There’s no need to heat up the house with these simple slow cooker and microwave recipes. Also be sure to check out the handy microwave tips below for even more ideas.

"I often whip up this easy Tender Beef ’n’ Bean Stew on days when I’m juggling a lot of the kids’ sports schedules," Juline Goelzer of Arroyo Grande, California says of this healthy and hearty entree. "Add a green salad and some corn bread or homemade rolls for a perfect meal."

Need to satisfy a sweet tooth in a hurry? Whip up a batch of these fast from-scratch Microwave Brownies from Marie Peart in Hagersville, Ontario.

Canned soup creates a comforting gravy for tender pork and potatoes in this simple meal-in-one. “Feel free to vary the amount of onion soup mix in Pork Chop Dinner to suit your family’s tastes,” says Mike Avery of Battle Creek, Michigan.

Sunny-colored squash shells make attractive bowls for Spaghetti Squash Primavera. The meatless meal is perfect for a summer supper. The recipe from CoraLee Collis of Ankeny, Iowa showcases a bountiful medley of vegetables.

In Portland, Maine, Valerie Jones spices up flank steak with convenient taco seasoning packets for her Steak Burritos. Slowly simmered all day, the beef is tender and a snap to shred. Just fill flour tortillas and add toppings for a tasty, timely meal.

This four-ingredient Peaches ’n’ Cream Crisp dessert from the Simple & Delicious Test Kitchen can be ready in 10 minutes. When fresh peaches are not available, simply use frozen sliced peaches and adjust the microwave time.

"Everyone in our family always asks me to make this quick-and-easy microwave recipe," relates Lisa Bales of Peru, Indiana. "I use Zucchini Beef Casserole as a side when I need a take-along dish or as a light one-dish supper at home."

Microwave Tips

  • A higher-wattage microwave cooks faster than a lower-wattage one, so adjust the time that’s needed to prepare dishes in your microwave. As a general guide, start with a time about two-thirds of what’s called for (6 minutes when the recipe says 9, as an example). Follow any doneness test mentioned in the recipe such as “until melted.” Soon you’ll have a feel for the timings needed in your microwave. —Test Kitchen
  • When warming individual items in the microwave, try placing them in a paper coffee filter. It’s great for doughnuts, rolls and pastries. You can eat the treat right out of the filter, too, with no dishes to wash. —Sue M., Booneville, Mississippi
  • To remove food that is stuck to the inside of your microwave, put some water in a microwave-safe bowl and bring it to a boil. Stop the microwave but don’t open the door…you don’t want the steam to escape. Let the bowl sit in the microwave for 5 minutes. Then open the door, take out the bowl and remove the food particles with a damp cloth. —Kelly D., DePere, Wisconsin