Weeknights are short. Like, really short. Like, why-waste-time-guessing-what-spices-to-use short. Not to mention trying to stay out of the heat of the kitchen in this last bit of summer. If you’ve discovered the magic of using your slow-cooker or Instant Pot™ to cut down on heat and save you precious minutes throughout the week, then get ready, because we have some exciting news for you.
This summer Old El Paso™ released three slow-cooker seasoning packets, making preparing cuts of meat in your slow-cooker (and Instant Pot™!) an easy-breezy success every time. The seasonings come in three varieties—one for pork shoulder, one for chicken and one for beef roast. We joined our friends at Betty Crocker in the Kitchens and set to work creating some fun, new dishes using these seasoning shortcuts.
The Chipotle Chicken slow-cooker seasoning made us seriously rethink the way we’ve been approaching weeknight dinner. To make a batch of chipotle chicken, the seasoning goes in with 2 lbs. of chicken breast, an onion and a can of Old El Paso™ enchilada sauce. After that, the dinner possibilities feel endless. Use that perfectly-spiced chicken to make tacos, rice bowls, fajitas, pasta bowls—we could go on. Our Kitchen Experts created these chipotle chicken taco bowls with a zesty corn-jalapeño salsa, and they were an instant family favorite. We also broke out our trusty Instant Pot™ and made a ready-in-an-hour creamy chipotle chicken pasta which we immediately added to our dinner rotation.
To use the Pork Carnitas seasoning , add the seasoning packet to a pork shoulder, one medium onion and a bit of orange juice in your slow-cooker. The acid in the orange juice makes the pork nice and tender, leaving you with juicy pork ready for tacos, quesadillas, tostadas and so much more. We used the seasoning to create flavorsome pork rice bowls with a mango salsa (that we just ended up eating with a spoon). And thanks to the Instant Pot™, we were able to craft authentic-ish carnitas taco bowls with zippy pickled onions on top.
Last but certainly not least is the Beef Barbacoa slow-cooker seasoning. Add this seasoning mix to beef roast, an onion and a bit of apple cider vinegar for restaurant flavors right at home. This is the seasoning that gave life to our favorite dish, the mega mountain of beef barbacoa nachos with queso. We also made a fool-proof sweet and spicy barbacoa taco bowl with a refreshing lime slaw on top—it’s a true classic.
If you’re looking for ways to make your weeknights easier, take the guess work out of dinner with these new slow-cooker seasonings. We know we will.