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65 5-Star Recipes You Can Toss in the Slow Cooker

Let's get slow cookin'! Here are the best slow-cooker recipes you need to try—from morning to night.

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Sweet Potato and Pesto Slow-Cooker Bread

I like to bake fresh bread, both as a way to offer my family a delicious accompaniment to dinner and just because I enjoy the process. Baking bread in the slow cooker allows you to achieve a tender, perfectly baked loaf without turning on the oven. —Shauna Havey, Roy, Utah

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Cheesy Meatballs Exps Tohca22 61154 E08 26 4b 11

Cheesy Meatballs

Can meatballs be lucky? My guys think so, and they want them for game time. My beef, sausage and cheese recipe has a big fan following. —Jill Hill, Dixon, Illinois
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Southwest Chicken Chili Exps Ft21 40907 F 0804 1 14

Southwest Chicken Chili

Chicken thighs are a nice change of pace in this easy chili. I also add a smoked ham hock and fresh cilantro for flavor and to keep the dish interesting. —Phyllils Beatty, Chandler, Arizona
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Onion Meat Loaf Exps Ft21 27246 F 0602 1

Onion Meat Loaf

My husband and I really enjoy this delicious meat loaf made with onion soup mix. You only need five ingredients to assemble this easy entree before popping it in the slow cooker. —Rhonda Cowden, Quincy, Illinois
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Slow Cooker Monkey Bread  Exps Tohedscodr21 241430 E04 27 7b

Slow-Cooker Monkey Bread

I often take this slow-cooker monkey bread to church potlucks—children and adults love it! The rum extract is optional. —Lisa Leaper, Worthington, Ohio
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Ranch Mushrooms Exps Tohedscodr21 64053 E03 30 2b

Ranch Mushrooms

I got this ranch mushrooms recipe from my sister-in-law, and it has become a family favorite. The mushrooms don't last long once people know I've made them. —Jackie McGee, Byron, Minnesota
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Moroccan Apricot Chicken Exps Tohsoda21 250110 E12 11 5b 9

Moroccan Apricot Chicken

Traditionally, Moroccan chicken with apricots includes chili pepper paste, but I use chili sauce in my version. Serve it alone or with couscous for a heartier meal. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois

This spiced and saucy slow-cooker chicken is so good, we've named it our 2021 Recipe of the Year! For more standout recipes, check out all our Recipe of the Year finalists. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Rosemary Beef Roast Over Cheesy Polenta Exps Tohsoda21 238507 E12 11 2b 8

Rosemary Beef Roast over Cheesy Polenta

I love beef roast in the slow cooker, and it's fun to pair it with something a little different than potatoes! This is true comfort food. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Chili Macaroni And Cheese Exps Sdon18 218901 C06 12 2b 11

Chili Macaroni and Cheese

What could be tastier on a brisk day than chili or mac and cheese? Put them together and you have a terrific dish that warms you up and fills you up as well! —Nancy Foust, Stoneboro, Pennsylvania
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Slow-Cooker Bananas Foster

The flavors of caramel, rum and walnut naturally complement fresh bananas in this classic dessert made easy! —Crystal Jo Bruns, Iliff, Colorado
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Sweet and Spicy Sloppy Joes

These sandwiches have been the go-to meal for my son's basketball team. Turkey is a wonderful change from ground beef and really absorbs all the flavors. I have also used this for a Friday the 13th celebration at work, calling it 13-ingredient sloppy joes. —Karen Hildebrand, LaBelle, Florida
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Simple Saucy Potatoes Exps Hscbz19 12150 E07 12 3b 8

Simple Saucy Potatoes

These rich and creamy potatoes are simple to prepare. This saucy side dish always gets rave reviews wherever I take it. —Gloria Schroeder, Ottawa Lake, Michigan
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Slow-Cooked Vegetable Curry

I love the fuss-free nature of the slow cooker, but I don't want to sacrifice flavor for convenience. This cozy, spiced-up dish has both. —Susan Smith, Mead, Washington
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Beef Brisket in Beer

One bite of this super tender brisket and your family will be hooked! The rich gravy is perfect for spooning over a side of creamy mashed potatoes. —Eunice Stoen, Decorah, Iowa
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Hawaiian Kielbasa Sandwiches Exps Scmbz18 41127 D01 03 3b 9

Hawaiian Kielbasa Sandwiches

If you are looking for a different way to use kielbasa, the sweet and mildly spicy flavor of these sandwiches is a nice change.—Judy Dames, Bridgeville, Pennsylvania
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Turkey Sweet Potato Chili Exps Tohon19 206160 E06 14 7b 18

Sweet Potato Chili with Turkey

This sweet potato chili is packed with flavor. Ground turkey lightens it, and sweet potato puree sneaks in a healthy dose of vitamin A. —Rachel Lewis, Danville, Virginia
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Slow Cooker Chai Tea Exps Hcka19 49721 D05 11 9b 4

Slow-Cooker Chai Tea

A wonderful sweet and spicy aroma wafts from the slow cooker as this pleasantly flavored chai tea cooks. —Crystal Jo Burns, Iliff, Colorado
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Slow-Cooker Chipotle Beef Carnitas

I came up with this recipe while trying to figure out what I could do with a pot roast that had been in the freezer. Now I keep the rub in a plastic bag, ready and waiting in my cupboard, and I can get the roast in the slow cooker in less than 15 minutes. —Ann Piscitelli, Nokomis, Florida
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Slow Cooker Cheese Dip Exps Gbbz20 13404 B10 17 2b 2

Slow-Cooker Cheese Dip

I brought this slightly spicy cheese dip to a gathering with friends and it was a huge hit. The spicy pork sausage gives the dip plenty of zip! —Marion Bartone, Conneaut, Ohio
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Slow-Cooked Mesquite Ribs

When we’re missing the grill when its cold out, these tangy ribs give us that same smoky barbecue taste we love. They’re so simple, and fall-off-the-bone delicious, too! —Sue Evans, Marquette, Michigan
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Hearty Ale Bean Soup Exps Tohfm20 197953 E07 10 9b 10

Hearty Pork Bean Soup

It's wonderful to come home to this pork bean soup dinner simmering away in a slow cooker, especially on a busy weeknight. This soup uses dried beans and is simple to throw together in the morning before work. When you get home, just add a few more ingredients, and in half an hour dinner is ready! Do not put the tomatoes in for the first 8 hours of cooking, or the beans will not become soft. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Stewed Zucchini And Tomatoes Exps Sdas18 130433 D04 03  4b 8

Stewed Zucchini and Tomatoes

Zucchini, tomatoes and green peppers star in this make-ahead dish that offers a fresh take on traditional vegetable sides. Bubbly cheddar cheese adds a down-home feel. —Barbara Smith, Salem, Oregon
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Slow-Cooked Turkey with Berry Compote

We love to eat turkey, and on warmer days, here’s how we get our fix. For golden-brown turkey, broil for a few minutes before serving. —Margaret Bracher, Robertsdale, Alabama
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Shredded Chicken Tostadas Exps Sdjj19 115271 E02 08 3b 13

Shredded Chicken Tostadas

These flavorful tostadas are super easy and family-friendly. You won't believe how tender and juicy the chicken comes out. Just load the tostadas with your favorite fresh toppings, and you'll have one simple, sensational meal. —Lisa Kenny, Houston, Texas
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Vegetable Medley

This is a wonderful side dish to make when garden vegetables are plentiful, and if you have fresh corn, use that instead of frozen. —Terry Maly, Olathe, Kansas
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Turkey Chili

I've taken my mother's healthy turkey chili recipe and made it thicker and more robust. It's a favorite, especially in fall and winter. —Celesta Zanger, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
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Spiced Acorn Squash Exps Sdas18 9669 D04 03  5b 18

Spiced Acorn Squash

Working full time, I found I didn't always have time to cook the meals my family loved, so I re-created many of those dishes in the slow cooker. This treatment for squash is one of our favorites. —Carol Greco, Centereach, New York
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Slow-Cooked Ratatouille

I get my son to eat eggplant by cooking it low and slow in this classic French veggie dish. A side of rice and garlic cheese bread also help. —Diane Goedde, Red Lodge, Montana
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Slow Cooker Key Lime Fondue Exps Edsc17 175406 D03 09 6b 6

Slow-Cooker Key Lime Fondue

Love fondue but want something other than milk chocolate? Dip into this white chocolate Key lime fondue with graham crackers, fresh fruit and cubed pound cake.—Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Moroccan Chicken Tagine Pockets Exps Sddj19 219445 B07 20 7b 2

Moroccan Chicken Tagine Pockets

I enjoy shredded chicken dishes, Moroccan seasonings and pita sandwiches. The addition of the carrot salad laced with dates and pomegranate seeds lends an extra punch and crunch. Mini flour tortillas can be substituted for pitas. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois
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Slow Cooked Manhattan Clam Chowder Exps Sscbz18 10066 B08 30 6b 2

Slow-Cooked Manhattan Clam Chowder

I came up with this simple, delicious soup years ago when my husband and I both worked. It's easy to dump all the ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning...and wonderful to come home to the aroma of dinner ready. —Mary Dixon, Northville, Michigan
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Slow Cooker Baked Apples Exps Scbz18 84964 E06 26 6b 2

Slow-Cooker Baked Apples

Coming home to this irresistible dessert on a dreary day is just wonderful; it’s slow-cooker easy. — Evangeline Bradford, Erlanger, Kentucky
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Slow-Cooked Potatoes with Spring Onions

Slow-Cooked Potatoes with Spring Onions

I love the simplicity of this recipe, as well as its ease of preparation with my slow cooker. Everyone always enjoys roasted potatoes, even my pickiest child! If desired, top with shredded or crumbled cheese. —Theresa Gomez, Stuart, Florida
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Slow Cooked Ropa Vieja Exps Tohescodr20 239047 E02 11 4b 3

Slow-Cooked Ropa Vieja

I traveled to Cuba a few years back and experienced some of the best food imaginable. One staple dish stuck out more than the rest, and that was ropa vieja. I had multiple variations, and when I returned home, I began to experiment making ropa vieja in the slow cooker. I went through roughly 5 trials before coming to this recipe. —Joshua Boyer, Traverse City, Michigan
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Exps72231 Th153342b02 10 6b Ap2 7

Carolina Shrimp & Cheddar Grits

Shrimp and grits were a house favorite—if only we could agree on how to make them. I stirred up a winner for the whole family with some cheddar and Cajun seasoning. —Charlotte Price, Raleigh, North Carolina
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Blueberry Cobbler Exps Scmz20 33781 B01 17 6b 4

Blueberry Cobbler

This simple slow-cooked dessert comes together in a jiffy. If you like, you can substitute apple or cherry pie filling for the blueberry. —Nelda Cronbaugh, Belle Plaine, Iowa
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Ginger Chicken And Quinoa Stew Exps Sdfm19 232492 B10 10 1b 1

Ginger Chicken and Quinoa Stew

This Asian-inspired one-pot chicken dinner is healthy and tasty. You can serve it hot, cold or at room temperature. —Doris Kwon, Newport Coast, California
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Pork Tacos with Mango Salsa

I've made quite a few tacos in my day, but you can't beat the tender filling made in a slow cooker. These are by far the best pork tacos we've had—and we've tried plenty. Make the mango salsa from scratch if you have time! Yum. —Amber Massey, Argyle, Texas
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Spicy Stuffed Banana Peppers

Banana peppers can be very tricky: Sometimes they are hot and sometimes they are not. If you want to be on the safe side, I recommend using Bianca peppers instead, which are a more sweet type of pepper. —Danielle Lee, Sewickley, Pennsylvania
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Lora S Red Beans Rice Exps Sddj17 196540 B08 11 2b 21

Lora’s Red Beans & Rice

My dear mother-in-law passed this simple recipe to me. With meats, beans and savory veggies that simmer all day, it's tasty, easy and economical, too! —Carol Simms, Madison, Mississippi
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Rosemary Beets

We’re a family of beet eaters. For a simple side dish, I use a slow cooker and let the beets mellow with rosemary and thyme. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Buffalo Chicken Sliders Exps Tohfm20 186279 E09 20 3b 19

Buffalo Chicken Sliders

I got the idea for these Buffalo chicken sliders from my mom and dad, who'd made a similar version for a family get-together. It's a versatile recipe, and I sometimes use several different styles of Buffalo sauce and let guests mix and match their favorites. —Christina Addison, Blanchester, Ohio
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Oregano Green Beans With Toasted Pine Nuts Exps Sdjj19 107152 E02 07 3b 2

Oregano Green Beans with Toasted Pine Nuts

This is a super easy side dish. It’s a beautiful, surprising mix that leaves guests and family raving. You can substitute any kind of nut for the pine nuts or even replace them with fresh berries. —Wolfgang Hanau, West Palm Beach, Florida
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Slow Cooked Hoisin Pot Roast Exps Thfm17 97745 D09 21 3b 1

Slow-Cooked Hoisin Pot Roast

One day my husband commented that he loves plums and meat. The next time I put a roast in the slow cooker, I added some plums. He was onto something! —Jackie Cole, Dunnellon, Florida
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Slow-Cooker Sriracha Corn

A restaurant here advertised Sriracha corn on the cob, but I knew I could make my own. The golden ears cooked up a little sweet, a little smoky and a little hot—perfect if you ask my three teenage boys! —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Slow-Cooker Pork Pozole

I love making this heartwarming stew with pork ribs and hominy. This is a fill-you-up recipe of lightly spiced comfort. —Genie Gunn, Asheville, North Carolina
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Slow-Cooked Italian Meatballs

Slow-Cooked Italian Meatballs

What I love about these meatballs is that they can be served as an appetizer right out of the slow cooker, or alongside your favorite pasta. They also make a delicious sandwich. —Jason Romano, Downingtown, Pennsylvania
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Old Fashioned Tapioca Exps Scbz18 86581 C06 28 3b 3

Old-Fashioned Tapioca

My family loves traditional tapioca, but I don’t always have time to make it. So I came up with this simple recipe that lets us enjoy one of our favorites without all the hands-on time. —Ruth Peters, Bel Air, Maryland
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Exps12583 Scm153676b01 27 1b 1

Sweet N Sour Beans

This recipe is popular on both sides of the border. It came from a friend in Alaska, then traveled with me to old Mexico, where I lived for 5 years, and is now a favorite in my Arkansas community. It’s easy to keep the beans warm and serve from a slow cooker. —Barbara Short, Mena, Arkansas
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Moist Cranberry Pork Roast

I love to serve this tender, flavorful pork to guests. You don’t have to toil away in the kitchen to prepare it, yet it tastes like a gourmet meal. —Kimberley Scasny, Douglasville, Georgia
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Double-Duty Heavenly Applesauce

Every year my husband and I take our two daughters to an orchard to pick apples so we can make this luscious applesauce for family and neighbors. —Jennifer Purcell, Vermilion, Ohio
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Cinnamon Blueberry French Toast

I like to prep this breakfast in the afternoon, let it chill, then put it into the slow cooker before I go to bed. When we wake up in the morning, it's done just right. —Angela Lively, Conroe, Texas
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French Lentil And Carrot Soup Exps Thso18 219374 B04 19 8b 24

French Lentil and Carrot Soup

It's crazy how just a few ingredients can make such a difference. Using finely chopped rotisserie chicken in this recipe makes it perfect for a busy weeknight meal, but you can leave it out if you prefer. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Cheesy Chicken Taco Dip

We're huge college football fans (go Irish!), and my chicken taco dip hasn't missed a season opener in many years. A slow cooker keeps the dip warm for the whole game—if it lasts that long! —Deanna Garretson, Yucaipa, California
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My Brazilian Feijoada  Exps Thd17 205084 B08 15 6b 11

My Brazilian Feijoada

A co-worker's mom used to make this dish for him and it was his favorite. So I made him my own version. Instead of sausage you can use ham hocks, or substitute lean white meat for the red meat if you prefer. —Christiane Counts, Webster, Texas
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Apple Comfort

Years ago, we were without electricity for nine days during an ice storm, but I was able run the slow cooker from our generator. The situation called for a treat, and this has been a favorite ever since. —Awynne Thurstenson, Siloam Springs, Arkansas
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Mulled Merlot Exps Thca20 37528 B08 08 1b 2

Mulled Merlot

This mulled wine recipe is sure to warm up your guests! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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California Tamale Pie Exps Gbbz20 85438 C10 15 6b 13

California Tamale Pie

When I serve California Tamale Pie, I know I’ll see smiles on the faces of everyone at the table. With this recipe, you’ll enjoy the taste and texture of classic tamales, without the time and hassle. —Patricia Nieh, Portola Valley, California
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Hearty Black Bean Soup

Cumin and chili powder give spark to this thick and hearty soup. If you have leftover meat—smoked sausage, browned ground beef or roast—toss it in during the last 30 minutes of cooking. —Amy Chop, Oak Grove, Louisiana
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Exps184524 Sd153208a08 12 4b 3

Sweet & Smoky Pulled Pork Sandwiches

My primo pork is smoky, tender and tastes like it came from a barbecue joint. Without much help from me, it basically shreds itself. —Lauren Adamson, Layton, Utah
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Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup Exps120053 Edsc163648d01 07 2bc Rms 3

Slow-Cooker Lasagna Soup

Every fall and winter, our staff has a soup rotation. I have modified this recipe so I can prep it the night before and put it in the slow cooker in the morning. My colleagues love it! —Sharon Gerst, North Liberty, Iowa
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Potluck Candied Sweet Potatoes Exps150326 Esc3139121d03 29 2bc Rms 12

Candied Sweet Potatoes

I updated this traditional southern staple so that it can be cooked in a slow cooker. It’s hard to go wrong with candied sweet potatoes. —Deirdre Dee Cox, Kansas City, Missouri
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Artichoke Spread With Garlic Bread Exps Sddj19 186645 B07 20 4b 2

Artichoke Spread with Garlic Bread

I've tried several different artichoke dip recipes, but this one is the absolute best! I serve it at nearly every family gathering and there are never any leftovers. This is probably my most-requested recipe. —Heidi Iacovetto, Phippsburg, Colorado
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Italian Spaghetti Squash

This is a unique and easy way to cook spaghetti squash. Be sure the squash is on the small or medium side so that it fits into the slow cooker after being cut in half. —Melissa Brooks, Sparta, Wisconsin
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Exps188667 Hc163708b01 07 2b 3

Slow-Cooked Pork Stew

Try this comforting pork stew recipe that's easy to put together, but tastes like you've been working hard in the kitchen all day. It's even better served over polenta, egg noodles or mashed potatoes. —Nancy Elliott, Houston, Texas

Christina Herbst
Christina is a Social Media Editor for Taste of Home. She enjoys trying out local restaurants and coffeehouses and adding copious amounts of garlic and cheese to any recipe she can get her hands on. In her free time, you can find her hunting down one-of-a-kind furniture pieces at thrift and vintage stores and DIYing trendy home decor crafts.