Crock Pot Main Dishes

There are an amazing number of things that can be cooked in a crockpot or other slow cooker. I bet you didn’t know that enchiladas and lasagna are two popular main dishes that can be prepared in a slow cooker rather than a conventional oven. Here are two recipes that are sure to delight.

These recipes are written more like concepts than with the usual ingredients list due tot he many variations that are available for each.

ENCHILADAS
Cooking enchiladas in a slow cooker means less mess, which is always a good thing. Make your favorite enchilada filling and roll it into corn or flour tortillas. Evenly spoon a cup of salsa into the slow cooker and lay out the enchiladas onto the salsa with the folded edge facing down. Cover with more salsa and cheese. Repeat and create a second layer. Make sure to spread the last layer of salsa out to cover all exposed tortilla parts to keep them from drying out during cooking. Cook on high for four hours and sprinkle on 1/2 cup of cheese in the last 10 minutes of cooking. Serve hot and delicious.

LASAGNA
The best part about crock pot lasagna is that you don’t need to precook the noodles, which means less mess and fewer dishes to clean up. In a crock pot, place two cups of your favorite meat/cheese/veggie tomato sauce. You may also drop in various sliced or shredded veggies and pre-cooked meat (See suggestions below). Put three noodles on top, then another layer of sauce and add-ons. and 1/2 cup of cheese. Continue to build two more layers and reserve 1/2 cup of of cheese. Cover and cook on low for six hours. Sprinkle with cheese and cook for 10 more minutes.

Use pre-cooked meat, such as Italian sausage or hamburger, for less grease in your dish. Pepperoni, prosciutto, and other preserved meats will add some grease and a lot of sodium. Sliced eggplant, sliced or shredded zucchini, shredded carrots, and sliced or diced bell peppers of any color are all great additions to a lasagna.

Give these dishes a try and see if you don’t agree that the crock pot method is a time-saving twist on these traditional main courses.

— Ann Cathey

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