You can trace the origins of the slow-cooker on paper all the way to 1936, but the truth is the inspiration for it came many years before that. Inventor Irving Naxon filed for a patent on a device that was inspired by his grandmother’s cooking in Lithuania. After her local bakery hours were over, she’d slow-cook cholent (the first slow-cooked stew) by the residual heat of the hot oven overnight. By creating a cooking vessel that is housed inside a casing, Naxon was able to perfect the slow-cooker for home chefs.
The slow-cooker became the busy parent’s best friend. The ability to “set it and forget it” meant less time scrambling (figuratively and literally) over the stove for dinner and more time with the family. Over the decades, the “Crock-Pot” became a must-have appliance for families. But for years, many thought that the slow-cooker was only good for stews and soups. And while they are incredibly useful for those hearty dishes, the slow cooker was meant for so much more.
Hundreds of cookbooks have cropped up for the slow-cooker, and all of them have an angle—soups, stews, easy dinners. But to help you maximize the use of your slow cooker, we pulled together a collection of 101 incredible recipes that will take you from breakfast to lunch, dinner, and beyond. Start your day with a hearty Mexican-style quiche. Clean out the Crock-Pot and load it up with the ingredients for a creamy chicken Alfredo stew for lunch. For dinner, you can put in all of the necessities for slow-cooked pulled pork tacos, or skip ahead to dessert for some turtle monkey bread. This collection will help you pull off a dinner party or an easy weeknight meal with just a few ingredients and a little time. Heck, it will even help with the drinks and treat your guests to tasty appetizers, too.
Use these recipes to pull off the perfect party or too simply make your Tuesday night a little less insane. The only trouble you’ll have with this collection is deciding which dish to make first.
Best Slow-Cooker Breakfast Recipes
Coming home to a cooked meal is super satisfying. Waking up to one is pure heaven. For these delicious recipes, set your crock pot to finish just in time for a hearty and flavorful morning that your whole family will love.
Slow-Cooker Overnight Porridge
How great would it be to wake up on a busy morning and have breakfast already cooked? You could slow down and eat at home or pack up a bowl of this multi-grain porridge to take to work with you. With a slow-cooker, it can happen.
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Slow-Cooking Stone Ground Grits
Stone-ground grits are ground in a stone mill and are much larger than quick-cooking grits. They also have an abundance of flavor compared to the faster-cooking versions. Most Southerners will put them on the stove and cook them for hours — sometimes even all day — while popping in and out of the kitchen to stir. Cooking them in the slow-cooker requires no stirring at all. Let them cook all night and wake up to rich, creamy grits.