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Ask Becky

Gerry Asks:

December 9, 2013 by Becky Becky

Q I'm eagerly searching for recipes to use in my slow cooker. It is my favorite way to cook. Can you please help me?

- Gerry


I agree, Gerry! The slow cooker is an invaluable kitchen tool. In the Test Kitchen, we’ve been working on some new recipes that showcase its versatility, and we’ve come up with some important tips for making the most of your favorite appliance.

For starters, don’t be afraid to use your slow cooker for more than just stews. (Even dessert? Absolutely!) And, if you’ve ever been disappointed by dry chicken in your slow cooker, give it another try but use the high setting instead of the low. The shorter cooking time means there’s less time for the chicken to dry out. Finally, if your recipe instructs you to line the slow cooker with aluminum foil, don’t skip this step. The foil helps keep the food at the back of the cooker, where the heating coils usually are, from burning.

What are we cooking in our slow cookers this season? We’ve got two delicious main dishes with surprising flavor twists. Our Italian Roast Beef is our take on a traditional pot roast. And you can use the leftover meat and vegetables to make our creamy Rosa Ragu Sauce for the next day.

Chicken is a staple in so many kitchens, so we’re always looking for new approaches. For our Chicken Mole, we cook tender chicken thighs in a Mexican-inspired sauce of onions, garlic and chocolate. (Yes! Chocolate.) The chocolate adds richness and a slight bitter undertone.

Macaroni and cheese is an easy crowd-pleaser — especially when you add popular flavors like buffalo wing sauce and blue cheese. Our Buffalo Macaroni & Cheese takes just two hours, with almost no hands-on work.

And, as promised, we’ve even figured out how to put our slow cookers to work after dinner. Everyone in the Test Kitchen is raving about our S’More Lava Cake. The marshmallows rise to the top like magic and seal in the fudge sauce at the bottom, so you get a little chocolate, a little marshmallow and a little graham cracker in every delicious bite.

Enjoy your slow cooker, Gerry, and let us know how it goes!

Becky Submit A Question For Becky


Your friend thought you might be interested in I'm eagerly searching for recipes to use in my slow cooker. It is my favorite way to cook. Can you please help me?


Your friend thought you might be interested in I'm eagerly searching for recipes to use in my slow cooker. It is my favorite way to cook. Can you please help me?
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Becky, my husband can not eat anything with seeds so Italian cooking becomes a challenge. When sauces, etc. call for crushed or canned tomatoes what can I do? Can I use tomato sauce or paste?

Thank you, in advance!

Posted Feb 04 2014 by Kathy
Test Kitchen Comment


I believe you could use tomato sauce or tomato paste in place of canned tomatoes or crushed tomatoes. In each recipe you will need to evaluate the amount to substitute since the thickness of a sauce, for example, will be different when using a different variety of a tomato product.
Posted February 11, 2014

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    Hi, I'm Becky. I'm eager to share my best ideas and favorite recipes from my 20+ years in the Land O'Lakes Test Kitchen. I'm also excited to help with any questions you have about cooking and baking with Land O Lakes® products. Some of the questions and answers will be published in our newsletter, The Measuring Cup®. Please use the short form below to ask your questions, or share your tip or memory.

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