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Five Ingredient Crockpot Stew, Chili, and Chowder Recipes

Super Quick and Easy

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Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili

Linda Larsen
I have always loved thick stews, chilis, and chowders. To me, they are simply more satisfying than thinner soups and broths. Thick, rich amalgamations of meat, vegetables, cream, cheese, and potatoes are so delicious and comforting. Combine that description with 'five ingredient' and 'crockpot' and you have some sure winners! (The ingredient list uses five ingredients or less, not counting water, salt, pepper, spices, flour, or cornstarch.) These five ingredient crockpot chowders, chilis, and stews are easy and supremely satisfying.

To me, stews are soups which have been thickened with a roux or cornstarch mixture, or starch from potatoes, vegetables, or beans. They are full of big chunks of meats and vegetables, and can almost be eaten with a fork (to parody a famous commercial from a few years ago). Chowders are thick stews which contain chunks of meat, usually seafood. They are richer than stews and usually include some kind of dairy product, like cream or cheese. And chilis are thick stews that are spicy, with beans or legumes.

You can transform almost any soup recipe into a stew by adding less liquid in proportion with meats and vegetables, and by thickening the soup with a cornstarch mixture or a roux. If, at the end of the cooking time, the stew isn't as thick as you would like, just combine 2 Tbsp. cornstarch with 3 Tbsp. water and mix until smooth. Turn the slow cooker to high and stir in the cornstarch mixture. Let the soup cook for another 15-20 minutes to thicken. If your stew has potatoes or beans, you can also thicken the mixture by mashing some of the ingredients with a potato masher, then cooking for another 20-30 minutes. This releases the starch inside these ingredients that then thickens the liquid in the recipe.

You don't need to serve much with these hearty recipes. A green salad provides nice contrast in texture and temperature. I feel that some warm, crusty bread or crisp crackers are essential. Try some of these super easy recipes this week to warm up your home and family.

Five Ingredient Crockpot Stews, Chilis, and Chowders

  • Crockpot Easy Beef Stew
    This simple and hearty stew uses ingredients that are easy to keep on hand.
  • Beer and Cheese Chowder
    You can use nonalocholic beer in this easy recipe. Be sure to top it with some popcorn!
  • Tomato Chicken Stew
    Top this rich stew with some purchased pesto or Parmesan cheese to add great flavor at the last minute.
  • Crockpot Fish and Corn Chowder
    The fish in this stew is cooked frozen, so it will keep its shape during the long cooking time.
  • Vegetarian Crockpot Chili
    This is one of my favorite chili recipes, because all you have to do is chop an onion and garlic and mix some ingredients together. Without the protein crumbles, this is a five ingredient recipe. But why not add them? You just open a package and pour them into the crockpot.
  • Gingered Chicken Stew
    Fresh ginger adds a depth of flavor to this thick chicken stew that you will love.
  • Turkey and Rice Chili
    Use ground turkey, not ground turkey breast, in this recipe. It includes dark meat and has more flavor.
  • Crockpot Three Bean Chili
    Mix different types of canned beans in this delicious chili to add more interest and flavor to the chili.
  • Slow Cooker Pork and Sweet Potato Stew
    Sweet potatoes and pork go together like hearts and Valentine's Day. I love this creamy, delicious stew.
  • Beef and Mushroom Stew
    For mushrooms lovers! Look in your grocer's produce section for more unusual types of fresh mushrooms.
  • Crockpot Corn and Sausage Chowder
    Try different types of fully cooked sausage in this super-easy chowder. Serve with a crisp green salad and some cheesy french bread slices.
  • Tortellini Stew
    I love cooking pasta in the crockpot; stews and soups have enough liquid so the tortellini cooks evenly.
  • Spicy Pork Chili
    If your family likes it hot, use a very spicy salsa in this easy and delicious chili.

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