Reinventing the Crockpot: 4 Recipes that Won’t Taste Like Your Mom’s Pot Roast

Photo posted by @crockpot on Instagram

When many college students hear the word “crockpot,” they shudder with fear. Many share the experience of coming home after a long day of school and seeing the crockpot on the counter, filled with an unknown stew or chili. However, we no longer have to be scared of whatever mysterious recipe our mom found on Jenny Craig. College students have reinvented the crockpot, using it for a verity of different, and easy, recipes in their college apartments. Here are four easy recipes ideas that VALLEY suggests to make with your mom’s crockpot.

Buffalo Chicken Dip
Photo from Persnicketyplates.com

Buffalo chicken dip, a game day favorite, can easily be made in a crockpot and will be ready to serve up to guests in no time. This recipe from Persnickety Plates is sure to have your guests hovering around the crockpot for the entire game.

What You’ll Need
  • 1 pound cooked chicken — shredded
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup ranch dressing
  • 3/4 cup wing sauce
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
What You’ll Do
  1. Cook chicken and add any seasoning you like. If you are using already cooked chicken, like rotisserie, you can skip this step.
  2. Add all ingredients to the crockpot and cook on HIGH for an hour (until everything is melted) and stir after thirty minutes.
  3. Stir and turn heat down to LOW or WARM and serve.
Beef Tacos
Photo from Themodernproper.com

These beef tacos are a great meal to make while hosting a movie night or during the big game. You can set up a taco bar with this recipe from The Modern Proper for you and your friends to enjoy.

What You’ll Need
  • 12 ounces salsa
  • 1/4 cup taco seasoning (1-2 packets)
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
What You’ll Do
  1. Put all ingredients into the crockpot.
  2. Cover and cook on LOW for four hours or HIGH for three hours.
  3. Stir every hour and drain any liquid that builds up while cooking (optional).
  4. Serve meat and add cheese, lettuce, tomato, or anything else you desire in a soft or crispy taco shell.
Mac & Cheese
Photo from Bakeitwithlove.com

Whether you cook it up for dinner or save it for a late night snack, mac & cheese is always a yummy option, especially with this recipe from Bake it With Love. Your 1 a.m. self will thank you for leaving leftovers.

What You’ll Need
  • 1 pound uncooked elbow pasta
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (or up to 8 ounces if you want it extra creamy)
  • 3 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded American cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup cubed butter
What You’ll Do
  1. Spray crockpot with non-stick cooking spray. Rinse uncooked noodles under cool water and drain.
  2. Add ingredients to crockpot. Add noodles first, then milk, evaporated milk, all cheeses and seasonings and stir to combine.
  3. Add butter on top of the submerged noodles. Spread evenly.
  4. Cook on LOW for one hour. Stir after the hour and keep cooking if not fully done.
  5. Serve up!
Breakfast Casserole
Photo from Pinterest.com

Now, the crockpot is not limited to just lunch and dinner. It can also be used to make delicious breakfasts, like this casserole by The Girl Who Ate Everything.

What You’ll Need
  • 30 ounces frozen or fresh shredded hash browns
  • 1 pound ground sausage, crumbled bacon, or diced ham
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 4 ounces green chiles
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
What You’ll Do
  1. Cook and prepare your desired breakfast meat.
  2. Place hash browns, meat, onion and green chiles in a bowl and mix together.
  3. Layer 1/3 of the mixture in crockpot, then add salt and paper. Layer with 1 cup of cheese on top. Repeat this two times and end with cheese on top.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, milk, dry mustard, salt and pepper together. Pour into the crockpot.
  5. Cook on LOW for six to eight hours or HIGH for three to four hours and serve with any added toppings like salsa or sour cream.

The next time you have guests over, or just have a hankering for a home-cooked meal, impress your guests and yourself by whipping up a meal or snack in your mom’s old crockpot.

Tag us on Instagram, @VALLEYmag, with pics of your crockpot creations.

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