Simple Crock Pot Recipes with Flavors You'll Savor
The term “crock pot” can feel very Brady-Bunch-era. And yet, in all these years, there is no better hero to rescue your weeknight meals than the trusty slow cooker.
If a crock pot conjures images of your mom, or grandmother, or even Alice in the kitchen of the Brady Bunch home whipping up something beefy over egg noodles, you’re not alone. The kitchen appliance debuted in 1970, a year after “The Brady Bunch” first aired. And while I can’t recall whether a crock pot was ever featured in the show, it just fits. This was the era of at-home beef bourguignon, pot roast, and noodle-y casseroles — homey main dishes with humble origins and probably a can of cream-of-something soup in there somewhere.
What was a "crock pot" then is likely just a slow cooker now. What’s the difference? For the recipes below, not much. Technically, a Crock-Pot® is just a brand name slow cooker — much in the way that Instant Pot is shorthand for any of the numerous multi-cookers on the market right now. Typically, crock pots have a ceramic insert, and just two settings — high and low. Many slow cookers do, too, but are more versatile and varied. Both have the set-it-and-forget-it ease that modern families need and love.
The ideal slow cooker recipe has some kind of browned meat (or, if you’re vegetarian, some kind of hearty protein, like beans or lentils), a delicious liquid, and the end goal of being melt-in-your-mouth tender and juicy. But don’t stop there. Crock pot and slow cooker recipes run the gamut, from classic American to Mexican, Italian or Korean — even dessert.
Crock Pot Chili
When it comes to easy crock pot recipes, chili is a no-brainer. The all-day low simmer basically requires a crock pot or slow cooker (or a lot of down time). This version, by Dinners, Dishes, and Dessert, is a straightforward ground beef and kidney bean recipe, and reviewers consistently cite how easy it is. Bake some cornbread and dinner is done.
Crock Pot Chicken and Noodles
This insanely popular slow cooker chicken recipe from Our Table For Seven is dead simple — boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cream of chicken soup, chicken broth, and wide egg noodles. Reviewers suggest seasoning the chicken breasts to your personal taste — and adding Parmesan.
Melt In Your Mouth Crock Pot Ribs
The problem with ribs — or perhaps the point, depending on who you are as a cook — is how very long it takes to get them falling-off-the-bone tender, without burning them to a crisp. In this simple crock pot recipe, from A Cork, Fork, And Passport, baby back ribs are cooked slow-and-low in the crock pot, for 6 to 8 hours, then finished in the oven. The trick is to stand the ribs on their side, so they don’t get greasy.
Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos
With just five ingredients and a slow cooker, this weeknight chicken recipe is the very definition of easy. Fresh lime and plenty of cilantro are musts.
Crockpot Pork Carnitas
In a similar vein, this crock pot pork carnitas recipe from Family Fresh Meals makes Mexican super simple. The extra step — broiling the carnitas after they’ve cooked all day — gives the dish its great mix of textures, from crispy to tender and juicy. The ample portions means yo can prepare a more traditional meal, with beans and rice, one night and then tacos another.
Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon
Beef Bourguignon sure sounds fancy ... but it's really nothing more than French beef stew. And in a crock pot, it couldn’t be simpler. This version from The Recipe Critic has a few extra steps — like searing the beef in the bacon drippings — but it’s all worth the effort. Remember: when choosing a red wine for cooking, it should be something you wouldn't mind drinking. If you don't like the taste by itself, it won't be any better in the stew!
Slow Cooker Korean Beef
Look, it’s Beef Bourguignon, but Korean! By switching the flavor profile but keeping the technique, you get a super easy slow cooker recipe with Asian flair. Serve with rice for an easy weeknight meal.
Crock-Pot Pepperoncini Pot Roast
I’ve loved this Mississippi roast recipe ever since I first saw a version of it in The New York Times. This classic, four-ingredient recipe, from A Fork's Tale, is comfort food at its best. try it with your favorite mashed or baked potato recipe for a meal that will stick to your bones.
Slow Cooker Golden Lentil Soup (Vegan)
Vegetarians and vegans, do not fear — the crock pot is here for you, too. Veggie chilis are an obvious choice, but recipes like this golden lentil soup from Dishing Out Health make things more interesting with its Indian flavor profile and heart-healthy kale. The recipe list may seem long, but each element packs in flavor or nutrients — or both.
Crock Pot Apple Cinnamon Roll Casserole
It’s not all beef and beans, folks — and this sweet little dessert recipe proves that. Buy some premade cinnamon rolls and you're more than halfway there.
Crock Pot Pecan Pie
For those of us who are insecure bakers, a crock pot pecan pie recipe is a godsend. It’s not the prettiest dessert in town, but it is one of the easiest and most delicious.
Want more? Search Yummly for thousands of new recipes for crockpot meals.