These contest ideas always seem like such great fun until it comes to the painful process of trying to pick winners from SO MANY great entries! ugh! When will I ever learn??? lol. Luckily, this time I had some extremely capable help in my IMPOSSIBLE quest!
Kelsey Nixon, host of Kelsey’s Essential on the Cooking Channel, was kind enough to agree to be our final judge in the CROCKPOT RECIPES CONTEST. I don’t think she realized what she was getting into either because she echoed my sentiments about this process in an email to me and said she even had to bring her Mom into the judging process because it was SO hard to choose!
But eventually she did the professional thing we asked her to and came up with our FIVE LUCKY WINNERS in the CROCKPOT RECIPE CONTEST! Thank you Kelsey! You’re a champ!
Just as a reminder….the winners of the contest will each win a Crock-Pot 6-Quart Programmable Cook and Carry Oval Slow Cooker (Retail Value $59.99 each) AND a copy of Kelsey’s hot-off-the-press cookbook, “Kitchen Confidence: Essential Recipes and Tips That Will Help You Cook Anything.”
So without further ado…….here are the 5 WINNING CROCKPOT RECIPES!
Crockpot Lobster Bisque
Amanda R p…………………..@yahoo.com
I love how this type of recipe seems so unexpected for a slow cooker! The seasonings are spot on and I think that this would really have an impact at the dinner table or at a party. ~~Kelsey
- 2 Shallots, Finely Minced
- 1 Clove Garlic, Finely Minced
- 2 (14.5 Oz.) Cans Petite Diced Tomatoes, With Juice
- 1 (32 Oz.) Carton Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
- 1 Tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Dill
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped
- 1 Teaspoon Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
- 4 Lobster Tails
- 1 Pint Heavy Cream
Put minced shallots and garlic in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes or until the shallots are wilted and starting to turn translucent. (You can also cook them in a small skillet if you don’t have a microwave.)
Add shallot and garlic mixture to a 4-quart or larger crock-pot.
Continue adding tomatoes, chicken broth, old bay seasoning, dill, parsley, pepper & paprika to the crock-pot.
With a sharp knife cut off the fan part of the very end of the lobsters and add those to the crock-pot. Stir, cover and cook on low for 6 hours or 3 hours on high.
Remove the lobster tail ends and discard.
Using a blender or immersion blender puree the soup mixture to your desired chunkiness. (I pureed half until smooth and the other half just a light puree.) Add the soup back into the crock-pot if you used a regular blender. Add your lobster tails to the soup, cover and cook 45 minutes on low or until the shells turn red and the lobster meat is cooked.
Remove lobster tails from the soup and let cool slightly.
While the lobster is cooling add the cream and stir. With a sharp knife cut each lobster tail in half long-ways and remove the lobster flesh from the shells.
Discard shells and roughly chop lobster meat and add back into the soup.
Serve and enjoy!
I made this as clam bisque. I halved the recipe and subbed clam juice for one cup of the broth (used water and a bouillon cube for the rest) and a can of chopped clams for the lobster. I also added a little parmesan with the cream at the end. What I LOVE about this recipe is that the stated seasonings are spot-on. Usually, I have to adjust seasonings to taste, but, surprisingly (in a great way!) that was not necessary with this recipe. The dill comes through and blends beautifully with the other ingredients. I will be making this again and again.
Katie Hop k……..@gmail.com
It was so smart for Katie to use both chicken breasts and thighs – the thighs add so much flavor and prevent the shredded chicken from ever being dry. I also loved the heavy amount of cilantro used to provide big impact when it comes to flavor. This seems like a perfect fit for a weeknight family meal. ~~Kelsey
- 2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts (about 4 oz each)
- 4 boneless/skinless chicken thighs (about 2 oz each)
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2 limes, juiced
- 2 cups fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 bag frozen corn 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 finely chopped red onion
- 1 can black beans, rinsed
- 1 tsp cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
Add all ingredients to crock pot reserving 1 cup of the cilantro. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.
During the last hour shred the chicken and add the last cup of cilantro.
Serve with tortillas, chips, plain greek yogurt, salsa, or just eat with a spoon, because it’s really THAT good!
For big family gatherings or parties, I’m always looking for side dishes that can be prepared in advance – this Creamy Corn is perfect for that! I’m dying to try this exact recipe with fresh corn of the cob during the summer months as well. ~~Kelsey
- 1 or 2 pounds frozen corn
- 1-1/2 packages cream cheese
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
Spread corn over bottom of 3 1/2-4 quart slow cooker. Top with cream
Mix remaining ingredients; pour over corn and cream cheese.
Cover and cook on high heat setting for 2-3 hours until creamy. Stir
well before serving.
Crockpot Black Beans
Maria O’Callaghan m………@gmail.com
I grew up with my own mother making beans in a slow cooker on a very regular basis and it’s one of my favorite meals to date. It fills your home with the most delicious aroma and is the perfect recipe for leftovers throughout the week – these beans are just SO versatile! I particularly like how Maria uses a box grater to shred her onion. Thats a great tip for getting finely minced onion that is just perfect for beans. ~~Kelsey
- 1 16 oz. bag dry black beans
- 1 quart vegetable broth
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, minced (I use a box grater)
- 1 or 2 bay leaves
- 1 T chili powder
- 1 t cumin
- 2 tsp. salt
1. Soak washed beans for 8 hours or overnight.
2. Drain water and place the drained beans in a crockpot. Add the remaining ingredients.
3. Cook on low for at least 8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
Serve over rice, in a burrito, with eggs…. We eat them with everything!
Pam McLaughlin p…..@hotmail.com
Using your slow cooker for something beyond an easy weeknight meal is really smart – it’s such a great kitchen tool that can do so many things, including making dessert! I love the sour cream and vanilla used in this cheesecake recipe to perfectly balance the flavors. The ingredients are simple and straightforward, yet the result is outstanding! The fact that you made a cheesecake in a slow cooker makes for great conversation amongst family and friends as well! ~~Kelsey
My husband doesn’t like cake, so he always requests Cheesecake for his birthday. We are usually camping the week of his birthday and this is an easy recipe to whip up in the camper. I tweaked it to suit our tastes and here is the result.
- 6 graham crackers (rectangles), crushed into crumbs
- 3 tablespoons of stick butter, melted
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 8oz packages of cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
- 3 eggs
1. Choose a small (1 ½- to 2-quart size) oven-proof casserole dish that will fit in the bottom of your crock-pot with room left on the side. You want to be able to pull the pan out without too much difficulty. Mix graham crackers and melted butter in that dish; pat into the bottom and slightly up the side.
2. In a separate bowl, mix sugar, sour cream and cream cheese until they are well blended. Stir in vanilla.
3. Add the 3 eggs one at a time; blending well after each addition.
4. Add the cream cheese mixture to the top of the graham crackers.
5. Add 2 to 3 cups water to the bottom of the crock-pot making sure that it will not rise above your dish when you place it in the crock-pot.
6. Place the cheesecake dish in the crock-pot. Put on the lid of the crock-pot.
7. Cook on high for 2 to 2 ½ hours or until the center does not have a watery consistency when you stick a knife into it. Check on it about an hour into the cooking time; if there is a problem with condensation from the lid dripping onto the cheesecake, sop up the moisture by dabbing with a paper towel, then place paper towels across the top of the crock-pot to catch any more drips before replacing the lid.
8. Remove dish from crock-pot. Let cool on counter for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
9. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.
(I sometimes add 1 to 2 Tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice with the vanilla to give it a little zing.)
I personally can’t WAIT to try ALL of these recipes….but ESPECIALLY this last one! Lemon Cheesecake is my favorite!
I really hope you all enjoyed these recipes as much as I did! If you want a WHOLE lot more slow cooker recipes from the best cooks in the world…..ALL OF YOU…..CLICK HERE to go to the original post and look through the over 200 comments/recipes! There are some absolute gems there!
Thank you to ALL who entered our contest and shared their prized crockpot recipes with us! I truly appreciate your participation!
And a VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU to Kelsey Nixon for being our Celebrity Chef Judge! Be sure and watch her show Kelsey’s Essentials on the Cooking Channel and pick up her brand new cookbook, “Kitchen Confidence.”