101 Best Slow-Cooker Recipes
December 14, 2016
Keep your slow-cooker working around the clock with our all-time best slow-cooker recipes
101 Best Slow-Cooker Recipes
Many different types of dishes and can be made low and slow in your favorite kitchen appliance. Everything from cakes and roasts to hearty soups and Buffalo wings — slow-cookers can really do it all. Using a slow-cooker is nearly foolproof, and it keeps your hands free to do whatever else you need to do. The slow-cooker is especially handy if you are planning to entertain; it makes it easy to serve a group of people, and it frees up oven and stovetop space for other cooking and baking needs. Another plus is that electricity is cheaper than gas (if that’s your usual cooking fuel) — so using a slow-cooker is a bonafide win all around. Perhaps best way to capture the greatness of slow-cookers is to describe that magical moment when you cross the threshold of your home and are met with the aroma of delicious smelling food just waiting for you to dig in — an experience that’s all the sweeter if the day was particularly trying. With our 101 Best Slow-Cooker recipe round up we can help you recreate that moment every single day of the week. Keep your slow-cooker working around the clock and never be at a loss for a recipe again.
Start the party off right — and by right we mean with dishes that are delicious and require very little effort.
French Onion Dip
Start by using the slow-cooker to deeply caramelize the onions. The onions then top a zesty homemade yogurt sauce that balances and complements the sweetness of the onions.
Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip
Who doesn’t love a delicious Buffalo chicken dip at a party? It’s creamy, delicious, a little spicy, and extremely flavorful. Yet when it is loaded with a few different types of cheese, this dip can get pretty fattening, pretty quickly. We’ve lightened up this recipe for you so you can thoroughly enjoy this essential party food without the guilt.
Jalapeño Spinach Dip
Everyone loves spinach dip, and this version is just as easy as it is delicious: Just mix the ingredients together in the slow-cooker and walk away for two to three hours and you’ll return to a savory and creamy appetizer.
Mexican Seven Layer Dip
You'll love this warmed-up, no-fuss version of your favorite Mexican-inspired dip.
Use your slow-cooker to make a delicious party mix perfect for that holiday party around the corner. Add coated candies like M&Ms for a touch of sweetness.
Southwest Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Standard spinach artichoke dip gets a Tex-Mex makeover with the addition of chopped green chiles and spicy pepper jack cheese.
Slow-Cooker Breakfast and Bread
Slow-cooker breakfasts and breads take some of the stress out of cooking. For breakfast dishes like oatmeal or porridge, turn your slow-cooker on before you fall asleep and wake up to a hearty meal.
This classic banana bread cooks for four hours to create a sweet, moist bread with a delicate yet dense crumb and a golden, crunchy crust. You can make the recipe even sweeter by adding some chunky chocolate chips.
Cinnamon French Toast
Prep everything the night before and switch on the slow-cooker just before you turn in for the night. In the morning you’ll be awakened with a deliciously sweet aroma of a French toast breakfast ready to eat.
Using a slow-cooker to make steel-cut oats means you can sleep in without having to worry about starting breakfast. The steel cut oats, maple syrup, and dried cranberries are added all at once and then in the morning you can top your bowl with another drizzle of maple syrup and sprinkle with more cranberries and almonds. If you like your oatmeal very creamy, you can cook it for up to eight hours.
Egg and Broccoli Casserole
This eggy casserole is perfect for breakfast or brunch. The mellow heat slowly cooks the eggs ensuring that they don’t dry out or become rubbery.
Stone Ground Grits
Stone-ground grits are coarser than the quick-cooking variety; they are also more flavorful. Usually, grits require attention and constant stirring, but not with a slow-cooker. Let them cook all night long and wake up to rich, creamy grits.
Ham and Swiss Quiche
Enjoy this easy dinner that comes together with pre-made refrigerator pie crust, ham, eggs, and Swiss cheese.
This recipe is particularly useful when cooking for a crowd arriving for a mid-morning brunch. The spices, cheeses, and even the vegetables are all easily customizable to your personal preferences.
We're not monkeying around here: You actually make this monkey bread in your slow-cooker. Pop a can of pre-made buttery biscuit dough and cut the dough into one-inch lumps. Toss them in butter and sugar before piling them into the slow-cooker. After about two hours, this monkey bread can then be drizzled with chocolate, scattered with pecans, and kissed with whipped cream.
Cinnamon, nutmeg, and pecans give this dish the fall flavors that we love holding onto even in the depths of winter. Drizzle a sweet glaze over the top to give the bread a little something extra.
Slow-Cookers are perhaps best known for creating amazingly flavorful soups with little to no effort and these amazing soup recipes are no exception.
Butternut Squash Soup With Sausage
Want the flavors of a juicy hamburger with the ease of the slow-cooker? You got it. This easy, versatile soup only requires 20 minutes of prep, then into the slow-cooker it goes.
Cheesy Potato Soup
Potatoes and cheese? Yes, please! This six-ingredient slow-cooker supper is unbelievably easy and amazingly delicious.
Chicken and Dumplings
The simmered chive dumplings thicken the broth making this soup into a warming, hearty, and comforting meal.
Chicken Cheese Tortellini Soup
Everything except the cheesy tortellini is added to the Crock-Pot to be simmered on high for four to six hours. Then, 10 minutes before mealtime, toss in the pasta and finish the dish with generous shavings of quality Parmesan.
Chicken Matzo Ball Soup
You don’t need to spend hours over the stove working on that comforting chicken matzo ball soup. Let the slow-cooker put all the effort in so you don’t have to.
Chicken Pot Pie Soup
This soup is thick and creamy just like the filling of a chicken pot pie. Serve this soup with a side of biscuits to recreate all the flavors of the original.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
This particular chicken tortilla soup is easy as heck (don't let the list of ingredients fool you). It’s healthy, fresh, and reheats ever so nicely.
This slow-cooker soup only takes 10 minutes to throw together — just allow the spicy chiles and enchilada sauce to simmer with the chicken for a time while you go about your day.
Lemon Chicken and Orzo Soup
This healthy, flavorful soup is loaded with tons of fresh, nutritious ingredients like spinach, carrots, celery, and onions. The flavors deepen exponentially while the soup simmers in a slow-cooker all day.
Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup
This lemon chicken and rice soup recipe is flavored with lemongrass, cilantro, and serrano chiles to give it a unique taste and heat.
Just throw everything in the pot and come back later. It’s almost like magic.
Shanghai-Style Beef Borscht
This borscht will bring a wonderful smell to your house as it slowly cooks. Sliced cabbage is stirred in toward the end of cooking and basil leaves are added for garnish. Serve it with your favorite bread or simply enjoy it by itself.
Sopa de Ajo
This chicken soup is something serious: Aside from the fact that it's perfumed with more than 40 cloves of garlic, pinches of saffron, cumin, cayenne, and paprika, it’s topped with a poached egg, which, when pierced, infuses the soup with its rich flavor.
Spicy Black Bean Soup
This slow-cooker soup is true to its name — it’s definitely spicy! Nevertheless, you can always scale back the heat to satisfy your own taste buds.
Turkey Fajita Soup
Hearty Slow-Cooker Stews
Here are some of our all-time favorite recipes for seriously good, serious filling, and seriously manageable stews.
Beef and Mushroom Stew
Delicious, easy comfort food doesn’t get much better than this slow-cooker beef and mushroom stew. It requires a little prep time to brown the meat and sauté the mushrooms and onions, but in a pinch, just throw in all into the pot at once.
Serve this classic-style beef stew, which is boosted by cumin and cinnamon spices, over a bed of brown rice to add an extra nutty bite.
Chicken Alfredo Stew
You can keep dinner prep to 10 minutes with store-bought Alfredo sauce and frozen mixed vegetables when you make this creamy and delicious chicken stew.
"Osso Buco" Stew
Osso Buco is traditionally made with veal shanks, white wine, vegetables, herbs, and a little tomato, but this version uses cubes of stew meat instead of the shanks to accommodate the slow-cooker. Don’t skip the lemon zest and parsley as garnish, though, because the fresh flavors are key to unlocking the full potential of the dish.
Poblano Corn Chowder With Chicken and Chorizo
Meaty poblano chiles are a wonderful addition to corn chowder. Omit the chicken and chorizo if you prefer a vegetarian version.
As its name suggests, it was originally made with lamb or mutton, but these days you may be more familiar with it being made with beef. Combine all of the ingredients in large Crock-Pot and set on either low for 8 hours or high for four hours, taking care to not lift the lid during cooking time.
For the Crock-Pot Shepherd's Pie recipe, click here.
Spanish Lentil and Chorizo Stew
The smoked paprika in the chorizo is the key ingredient is this stew. The ingredient list is otherwise short and simple, so be sure to use the best possible ingredients when you recreate it at home.
Sweet and Spicy Chili
This chili is incredibly easy to make and full of sweet, smoky, and slightly spicy flavor. Just brown some ground beef and chop a few vegetables then simmer the chili to marry all of the flavors in your slow-cooker.
Thai Beef Stew
This slow-cooker stew is made with coconut oil and gets a hit of umami from the addition of fish sauce.
Vegan Lentil Curry
Lentils are packed with protein, which is perfect for vegetarians and vegans in need of that essential nutrient. Plus, when lentils are slow-cooked for hours in flavorful spices like curry, they taste pretty darn good, too.
Vegetarian Chipotle Chili
Marvelous and meatless, this chili is still hearty enough to warm the heart and belly of any chili lover. The chipotle chile powder gives this slow-cooker recipe a good spicy kick, too
For the Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chipotle Chili recipe, click here.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Recipes
Making a chicken dinner has never been easier; slow-cookers are great for set-it-and-forget-it cooking methods that don’t skimp on quality or flavor.
Use your slow-cooker to make super-tender, never-dry chicken wings. Just place the wings in your slow-cooker and cover them with your favorite sauce. Once they are cooked and tantalizingly tender, put the wings in an oven heated to 400 degrees Farenheit or place them under the broiler to give them a crispy exterior.
Caribbean Chicken Drumsticks
When slow-cooked, these drumsticks are tender and incredibly flavorful. To get a crispy skin, however, brush the cooked drumsticks with a bit of the marinating liquid and throw them under the oven broiler to develop texture and a little charred flavor.
Chicken and Butternut Squash
Throw all six ingredients into a slow-cooker for a soft squash and tasty chicken dinner. The sage and garlic are perfect complements to the butternut squash and the juices — punctuated by a dash of balsamic vinegar — cook down into a delicious sauce that keeps the chicken flavorful and moist. Use this as your main course or as a side dish for your next family meal.
This casserole may take some time to make, but it's definitely worth it (plus the cooking time is all hands-free). The chicken and beans become both soft and tender and are full of amazing flavor.
Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken is first seared lightly in a pan to develop a crust and deep, delicious flavors. The onion and spices benefit from some high-heat contact, too, before all the ingredients are layered into a slow-cooker and cooked on high for four hours or on low for eight.
Chicken is slowly braised in roasted tomatillo salsa and spices to make a super easy yet tasty version of chicken verde.
Shhhh, don’t tell… but the secret to this dish is to simply pile all the ingredients into your slow-cooker and let it do all the work.
Teriyaki Chicken & Mac Salad Sliders
Tender, slow-cooked chicken, sweet teriyaki glaze and a creamy macaroni salad: This recipe is full of Hawaiian-inspired flavors packed into a slider. It’s easy-to-prepare and bite-sized making them perfect for game day spreads, whether you're having friends over or tailgating at the stadium.
Slow-Cooker Beef Recipes
Slow braising beef breaks down the tough fibers making it mouth-wateringly tender and extremely delicious.
Relax and let your slow-cooker do all the work. Beer tenderizes the meat, and the onion soup gives it sweetness and depth, while the chile sauce gives it a good punch of heat.
Cuban Braised Beef
An easy recipe emulating ropa vieja, a Cuban classic, this slow-cooker recipe makes tender shredded beef that is full of flavor. Serve it along with rice and beans to complete the meal.
Fire Pot Roast
Beef shoulder is tossed into a slow-cooker with small red potatoes, carrots, and tomato cooking sauce and cooked low and slow until the beef is fall-apart-tender.
For the Easy Slow-Cooker Fire Pot Roast recipe, clicIllk here.
French Dip Sandwich
There is nothing more satisfying than a melt-in-your-mouth sandwich. This shredded beef French dip is savory and succulent after stewing in the slow-cooker all day.
Mini Cheese Burger Pies
Flavorful slow-cooker beef is wrapped in phyllo dough and baked in the oven for just 15 minutes.
Pulled Beef Sandwich
Start with a boneless chuck roast and braise it canned soup in a slow-cooker. To finish, pile the tender beef on top of flaky, buttery biscuits.
For the Slow-Cooker Pulled Beef Sandwiches recipe, click here.
Sausage-Stuffed Flank Steak
Flank steak is first rolled up jelly roll-style around a flavorful sausage mixture, topped with a marinara sauce, and then cooked on the low setting for six to eight hours.
For the Crock-Pot Sausage-Stuffed Flank Steak recipe, click here.
Slow-Cooker Pork Recipes
Pulled pork, carnitas, and tender ribs; making pork dishes in your slow-cooker is always a good idea.
Apple Cider Pulled Pork
This amazing slow-cooker recipe braises pork in a mixture of apple cider, brown sugar, bacon, and apples.
After their long trip in the slow-cooker, broil the ribs in the oven to accentuate the texture and flavor and give them a barbecued appearance.
Brown Sugar and Honey Ham
There is nothing like coming home to a kitchen filled with the aroma of meat that has been slow-cooking all day. These carnitas are braised in chicken stock, spices, and a touch of orange juice.
Cranberry Citrus Meatballs
These meatballs are the perfect party food. Throw them in the slow-cooker and they’re ready when you are. You can make the meatballs and brown them ahead of time, then just refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.
Honey Barbecue Pork Roast With Carrots
This slow-cooked pork roast is simmered with a sweet BBQ sauce made with balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and ginger. The sauce reduces into a perfectly thick glaze that clings to the pork and carrots.
Italian Shredded Pork
A little prep makes for a delicious, hearty, slow-cooked comfort meal. It’s even better served over polenta or on hoagie buns.
Pork and Sauerkraut
This recipe emanates a heavenly smell thanks to the succulent pork braised with juniper berries and garlic and sauerkraut.
Pork Chops With Mustard Thyme Gravy
With only 10 minutes of prep time, you can enjoy these mouth-watering pork chops with a gravy made with spicy brown mustard and fresh thyme.
Pulled Pork Tacos
What could be easier than throwing some pork, spices, and an onion into a slow-cooker? This is also a low-maintenance dish perfect for serving at dinner parties.
Red Wine Braised Pork-Butt
This flavorful, easy-to-make slow-cooked pork is a great dish to savor all week long.
Apple butter is a concentrated, caramelized apple sauce with a spreadable richness. Making this in your slow-cooker may take a little time (almost 12 hours) but it is well worth the wait. P.S. the technique works well for pumpkin butter, too!
Applesauce is so easy to make at home, and it is guaranteed to be a lot healthier than anything you’d find on the supermarket shelf. Spiked with cinnamon, this slow-cooker version is great for making in bulk and storing for use as a fresh, delicious side you can enjoy warm or cold.
If you’re skeptical about cooking lasagna in a slow cooker, have no fear; it’s as easy as layering the ingredients and walking away.
Mac and Cheese
This dish works best with thicker, sturdier pasta shapes that will hold up to the prolonged heat and moisture. The result will be an incredibly tender and cheesy mac and cheese that you can set proudly on your table.
Do you find mashed potatoes to be a hassle, but you can’t resist their buttery taste? You're in luck because you can make these buttery mashed potatoes in a slow-cooker with incredible ease.
Quick and Easy Tomato Ketchup
This simple slow-cooker tomato ketchup recipe is just as good as (if not better than) the bottled stuff, and you’ll be able to say you made it yourself!
Traditionally, risotto requires constant attention and stirring to activate the starches in the rice. Yet by using your slow-cooker, you can free up your hands and cut back on the labor required for this classic Italian dish. This technique calls for all the stock to be added at once, and the gentle heat of the slow-cooker cooks the rice to a perfectly rich and creamy al dente.
You can create the same roasted pepper taste and tender texture in your slow-cooker that you get when you actually roast red peppers over a flame. Just rub the inside of your slow-cooker with olive oil. Halve and seed your bell peppers, and place them in the oiled base. Cook on high for three hours, and then remove the lid and allow the peppers to cool; the skins should easily peel right off.
Warm, cheesy, and perfectly seasoned, this dish will be the talk of your table. Cooked over low, gentle heat for three hours, these potatoes emerge soft and delicious.
Dessert in your slow-cooker? Why, of couerse! Check out these essential slow-cooker dessert recipes.
This ooey-gooey cinnamon baked apple crisp is covered in a sweet oat crumble. It’s simple and ridiculously delicious. Just don’t forget the scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
To make this, follow this Apple Crisp recipe and cook in your slow-cooker on high for about two hours, then turn off the heat and leave it covered for up to an hour to let the liquid thicken.
This dessert combines crispy, caramelized bananas with chunky walnuts and rum for an unbeatable dessert. Although the fun part of bananas foster usually involves some flambé action, this slow-cooker recipe will still have the bananas melting luxuriously in your mouth.
In just three hours, you can have a moist, decadent chocolate cake to brag about, and all you did was throw basic ingredients into a slow-cooker.
This chocolate cake is so delicious that it doesn’t need icing, but you can whip up a creamy buttercream frosting to spread over the top if you feel like going that extra mile.
Chocolate Pudding Cake
This fudgy cake is filled with pudding mix to give it that extra creamy, silky bite we all crave in our chocolate cake. Scoop up this warm cake with its pudding-like consistency and top it off with vanilla ice cream for your guests to enjoy.
Coconut-Nutella Pudding Cake
Just when you thought there couldn’t be anything better than Nutella, we added some coconut. This awesome recipe uses thick coconut milk and Nutella to make a sweet, mouth-watering cake. You won’t be able to get enough of this crazy gooey and delicious dessert.
This fruity cake is studded with tart cranberries and citrusy orange. When finished, orange and confectioners’ sugar is whisked together creating a glaze that is then drizzled over the cake.
Dulce de Leche
With the slow-cooker method, you can make a large batch of luxurious and simple dulce de leche without ever fussing or worrying about burning it. This low and slow method might take longer, but it is absolutely foolproof. Banoffee pie anyone?
Peanut Butter Fudge
Peanut butter and chocolate is a match made in heaven. When these two ingredients are combined in the slow-cooker, they melt to form the perfect base for creamy and luscious fudge that’s super simple to make.
Pink Grapefruit Cheesecake
Cheesecake from a slow-cooker? Give it a try. You'll be amazed at the results. This recipe also offers ingredient variations so you can top your cheesecake with sugared cranberries and chocolate or pecans, as well.
Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake
With a graham cracker crust and pumpkin filling, this cheesecake is insanely delicious. It has the added bonus of looking beautiful with white and orange swirls throughout.
White Chocolate Pots de Crème
Pot de crème is a classic French dessert that is essentially a smooth white chocolate custard baked in a little ramekin. Though custard itself is made on the stove and placed into ramekins, the slow-cooker provides the gentle cooking environment that bakes the delicate custards to smooth perfection.
Slow-Cooker Drinks and Cocktails
These large-format drinks recipes are perfect for serving a small crowd.
Hot Buttered Rum
This cocktail is super indulgent, but totally worth it. If you’d rather have a more classic recipe, simply cut out the chocolate chips and enjoy a familiar favorite from your slow-cooker.
Place lemonade in a slow-cooker with a dash of seasonal spices to make a delicious mulled ideal for cold weather.
Mulled Apple Cider
Put your slow-cooker to work making this mulled apple cider for your guests to enjoy as a delightful aperitif before dinner. Reinforce the apple flavor with a touch of Applejack Whiskey to kick-off the meal with a bang.
Mulled Pomegranate Sipper
This warm, comforting cider fills the entire house with a wonderful aroma.
This recipe, which has a little kick of brandy in it, is perfect for the wine drinker who loves a little bit of sweetness in his or her drink.
Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate
This slow-cooked hot chocolate is made with peanut butter and topped with marshmallows; smiles are guaranteed.
Mulling spices and wine will always have a place at a winter holiday table. You haven’t lived until you’ve made this beautiful slow-cooker punch to share with friends and family. Need more cooking inspiration? Here are 25 comforting casseroles you'll want to make all fall.