Slow Cooker Butter Chicken {Warm & Savory Spices!}

Slow cooker butter chicken is a flavorful chicken dish, made right in your Crockpot!

Tender chicken thighs in a creamy tomato curry sauce is the perfect way to let your slow cooker do all of the work! Add in a side of rice and some naan or flatbread for an easy meal.

2 servings of Slow Cooker Butter Chicken with slow cooker behind

Why We Love this Recipe

Because we love a good butter chicken recipe and this one is so easy! Just toss all ingredients into the crockpot, set it and forget it!

The chicken comes out incredibly tender and the sauce is loaded with warm, savory flavor!

What is Butter Chicken?

Tender pieces of boneless, skinless chicken is slowly braised in a combination of warm spices, crushed tomatoes, and cream. This dish is perfect served over rice with naan or flatbread for dipping.

If you love cilantro, it’s the perfect topper.

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken in a slow cooker


CHICKEN Boneless, skinless chicken thighs come out tender and are less likely to get overcooked. Chicken breast can will work great too, just be sure not to overcook it!

TOMATOES Canned crushed tomatoes, and tomato paste is both used to give the sauce a sweet and savory flavor. You can use tomato sauce if it’s what you have on hand.

SPICES Warm, exotic spices really bring this dish together. Garam Masala, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and more are all added to this sauce to give it a (mild) kick! Add extra jalapeno or some cayenne if you’d like some heat.

CREAM The rich, creamy consistency of the sauce is made with a good quality cream. Coconut milk is another great option that will taste delicious (but not an ingredient in an authentic butter chicken recipe)!

How to Make Butter Chicken

  1. Cook onion in butter. Add to Crockpot with remaining sauce ingredients (per recipe below) except cream and cilantro.
  2. Add chicken to Crockpot. Cook until chicken is tender.
  3. Add cream to slow cooker. Top with cilantro & serve over basmati rice.

serving of Slow Cooker Butter Chicken with slow cooker behind it

Tips For Making Perfect Butter Chicken

  • Full fat, full flavor! Use butter (instead of margarine) and full-fat heavy cream for the best results!
  • Cook in batches and freeze in meal-sized portions for a quick and easy dinner option!

What to Serve with Butter Chicken

  • Basmati or white rice is always a good option for butter chicken!
  • A light, crisp salad always goes well with a rich entrée, and a tangy vinaigrette pairs well with the rich flavor of the butter.
  • Steamed veggies like spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, or carrots make colorful and healthy side dishes.
  • Don’t forget the naan bread, or some nice crusty dinner rolls to sop up all that sauce!

Can You Freeze Butter Chicken?

Butter chicken is fine to freeze, although the sauce may separate during freezing. Try whisking it after defrosting to recombine.

After the chicken is fully cooled, place in freezer bags or containers and label with the date. Do the same with the sauce and sides.

To reheat, defrost in the refrigerator and microwave or reheat on the stovetop!

Other Great Crockpot recipes

Did you try this Slow Cooker Butter Chicken? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

serving of Slow Cooker Butter Chicken with cilantro

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

Chicken simmered in a slow cooker with curry spices and a mild, savory sauce!
Course Chicken, Dinner, Entree, Main Course, Slow Cooker
Cuisine American, Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 580
Author Holly Nilsson


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger minced & fresh or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 14 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • cup cilantro leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste


  • Heat butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Place onions in a slow cooker with garlic, ginger, spices, crushed tomatoes, and 1 cup of the heavy cream. Stir to combine.
  • Add chicken, stir and cook on low 4-5 hours.
  • Combine remaining cream with cornstarch. Stir half of the cream into the sauce and let sit for a few minutes to thicken. Add remaining cream mixture if needed. Cover and cook 15 minutes more.
  • Sprinkle with cilantro and serve over basmati rice.


Coconut milk can be substituted for heavy cream.
Do not cut chicken before cooking, it will become too tender and fall apart in the sauce. It can be lightly broken up with a serving spoon and stirred before serving.


Calories: 580 | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 312mg | Sodium: 606mg | Potassium: 897mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1486IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 3mg
Slow cooker butter chicken with writing
Slow cooker butter chicken served on rice with writing
Slow Cooker Butter Chicken served over rice with text
top image - a serving of slow cooker butter chicken on rice. Bottom image - slow cooker butter chicken with writing

Chicken ala King {30 Minute Meal!}

Chicken ala King ready to serve

Not only is this quick 30-minute meal super easy, but Chicken ala King is delicious too!

This is a delicious chicken dish with fresh veggies simmered in a rich and creamy sauce! Serve this with rice or over biscuits.

Chicken ala King ready to serve

Why We Love this Recipe

Quick: This recipe only takes 30 minutes to put together, start to finish.

Rotisserie chicken really adds to the simplicity of this dish, it’s great for a busy weeknight or to feed a crowd! Substutute leftover ham or turkey if it’s what you have on hand.

Mix it up: Chicken ala King is versatile. It’s traditionally served with puff pastry shells or biscuits, but you can also serve it over rice, egg noodles or even mashed potatoes!

This dish has mushrooms and peas but for some extra color and flavor, add any extra veggies you have!

Chicken ala King ingredients ready to be cooked


The best Chicken ala King uses the freshest of ingredients!

CHICKEN Shredded rotisserie chicken makes this recipe so simple, but feel free to use any chicken you have on hand. Just make sure it’s cooked before stirring into the sauce!

VEGGIES I used fresh mushrooms, onions, peas, and pimentos in this recipe but any veggie will taste wonderful! Colorful peppers, corn, carrots or broccoli will really make this dish pop!

SAUCE Rich & creamy sauce made with chicken stock, seasonings, and cream is one of the best parts of this dish!

Chicken ala King ingredients in a pot with parsley

How to Make Chicken ala King

This recipe is so easy to make, and comes together so quickly!

  1. Saute mushrooms and onions in butter.
  2. Add seasonings (per recipe below) and flour.
  3. Whisk in chicken stock and heavy whipping cream.
  4. Stir in the peas, pimentos, and chicken.

Serve over fresh biscuits and with roasted green beans or oven-roasted asparagus!

Chicken ala King in a bowl

Tips for Perfect Chicken ala King

  • Be sure to cook chicken before adding to pasta if you’re not using rotisserie chicken.
    • Chicken breast, chicken thighs or even tuna are all great substitutions!
  • Freeze Chicken ala King without the rice, pasta, or bread since those items don’t freeze well with sauce added. Instead, ladle the Chicken ala King into zippered bags or an airtight container with the date on it and freeze flat.
  • Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. Refresh the flavors by adding a little dash of salt and pepper and make new rice, pasta, or fresh bread to serve again!

Other Delicious Chicken Dishes

Did you make this Chicken ala King? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

Chicken ala King in a bowl

Chicken ala King

This creamy Chicken ala King only takes 30 minutes to prepare!
Course Chicken, Dinner, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 438
Author Holly Nilsson


  • 1/2 cup butter unsalted
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms sliced
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup petite frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup pimentos drained and chopped
  • 3 cups rotisserie chicken shredded


  • In a large high sided 12-inch skillet add butter and set over medium-high heat.
  • When the butter is melted, saute mushrooms and onions until they start to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Season with garlic powder, black pepper, and kosher salt.
  • Sprinkle in the flour and stir until a paste is formed.
  • While stirring, slowly pour in the chicken stock and half and half. Stir to make sure no chunks of flour remain.
  • Lower the heat to low and stir until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the peas, chopped pimentos, and rotisserie chicken.
  • Serve over pasta, rice, or biscuits.


If using chicken breast or thigh, be sure to cook it before adding to sauce! 
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.
Reheat in microwave or on stovetop. Add salt & pepper to refresh flavors and serve over new rice or pasta. 
To freeze, ladle Chicken ala King into zippered bags or an airtight container with the date on it and freeze flat. Thaw out and reheat using steps above. 


Calories: 438 | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 699mg | Potassium: 554mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1838IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 2mg
Chicken ala King being scooped from a pot with writing
Chicken ala King with a spoon and writing
A serving of Chicken ala King with writing
Chicken ala King being served with writing
Chicken ala King with writing

Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup {Stove-Top or Crockpot!}

Try this creamy, chicken cordon bleu soup when you want something cheesy and oh-so-easy! Chicken cordon bleu soup is fancy enough for a potluck but simple enough to cook from scratch in the slow cooker. Just set it and forget it!

This soup takes all the flavors of a classic chicken cordon bleu and combined them into a hearty and rich soup! For a lower carb version, feel free to substitute the potato with cauliflower.

Close up of Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup in a bowl with cheese bread.

What Is Chicken Cordon Bleu?

Cordon bleu is typically a dish made from meat that is wrapped around cheese and baked, deep-fried, or even grilled. Also called a ‘schnitzel (meat thinly sliced and fried), chicken cordon bleu is a favorite at nicer restaurants everywhere.

This version, a hearty soup, can be made in two different ways depending on your time and preferences.

Overhead image of Ingredients to make Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup in a pot.

How To Make Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup

Make this rich & creamy soup on the stovetop or in the slow cooker!

  1. Add all ingredients to a large pot and cook until the potatoes are soft.
  2. Remove two-thirds of the potato and carrot mixture (avoiding the other ingredients) and mash.
  3. Return the mash mixture to the pot and add cream. Stir well and cook another 5 minutes.

Stir in shredded mozzarella until fully melted and serve hot with a slice of cheese toast.

To cook in a slow cooker, follow the stove to directions but cook on low 7 hours or on high 3 hours.

Overhead image of Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup in a pot.

What To Serve With Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup

This hearty soup is perfect on its own but is great paired with a salad or side of bread for dipping!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup in bowls with cheese bread and spoons.

Can You Freeze Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup?

Chicken cordon bleu soup freezes beautifully! Just make sure it is fully cooled before freezing. Ladle soup in zippered bags or place in airtight containers for individual portions and freeze up to two months. Be sure to label the containers with the date.

To reheat, pour thawed soup into a pot and heat on medium heat on the stove or reheat in the microwave.

Creamy & Hearty Soups

Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup! This rich & creamy soup can be made on the stove top or in the slow cooker!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup

Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup is a rich and cheesy soup that warms you from the inside out. The best part is that this dish can easily be made quickly on the stove top or it can simmer all day in the slow cooker while you’re at work!
Course Dinner, Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken cordon bleu soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 7 hours 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 507
Author Holly Nilsson


  • 7 cups potatoes diced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 large carrot chopped
  • 2 cups ham diced
  • 2 cups chicken cooked & diced
  • 2 teaspoons parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
  • pepper to taste


Stove Top

  • Add diced potatoes, onion, carrot, chicken, ham, thyme, parsley, pepper, dijon & broth to a large pot.
  • Bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
  • Remove 2-3 cups of the potatoes/carrots and mash (try to avoid the ham/chicken if possible), then return the mashed mixture to the pot.
  • Add cream, stir and cook an additional 5 minutes. Stir in shredded cheese until melted. Serve hot.

Slow Cooker Directions

  • Add diced potatoes, onion, carrot, chicken, ham, thyme, parsley, pepper, dijon & broth to a crock pot.
  • Cook on low 7 hours, or high 3 hours.
  • Remove 2-3 cups of the potatoes/carrots (try to avoid ham/chicken) and mash, then return the mashed mixture to the crock pot.
  • Add cream, stir and cook an additional 15 minutes. Stir in cheese and pepper to taste. Makes twelve 1-cup servings.


Calories: 507 | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 1629mg | Potassium: 1465mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2504IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 486mg | Iron: 9mg


Homemade Butter Chicken {Ready in 1 hour!}

Butter chicken is an easy recipe that’s full of savory flavor with warm spices. This mild curry has tender chunks of chicken simmered in a creamy spiced curry sauce. It’s quick to make with ingredients you can find at any grocery store.

Serve over rice with a side of naan bread for sopping up the delicious sauce!

Butter Chicken in a pot with a serving spoon, garnished with cilantro.

Butter Chicken

In Indian cuisine makhani is a butter chicken sauce. It’s basically a gravy the chicken is cooked in with plenty of warm spices, a hint of tomato and some cream.

Like curry-style chicken, it’s both rich and light and best served with rice and topped with cilantro.

Marinating the chicken in yogurt makes it incredibly tender, this can be done the night before if time allows.

Overhead image of raw ingredients for Butter Chicken, in a glass bowl.

Butter Chicken vs Tikka Masala

Butter chicken and tikka masala are similar, but tikka masala has different spices. This butter chicken is easier to prepare and has a mild, buttery flavor with a sweeter sauce.

How To Make Butter Chicken

It’s super easy to make this rich and tasty dish!

  1. Marinate chicken at least 30 minutes, but preferably overnight.
  2. Saute onions in butter and spices until soft and fragrant (per recipe below).
  3. Add all other ingredients to the onions and cook until sauce thickens.
  4. Add cream and continue cooking.

Serve over rice topped with cilantro. Yummy!

Overhead image of ingredients for Butter Chicken in a pot.

What to Serve with It

Butter chicken goes with everything because it has such a savory and mild flavor! Here are some favorite sides, salads, and bread to inspire you!

Butter Chicken in a bowl with rice and Naan bread, garnished with cilantro.

Can You Freeze Butter Chicken?

Butter chicken can be frozen. Make sure it is chilled before freezing. Just place it in a zippered bag or and airtight container and label with the date on it. Butter chicken should keep about two months.

Favorite Chicken Recipes


Classic Butter Chicken

This homemade Butter Chicken is savory and full of flavorful spices like garam masala, turmeric & coriander.
Course Chicken, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword butter chicken
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Marinate Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 444
Author Holly Nilsson


  • 2 lbs chicken thighs
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger grated
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 14 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream


  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 cup plain yogurt


  • Marinate chicken in the marinade, 30 min or overnight.
  • Melt butter over medium, cook onions until tender. Add spices and cook 1 minute or until fragrant.
  • Remove chicken from marinade allowing excess to drip off. Add chicken stock, crushed tomatoes and sugar. Simmer 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add cream and cook an additional 5-10 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick.
  • Top with cilantro and serve over rice.


Calories: 444 | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 167mg | Sodium: 465mg | Potassium: 499mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 841IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 2mg
Close up of butter chicken in a serving dish.
Homemade butter chicken in a serving dish.

Classic butter chicken in a serving dish.

Chicken Pasta Bake (one pot)

Creamy Chicken Pasta is a great weeknight meal. Made with tomatoes, cream, cooked chicken, and pasta baked with cheese it is the best one-pot meal! 

Whether you’re cooking for your family or for a crowd, this one-pot entrée will be on your menu rotation for a long time to come!

Overhead image of Creamy Tomato Chicken Pasta Skillet in a pot with a spoon.

How to Make Chicken Pasta Skillet

This one-pot meal is as easy as can be and just one pot needed!

        1. Add uncooked pasta, canned tomatoes and water to a pot.
        2. Simmer until pasta is tender (al dente).

      Overhead of ingredients for Creamy Tomato Chicken Pasta Skillet.

        1. Stir in chicken, seasonings, and cream.
        2. Mix and bake until the cheese is melted and the pasta is tender.

      Serve immediately with a slice of garlic toast to soak up every last cheesy bite.

      Cream being poured over other ingredients for Creamy Tomato Chicken Pasta Skillet.

      Serve with…

      Even though this creamy tomato chicken pasta skillet could be a meal in itself, it’s great paired with with favorite sides.

      Salads: For a fresh and crunchy side dish trying serving with a strawberry spinach salad or this classic caesar salad!

      Breads: Share the oven and serve with shortcut garlic parmesan rolls, bread and garlic butter or even dinner rolls.

      Close up of Creamy Tomato Chicken Pasta Skillet garnished with parsley.


      This chicken pasta skillet recipe reheats well!

          • To Store: Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
          • To Reheat: Pop a portion in the microwave or on the stovetop! Add a splash of cream (or milk) if needed.

      One-Pot Pasta Dishes


      Creamy Tomato Chicken Pasta Skillet

      This one pot pasta is the perfect comfort food!
      Course Main Course, Pasta
      Cuisine American
      Keyword Chicken Pasta
      Prep Time 20 minutes
      Cook Time 16 minutes
      Total Time 36 minutes
      Servings 8 servings
      Calories 423
      Author Holly Nilsson


      • 1 tablespoon olive oil
      • 2 cloves garlic
      • 8 oz medium pasta penne, shells or rotini
      • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
      • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
      • 2 1/2 - 3 cups water
      • 1/2 teaspoon basil
      • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
      • 2 cups chicken chopped and cooked
      • 1/2 cup heavy cream or evaporated milk for a lighter version
      • 1 cup mozzarella shredded
      • 1 cup parmesan cheese shredded


      • Preheat oven to 450°F.
      • Heat oil in a large oven-proof skillet. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
      • Stir in pasta, canned tomatoes, water and tomato paste. Let simmer about 2 minutes less than package calls for so pasta is VERY al dente.
      • Remove from heat and stir in chicken, seasonings, and cream. Top with shredded cheese.
      • Bake 10-12 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is browned.


      Calories: 423 | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 550mg | Potassium: 305mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 783IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 411mg | Iron: 2mg

Easy Walnut Rugelach Recipe

Rugelach Cookies are delicious pastry-like cookies that are as fun to make as they are to eat. A flakey and slightly chewy dough wrapped around a sweet nutty filling and topped with crunchy coarse sugar or a sprinkle of powdered sugar if you like.

Serve them for dessert, enjoy with coffee or serve them with your holiday favorites like gingerbread cookies and shortbread cookies.

A serving plate stacked full of rugelach.

What is Rugelach?

Rugelach are bite-sized pastries made with butter and cream cheese dough wrapped around sweet fillings of various kinds. The dough is rolled and cut into triangles, spread with filling and each cookie is rolled up in the style of a mini crescent roll.

These tasty pastries trace their origins to eastern European Jewish cuisine and are standard fare in Jewish bakeries all over the world.

Left image - nut filling ingredients in a glass bowl. Right image - pastry dough topped with jam and nut filling.

How to Make Rugelach

Easy rugelach dough is a rich mixture of flour and fat. Here’s how to make this rugelach recipe:

  1. Prepare the dough and while it is chilling, mix up the nut filling.
  2. Roll dough into circles about the thickness and diameter of a pie crust.
  3. Spread dough with jam and nut filling and cut into wedges.
  4. Roll each wedge toward the pointed side.
  5. Top with course sugar and bake until slightly browned.

As you can see, there are multiple steps but they aren’t difficult and these pretty treats are easy to make!

Rugelach pastry topped with jam and nut fillings and being rolled into mini crescent rolls.

To Prep Ahead

Rugelach can be made ahead. These are the 3 best ways I like to store them:

  • Assemble before baking You can assemble the cookies and freeze for baking later. Freeze on a cookie sheet and then transfer to freezer bags when hardened. Thaw on a cookie sheet at room temperature before baking.
  • Freeze Dough Or, you can freeze only the dough for later use. Just roll it out, layered between two sheets of wax paper. Then roll it up, wrap in plastic, and store in a freezer bag. It will keep up to six months.
  • Freeze Baked Cookies Bake cookies as directed below and cool completely. Freeze in an air tight container up to 4 months.

Other Delicious Rugelach Fillings

You don’t have to limit your options to my walnut and pecan filling. All kinds of yummy fillings work equally well in rugalach. Here are some popular ones:

  • Poppyseed pastry filling
  • Marzipan
  • Fruit preserves like apricot, fig or raspberry
  • Apple with cinnamon and sugar
  • Brown sugar-cinnamon streusel
  • Chocolate chips

Delicious Pastry Dessert

Walnut Rugelach

Rugelach are delicious pastry-like cookies that are fun to make and utterly satisfying to eat.

  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 4 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 tablespoon cream
  • 1/4 cup raspberry jam (or apricot)
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sugar


  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/4 cup walnuts ground (coarsely ground)
  • 1/4 cup pecans (coarsely ground)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup raisins or currants (finely chopped , optional)
  1. Combine butter, cream cheese, vanilla and salt with a mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add sugar.
  2. Turn mixer to low and add flour just until combined.
  3. Divide dough in half and refrigerate 1 hour.

  4. Combine filling ingredients in a small bowl.
  5. Remove one half of the dough from the fridge and roll into a 10″ circle.
  6. Spread the dough with the preserves and sprinkle 1/2 of the filling over top.
  7. Cut the circle into 12 even wedges. Starting at the wide edge, roll each wedge crescent roll style.
  8. Whisk together egg and cream. Brush over each cookie and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Place on a prepared pan.
  9. Repeat with remaining dough and chill 45 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  11. Bake cookies 28-30 minutes or until lightly browned.

A serving plate stacked full of rugelach.
A serving plate stacked full of rugelach.
Top photo - A serving plate stacked full of rugelach. Bottom photo - Rugelach pastry topped with jam and nut fillings and being rolled into mini crescent rolls.

Creamy Homemade Hot Chocolate

When you make homemade hot chocolate, your kids will want to play outside in the cold and snow every day to come inside for a cup of this creamy cocoa! Made with chunks of real semi-sweet chocolate melted into cream…it’s hands down the best hot chocolate you’ll ever taste!

When the colder months hit, I’m obsessed with making cozy drinks; Pumpkin Spice Lattes or my Homemade Eggnog, just give me a hug in a mug! What could be better than coming in from the cold to sweet and creamy homemade hot chocolate?

Two mugs filled with homemade hot chocolate, topped with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.

Keeping Hot Chocolate From Burning

Trying to cook chocolate too quickly on high heat doesn’t work. Homemade hot chocolate needs a bit of patience!

  • Cook over medium heat.
  • Ensure the mixture never comes to a boil, you want little bubbles to begin to form around the edges.
  • Chocolate, like this recipe calls for, can easily burn as it melts so be sure to whisk constantly.

A bar of chocolate being chopped on a cutting board.

How To Make Homemade Hot Chocolate

This recipe can be made for one or for a crowd, simply double or triple it!

  1. Combine the milk, cream, and sugar (per recipe below), in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Whisk until chocolate melts and continue mixing until steaming hot and frothy! (Don’t allow it to come to a boil!)
  3. Stir in vanilla, then serve with your favorite toppings

Left image - milk and cream heating up in a sauce pan. Right image - chocolate melted into the milk and cream mixture in a sauce pan.

My Favorite Hot Chocolate Toppings

Some irresistible toppings that everyone adores are:

  • Whipped cream of course, try with flaked chocolate or a drizzle of chocolate sauce!
  • Steamed milk with a dusting of cinnamon or cocoa powder
  • A dollop of coconut cream (especially good if you make this recipe with white chocolate!)
  • A scoop of vanilla ice cream with a drizzle of caramel!
  • Candy cane stir sticks!
  • And of course everyone’s favorite marshmallows. Tiny or giant, multi colored or plain white, you just can’t beat hot chocolate with marshmallows!

With this simple recipe you may never go back to prepackaged hot cocoa again…it’s absolutely the best hot chocolate you’ll ever taste!

Hot & Cozy Drinks

Homemade Hot Chocolate

Made with chunks of real semi-sweet chocolate melted into a creamy milk mixture…it’s hands down the best hot chocolate you’ll ever taste!

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)
  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate (finely chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. Combine milk, cream and sugar over medium-low heat. Whisk until hot and sugar is dissolved.

  2. Add chocolate and whisk until melted in.

  3. Stir in vanilla and serve with whipped cream or marshmallows.

To Cook in Crock Pot: Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker for 4 hours on low whisking every hour. Once chocolate is melted and mixture is hot, keep on low.

A sauce pan full of homemade hot chocolate topped with mini marshmallows.
Three photos showing the process to make Homemade Hot Chocolate. The left shows a sauce pan filled with hot chocolate topped with mini marshmallows. The top right shows a bar of chocolate being chopped on a cutting board. The bottom right shows milk and cream heating up in a sauce pan.
Top photo -two mugs filled with homemade hot chocolate, topped with whipped cream and shaved chocolate. Bottom photo - A sauce pan full of homemade hot chocolate topped with mini marshmallows and chocolate shavings.

Pumpkin Spice Latte {No Equipment Needed}

Pumpkin Spice Latte  is a famous Starbucks recipe but guess what!? It’s a 1000x better made right at home (no special equipment is required). It’s so easy to make, you can enjoy it year-round…including iced in the summer!

Homemade lattes are a great way to enjoy your favorites without waiting in line and without a hefty price tag. Whether it is spiked eggnog latte or an Irish coffee.

Close up of Pumpkin Spice Latte with whipped cream and cinnamon on top.

Jura has provided me with the amazing coffee machine used to create this perfect pumpkin latte.

What Is In a Pumpkin Spice Latte?

A pumpkin spice latte contains pumpkin puree, milk (non-dairy works too), and coffee or espresso to make this drink so luscious and creamy! Don’t forget the whipped cream and caramel sauce for drizzling!

This copycat recipe takes all the pumpkin spice and everything nice you’d see in the Starbucks version. But since you can make it at home, your whole house will smell like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves! It is SO MUCH BETTER than any coffee house latte I’ve ever had!

For an adult version spike it with add a shot of Baileys or hazelnut liquor.

How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte

This pumpkin spice latte is an easy recipe to make, with just 2 steps you can enjoy your favorite latte any time of the year!

Coffee or Espresso: Coffee is truly my love language. I have a Jura S8 Coffee Machine (which you may remember from my Affogato recipe) for both lattes and coffee. I’m obsessed with it for everything from lattes to my perfect cup of joe in the morning.

In this recipe I use it to make the espresso but I’ve also made this recipe with regular black coffee (which I brew a little bit on the stronger side).

  1. Heat milk, cream, sugar, pumpkin puree and spices in a pan until just about boiling. Do not let it boil.
  2. Remove from heat and add shots of espresso or strong coffee

Divide over two mugs and top with whipped cream.

How to Make it in a CrockPot

If you are making pumpkin spice lattes in a crockpot, scale up the recipe and keep the crockpot on warm so people can help themselves!

Stir occasionally to make sure the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the crockpot. Enjoy the fragrance of fall all throughout the house!

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin puree, espresso and cream are combined to make the perfect PSL

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup light cream (such as half and half)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee (or 4 oz espresso)
  • 2 oz baileys or hazelnut liquor (optional)
  • whipped cream & caramel sauce for topping
  1. Combine milk, cream, sugar, pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat and add coffee (or shots of espresso, see note).
  2. Divide between 2 mugs and add liquor if using.
  3. Top with whipped cream, caramel sauce and additional pumpkin pie spice

Note: If using espresso, increase milk to 1 1/2 cups and eliminate cream.

Adapted from Food Network


Close up of Pumpkin Spice Latte with whipped cream and cinnamon on top.
Close up of Pumpkin Spice Latte with whipped cream and cinnamon on top.
Top photo - Ingredients to make PSL in a pot, with an espresso machine in the background. Bottom photo - Close up of Pumpkin Spice Latte with whipped cream and cinnamon on top.

Perfect Mashed Potatoes

How to Make Mashed Potatoes that come out perfectly creamy every time! These are truly the best mashed potatoes.

Potatoes are my kryptonite (ok, potatoes and Stuffing).They are an easy side dish and go perfectly with Mushroom Salisbury SteakCrock Pot Pork Chops and of course a roast turkey!

A bowl of creamy mashed potatoes topped with fresh parsley and melted butter.

Potatoes are great however they’re prepared – baked potatoes, fried potatoes, and or in a Cheesy Ham and Potato Casserole. Homemade mashed potatoes are at the top of my list!

The Best Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes

This is an easy mashed potato recipe but it’s important to start with the right kind of potatoes.

The best kind of potatoes for mashed potatoes are starchy potato, such as a Russet or Idaho potato is ideal, Yukon gold makes great mashed potatoes too. I sometimes like to leave some of the skin on if I’m using a Yukon gold potato, I love the texture it adds to the mashed potatoes.

Other Ingredients

This recipe is for classic mashed potatoes so there are no additions of cheeses or exotic spices. Of course you can add those if you’d  like.

  • Butter: This is one place where there really are no substitutes. Add real butter to your potatoes and plenty of it. I prefer salted if it have it but unsalted works and the potatoes can be salted to taste.
  • Cream/Milk: I use regular whole milk in this recipe, you can also use cream if you have it on hand. Remember to heat the dairy for the best potatoes.
  • Garlic/Seasonings: Again, keeping this recipe simple, I simply add salt & pepper. If you’d like a little bit of garlic, chop a few cloves and let them boil with the potatoes.

A wooden spoon full of light and fluffy mashed potatoes

How To Make Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes are super simple to make with very few ingredients. You can make them in the Crock Pot or Instant Pot, but I really do think the best mashed potatoes are a simple classic. 

The real key to making the BEST creamy mashed potatoes is to get the consistency right. Here are a few tips for perfect mashed potatoes:

  1. Drain well: I usually let them sit about 5 minutes or so to completely drain or even drain well and put them back in the warm pot for a few minutes to make sure all liquid is evaporated.
  2. Mash by Hand: Use a hand masher or a potato ricer. Using a hand mixer, stand mixer or food processor can break down the starches in the potatoes and cause a very gluey or gummy texture. You can still get buttery smooth creamy mashed potatoes mashing by hand.
  3. Butter is Your Friend:. There are places you can skimp on butter and this is not one of them.  I like to use salted butter and lots of it (but you can use unsalted season yourself). Butter helps your mashed potatoes get a creamy… well, buttery texture.
  4. Heat Your Cream:  Heat your milk/cream before adding.  This keeps the potatoes hot and absorbs better.  Add cream/milk a little a a time to get the right consistency.

Cream cheese, garlic, and butter added to homemade mashed potatoes can add a delicious tang! You can really add whatever toppings you love the most, mashed potatoes are very forgiving!

Creamy mashed potatoes getting mashed with pepper and butter.

How Long To Boil Potatoes For Mashed

Potatoes should always be placed in cold salted water and brought to a boil, this helps them cook evenly. 

The length of time you need to boil the potatoes for entirely depends on how big they are cut. I quarter them so they generally take about 15 minutes.  To check if your potatoes are ready, use a fork. If it is easy to pierce the potato, it is ready to go!

Make Ahead

Mashed potatoes can be made up to 48 hours in advance. Follow the recipe as directed and cool completely. Refrigerate.

To reheat, they can be placed in a casserole dish in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Stir in a little bit of warm cream/milk if needed. You can also reheat these in the microwave stirring occasionally or even on low in the slow cooker for a couple of hours.

a close up of a pile of creamy mashed potatoes with melting butter.

Can You Freeze Mashed Potatoes

You sure can, frozen mashed potatoes reheat pretty well in the oven with a little milk. To freeze, scoop them into a plastic freezer bag and press flat (this helps them defrost and reheat evenly)! When you reheat them, add about a tablespoon of milk per cup of potatoes and stick them in the oven to reheat.

What To Do With Leftover Mashed Potatoes

I have four words for you. Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes

How to Make Mashed Potatoes

Fluffy, creamy and buttery, these are literally the PERFECT mashed potato.

  • 4 pounds potatoes (russet or Yukon gold)
  • 1/3 cup salted butter (melted)
  • 1 cup milk (or cream)
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  • 3 cloves garlic (optional)
  1. Peel and quarter potatoes, place in cold salted water.

  2. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered 15 minutes or until fork tender. Drain well.

  3. Heat milk on the stove top (or in the microwave) until warm.
  4. Add butter to the potatoes and begin mashing. Pour in milk a little at a time while using a potato masher to reach desired consistency.
  5. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Add milk/cream a little bit at a time until desired consistency is reached.






These are the perfect mashed potatoes! They are fluffy, buttery, light, and go perfectly with just about any main dish! #spendwithpennies #potatoes #potato #mashed #mashedpotatoes #butter #starch

Easy Cheesy Ham Casserole

Ham Casserole is one of those yummy cheesy dishes that just scream home-cooked comfort. This casserole is made with ham and pasta tossed in a creamy cheesy sauce (much like a mac and cheese)!

This is a great dish to make that leftover ham stretch to satisfy a crowd.

Close up of the baked ham casserole with a spoon taking a scoop out of the corner.

What Goes in Ham Casserole

Cheesy ham casserole combines diced ham, with tender pasta in a creamy homemade cheese sauce. With 3 types of cheese (cheddar, gruyere and parmesan cheeses) this is a tasty dish!

A little thyme and Dijon add a savory lift to this leftover ham casserole .

Finally, a topping of buttered Panko bread crumbs with cheese provides some welcome crunch-appeal.

Close up of the cheese sauce being poured over the ham and pasta in a white casserole dish.

Substitute to your heart’s content with the cheeses and pasta! Any kind of pasta will work for ham noodle casserole. Shells are my favorite, they cup and hold the cheese sauce, and are melt-in-your-mouth tender! I also find cheddar cheese is always great for melting into a sauce, but you can use any pasta or cheese you have on hand for this dish!

  • Pasta: rotini, penne, macaroni or even spaghetti.
  • Cheese: colby, asiago, swiss or muenster would be delicious!

How to Cook Ham Casserole

Homemade Cheese Sauce is easy to make and creates great flavor for this casserole. The sauce for this recipe starts with a roux.

Pre-shredded cheese can have starches added to keep it from clumping so it may not melt as well. For this sauce, it’s best to shred your own cheese.

Overview of the ham,pasta and cheese sauce mixture in a white casserole dish with the remaining toppings on the side.

Prep & Bake

  1. Melt butter in a large pot. Whisk in flour and cook for about a minute (per recipe below). Slowly whisking in the milk and to thicken. Add cheese until creamy.
  2. Combine cheese sauce, ham and pasta in a casserole dish.
  3. Top with crumb topping.

Bake until bubbly and the top is browned and crisp.

Creamy cheesy ham and noodle casserole with a bread crumb topping

What to Serve With Ham Casserole

Ham and cheese casserole is creamy stick-to-your-ribs rich with salt from the ham and cheese. Look for a side dish that is light, fresh and sweet or tangy. A fresh fruit salad, fresh tomato salad or cucumber dill salad would be welcome companions for ham casserole.

More Cheesy Pasta

Ham Casserole

This easy cheesy ham casserole is the perfect way to use up your leftover ham and stretch it to feed a crowd!

  • 1 lb medium shells
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 cup light cream (10-12% M.F.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 cups sharp cheddar (divided)
  • 1 cup gruyere cheese
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups diced ham


  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix together topping ingredients, set aside.
  2. Cook shells al dente according to package directions. Drain well.
  3. Meanwhile, melt butter, flour and seasonings in a saucepan. Allow to cook 1 minute.
  4. Slowly add in cream and milk while whisking after each addition. The mixture will seem thick at first but will smooth out with each addition.
  5. Once all of the cream/milk is added, whisk while bringing to a boil over medium heat. Allow to boil 1 minute.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in 2 1/2 cups cheddar, gruyere cheese and parmesan until smooth.
  7. Mix cheese sauce with cooked pasta and ham and place in a 9×13 pan. Add topping and remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
  8. Bake 22-26 minutes or until heated through and topping is browned. Cool 5 minutes before serving.


This ham casserole is made with pasta, 3 types of cheese, and a crunchy bread crumb topping! It's a great dish when looking for a way to stretch your leftover ham to feed a crowd. #spendwithpennies #hamcasserole #maindish #pasta #kidfriendly #budgetfriendly #leftoverham
This ham casserole is made with pasta, 3 types of cheese, and a crunchy bread crumb topping! It's a great dish when looking for a way to stretch your leftover ham to feed a crowd. #spendwithpennies #hamcasserole #maindish #pasta #kidfriendly #budgetfriendly #leftoverham