21 Tex-Mex Slow Cooker Recipes for Summer

If you have been around my blog for long, you know how much I love Tex-Mex. I love the flavors, the spice and how many easy options there are for Mexican style food in the slow cooker. Needless to say, Tex-Mex slow cooker recipes make a frequent appearance on our dinner table.

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One of the most popular recipes on the site is the slow cooker fajitas. They require minimal prep time, so you can get them into the slow cooker quickly. And the slow cooking melds the flavors beautifully. Plus, making them in the slow cooker means it’s an easy choice when feeding a crowd!

I love that both beef and chicken are so freezer friendly. That means you can prep them in batches and easily grab one for the slow cooker in the morning! As far as freezer friendly foods go, shredded taco beef is a huge time-saver for me. I make up a big batch, and freeze the leftovers for later. Super easy, and there are so many meals you can make using taco meat as a base.

And speaking of tacos! My kids love tacos because they can build their own. While there are hundreds of recipes out there for delicious Tex-Mex food in the slow cooker, here are 12 of the go-to family favorites at our house. Enjoy!

21 Tex-Mex Slow Cooker Recipes

  1. Salsa Verde Steak is a delicious and easy recipe adapted from The Ungourmet

These Beef Fajitas look pretty all prepped in the crockpot and they taste even better after cooking all day.

Smoky Chipotle Chicken Tacos – when every word in the name of a recipe makes your mouth water, then you know dinner’s going to be good!

Black Bean and Salsa Chicken and Cornbread combines all the yumminess of Tex-Mex in one slow cooker. Easy prep, easy cleanup, perfect dinner!

Creamy Jalapeno Chicken Tacos are a creamy twist on the classic taco with a little kick.

Sloppy Chicken Tacos is another Tex-Mex Chicken recipe served the way a taco should always be … slightly sloppy!

Chicken Fajitas are a quick and tasty weeknight dinner to toss in the slow cooker before you start your day and they’re ready for dinner whenever you are!

The picture and short ingredient list don’t really require an explanation for these tasty Pork Carnitas

Beans are so easy to make ahead and pull out on those crazy nights when you need a quick dinner at home. You’ll find all the details for cooking them ahead and freezing for later in this post.

From other Bloggers

These pictures are from the original blogs and, be warned, you may feel more than slightly hungry after perusing the delightful slow cooker Tex-Mex ideas below …

Slow Cooker Enchiladas

Layer upon layer of tortillas and enchilada fixin’s make these Slow Cooker Enchiladas from Pocket Change Gourmet a wonderful dinner to come home to at the end of the day!

Tamales, in a casserole, in the crock pot? Brilliant! Thanks to Lynn at Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures for sharing her Tamale Casserole recipe!

Kalyn over at Kalyn’s Kitchen has shared this recipe for her uber-healthy and scrumptious Green Chili Shredded Beef Bowls.

Cumin Pork Roast and Beans are the foundation of this delightful slow cooker creation from $5 Dinners and tastes wonderful rolled up in a tortilla or served over a bed of lettuce.

These Carnitas and Paleo Nachos from Annie at Worthy Pause are tasty, paleo and made in a slow cooker. It’s pretty much the trifecta of healthy dinners!

If you’ve never had a taco stuffed with pulled pork and Mexican slaw, then you’ll want to try this Pulled Pork and Mexican Slaw recipe from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures.

Shredded Pork Tostadas are like a shredded pork taco all dressed up and ready to impress. This recipe from the sisters over at Favorite Family Recipes is perfect for the slow cooker.

This Cowboy Casserole from Family Fresh Meals combines everyone’s favorites – potatoes, beef, beans, corn and cheese into one “so-good-it-won’t-last-long” easy prep, easy clean-up meal.

If you’ve never tasted Brazilian Feijoada Pork and Black Beans, then let me suggest that you add this dinner from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe to this week’s menu and shopping list. Fejoida has an amazing flavor profile that you’ll want to come back to time and again!

Cilantro Lime Fish Tacos in the crockpot? Yes please! Thank you to Katie from Fun Home Things for sharing this one on her blog!

Vegetarian Fajitas from Jessica at The Pieper Life are a wonderful option for an easy meatless meal, and it freezes well so you can eat half tonight and save the other half for another day. Yay!

Vegetarian Taco Dip from Pocket Change Gourmet is scrumptious with tortilla chips, or on a bed of lettuce for a fresh salad.

Deborah over at Taste and Tell Blog has answered the question of how to bundle the goodness of a tamale into a meatball in these Tamale Balls. And the answer is delicious!

Ever wonder what you can serve with Tex-Mex?

Check out this post filled with ideas for some of my favorite sides! 

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11 Slow Cooker Side Dish Recipes

Have I ever mentioned that I love my slow cooker? Yeah, I thought so! Apparently, I’m not the only one too! And why not! You can do basically everything in a slow cooker. From all-day barbecue to slow cooker side dishes, from overnight breakfasts all the way to decadent desserts like cheesecake, the slow cooker can do it all.  They easily qualify as a kitchen workhorse by saving time, keeping the house cool and making food prep super simple for a small family or a large crowd! I absolutely love using my slow cooker for gatherings. It makes my life so much easier in so many ways.

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If you’ve never used your slow cooker to make side dishes, pull it out and give it a try! These 11 side dishes you can make in your slow cooker are the perfect place to start. These recipes are easy to put together and are definitely crowd pleasers. Pair them with summer food and you’ve got yourself a party or holiday dinners, whichever you prefer.

11 Easy Slow Cooker Side Dishes

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Loaded Cheesy Potato Casserole are sure to be a hit at your next potluck with all their cheesy goodness!

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Honey Glazed Carrots in the slow cooker  are both buttery and sweet. Yum!

slow cooker corn casserole

Corn Casserole in the Slow Cooker is a moist slightly sweet side dish with only 5 ingredients and less than 5 minutes of prep.

hashbrown casserole

Hashbrown Casserole in the slow cooker is just as tasty as it looks, and you can fix the meat in the slow cooker at the same time with a simple little trick included in this post

Winter Squash in the Slow Cooker

Acorn or Butternut Squash in the slow cooker is a perfect side dish, especially when you add some butter and a sprinkling of brown sugar!

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Homemade Apple Sauce in the Slow Cooker  is much simpler than you might think and it just might ruin you for the store-bought stuff once you taste this eat at home version. Consider yourself warned!

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Baked Beans in the Slow Cooker are a must for any dinner involving barbecue. These are classic with brown sugar, molasses and bacon. Yum!

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The cheesy goodness of Scalloped Potatoes in the Slow Cooker? Yes, please!

sweet potatoes and apples done

Sweet Potatoes and Apples in the Slow Cooker are a tasty combination of fruit and veggies with plenty of sweet spices mixed in!

slow cooked apples and butternut squash

And if you prefer squash over sweet potatoes, then try this Apples and Butternut Squash in the Slow Cooker recipe.

This Cheesy Cauliflower from Simply Nourished Living is so tasty you won’t believe that it’s actually weight watcher friendly!

Go ahead and feel free to pin the image below so you can easily find these tasty slow cooker side dishes for when you need a quick, crowd-pleasing dish!

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Slow Cooker Beer Brats (or Italian Sausages)

Slow Cooker Beer Brats

I’m not going to lie.  I was skeptical when my sister told me about Slow Cooker Beer Brats.  I’m not a fan of beer and the thought of cooking a brat in it didn’t sound too good.

But she said they turn out so flavorful – not tasting like beer, but just so good.  The fact that they cook in the slow cooker was a plus for me too.  I love a good slow cooker recipe!

So I tried them and my sister was right.  You’ve got to make these!

We topped them with ketchup, mustard, diced onion, mild banana peppers.  I was out of relish or we would have added that too.  These brats can handle a lot of toppings.

One thing that surprised me is how the brats browed during the cook time.  I didn’t expect that since they were cooking partially submerged in the beer.

This recipe couldn’t be easier, since it has only two basic ingredients.  This is summer cooking at its simplest – 2 minute prep, slow cooker doesn’t heat up your house, go have fun while it cooks – my kind of recipe!

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

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Sweet Decadent Slow Cooker Desserts

Slow Cooker Dessert Series

Let’s talk about dessert. You probably know that I have a huge sweet tooth, and I absolutely love having something delicious to sit down with at the end of the day. Bonus points if it includes ice cream! You also probably know by now how much I love my slow cooker. Did you know that there are dozens of sweet decadent slow cooker desserts too?

I took my love of slow cookers and my love of desserts and decided to take slow cooking to a sweeter place than tacos and soups. Once I tried making dessert in the slow cooker, I was hooked. Now I’m always looking for ways to convert favorites into slow cooker desserts that I can whip up without turning my oven on at all.

I love making cobblers and crips in the slow cooker because they are super easy desserts by nature, and I like easy! You can add a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream, and it is the perfect summer treat. But there’s more to slow cooker desserts than cobblers. You can make cakes and it makes even something fancy like cheesecake in it too. There are literally so many sweets you can make in the slow cooker–and I’m excited to keep trying more things and finding new favorite treats to make in the slow cooker!

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In the mean time, these are some of my favorite slow cooker sweets. If you’ve made dessert in the slow cooker, I’d love to hear what your favorites are!

11 Slow Cooker Desserts

*pictures from other blogs are noted with their watermark and may cause a bit of drooling

Based on a bread pudding served at ‘Ohana at the Polynesian Resort in Walt Disney World, this Bananas Foster Bread Pudding is a big hit at our house!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake is such a classic made easier with the help of your trusty slow cooker.

Blueberry Crisp is always a favorite with the sweetness of blueberries and it’s crisy topping and a side of vanilla ice cream. This recipe was adapted from the book Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist and it’s absolutely yummy!

Salted Caramel Cobbler! For those rare days when you want dessert but it doesn’t have to include chocolate. You’re welcome!

This Chocolate Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust and Nut Topping  is smooth and rich and oh-so-very chocolatey.  The pretzel crust adds a bit of salty to the sweet chocolate and the nut topping brings a little crunch to the creamy. If you’ve never tried a cheesecake in the slow cooker, here’s proof that it’s worth it!

This Apricot Crisp is a six-ingredient cobbler that starts with a few cans of apricots, or your favorite fruit and helps end your day on the sweetest of notes.

There’s a reason chocolate covered cherries have been popular for years, they’re a delicious combination of the tartness of cherries with the sweetness of chocolate. These Brownies and Cherries are based on that same delightful combination and make enough for a crowd, unlike a little box of chocolate covered cherries!

This Salted Caramel Apple Cake is a delightful blend of sweet and salty that’s definitely company-worthy.

What happens when you combine caramel and apples and crispy topping in a slow cooker? Well then you have Apple Caramel Crisp and everyone knows that calls for a hearty scoop of vanilla ice cream! Yes, please!

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Sauce may have some of those classic fall ingredients but, trust me, it’s perfectly delightful in any season!

This Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake from Skinny Ms is the best of both worlds – healthy and decadent!

Triple Chocolate Brownies are 3 times the chocolate from Martha Stewart, and everybody knows that is a good thing!

How fun is this Rocky Road Chocolate Fondue from Six Sisters Stuff for a gathering of friends and family?

This Chocolate Tapioca Pudding from Simple Nourished Living blends the richness of chocolate with the comfort level of tapioca pudding for a fabulous dessert!

The picture alone of this Triple Chocolate Pudding Cake from Deborah at Taste and Tell, is a hint at how yummy it is. Especially when you can fix it in the slow cooker!

Combine a few pantry staples, put it in the slow cooker and a few hours later…ta da! You have a  Chocolate Cobbler with fudgy sauce that pretty much begs for a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

And then there’s this Sweet Heat Chex Mix for those “on-the-go” sweet treats that we all need from time to time!

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Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken Sandwiches

Slow cooker cilantro lime chicken sandwiches

Slow cooker sandwiches are one of my favorite meals.  They work so well for several scenarios:

  • They can handle a long cook time.
  • They are perfect for feeding people in shifts.
  • The leftovers make great lunches or dinners.
  • Sandwiches don’t require complicated side dishes – also great for shift eating.

For these Cilantro Lime Chicken Sandwiches, I used a new Hidden Valley® Ranch Dressing flavor. Hidden Valley® has four new flavors :

  • Hidden Valley® Ranch Buffalo dressing
  • Hidden Valley® Ranch Honey BBQ dressing
  • Hidden Valley® Ranch Sriracha dressing
  • Hidden Valley® Ranch Cilantro Lime dressing

Any of the flavors will work in this recipe, but we really liked the taste of the Cilantro Lime dressing.  It added a brightness to the chicken with the fresh taste of cilantro and the citric splash of lime.

The dish starts with chicken and seasonings.  Creamy dressing is added near the end of cooking and served with the sandwiches too.

I picked up my ingredients from Walmart.  It’s so easy to run into Walmart and grab everything I need at once.  There’s a coupon for Hidden Valley® you can download here that will save you $0.75 on a 12oz or 16oz bottle.

In addition to the Hidden Valley® Ranch Cilantro Lime dressing, I used quite a few spices to season chicken tenders.

spices for cilantro lime chicken sandwiches

Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken Sandwiches

Serves: 8 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 - 2.5 lbs. boneless chicken or chicken tenders
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. thyme
  • ½ - 1 cup Hidden Valley Ranch Cilantro Lime dressing
  • 8 sandwich buns
  • lettuce and tomato for serving, optional
Instructions
  1. Place chicken in slow cooker.
  2. Sprinkle spices over chicken, tossing to coat chicken with spices.
  3. Cook on high 5-6 hours or low 7-8 hours.
  4. Shred chicken.
  5. Stir dressing into chicken, using enough to make it as creamy as you'd like.
  6. Serve on sandwich buns, topped with lettuce and tomato if desired.


Cilantro Lime Chicken Sandwich

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf ofHidden Valley® Ranch. The opinions and text are all mine.

Chicken Curry in the Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry has become one of my favorite weeknight dinner recipes.  Rachael first shared the recipe on Eat at Home a few years ago.  I’ve made it so many times since then.

One reason this recipe is perfect is that it is so simple.  I have it memorized, which makes it even faster – no need to go searching for the recipe.  Four ingredients go into the slow cooker, with one ingredient added just before serving.  So easy!

We love this served over rice with baked sweet potatoes along side.  You can also make it paleo/low-carb by serving it over cauliflower instead of rice.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry ingr

You can use any cut of boneless chicken – breasts, thighs or tenders.  Control the heat by using mild salsa, or hot salsa if you like it spicy.  I use mild and the dish isn’t spicy at all.  Mild curry powder also keeps it from tasting too hot.

Chicken Curry in the Slow Cooker

Serves: 6-8 servings

Ingredients
  • 3 lbs. boneless chicken
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 3 Tbs. curry powder
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 cups rice, cooked
Instructions
  1. Place chicken, onion, salsa and curry powder in slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high 5-6 hours or low 7-8 hours.
  3. minutes before serving remove chicken from slow cooker.
  4. Add coconut milk to slow cooker. Stir into sauce.
  5. Return chicken to pot.
  6. Serve over cooked rice.

One easy way to remember the ingredients is this:

3 ingredients go in – chicken, salsa, onion.  Then 3 Tbs. curry powder.  Three (ingredients) before three (tablespoons).  Finish with the coconut milk.

 

 

 

 

 

Slow Cooker Sausage Jambalaya

You’re going to love this slow cooker recipe from Kate! It’s perfect comfort food for fall and winter.

We’re having a beautiful fall here – cool mornings that turn into warm afternoons and so many gorgeous leaves. I’ve been spending a lot of time outside so I’ve been adapting some of my favorite stove-top dinners into slow cooker meals to make dinner easier. This is a meal I’ve been making forever but I’d never tried it in the slow cooker because I wasn’t sure how the rice would come out.

Jambalaya

It was great! And so easy – a dump and go, my favorite kind of slow cooker recipe. It starts with the trinity of all jambalaya recipes – onion, celery and garlic – and then adds a few more simple ingredients to make a great dish. The flavors here are just a little spicy – if you like things more mild you can decrease the amount of chili powder. And if it starts to thicken up too much, you can stir in some additional chicken stock.

Ready to get started? Here’s what you’ll need:

JambalayaIngredients

Slow Cooker Sausage Jambalaya

Serves: 4 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • ¾ cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 lb. precooked Andouille sausage, coin sliced
Instructions
  1. In the slow cooker, stir together the onion, garlic, celery, red pepper and spices. Stir in tomatoes and broth. Stir in brown rice until thoroughly combined. Fold in sausage.
  2. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Kate is a home cook and mom  from New Jersey. In addition to sharing recipes with Eat at Home readers, she blogs her cooking adventures at Kate’s Recipe Box. When she’s not in the kitchen, you can find her reading or tending to her garden.

Slow Cooker Kielbasa with Potato-Apple Slaw

This slow cooker recipe from Kate sounds amazing!  Don’t be afraid to try the sauerkraut.  I’ve found that in recipes it isn’t nearly as “krauty” as it is when you have it straight from the jar or can.

Apple season is my favorite. As soon as they start appearing in the market, they start working their way into every meal I can possibly squeeze them into. This is one of our standard fall dinners.

Apples pair so well with kielbasa. The potatoes bulk up the slaw to make the whole dish more filling and the sauerkraut adds a great bite. The whole thing just tastes like fall and couldn’t be easier! If you’re looking for a simple, seasonal dish, this is a great go-to.

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To make it, you’ll only need a few simple ingredients:

KielbasaSlawIngredients

Slow Cooker Kielbasa with Potato-Apple Slaw

Serves: 4 servings

Ingredients
  • 3 large potatoes, shredded
  • 3 Gala apples, peeled and shredded
  • 1 15 oz. can sauerkraut, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup sherry cooking wine
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. kielbasa, coin-sliced
Instructions
  1. In the slow cooker, toss together the shredded potato, shredded apple and rinsed sauerkraut.
  2. Stir in cooking wine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If it's still too bitter, stir in a teaspoon or two of sugar.
  3. Stir in sliced kielbasa.
  4. Cook on low for 6 hours.

Kate is a home cook and new mom  from New Jersey. In addition to sharing recipes with Eat at Home readers, she blogs her cooking adventures at Kate’s Recipe Box. When she’s not in the kitchen, you can find her reading or tending to her garden.

Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken

I can’t wait to try this recipe from Kate.  She is fantastic at coming up with slow cooker recipes.  That works out great, because she’s also the one who puts together our Slow Cooker version of Weekly Meal Plans.

We’ve been in a huge take-out rut for most of the summer. There’s been so much going on that it’s been easier to grab something while we’re out and about than to try to work in time to cook. The Eat at Home Challenge was a great reminder that I can do better for my family – so I doubled-down my efforts to actually plan. One of the things I started playing with after the challenge were at-home versions of some of our take-out favorites.

Peanut chicken from our local Thai place is always a huge hit. It took me a few tries to get a sauce that was close but I finally hit on a version we love! And this takes even less effort than getting in the car and driving to the Thai place. Truly a win-win!

ThaiPeanutChicken

Ready to make your own Thai take-out at home? Here’s what you’ll need:

ThaiPeanutChickenIngredients

Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken

Serves: 6 serving

Ingredients
  • 2½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • ⅓ cup teriyaki glaze
  • 2 Tbsp. champagne vinegar, rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • Brown rice, for serving
Instructions
  1. Place the chicken in the slow cooker. Top with the sliced peppers.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, coconut milk, teriyaki glaze, vinegar and red pepper. Pour over the chicken and toss to coat.
  3. Cook on low for 6 hours.
  4. Remove chicken to a cutting board and shred. Whisk peanut butter into the sauce remaining in the slow cooker, until smooth. Return chicken to the slow cooker and toss to coat. Cook for an additional 15-20 minutes.
  5. Serve chicken and peppers over rice.

Kate is a home cook and new mom  from New Jersey. In addition to sharing recipes with Eat at Home readers, she blogs her cooking adventures at Kate’s Recipe Box. When she’s not in the kitchen, you can find her reading or tending to her garden.

‘Sweet Heat’ Slow Cooker Chex Mix

This recipe from Kim looks amazing! This is the kind of thing my family would devour at the beach!

I love a Chex Mix for several reasons…I can make a huge batch at once, there are tons of different flavor variations, it’s great to have on hand for hungry kids that are constantly in and out of the kitchen, and it’s super easy to throw in a ziploc bag and carry with you on long car trips or to the beach. However, we’ve been experiencing quite the heat wave this week, so turning on my oven, and opening it every so often to stir up a batch of chex mix was not appealing to me.

Crock Pot Chex Mix EAH

Crock-Pot to the rescue!! Yes, the slow cooker comes in handy all year long! I couldn’t quite decide which direction I wanted to go with this mix…did I want sweet? Did I want spicy? I kind of wanted both, so that’s what I did. A sweet and salty combo with just a little bit of heat. You could easily increase the heat on this, but I knew my kids wouldn’t go for it, so I kept it mild. It actually sneaks up on you – the first few bites taste sweet and salty, and then you get a little kick from the cayenne.

Sweet Heat Chex Mix EAH

And yes, those are little Minion cheese crackers. According to my 7 year old, the Minions taste better than the traditional square crackers! As with almost all chex mixes, you can add whatever you like or have on hand.

'Sweet Heat' Slow Cooker Chex Mix
A sweet and salty combination with just a little heat, that comes together easily in your slow cooker.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of each:
  • Corn Chex cereal
  • Rice Chex cereal
  • Wheat Chex cereal
  • Cheerios cereal
  • Pretzels
  • Cheese Crackers
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 bag Pretzel M&M's (or candy of choice)
Instructions
  1. Place all of the cereals, pretzels and crackers into slow cooker.
  2. In a small microwave safe bowl, melt butter.
  3. Add brown sugar, Worcestershire, seasoning salt, cinnamon and cayenne to butter. Mix well.
  4. Pour butter mixture over cereal mixture and stir to coat.
  5. Cover with lid and set slow cooker on low for 2½-3 hours, stirring every 30 mins. (Make sure to stir down to the bottom to make sure it doesn't burn)
  6. NOTE: to prevent condensation from dripping onto cereal, you can place a clean dishcloth between the lid and slowcooker base.
  7. Once done, spread out on wax paper to cool.
  8. Add M&M's and store in air tight container.

Just beware…it’s hard to stay out of!

Kim M. is a contributing writer for Eat at Home, as well as the mom behind the mayhem at Makin’ it Mo’Betta. There you will find kid-friendly recipes, quick and easy meals, and many more desserts!