My husband always puts us down for a side dish when we're invited to a potluck. Canned beans cut down on prep time yet get plenty of zip from bacon, apple, red pepper and onion. I like simmering this mixture in the slow cooker because it blends the flavors and I don't have to stand over the stove. —Sheila Vail, Long Beach, California
Pork sausage, ground beef and plenty of beans make this chili a hearty meal-starter. I keep the versatile mixture in serving-size containers in my freezer at all times. I can quickly warm up bowls of it on cold—or use it to fix chili dogs, chili tacos and more.
This dressing recipe is so delicious no one will know it's lower in fat. And best of all, it cooks effortlessly in the slow cooker, so the stove and oven are freed up for other dishes! —Raquel Haggard, Edmond, Oklahoma
Some say you can have your cake and eat it, too...I say eat your chili and the bowl, too! I work the "graveyard shift" at the post office in Portland. During those hours, there is no place to buy meals, so I often bring in dishes like this chili to share with co-workers.
I fix this moist, tender ham to serve my large family. It can be readied quickly in the morning, frees up my oven, tastes outstanding and can feed a crowd. Covered with colorful pineapple slices, cherries and orange glaze, tis showstopping appearance appeals to both children and adults.
Medford, New Jersey
My mother often took this comforting side dish to social dinners because it was such a hit. Now I get the same compliments when I make it. Bacon and onion jazz up a creamy mixture that takes advantage of convenient frozen hash browns and canned soups. —Donna Downes
Las Vegas, Nevada
My mom made the best Italian beef. I’ve added to it over the years, but it’s still her recipe. She made this for family reunions, and there were never leftovers. Now I make it for myself and freeze it in single-serving sizes. It makes a quick and easy meal as a sandwich or served over noodles.—Mary Mcvey, Colfax, North Carolina