Slow Cooker Cowboy Beans


I had a “change of menu”  this week.  This recipe came from Stephanie at “A Year of Slow Cooking”.  I think this sounds like a great change from regular pinto beans. 



1 pound dried pinto beans, soaked overnight
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 pound lean ground beef or turkey (optional)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1-2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (10-ounce) can Rotel, or traditional chopped tomatoes, your choice
1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
7 cups water
sliced jalapenos, optional (don’t have on hand)

Cost for this meal:
Beans  $0.25
Onion  $0.25
Ground Beef  $1.00
Ro-Tel   $0.62
Bell Pepper $0.05
garlic   $0.05
All other spices – I’m guess no more than $0.05 total

Total cost for this meal is $2.27

I added an extra cup of beans, a heaping tablespoon of preminced garlic, approximately 1 tablespoon of cumin and about 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings (Yes, I know not the healthiest, but we love pinto beans the southern way!). 

Serves 8-10 as a side dish, or 5 as a main course. Sort pinto beans, and soak overnight in lots of fresh water. 

(Note from Me:  I don’t normally soak my beans.  I just sort, rinse well, and then place them in my Crock Pot.)

In the morning, drain your beans, and pick out any that have split open, or look discolored and shriveled.  Pour into a 6 quart slow cooker. Brown hamburger and onion on the stove, and drain fat. While the meat is cooking, add the rest of the ingredients into your slow cooker. Start with 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and apple cider vinegar. Add the meat, and top with 7 cups of fresh water. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for about 6.  Taste the beans. If you’d like your beans to have more of a tang, add some more Worcestershire sauce and apple cider vinegar.  Top with sliced jalapenos, if desired.

Don’t forget to check out Crock Pot Wednesdays for more great recipes this week!

~~Crock Pot Chicken & Noodles~~


I found the original recipe on Frugal Families, but I adapted it to our tastes and to feed my family. It’s super simple and quick to throw together.

Crock Pot Chicken & Noodles

  • 6 frozen leg quarters (can use 3-4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts)
  • 1 package egg noodles
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbs pre-minced garlic
  • 2 tsp Thyme
  • 1 Tbs Rosemary
  • 4 cups chicken broth or 4 cups boiling water + 4 chicken bullion cubes, dissolved

Place chicken in Crock Pot. Mix together soups & milk. Add sour cream and mix well.

Add rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt & pepper, mixing well.

Add chicken broth & butter, mixing well again.

Pour mixture over chicken and cook on low 6 to 8 hours.


Remove chicken and shred. Add noodles to sauce while shredding chicken. Add shredded chicken back to the Crock Pot and cook an additional 30 minutes or until noodles reach desired tenderness.

This goes really well with mashed potatoes & hot rolls/biscuits.

I’ll come back and add pics of the finished product. In the mean time, check out Dining With Debbie for more great Crock Pot recipes this week!

Recipe Swap: Homemade Yogurt

Thanks to Stephanie at A Year of Slow Cooking, I decided to give this a try. I’ve made it on the stove before, but I did not have time to stand over it so I thought that I would try this method. I have a 2-quart Crock Pot, so I just halved the recipe. Actually, I used just under 2 quarts of milk. I also added some vanilla extract to the milk since I had plain yogurt.


The milk will slowly heat in the Crock Pot for about 2-1/2 hours. Mine only took about 2 hours,probably because I don’t have a high & low setting on this one.

After it has heated up to about 130 degrees, turn it off and let it cool down to about 115 degrees. It’s still pretty warm, but not too warm to touch. While this is cooling down, I scooped 1/4 cup of yogurt into a bowl and let it come to room temperature. After the milk had cooled down, I added about 1/2 cup of the warm milk to the yogurt and stirred well. It immediately started to thicken up which is a very good sign! Add this mixture back to the remaining milk in the Crock Pot, stir well, and cover with towels to insulate it. This keeps it from cooling down too quickly.


Let mixture set for about 6 to 8 hours, or until it starts to thicken up.


Pour into containers and place in the refrigerator overnight to finish thickening up.

Well, I think I rushed mine. It was setting up very nicely, but I put it in the fridge too quickly. It cooled off quicker than it should have (maybe because it was setting in front of the AC? 😉 ) so I went ahead and put in the fridge. We’ll use this to make smoothies, eat with fruit, etc. I will definitely be doing this again, but next time I’ll place it in a different location and it will NOT go in the fridge before it has set for 8 hours.

Don’t forget to check out the Grocery Cart Challenge for more great recipes!