I’ve been saving some serious money by slowing down and heating up my crock pot. The other day I gave you some reasons why slow cooking is good for your wallet, so now I’ll give you some recipes to help you get cooking! These crock pot recipes contain meat – chicken or beef. If you’re more into beans, then just swap the meat for your favorite legume. I’ll post some specific vegetarian slow cooker recipes later for my veggie friends.

Below each recipe I also offer meal ideas for your leftovers. One of the powers of making crock pot meals is finding ways to keep your money-saving leftovers for lunch or dinner.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Southwestern Chicken Soup

This crock pot recipe is a spicy and delicious chicken soup that can easily serve a family of four. I often make this soup using chicken thighs or chicken found on sale. Feel free to add a dollop of sour cream and a handful of tortilla chips to complete this meal in a fun way. The total cost of this dish was just under $7 – plus I stretched this meal further by using the leftovers to make a simple spicy chicken stew. How’s that for frugal food?

crockpot_slowcooker_chickensoupsouthwestern

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless chicken (thighs or breast), cut into even pieces.
  • 2 cans (about 14 ounces total) chicken broth
  • 3 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium green peppers, chopped
  • 1 medium red pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1 can chopped green chilies or 1 teaspoon crushed red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • handful tortilla chips (optional)

Instructions:
1. Slice chicken and vegetables in consistent and even pieces. My dog Tivo decided to watch carefully as I chopped the ingredients. She looks hopeful, non?

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2. Layer chicken into the bottom of your slow cooker, and then add your veggies on top. Add spices, and then add liquid ingredients. Stir.

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3. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours. Stir only before serving.

Leftover Recipe: Southwestern Chicken and Rice Stew

I always have yummy leftovers after serving this meal. To make the most of my dinner dollars I just add whatever is in my fridge. Some ideas include stirring in a few cups of rice, quinoa, or pasta. If you have some extra fresh veggies (like broccoli) try making a spicy chicken stir fry and serve with a wrap.

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In this leftover recipe I added 3 cups of wild rice bought on sale.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Slow cooker pot roast is one of the most common meals to make with a crock pot. My mom used to cook this meal often when I was a kid. This meal can be made in just three easy steps – the trick is to slice the potatoes and carrots in consistent chunks to help the food cook evenly. Finding a lesser cut of roast on sale can save you up to 50% on your grocery bill.

slowcooker_crockpot_roastpotatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 (3-4 pound) boneless beef roast
  • 2 large carrots, thinly and evenly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water or beef broth

Instructions:
1. Slice vegetables evenly and layer in the bottom of your crock pot or slow cooker.

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2. Salt and pepper meat, then place in pot on top of vegetables. Add liquid.

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3. Cover and cook on LOW for 10 to 12 hours or on HIGH for 5 to 6 hours. Serve with fresh salad to complete the meal.

Leftover Recipe: Crock Pot Beef Wrap

It’s a wrap! If you’ve got leftover slow cooker pot roast then try slicing up your beef and layering it into a wrap. Add some steak sauce, rice, quinoa, hummus, or veggies and you’ve got a yummy lunch or a second family meal. Using your leftovers is an easy way to lower your food costs.

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There you have it! Two easy, cheap, and healthy crock pot recipes for your next family meal.

Got a favorite slow cooker meal to share? Let’s hear it!