When I was still living in Missouri, a friend gave me all of her family cookbooks. I got the idea for this easy stew from one of these books. Believe it or not, the taco seasoning adds just the right touch. —Kristen Hills, Layton, Utah
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
Mitzi Sentiff of Annapolis, Maryland uses a packaged pot roast dinner jazzed up with a few additional ingredients to give it that slow-cooked flavor. “You might think this is too good to be true, but believe it,” writes Mitzi. “Serve it with a salad or veggie side dish and dinner rolls for a complete and delicious meal.”
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
For a stick-to-your ribs meal, try this hearty combination of beans and sausage. Because it calls for several canned items, it's easy to prepare and let cook for the afternoon. It's also inexpensive to serve. —Judy Sumner, Riverton, Utah
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
"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."
“I work long hours and try to find recipes for hearty meals that'll be ready when I arrive home,” writes Donna Wenger of Little Rock, Arkansas. “Everyone who tries this really enjoys the rich taste and tender meat.”