15+ Best Slow Cooker Recipes
It’s time to pull out your Crock Pot for these flavor-sensation, healthy slow cooker recipes! These set-it-and-forget-it meals were made for busy weeknights, family meal prep, and hectic holidays. In other words – you can count on this list to help ease your time in the kitchen!
How To Choose The Best Slow Cooker or Crock Pot
Just like any other kitchen appliance, it can be overwhelming choosing the right slow cooker from an incredibly large selection. And there’s nothing worse than bringing home a broken or confusing-to-use slow cooker. Trust me, I’ve been there.
After doing a little research and testing out several options, here’s my personal tips, plus a few things to look out for to make sure you have a seamless cooking experience.
- Avoid non-stick coated slow cookers. Personally, I don’t like ones with non-stick coating on the insert since you’re essentially cooking in it for several hours and up to overnight. That means food just simmers with all those chemicals as it slowly cooks – not the best!
- A functional timer is pretty handy I’d say! While this isn’t a requirement, it’s definitely a “nice to have.” A programmable timer makes multitasking and overnight cooking a breeze. Just set the timer and when it’s done it’ll automatically switch to warming mode (in most models).
- Do your research on each model’s cooking temperature. Typically, a slow cooker should reach to 190°-200°F on low and 250°F-300°F on high (though if you have a lot of liquid in the container the max high temperature will only reach 212°F – the boiling point of water – and that’s fine). The most important point is how long it takes to reach this max temperature – and that should be 7 to 8 hours on low or 3 to 4 hours on high.
- If you’re unsure of the temperature of your slow cooker – fill it with water, set it on low/high for 2 hours, then check the temperature with an instant read thermometer.
Best Ever Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes
You never have to worry about dry or overcooked chicken in a slow cooker – it stays beautifully moist! You can cook an entire whole chicken and shred it into perfectly tender pieces. Or cook a couple chicken breasts and turn them into a wow-worthy meal, simmered with flavorful sauces and spices. The possibilities are endless, but here’s a few delicious ways to approach it.
- Slow Cooker Whole Chicken: This rotisserie-style chicken may be the best ever ever for busy weeknights. You can eat the chicken as-is with a spoonful of those perfectly cooked chunky vegetables, or shred it into pieces for a salad, soup, sandwich, wrap, and so much more!
- Slow Cooker Butter Chicken: Not gonna lie, this butter chicken is one of the most flavorful dishes I’ve had. It’s warming with loads of spices and hints of sweetness from the cooked butternut squash and golden raisins.
- Slow Cooker Chicken and White Bean Stew: Stews are a slow cooker speciality. This Tuscan-inspired version is nourished with hearty proteins, leafy greens, and chunky veggies.
All Your Favorite Slow Cooker Pork Recipes, Every Which Way
Slow cookers are well-known for making some of the absolute best pulled pork. The slow cooker allows fatty juices to seep through the meat, resulting in mouthwatering, tender goodness. And all you have to do is give the pork a good season, add a little broth or other liquid, and let the slow cooker work its magic. So easy!
- Slow Cooker Pulled Pork: This classic pulled pork is a meal prep favorite around here. It’s perfectly seasoned with a handful of spices, making it an easy addition to salads, bowls, plates (with sides). You can also turn it into a pulled pork sandwich!
- Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder with Zesty Basil Sauce: Hosting a dinner party? Then your menu planning stops here with this meltingly tender pork shoulder topped with a chimichurri-style fresh basil sauce.
- Slow Cooker Kalua Pork: Get ready to take a trip to Hawaii! This kalua pork is reminiscent of the kalua pig served at Hawaiian luaus – smoky, a little salty, and extra extra tender.
- Slow Cooker Pork Belly with Honey Balsamic Glaze: As if pork belly wasn’t already tender enough, making it in a slow cooker takes it to the next level. Plus, it really helps lock in the flavor of that sweet and tangy honey balsamic glaze.
The Best Mexican Food – Made Easy In A Slow Cooker!
Make your local taqueria meaty favorites – like carnitas and barbacoa – right at home! And no, you don’t need any crazy kitchen equipment. Just your slow cooker and some simple Mexican spices, that’s it. Bonus – I’ll show you many delicious ways to make use up of all that meat!
- Carnitas: For me, carnitas was love at first bite. And this slow cooker version transforms pork shoulder into meltingly tender and ultra-flavorful meat. Trust me, it’ll become the most versatile ingredient in your meal prep spread.
- Carnitas Tacos: Now that you have a batch of slow-cooker carnitas made, tacos are kind of a must. I love to top them off with chopped red onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. But you do you!
- Stuffed Poblano Peppers: Stuffed poblano peppers are a Mexican classic, but have you tried them stuffed with carnitas? Just toss in some black beans, corn, red onion, and a sprinkle of cheese for one loaded, flavor-packed meal.
- Carnitas Burrito Bowl: Chipotle’s burrito bowl is a classic, and it’s so easy to make right at home. Just whip up some cilantro lime rice and pico de gallo. Then layer in fresh black beans, sweet corn, and a dollop of sour cream.
- Carnitas Omelette: Give your Sunday brunch a Mexican flair by loading up an omelette with crispy, tender carnitas and quickly sauteed fajita veggies! Oh, and don’t forget the dollop of sour cream and guacamole.
- Barbacoa: If beef is your meaty main of choice – you’re going to swoon over this slow cooker barbacoa. All you need to do is season the beef, and add some juices into the slow cooker. You’ll end up with meat that falls right apart.
- Barbacoa Tacos: Switch up your Taco Tuesday (or any day really) with this mouthwatering, shredded barbacoa! The tacos really only need a bit of onion, cilantro, and lime juice, but there’s plenty of room to load them up with your favorite Mexican toppings.
- Burrito Bowl with Barbacoa: Skip the tortilla and switch up a wrapped burrito for a burrito bowl. It’s a healthier option and allows you savor the individual ingredients in bowl form.
Comforting & Classic Crock Pot Dinners The Whole Family Will Love
Classic stovetop meals such as chili or pot roast are slow cooker non-negotiables. The slow cooker makes these meals a cinch and less worrisome – you don’t need to keep checking on them every hour. Just let the slow cooker do its thing, and you’ll have a beautifully cooked dinner by 6pm on the dot.
- Slow Cooker Pot Roast: There’s nothing more comforting than this classic slow cooker pot roast. Beautifully tender chuck roast cooks alongside chunky vegetables, like carrots, celery, and potatoes. Yep, it’s an all-in-one meal!
- Healthy Slow Cooker Turkey and White Bean Chili: I’m all for light and healthy chilis (like my classic white chicken chili). But to switch it up a bit, use turkey with smoky chipotle peppers. It’s hearty, flavorful, and will make you feel good from the inside out.
- Slow Cooked French Beef Stew: This recipe is everything you could ever want in a classic beef stew. Think fork tender beef, chunky vegetables, a splash of red wine, and aromatic herbs.
- Crock Pot Jambalaya: Typically a jambalaya simmers on the stove for quite some time. But this Crock Pot version yields the same result, with a little less work. Just give the spiced vegetables a quick saute before adding everything into the slow cooker – that’s it!
I hope these slow cooker recipes make it into your weekly rotation! If they do, I’d love to hear how they turned out in a comment below!
15+ Best Slow Cooker Recipes
- 4 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 3-inch chunks
- 1 onion, diced
- 3-4 chipotles in adobo sauce, finely diced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- ½ tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¾ cup beef stock
- 3 bay leaves
- diced onion
- avocado slices
- chopped cilantro
- sour cream or cheese, optional
- Add all of the ingredients, except the bay leaves, to a slow cooker.
- Use tongs to gently mix it all together. Then add the bay leaves, and cover. Cook on low for 8 to 9 hours, or on high for 4 to 5 hours. The beef should fall apart easily when shredded with a fork. If not, cook it a bit longer.
- Remove the beef to a cutting board and shred it with two forks.
- Place the shredded beef back in the slow cooker, give it a stir, and let it simmer in the juices.
- Use tongs to remove a serving of barbacoa from the slow cooker, top it on a tortilla, and garnish with your favorite Mexican toppings.