posted in Dinner at 6

A Crockpot Recipe… and it’s GOOD!

It’s such a great invention, really… a pot that you can throw a bunch of stuff in and let it do all of the cooking for you. At the end of the day, you take off the lid and dinner is ready for your family. What could be better, right? The idea is fabulous but I don’t always find that the recipes turn out all that great. Many readers have asked that I expand my slow cooker recipe section, and I’m working on it. I promise… I’m trying really hard to find recipes that are worthy of posting and sharing with the world. And I found one!  Slow- Cook Tuscan Sausage and Bean Soup.

This soup is quite delicious and it really can’t get much easier. Just dump all of the ingredients into the slow cooker and let it do its thing for 8 to 10 hours.  It’s filled with turkey kielbasa, chopped veggies (onion, carrot, celery, kale, tomatoes) and beans.

The recipe came from a Weight Watcher’s cookbook (of all places!), and it’s a major keeper. It’s quite filling at 1 1/2 cups per serving, and if you happen to be on the Weight Watcher’s plan then you can count a mere 6 points for your cup ‘o soup.  This recipe happens to be naturally gluten-free (just be careful of purchasing GF sausage).

You absolutely do NOT have to be on a diet to enjoy this recipe. Soup is perfect for a chilly day, and although it’s pretty sunny here in Southern California, we have our share of (what we deem to be) chilly evenings. Soup warms the soul and is a welcome dinner to be waiting for you and your family at the end of a busy day.  My family gobbled this one up, and they were completely unaware that this was such a healthy soup.

I served up this soup with some homemade bread:  Rosemary- Sea Salt Italian Bread (also Weight Watchers-friendly).

So, are you a fan of the crockpot? Do you have a must-try recipe that I should know about?   If so, please share in the comments below…

Recipes can be found here:
Slow-Cook Tuscan Sausage and Bean Soup
Rosemary- Sea Salt Italian Bread

Other Slow Cooker Recipes on the blogs that look worthy of trying:
Slow Cooker Macaroni & Cheese by 5 Dollar Dinners
Slow Cooker Beef Stew by The Perfect Pantry
Slow Cooker Louisiana Red Beans and Rice by Kalyns Kitchen
Slow Cooker Kalua Pig by La Fuji Mama
Slow Cooker Cassoulet by Phemomenon

31 Responses to “A Crockpot Recipe… and it’s GOOD!”

  1. postedJan 6, 2011 2:49 AM
    Blog New Black

    I love crockpot recipes! Set it and forget it!

  2. postedJan 6, 2011 4:32 AM

    This so delicious Lori! I love all the colors… Plus its healthy 🙂

  3. postedJan 6, 2011 4:51 AM

    Yum! I am always looking for healthy crockpot dishes.

  4. postedJan 6, 2011 6:19 AM

    Crockpot recipes can be fantastic, but there are a few rules that apply. All of my recipes follow these basic rules:

    * Meats being cooked should be generally tough, full of connective tissue. Think pork, bottom round roast, or other hearty meats. Remember, a crockpot is braising the food, and long indirect heat can ruin better cuts of meat.

    * Vegetables you use (and want to retain some texture afterwards) should be fibrous or starchy, like carrots, celery and potatoes. Seasoning vegetables, like onions, garlic, etc. don’t have to follow this rule.

    * Most everything should be covered by liquid in order for the cooking process to work fully. Hence all the liquid in your above recipe.

    * Consider reducing the time in recipes you find. Remember: raw meat is probably done hours before the recipe will come out of the crockpot, so there’s little risk of underdone food. Since tender, not mushy, is the goal, reducing the time is the easiest way to accomplish this.

    I’ve also found that after a certain point, crockpot makers started giving into the demands of a population that wanted “faster” foods, and started increasing the power of their heating elements. This ruins the concept of braising since many crockpots are able to boil water on high, and one I had could even do it on low. I’ve found that considering “low” to be the new “high” and “high” to be the “don’t use this setting” button is the easiest way to translate their “improvements”.

    This isn’t exactly my “favorite” recipe, but it’s the set of rules I follow when developing new crockpot recipes. For a really good crockpot pot roast, place a rump roast or bottom round roast in a crockpot, pour 2 cans of Campbell’s mushroom soup over it, and sprinkle one envelope of Lipton onion soup/dip mix. Cook for 1 1/2 hours per pound of meat on LOW, for a minimum of four hours. Potatoes can be cooked in the crockpot if they’re added about 3 – 4 hours before serving, or you can alternatively mash them. Strain the gravy that’s created and serve the roast with the gravy and any sides you want. It’s finger-licking good!

  5. postedJan 6, 2011 6:29 AM

    I’m always up for winter crockpot dishes – thanks for the recipe 🙂

  6. postedJan 6, 2011 6:55 AM

    Yum! I can’t wait to try this! I made your chicken santa fe here with a few modifications:

    It was fabulous!

  7. postedJan 6, 2011 7:11 AM

    yum! i’m becoming a bigger fan of my crock pot every day…it makes life so much easier!

  8. postedJan 6, 2011 7:26 AM

    Love how colorful this soup is!

  9. postedJan 6, 2011 7:28 AM

    This is my favorite slow cooker meal. I got it from and as you can see it has over 1200 reviews and 4.5 out of 5 stars.
    This is my other favorite!
    Can’t wait to try the Sausage and Bean soup!

  10. postedJan 6, 2011 8:42 AM

    I find the same thing with many crockpot recipes: they’re either too bland, or use too many canned ingredients. I’m fairly new to crockpot cooking, and always looking for good recipes (especially soups!). Thanks for linking to my recipe for beef stew.

  11. postedJan 6, 2011 9:25 AM

    Looks absolutely delicious! And so colorful! Definitely on my “to-make” list!

  12. postedJan 6, 2011 9:47 AM

    Looks wonderful – definitely eating the rainbow with this one. That bread looks delicious too.

  13. postedJan 6, 2011 9:59 AM

    I think soup is one of the best uses for a crockpot. Both for making and serving/keeping warm.

  14. postedJan 6, 2011 10:00 AM

    This looks awesome!! On these chilly nights and busy days, I LOVE using the crockpot for dinner! I have a few tried and true favorites, but the healthy recipes are hard to find, most of the classic ones involve lots of cream soups, which I don’t care to use all the time!

    I’m bookmarking this one and will be trying it very soon! Thanks!

  15. postedJan 6, 2011 10:24 AM
    Michele Kirk

    That’s beautiful!!! I’m all over this!!!!

  16. postedJan 6, 2011 11:09 AM

    I adore slow cooker recipes! Your feature one looks delicious. Thanks for linking to my slow cooker mac and cheese. I’ll be checking out the others too!

  17. postedJan 6, 2011 12:38 PM

    I made this a couple of years ago and recognized it when I saw it here! It is quite good – in fact, I’ve had great success with that cookbook!

  18. postedJan 6, 2011 1:14 PM

    This looks fantastic! Do the vegetables really retain all that color after cooking all day, or is that a before picture? I love a good bowl of soup that is also pretty to look at.

  19. postedJan 6, 2011 1:16 PM

    I’ve actually has a lot of luck with weight watchers recipes. I love their cookbooks! But they had to go and change the plan and now none of the points are right anymore…

  20. postedJan 6, 2011 1:25 PM

    I wished I used my crockpot more often, but I don’t have enough great recipes to use. Nor am I great at planning ahead. I would make this for sure. It is so beautiful & I swear I can smell it. Thanks for sharing!

  21. postedJan 6, 2011 3:39 PM

    This looks fabulous. Crock pot recipes are the best – I love cooking and forgetting about it!

  22. postedJan 6, 2011 5:37 PM

    I think the crockpot is a great way to cook when you get the right recipe, and it sounds like you did! Thanks for the mention.

  23. postedJan 6, 2011 6:46 PM
    Amanda L.

    I love my crockpot! I’ve made everything from soup to pulled pork to dips. I don’t know how I would live without it!

  24. postedJan 7, 2011 4:02 AM

    Looks great Lori, so does that bread! I have a favorite called To Die For Pot Roast it does use a packet of Italian seasoning and a packet of Ranch dressing, so not sure if you are hip on that, but it does taste amazing!

  25. postedJan 7, 2011 7:59 AM

    Crock pots are a must in today’s crazy world. Sausage, veggies and beans – yum! Thanks for the recipe.

  26. postedJan 7, 2011 8:41 AM

    Looks good Lori. I gotta try that bread too! Thumbs up!

  27. postedJan 7, 2011 9:22 AM

    Love this recipe! Your photos are amazing and happy 3 year blog birthday!

  28. postedJan 7, 2011 3:34 PM

    I am always looking for good recipes for my crockpot. This one is being bookmarked – love the turkey kielbasa!

  29. postedJan 12, 2011 2:17 PM

    My husband and I enjoyed this for dinner last night. Fantastic! And so easy. Thanks for another great recipe!

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