My husband and I both work full time and we have three daughters, so good, quick meals are important. This stew works wonders. It always tastes great and is a regular menu item for us. —Marie Shanks, Terre Haute, Indiana
Frozen meatballs and convenient jarred mushrooms with cans of tomato sauce and beef broth simplify this homey stew that cooks all day. Each bite boasts lots of fresh veggie flavor and comforting rich gravy. It smells so good while it cooks, it’s hard to resist! —Anita Hoffman, Holland, Pennsylvania
I created this slow cooker recipe using convenience products to save time chopping vegetables and browning beef. Apple cider and cinnamon are the unique additions that give a down-home flavor to this oh-so-easy and economical stew. It also makes a rich, flavorful potluck dish for holiday gatherings or on busy school nights. —Margaret Wilson, Sun City, California
Guests will take one bite of this savory stew and immediately know something is different. And they'll never guess the secret ingredient is beer! Serve this with a loaf of freshly-baked bread and everyone will be happy.
This recipe is called "Skier's Stew" because you put it in the oven…and head for the slopes! It looks after itself for 5 hours. I like to prepare it two or three times a month in the fall and winter. When I come home after a busy day and get in out of the cold, a good hot dinner is waiting for me! — Traci Gangwer, Denver, Colorado
This spicy slow-cooked stew from Rebecca Overy of Evanston, Wyoming combines tender chunks of pork with colorful tomatoes and green peppers. "I garnish bowls of it with chopped hard-cooked eggs and green onions," she adds.
Here's a jambalaya-type dish that comes together in the slow cooker. It's a wonderful way to warm up cold winter nights and works equally well for casual get-togethers or family dinners. For extra pizzazz, top with sour cream or shredded cheese, or try it with a loaf of crusty bread. —Dorothy Jordan, College Station, Texas
With big, tender chunks of sausage, potatoes and carrots, this meal-in-one has old-world flavor that will satisfy the heartiest of appetites. "A co-worker often made a big pot of this for our office staff, and it always disappeared in a hurry," notes Joalyce Graham of St. Petersburg, Florida.