Every spring, my family heads to our timber to collect morel mushrooms and then stock up on this stew, because nothing tastes better than being able to enjoy it out of season. If you aren't lucky enough to have morels, button mushrooms or baby portobellos will work too. —Amy Wertheim, Atlanta, Illinois
My niece shared this recipe with me, and whenever I’ve served it, I get requests for the recipe. The sausage, tortellini, tomatoes, zucchini and herbs make it different from typical stews featuring meat and potatoes. It’s a hearty one-dish meal that’s simple to prepare.
"This is one of the tastiest stews I have ever made," notes Dixie Terry of Goreville, Illinois. "It's hearty and especially good for folks on restricted diets because most of its flavor comes from herbs and spices.
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
This stew is perfect for warming up on a wintry day. It is a good dish to make when you're busy, since it's quick to prepare and doesn't need attention while cooking. Instead of noodles, I often serve it with rice.
It's especially nice to use this recipe in fall, when the weather gets crisp and Nebraska's apple orchards start selling fresh apple cider. This entree's subtle sweetness is a welcome change from other savory stews. We enjoy it with biscuits and slices of apple and cheddar cheese.
-Joyce Glaesemann, Lincoln, Nebraska
My mom made this stew when I was young, and it was always a hit. Since it's not time-consuming to make I can fix it on a weekend for our children, who love the tender dumplings. —Becky Mohr of Appleton, Wisconsin
When I was a new bride 25 years ago, this recipe was inside a serving dish I received as a gift. It's great on winter evenings served with a loaf of fresh bread. The cider and vinegar help tenderize the meat and provide wonderful flavor to this hearty stew.
-Carol Hendrickson, Laguna Beach, California
Like a thick hearty soup, this stew is packed with tender chicken and an eye-catching combination of vegetables. I could never wait patiently to eat when Mother was cooking this stew. —Milded Sherrer, Fort Worth, Texas