My family loves lamb, especially my son. During his first year of college, he claimed to be a vegetarian. When he came home, I had a pot of this slow-cooked lamb stew simmering on the counter. When my husband and I wanted to eat dinner, there were only a few shreds of meat left floating in the gravy—and my son confessed that he was the culprit!—Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois
"I love anything with Cajun spices, so I came up with this slow-cooker jambalaya that’s just as good as that served in restaurants," says Jennifer Fulk from Moreno Valley, California. "If you can’t find Andouille sausage, hot links, smoked sausage or chorizo will also work. I like to serve it with warm cornbread and garnished with sliced green onions."
Our family loves this hearty stew. I like to serve steaming helping in old-fashioned soup plates with thick crusty slices of homemade bread. To get the 11 cups of chopped cabbage for this stew, you'll need to start with a small head of cabbage, about 2 to 2-1/2 pounds. Or for quicker prep, substitute coleslaw mix from the produce department.—Karen Ann Bland, Gove, Kansas
Come home to warm comfort food! This is based on my mom’s wonderful recipe, though I tweaked it for the slow cooker. Add a sprinkle of Parmesan to each bowl for a nice finishing touch. —Marcella West, Washburn, Illinois
Here is a variation of a beef stew that I came across. With sweet flavor from apricots and squash, we think it has South American or Cuban flair. The addition of corn makes it even more hearty.
—Ruth Rodriguez of Fort Myers Beach, Florida
"I created this chunky soup when looking for something inexpensive and easy to make," recalls Sandra Castillo of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. The thick and hearty mixture is chock-full of ground beef, potatoes and baby carrots.
I adapted a pork and squash stew recipe, using tomatoes and Southwestern-style seasonings. My husband and sons loved it, and the leftovers were even better the next day! Try it with fresh corn muffins. —Molly Newman, Portland, Oregon
Kids of all ages will be delighted with the seasonal twist on this hearty beef stew, which also features mushrooms and parsnips. Rich mashed potato "ghosts" are piped onto each bowlful. The cook will love the convenient slow cooker preparation. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen