“Mom made this when we were kids, and it was always my first choice for birthday dinners,” recalls Kristy Hawkes in South Ogden, Utah. “Now I do the prep work in the morning and just let it simmer all day. When I get home, all I have to do is boil the spaghetti, brown some garlic bread and dinner is on!”
Before heading to work in the morning (I'm a dental assistant), I'll get this going in the slow cooker. Then it's all ready to serve - usually with hard rolls and potato salad or another salad - as soon as my husband and I walk in. When my son - one of three children...24, 22 and 19 - moved to another state recently, I cut up beef roast in smaller portions, repackaged it and sent seasonings for a two-person slow cooker as his housewarming present.
-Lynn Williamson, Hayward, Wisconsin
It's easy to fix this roast, which has lots of onion flavor. Sometimes I also add cubed potatoes and baby carrots to the slow cooker to make a terrific meal plus leftovers. —Carol Hille, Grand Junction, Colorado
This is one of those recipes you always come back to. A flavorful tomato sauce and mildly spiced meatballs make a hearty sandwich filling, or they can be served over pasta. I broil the meatballs first to quickly brown them. —Jean Glacken, Elkton, Maryland
Pork sausage, ground beef and plenty of beans make this chili a marvelous meal. I keep serving-size containers of it in my freezer at all times so I can quickly warm up bowls on busy days. —Margie Shaw, Greenbrier, Arkansas
What better way to celebrate the holiday than with this hearty one-pot meal. The beef, potatoes and carrots are tender and full-flavored. "I often fix this for St. Patrick's Day, but it's good any time of the year," notes Dawn Fagerstrom, a field editor in Warren, Minnesota.
This layered Southwestern meal just can't be beat. It gets its spicy flavor from green chilies, chili powder and cumin. Using a slow cooker liner inside of the cooker makes it easier to lift and remove the meal so it can be cut into individual wedges.—Judy Ragsdale, Queen City, Texas
If I'm cooking for a party or family get-together, I can put this beef in the slow cooker in the morning and then concentrate on other preparations. It's a great time-saver and never fails to get rave reviews.
—Ginny Koeppen of Winnfield, Louisiana
I created Picante Beef Roast because I love the flavor of taco seasoning and think it shouldn't be reserved just for tacos! My recipe couldn't be easier, and it works great with a pork roast, too. —Margaret Thiel, Levittown, Pennsylvania
"This tender roast is one of my favorite fix-and-forget meals," says Jan Roat of Red Lodge, Montana. "I thicken the juices with a little flour and add ketchup, then serve the sauce and beef slices over pasta."
I like this recipe not only because it makes such tender and flavorful beef, but because it takes advantage of a slow cooker. It's wonderful to come home from work and have this mouthwatering dish waiting for you. The beef doubles as a warm sandwich filling, too.—Chris Snyder, Boulder, Colorado