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Recipes are one of those things that are optional in this house. I am a ‘throw it in the pan and hope it tastes OK’ kind of cook. My favorite appliance to do this in is my slow cooker. It’s fast, easy and, for the most part, things come out of it tender and moist and tasting delicious with very little effort! To those who know me, it will surprise them not at all that my Slow Cooker Cheesy Ranch Ham and Potatoes came about in just this way. This creamy, cheesy, incredibly delicious meal was inspired by a shopping trip to Kroger and the discovery of NEW Hidden Valley Ranch Cucumber Dressing which I found on the top shelf of the dressing aisle next to NEW Hidden Valley Ranch Avocado Dressing! I had originally purchased the dressing for a simple Cucumber and Tomato salad but while prepping dinner, used it there too!
Busy moms can rejoice at the ease of cooking with bottles salad dressing. I think most people think the packets are the only thing you can throw in a dish, but I actually cook with a lot of bottled dressings. Throw it over chicken, pork chops and even a slow cooker full of veggies to make a spectacular, creamy dish! My Slow Cooker Cheesy ranch Ham and Potatoes usually calls for regular bottled ranch but when I decided to pair it with my salad, I wanted to see if Hidden Valley Ranch Cucumber dressing would add a marrying of flavor for the meal!
On its own the dressing is crisp, clean and almost refreshing with a little tang. The teeny chunks of cucumber surprise your mouth with a bright flavor that is just good. When I tossed my cucumbers and tomatoes in it, it added another level of flavor to enhance the salad! Add some Italian seasoning to really make the salad pop!
Now to my Slow Cooker Cheesy Ranch Ham and Potatoes!
- 1 lbs russet potatoes or medley potatoes ( I like the medley for texture and flavor. It is a bag of purple, red and yellow small potatoes in produce)
- 1 lb ham steak, cubed
- ½ cup Hidden Valley Ranch Cucumber Flavor dressing
- ½ container of cream cheese
- ¼ cup sharp cheddar cheese
- chives to garnish
- In a Slow Cooker, add potatoes, ham, Hidden Valley Ranch Cucumber Flavor dressing, cream cheese and cook on high for 3½ hours. Add cheddar cheese and let warm til melted in slow cooker. Dish out and garnish with more cheese and chives.
This simple recipe is so fast and easy to put together. If you want to toss it in and set it while you are at work, simply cook it on low for 6-8 hours. I would not add any salt to the dish at all. The ham provides plenty. You may want to add a dash of pepper if your ham steak is really salty. But mine came out creamy, clean and beyond delicious!
Slow cooker cooking can be the savior for homemade dinners everywhere! But it only works if it takes little time and effort on the part of the chef. So having ingredients on hand that make the toss and go recipe work is key! Pick up both the Hidden Valley Ranch Cucumber and Avocado dressings and have them on hand for salads or slow cooker meals any day of the week!
How do you use bottled dressing in recipes? What is your favorite slow cooker meal? I would love to know! Leave a comment below!
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