive oil

6 slices turkey bacon, diced into 1/2 inch pieces

8 oz mushroom, sliced

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 small carrot, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp marjoram

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 cup fat-free chicken broth

2 cups tomatoes, canned (16 oz)


Heat olive oil in a skillet - Saute bacon until browned

Add mushrooms, peppers, and onions - Saute for 1 minute

Add vinegar and cook for 1 minute

Scrape up browned bits from skillet

Set aside

Place chicken in slow cooker and add vegetable mixture on top

Combine remaining ingredients in bowl, mix, and pour over chicken

Cook on low for 8-10 hours

Serve over rice or egg noodles 

Potato Soup


1 30 oz bag of frozen, shredded hash browns

3 14 oz cans of chicken broth

1 can of cream of chicken soup

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/4 tsp ground pepper

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese


In slow cooker, combine all ingredients except cream cheese

Cook for 6-8 hours on low

About 1 hour before serving, add cream cheese to slow cooker

Serve with sour cream, cheese, bacon bits, and green onion (optional)

Turkey Meatballs


1 pound ground lean turkey

1 egg white

1 1/2 cup dry, old-fashioned oats

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried basil

1 jar (16 oz) tomato sauce

7 cups whole wheat pasta 


Combine turkey, egg, oats, and spices

Shape into 14 meatballs

Layer small portion of tomato sauce on bottom of crockpot and place meatballs on top 

Cover meatballs with remaining sauce

Cook for 4-5 hours on high for 8-9 hours on low


Other option:

Cover meatballs with sauce in a saucepan and simmer on medium heat for 45 minutes

Slow Cooker Cacciatore


1 large onion

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 bay leaf

2 cans (6 oz each) tomato paste

1/4 cup fat-free reduced sodium chicken broth

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp dried basil leaves

1 tsp dried oregano leaves

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 package (8 oz) sliced fresh mushrooms

4 cups pasta, uncooked

1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley


Place onions in slow cooker and top with chicken and bay leaf

Mix next 6 ingredients in a bowl, add mushrooms and stir to coat

Spoon mixture over chicken and cover with lid

Cook on low 7-9 hours (or high 4-5 hours)

About 15 minutes before ready to serve, cook pasta as directed

Drain pasta

Remove bay leaf from chicken mixture and discard

Spoon mixture over pasta

Top with cheese and parsley 

Thunderbird Stew


1 pound ground hamburg

1 pound bacon

1 cup onion (chopped)

1 cup ketchup

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tsp salt

3 tbsp white vinegar

1 tbsp BBQ sauce

2 cans pork & beans

1 can lima beans

2 cans pinto or navy beans


Fry the ground hamburg and set aside

Fry the bacon and onion together

Mix all the remaining ingredients together

Put everything into a slow cooker and cook on low for 4-9 hours

Pulled Pork


1 tbsp ground black pepper

1-2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tbsp chili powder

2 tbsp ground cumin

2 tbsp dark brown sugar

1 tbsp dried oregano

4 tbsp paprika

2 tbsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp ground white pepper 

6-8 pound bone-in pork shoulder

1/2 tsp liquid smoke

2 cups BBQ sauce


Mix all the spices together and massage into meat

Wrap meat tightly in double layer of plastic wrap

Refrigerate meat for at least 3 hours (can be as long as 3 days)

Unwrap and place in slow cooker

Add liquid smoke and 1/4 cup of water

Cook 8-10 hours on low until fork-tender

Transfer the meat to a cutting board and discard the liquid from the slow cooker

Shred the meat with two forks

Place the shredded meat back into the slow cooker and toss with 1 cup of BBQ sauce

Heat on low for 30-60 minutes until hot

Serve with additional BBQ sauce