When I was young, my favorite food to order in a restaurant was beef stew. My mother and I decided to create our own and experimented with different ingredients until we came up with this recipe. Everyone liked this slow cooker version so much that now it's a tradition every time the whole family is together.—Chelsey Larsen, Sparks, Nevada
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 love this recipe because I can prepare the veggies the night before and, in the morning, brown the chicken and assemble everything in the slow cooker before I go to church. I can spend time with my family while Sunday dinner cooks.—Diane Halferty, Corpus Christi, Texas
"As the owner of a fitness center, I rely on a slow cooker many days to create a wonderful meal for my family." This hearty stew is chock full of herbs and spices reminiscent of the old days.
Susan Kain, Woodbine, Maryland
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