Talk about crowd-pleasers, these are definitely a hit! For the next of what I believe are 5 of the most popular crock pot recipes, let’s make scalloped potatoes. Another name for this comfort food is potatoes au gratin. Whatever you call it/them, I love them. I’m sure you will too.Scalloped Potatoes

Be warned!

These are by no stretch of the imagination anything that even resembles diet food!

If you’re on a low-calorie diet, stop reading now. These mouth-watering recipes may tempt you to stray from your diet.

On the other hand, if you like hearty and tasty, keep reading. These are for you.

After scalloped potatoes we’ll make some baked beans and some ribs.

See above warning.


Here Are The Basic And Necessary Ingredients For Scalloped Potatoes

  • 6-8 potatoes
  • 8-16 ounces of Ham or bacon
  • 8 ounces of Cheese (block or shredded)
  • Can of Cream of (chicken, celery, or mushroom) soup
  • 1-2 onions
  • Salt to taste
  • Generous sprinkling of paprika

As an alternative/option, feel free to add whole, sliced or chopped mushrooms.


Here’s How I Prepare Them

Place some of the ham or bacon on the bottom of the crock pot. This will provide oil that will prevent the potatoes and other ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the crock pot. Set the rest aside for now.

Slice the potatoes. Set them aside for now.Potatoes

I usually use American cheese but you can use whatever suits your taste and/or budget. I’ve also been known to use mozzarella. I’m not a cheese officianado. I just know I like cheese and there aren’t many I don’t like.

If you’re using block cheese,cut up the block into small cubes or squares. Set it aside for now.

Slice the onion(s) and set them aside for now.

Place some of the potatoes in the crock pot and some of the onion, cheese and on top with the bacon or ham around the edges. Again the fat in the meat provides the oil/grease that will prevent everything from sticking to the crock pot.

Continue the same process, layering the ingredents until all the potatoes, onions, cheese, and ham or bacon has been added.

Pour the can of soup over the top. Salt to taste (I sometimes don’t add salt at all as there’s plenty of salt in the meat and soup). Sprinkle a generous amount of paprika over the top.

Set the crock pot for low for 8-10 hours or high for 6-9 hours and walk away.

Be ready to eat.


Would You Like Baked Beans With That?

Another recipe that can double as a side to most anything or a main course is for baked beans. You can always buy them in a can but it’s more fun and a lot more satisfying and tasty to prepare them yourself.Beans

Ready?

Here are the ingredients:

  • 2 cups (one 16 oz bag) dry beans (your choice–great northern, navy, or black)–I’ve used all three.
  • 1 large or two medium onions
  • I pound uncooked bacon or salt pork (I prefer bacon)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup/catsup or barbeque sauce (I prefer bbq sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2-3 cloves of garlic (either is fine)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Here’s how to prepare them:

Fill the crock pot about 1/2 to 3/4 full with water–about 8 cups will do it. Pour in the beans and let them soak 12-24 hours–the longer the better.

Note: I’ve found that the longer the beans absorb water, the more it eliminates the gas-effect of the beans. As you may have heard, beans are often referred to as the magical fruit that makes you toot.

Trust me; It’s probably best to eliminate as much of that as possible.

After soaking the beans, pour the water and beans into a strainer or collander. While still in the strainer/collander, rinse the beans while turning them with your hands. Let them sit for a few minutes to allow as much of the water as possible to drain.

Return the strained and damp beans to the crock pot and add a cup of water along with all other ingredients.

Note: Feel free to cook the bacon or salt pork prior to adding to the crock pot. However, the cooking process will adequately cook it, although if you like the crunchiness, especially of bacon, the crock pot will not make it crunchy. I don’t cook it but it’s your choice.

Turn on the crock pot to low for 10-12 hours or high for 6-9 hours.

About halfway through cooking time, stir all ingredients. Otherwise DO NOT remove lid during cooking.

Bonus information: Baked beans are a great complement to eggs, especially omelettes, poured over the top or served on the side.


Another Super Easy Recipe–Ribs!

Whether you’re preparing a feast, which could include any combination or all the recipes in this series, or if you want to only prepare one of them, ribs in the crock pot are as easy as there is to prepare.Racks of Ribs

They’re always a hit with meat lovers!

There’s very little preparation.

Here are the ingredients and instructions:

  • 1-2 full rack(s) of ribs of your choice (beef or pork)
  • 1-2 large onions
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder or 3-4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 16-20 ounce bottle of barbeque sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste (optional)–I never add either
  1. Cut/separate the ribs into smaller slabs or individual ribs
  2. Add half of the ribs to the crock pot
  3. Place half of onion(s) and garlic over the top of ribs
  4. Pour half bottle of bbq sauce over ribs, garlic, and onion
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for other half

Turn on crock pot to low for 10-12 hours (closer to 12 hours if ribs are frozen) or 6-9 hours on high (at least 8 hours if ribs are frozen).

Bone Without MeatWhen cooking is completed, the meat will fall off the bone with little or no effort.

Bet you can’t eat just one!


How I Serve These Recipes

They can be served straight from the pot as a main course or as a side dish, especially another crock pot dish, particularly the crock pot chicken recipe, (5 of the most popular crock pot recipes–part 1) or crock pot chili (part 2).

I like to steam some organic vegetables, such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, or asparagus, mixed with any of the following or combination of spinach, collard greens, chard, or dandelion.

Another favorite of mine is an artichoke. They seem to go well with just about everything. They can be steamed on the stove or cooked in the crock pot.

Of course, a regular salad that consists of spinach, lettuce, and/or spring mix, plus carrots, tomato, mushrooms, and whatever else you like to put in a salad, will also complement the scallped potatoes very well.

If you want to liven up an ordinary salad, try cutting up an apple into small pieces and adding it to the salad. As a winning topper, carmelize (brown) some shredded coconut in a frying pan on the stove and pour over the top of the salad.


What About Clean Up?

No one likes that part of cooking but it needs to be done. One of the many advantages of cooking with a crock pot is how easy they are to clean.

However, one thing you need to know before cleaning is to NEVER submerge the electrical part of the crock pot in water, whether it’s plugged in or not!

The first crock pot I ever had, I did that and it never worked again. I ruined it after one use. Don’t do that!

If your crock pot is a one-piece unit, you must only clean it from the top by filling it with hot soapy water. I find it best to use a scrubber sponge. Anything that has stuck to the sides or bottom can usually be easily removed.

Rinse and turn upside down to dry.

On the other hand, most crock pots today have a removable pot that can be submerged in water and/or can be put in the dishwasher.

In any case, because they are so easy to clean, I wash mine by hand. If I put it in the dishwasher, it is simply to sterilize it. It’s up to you how you do it.


After It’s All Said And Done

I’ve presented what I think are 5 of the most popular Crock Pot recipes, parts 1-3.

  • Chicken
  • Chili
  • Scalloped Potatoes
  • Baked Beans
  • Ribs

Not only do you now have some great recipes, you also know how to clean up afterward.

If you have questions/comments, leave a reply below and I will respond as quickly as I can.

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