Slow-cooking makes hearty and economical winter meals a snap to make! Here are two of my favorite recipes. Doing some advance prep allows you to quickly combine everything to cook in the morning. Delicious dinners will be waiting for you at the end of the day, with plenty left for quick meals through out the week.

Slow-Cooker Roast Chicken


  • 1 5-6 lb. whole roasting chicken

  • 2 yellow onions, sliced in rings*

  • 2 lemons, washed and cut into wedges*

  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed*

  • 1 C low salt/unsalted chicken stock

  • Kosher salt and pepper

  • 1 T Herbs de Provence

  • *Prepare in advance and store in airtight container in refrigerator.


Set a 6-7 quart crock-pot/slow cooker on low heat. Remove neck and giblets from the inside of the chicken, rinse the chicken inside and out, and pat dry. Place onions on the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the chicken on top of the onions. Sprinkle Kosher salt and pepper all over chicken, inside and out. Place half the lemon wedges inside the chicken, and place the remaining wedges in slow-cooker. Place three cloves of garlic inside the chicken and place the rest on top of the onions. Pour the chicken stock over. Crush the dried Herbs de Provence between your hands as you sprinkle it over the chicken. Cover and cook on low approximately 7 hours, or high 5-6 hours. Remove and slice the meat. Serve with the onions (optional) and roasted potatoes. Strain the cooking juices and chill, then remove the fat from the top. Store in the refrigerator and use as you would chicken stock or broth.

Slow-Cooker Taco Soup


  • 1 lb ground beef (or turkey)

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 T olive oil

  • 3 cans chili beans (no meat), with sauce

  • 1 14 oz can of corn, with liquid

  • 1 14 oz can black beans or kidney beans

  • 1 28 oz can tomato puree, with juices

  • 1 package taco seasoning mix

  • 1 package ranch dressing mix

  • 1 ½ C water (add more if you desire a thinner soup)

  • Shredded cheddar cheese, sliced avocado, sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro

  • Tortilla or corn chips, for topping


In a 6-7 quart crock pot/slow-cooker, combine chili beans, corn, black/kidney beans, tomato puree, taco seasoning, and ranch dressing. *In a large pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions until they are translucent, approximately 5 minutes; add to slow-cooker. *Add ground beef to the pan and sauté until the meat is cooked through, drain fat and add to the slow-cooker. Stir well, cover and cook on low 5 hours, or on high 3-4 hours. Serve in bowls topped with grated cheese, avocado, sour cream, cilantro, and tortilla/corn chips alongside.

*Can be done in advance; cool and store in airtight container in refrigerator.

For more recipes and Sue’s step-by-step tips, visit: