Slow Cooker Cabbage and Sausage

Slow cooker cabbage and sausage is an easy, hands-free way to make a delicious, filling, and cozy meal. Perfect for meal prep!

The post Slow Cooker Cabbage and Sausage appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Cabbage and sausage is one of the most delicious and satisfying combinations, IMHO. I’ve cooked cabbage and sausage together several ways in the past, but I wanted to test them out in the slow cooker to see if this easy, hands-off cooking method would work too. The verdict? It works! Cabbage and sausage cooked in a slow cooker turns out tender, brothy (almost like a cabbage and sausage soup), and totally delicious.

Cabbage, sausage, and potatoes in the slow cooker

What Kind of Sausage to Use

You’ll want to use a smoked sausage for this recipe. I suggest using something like kielbasa or andouille. This smoky flavor and spices in the sausage help flavor the entire pot during the long, slow simmer, which makes everything extra flavorful!

Potato Options

I used baby creamer potatoes because they’re easy and didn’t require me to do any chopping, but you could also use red potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes, chopped into 1 to 2-inch pieces. Russet potatoes would probably fall apart a little too much to be practical in this recipe.

How to Season Cabbage and Sausage

My goal for this recipe was to keep it as simple as possible, so I only added a couple of teaspoons of steak seasoning (a chunky mix of salt, pepper, garlic, and red pepper). You could also use something like Cajun seasoning, or you could do something simple like a little salt, pepper, paprika, and caraway seeds.

How to Serve Cabbage and Sausage

I spooned the cabbage, sausage, potatoes, and broth into a bowl and at it as sort of a brothy bowl (not quite a soup, but not quite dry), but you could use a slotted spoon to leave the broth behind if you prefer. Either way, some crusty bread and butter on the side really solidifies this as the ultimate comfort food. :)

slow cooker cabbage and sausage in a shallow bowl with a fork
Close up overhead view of cabbage and sausage in the slow cooker

Slow Cooker Cabbage and Sausage

Slow cooker cabbage and sausage is an easy, hands-free way to make a delicious, filling, and cozy meal. Perfect for meal prep!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $7.80 recipe / $1.30 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6 1.5 cups each
Calories 314kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb. baby potatoes $2.99
  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 1/2 head chopped cabbage (5-6 cups) $1.14
  • 2 tsp steak seasoning $0.20
  • 14 oz. smoked sausage $2.79
  • 2 cups chicken broth $0.26
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional garnish) $0.10

Instructions

  • Chop the onion into 1-inch pieces. Place the baby potatoes and onions in the bottom of a 5 quart or larger slow cooker.
  • Chop the cabbage into 1-inch pieces. Add the cabbage and steak seasoning to the slow cooker.
  • Slice the sausage into ½-inch thick rounds. Add the sausage to the slow cooker along with the chicken broth. Stir slightly to nestle the sausage down into the cabbage. It's okay if the broth does not cover all the ingredients.
  • Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
  • After 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low, stir to combine the ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Top with chopped parsley, if desired, then serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 18g | Sodium: 866mg | Fiber: 4g
Close up side view of a plate full of cabbage, sausage, and potatoes

How to Make Slow Cooker Cabbage and Sausage – Step by Step Photos

Onion and potatoes in the slow cooker

Chop one yellow onion into one-inch pieces. Place 1.5 lbs. baby potatoes and the chopped onion in the bottom of a 5 quart or larger slow cooker.

cabbage and steak seasoning added to the slow cooker

Chop ½ head of cabbage into one-inch pieces (about 5-6 cups once chopped). Add the chopped cabbage to the slow cooker along with 2 tsp steak seasoning.

sausage and broth added to the slow cooker

Slice 14oz. smoked sausage into ½-inch thick rounds. Add the sliced sausage to the slow cooker along with 2 cups chicken broth.

Stirred ingredients in the slow cooker

Slightly stir the ingredients in the slow cooker just so the sausage gets nestled down into the cabbage a bit.

Cooked cabbage, sausage, and potatoes

Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours. After cooking, it will look a little like this.

Stirred cabbage, sausage, and potatoes in the slow cooker

Stir everything together, top with chopped parsley (optional), and serve hot!

A shallow bowl full of slow cooker cabbage and sausage

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Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

Let the slow cooker do all the work for you when you make this big batch of freezer-friendly homemade spaghetti sauce.

The post Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’ve made a few variations of pasta sauce over the years, but this Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce is definitely one of my favorites. The long slow simmer caramelizes the sugars in the tomatoes and creates a depth of flavor that can’t be matched. Plus, what more could you ask for than to just throw some ingredients in a pot, forget about it for 8 hours, and then come back to a rich, delicious homemade sauce? Then you can divide the sauce into portions, freeze, and you’ll have delicious homemade pasta sauce on hand for quick busy weeknight dinners.

Originally posted on 11/4/2011, updated 1/12/2022.

Pasta sauce in a slow cooker with a spoon, garnished with parsley

Why make Homemade Spaghetti Sauce?

Pasta sauce can be bought premade really cheaply, so I think in a lot of cases it does make sense to just buy a jar and go with it. But if you want to have a little more control over the quality and ingredients of your pasta sauce while still keeping costs low, this Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce is a great option. 

What Size Slow Cooker to Use

This recipe makes about 2 quarts of sauce, so I would suggest using a 3 quart or larger slow cooker. You don’t need anything fancy, just a very basic slow cooker with basic functions like warm, low, and high. I do find that slow cookers made with a thick ceramic insert (or “crock”) cook much more evenly than metal inserts, like you’d have when using the slow cooker function on an Instant Pot.

Why Add Balsamic Vinegar?

The balsamic vinegar in this recipe adds a subtle depth and brightness to the sauce. It can seem strong at first, but it mellows out as the sauce is cooked. If you’re not a fan of balsamic vinegar or just don’t have any on hand, this recipe will still make a really amazing sauce even if you leave it out.

Can I Add Meat?

I’ve tried this sauce before with ground beef and I found the cook time to be far too long for the ground beef, so if you do want to add meat I suggest browning it separately and then just stirring it into the sauce after cooking. You can also check out my quick Weeknight Pasta Sauce for an easy and flavorful meat sauce option.

How to Freeze Pasta Sauce

This recipe makes about 7 cups. I suggest dividing the sauce into two or three cup portions before freezing so you can take out just enough for one recipe at a time to thaw. Let the spaghetti sauce cool completely in the fridge, then transfer to freezer-safe containers to freeze. The sauce will stay good in the freezer for about three months, but this can vary depending on the conditions in your freezer. If you use quart-sized freezer bags and freeze them laying flat they stack nicely in the freezer without taking up much space. 

You can thaw the sauce in the refrigerator overnight or just cut the bag away from the frozen sauce, place it in a saucepot, and heat over medium-low until it’s heated through (stir occasionally).

This sauce goes great with Homemade Meatballs (also freezer-friendly)!

A plate of pasta covered in sauce with bread on the side

Pasta sauce in a slow cooker garnished with parsley

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

Let the slow cooker do all the work for you when you make this big batch of freezer-friendly homemade spaghetti sauce.
Course Dinner, Sauce
Cuisine American, Italian
Total Cost $4.40 recipe / $0.63 per cup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 7 cups
Calories 77kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 2 28oz. cans crushed tomatoes $2.00
  • 1 6oz. can tomato paste $0.69
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil $0.30
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano $0.15
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar $0.03
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar $0.14
  • 4 Tbsp butter $0.40
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste) $0.05

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Place both in a 3 quart or larger slow cooker.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and butter to the slow cooker. Stir everything together well.
  • Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours.
  • After cooking, give it a good stir, then add salt to taste. Start with just ½ tsp of salt and add more if needed (I added 1 tsp). Use the sauce immediately, refrigerate, or freeze for later.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 77kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 393mg | Fiber: 1g

Homemade pasta sauce being spooned over a plate of spaghetti

How to Make Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce – Step By Step Photos

Onion and garlic in slow cooker

Dice one yellow onion and mince four cloves of garlic. Add both to a 3 quart or larger slow cooker.

Tomatoes added to slow cooker

Add 2 28oz. cans of crushed tomatoes and one 6oz. can of tomato paste to the slow cooker.

Seasonings added to the slow cooker

Also add 1 Tbsp dried basil, 1.5 tsp dried oregano, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, and 4 Tbsp butter to the slow cooker. 

Sauce ingredients being stirred together before cooking

Give the ingredients a good stir until they’re evenly incorporated.

Simmered pasta sauce in the slow cooker

Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours. After cooking, it will look a little like the photo above (the white is just the milk fats from the butter). Give it a good stir.

Finished pasta sauce in the slow cooker garnished with parsley

Add salt to the sauce to taste. Start with ½ teaspoon and add more until the flavors pop. I ended up using one teaspoon total. 

Side view of pasta sauce in the slow cooker

Use the slow cooker spaghetti sauce immediately or refrigerate then freeze for long-term storage.

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Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken is tender, juicy, tangy, and rich all at the same time! Perfect for sandwiches, nachos, salads, pizza, and more.

The post Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken recipe was one of the top things I was looking forward to making once I figured out the formula for my Homemade Ranch Seasoning. The slow-cooked chicken is tender, spicy, tangy, and rich all at the same time and there are a hundred different ways you can use it! Sandwiches, dips, salads, pizza, and more. I’ve got a full list of how to use this insanely easy and delish shredded buffalo chicken below, so don’t miss it! I’m sure this is something you’ll want to make over and over again throughout football season and the holidays.

Shredded buffalo chicken in a slow cooker with tongs

What is Buffalo Sauce?

If you’re unfamiliar with this American classic, Buffalo Sauce is basically a combination of hot sauce (traditionally Frank’s Red Hot Sauce) and butter, which creates a super tangy, spicy, and slightly rich sauce that is used to coat fried chicken, among other things. For this slow cooker buffalo chicken, we’ve gone one step further and added ranch seasoning mix, which is a super tasty combination of buttermilk powder, herbs, and spices. The ranch seasoning adds a huge burst of flavor to the sauce and makes it even a little bit more creamy. It’s just to die for!

What Kind of Hot Sauce to Use

As mentioned above, buffalo sauce is usually made with Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, but you can use any similar vinegar-based cayenne flavored hot sauce for this recipe. I used the ALDI version of Frank’s and it was great!

Can I Substitute the Ranch Mix?

The ranch seasoning mix really brings a lot of flavor to this sauce, so I would avoid skipping it if possible. If you don’t have the ingredients to make your own ranch seasoning mix you can definitely use one packet of store-bought ranch seasoning in place of the ingredients listed below. Or, if you want to use your own herbs and spices but just don’t have the buttermilk powder, that will still taste really good, just slightly less rich.

How to Use Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

Okay, here’s the fun part. How do you use this delicious shredded buffalo chicken? SO MANY WAYS. Here are some ideas:

  • As a buffalo chicken sandwich or wrap: bun or tortilla, coleslaw, pickles, ranch dressing
  • On nachos: on tortilla chips with lettuce, shredded carrot, and a drizzle of ranch dressing
  • Make a buffalo chicken dip: stir cream cheese into the shredded chicken until melted for a super creamy dip
  • In a quesadilla: fill a tortilla with the chicken and shredded Monterey jack cheese, then toast in a skillet
  • On a salad: pile the chicken onto crisp iceberg, top with chopped celery, shredded carrots, and blue cheese dressing
  • Pizza: add it to a pizza with a white sauce and top with a little mozzarella and maybe a drizzle of ranch after baking

My mouth is totally watering just typing all of that out! This stuff is seriously so good.

Close up side view of shredded buffalo chicken in the slow cooker with tongs
Close up side view of shredded buffalo chicken in the slow cooker with tongs

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken is tender, juicy, tangy, and rich all at the same time! Perfect for sandwiches, nachos, salads, pizza, and more.
Total Cost $12.65 recipe / $1.58 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 8 ½ cup each
Calories 191kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Ranch Seasoning*

  • 2 Tbsp buttermilk powder $0.15
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp dried dill $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp lemon pepper $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp sugar $0.01
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.01

Buffalo Chicken

  • 12 oz. hot sauce $2.19
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts $9.53
  • 4 Tbsp butter $0.40

Instructions

  • Combine the ranch seasoning (buttermilk powder, parsley, dill, onion powder, garlic powder, lemon pepper, sugar, salt, and pepper) and hot sauce in a bowl.
  • Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of a 3 quart or larger slow cooker. Cut the butter into chunks and place the butter on top of the chicken. Pour the hot sauce mixture over the chicken and butter.
  • Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low heat for four hours. After four hours, use two forks to shred the chicken (if it's not tender enough to shred yet, let it cook a little longer).
  • Serve the shredded chicken and sauce on sandwiches, in quesadillas, on top of nachos or salads, or as a dip for crackers and chips.

Notes

*You can use a store-bought packet of ranch seasoning instead of the homemade mix, if needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 191kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 1350mg | Fiber: 1g
tongs holding a scoop of buffalo chicken over the slow cooker

How to Make Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken – Step by Step Photos

ranch seasoning being poured into a bowl of hot sauce

Combine the ingredients for the ranch seasoning (2 Tbsp buttermilk powder, ½ tsp dried parsley, ¼ tsp dried dill, ¼ tsp onion powder, ⅛ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp lemon pepper, ⅛ tsp sugar, ⅛ tsp salt, ⅛ tsp pepper) with one 12 oz. bottle of vinegar-based hot sauce.

Chicken and butter in the slow cooker

Place about 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast in the bottom of a slow cooker. Cut 4 Tbsp butter into chunks and place them on top of the chicken.

Hot sauce mixture being poured over the chicken in the slow cooker

Pour the hot sauce mixture over the chicken and butter in the slow cooker.

Cooked buffalo chicken in the slow cooker

Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook the chicken on low heat for four hours.

two forks shredding the chicken in the slow cooker

After four hours the chicken should be tender and easily shreddable using two forks (if it’s not, let it cook another 30 minutes).

shredded chicken in buffalo sauce in the slow cooker

Fully shred the chicken, then enjoy!

A buffalo chicken sandwich with coleslaw
Shown on a bun with Creamy Coleslaw.

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Naturally Corned Beef

How to make your own naturally-cured Corned Beef without nitrates.  It is easier and healthier than you may think! Allow one-week curing time.  Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live. ~ Norman Co…

How to make your own naturally-cured Corned Beef without nitrates.  It is easier and healthier than you may think! Allow one-week curing time. #cornbeef #stpatricksday #irishfood

How to make your own naturally-cured Corned Beef without nitrates.  It is easier and healthier than you may think! Allow one-week curing time.  Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live. ~ Norman Cousins I think we need to take advantage of any ritual and...

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Slow Cooker Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork

There’s nothing quite like a slow-cooked, tender, juicy shredded pork. It’s versatile and freezes well, so I love making a big batch of this Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork to keep on hand for quick dinners later. This heavily spiced pulled pork has become one of my favorites over the years and is probably one of […]

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There’s nothing quite like a slow-cooked, tender, juicy shredded pork. It’s versatile and freezes well, so I love making a big batch of this Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork to keep on hand for quick dinners later. This heavily spiced pulled pork has become one of my favorites over the years and is probably one of my most cooked recipes. It’s just too easy, with the slow cooker doing all the work, and the results are soooo delicious! 

Originally posted 9-12-2015, updated 2-13-2021.

Overhead view of a bowl full of chili rubbed pulled pork with taco fixings on the sides

Use a Slow Cooker for Tender, Moist Meat

Pulled pork is super easy to make, especially if you have a slow cooker. Slow cooking holds in all the moisture during cooking and slowly breaks down connective tissue, so the meat is so tender that it just falls apart and shreds with the touch of a fork. Combine those spectacular results with the fact that slow cookers are essentially hands off, and this is, without dispute, my favorite way to make pulled pork.

How To Use Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork

This delicious shredded meat can be used so many different ways. Pile the pork into rice bowls, burritos, quesadillas, tacos, or just enjoy on a bun. I also love using it to top salads for an extra shot of protein.

Freeze the Extras

This makes a BIG batch, so keep some in your fridge for the week and freeze the rest. To freeze the pulled pork, divide the pork into more manageable portions (I usually do 1-2 cup portions), then chill it completely in the refrigerator overnight. Transfer the pork to the freezer once completely cooled and keep frozen for up to 3 months. Any freezer safe container works.

Front view of a bowl full of chili rubbed pulled pork with taco fixings in the back

Overhead view of a bowl full of chili rubbed pulled pork with taco fixings on the sides

Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork

Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork is a tender, juicy, and flavorful meat that can be used for tacos, nachos, burritos, salads, and more!
Total Cost $5.54 recipe / $0.92 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 (1/2 cup each)
Calories 434.52kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. boneless pork butt or shoulder $4.47
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder* $0.60
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika $0.30
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1 tsp salt $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Combine the chili powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper in a bowl.
  • Cut the pork butt into 2-3 inch cubes. Place the pork cubes in a large bowl, sprinkle the prepared spice mix over top, then stir to coat the meat in the spices.
  • Place the seasoned meat in a slow cooker, place the lid on top, and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or low for 8-9 hours.
  • After cooking, stir the meat with a fork to shred the meat. If it's not tender enough to fall apart when stirred, return the lid and cook for an additional 30 minutes adn try again. After shredding the meat, it is ready to serve, or portion and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. Keep the shredded meat in the juices from the slow cooker until ready to serve for the best flavor.

Notes

*This chili powder is not spicy. It is a mild, earthy blend of chiles and other spices commonly referred to as "chili powder" in the United States.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5Cup | Calories: 434.52kcal | Carbohydrates: 2.37g | Protein: 40.1g | Fat: 28.6g | Sodium: 649.27mg | Fiber: 1.42g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Three pulled pork tacos on a plate with coleslaw

Chili rubbed pulled pork served as tacos in corn tortillas with sliced jalapeños, pickled red onions, and cotija, Cumin Lime Coleslaw on the side.

How to Make Slow Cooker Pulled Pork – Step by Step Photos

Spices for the chili rubbed pulled pork in a small wooden bowl

Prepare the chili spice rub first. In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp chili powder, 1 Tbsp smoked paprika, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, 1 tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Stir until they’re evenly mixed.

Pork butt cut into large chunks

Cut one 3 lb. boneless pork butt or shoulder into large chunks (about 2-3 inch pieces). 

Seasoned pork butt pieces in a bowl

Place the pieces of pork in a bowl and pour the spices over top. Stir the pork pieces until they’re evenly coated in spices.

Seasoned pork in the slow cooker

Place the seasoned pork in a slow cooker (I’m using a 5 qt slow cooker and it’s only about half full). I do not add any water or liquid to the slow cooker, as the meat will release quite a bit of liquid as it cooks. If your slow cooker specifies that you must add some liquid, you can add a cup of water.

Cooked Pork in the slow cooker

Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-9 hours. After cooking it should be so tender that it begins to fall apart when stirred. If it doesn’t, simply put the lid back on and continue to cook for 30-60 minutes more. Sometimes that last little bit of time makes a huge difference in the texture.

Shredded pork in the slow cooker

Stir the pork in the slow cooker until it has shredded into smaller pieces. Serve immediately or transfer to a food storage container and refrigerate and/or freeze for later. I like to keep the meat right in the cooking juices during storage for maximum flavor.

Overhead view of a bowl full of chili rubbed pulled pork with taco fixings on the sides

It’s soooo tender and juicy! And those spices!!

Close up of a chili rubbed pulled pork taco

And it makes the absolute BEST tacos!!

Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork - BudgetBytes.com

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Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

It’s not even Halloween yet, but it’s never too early to start planning for Thanksgiving, so I’m going to throw you this little tip to save for later. There are so many moving parts that go into making sure a Thanksgiving meal is hot and ready all at the same time, and it’s even more […]

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It’s not even Halloween yet, but it’s never too early to start planning for Thanksgiving, so I’m going to throw you this little tip to save for later. There are so many moving parts that go into making sure a Thanksgiving meal is hot and ready all at the same time, and it’s even more challenging when you’re working with just one stove. Recipes like these Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes that can be prepared on the side will free up space on your stove top and, because it requires no babysitting, will leave your hands and eyes free to focus on other recipes. Thanksgiving Day boil-over averted. ?

Originally posted 12-29-2015, updated 10-8-2020.

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes in the slow cooker with melted butter and a wooden spoon

Why Make Mashed Potatoes in a Slow Cooker?

Using the slow cooker cuts out the “babysitting the boiling pot” step in the process of making mashed potatoes, which can really free you up to concentrate on the rest of your meal. It also eliminates boil overs, draining the potatoes, constantly checking them with a fork to see if they’re tender, using multiple pots and dishes, and gives you another free burner on your stove top. With slow cooker mashed potatoes, you just add everything to the pot and press a button and go. And if you can’t get to them right when the timer goes off, they’ll be okay!

How Do You Flavor Mashed Potatoes?

I flavored my mashed potatoes with garlic, pepper, butter, milk, and cream cheese, but you can use your tried and true favorite mashed potato add-ins with this recipe. The cooking process will stay the same: 3 lbs. potatoes and about 1.5 cups of broth. Then after they’re cooked, add in whatever you’d like! My All-Purpose Garlic Herb Seasoning is a favorite, but other fun seasoning blends include Everything But The Bagel Seasoning, or even ranch seasoning.

What Kind of Potatoes are Best for Mashed Potatoes?

Russet potatoes are my top choice for mashed potatoes because they have a light, fluffy flesh. You can use red potatoes, but they tend to create a more dense mashed potato.

Can I Make Them Vegetarian?

Absolutely! You can swap the chicken broth listed in the recipe below for vegetable broth. Just be aware that vegetable broth is usually a much darker color, so your finished mashed potatoes may look a little more brown.

What Size Slow Cooker Do I Need?

I’m using a 5 quart slow cooker, but it was only about half full, so you could probably get away with using a 3 quart slow cooker for this recipe.

Slow cooker mashed potatoes in a bowl with a spoon lifting a bite

 
Close up of mashed potatoes in the slow cooker with melted butter and a wooden spoon

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Slow cooker mashed potatoes are the perfect hands-off method for making rich and creamy mashed potatoes for the Holidays!
Total Cost $2.99 recipe / $0.50 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 1 cup each
Calories 259.77kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. russet potatoes $1.80
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth $0.20
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.05
  • 4 oz. cream cheese $0.40
  • 1/2 cup milk $0.25
  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.13

Instructions

  • Wash and peel the potatoes, then dice them into one-inch cubes. Rinse the diced potatoes with cool water in a colander to remove the excess starch.
  • Add the cubed potatoes, minced garlic, chicken broth, and some freshly cracked pepper to the slow cooker. Stir briefly to distribute the garlic and pepper.
  • Place a lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for three hours, or until the potatoes are fork tender. You can test the tenderness by lifting the lid just long enough to pierce the potatoes with a fork.
  • Take the lid off the slow cooker and add the cream cheese, milk, and butter. Stir to combine the ingredients and mash the potatoes. For an extra smooth mashed potato, use a hand mixer to briefly whip the potatoes until smooth.
  • Taste the potatoes and add salt or pepper if needed. Serve immediately, or switch the slow cooker to the "warm" setting until ready to serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 259.77kcal | Carbohydrates: 42.75g | Protein: 6.93g | Fat: 5.58g | Sodium: 441.73mg | Fiber: 3.18g

Try These Other Mashed Potato Recipes:

How to Make Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes – Step by Step Photos

Diced potatoes on a cutting board

Start by washing and peeling 3 lbs. of russet potatoes. Dice the peeled potatoes into one-inch cubes.

Diced potatoes in a colander

Rinse the cubed potatoes well in a colander. This removes the excess starch which can make your mashed potatoes gluey instead of fluffy.

Chicken broth being poured into the slow cooker with potatotes

Add the cubed potatoes to a slow cooker along with 2 cloves of garlic (minced), 1.5 cups of chicken broth, and some freshly cracked pepper. Stir briefly just to distribute the garlic and pepper. 

testing the potatoes tenderness with a fork

Cover the slow cooker, then cook on high for three hours, or until the potatoes are tender. You can test their tenderness by removing the lid just brief enough to see if a fork can be easily inserted into the potatoes.

Cream cheese and milk added to the potatoes in the slow cooker

Add 4oz. cream cheese, 1 Tbsp butter, and 1/2 cup milk to the hot potatoes. Stir with a spoon to combine the add-ins with the hot potatoes. The potatoes should be so tender that they begin to mash as you stir. You can continue to stir with a spoon for a chunkier mashed potato, or…

Creamy mashed potatoes in the slow cooker with a spoon, close up

Use a hand mixer to briefly whip the potatoes until smooth. 

Side view of mashed potatoes in the slow cooker with melted butter

Finally, taste the mashed potatoes and season with salt or pepper if needed. Depending on what kind of broth you use, you may want to add salt.

Close up of mashed potatoes in the slow cooker with melted butter and a wooden spoon

And that’s it! Soft, silky, flavorful slow cooker mashed potatoes without any “heavy lifting”. You can serve the potatoes right away or switch the slow cooker to the “warm” setting to keep them warm until you’re ready to serve dinner.

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Simple Shredded Chicken (Three Ways!)

Simple Shredded Chicken, made in an Instant Pot (pressure cooker), Slow cooker, or on the Stovetop! A simple EASY meal prep recipe that can be made ahead for the busy week, then turned into many different dinners! Here’s a very simple recipe for…

A simple easy recipe for Shredded chicken that can be made in an Instant Pot, Slow Cooker, or on the Stovetop. Use breasts or thighs, fresh or frozen, great for meal prep and busy weeknight dinners. Keeps for 5 days in the fridge, or freeze! #shreddedchicken

Simple Shredded Chicken, made in an Instant Pot (pressure cooker), Slow cooker, or on the Stovetop! A simple EASY meal prep recipe that can be made ahead for the busy week, then turned into many different dinners! Here’s a very simple recipe for shredded chicken that can either be made in an Instant pot, Slow Cooker, or...

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Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew

Y’all. I am SO ready for sweater weather and cozy slow cooker stews! To kick the season off, I made this super simple Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew this week. It’s nothing fancy, it’s just simple, good, comforting food! I love the simplicity of this dish and the flexibility. It’s the perfect thing to have simmering […]

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Y’all. I am SO ready for sweater weather and cozy slow cooker stews! To kick the season off, I made this super simple Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew this week. It’s nothing fancy, it’s just simple, good, comforting food! I love the simplicity of this dish and the flexibility. It’s the perfect thing to have simmering away on the weekend as you do your chores or relax and enjoy watching the changing of the seasons. :)

Overhead view of a bowl of slow cooker hamburger stew with bread on the side

What’s in Hamburger Stew?

Hamburger stew is very similar to traditional beef stew, but it’s made with ground beef instead of stew meat. Using ground beef is a little bit less expensive than using stew meat, and I like how you get a little bit of beef in every bite! 

In addition to the beef we have a medley of fresh vegetables (carrots, onions, potatoes, peas), beef broth, herbs and spices, plus a little Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce to zhuzh it up a bit. It’s incredibly simple, but creates that beautifully subtle slow stewed flavor.

Why Brown The Hamburger First?

For this Hamburger Stew I browned the ground beef in a skillet before adding it to the slow cooker. I did this for two reasons. One, to render off some of the fat. I used 15% fat ground beef and there was quite a bit that needed to be drained away (I actually tested this recipe once without draining the fat and it just ended up far too oily). The second reason is that you get a nice browning (maillard reaction) on the beef in the dry environment of a skillet that you do not get in the wet environment of a slow cooker. So you’ll get just a little bit more flavor with this extra step!

Can I Use Different Vegetables?

Yes! Stews are very flexible. If you don’t like one of the vegetables listed, go ahead and skip it. Just keep in mind that the potatoes do help thicken the stew, so if you skip the potatoes you’ll have more of a soup texture. Other great vegetables to use in beef stew include:

  • mushrooms
  • pearl onions
  • parsnips
  • turnips
  • rutabagas
  • sweet potatoes
  • winter squash (acorn, butternut, pumpkin)

What Are Stewed Tomatoes?

This recipe calls for stewed tomatoes, which are a variety of canned tomatoes that are popular in the U.S. (example: Hunts stewed tomatoes). These tomatoes are cooked with seasonings and a little bit of sugar to give them the slightest sweetness. Stewed tomatoes add a little extra special unique flavor to the broth of this stew. While you can use diced tomatoes if stewed tomatoes are not available, this substitution will slightly change the flavor of the stew.

How Long Is Hamburger Stew Good?

After cooking the hamburger stew, I suggest dividing it into single portions (so that it cools faster) and refrigerating it right away. It will stay good in the refrigerator for 4-5 days, or it can be transferred to the freezer for longer storage (about 3 months). This stew is a great item to have stashed in your freezer for busy nights! It can be reheated quickly in the microwave, or slowly over medium-low heat in a pot on the stove.

Slow cooker hamburger stew in a ladle over the slow cooker

 
Overhead view of a bowl full of slow cooker hamburger stew with bread and a spoon on the side

Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew

This super easy Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew is simple, comforting food at its best. And the leftovers are even better the next day!
Total Cost $9.88 recipe / $1.65 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 1.5 cups each
Calories 348.27kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. russet potatoes $1.20
  • 1/2 lb. carrots (about 4 carrots) $0.45
  • 1 yellow onion 0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary $0.05
  • ½ tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1 lb. ground beef $5.69
  • 1 15oz. can stewed tomatoes $1.00
  • 2 cups beef broth $0.26
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce $0.06
  • 1 cup frozen peas $0.60

Instructions

  • Peel and dice the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Peel and slice the carrots. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and pepper to a slow cooker (4 quarts or larger).
  • Brown the ground beef in a skillet, then drain off the excess fat. Add the browned and drained beef to the slow cooker along with the can of stewed tomatoes (with juices). Finally, add the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce to the slow cooker.
  • Give the contents of the slow cooker a brief stir to make sure everything is evenly combined (the broth may not fully cover the other ingredients). Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours, or low for eight hours.
  • After cooking on high for four hours or low for eight hours, remove the lid and stir the stew. Use the back of a spoon to slightly mash some of the potatoes, which will help thicken the stew.
  • Add the frozen peas (no need to thaw) and stir to combine into the stew. Taste the stew and add extra salt if needed (I did not add any, this will depend on the salt content of your beef broth). Serve hot with bread for dipping!

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 348.27kcal | Carbohydrates: 41.42g | Protein: 20.15g | Fat: 11.83g | Sodium: 751.72mg | Fiber: 5.07g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Try These Other Stew Recipes:

Front view of Hamburger Stew in the slow cooker

How to Make Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew – Step by Step Photos

Vegetables herbs and spices in the slow cooker

Peel and dice 2 lbs. of potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Peel and slice ½ lb. carrots (about 4 carrots). Dice one onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Add the potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic to a slow cooker along with ½ tsp dried rosemary, ½ tsp dried tyme, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper.

Browned ground beef and stewed tomatoes added to slow cooker

Brown one pound of ground beef and drain off the excess fat. Add the browned ground beef to the slow cooker along with one 15oz. can of stewed tomatoes (with the juices).

Beef broth Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce added to slow cooker

Add 2 cups beef broth, 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, and 1 Tbsp soy sauce to the slow cooker.

Slow cooker ready to be turned on

Give the contents of the slow cooker a brief stir to combine. The broth will not fully cover the meat and vegetables, but that’s okay. The vegetables will release more moisture and increase the broth as they cook. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours.

Cooked hamburger stew in the slow cooker

After cooking on high for four hours or low for eight hours, it will look like this. Give it a good stir and smash some of the potatoes against the side of the slow cooker. The smashed potatoes will help thicken the broth into a nice hearty stew.

Frozen peas being added to the slow cooker

Stir one cup of frozen peas into the slow cooker (they’ll thaw and heat within a minute or so). 

Finished slow cooker hamburger stew in the slow cooker

Give the hamburger stew a final taste and adjust the salt to your liking. I didn’t need to add any because the broth I use (Better than Bouillon) has a decent amount, but if your broth has less sodium you may find that a pinch of salt at the end helps the flavors pop!

Slow Cooker Hamburger stew in a bowl with a spoon lifting a bite

Serve the hamburger stew immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat (but I don’t know how you’ll resist having a bowl after smelling that cooking all day!).

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How to Make Birria! (in an Instant pot)

An authentic recipe for Birria, a flavorful Mexican Stew made with beef, lamb or goat, that can be cooked in an Instant Pot, Dutch Oven or Slow Cooker. Serve as stew- in a big bowl or make Birria Tacos – the best!  Oh hello Birria!  (Pronounced &…

An authentic recipe for Birria, a flavorful Mexican Stew made with beef, lamb or goat, that can be made in an Instant Pot, Dutch Oven or Slow Cooker. Serve this in a big bowl or make Birria Tacos - the best! #birria #birriatacos #mexicanstew #tacos

An authentic recipe for Birria, a flavorful Mexican Stew made with beef, lamb or goat, that can be cooked in an Instant Pot, Dutch Oven or Slow Cooker. Serve as stew- in a big bowl or make Birria Tacos – the best!  Oh hello Birria!  (Pronounced “beer-ya” with a lovely rolling rrrrr). Turns out Birria,...

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Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

This Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili is the perfect example of why people love slow cookers so much. You literally just dump everything in the slow cooker, give it a quick stir, then turn it on and walk away. When you come back you have this hearty white bean chicken chili that’s ready for topping […]

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This Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili is the perfect example of why people love slow cookers so much. You literally just dump everything in the slow cooker, give it a quick stir, then turn it on and walk away. When you come back you have this hearty white bean chicken chili that’s ready for topping with creamy cheese and diving in with some tortilla chips. And when the sky is dark, the air is cold, and you’ve got the winter blues, easy dinners like this are a total life saver!

Originally posted 1-2-2015, updated 2-9-2020.

Crock Pot White Chicken Chili

Two bowls of slow cooker white chicken chili topped with cheese and blue tortilla chips on the side

See this recipe used in my weekly meal prep.

Does White Chicken Chili Have Chili Powder?

Nope! Unlike traditional red chili, this “white” chili does not contain chili powder. It’s flavored using salsa verde, cumin, and oregano. This chili gets its name from the white beans used in place of the red kidney beans used in red chili.

Is This Chili Spicy?

This chili is a “medium” level spicy. If you want to make the chili more mild, skip the jalapeño and cayenne pepper listed in the ingredients, and make sure to use a mild salsa verde.

What Size Slow Cooker do I Need?

You can make this in a 3-4 quart slow cooker, or double the recipe for a 5-7 qt slow cooker and feed a crowd. I have a 5 quart slow cooker (affiliate link) and the recipe, as listed below, filled it about half way.

Can This White Chicken Chili be Frozen?

Yes, this chili freezes very well! As always, make sure to chill your chili completely in the refrigerator first, before transferring to the freezer for long term storage. I prefer to freeze all my leftovers in single portions so they can be reheated one by one whenever I get hungry.

Chili Topping Ideas

I highly suggest topping this chili with something creamy, like the Monterrey jack cheese listed in the ingredients below, some sour cream, or avocado. The creamy flavor is the perfect contrast to the salsa verde. You can also top with some green onion, sliced jalapeño, cilantro, pico de gallo, crumbled cornbread, or pickled red onions.

Overhead view of Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili in the slow cooker

 

Easy Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

The slow cooker does all the work with this easy, flavorful, and healthy white chicken chili. This "dump and go" dinner will become a family favorite!

  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 jalapeño (optional) ($0.11)
  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast (about 3/4 lb.) ($3.62)
  • 1 16 oz. jar salsa verde ($2.59)
  • 2 15 oz. cans cannellini beans ($0.98)
  • 1 15 oz. can pinto beans ($0.89)
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin ($0.30)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano ($0.10)
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper ($0.02)
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper ($0.03)
  • 2 cups chicken broth ($0.26)
  • 4 oz Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded ($0.85)
  1. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Slice the jalapeńo lengthwise, scrape out the seeds with a spoon, then dice. Place the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and chicken breast in the bottom of a slow cooker.
  2. Drain and rinse the cannellini beans and pinto beans, then add them to the slow cooker, along with the cumin, oregano, cayenne, and freshly ground black pepper. Pour the salsa over top.

  3. Pour two cups of chicken broth over the contents in the cooker and then give everything a brief stir. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours, or on low for eight hours.

  4. After four hours on high, or eight hours on low, carefully remove the chicken breast from the slow cooker and use two forks to shred the meat. Return the meat to the slow cooker. Stir the chili, slightly mashing the beans with the back of the spoon as you stir. The mashed beans will help thicken the chili.

  5. Serve the chili topped with shredded Monterrey Jack cheese. Other optional toppings include fresh cilantro, diced avocado, freshly squeeze lime, or tortilla chips.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up overhead view of a bowl full of slow cooker white chicken chili

How to Make Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili – Step by Step Photos

Onion, garlic, jalapeño, and chicken breast in the slow cooker

Dice one yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Slice the jalapeño in half, scrape out the seeds, then dice the remaining pepper. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and chicken breast to the slow cooker.

Beans and spices added to slow cooker

Drain and rinse two 15oz. cans of cannellini beans and one 15oz. can of pinto beans. Add the drained beans to the slow cooker along with 1 Tbsp cumin, 1 tsp oregano, ¼ tsp cayenne, and some freshly cracked black pepper.

Salsa verde being poured into the slow cooker

Pour one 16oz. jar of salsa verde into the slow cooker (I’ve used many brands for this recipe in the past, the one in the photo is Kroger’s Private Selectrion brand).

Chicken broth being poured into the slow cooker

Pour two cups of chicken broth into the slow cooker.

Briefly stir the slow cooker

Briefly stir the contents of the slow cooker to distribute the spices. Place a lid on top and cook on high for four hours, or low for eight hours.

Chicken breast being removed from slow cooker with tongs

After cooking on high for four hours, or on low for eight hours, remove the chicken breast to a clean cutting board to shred (or you can shred directly in the pot with two forks).

Shredded chicken on cutting board

Shred the chicken using two forks.

Chicken returned to slow cooker

Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Use the back of a spoon to smash some of the beans agains the side of the pot. The smashed beans will help thicken the chili.

A spoonful of white chicken chili being lifted out of the bowl, blue corn chips in the background

Top with your favorite ingredients and enjoy!

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