{Slow Cooker} Porcupine Meatballs over Rice

Crockpot Porcupine Meatballs

Delicious and easy porcupine meatballs that take minutes to make and cook in your crockpot. Little prep and impressive results!

The best porcupine meatballs made in the crockpot!
So far every single Valentine’s Day the husband has cooked dinner for him and I. This is a really big deal for him, because he really doesn’t cook besides the occasional freezer meal (he says those count), spaghetti + spaghetti sauce, and assembling a sandwich.

I’ve told the story here when we were dating once and he passed a gourmet meal off as his own. Later I found out that after a failed attempt, he frantically had gone over to his sister’s apartment and she made it for him. But for me, it’s totally the thought that counts…. 

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Slow Cooker Mexican Tortilla Chicken and Quinoa Soup

Slow Cooker Mexican Tortilla Chicken and quinoa soup

A delicious slow cooker Mexican tortilla chicken soup with delicious add-ins such as fresh lime, avocado, tortilla chips, and sour cream. 

Slow Cooker Mexican Tortilla Chicken and Quinoa Soup via chelseasmessyapron.com #soup #chickentortilla #quinoa

A few weeks ago I was able to go watch my little niece at her pre-school recital. All the adorable little kids sang some cute little songs with creative hand motions that went along with the songs. Afterwards there was a short story and then the preschool teachers read the kids’ cards they had written for Thanksgiving.

The cards were fill in the blanks: I’m thankful for my friends because BLANK. I’m thankful for my family because BLANK. I’m thankful for BLANK because BLANK.

Let me just tell you, these letters cracked me up. They were some of the funniest things I’d heard in a long time, and my niece’s responses were some of my favorite.

She was thankful for her friends because they smile at her, thankful for her family because they sleep, and thankful for lettuce and yogurt because they make her big and strong. Oh my gosh… talk about hilarious. I just can’t wait ‘til little Grey is old enough to say crazy funny things like that!

Anyways not that this story really has anything to do with this soup, but in a lame attempt to try and tie it in — my last response to those same questions would be I’m grateful for my slow cooker because it is my favorite kitchen appliance ever. Seriously, I think it is used just about daily at my house. If not daily, definitely every other day!… 

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{Slow Cooker} Quinoa, White Bean, and Kale Soup

Kale Soup1

A simple crockpot soup with quinoa, white beans, diced tomatoes, and freshly chopped kale. This soup has delicious Italian flavoring and is super easy to make.

Easiest slow cooker quinoa, kale, and white bean soup #crockpot #kale #quinoa #cleaneating

I’m pretty obsessed with soup. My big goal this year has been to get the husband on board with soups since in years past, he’s never been the biggest fan. After eating a bowl of this soup, he commented that he likes my soups because they “have stuff in them.” Apparently he just doesn’t like the super-brothy-with-not-much-added-to-them kind of soups. Wow, that was a mouthful.

He was a little skeptical at first, since this seemed to be a brothy soup, but he absolutely loved it! And although this recipe touts a full 4 cups of broth, do you want to hear my secret of making it not so brothy? Blending beans in the broth! That’s right, I blend an entire can of beans with some of the broth and stir that in the soup. It gives it a thick and hearty cream-like texture, but without all the cream ingredients. Plus it’s super easy to do!

Oh… and since I’m bragging about how easy this soup is to make, one more fun fact — the only thing you’ll need to chop is the kale!!… 

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{Slow Cooker} Sweet Potato Casserole

sweet potato casserole

A delicious sweet potato casserole with pecans all made in the slow cooker. One way to save some oven space for Thanksgiving is to use the crockpot!

10 minutes prep, made completely in your CROCKPOT! {Slow Cooker} Sweet Potato Casserole #crockpot #sweetpotato #thanksgiving #sidedish #casseroleIt’s time for some Thanksgiving recipes!! The husband, well, he’s pretty excited that he’s basically getting Thanksgiving for a lot of the month of November. He has requested that I “recipe experiment” with making several hams before the actual holiday. Basically, I need to buy ham and prepare it more because he loves it. Got it!

Anyways, in kicking off these Thanksgiving recipes I’ve got for you all, I had to start with a personal favorite. SWEET POTATOES! I love sweet potatoes. I eat them year round, but Thanksgiving gives me even more of an excuse to eat them, well, pretty much every day. And in all honesty, out of all the delicious Thanksgiving recipes available, sweet potato casseroles have always been my favorite. I know, I’m crazy.

So here’s the good news though. You know how there is likely a bazillion and one things to cook in your ovens on Thanksgiving? Well this recipe is going to save you some of that limited oven space! It is all made in the slow cooker. That’s right! Mixed in the slow cooker and then cooked in the slow cooker. And if you are like me — eaten right out of the slow cooker. Since it wasn’t a formal dinner or anything (yet), it was totally acceptable.

PLUS, this sweet potato casserole can also be made the night before and then popped into your slow cooker the day of.  #win.


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{Slow Cooker} Quinoa Chicken Parmesan Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Parm Quinoa Soup

A quinoa and chicken Parmesan soup that is simple, hearty, healthy and all made in the slow cooker (crockpot).

10 mins prep Crockpot Quinoa Chicken Parmesan Soup #dinner #soup #healthy #quinoa #crockpot #chicken

A while back I made a one dish chicken Parmesan quinoa dish and featured it on the blog. That meal quickly became the little guy’s favorite – he loves quinoa and he is OBSESSED with anything containing lots of tomatoes/red sauce.

While I was recipe testing the dish, I’m pretty certain I burned the husband out of it – we had it 4 (maybe 5) nights in a row? Okay, I was burned out too. The babe? He could have eaten every night I’m pretty sure. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen him eat as much at one time as he did with that dish! But once I was 100% happy with the recipe, I posted it, and haven’t made it since. How-ev-er… when the little guy came down with a cold this week, I knew I had to make him something with lots of quinoa, lots of red sauce, and something warm.

Naturally, soup instantly came to mind. Because isn’t that what everyone likes when they are sick? I like soup pretty much every time it’s cold outside, but especially when I’m sick! And for the record, the next time I’m sick, I’m definitely requesting this soup!! Warm, rich, chunky, and pure straight comfort food. But in a healthier way because: lots of tomatoes (they form the broth – so no heavy creams here), good protein source (chicken), and quinoa (healthy grain). Yes, this soup doesn’t have any heavy cream or milk! But it’s far from a brothy soup, it’s quite chunky and almost stew-like in texture.

10 mins prep Crockpot Quinoa Chicken Parmesan Soup #dinner #soup #healthy #quinoa #crockpot #chicken… 

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{Slow Cooker} Mexican Quinoa

A ONE dish, Crockpot Mexican Quinoa #dinner #crockpot #quinoa #cleaneating

This crockpot Mexican quinoa is bursting with deliciously fresh and healthy ingredients. This dish is all cooked in the slow cooker (even the quinoa and butternut squash) and has lots of “hidden veggies.”

A ONE dish, Crockpot Mexican Quinoa #dinner #crockpot #quinoa #cleaneating

How do you all feel about butternut squash? Personally, its my favorite squash ever.

When I started dating my husband, just guess who said he hated butternut squash? Yeah it would be him. This news was almost a deal breaker. Luckily he flashed his cute smile and all was fine in the world for then. So we dated longer and I avoided cooking with squash. Then we got married and I further avoided cooking with squash.

And then we were married for 2 years and I went and bought all the squash in the store. The exact number was 9 butternut squashes because they were 59 cents apiece and I tend to go overboard when I find produce on sale. This purchase wasn’t because I was trying to be an awful wife (pinky swear I try to always please him for dinner!) but I had a sudden maddening determination to get him to like it. I just couldn’t go another Fall without the squash. So I searched the best recipes and ended up deciding to just coat the squash cubes in olive oil + salt + pepper + some other spices and roast them in the oven.

You may be able to guess that the story has a very happy ending. Not only did he LOVE the squash, but I’m pretty sure the husband is more obsessed with it than I am. In fact, when they go on sale now, he asks me to stock up. And nowadays, when he asks me to make butternut squash, well, he just gets even cuter to me.

So the moral of the story? It’s all how you prepare the squash. Or, you get really lucky. Or you really will hate it no matter what and just wasted your time reading a very boring story. Basically I’m not sure the moral of the story. What I am sure of – this is one of the best ways I’ve ever eaten butternut squash!… 

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{Slow Cooker} Lasagna Tortellini Soup


A crockpot lasagna soup made with cheese-filled tortellini. This soup is simple to make, tastes just like lasagna in soup form, and is a sure crowd pleaser!


This soup though. Best soup I’ve ever had – hands down. I guess I have to amend that statement just a bit though…because if you are looking for a super healthy and light soup, this sweet potato + quinoa one is one of my favorites. But as far as a complete comfort meal, easy to make, super cheesy, and totally flavorful soup goes – this is the soup.

Not that this soup is necessarily unhealthy, just the amounts of cheese I stir in mine may just be a little unhealthy. Although, I’m sure I put more cheese in my soup than the average 3 6 people…

Other than that, you’ve got lots and lots of tomatoes and tomato-ey sauces, some beef broth, lots of spices. You know, these are all good for you! And for the actual beef, I used extra lean ground beef, but I’m sure ground turkey would be great in this too. However, ground beef just screams lasagna to me since I always put that in our lasagna. BUT — the best part of this soup in my opinion? It’s the tortellini. Tortellini is one of the greatest foods ever made, I’m convinced. And in this soup it is divine. It cooks perfectly in the slow cooker and it’s like having an ultra chees-y lasagna in every bite. Because the cheese is IN the pasta. Genius.

And then I mix lots of extra cheese in the soup. You know, just for good measure.


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{Slow Cooker} Fiesta Ranch Taco Soup

Delicious Fiesta Taco Soup

A simple crockpot taco soup with fiesta ranch flavorings. This soup allows you to choose your spice level, it’s quick to make, and very customizable!

Easy Crockpot Fiesta Ranch Taco Soup - a fun twist on a classic!So I’ve been posting quite a few soups over the last few weeks…is it even cold where you are at? Is it full-fledged soup season yet? Clearly I consider it soup season, but I it has been cooling down considerably where I’m at. Speaking of where I’m at, and making a not so subtle transition…I have to tell you all about the one of the coolest things I’ve done since living here.

It’s called Whirlyball and apparently it’s a sport native to Ohio. It makes me pretty proud to live here, seriously.

Basically it’s a mash-up of a few different sports. There are two teams and everyone plays in their own bumper car (awesome right!!). Then there are two goals that are set up like a basketball hoop and one small ball. Except the ball can only be handled with a short lacrosse stick. That probably makes no sense, but I don’t really know how else to describe it. Basically picture bumper cars and crazy because that’s what it felt like to me!

This game was so fun. I have no idea why it’s not mainstream and why I didn’t get to play it in college. Because I’m sure I would have made the team. Put me in a bumper car all day long and I will go places people. … I’m just joking in case you were wondering. I was probably the worst player on the team, but I sure made up for it in team spirit and enthusiasm! Oh, and I did manage to score two points or baskets or whatever they are called!

If you ever find yourself in the lovely state of Ohio (or you live here and haven’t yet), whirlyball is a must. I rank it right up there with Cedar Point — the roller-coaster capital of the world! Orrrr if you are a person of extreme prominence and can start making this sport more mainstream (why you would be reading my food blog, I have not figured out yet), you would be my best friend…. 

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{Slow Cooker} Cinnamon Roll Fondue with 20-minute Miniature Cinnamon Rolls


A slow cooker cream cheese glazed fondue with 20-minute miniature cinnamon rolls on a stick. This is the perfect party food and an all around great dessert!

Crockpot cinnamon roll fondue with 20-minute no rise miniature cinnamon rolls!

I have seriously been dying to share this recipe with you all! I had the concept for it about two months ago and then experimenting ensued. When I finally had something I was totally in love with, I just had to get around to taking pictures which was proving a bit difficult as we kept eating this at night as a dessert. But anyways now IT’S HERE! And I am so excited.

Because fondue is just the best. It’s fun to do with family, at a party, during a game (hint. football!), or errr absolutely by myself. Which by the way, I totally had a solo cinnamon roll fondue party at 9:30 AM the other day while the babe was sleeping and I finally had a chance to take these pictures. It was awesome.

Crockpot cinnamon roll fondue with 20-minute no rise miniature cinnamon rolls!… 

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{Slow Cooker} Spicy Chicken Quesadilla Soup

quesadilla soup

An easy crockpot soup that requires 5 minutes prep! This soup is filled with chicken quesadilla ingredients and tastes like a spicy quesadilla in soup form.

Crockpot Spicy chicken quesadilla soup

I learned something new about the husband this past weekend and it’s kind of crazy when I learn things that I think I should know but don’t. I mean we’ve been together for over four years. I should know all the things about taste preferences right? Especially as a food blogger and one that aims to please said husband.

Okay, so here’s the thing – he can not handle spice. Well he can handle it, but he doesn’t like it. And me? If food can make me tear up a little, that’s when it’s starting to get good! You’re probably thinking this soup is ultra spicy-hot, but it’s not. I mean, it is spicy, but you could definitely increase the spicy-ness. The husband still ate it and still liked it, but he wasn’t too excited about the leftovers.

Which um… I’m not complaining about. That means more for me :) And the babe that apparently inherited my taste-buds and loooooves this soup.

Crockpot Spicy chicken quesadilla soup… 

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{Slow Cooker} Sweet potato, chicken, and quinoa soup


A deliciously easy and incredibly healthy broth-based chicken, quinoa, and sweet potato soup made in the crockpot. 

Crockpot sweet potato, chicken, and quinoa soup. SO good and super healthy!So you may be thinking it’s too early for soup. Or maybe where you are living it hasn’t quite cooled down enough to make the thought of soup even the least bit appealing.


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{Slow Cooker} Salsa Verde Chicken Soup

salsa verde soup

This healthy and made-in-the-crockpot soup is flavorful and has a deliciously spicy kick. Made with chicken, salsa verde, corn, black beans, and optional toppings of avocado, sour cream, cilantro, and lime juice this soup is not only flavorful, but very healthy as well!

So healthy and simple Crockpot soup! Salsa verde chicken with lots of customization options #soup #cleaneatingHow do you feel about salsa verde? Flavors – I am so in love with. Color? Not so much. It actually kind of freaks me out a little bit. So it’s a good thing it tastes so great. And makes this soup taste so deliciously yum.

If you’ve never had salsa verde, you’ve got to get on that. There’s nothing quite like it. Regular salsa uses red tomatoes, and salsa verde – it uses tomatillos giving it a tangy and zesty flavor while still staying true to the chili and onion flavor. All the flavors just work…. 

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