Category Archives: Slow Cooker

Appetizer Gluten-Free Slow Cooker

Super Bowl Recipe Roundup

Hi friends! Happy Monday!

Whew, I am exhausted after my trip this weekend. I got to spend the last couple of days with some fellow awesome female bloggers as we toured farms in the Coachella  Valley and Imperial Valley in California! The tour was organized by the California Farm Water Coalition, in an effort to create more awareness of the water issues California farmers face every day (and especially during our current drought).

The trip was SO informative, you guys. I learned a ton about what our farmers do every day and the process that brings the healthy fruits and veggies we love from the field to grocery stores (hint: it happens really, really, ridiculously fast).

Be sure to check back in to the blog later this week to read all about it.

California Farm Water Coalition Farm Tour -

I am currently sitting on the train back to Los Angeles (for me it’s Sunday night, but this post will go live tomorrow morning). Thankfully the train is pretty quiet right now, so I have two seats to myself and I am able to stretch out and type up this post.

Super Bowl Recipe Roundup --

Okay, now to the real reason for this post – my Super Bowl Recipe Roundup!

Even though I grew up in a major sports city, I hate to break it to you — I just don’t follow sports. I’ve just never had an interest, despite Travis’ best efforts to get me involved. (I know, I’m the worst). But, if I had to choose, I root for Boston teams because that’s my hometown!

Travis, on the other hand, loves sports so we always have a game on in our apartment. Even though I won’t watch with him, I will happily make snacks for him and whichever of his friends are over. The more recipe testers around, the better!

Today I want to share with you some of my favorite recipes for mid-game Super Bowl snacking and a couple of recipes that are a bit heartier if you’re looking to serve a complete meal this weekend.

Whoever you’re rooting for during the big game, enjoy!


Super Bowl Recipe Roundup!


Avocado Hummus

The creamiest hummus + the best combination! Serve this dip with veggies or chips.

Avocado Hummus Recipe -

Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Nothing could be easier than this dip made from greek yogurt and feta. Serve this with whole wheat pita chips for a protein-packed snack.

Sun-Dried Tomato Dip Recipe -

Charred Corn and Tomato Salsa 

No grill needed for this charred corn and tomato salsa recipe. Broil the vegetables in the oven for a delicious charred flavor! This one is a winner, for sure.

Charred Corn and Heirloom Tomato Salsa Recipe -

Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper Dip)

Okay, how many times have I told you guys that this is the best dip ever? If you haven’t made it yet, what the heck have you been doing?, make it NOW!

Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper Dip) Recipe --

Honey Sesame Almonds

There is no reason to buy these from the store when they are incredibly easy to make yourself. I love making them at home because then I can control the amount of added sugar. Can you say addicting?

Honey Sesame Almonds Recipe -

Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken

There is nothing plain about this chicken after you add your favorite BBQ sauce, Buffalo sauce, or hot sauce. Add the chicken to tacos, nachos, sandwiches and more!

Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Recipe --

Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Short Ribs

I seriously cannot sing enough praise for this recipe. If you make this, you may want to double up because they’ll go fast!

BBQ Beef Short Ribs - Little Chef Big Appetite

Sesame-Glazed Chicken Drumsticks

One of my favorite recipes I’ve posted on the blog recently. If you’re looking for something heartier on Super Bowl Sunday, make these! They’re a little messy, so be sure to put out lots of napkins!

Sesame-Glazed Chicken Drumsticks - Healthy & Delicious -

If you try one of these Super Bowl recipes, let me know. Upload your photos to Instagram and be sure to tag me @littlechefbigappetite!

Poultry Slow Cooker Tips and Tricks

Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken

Hey guys, happy hump day! I hope your week is going well. My week has been extremely busy with work so far, which is why I am only now getting a chance to get this post up.

Today, I am sharing the EASIEST way to cook chicken in the slow cooker. I use this method all the time and we use the shredded chicken in salads, pastas, soups, and so much more. For those of you who like to meal prep on Sundays or cook in bulk for your families, this is a great option because it takes no time to prep in the morning and you let the slow cooker do all the work!


So without further ado, watch how easy this is:

Place two chicken breasts at the bottom of the slow cooker. (Yum, who doesn’t love a picture of raw chicken…)

Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Recipe

Pour one cup of low-sodium chicken broth over the chicken breasts. Then season the breasts with salt, pepper, and any other herbs you like. Here, I added fresh rosemary. For additional flavor you can also add some crushed garlic and chopped onions, but I usually don’t bother when I am in a hurry.

Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Recipe

Place the lid on the slow cooker and set it to HIGH for 3 hours or LOW for 5-6 hours.


Slow Cooker Chicken

Once the timer goes off, remove the lid and the chicken breasts will be cooked through. You will notice that some fat will be surrounding the breasts – no biggie, it will fall right off the chicken when you remove it from the slow cooker.

Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Recipe

Remove the chicken and place it on a cutting board or large plate. Using two forks, shred the chicken breasts. Make sure you reserve some of the broth and chicken juices from the slow cooker. I always add a few tablespoons of it to the shredded chicken to make it nice and moist.

Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Recipe

Season the chicken as desired and use the chicken in salads, pastas, whatever you want! You can also toss it with some BBQ sauce or pesto and add it to lettuce wraps or sandwiches – I’m full of ideas!

Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Recipe

How easy was that? A weekday meal cooked while you’re not even home!


Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4-6
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh herbs (optional)
  1. Place chicken breasts at the bottom of the slow cooker. Pour one cup of low-sodium chicken broth over the chicken. Season the breasts with salt, pepper, and any other herbs you like.
  2. Place the lid on the slow cooker and set it to HIGH for 3 hours or LOW for 5-6 hours.
  3. Remove the chicken, and use two forks to shred the breasts. Make sure you reserve some of the broth and chicken juices from the slow cooker to add it to the shredded chicken for some extra moisture.

Beef and Lamb Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Short Ribs

Boy, oh boy, do I have a recipe for you! This one really might just knock your socks off. Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Short Ribs                          The Whole Foods in Venice was having a fantastic sale on boneless short ribs, so Travis and I knew we couldn’t go home without them. I thought they would be perfect to throw into the slow cooker on Sunday morning and leave to cook all day long. Since summer is in the air, I wanted to give these a BBQ flair as opposed to your typical winter beef slow cooker recipes.

Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Short Ribs

Aside from the short ribs, I had all the remaining ingredients in my fridge and pantry, so hopefully you do, too! After seven hours of cooking at a low temperature, these short ribs melt in your mouth and are packed with incredible BBQ flavor. I regretted not buying double the beef because I know we would have enjoyed eating these again and again.

Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Short Ribs

I served these BBQ Beef Short Ribs with spiced sweet potato fries. It was the perfect Sunday night dinner!


Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Short Ribs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4-6
  • 2lbs boneless beef short ribs, fat trimmed, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2-3 Tablespoons canola oil
  • ⅓ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  1. Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add one Tablespoon of the canola oil. When the oil is hot, add half of the short ribs to the pan. Brown on all sides (do not cook fully). Once browned, transfer to a plate. Add another Tablespoon of oil to the pan and repeat until all short ribs are browned.
  2. Transfer the short ribs to a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, mix all remaining ingredients (ketchup through mustard). Add the ketchup mixture to the slow cooker with the ribs, making sure to coat all the pieces. Set the slow cooker to low for 7 hours. After 7 hours the ribs will be incredibly tender. Serve with extra sauce from the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Tips and Tricks

Three New (to me) Kitchen Tools I Love

When Travis and I moved in together about one year ago, we discovered that we had double of almost everything. Both of us had very well-stocked kitchens on our own (spices, vinegars, knives, pans, cutlery, and kitchen tools), so when we moved in together we ended up choosing the “better” of all of our duplicates and putting the rest in a big box of storage.

Even though I thought I had almost everything kitchen-related I needed, we’ve still acquired a few things over the last 10 months that make me wonder what the heck I ever did without them. I wanted to share with you my top three new kitchen tools that I LOVE.


1. Hamilton Beach Set and Forget Programmable Slow Cooker


The first on the list is my beloved slow-cooker. Dear Dave and Morgan: THANK YOU for the most perfect gift. I use my slow cooker at least once a week now. One of my favorite ways to use it is to throw in 2 chicken breasts (seasoned with S+P) with 1 cup of chicken broth and cook it on high for 3 hours. After cooking, the chicken is so tender that it falls apart with a touch of your fork. I use this juicy chicken all week long for lunches I pack for work. I just love being able to put something into the slow cooker and walk away for hours without a care in the world. The delicious smells probably torture our foster dog, Bessie, while we are at work during the day!



2. Joseph Joseph Rocker Garlic Crusher


My dad bought me this awesome garlic crusher when I was home for the holidays last year. He already had one and I was amazed by how quickly he could mince multiple cloves of garlic for a pasta dish we were making together. Being the incredibly thoughtful guy he is, my dad went out the next day and bought me the same garlic crusher for my kitchen back in LA. Now, I know garlic crushers are nothing new, but I just love this one because it is easy to use and clean. It is perfect for any dish that requires numerous gloves of garlic. It is also great for those of you who hate getting the smell of garlic all over your hands (I, personally, love the smell though!)


3.Cuisipro Herb Keeper


I can’t give this herb saver enough praise. I am kicking myself for not buying it sooner. For months Travis and I talked about ways we COULD better save our herbs based on tips we read online and in magazines. For example, some people chop them up very small and store them in an ice cube tray in the freezer with a little bit of water. When you need fresh herbs you simply defrost a few cubes. The idea sounds great, but I knew I would never have the patience to do that.

After wasting way too much cilantro, basil and parsley over the last few months, I finally had enough, so I browsed Amazon and found this herb saver. It had very high ratings and now I know why! It is so easy to use: all you do is fill the base with water and place your fresh herbs in the large insert. You’re supposed to change the water pretty frequently, but honestly we forget and our herbs still last up to three weeks! YAHOO! We can fit two large bunches of herbs in here without any issues. If you use fresh herbs often in your cooking, I cannot recommend this product more.


Note: This post is not sponsored in any way and is simply a list of some kitchen tools I happen to love. Some affiliate links are included and I sincerely appreciate your support!

Beef and Lamb Gluten-Free Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

I think it is safe to say I am slow cooker obsessed.

Let me preface all of this by saying, yes, I know I am WAAAAAY late to the slow cooker game. For a while now, everyone  has been telling me that I needed to get one. Given my busy work schedule and limited time in the evenings, I always acknowledged it would be a very helpful appliance to have in my kitchen. I loved the idea of coming home from a long day of work and having dinner already made and ready to eat!

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

When I arrived back to LA last week from my trip to Boston, there was a GIGANTIC package sitting on my porch. I was ecstatic when I opened it up to find a new shiny slow cooker from my brother and sister-in-law for the holidays! Seriously. Perfect. Gift. Remember when I told you Dave is the #1 gift giver? Well, he and Morgan nailed it again.

I broke in my slow cooker this weekend by making a delicious beef stew.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

Travis and I prepped everything after breakfast on Sunday morning and then threw it all into the slow cooker for 7 hours.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

I have made beef stews in my dutch-oven before, but despite long cooking times in an oven on very low heat, I still always found the beef was never as tender as I would have liked. I was excited to see what would happen to the beef this time by using the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

Holy Moly, was this beef tender! It was falling apart just by the slightest touch from my fork — just the way I like it.

The best part was that when the evening rolled around (Sunday evening always seems to come too soon, doesn’t it?), I didn’t have to do anything! I just stirred in a few final ingredients and the stew was warm and ready to eat!

This was the most delicious beef stew I have ever had. The addition of the brown ale really amps up the flavor in the broth and after slow cooking all day, the beef, carrots, and potatoes were so tender and soaked with rich flavor through and through.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

Travis and I couldn’t get enough of it. It was one of those meals where we both sat there not talking to each other, just saying “Mmmmm” with every bite we took.

Yup, I am so hooked on slow cooking. I am honestly sorry I waited this long to try it! If any of you guys have great slow cooker recipes, please pass them my way. I am ready to try everything!


Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 5-6
  • 2 lbs trimmed boneless chuck roast, cut into 2 inch pieces (I recommend buying 2.5lbs because once you trim the excess fat it will be about 2 lbs)
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced in half and cut into ½ inch thick slices
  • 12oz Nut Brown Ale (I used Samuel Smiths Nut Brown Ale)
  • 1¼ cups unsalted beef stock, divided* (I used Stock Options Classic Beef Stock)
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Parsley for serving
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the beef with ¼ teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Add about a teaspoon of oil to the pan. Add half of the beef to the pan, cook for 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the beef from the pan and place in a heat-proof bowl. Repeat by adding another teaspoon of oil and the remaining beef. Remove the beef and any leftover juices from the pan.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the garlic and onions and saute for about 4 minutes. Add the ale to the pan, scraping down to loosen any bits from the bottom. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of stock and the remaining 1¼ teaspoon salt and ¾ teaspoon pepper (*NOTE: If you could only find salted beef stock omit the added salt at this point, but add the pepper). Bring to a simmer.
  3. Pour the mixture into a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Add the beef, carrots, potatoes, bay leaves and thyme. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours.
  4. Combine the remaining ¼ cup stock and flour, stirring with a whisk. Stir the flour mixture into the stew and cook for 13-15 minutes until thickened. Stir in the red wine vinegar and dijon. Discard the bay leaves. Serve with fresh parsley.
**Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

This Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe is a delicious and cozy meal to come home to on a winter evening. Brown ale gives the broth a delicious, rich flavor! l