I hear it all the time, “I have a crockpot, but I don’t really use it.” How are you women surviving without your crockpot, is what I think to myself?!?!?! I use and abuse my crockpots. Yes, that is intentionally plural, as I actually own 3 of them, and have been considering getting a fourth! I love the fact that I can make dinner in the morning, enjoy the smell of it all day long, and barely lift a finger in the evening! I love the way the flavors meld together, after hours of simmering. You would be surprised at the variety of meals you can fix…and I promise, they aren’t all mush!
For those of you who are not familiar or confident with using your slow-cooker, relax. It is a very forgiving piece of kitchen equipment, and is perfect for even the beginner cook. There are so many things you can make with your crockpot, from soups, roast, pork BBQ, chocolate fudge cake, even yogurt! Winter time is the perfect time to put it to work. Over time, I will give you a handful of my favorite slow-cooker recipes. Today, I am going to start with one of my favorites, which we happened to enjoy this evening.
I love this recipe because of its versatility, and that, when made with low-fat ingredients, it is very healthy! Leftover chicken and sauce freeze perfectly, to make for a super-fast meal later!
6 Chicken Breast (frozen are just fine, no need to thaw!)
1 can of Condensed Cream of Chicken soup, regular or low-fat
1 can of Condensed Cream of Celery Soup or Cream of Mushroom, regular or low-fat
1 8 ounce package cream cheese
1 package (or 4 Tablespoons) dry Ranch Dressing mix, or Italian Dressing mix
1 12 ounce package Egg Noodles, regular or whole grain
3 cups fresh broccoli florets, rinsed
In your crockpot, put the chicken on the bottom. Dump the Cream of Chicken, and Cream of ______ soups on top of the chicken. Place cream cheese on top, and sprinkle with dressing mix. No need to stir. It will look something like this.
Put the lid on, and cook on LOW for approximately 8 hours, or HIGH for about 4 hours. Times will vary slightly. If you want to feel like you are doing something, you can stir it half way, but it is absolutely not necessary. It will look something like this at the end of the time. Don’t fret! Push the chicken to the bottom, and wisk the cream cheese and soup to make a smooth sauce.
Cook egg noodles as directed on the package. During the last 2 minutes, toss in your fresh broccoli. I love this trick! Exactly 2 minutes in the boiling water, and the broccoli is cooked to perfection (not too soft), a beautiful green, and so easy.
Strain the noodles and broccoli.
Spoon the sauce and chicken over your noodles and broccoli. Dinner is ready!
Not the most flattering picture of the little guy, but it gets my point across…the kids love it! This was his second helping!