Organic: How to grow your own pot potatoes


Potatoes In A Nutshell And A Recycling Bin!

It’s easy to grow your own pot potatoes and you don’t have to use a traditional barrel, pot or pail you can do what I did. Pot growing potatoes is a great way to still have home-grown organic potatoes even if you are short on space to garden. Growing my own potatoes in a blue recycle bin this year was a new and fun experience for me.

Having a horticulture background, potato plants are nothing new to me but finally having some time to dedicate to my garden, I want to grow as much as I can in as little space possible. As my property does not have a traditional in ground garden and is nowhere near ready for one, I used as many containers as I could, even for potatoes this summer.


How to grow potatoes in a pot or container

Propagation of potatoes can be done either by true seeds, planting a piece of an actual potato (also referred to as planting by seed)  or by rooting a cutting from a potato plant. All of these methods can be done at home using little space, while saving you some money in your grocery budget.

Potatoes can be grown successfully in a traditional garden or a container garden. In milder climates potatoes can be grown year round, not only providing year round home-grown potatoes but can easily be a replenishable crop, using pieces of potatoes from a previous crop to propagate your next crop.

This summer I decided to grow my potatoes in a recycling bin in my backyard. I am very happy with how well my potatoes grew this year, and I didn’t have to dig around in a lot of dirt to harvest them! Next year though I may use a garbage can which will allow more room for them to grow and possibly a much bigger yield. I may just plant a second recycling bin as it really does not take up much space. Filling two recycling bins may not require as much potting soil as a garbage which will keep my costs down, I will have to figure that out.

How to plant potatoes in a container, pot or barrel

  1. Like all plants proper soil selection is important. ‘Dirt’ should never been used in containers, it makes the container too heavy and does not drain well. Potatoes like loose soil and adequate moisture which makes using potting soil ideal as it is very porous giving it a high water holding capacity while being a light, loose growing medium.
  2. Fill only part of your container with some potting soil, I filled approximately 1/3 of the recycling bin. Plant your seed, plant or piece of potato.
  3. If using a piece of a potato make sure it has at least one or two eyes.
  4. As the plant grows and you start to see potatoes showing at the soil surface, hill them up by adding more soil to the container to fully cover them up. Continue doing this throughout the growth of your plant until you can no longer fill the container.
  5. I staked my plants to keep them off the ground as they were grew rather large and were falling over.
  6. Water frequently and don’t forget to fertilize.
  7. When the plant begins to yellow and looks like it’s starting to die harvest your home-grown potatoes. Don’t wait too long at this point or your potatoes may rot.


Does growing potatoes in a pot seem simple? It really is!


As you can see in the picture above, I harvested some nice looking organic potatoes this week and did they ever taste good! They tasted much better than store-bought in my opinion and they came right out of my backyard. It was not only rewarding to eat something so tasty that I grew at home but it also did not take any money out of my grocery budget.

Crop rotation for potatoes

Rotating where you choose to plant is very important for potatoes. Garden plants generally should not be consecutively planted in the same location where another member of the same plant family was previously planted. For example, potatoes are actually in the same family as tomatoes, so potatoes should not be planted where tomatoes were previously grown.

Planting the same crop in the same location will not only attract more pests and disease but the soil is depleted of all the required nutrients from the previous year’s crop.  As not all plants require the same nutrients, switching up plant families allows the soil to replenish itself as different plants add different nutrients to the soil. In containers this is much easier to do then in a garden, just change out the potting soil, done.

Hidden treasure

Did you know that the United Nations declared 2008 as the year of the potato? The UN are referring to the potato as a ‘hidden treasure’. By declaring 2008 the Year of the potato they hoped to raise awareness of the nutritional benefit of potatoes, primarily in developing countries.

Potatoes are most known for their carbohydrate content, but also provide us with vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B6 and trace amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, folate, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. If prepared with the potato skins on they are also a source of fibre. Potatoes lack only two essential vitamins, A and D.

Potatoes offer a lot of nutrition but like most things in this world, they are not for everyone and every diet. Being high on the glycemic index they are not a good fit for a low GI diet and being high in starch they should  be eaten in moderation for a diabetic diet.

Growing your own pot potatoes at home doesn’t have to be difficult or require hours digging in the dirt. Do you have an extra recycling bin, rubber maid container or garbage can sitting around that you could use to provide nourishment to your family and save some money in your grocery budget? If you do, then give it a try, you have nothing to lose and potatoes to gain, and lots of them.

katrina cbb

Post Contribution: 

Katrina is regular contributor for Canadian Budget Binder and is as passionate about personal finance as she is gardening. Katrina is a horticulture graduate with over 10 years experience with landscaping and greenhouse production.

Her goal is to share her knowledge and experiences blogging about gardening and her continued passion for personal finance in hopes of motivating others. While being a single mom of two and an in-store marketing representative  for major retail shops she also runs her own Landscaping Services in Southwestern Ontario.


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Mr.CBB’s Cheesy Mashed Potato and Spiced Squash Baked Torpedoes

Mr.CBB's Cheesy Mashed Potato and Spiced Squash Torpedoes

If you love mashed potatoes, squash or Swede or all 3 you will love this simple cheesy baked recipe. I’ve made this recipe with both the winter squash and the swede. This quick recipe is a frugal finger food that’s perfect for any type of parties such as the boys watching the NFL or any sports game, baby showers, wedding showers,  or the upcoming Holiday Season.

If you have extra mashed potato after a meal hang on to it and make these torpedoes for your next party. You don’t need to spend alot of money on appetizers when you can make them in your own kitchen cheaper than pre-made products. For this recipe I prefer to make the mash ahead of time so it has ample time to cool which you need. You can’t make this with hot mash. I know it looks like a lot of work but really it’s not that bad at all it’s fairly straight-forward and simple.

What I love about this recipe is that you can change-up the flavours as you like simply by adding spices to your mash mixture. You can easily add some cinnamon or nutmeg to jazz up the taste like I did when I mashed my squash so you get a hint of sweet with savoury. I also love that these are baked and not deep-fried so they are not heavy tasting of oil although I do drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil on top for crunch. When they are done they will be a medium to dark brown and you can tap them with a fork to do a crunch test.

Serve these hot but not super hot out of the oven on a platter to your guests. To wow your guests and to make these cheesy beauties interesting serve the torpedoes with little pots of dipping sauce. We prefer to serve it with a quick easy marinara sauce which you can make in 30 minutes on the stove top. You can also serve this with sour cream a ranch dressing or a creamy spinach dip. You can easily just eat them as they are if you prefer them au natural.

Don’t forget to serve these with a small plate for when your guests like to use the traditional knife and fork method. For those that like to jump in you can handle these Cheesy Mash and Spiced Squash Torpedoes in your fingers and dip away.

We’ve also baked these in advance to serve as part of an appetizer at a party where we transported them followed by a quick re-heat in the oven on low for 30 minutes.

Have you made your own version of Cheesy Mash and Spiced Squash Torpedoes? What flavours did you use?

Mr.CBB's Baked Cheesy Potato Spiced Squash Torpedoes


  • Tin Foil
  • Baking Pan/sheet
  • bowls for dipping
  • pots for boiling
  • potato masher or ricer
  • spoon
  • cheese grater

Yield: Approximately 9 Torpedoes


  • Prep- 30 minutes
  • Cooking Potatoes and Swede Approx 30 minutes
  • 15-25 minutes to make mixture, shape and dip
  • Baking 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees


Squash Mash or Swede

  • 1 small  Squash or (swede)
  • teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 stick of butter or 2oz

Mashed Potato

  • 4 med sized potatoes peeled and cubed
  • teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/2 stick of  butter or 2 oz

Cheesy Torpedo Mixture

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup grated sharp or old cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 Parmigiano regianno grated fresh
  • 2 cups of seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs for dipping
  • 1 cup flour for dipping
  • 1 tablespoon parsley


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese for topping


  • 1 can of diced tomatoes or dice 5-6 fresh medium tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 minced yellow onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup of cold water

Mr.CBB's Baked Cheesy Mashed Potato and Spiced Squash Torpedoes


NOTE: I like to make the squash or swede and mash ahead of time so it has ample time to get cold. It’s up to you. I put it in the refrigerator when it is done usually overnight. If you do make it the same day, leave enough time so it has time to chill. It’s easier to work with that way and you can form your torpedoes with ease.

Squash or  Swede

  • Peel your squash or swede and chop into cubes
  • Place them in a large pot of boiling salted water
  • Cook until very tender
  • Remove from pot, drain and set back in the pot on the  low stove to dry up the moisture for a couple of minutes
  • Put your squash or swede in a bowl, and add the salt, pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon and butter and mash
  • Cover and store in the refrigerator to cool completely

Mashed Potatoes

  • Peel and cube your potatoes and add to a large pot of boiling salted water
  • Boil until fork tender, drain and then add back to the pot and place on low heat until the moisture is gone
  • Add the salt, pepper and butter and mash your potatoes
  • Cover and store in the refrigerator to cool completely

Making The Torpedoes

  • In a large bowl add 1 large egg the mash and the  squash or swede (whichever you used) along with the Parmigiano, old cheddar and parsley then mix
  • With a spoon take out a handful of the mix and shape it into a long torpedo like shape
  • In separate bowls add the flour in one, the eggs in another and the bread crumbs in a third bowl
  • Take your torpedo roll it in the flour, dip it in the egg and roll in the bread crumbs
  • Set it on your baking sheet lined with tin foil
  • Drizzle the tops of your torpedoes with extra virgin olive oil
  • Put them in the oven at 350 for about 35-40 minutes
  • The last 5 minutes top them with the grated mozzarella until melted
  • Serve with your choice of dipping sauce or eat them as they are.
  • Enjoy!

Easy Marinara For Dipping

  • In a pan add the olive oil, garlic and onions and saute for 5 minutes
  • Toss in your tomatoes, spices, sugar and water and stir together
  • Simmer on low for 1 hour until it reduces
  • Serve hot or cold in bowls with your torpedoes

It's Not About How Much Money You Make It's How You Spend It

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Mr.CBB’s Tomato Salad With Potato,Green Beans and Chick Peas

Tomato Salad with Potatoes, Green Beans and Chick Peas is perhaps one of our favourite salads in the summer time. We always bring this as a healthy side yet frugal dish to any backyard bbq’s we may go to and it’s a hit. This tomato potato salad is a heart healthy dish and we like to serve it along side a protein such as lamb which we marinate and grill on the bbq.

If you don’t already know from my many garden posts we grow an abundance of varieties of tomatoes such as …..

  • Roma Tomatoes
  • Beefsteak Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Plum Tomatoes
  • Grape Tomatoes

Originating in South America the tomato often called a “vegetable” is actually a fruit although most consider it a vegetable. There is nothing better than organic tomatoes ripened on the plant for easy summer salads. Tomatoes are also popular in a myriad of other dishes and condiments such as …..

  • Tomato Soup
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • Tomato Juice
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Salsa
  • Pizza
  • Tomato paste
  • Beverages such as the Bloody Mary

Some people even enjoy slicing tomatoes, breading them and frying them in vegetable oil until crispy on the outside. You can top these little treats with fresh mozzarella and melt it under the broiler.

I always keep our tomatoes out of the refrigerator as I find it affects the taste and texture of the tomato. When we make a fresh tomato salad we always let it sit for about 30 minutes to absorb the spices and extra virgin olive oil. It also helps to build flavour and juices (great for dipping with my Olive Bread). If you pick tomatoes that are not yet ripe simply leave them on a counter at room temperature and eat with-in 2-4 days for optimal taste.

Believed to be beneficial for the heart tomatoes also offer carotene lycopene one of the most powerful antioxidants you can find. We take pride in our tomatoes and enjoy them while we can but if we have more tomatoes than we can eat we simply scald them in hot water, peel them and freeze them in a freezer bag for later use.

Other Variations of Tomato Salads you might enjoy are….

What types of tomatoes do you grow? What is your favourite kind of tomato salad?

Mr.CBB’s Tomato Salad With Potatoes, Green Beans and Chick Peas

Feeds: 6-8 side salad

Prep Time

  • 15 minutes to boil potatoes in salted water until cooked but firm
  • 15 minutes to boil the green beans then soak in ice cubes and water
  • Soak Dry Chick peas overnight then boil until cooked then chill in water in the refrigerator (or use canned chick peas)
  • 10 minutes to make salad
  • 30 minutes to let the flavours come together


  • 3 pots
  • cutting board
  • knife
  • 3 large bowls
  • strainer


  • 1 cup dry chick peas
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of red onion minced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • dry oregano
  • fresh garlic
  • fresh basil
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 4-6 potatoes
  • 1/2 lb fresh green beans
  • 1/2 fresh lime


  • 4-6 medium-sized potatoes peeled, cubed and boiled in salted water then chilled in the refrigerator
  • 1/2 fresh green beans boiled in salted water until cooked but still firm, drain then chill in the refrigerator
  • Boil in salted water 1 cup of  dry chick peas soaked over night until cooked then chill
  • On your cutting board cut 4 large tomatoes into wedges and put in a bowl, juices, seeds and all.
  • Add in 1 tablespoon of dry oregano
  • Add in 4 cloves of minced fresh garlic
  • Add in 6-10 leaves of fresh basil rolled and chopped (2 tablespoons)
  • Add in 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • Add in 1 teaspoon of pepper to taste
  • Add in 1 tablespoon of salt to draw out the flavours and juices
  • Add in the juice of half a lime
  • Add in the minced red onion
  • Add in the cooled potatoes
  • Add in the cooled green beans
  • Add in the cooled chick peas
  • Mix the salad, taste for flavour
  • Let sit for 30 minutes
  • Serve you Tomato Salad!

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Mr.CBB’s Garlic,Onion Potato Balls

Potato Balls, they sure do look good, and they are especially with Mr.CBB’s Famous Sloppy Joe’s and the cooler temperatures around the corner. This is what we had for dinner last night and it was worth all the effort.  I think in Canada they would be comparable to tater tots. I’ll admit when I had no idea what someone was going on about. I thought they were talking rubbish and trying once again to get a laugh out at my expense. I’m used to it though but I think I can show them up one with me mums Potato Balls.

One of my Facebook fans asked how I learned to cook and it’s simple, I watched my parents. My mum and dad were always in the kitchen together whipping something special up in our house. These potato balls were something me mum made with a fish fry and homemade coleslaw. After a while you kind of bored of the same chips with your fish so this was just as nice if not better.

I’ve also travelled to many places around the world and make it a point to hang out where the locals eat. This is the best way to learn about culture and what foods the people of the country eat. I sort of stick myself plunk right in the middle of it all. I like to learn, so I ask questions. I try to buy cook books from the countries that I’ve visited but Julia Child has always been a favourite of mine.  I also like Nigella Lawson who is so passionate about food that you can see it in her eyes. I’m certainly no Jaime Oliver or Gordon Ramsay but I can get on with it in the kitchen and make a meal that puts a smile the lovely Mrs. CBB’s face.

So.. let’s get on with my making the potato balls!

So I ran into an itsy bitty snag yesterday when making these balls. You see me mum would simply roll them in bread crumbs and then deep fry them. Well, I was all out of bread crumbs and had no day old bread to process. I went scouring through the cupboards for ideas when it hit me. I’m staring at a box of instant garlic potato flakes which we use for our potato donuts recipe. I wondered if I could coat my potato balls with this and then deep fry them. Sure enough, they were divine. The outside texture is crispy and full of a salty, garlic flavour. When you bite into the middle the potatoes are soft and melt in your mouth.

We used sour cream and ketchup as a dip although you could get creative with various dips for these potato balls. You could also serve them along side a salad such as Mr.CBB’s Summer Fresh Tomato Salad with Fresh Basil, Chick Peas and Fennel. for a budget friendly easy meal.

So you can either roll them in bread crumbs, fry them as they are, or now roll them in instant potato flakes.  I would never have guessed but you never know until you try. I like to improvise and this time it worked out to my advantage. You can also deep fry these balls and freeze them. When you take them out of the freezer simply put them on a baking sheet and bake them until they are crispy again. I haven’t tried to freeze the balls before they are cooked but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

To the Men: If you want to learn to cook, you have to get in there and do it.  Be done with the old-fashioned “women must cook” in the kitchen theory and get on with it. Show the women what you can do in the kitchen, they appreciate it just like we appreciate it when we do it. My wife finds it sexy when she sees a man cooking in the kitchen so hey, if that’s all it takes, ha!

You can try all sorts of recipes and like us once a week we have a splurge night so we make a meal that we won’t eat often but is nice once in a while like my garlic, onion potato balls. Deep frying is one of those things that you want to do sparingly or infrequently as it’s not the best but it’s a nice treat once in a while.

To the Ladies: Inspire your men to learn something in the kitchen even if they run off on their own. Show them how to do what you do and maybe they might want to stick around. If you really want to show the men up, ask them how to change a tire, or change the oil in the car. We find that sexy, at least I do!

So here you go, enjoy and a big thanks to me mum for leading me in this direction with these potato balls.

Mr.CBB’s Garlic Onion Potato Balls

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes (potatoes), 2 minutes to deep fry the balls or as they brown.


  • Large mixing bowl
  • Strainer
  • Large pot to boil potatoes
  • Med heavy pot for deep-frying or a deep fryer
  • Deep Fat Frying Thermometer
  • Tongs or Chinese Copper Wire Strainer
  • Potato ricer or masher
  • Serving dish lined with paper towel
  • Baking tray lined with paper towel


  • 10 med sized potatoes
  • onion powder or flakes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • vegetable oil for deep-frying or coconut oil which is a better option 2 1/2 inches
  • 1 pkg of garlic instant potato flakes to coat balls

Let’s make the Garlic, Onion Potato Balls!

  • Peel your potatoes and cut them into small uniform chunks

  • Boil your potatoes in salted water until they are fork tender. (Tip-Do not over cook or your balls will shatter in the oil when you deep fry them)
  • Strain your potatoes and put them in a mixing bowl
  • You can either rice your potatoes in a ricer or mash them with a fork or a potato masher. I like to leave some chunks for texture
  • Add in 1 tablespoon of onion powder or flakes
  • Add 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Add 1 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper

  • Mix it all together and taste for flavour. If you need to add more spices than do so now.
  • While the potatoes are warm roll them into a ball one by one.
  • In a bowl empty the potato flakes and roll the potato balls to cover. It’s easier if they are warm as they hold moisture on the outside and it helps the flakes to stick. If you wait too long they won’t stick.
  • Set the balls on a platter then refrigerate for 20 minutes

  • Heat your oil to deep fry between 350-375 degrees using a deep fat frying thermometer.
  • Drop 6 balls max into the oil slowly so they don’t splat.
  • Cook until golden brown

  • Use the tongs or Chinese copper wire strainer to take the potato balls out and set them on the plate lined with paper towel to drain the oil. Salt the balls immediately after you set them on the paper towel.
  • Take these balls and put them on a paper towel lined baking sheet and put them in a heated oven at 200 to keep crispy and warm while the others are cooking.
  • Serve with your favourite dipping sauce.

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Mr.CBB’s Easter Dinner for 8 in the Crock Pot! Cost $ 1.25 plate

There’s more to Easter than chocolate eggs and bunny rabbits as it’s a time that some families gather to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s also a time where traditional feasts are served and enjoyed by many all across the land. In Canada Good Friday is a Statutory Holiday and Easter Monday you may find some businesses still remain closed.

Easter Dinner

A Canadian Budget Binder fan Shelley Chenier posted a crock pot recipe last week on Facebook that had me thinking about Easter food ideas. I wanted us to have a traditional Easter menu but without all the fuss. So many of us are busy in the kitchen during special occasions and the guests are left to chat amongst themselves. We would rather not be the absent couple during a family dinner so we decided to change that this Easter. We wanted to create a frugal Easter meal that would allow us to be with our guests and actually celebrate.

Since the Easter holiday is around the corner this recipe caught my eye because it has all the makings of a one pot meal. If you want to keep it simple this Easter try this recipe out and spend more time with your guests rather than in the kitchen. This recipe could easily feed 8 people for an Easter Sunday dinner  or an Easter brunch served with a side garden salad and a nice glass of red wine to balance the flavours.

Cost For Easter Meal

Knowing your prices will help you get the best bang for your buck when you are meal planning and preparing your grocery list. The cost to make this frugal recipe was around $10.00 with the cheese costing the most money at $4.00. The ham was approx $5.00 and I used half $2.50, the spices are very cheap $1.00, the potatoes $1.44 bag (I used 8) $0.75, the vegetables were from the reduced rack except the onions which cost $1.00, the soup was $0.25, milk $0.25, bread crumbs $0.25,Garlic ( free garden). This meal won’t break the grocery budget and uses everyday ingredients that you can find at your local supermarket.

Although this is Shelly’s recipe I’ve added in my own flavours and vegetables. I also didn’t add carrots or peas but I will for next time. You can add whatever vegetables and spices you like to make this your own. My mouth was watering after the first 2 hours of this recipe cooking in the crock-pot. The house was filled with spicy aromas and even the dog made sure to keep watch so no one attacked what might be a special treat for him.

What do you cook for your Easter meal?

Mr. CBB’s Easy Easter Crock Pot Meal- Ham,Potato and Vegetables

  • Cook on low for 10 hours in the Crock Pot


Easter Crock-Pot Dinner Ingredients

  • 8 Medium -Large Potatoes Peeled
  • 2 carrots (optional)
  • 1 cup peas (optional)
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms (any kind)
  • 1 cup celery chopped
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 250 Grams cubed Ham- I used the pre-cooked half ham and cut it in half then cubed it. The pre-cooked ham is best as it is already cooked.
  • 1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated cheddar
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano


  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Olive Oil to drizzle
  • Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Celery Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon parsley (dry)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard


  • Peel and Wash your potatoes, then cut them into slices not too thick though about 1/4 inch
  • Put the potatoes in salted water until ready to use so they don’t go dark
  • Cut all the vegetables and put them in separate bowls
  • Put a pinch of salt and pepper in each veg bowl and drizzle with olive oil
  • Cube the ham and put in a separate bowl
  • Grate the cheeses and put in bowls
  • When all of the above is done drain the potatoes and pat them dry
  • In the bowl of potatoes add all the spices above as well as the lemon juice to stop them from going brown while cooking ( worked for me at least) and drizzle with olive oil and stir
  • In a bowl open the condensed soup and mix in the milk and stir
  • Now you can start layering this in the crock pot starting with the potatoes, veg, ham, mozzarella/cheddar cheese, then next layer
  • Pour the soup mixture all over the top layer so it soaks down to the bottom of the crock pot
  • Once you reach the top don’t put any cheese on yet sprinkle the bread crumbs on top
  • Cover and cook on low for 10 hours or high for 4
  • At the last 5 minutes before serving sprinkle the top with grated cheese and Parmigiano Reggiano

Happy Easter from my kitchen to yours- Mr.CBB

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