Slow cookers or Crock-Pots have been around since the 1970s and achieved popularity because women entering the workforce could set the Crock Pot to start cooking dinner in the morning before going to work.
15 Outrageously Delicious Crock Pot Recipes
The prolonged cooking in Crock Pots also turns tough and cheap cuts of meat into a savory meal when combined with slow-cooked vegetables.
And the low temperature of slow-cooking makes it almost impossible to burn food even if cooked too long.
So why not break out that Crock Pot and try something new this week by cooking up one of these 15 great recipes:
Breakfast Burrito Filling
Make this easy breakfast at home using your old and trusty crock pot.
Serve in a large tortilla with your favorite breakfast burrito toppings.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 4
1¼ pounds lean boneless pork, cubed
12 ounces diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 small onion, diced
1 jalapeño, diced
½ teaspoon ground chipotle
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground jalapeño
2 cloves garlic, minced
Place all ingredients into a 2-quart slow cooker. Stir. Cook on low for 8 hours. Stir before serving.
Sweet and Sour Crock Pot Chicken
2 Tablespoons ketchup
1 cup of water
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts (boneless skinless, cubed)
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons water
1. Combine first 5 ingredients in the crock pot and mix well.
2. Add chicken and cook on low for 6-8 hours OR on high for 3-4 hours.
3. At the end of the cooking time, combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Stir into the slow cooker, mixing well to avoid lumps.
4. Cook on high setting for an additional 15-20 minutes, stirring often until thickened.
Crock Pot Carnitas
Pork is actually a great source of lean protein, as long as you don’t fry or bread it. This slow cooker recipe is a delicious and easy way to enjoy it for dinner.
2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 bottle (12 ounces) beer
Juice of 1 orange
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1. Place pork cubes and onion in the crock pot and pour beer and orange juice over top. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.
2. Removed cooked pork from juices and set aside. Once cool, shred pork using a fork or your fingers.
3. Add remaining ingredients except vegetable oil to a blender, cover, and puree until well blended.
4. In a large sauté pan, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add pork and sauté to crisp up some of the edges. Spoon or pour in as much sauce as you would like. Continue to cook until sauce is heated through. Serve with corn tortillas, tomatoes, queso fresco, and guacamole.
Two Bean Beef Crock Pot Chili
1 lb ground beef
2 cans precooked beans of choice, drained
3 to 4 cans diced canned tomatoes with liquid (or plain tomato sauce, or a mixture of both)
1 large white onion, diced
1 TBSP olive oil
Salt + pepper to taste
Cumin to taste, approx. 2 teaspoons or to taste
Chili powder to taste (approx. 1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon sugar, optional
Garlic powder to taste
Garlic salt, optional
Cayenne pepper, approx. 1/2 teaspoon or to taste
In a nonstick skillet, cook onions in olive oil until softened; add to crock pot. *Important to cook down onions before adding in tomatoes which could hamper cooking.
Add in all other ingredients, break the beef up with a spoon; cook on medium-high for 4-6 hours or until beef is cooked thoroughly. Stir every so often.
Makes approx. 8-12 servings. I love no-fuss meals that yield lots of leftovers. Crockpot (slow cooker) recipes are fantastic, especially in warmer weather when you don’t want to heat up the house with the oven or stove top. Set it and forget it, then marvel in its efficiency when you chomp down.
Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls
Love cabbage rolls but don’t love all the work involved with preparing them. Use your slow cooker with this simple recipe.
1 large head cabbage
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
¾ cup quick-cooking rice
½ cup chopped green pepper
½ cup crushed saltines (about 15 crackers)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 ounce onion soup mix
1½ pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
1 (46 ounce) can tomato juice, such as V8
Salt to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese, optional
1. Cook cabbage in boiling water just until leaves fall off head. Set aside 12 large leaves for rolls; drain well.
2. Cut out the thick vein from the bottom of each reserved leaf, making a V-shaped cut; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine the tomato sauce, rice, green pepper, cracker crumbs, egg and soup mix. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.
4. Place about ⅓ cup meat mixture on each cabbage leaf; overlap cut ends of leaf. Fold in sides, beginning from the cut end. Roll up completely to enclose filling. Secure with toothpicks if desired.
5. Place cabbage rolls in a greased 5-quart slow cooker. Pour tomato juice over rolls.
6. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hour. Just before serving, sprinkle with salt and cheese if desired.
South American Slow Cooker Pot Roast
We love that this veggie- and protein-packed meal (28 grams of protein per serving) also includes enzyme-rich pineapple to help you digest the protein and potassium-packed coconut milk. It’s the perfect post-winter-workout meal.
1/4 cup canola oil
2 pounds beef chuck roast (Certified Angus Beef® is recommended)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 jalapeños, chopped
2 medium peppers, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
4 medium radishes, tops removed and cut in half
1 to 2 sweet potatoes, chunked
1 can (8 ounces) pineapple chunks
1 can (14.5 ounces) stewed tomatoes
2 cups frozen corn
1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
Heat oil in frying pan over medium-high heat. Season roast with garlic, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste; brown on both sides. Remove roast from pan; put in a slow cooker with remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low about 8 hours.
Slow-Cooker Cajun Stew
3/4 pound andouille or kielbasa, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1 red onion, sliced into wedges
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1 red or green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups frozen cut okra (from an 8-ounce package), thawed
In a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker, place sausage, onion, garlic, celery, and bell pepper. Sprinkle with flour and toss to coat. Add tomatoes and their liquid, 1/2 cup water, and cayenne; season with salt. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender, 3 1/2 hours on high (or 7 hours on low). Add shrimp and okra, cover, and cook until shrimp are opaque throughout, 30 minutes (or 1 hour on low).
This savory Moroccan-inspired vegetable stew makes a great dinner option (and a great lunch the next day). It’s full of flavor and nutrient-rich veggies like kale, onions, carrots, and garlic.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons coriander
1 cup dried chickpeas
1 can (28 ounces) chopped tomatoes with juice
2 cinnamon sticks
2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 bunch kale, chopped and tough stems removed
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 roast chicken, skinned and boned (optional)
1. Add olive oil, onion, carrots, red pepper, garlic, spices, chickpeas, tomatoes and juice, cinnamon sticks, and chicken broth to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 6 hours.
2. Twenty minutes before serving, when the cooker is just on the “warm” setting, add kale. (This is a good time to prep rice if desired: Add 1 cup basmati rice, 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock, and 1 pinch saffron in a pot, cover, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes). Just before serving, add parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove cinnamon sticks and serve over rice with roasted chicken, if desired.
Chinese Pork & Vegetable Hot Pot
The richly flavored red braises characteristic of Chinese cooking make warming winter meals that can be adapted to a slow cooker. Typically, seasonings of anise, cinnamon, and ginger distinguish these dishes. Pork shoulder becomes meltingly tender during the slow braise. Serve over noodles or brown rice, with stir-fried napa cabbage.
Makes: 6 servings
2 cups baby carrots
2 medium white turnips, (8 ounces total), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch-wide wedges
2 1/4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, (picnic or Boston-butt), trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 bunch scallions, sliced, white and green parts separated
1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons medium or dry sherry, (see Ingredient Note)
4 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2-4 teaspoons Chinese chile-garlic sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 star anise pod, (see Ingredient Note) or 1 teaspoon aniseed
1 cinnamon stick
4 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, (see Ingredient Note) for garnish
MORE HEALTHY RECIPE IDEAS
Low-Calorie Cabbage Recipes
Easy Slow-Cooker Soups and Stews
Hearty Barley Recipes
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Best Diet Recipes of 2012
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Place carrots and turnips in the bottom and up the sides of a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Top with pork and scallion whites. Bring broth, water, soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, ginger, vinegar, chile-garlic sauce to taste and garlic to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour over the pork and vegetables. Nestle star anise pod (or aniseed) and cinnamon stick into the stew. Cover and cook until the pork and vegetables are tender, 3 to 3 1/2 hours on high or 5 1/2 to 6 hours on low.
Discard the star anise pod and cinnamon stick. Skim or blot any visible fat from the surface of the stew. Add the cornstarch mixture, cover and cook on high, stirring 2 or 3 times, until slightly thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve sprinkled with scallion greens and sesame seeds.
Healthy Crock Pot Chicken Stroganoff
Have you ever tried to make a light, boneless-skinless, chicken dish in your crockpot only to end up with a dried out, inedible chunk of meat by the time you’re ready to eat? I had pretty much given up on trying to make anything except barbecue chicken drummies in my crockpot…and then I learned a little secret.
Cooking lean chicken pieces in yogurt all day will keep them tender. It’s the acids in the yogurt that work their magic by tenderizing the meat. I LOVE using yogurt as the base of chicken marinades for grilling too.
This particular yogurt chicken dish is so flavorful, you almost forget you’re eating healthy. I use to make it with Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup, but I try not to use anything that contains MSG in our meals anymore.
I’ve substituted Amy’s organic cream of mushroom soup for the Campbell’s and I actually like it more. Serve your stroganoff over skin-on baked potatoes, white or brown rice, egg noodles or spaetzle for a warm, comforting family dinner. Wonderful with steamed veggies or a crispy green salad.
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can Amy’s Cream of Mushroom Soup
16 oz. whole milk plain yogurt
2 Tablespoons dry, minced onion
2 MSG-free beef or chicken bouillon cubes
1 large clove minced garlic OR 1 teaspoon garlic powder
16 oz. chopped, fresh mushrooms or your choice (we love baby bellas)
1/2 cup dry white wine
freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh or dry parsley for garnish
Put fresh or frozen, boneless-skinless chicken breasts in the bottom of a big crock pot. Mix remaining ingredients, except for the parsley, pour over chicken and cover. Cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. Salt to taste. Serve on noodles, potatoes, spaetzle dumplings or rice. Garnish with parsley. Delicious paired with a glass of pinot grigio.
Barbecue Beef Stew
2 pounds beef stew meat
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 medium green peppers, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cups beef stock
1 can (8 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 can (4 ounces) sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
1. Saute onion, pepper, and garlic in olive oil.
2. Add salt, pepper, beef stock, tomatoes, mushrooms, and barbecue sauce.
3. Immediately transfer to crockpot, add stew meat (stir to coat the meat with the sauce) and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
4. Mix cornstarch and cold water add to the stew to thicken before serving. Serve with crusty buttered rolls.
Moroccan-Style Lamb Shanks
The dramatic presentation of Moroccan-style lamb shanks with its massive bones always seem to elicit a “wow! ” at the dinner table. Using a slow cooker makes getting to that point super simple.
Moroccan lamb just never seems complete without preserved lemons, but those take days for the salt to do its magic. This quick-preserve method I learned from Mark Bittman significantly cuts the time: the diced lemon preserves while your lamb is cooking. Note: You’ll stir in the preserved lemons at the lamb’s halfway point.
Searing the lamb shanks and sauteing the vegetables before adding them to the slow cooker gives the dish more depth of flavor, but they’re not essential steps. I skip them when I’m short on time, and the dish turns out beautifully. But what I always do is remove the silvery, tough membrane covering the lamb shanks. Because the membrane is so tough and thin, use a combination of your fingers and kitchen shears to do the job.
While this recipe serves two, you can add lamb shoulder meat (1 pound cut into 2-inch chunks) for two additional servings without changing the rest of the recipe. Most slow cookers are not big enough to handle much more than two whole bone-in lamb shanks. You’ll just have to fight over which two people get the bone!
1 whole lemon, diced (do not peel)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 whole lamb shanks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup whole olives, drained
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 cup golden raisins
1. To make the quick-preserved lemon, combine diced lemon, sugar and salt. Mix well and let sit at room temperature while you continue with recipe.
2. Remove as much of the tough, silvery membrane from the lamb shanks as possible.Season all over with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in frying pan and sear lamb shanks on all sides, about 7 minutes total. Remove lamb shanks and return pan to stove on medium-low heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic.
Saute for 2 minutes and then add to slow cooker. Pour the diced tomatoes, water, garbanzo beans, olives, cinnamon sticks, salt, cumin and coriander into the slow cooker and mix well. Add the lamb shanks and spoon some of the vegetable mixture over them. Turn slow cooker on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
3. Halfway through cooking, stir in the raisins and half of the preserved lemons. (Store the remaining preserved lemons in the refrigerator for another use.)
Mamma Mia Italian Meat Loaf
8 ounces Italian-style tomato sauce, divided
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/3 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1 cup shredded Asiago cheese, about 6 ounces
1. Reserve 1/3 cup tomato sauce; refrigerate. Combine remaining tomato sauce and egg in large bowl.
2. Stir in onion, bell pepper, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and black pepper.
3. Add ground beef and pork; mix well and shape into a loaf.
4. Carefully transfer meat loaf to slow cooker. Cover; cook on low 8 to 10 hours.
5. Spread meat loaf with reserved tomato sauce; sprinkle with Asiago cheese.
6. Cover; cook 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small bag frozen whole kernel corn
2 cups uncooked macaroni
1 can beef broth
3 Tablespoons chili seasoning
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
1. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and onion.
2. Add the remaining ingredients, except cheese, to the skillet and mix well.
3. Immediately pour the mixture into the crockpot and cook for 3 1/2 hours on low.
4. When the goulash is done, sprinkle cheddar cheese evenly over top before serving.
South of the Border Tamale Pie
2 pounds lean ground beef
2 Tablespoons chili seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) stewed tomatoes, cut-up
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) kidney beans , drained and rinsed
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chiles
1/2 cup water
Cornbread Topping Ingredients:
1 box (8 1/2 ounces) corn muffin mix
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1. Brown ground beef in large skillet on medium-high heat; drain.
2. Place ground beef in the slow cooker. Add chili seasoning, onion powder, stewed tomatoes, kidney beans, chiles, and water. Mix all ingredients well.
3. Cover and cook 8 hours on low, then prepare the cornbread topping.
4. For the cornbread topping, increase the heat setting to high. Prepare corn muffin batter as directed on package.
5. Drop batter by spoonfuls on top of filling in the slow cooker.
6. Cover. Cook 30 minutes longer or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cornbread topping comes out clean. Turn off slow cooker.
7. Sprinkle cornbread topping with cheddar cheese, cover for 5 minutes longer until cheese begins to melt.