Crock Pot Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

This Crock Pot Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs is incredibly easy and a low carb alternative to traditional spaghetti and meatball recipes!

Sometimes I need a quick and healthy recipe that can be thrown together quick. I mean, super quick. This Crock Pot Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs recipe fits the bill, and it only contains three ingredients!

We are huge spaghetti and meatball fans around here, and while my husband and kids will tolerate this spaghetti squash substitute, they don’t prefer it. Sometimes I’ll make a batch of spaghetti noodles for the family and top it with the sauce and meatballs while I enjoy this Crock Pot Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs myself. I love spaghetti squash, so I’m happy when I don’t have to share.

I’ve used both my 6.5-Quart Crock-Pot Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker  and my 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs recipe. (affiliate links)

This Crock Pot Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs is incredibly easy and a low carb alternative to traditional spaghetti and meatball recipes!

Crock Pot Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash, rinsed
  • 1 or 2 jars of your favorite spaghetti sauce
  • 1 lb frozen, fully cooked meatballs (I’ve used pork, chicken, and beef meatballs in this recipe. All winners!)

Now you can add whatever you want to this recipe, like a few garlic cloves to the sauce, or some Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley before serving, but really all you need is the three main players.

Fun fact, I never spell “Parmesan” correctly. Thanks for having my back, spell check!

Instructions

Cut that spaghetti squash in half widthwise. It needs to fit in your slow cooker, and it won’t if you cut it lengthwise.

Scoop out the seeds, and place squash in slow cooker, cut side down.

Giggle because the squash looks like boobs.

This Crock Pot Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs is incredibly easy and a low carb alternative to traditional spaghetti and meatball recipes!

Add meatballs around squash. Any size meatballs are fine, but the smaller ones nestle in around the squash better.

This Crock Pot Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs is incredibly easy and a low carb alternative to traditional spaghetti and meatball recipes!

Pour spaghetti sauce on top of meatballs.

Cover and cook on LOW 6 to 7 hours, or on HIGH 3 to 4 hours.

This Crock Pot Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs is incredibly easy and a low carb alternative to traditional spaghetti and meatball recipes!

Remove lid and let squash cool for a few minutes before removing to a cutting board with kitchen gloves or tongs.

Scrape out squash flesh and place in a colander to allow moisture to drain out.

This Crock Pot Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs is incredibly easy and a low carb alternative to traditional spaghetti and meatball recipes!

Serve squash with meatballs and sauce on top, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley if desired.

Crock Pot Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
You can't go wrong with this quick and easy low carb alternative to traditional spaghetti and meatballs!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash, rinsed
  • 1 or 2 jars favorite spaghetti sauce
  • 1 lb frozen, fully cooked meatballs
Instructions
  1. Cut spaghetti squash in half widthwise.
  2. Scoop out seeds and place cut side down in slow cooker.
  3. Place meatballs around squash.
  4. Pour spaghetti sauce on top of meatballs.
  5. Cover and cook on LOW 6 to 7 hours, or on HIGH 3 to 4 hours.
  6. Remove lid and let squash cool for a few minutes before removing to a cutting board with kitchen gloves or tongs.
  7. Scrape out squash flesh and place in a colander to allow moisture to drain out.
  8. Serve squash with meatballs and sauce on top, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley if desired.


Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff Meatballs

These Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff Meatballs are easy to throw together, and they taste fantastic! If you're looking for an easy dinner idea, my family loves this meatball recipe!

I love meatballs, and my husband loves beef stroganoff, so everyone is happy when I whip up this Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff Meatballs recipe. I especially like that I can throw it together right before the kids get off the bus in the afternoon, and dinner is waiting for us when we get home from whatever evening activity we have that day.

This recipe calls for mushrooms, but you can omit them if you hate mushrooms as much as my husband does. Usually I keep mushrooms out of my recipes because I love my family more than I love mushrooms, but sometimes I think, “You know what? I’m the one cooking, and the husband and kids can pick out the mushrooms every once in a while.” And on those occasions, I happily accept their discarded mushrooms while rolling my eyes at their groans of disgust.

Oh, we have fun around here!

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff Meatballs

These Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff Meatballs are easy to throw together, and they taste fantastic! If you're looking for an easy dinner idea, my family loves this meatball recipe!

 

INGREDIENTS

1 lb frozen beef meatballs

1 16 oz can cream of mushroom soup (or 2 10.5 oz cans if you can’t find the family size at the store)

1 envelope onion soup mix

2/3 cup beef broth

8 oz white mushrooms, sliced

1 cup sour cream

2 TBSP flour (optional)

egg noodles

DIRECTIONS

Place frozen meatballs in slow cooker.

In a medium bowl, combine cream of mushroom soup, onion soup mix, and beef broth, and pour over meatballs.

Gently stir in mushrooms.

Cover and cook on LOW 4 hours.

Stir in sour cream, and if the sauce is too runny, sprinkle in the flour to achieve desired consistency.

Serve over egg noodles prepared to package specifications.

I used my 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker to make these Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff Meatballs. (affiliate link)

These Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff Meatballs are easy to throw together, and they taste fantastic! If you're looking for an easy dinner idea, my family loves this meatball recipe!

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff Meatballs
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff Meatballs recipe is easy to throw together and makes a deliciously hearty dinner!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 lb frozen beef meatballs
  • 1 16 oz can cream of mushroom soup (or 2 10.5 oz cans if you can't find the family size at the store)
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • ⅔ cup beef broth
  • 8 oz white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 TBSP flour (optional)
  • egg noodles
Instructions
  1. Place frozen meatballs in slow cooker.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine cream of mushroom soup, onion soup mix, and beef broth, and pour over meatballs.
  3. Gently stir in mushrooms.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW 4 hours.
  5. Stir in sour cream, and if the sauce is too runny, sprinkle in the flour to achieve desired consistency.
  6. Serve over egg noodles prepared to package specifications.


Crock Pot Chicken Ranch Tacos

Whip up dinner in no time with this easy Crockpot Chicken Ranch Tacos recipe! Your family will love how it tastes, and you'll love how quick and easy it is to prepare.

My favorite recipes fit three criteria: they are easy, they are versatile, and my family will eat them without complaint. This Crock Pot Chicken Ranch Tacos recipe checks all of those boxes, making it a winner at our house.

I have several versions of slow cooker shredded chicken recipes because I love chicken, and I love easy recipes that can be tailored to multiple dishes. There is my basic shredded chicken, the ever popular Mississippi Chicken, and this tasty Buffalo chicken slider recipe.

Sometimes when I make shredded slow cooker chicken, I throw a slotted spoon in the slow cooker and put out whatever fixings I have on hand, like corn tortillas, flour tortillas, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, salsa, olives, or black beans, and let my family go to town. Often, everyone will make something different, which is totally fine by me.

My kids are eight and ten, and I’ve spent many years teaching and encouraging them to be self-sufficient, and it’s really paying off these days. I mean, sure, there is always food on the floor and scattered around the counter, but they’re still a work in progress.

I could write all day about how important I think it is to teach kids at an early age to do things for themselves, and my essay in my newest book, But Did You Die?, is all about this very topic. If setting the parenting bar low is your style, if you just like to laugh, or if you want to read how my lazy parenting is actually paying off, the latest installment in the New York Times bestselling I Just Want to Pee Alone series is for you!

You can throw this Crock Pot Chicken Ranch Tacos recipe together and relax with one of my funny books while your slow cooker does all the work. Winner, winner, easy chicken for dinner!

The cast of characters:

  • 4 chicken breasts (approx. 2 lbs)
  • 1 (1.25 oz) packet taco seasoning (or 1/4 cup taco seasoning if you have a big ol’ container like I do)
  • 1 (1 oz) packet ranch dressing mix
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
  • 1 small onion, diced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/2 cup water

Whip up dinner in no time with this easy Crockpot Chicken Ranch Tacos recipe! Your family will love how it tastes, and you'll love how quick and easy it is to prepare.

1 Place the chicken in the slow cooker. A regular oval Crock Pot is great, but I like to use my casserole-sized Crock Pot whenever I have the chance because I think it’s adorable.

Whip up dinner in no time with this easy Crockpot Chicken Ranch Tacos recipe! Your family will love how it tastes, and you'll love how quick and easy it is to prepare.

2. Sprinkle taco seasoning on chicken.

Whip up dinner in no time with this easy Crockpot Chicken Ranch Tacos recipe! Your family will love how it tastes, and you'll love how quick and easy it is to prepare.

3. Do the same with the ranch packet.

Whip up dinner in no time with this easy Crockpot Chicken Ranch Tacos recipe! Your family will love how it tastes, and you'll love how quick and easy it is to prepare.

4. Add diced onion.

Whip up dinner in no time with this easy Crockpot Chicken Ranch Tacos recipe! Your family will love how it tastes, and you'll love how quick and easy it is to prepare.

5. And diced green chiles.

Whip up dinner in no time with this easy Crockpot Chicken Ranch Tacos recipe! Your family will love how it tastes, and you'll love how quick and easy it is to prepare.

6. Finish with 1/2 cup water. The chicken breasts need a little liquid because they won’t release much liquid when cooking. I put the water around the chicken, rather than on top, so the spices have a chance to cook into the chicken.

Whip up dinner in no time with this easy Crockpot Chicken Ranch Tacos recipe! Your family will love how it tastes, and you'll love how quick and easy it is to prepare.

7. Cover and cook on low for about 5 hours, or until chicken shred easily.

Whip up dinner in no time with this easy Crockpot Chicken Ranch Tacos recipe! Your family will love how it tastes, and you'll love how quick and easy it is to prepare.

8. Shred chicken in slow cooker with two forks. Sneak a few bites of tasty chicken. Cover and cook another 30 minutes or so. If there is too much liquid, leave lid off for the last half hour.

9. Serve in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, on nachos, over rice, or on top of a salad. You could even put it on a bun for a chicken ranch taco sandwich! Really, the options are endless, which is one of my favorite things about slow cooker shredded chicken.

On this day, my 10 year old son and I had chicken tacos, my daughter had a bowl of chicken with cheese and sour cream, my husband had a chicken and black bean burrito, and we used the leftovers to make a chicken quesadilla. I’ll bet the leftovers, if you have any, would be excellent in a chicken soup!

Whip up dinner in no time with this easy Crockpot Chicken Ranch Tacos recipe! Your family will love how it tastes, and you'll love how quick and easy it is to prepare.

Crock Pot Chicken Ranch Tacos
 
Prep time
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This chicken is great in a taco, but also tastes fantastic over rice, on a salad, or on a bun!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (approx. 1.5 - 2 lbs)
  • 1 (1.25 oz) packet taco seasoning
  • 1 (1 oz) packet ranch dressing
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • ½ cup water
Instructions
  1. Place chicken in slow cooker.
  2. Sprinkle taco seasoning and ranch dressing mix on top of chicken.
  3. Top with diced green chilies and diced onion.
  4. Add water to slow cooker.
  5. Cover and cook on LOW 5 hours, or until chicken shreds easily.
  6. Shred chicken, recover, and allow chicken cook for about 30 more minutes. If your slow cooker has too much liquid in it at this point, leave the lid off that last half hour.
  7. Use in tacos, on a salad, or over rice!


Crock Pot Greek Stuffed Chicken

 This Crockpot Greek Stuffed Chicken recipe is beautiful, healthy, and full of deliciously complex flavors!

I knew I was going to like this Crock Pot Greek Stuffed Chicken recipe. I mean, what’s not to like? It’s pretty, it’s healthy, and I love all of the ingredients that make up the filling. I also knew my kids would hate it. It has grown-up flavors like roasted peppers and artichoke hearts, and I suspected my kids would probably end up eating cereal.

I was wrong, and the kids both ate this without complaint! Oh, man. Sometimes I really love being wrong. The kids split a breast because they were pretty big, and we had almost enough for leftovers the next night. Things have been like that around here lately. My kids, at eight and ten, are eating like little adults, and any “leftover” nights are a few different meals cobbled together. I like that, though. It feels like I’m at a buffet. Last week I ate a deviled egg, two meatballs, a tiny sandwich, and slice of pizza for dinner, and I loved every second of it.

On the first night, I served my Crock Pot Greek Stuffed Chicken with salad and crusty bread. On the second, it was paired with some Crock Pot Little Smokies and a bowl of cereal.

I used my 6.5-Quart Crock-Pot Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Greek Stuffed Chicken.

This Crockpot Greek Stuffed Chicken recipe is beautiful, healthy, and full of deliciously complex flavors!

Crock Pot Greek Stuffed Chicken Breasts

INGREDIENTS

3 cups fresh spinach, finely chopped
1/4 cup sliced olives, black or Kalamata
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
1 cup chopped artichoke hearts
4 oz. feta cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast (aprox. 4-6 chicken breasts)
Salt and pepper

This Crockpot Greek Stuffed Chicken recipe is beautiful, healthy, and full of deliciously complex flavors!DIRECTIONS

Combine spinach, olives, peppers, artichoke hearts, feta, oregano, and garlic powder in a bowl and set aside.

This Crockpot Greek Stuffed Chicken recipe is beautiful, healthy, and full of deliciously complex flavors!

Pour the chicken broth in the bottom of the slow cooker.

With a small, sharp knife make a deep cut in the chicken breasts to create a pocket. This can be either in the center, or in the middle of the thick side, which is what I did. Be careful not to cut through the chicken.

This Crockpot Greek Stuffed Chicken recipe is beautiful, healthy, and full of deliciously complex flavors!

Season chicken breast well with salt and pepper.

Stuff the chicken breasts with the mixture from the bowl.

This Crockpot Greek Stuffed Chicken recipe is beautiful, healthy, and full of deliciously complex flavors!

Add stuffed chicken to a 6 or 6.5 quart slow cooker. The cut side should be facing up so the filling doesn’t fall out. Your slow cooker will be pretty full, which will help keep the chicken upright.

Cook on LOW for 4 to 6 hours, or until chicken is fully cooked.

If desired, reduce remaining liquid by straining it into a saucepan and simmering until thickened. Drizzle reduced sauce over chicken before serving.

FEEDBACK

Linda
This was a really yummy, and a unique crockpot flavor! I used fresh herbs, which were really good. I made a very tasty reduction sauce with the extra liquid when it was done cooking. It was also very attractive to serve!

Kim
We really loved this meal. The flavor was GREAT and a nice departure from typical crock pot recipes. The only change I made was using Kalamata olives instead if regular- I tend to think their stronger flavor works better in Greek style dishes. Even though it’s chock full of veggies, my 2yo gobbled up this dish. It’s more labor intensive than most dishes we’ve done, but not difficult and definitely worth the effort. The best part? It’s a 6 pt weight watcher- friendly meal. Bonus tip: Try these yummy Greek-style potatoes as a side dish. They’re a perfect compliment!

Sarah
If you have a newborn this recipe is probably not for you. It is a little time consuming, and when you’re stuffing raw chicken it isn’t easy to take a break to put a pacifier in your crying baby’s mouth. I will, however, look forward to making this again in 4-6 months. The flavors were great and I loved how it was so different from most crock pot meals. I didn’t add any of the chicken stock and didn’t think it was lacking any flavor.

Me
We all liked this dish, and I still can’t believe the kids ate so much! This would be a good recipe for company because it looks like you worked super hard, when really you spent 20 minutes on it, and then watched a Parks and Recreation. Maybe.

 

Crock Pot Greek Stuffed Chicken
 
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Crock Pot Greek Stuffed Chicken is beautiful, healthy, and delicious!
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup sliced olives, black or Kalamata
  • ½ cup roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped artichoke hearts
  • 4 oz. feta cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast (4-6 chicken breasts)
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine spinach, olives, peppers, artichoke hearts, feta, oregano, and garlic powder in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Pour the chicken broth in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  3. With a small, sharp knife make a deep cut in the chicken breasts to create a pocket. This can be either in the center, or in the middle of the thick side. Be careful not to cut through the chicken.
  4. Season chicken breast well with salt and pepper.
  5. Stuff the chicken breasts with the mixture from the bowl.
  6. Add stuffed chicken to a 6 or 6.5 quart slow cooker. The cut side should be facing up so the filling doesn't fall out. Your slow cooker will be pretty full, which will help keep the chicken upright.
  7. Cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours, or until chicken is fully cooked.
  8. If desired, reduce remaining liquid by straining it into a saucepan and simmering until thickened. Drizzle reduced sauce over chicken before serving.

 


Crock Pot Madras Lentils

These Crock Pot Madras Lentils are inexpensive, easy, and delicious! If you like Tasty Bite Madras Lentils, you have to try this homemade crockpot alternative!

My seven-year-old daughter is a pretty healthy eater. She’s crazy about vegetables and she likes lean protein. I mean, she loves candy and chips and all of the other garbage food, too,but if she gets a “treat” at the grocery store, her choice is usually a can of green beans. She doesn’t get her admirable eating habits from either of her parents, that’s for sure.

Her current obsession is these Tasty Bite Madras Lentils. They are super convenient, and she can cook them herself in the microwave safe pouch, which she would do for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if we let her. The problem is, they aren’t cheap. These Indian lentils cost between $3 and $4 a pouch at our local grocery store, and my girl demolishes an entire pouch herself.

My daughter’s current obsession.

While I’ll always have Tasty Bite Madras Lentils in my pantry for convenient meals, I wanted to try to recreate the recipe in my slow cooker to save a few bucks. I can freeze them in portions to pull out and serve them alone, over rice, mixed with macaroni and cheese (my nine-year-old son’s favorite), or mixed with rice in a tortilla. Madras Lentils can even be mixed with cream cheese or Velveeta for a quick, easy, and super unhealthy dip.

You guys! I’m so happy with how these turned out! This Crock Pot Madras Lentil recipe did not disappoint. It was easy to whip up, and it made a good amount of lentils. My girl happily ate three bowls of it the first night, and her brother did the same. Honestly, I’m shocked they didn’t get bellyaches from all those beans. We did such good work on the Crock Pot Madras Lentils, I didn’t get a chance to freeze any.

I guess I need to make another batch!

I used my 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Madras Lentils recipe.

These Crockpot Madras Lentils are inexpensive, easy, and delicious! If you like Tasty Bite Madras Lentils, you have to try this homemade alternative!

Crock Pot Madras Lentils

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb dried lentils
1 4 oz can diced green chilis
1 15 oz can small red kidney beans
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 medium onion, minced
6 cups beef or vegetable broth
1 TBSP chili powder
1 TBSP cumin
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients EXCEPT HEAVY CREAM in slow cooker and stir to combine.
Cover and cook on LOW 4 to 5 hours.
Stir in heavy cream.
Using an immersion blender (or a blender or food processor in batches), puree until to desired thickness.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve alone or over rice, and top with cheese and/or sour cream.

Crock Pot Madras Lentils
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ lb dried lentils
  • 1 4 oz can diced green chilis
  • 1 15 oz can small red kidney beans
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 6 cups beef or vegetable broth
  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT HEAVY CREAM in slow cooker and stir to combine.
  2. Cover and cook on LOW 4 to 5 hours.
  3. Stir in heavy cream.
  4. Using an immersion blender (or a blender or food processor in batches), puree until to desired thickness.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve alone or over rice, and top with cheese or sour cream.

This post contains affiliate links. Shopping through these links earns me a few pennies to buy my girl more beans.

Crock Pot Appetizers

Parties and holidays are made simple with these delicious Crockpot Appetizers!

I’ve spent the past two weeks celebrating the holidays with family, and it is no exaggeration to say that a slow cooker was used almost every single day. Crock Pots are great for parties and feeding crowds. The dish can be started hours before the event, allowing the host time to clean up, or to shove all of the homeless items into the junk closet, or to binge watch a couple of episodes of Gilmore Girls. You know, important tasks.

New Year’s Eve is coming right up, and Superbowl Sunday is just around the corner, so get that slow cooker of yours to do the hard work for you!

Here are my all-time favorite Crock Pot Party recipes, and I hope you love them, too!

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip

This Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Dip is the perfect balance of spicy, tangy, and creamy, and is perfect for potlucks, parties, and game day! Grab some chips, crackers, and celery sticks and make this easy slow cooker dip soon!

I first made this Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip on Halloween a couple of years ago. We had friends over and I didn’t take a picture so darn it if I didn’t have to make it again. Everyone is happy that it’s been on the menu multiple times since that day. I love to make this in my 3.5-Quart Casserole Crock.

Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Meatballs

These Easy Crockpot Sweet and Sour Meatballs are my go-to appetizer. It's an incredibly easy recipe and everyone loves it!

If you’ve invited me to a party, there is a good chance you’ve had these Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Meatballs. I love them the most; don’t tell the others.

Crock Pot Little Smokies

These Crockpot Little Smokies are perfect appetizers for parties or watching football!

This Crock Pot Little Smokies recipe is my slow cooker take on my husband’s famous recipe.

Crock Pot Grape Jelly Meatballs

These Crockpot Grape Jelly Meatballs are simple, delicious, and the perfect party appetizer! With only a few ingredients, they are so easy!

This is my version of the classic grape jelly and chili sauce recipe. So, so good!

Crock Pot Chex Mix

Traditional Chex Mix in the Crockpot!

I love Chex Mix, therefore I love this Crock Pot Chex Mix recipe.

Crock Pot Orange Marmalade Meatballs

This Crock Pot Orange Marmalade Meatball recipe was created when we were gifted a four pound jar of orange marmalade. Now that I know to make these meatballs, it’s like the gift that keeps on giving!

Crock Pot Seven Layer Dip

This Crockpot Seven Layer Dip is a perfect appetizer for the slow cooker! Crockpot dip recipes are great for bbqs, potlucks, and parties!

Crock Pot Seven Layer dip is warm version of the delicious classic. This is another great recipe to make in my 3.5-Quart Casserole Crock.

This post contains affiliate links.

Parties and holidays are made simple with these delicious Crockpot Appetizers!

Crock Pot Braised Beef Ragu

Crockpot Braised Beef Ragu that is an easy menu idea perfect for a dinner party or just a simple and delicious family-friendly meal! If you have a slow cooker and a beef roast, you can make this!

You know how, despite your best efforts, you get stuck in ruts? For me, mealtime planning can become the ruttiest of ruts, and before I realize it, we’ve eaten spaghetti, tacos, or chicken for weeks. The thing is, it’s easy to make dishes I know everyone will eat, and trying new recipes takes foresight, and often, an extra trip to the store.

I ask you, who has time for that?

Despite my best efforts, it appears we’re becoming “busy” people. My seven-year-old daughter and nine-year-old son are active in scouting, and they both play a sport most seasons. My son participates in our town’s gifted program, which is an after-school commitment, once or twice a week. We haven’t crossed into “over-scheduled” yet, but we’ve got something pretty much every night, and for a homebody like me, that’s a lot.

I don’t want to spend my limited time at home with the kids in the kitchen, even though I enjoy cooking.

That’s one of my favorite things about Crock Pot Thursday. I love that my mother-in-law, my three sisters-in-law, and I take turns choosing our weekly recipe, because we get to try new dishes. I love that my slow cooker is doing the heavy lifting of mealtime while I’m at work, or talking to the kids about their day, or shuttling them around town. I love that my husband, who sometimes works late, still gets a hot meal even when he’s eating two hours later than the rest of us.

This Crock Pot Braised Beef Ragu is a dish that is right up my family’s alley, but is one I probably wouldn’t have chosen on my own, so big thanks to my husband’s sister, Sarah, for picking this winner. I was able to whip it up before work, even though the browning step took a little longer than I would have liked, and resulted in my showing up to work with a messy ponytail. You can skip that step if you’re pressed for time, but I don’t recommend it. The frying of the meat before slow cooking really adds depth of flavor to the dish. It’s worth the messy ponytail is what I’m saying.

Whenever I make the effort to try new recipes, I’m happy I did. I hope you’ll try this one, and I hope it makes your belly as happy as it did ours!

Crock Pot Braised Beef Ragu can be served with pasta, with cornbread, or over polenta. I topped ours with Parmesan cheese and parsley. YUM!

Crockpot Braised Beef Ragu that is an easy menu idea perfect for a dinner party or just a simple and delicious family-friendly meal! If you have a slow cooker and a beef roast, you can make this!

Crock Pot Braised Beef Ragu

Crock Pot Braised Beef Ragu
 
Prep time
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Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2½ to 3 lbs beef roast (rump or round)
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes
  • ½ cup red wine (beef broth can be substituted)
  • 3 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1½ tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper, more to taste
  • Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley for serving.
Instructions
  1. In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add beef roast, and brown on all sides.
  3. Place browned roast in slow cooker, and add remaining ingredients with it.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours, or until beef shreds easily.
  5. Remove beef to cutting board to shred with two forks, and return shredded meat to slow cooker (or you can shred it right in the pot).
  6. Stir shredded meat into sauce, and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Feedback

Linda

This was a real hit. When I took out the meat to shred, I used an immersion blender to smooth the ragu. I served it over cornbread the first night, and the leftovers over egg pappardelle noodles. That was really good also, but the corn flavor did add a great extra zest. I thought this was a great way to use a roast in a new and unique way!

Sarah

Our family ate this with cornbread and thought it was delicious! The flavors were great and it was a yummy way to use a roast!

Me

The flavors of this dish were fantastic! I served mine over noodles, but cornbread sounds great.

Recipe modified from Pinch of Yum.

Crockpot Braised Beef Ragu that is an easy menu idea perfect for a dinner party or just a simple and delicious family-friendly meal! If you have a slow cooker and a beef roast, you can make this!

Crock Pot Nutella Hot Chocolate

This Crockpot Nutella Hot Chocolate will knock your socks off! Perfect for Christmas, holiday parties, or just a chilly day, this slow cooker drink will be a hit!

Every once in a while, I question my parenting abilities. Like last Saturday when I discovered my kids had never tried Nutella. What kind of mother was I to keep that kind of deliciousness from my little ones? Thanks to the rain, soccer had been cancelled, so a quick run to the store was all that was needed to fix this great injustice. Crock Pot Nutella Hot Chocolate was on the menu!

This slow cooker treat is perfect for holiday parties or for a family movie afternoon. We topped ours with whipped cream, but if you wanted to get extra festive, a candy cane or some sprinkles could kick your Crock Pot Nutella Hot Chocolate up a notch.

 I used my 6.5-Quart Crock-Pot Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker (affiliate link) to make this Crock Pot Nutella Hot Chocolate.

This Crockpot Nutella Hot Chocolate will knock your socks off! Perfect for Christmas, holiday parties, or just a chilly day, this slow cooker drink will be a hit!

Crock Pot Nutella Hot Chocolate

Crock Pot Nutella Hot Chocolate
 
Prep time
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Crock Pot Nutella Hot Chocolate is the perfect sweet treat for holiday parties or family movie nights!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 6 cups milk
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup Nutella
Instructions
  1. In slow cooker, combine milk, sweetened condensed milk, unsweetened cocoa, vanilla, and salt. Stir.
  2. Mix in Nutella until mostly combined.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW 2 hours.
  4. Stir again before serving.
  5. Top with whipped cream and enjoy!

 

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Check out more slow cooker drinks!

Crockpot holiday drinks are easy and delicious! Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's will be merrier with these delicious and festive slow cooker drinks!

 

 

Crock Pot Black Beans

I love these Crockpot Black Beans! I put a poached egg on top for breakfast, eat them with a dollop of sour cream for lunch, and pair them with rice, chicken, or tortillas for dinner!

I’m a huge fan of black beans. I love black bean soup, I love black beans in burritos, and I happily eat them on their own or topped with a poached egg. Beans are healthy and inexpensive, so I whip up a batch of Crockpot Black Beans at least once a month.

This recipe is super versatile. Sometimes I dice up a jalapeno for extra spice, and I’ve used both chicken stock and beef stock with success. If you are vegetarian, vegetable stock would work well, too. You can add pretty much whatever spices you favor, and increase or decrease the red pepper to suit your family’s tastes. I’ve made this recipe with and without the bell peppers, and while I love it most with the peppers, it’s delicious without them, too!

For a main dish, top your Crockpot Black Beans with sriracha, cilantro, grated cheese, a squirt of lime, a poached egg, sour cream, green onions, tortilla strips or avocado. These beans are an excellent side dish, too.

You don’t need to soak these beans before cooking, which I absolutely love!

I’ve used both my 6.5-Quart Crock-Pot Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker and my 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker to make this Crockpot Black Beans recipe. If you are doubling the recipe, a 6.5 quart slow cooker will be big enough.

I love these Crockpot Black Beans! I put a poached egg on top for breakfast, eat them with a dollop of sour cream for lunch, and pair them with rice, chicken, or tortillas for dinner!

Crockpot Black Beans

Crockpot Black Beans
 
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These Crockpot Black Beans are versatile, healthy, and inexpensive! You have to try them!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 16 oz bag dried black beans
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 2 cups beef stock (chicken or vegetable stock works, too)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp ground red pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • optional toppings: hot sauce, cilantro, grated cheese, a squirt of lime, sour cream, green onions, avocado, or tortilla strips
Instructions
  1. Rinse and sort black beans, removing any broken beans.
  2. Place beans in slow cooker.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and stir.
  4. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours or LOW 7-8 hours.
  5. Remove bay leaf and enjoy with desired toppings or as a side dish!

 

I love these Crockpot Black Beans! I put a poached egg on top for breakfast, eat them with a dollop of sour cream for lunch, and pair them with rice, chicken, or tortillas for dinner!


Crock Pot Turkey Chili

This Crockpot Turkey Chili is easy, versatile, and delicious!

There are certain meals that I crave when the seasons change, and chili falls solidly in my autumn go-to dishes. It’s hearty, it’s perfect for eating while watching football, and it’s happy to simmer patiently in the slow cooker on busy school nights when soccer practice or Cub Scouts keeps us out late.

One of the great things about this Crock Pot Turkey Chili is how easily it can be adapted to your family’s tastes. You can substitute ground beef for the turkey, and you can use whatever types of canned beans you have on hand. A little bit of diced jalapeno or green chili would be great for people who like a little more heat, or for those households who don’t have to accommodate kid palates.

This Crockpot Turkey Chili is easy, versatile, and delicious!

As it is with many things, the toppings really kick the meal up a notch, so don’t forget all of your favorites for serving!

This Crock Pot Turkey Chili freezes beautifully, which is great for single serving lunches or for dinner when I have nothing planned and we’re out of milk and cereal.

I used my 6.5-Quart Crock-Pot Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Turkey Chili. (affiliate link)

This Crockpot Turkey Chili is easy, versatile, and delicious!

Crock Pot Turkey Chili

Crock Pot Turkey Chili
 
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This Crock Pot Turkey Chili is simple, delicious, and versatile!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1.5 lbs. lean ground turkey (or lean ground beef)
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 29 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • desired toppings
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, brown ground turkey over medium-high heat, breaking it into small pieces as it cooks. Drain fat, and transfer browned turkey to slow cooker.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker, and mix well.
  3. Cover and cook on HIGH 3-4 hours, or LOW 6-7 hours.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste, and serve with whichever toppings you like. Some suggestions are: sour cream, Fritos,hot sauce, shredded cheddar cheese, and fresh cilantro.

Feedback

Linda

Sometimes you need to make a big batch of chili, but this recipe makes a just right amount and is perfect for a cool, Fall Friday night. I used ground beef and tomatoes with green chilies. The spiciness was just perfect, but maybe a little too spicy for kids. I will make this again. It was easy and the ingredients are mostly pantry staples.

Me

My kids ate this happily, partially because the got to put Fritos on top. My husband had to add hot sauce to his to make it spicy enough for his tastes, but he was pleasantly surprised by the flavor because he immediately distrusts anything made from ground turkey. I loved this chili, and wish I would have doubled the recipe so I could have frozen more of it for later.


Crock Pot Sandwiches and Wraps

Easy and delicious Crockpot Sandwiches and Wraps the entire family will love!

I love sandwiches. I love subs and melts and burgers. I love sliders and dips and Reubens. I also love pretty much anything wrapped in a tortilla or pita bread, and lucky for me, my family is a big fan of these types of food, too.

Today I’m sharing some of our favorite Crock Pot sandwiches and wraps, because I’m sure you like easy dinners that are filling and (mostly) healthy, too!

Some of these recipes were originally intended for a different type of meal, like Crock Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs, for example. Sometimes we enjoy Spaghetti and Meatballs one night, and Crock Pot Meatball Subs the next, and sometimes we skip the noodles altogether and jump straight to the messy, delicious subs. The Crock Pot Mississippi Roast Sandwich was born the day after making one of our favorite roasts, the Crock Pot Mississippi Roast. The Crock Pot Pork Loin Sandwich was created in a similar fashion, out of leftovers from Crock Pot Brown Sugar and Balsamic Pork Loin.

Crock Pot sandwiches and wraps are great with a green salad on a hot day, or paired with a cup of soup or French fries on colder days. Top your sandwiches with your favorite cheese and condiments, and enjoy an easy meal your family will love!

Click on any image to go to the recipe.

These Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches have great flavor and the toppings can be tailored to suit your taste buds!

Grab some napkins! These Crockpot Italian Beef Sandwiches make a deliciously messy dinner that is easy to make and fun to personalize! Give this slow cooker beef recipe a try!

Slap some cheese and grilled onions on top of this Crock Pot Mississippi Roast Sandwich and dig in!

This Crockpot Mississippi Roast Sandwich recipe is the most amazing beef to come out of a slow cooker. It is moist, flavorful, and so easy it takes only 5 minutes to prepare. Try this! It will become a dinner you'll LOVE!

Don’t forget the napkins when you grab one of these Crock Pot Chicken Gyros!

These Crockpot Chicken Gyros are a tasty and fun dinner idea the whole family will love!

This Crock Pot Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich may not have Cheese Whiz on it, but it’s a winner in my book!

Try these quick and easy Crockpot Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches recipe for a dinner your family will love!

This Crock Pot Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin sandwich is messy and so, so good!

This Crockpot Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin recipe has excellent flavor, and the leftovers make a great pork loin sandwich!

These Crock Pot Sausage and Peppers are shockingly simple to prepare and the finished product tastes just like food from the fair!

These Crockpot Sausage and Peppers are delicious and super easy to make! Give this dinner recipe a try when you're craving fair food without the cost or the crowds! They are great for parties, picnics, and holiday celebrations, too!

Even my sauerkraut hating husband liked this Crock Pot Reuben Sandwich. It’s a delicious miracle!

The VERY BEST crockpot recipes in one place! You'll love these delicious and easy crockpot recipes, and so will your family!

This Crock Pot Cuban Sandwich is a flavor combination you won’t want to miss! Grill the bread for an extra level of goodness!

This Crockpot Cuban Sandwich recipe is out of this world! The slow cooked pork shoulder pairs perfectly with ham, pickles, cheese, and mustard for a meal you won't soon forget!

I can’t even explain how awesome the cabbage, cilantro, and pork come together in these Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Pork Wraps. Make it! Love it!

These Crockpot Sweet and Sour Pork Wraps will knock your socks off! They are a quick and easy dinner idea for hot days, and are a family favorite!

Yeah, there are two Crock Pot Cheesesteak Sandwiches on this list. That’s how much I love them.

I love this Crockpot Cheesesteak Sandwich recipe! The flavors are incredible!

These Crock Pot Bacon Cheeseburgers are like a perfect combination of Sloppy Joe and bacon burgers. My family loves them!

These delicious Crockpot Bacon Cheeseburgers look like a Sloppy Joe, and taste like a bacon burger! This is a fun crockpot sandwich recipe your family will love!

This Crock Pot Creamy Salsa Chicken recipe is great over rice, but my favorite way to serve it is in a grilled tortilla!

This Crockpot Creamy Salsa Chicken recipe is incredibly easy to throw together, and tastes great! Wrap it in a tortilla or serve it over rice for a quick and easy dinner idea!

This Crock Pot French Dip Subs recipe makes the most tender meat and an incredible au jus for dipping!

These Crockpot French Dip Subs are a family favorite! If you're looking for an easy crockpot recipe that will be loved by both kids and adults, here it is!

We’re having these Crock Pot Meatball Subs for dinner tonight. You want to come over, don’t you?

These Crock Pot Meatball Subs are delicious!

 

 



Easy and delicious Crockpot Sandwiches and Wraps the entire family will love!

Crock Pot Orange Marmalade Meatballs

These Crockpot Orange Marmalade Meatballs are the perfect appetizer for your party or potluck, and they pair well with rice and broccoli for a quick and easy dinner idea!

Let me tell you a little story about Crock Pot Orange Marmalade Meatballs. A while back, my kids got a four pound jar of orange marmalade in the mail. It was after visiting their Grandma and Pappy, where Pappy introduced them to marmalade on toast. They fell in love, and the package that arrived a few weeks after we got home was a way for the West coast grandparents to support their East coast grandkids’ new habit.

Now, let me tell you, a jar of marmalade the size of a child’s head lasts a long time. A really long time. This jar has been staring at me from its perch on my refrigerator shelf for what seems like years, but because I’m super cheap and because orange marmalade lasts about as long as a Twinkie, there was no way I was throwing it out.

I’m glad I kept it, because today I had an epiphany. I COULD MAKE A CROCK POT ORANGE MARMALADE MEATBALL RECIPE. I love meatballs. My love for meatballs is strong and true, and it’s not only the way they taste that draws my affection. Meatballs are a hard-working food. They are great over spaghetti, of course, but they also make outstanding appetizers, taste fantastic in a sandwich, and are delicious with rice or potatoes.

These Crockpot Orange Marmalade Meatballs are the perfect appetizer for your party or potluck, and they pair well with rice and broccoli for a quick and easy dinner idea!

Today I was going to be away from the house all afternoon, and needed to have something ready for my family to eat when we got home from my kids’ baseball game at sevenish. I tossed my Crock Pot Orange Marmalade Meatballs in the slow cooker at three, whipped up some rice to reheat when we got home, and planned on cooking up some frozen broccoli really quick when we walked in the door.

Meatballs, rice, and broccoli all ready in the same amount of time it would take to drive through and grab fast food. I love that my slow cooker helps me feed our family a proper dinner on busy nights. Also, I get my meatballs.

These Crock Pot Orange Marmalade Meatballs are excellent for parties and potlucks, too. If you’ve ever walked into a party carrying a slow cooker, you know how excited people get. Meatballs are my go-to appetizer, and I’m happy to add this recipe in the rotation along with my Crock Pot Grape Jelly Meatballs and the incredibly popular Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Meatball recipe.

I used my 6.5-Quart Crock-Pot Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker to make these Crock Pot Orange Marmalade Meatballs.

These Crockpot Orange Marmalade Meatballs are the perfect appetizer for your party or potluck, and they pair well with rice and broccoli for a quick and easy dinner idea!

Crock Pot Orange Marmalade Meatballs

Crock Pot Orange Marmalade Meatballs
 
Prep time
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Author:
Ingredients
  • 32 ounce bag frozen meatballs
  • 1 12 to 16 ounce jar orange marmalade
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place meatballs in slow cooker.
  2. In a bowl, combine remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Pour orange marmalade sauce over meatballs and stir to coat meatballs with sauce.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW 4 to 5 hours or on HIGH 2 to 3 hours.

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These Crockpot Orange Marmalade Meatballs are the perfect appetizer for your party or potluck, and they pair well with rice and broccoli for a quick and easy dinner idea!

Crock Pot Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup

I love this Crock Pot Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup. Unlike chili or taco soup, which is really more like a dip you eat with a spoon, chicken tortilla soup is a soup. Sure, tons of toppings can be added to it, which my family LOVES, but if I’ve spent the past week eating pizza and drinking beer, I can feel good about my food choices by going easy on the toppings, and enjoying this Crock Pot Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup in all of its delicious glory.

My kids gobbled up this soup one night, and ignored it the next. This has nothing to do with the flavor of the chicken tortilla soup, but is mostly because they cannot be counted on to have any consistent opinions on food unless it’s candy, chips, or peanut butter and jelly. My husband liked it, too, but wished I would have chosen a cooler day to serve it. Who knew he wouldn’t love soup on a 90 degree day? (I did. I knew, but I wanted soup, so there.)

I used my 6.5-Quart Crock-Pot Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup.
Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup1

Crock Pot Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
 
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Author:
Ingredients
  • 1½ - 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ TBSP ground cumin
  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  • 2 cups carrots, diced
  • 1 10 oz bag frozen corn
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • Cilantro, shredded cheese, avocado, sour cream, or tortilla chips for garnish
Instructions
  1. Place chicken breasts in slow cooker, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder.
  2. Top with carrots, corn, onion, and garlic.
  3. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and chicken broth. Stir until combined.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW 6-7 hours, or on HIGH 4-5 hours.
  5. Remove chicken breasts from slow cooker to a cutting board and shred with two forks. Return the meat to the soup and stir well.
  6. Taste before serving and add more spice if desired.
  7. Ladle into bowls and top with your chosen toppings!

 


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This Healthy Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup is easily modified with the veggies and toppings of your choice, and makes for a healthy meal that's big on flavor but not on calories. If you are looking for easy chicken recipes, this is one the entire family will love!

Crock Pot Shepherd’s Pie

This Crock Pot Shepherd's Pie recipe is a hearty dinner your whole family will love! If you're looking for a way to use up those leftover potatoes, this is the dish for you!

My husband loves Shepherd’s Pie, and when we’re out to eat and it’s on the menu he always gives it careful consideration. So he was excited when Crock Pot Shepherd’s Pie was our Crock Pot Thursday pick. I was excited too, because I had a ton of leftover mashed potatoes to use up, and shepherd’s pie calls for mashed taters. For me, mashed potatoes are like pasta, in that I can never make the appropriate amount. I either make way too little, or more often than not, I make enough mashed potatoes to feed the neighborhood. When that happens, I make shepherd’s pie.

I know a true shepherd’s pie calls for lamb, but I used beef because I like it better. You could be a real rebel and even use ground turkey if you wanted! This dish with beef is supposed to be called cottage pie, which I am obviously not doing, and I have no idea what it would be called if ground poultry was used.

This Crock Pot Shepherd's Pie recipe is a hearty dinner your whole family will love! If you're looking for a way to use up those leftover potatoes, this is the dish for you!

Now, I used a bag of frozen mixed veggies that had corn, carrots, peas, and green beans in it, but you can use whatever frozen vegetables you like, or if you’re like me, whichever vegetables your kids will eat.

This Crock Pot Shepherd's Pie recipe is a hearty dinner your whole family will love! If you're looking for a way to use up those leftover potatoes, this is the dish for you!

Crock Pot Shepherd’s Pie

Crock Pot Shepherd's Pie
 
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This Crock Pot Shepherd's Pie is a hearty meal the whole family will love!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 4 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. In a skillet, brown ground beef with onion, garlic, salt, and pepper, until no longer pink. Drain grease.
  2. Add tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce to meat mixture, and stir until combined.
  3. Spray slow cooker liner with cooking spray, and layer ground beef mixture in the bottom.
  4. Next, layer frozen vegetables on top of meat.
  5. Spread mashed potatoes on top of frozen vegetables.
  6. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours.
  7. Sprinkle cheese on top of potatoes. Cover again and cook until cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.

 

Have I told you how much I love my casserole-sized Crock Pot? It’s perfect for dishes like this. I’ve been slow cooking way more casseroles since getting this bad boy. If you don’t have a casserole slow cooker, a trusty oval-shaped one will be just fine for this Crock Pot Shepherd’s Pie, but if you’re a slow cooker fan, you should pick one of these up.

Feedback

Linda

This made a great, hearty, and “comfort food” type dinner. I used my casserole crock pot, so it was not so deep, and the layers were just right. Loved the flavor, and it was very attractive. This made a lot of shepherd’s pie, and every bit of the leftovers were great.

Sarah

Our family enjoyed this easy version of shepherd’s pie. I made extra mashed potatoes a few days before and just put them on top. I thought the recipe I was great. I didn’t have a bag of mixed vegetables and they were about $10.00 at our local grocer so I opted to make my own with a cup of peas, corn, and green beans. It worked great. My only change for next time would be to spice up the beef a little more… I like a flavorful meat base.

Me

Everyone in my family ate this right up, and the kids even ate some of the vegetables! We were able to serve it for dinner two nights, because it’s a pretty hefty recipe.


Crock Pot Creamy Ranch Pork Chops

These Crockpot Creamy Ranch Pork Chops are easy to prepare and will be loved by all. Double this recipe if you expect any leftovers!

Here at Crock Pot Thursday, we favor recipes that aren’t too complicated, and these Crock Pot Creamy Ranch Pork Chops may be one of our easiest slow cooker recipes yet. There is a good chance the ingredients are already in your kitchen, which means you could slap this bad boy together today if you wanted. It is modified from Eat Cake For Dinner and it was exactly what I expected it to be: easy, hearty, and tasty.

The entire family liked it, which meant we didn’t have any leftovers. That is getting to be a problem. My kids are six and nine and I often need to double recipes to have any leftovers. How can bellies that small eat so much food? And how am I going to keep up with those appetites when they are actual big kids? If your kids are real eaters like mine, and you love leftovers like I do, double this recipe. You don’t want the kids hollering when Daddy sneaks a bite of their pork chops. Not that that happened here. No siree.

I used my 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker to make these Crock Pot Creamy Ranch Pork Chops.

These Crockpot Creamy Ranch Pork Chops are easy to prepare and will be loved by all. Double this recipe if you expect any leftovers!

Crock Pot Creamy Ranch Pork Chops

Crock Pot Creamy Ranch Pork Chops
 
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These Crock Pot Creamy Ranch Pork Chops are great over noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes!
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 thick cut pork chops, boneless or bone-in
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 package dry ranch dressing mix
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • splash of chicken broth
  • pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Plop those pork chops in the slow cooker.
  2. Give them some pepper, but NO SALT. This dish is plenty salty already.
  3. Mix the rest of the ingredients, and pour over the chops.
  4. Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 6-7 hours.
  5. Serve over rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes.

 

Feedback

Sarah
I served mine over rice with a side of broccoli. It had good flavor and was very easy. My 22 month old liked it and my husband thought it was very good.

Linda
I used bone-in pork chops, and they stayed really moist. I would maybe add some tarragon. I served it with mashed potatoes and asparagus.

Stephanie
It is definitely a repeater! Pork chops plus ranch equals 3 full bellies. We served the chops over noodles instead of rice because our little guy likes to feed himself and noodles are easier to pick up off the floor and don’t get stuck in his neck rolls as easy. This crock was yummy for sure, but the true bonuses of this recipe are that the ingredients are easy to have on hand and there is no prep involved. Thumbs up!

Kim
This was definitely quick and easy, and we made no modifications to the original recipe. We first served our pork chops with rice because that’s what the author recommended. We all thought it was pretty good, but knew immediately the dish would be so much better with mashed potatoes! So we made those with our left overs the next day and it was a hit. The gravy is really good. This one goes in the repeat recipe box, but with a note that potatoes are a must in our humble opinions.

Me 
This dinner was a hit! I sure wish we had some leftovers.


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Over 100 tested and reviewed family-friendly Crock Pot recipes in one place!

Crock Pot Picadillo

This Crockpot Picadillo has the most delicious flavor and is excellent over rice, on a bun, or as a lower calorie main dish!

Guys, this Crock Pot Picadillo recipe is so delicious. My entire family loved it, and my 3rd grade son even asked for the leftovers in his thermos for lunch the next day.

Picadillo is a traditional Spanish and Latin American dish that until now I didn’t even know I needed in my life. It’s kind of like a complex Sloppy Joe dish, but more flavorful and grown-up. It’s great on its own, but is also excellent on buns, over rice, over potatoes, or served in a tortilla.

I need to make it again to try all of the serving options, since we went crazy on it the first night, and it didn’t last nearly as long as I expected it to. This is happening more frequently around here. My kids are only nine and seven, but their appetites rival an adult’s these days. How do you people with teenagers afford to feed them?!

This recipe calls for alcaparrado, which is green olives, pimentos, and capers in a small jar. At my grocery store it was housed near the olives and pickles and such. If you like, you can just use green olives, but I really liked the added depth of the alcaparrado.

I used my 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Picadillo.

(This post contains affiliate links.)

 

This Crockpot Picadillo has the most delicious flavor and is excellent over rice, on a bun, or as a lower calorie main dish!

Crock Pot Picadillo

Crock Pot Picadillo
 
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This Crock Pot Picadillo is low on calories and big on incredible flavor!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2½ lbs 93% lean ground beef
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • ¼ cup drained alcaparrado (olives, pimientos and capers) or pitted green olives
  • 1 TBSP of the brine from the alcaparrado or olives
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 bay leaves
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add ground beef and season with salt and a few shakes of black pepper. Brown the beef, breaking into small chunks as it cooks.
  2. When the beef is brown, drain the fat and add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook about 4 minutes, or until fragrant.
  3. Transfer the mixture to slow cooker, and add cilantro, tomato, alcaparrado (or olives), tomato sauce, cumin, garlic powder, bay leaves, and 1½ cups water. Stir until combined.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW 6 to 8 hours, or on HIGH 3 to 4 hours.
  5. Remove bay leaves, and add more salt or pepper as needed. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Feedback

Me

This is delicious! It kind of tastes like grown-up Sloppy Joes, but more complex. I topped mine with fresh cilantro, and served it with cornbread. YUM.

Kim

Agreed! I was thinking kind of like a modified chili but I like the Sloppy Joes description better. We served over baked potato and really enjoyed it, and all but 1/3 of the kids scarfed it up. We went ahead and used 3 lbs of beef since I didn’t want to leave a 1/2 lb stranded and then just upped the other ingredients as necessary. Made plenty for two whole meals plus several lunches consisting of Sloppy Joe-style sandwiches.

Linda

I really liked this more complex taste of sloppy joes. It was very pretty with the green olives, and had great flavor–and it is fairly light on the calories!! I would make it again. The cilantro is a must add–it really finishes the taste.

Sarah

This was simple and easy to put together. Our whole family ate it without hesitation and we all thought that while it resembled a Sloppy Joe, the flavor was better and not as sweet. I served it on buns and it tasted great!


Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches

Grab some napkins! These Crockpot Italian Beef Sandwiches make a deliciously messy dinner that is easy to make and fun to personalize! Give this slow cooker beef recipe a try!

We love a sandwich around here. My husband and kids eat a sandwich almost every day for lunch, and if I had the metabolism of a child or a man, I pack a sandwich in my lunch, too. My affection for sandwiches runs deep, like Joey Tribbiani from Friends deep.

joey tribbiani

And the messier the sandwich, the more I adore it. Meatball subs are my first love, but I go crazy for French dip sandwiches, too. You can probably imagine my excitement when I saw this Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwich recipe was picked for Crock Pot Thursday.

For some reason, though, while this tasty recipe was picked way back in October, I never actually made it. October was forever ago, so I have no recollection as to the circumstances that kept my family and me from this sandwichy goodness, but fate can only keep me from a sandwich for so long, and here we are. Together at last.

The beef had great flavor and the toppings add a wonderful layer of complexity. I poured the liquid from the slow cooker into a saucepan and mixed it with an au jus envelope to dip the sandwiches in.

Winner, winner, sandwiches for dinner!

 

Grab some napkins! These Crockpot Italian Beef Sandwiches make a deliciously messy dinner that is easy to make and fun to personalize! Give this slow cooker beef recipe a try!

 

I used my 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker to make these Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches.

Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches

Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches
 
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Grab some napkins! These sandwiches are as messy as they are delicious!
Author:
Serves: 10-12 sandwiches
Ingredients
  • 4 - pound boneless beef sirloin or beef rump roast, cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 envelope Italian dry salad dressing mix
  • 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning, crushed
  • ½ to 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • your favorite sandwich rolls
  • 1½ cups shredded Italian blend cheeses (about 6 oz)
  • possible topping options include: pickles, sliced onion, sliced pepperoncini and/or roasted red sweet pepper strips
Instructions
  1. Place beef in slow cooker.
  2. In a small bowl combine water, salad dressing mix, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper and garlic powder and pour over beef in slow cooker.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 9 hours or on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours.
  4. Remove meat from cooker with a slotted spoon. Using two forks, shred the meat.
  5. Pile meat in rolls, and if desired, sprinkle with cheese and broil to melt cheese.
  6. Drizzle each sandwich with some of the strained juices, and top sandwiches with desired toppings.
  7. The leftover juices make excellent dipping sauce!

Feedback

Kim

These sandwiches were tasty. Don’t skimp on the pepperoncinis – they really make the sandwich. The spices and resulting jus were great, just wish there was more to accompany our leftovers. Our 5yo loved this, our 2yo not so much. We will have a third night with this meat, and I’m going to use it to make a ragu-style sauce over pasta.

Linda

This made a spicy, yummy, huge amount of shredded beef. We made it into the Italian sandwiches one night, French Dips another night, and had it like a roast beef dinner with mashed potatoes the first night. The red pepper flakes added a really good spiciness. I also made my own Italian spice mixture, and used a whole roast, not pieces. I loved all the different ways to go with this recipe.

Sarah

I ate the roast over potatoes and I just gotta say… oh, my gosh! I’m not ready to say this is better than Mississippi Roast but it’s pretty darn close! The flavors were amazing! It is easy and our meat turned out super tender and juicy. I was hoping there would be enough meat leftover to have sandwiches tomorrow but it was so good it is all gone! Kids and Adults will LOVE this recipe!

Me

These sandwiches were good, and the variety of toppings made them fun. I used 1/2 tsp rosemary, 1/2 tsp basil, 1/2 tsp oregano, and 1/2 tsp thyme in place of the Italian seasoning because I didn’t want to buy Italian seasoning for only 2 teaspoons.


Crock Pot Butternut Squash Tortellini

You will not believe how creamy and delicious this Crockpot Butternut Squash Tortellini recipe tastes!
Sometimes I make something I just know my kids will love, and I’m congratulating myself on preparing a winner before dinner is even on the table. Sometimes, those kids of mine will decide before even trying that tasty dinner that they don’t like it.

It’s maddening, I tell you. MADDENING.

I tell them, “No, you like this! It’s so good!” Or I try some reverse psychology with the classic, “I’m glad you won’t eat it. More for me.”

Many times my eight-year-old son will come around after his obligatory three bite minimum, but his six-year-old sister digs in her heels and ends up eating whatever she can scavenge from the kitchen.

You will not believe how creamy and delicious this Crockpot Butternut Squash Tortellini recipe tastes!

That’s what happened with this delicious and creamy Crock Pot Butternut Squash Tortellini. My husband and I really dug it, the boy resisted it initially, and the girl only let three tiny bites pass her lips. She’s missing out.

You won’t believe how amazing this dish is. I could eat it it for every meal, and maybe I have been. Using only 4 ounces of cream cheese, and light cream cheese at that, means this decadent sauce is way fewer calories than you’d think, and I can’t wait to try the butternut squash sauce over chicken, or on top of veggies.

I used my 6.5-Quart Crock-Pot Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Butternut Squash Tortellini.

You will not believe how creamy and delicious this Crockpot Butternut Squash Tortellini recipe tastes!

Crock Pot Butternut Squash Tortellini

Crock Pot Butternut Squash Tortellini
 
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This creamy and delicious Crock Pot Butternut Squash Tortellini will knock your socks off!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds peeled and cubed butternut squash (approx. 4 cups)
  • ¼ tsp minced dried rosemary
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp dried sage
  • ¼ tsp poultry seasoning
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 4 to 8 ounces cream cheese (light for fewer calories)
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
  • 1 to 1½ pound refrigerated tortellini, any flavor you like
Instructions
  1. Place peeled and cubed butternut squash in slow cooker.
  2. Top with rosemary, thyme, sage, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  3. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat, and add diced onion and minced garlic cloves. Cook a few minutes, until fragrant, and transfer to slow cooker.
  4. Pour chicken broth over everything, and give it all light stir.
  5. Cover and cook on LOW 7 to 8 hours, or on HIGH 4 to 5 hours, or until butternut squash is very soft.
  6. Add cream cheese in chunks, and stir until somewhat melted.
  7. Stir in Parmesan cheese.
  8. Using an immersion blender, blend sauce until smooth.
  9. Add tortellini and cover again, cooking on HIGH for about 30 minutes, or until pasta is to desired doneness.
  10. Top with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.

Recipe modified from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.

Feedback

Linda

I made the Butternut Squash Tortellini today. It was absolutely heavenly! I used fresh sausage tortellini for my meat-lover boys. They were amazed when I told them what was in the sauce. This is a real winner for flavor, ease of preparation, and totally yummy flavor.

Kim

This butternut squash sauce is am-ah-zing. We lightened it up using the Greek yogurt cream cheese and cut it back to half, and it was still great. The sauce is extremely versatile – I even ladled some over my roasted cauliflower and it was like a rich, slightly sweeter cheese sauce. So good. It’s great with a simple cheese ravioli/tortellini and fantastic with a sausage version. The sauce will keep in the freezer – it just thaws a bit runnier than the original. This is going in my keeper file.

Sarah

I LOVED this! Like I’m seriously considering rearranging my Top 5! It was easy, delicious and filling. My kids didn’t like it much but I think the color of the sauce turned them off. My husband and I thought it was perfect! I served with Italian sausage stuffed ravioli and thought it was amazing!!!

Me

I’m in love with this sauce. I can’t believe how delicious it was, and I can’t wait to try it over chicken, broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus.


Before you go, check out these other family-friendly tortellini recipes!
 Give this Crockpot Cheesy Spinach and Tomato Tortellini recipe a try if you're looking for a simple and delicious family-friendly dinner idea! Feel free to substitute your favorite tortellini and while it's excellent with the spinach and tomato, you can jazz it up with different vegetables or even some bacon bits if you want!
My family went crazy for this Crockpot Cheesy Tortellini recipe!

Crock Pot Lemon Chicken

This Crockpot Lemon Chicken is simple to throw together and has incredible flavor! It can be a light and healthy chicken recipe, or you can make a deliciously creamy sauce to accompany the dinner!

Have I told you all how much I love chicken thighs? Not only are they less expensive than breasts, they are moist and flavorful. Now, I’m a fan of chicken in all forms, and I’m not thumbing my nose at the breasts, but in many dishes, thighs are where it’s at.

One of my favorite things about my slow cooker is how it cooks up deliciously moist chicken, but I also love brown and crispy skin on my poultry, and that’s where Crock Pot cooking can fall short. This recipe combines the best of both worlds by adding a ten minute broiling session at the end of the cook time. This quick step adds so much depth to the dish, and creates a beautifully plated chicken dinner!

Crock Pot Lemon Chicken is light and healthy, that is until you make our deliciously creamy sauce. Of course you can skip the cream sauce and just top your chicken with the tasty lemon sauce from the bottom of the slow cooker, or squirt a little lemon on top, but if you’re inclined, mix the leftover liquid from the slow cooker with a little flour and some heavy cream. It’s delicious!

This Crockpot Lemon Chicken is simple to throw together and has incredible flavor! It can be a light and healthy chicken recipe, or you can make a deliciously creamy sauce to accompany the dinner!

I used my 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Lemon Chicken recipe.

Crock Pot Lemon Chicken

Crock Pot Lemon Chicken
 
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This Crock Pot Lemon Chicken is an easy recipe with great flavor!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs bone-in chicken thighs with skin on
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice (about 2 medium lemons)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons flour
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • lemon slices for garnish
Instructions
  1. Place chicken thighs in bottom of slow cooker.
  2. In a bowl, mix lemon juice, garlic cloves, oregano, salt, and pepper and pour over chicken.
  3. Move the chicken around to make sure the sauce covers all parts of the chicken.
  4. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours.
  5. When chicken is cooked, preheat broiler to high heat, and carefully transfer chicken thighs to a baking sheet.
  6. Broil chicken on top rack of oven for about 10 minutes, or until chicken is golden brown.
  7. If desired, while chicken is broiling, combine lemon sauce from slow cooker, 2 to 3 tablespoons flour, and heavy cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat, stirring frequently, until thickened, adding salt and pepper to taste, and serve over chicken.
  8. Garnish with lemon.

Recipe modified from my friend Sarah at The Magical Slow Cooker.  Check out her cookbook!

Feedback

Linda

This was good! I took the sauce, thickened it with flour, and a little cream. I put a little of the sauce on the chicken pieces. I served this with asparagus and mashed potatoes.

Kim

I loved the subtle, light flavor of this dish. We used boneless, skinless thighs and it turned out just great, even though I’m sure the flavor would be even better with bone in. Linda’s sauce sounds fantastic. We ended up leaving the somewhat oily liquid in the crock to keep the dish on the lighter side. Served with a curry quinoa and cauliflower fried rice – yum!

Sarah

I thought this was great! It looked beautiful and I felt really good serving this up for dinner. I ran out of lemon using it for lemon juice, it took my two average size lemons to get enough juice, so I just threw the rines on the top instead of slices and I would not do that again because I used the sauce to make a gravy and thought it was a tad lemony. I put heavy whipping cream and a little flour to make the sauce. I would do this again for sure! This dish really is pretty and tasty enough to serve to guests!

Me

This dish is really easy to throw together and the flavor is great! I kept mine lighter by skipping the creamy sauce, but I’m regretting that decision now that everyone is talking about how great it was!

Over 100 tested and reviewed family-friendly Crockoot recipes in one place!


Crock Pot Thai Ginger Chicken Soup

 

This Thai Ginger Chicken Soup recipe is just a little bit spicy, and has great flavor! This slow cooker chicken soup made a great dinner!

When I was taking the photos for this Crock Pot Thai Ginger Chicken Soup, my six-year-old daughter stood behind me telling me how good it looked. “Mommy, that looks sooo yummy.” “Mommy, when can we eat it?” “Mommy, what’s that yummy soup called?” I was shocked, because I thought for sure the kids would be eating something else while my husband and I dined on this for dinner, and as I clicked my camera, I wondered it I should have doubled the recipe.

When it came time to sit down at the table, the soup ended up being a little too spicy for my sensitive-mouthed girl. She really can’t handle any spice at all, because this had just a tiny kick to it. My eight-year-old son was happy to eat her bowl and his, and he even asked for some of the leftovers in his thermos for lunch the next day.

I had extra curry paste on hand to spice up individual bowls. I didn’t add any paste to my bowl, but my husband added about a 1/2 tablespoon to his serving. We topped our bowls with fresh basil and a generous squirt of lemon.

This Crock Pot Thai Ginger Chicken Soup is hearty, has great flavor, and can be easily modified to suit tastes and on-hand ingredients. This would look and taste great with sliced bell peppers if you’re into that sort of thing, which I totally am.

This Thai Ginger Chicken Soup recipe is just a little bit spicy, and has great flavor! This slow cooker chicken soup made a great dinner!
I used my 6.5-Quart Crock-Pot Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Thai Ginger Chicken Soup.

Crock Pot Thai Ginger Chicken Soup

Crock Pot Thai Ginger Chicken Soup
 
This Crock Pot Thai Ginger Chicken Soup has wonderful flavor!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 lb cooked and chopped chicken
  • 1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
  • 1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1 TBSP green curry paste
  • 1 TBSP ground ginger root
  • 1 TBSP garlic powder
  • 2 TBSP fresh chopped basil (or 2 tsp dried basil, or 2 TBSP jarred pesto)
  • Lemon or lime for garnish
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients except lemon or lime to slow cooker and stir well.
  2. Cover and cook on LOW about 3 hours, or until rice is cooked.
  3. Garnish with a squirt of lemon or lime, and if desired, top with fresh basil.

Feedback

Linda

I made this soup yesterday, and it was soooo good. Since I got a late start, I used a rotisserie chicken. I cooked it on high for about 3 hours, and it was ready. This was a great discovery that it could be put together and made fairly quickly. I did use a 32 oz box of chicken stock, jarred basil, and everything else as shown in the recipe. I will make this every time I have a craving!!

Kim

I made a few adjustments to this recipe and it still turned out great – I think this soup is really flexible. I added strips of red bell pepper and green beans, used light coconut milk instead of regular and brown rice instead of jasmine, doubled the curry paste, and added salt/pepper. We also mixed in a healthy dose of Sriracha when served. I cooked everything together for about 6 hours. Next time, if I need to cook that long, I will probably toss in the rice and veggies with about two hours left so it doesn’t break down as much. But it still turned out like a thick Thai soup and all the adults in the house enjoyed it very much.

Sarah

I made this delicious soup last night. It is so easy and so good! I used raw chicken and cooked it with all ingredients except coconut milk and rice for 4.5 hours on high and then shredded it and added the rice and cooked for about 20 minutes and then finally added the coconut milk and cooked for about 10 more. It was delicious! Of course there is spice so the kids ate hotdogs and I got their share the next day for lunch! Yummy!

Me

This soup tasted great, and I love how easy it is to modify based on personal tastes and on-hand ingredients. Don’t skip the lemon or lime at the end!


Over 100 tested and reviewed family-friendly Crockoot recipes in one place!

Crock Pot Ropa Vieja

The flavors of this Crock Pot Ropa Vieja dish blend beautifully! Give this delicious slow cooker beef recipe a try!

When my sister-in-law, Kim, picked this Crock Pot Ropa Vieja recipe for the week, she cautioned the rest of us, “Don’t be scared of green olives or raisins; they really add to the depth of the dish without overpowering it.” This cracked me up, because she’s probably the most adventurous of the Crock Pot Thursday crew, and she knew that without this directive, some of us might have skipped those two ingredients. Kim’s picks are almost always winners, and this time was no exception.

This is one of my very favorite things about Crock Pot Thursday. Since my mother-in-law, three sisters-in-law, and I take turns choosing our weekly recipe, we’re forced into adding some variety to our meal planning. I probably would have never tried this delicious Crock Pot Ropa Vieja were it not a Crock Pot Thursday recipe, but I’m so glad I did.

The flavors of this dish blend together beautifully. The meat had great flavor, the peppers were delicious, and the raisins and olives were such a fun addition. The sauce isn’t spicy, so the kids were happy, meaning we didn’t have much for leftovers over here. My daughter ate around the meat and my son ate around the peppers, but that’s just what they are doing these days. Almost every night, they eat the things they like, take two or three reluctant bites of the things they don’t, and then they switch plates and the other finishes it off. They look like a little old married couple, which is adorable.

I used my 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Ropa Vieja.

Crock Pot Ropa Vieja

Crock Pot Ropa Vieja
 
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The flavors of this Crock Pot Ropa Vieja dish blend beautifully!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1½ pounds flank steak, trimmed
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt, divided
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ⅓ cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup pimiento-stuffed olives, halved
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • hot cooked rice
Instructions
  1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Cut steak into quarters, and sprinkle steak evenly with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
  3. Add steak to pan, and cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned.
  4. Transfer steak to slow cooker.
  5. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil, onion, bell peppers, and garlic to pan, cooking 3 minutes or until slightly softened.
  6. Stir in raisins, and transfer onion mixture to slow cooker.
  7. Combine stock, tomato paste, cumin, oregano, tomatoes, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and remaining ¼ teaspoon black pepper in a medium bowl. Pour tomato mixture over steak and vegetables in slow cooker.
  8. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or until steak is very tender.
  9. Remove steak from slow cooker and shred using 2 forks.
  10. Stir steak, olives, and cilantro into sauce.
  11. Serve steak mixture over rice.

Recipe modified from My Recipes.

Feedback

Linda

This was just as good as it looks and sounds! All the levels of flavor were amazing, and the the meat was so tender and spicy. The green olives and raisins were great flavor additions. Loved it!! (And later: The leftovers we had tonight we’re even better!! The flavor really melded together!)

Kim

This has become my favorite preparation for flank steak – it’s one of the more flavorful recipes that’s come out of my crock in a while. And that’s saying a lot since we pretty much kick ass at Crock Pot Thursday picks. Don’t be afraid of the green olives or raisins – they really contribute to the depth of flavor in this dish. The whole family gladly ate this up, and the flavor is awesome the next day.

Kim’s Mom, Susan

Definitely a thumbs up!

Me

Now, I went a little off recipe because flank steak was like a million dollars a pound, so I used cube steak because I already had it. We really liked how it turned out, but if you can, use flank steak.


The flavors of this Crock Pot Ropa Vieja dish blend beautifully! Give this delicious slow cooker beef recipe a try!

Crock Pot Cinnamon Roll Casserole

This Crockpot Cinnamon Roll Casserole recipe is a fun, easy, and delicious take on traditional cinnamon rolls! My family loved this easy breakfast idea!

Look at this deliciousness. This gorgeous breakfast recipe is what prompted my eight-year-old to say, “Mom? You know how usually I’m not excited about casseroles? I’m really excited about this one.” No kidding, kid? You’re excited about Crock Pot Cinnamon Roll Casserole? Me too, son. ME TOO.

I’ve had my eye on this recipe from Recipes That Crock for some time now, and have even shared it on my Facebook page, but had never actually made it. Thankfully, I have a sister-in-law who is pregnant (with twins!), and her palate can only tolerate a few things right now. One of those things is sweet, dessert-type recipes, and this week’s pick is hers. Thanks, Sarah!

I made this recipe on Valentine’s Day, which happened to be a Sunday. I put it together before church, and by the time we got home and whipped up some bacon and eggs, this delightful Crock Pot Cinnamon Roll Casserole was ready to be devoured. It was the perfect Valentine’s Day brunch to share with the loves of my life, and it would have made enough for us to have for two breakfasts, if the kids hadn’t gotten into it for an afternoon snack.

We like crispier edges on our pastries, so I put my 3.5 Quart Crock-Pot Casserole Slow Cooker insert under the oven broiler for a few minutes to give it the browned look on the top. After broiling, I topped it with the icing.

You’ll want to keep an eye on your cook time, as mine needed to go longer than the 2 1/2 hours, but Sarah’s was great at 2 1/2 hours. Slow cookers have some variation in cook times, and different sized vessels will cook differently, too. Sarah used an oval slow cooker, as opposed to my casserole-shaped slow cooker.

This Crockpot Cinnamon Roll Casserole recipe is a fun, easy, and delicious take on traditional cinnamon rolls! My family loved this easy breakfast idea!

Crock Pot Cinnamon Roll Casserole

Crock Pot Cinnamon Roll Casserole
 
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This Crockpot Cinnamon Roll Casserole is a fun and easy take on traditional cinnamon rolls!
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Ingredients
  • 2 12 oz tubes of cinnamon rolls cut into approximately 3 inch pieces (divided)
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 3 Tbsp pancake syrup or maple syrup
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Spray slow cooker insert with cooking spray.
  2. Cover bottom of slow cooker with cinnamon roll pieces, making sure entire bottom is covered.
  3. In a bowl, mix eggs, whipping cream, syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg until combined.
  4. Pour over cinnamon roll pieces in slow cooker.
  5. Top with remaining cinnamon roll pieces.
  6. Cover, and cook on LOW for about 2½ hours, or until casserole is no longer doughy.
  7. Top with icing, and enjoy!
Notes
I used my casserole sized Crock Pot, and put the finished product under the broiler for a few minutes to get the crispy topping my husband loves!

Recipe modified from my friend Cris at Recipes That Crock!

Feedback

Linda

We had it for breakfast at Sarah’s house. The flavor was great–we needed a bigger batch!!

Sarah

This was good. I thought it would bulk up and fill the crock but it didn’t really do that. It was good but not enough to feed a crowd. I thought it could have used a bit more cinnamon but was happy with the taste.

Me

This is a fun take on cinnamon rolls. My husband wondered if it was worth the work to cut up the rolls rather than just making plain ol’ cinnamon rolls, but I really liked the consistency of the casserole, and would definitely make it again! The kids loved it, obviously.

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken and Black Bean Chili

This Crockpot Buffalo Chicken and Black Bean Chili is a delicious and healthy dinner idea you're going to LOVE. The flavor is out of this world, and since it's chock full of healthy chicken, black beans, and vegetables, there will be no guilt when you go back for seconds or thirds. Add this slow cooker soup to your healthy recipe collection today!

I knew this week’s Crock Pot Thursday recipe was going to be a winner, but I was shocked at how much I loved this healthy Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken and Black Bean Chili. It’s full of delicious vegetables, and the chicken, beans, and spices come together beautifully.

Now, as far as chili goes, this one isn’t the thickest you’ll ever see, but the consistency is still hearty and rich, and it definitely gives off a strong chili vibe. My husband really enjoyed it, and kept commenting on how good it was as he tore into his second bowl. This is huge, as his usual high praise for any soup type dinner is, “It’s decent. I mean, for soup.”

This tasty slow cooker recipe makes a ton of chili, which is great if you plan on feeding a crowd, if you like leftovers, or if you’re like me, and enjoy making extra servings to throw in the freezer for those nights when “What’s for dinner” catches you off guard. I know my family wants to eat every single day, but honestly, it surprises me sometimes. I think, “Dinner? Didn’t I just make that last night? And you want me to do it again?”

Now, I used 1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot in our chili, but if you like a little more kick, use 3/4 cup.  Even with the lesser amount of Frank’s, my six-year-old thought it was too spicy, but her eight-year-old brother scarfed down his bowl happily. I served it with cornbread, and the kids had sour cream and cheese on theirs to cut the heat a little.

Make this dish. You’re going to love it!

I used my 6.5-Quart Crock-Pot Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken and Black Bean Chili.
This Crockpot Buffalo Chicken and Black Bean Chili is a delicious and healthy dinner idea you're going to LOVE. The flavor is out of this world, and since it's chock full of healthy chicken, black beans, and vegetables, there will be no guilt when you go back for seconds or thirds. Add this slow cooker soup to your healthy recipe collection today!

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken and Black Bean Chili

Crock Pot Thursday: Buffalo Chicken and Black Bean Chili
 
Prep time
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Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and chopped
  • 2- 32 oz boxes low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3 - 14 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 - 4 oz can green chiles
  • 1 - 6 oz can tomato paste
  • ½ - ¾ cup Frank's red hot sauce, depending on how spicy you like it
  • 1 packet ranch seasoning packet
  • 4 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • optional toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, lime wedges, cilantro, green onion
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in slow cooker and stir well.
  2. Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or HIGH 4-5 hours.
  3. Serve topped with whatever floats your boat.
Notes
Optional toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, cilantro, green onion, hot sauce, and lime wedges.

Feedback

Kim

The flavor of this “chili” is wonderful and I love the fact that it’s a healthy alternative. I put chili in quotes because it’s more of a soup – the liquid ends up pretty thin. After our first meal, I strained out the liquid and brought it to a brisk boil. It thickened up nicely and I tossed it back into the pot. Our second meal was even better. All the chunky veggies add to the bulk but it still tastes like chili. This has got a good kick to it, so the kids got chicken strips that night. More for us!

Linda

We loved the flavor, aroma, and appearance of this chili. It is indeed more like a chili flavored spicy chicken vegetable soup. I like the lighter quality of this chili. My husband added sour cream to his. I put some shredded Mexican blend cheese on mine. My son added corn bread. All of these thickened it up really nicely. It makes a lot of soup, and makes great leftovers!

Me

I topped my chili with cilantro and a squirt of lime, and I loved, loved, loved it. This chili is going into our regular rotation for sure!


Crock Pot Pesto Spinach Chicken

This Crockpot Pesto Spinach Chicken is a breeze to assemble, is full of beautiful green stuff, and tastes great! Throw this easy chicken recipe in your slow cooker for a dinner idea you're going to love!

I love pesto. I love the way it looks, and I love the way it tastes. I love it in pasta, I love it spread over crusty bread, and I love it on chicken. Thankfully my family loves, it, too, and my latest obsession is with the premade, jarred pesto from Costco. It’s so handy to have on hand for quick, easy dinners and appetizers! Just last night I chopped up some leftover pork chops, boiled up bowtie pasta and frozen peas, and tossed it all with pesto and parmesan. It was a hit, and it couldn’t have been more simple.

This Crock Pot Pesto Spinach Pasta was easy, too. I kicked up the green a bit by adding in some frozen spinach, kicked up the flavor with onions and garlic, and I was very happy with the results. My mother-in-law added artichoke hearts and red pepper flakes to hers, which I think sound like great additions.

You can serve this easy chicken dinner with a salad and potatoes as shown in the photo, over pasta, or on a toasted bun with tomato, bacon, and melted cheese. All delicious!

In the same way my freezer always contains frozen meatballs in case I need to whip up my Easy Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Meatballs for a last minute party, I plan to always have pesto in my refrigerator for quick and tasty dinners.

I used my 3.5 Quart Crock-Pot Casserole Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Pesto Spinach Chicken, but a smaller-sized oval slow cooker works well, too. (affiliate link)

This Crockpot Pesto Spinach Chicken is a breeze to assemble, is full of beautiful green stuff, and tastes great! Throw this easy chicken recipe in your slow cooker for a dinner idea you're going to love!

Crock Pot Pesto Spinach Chicken

Crock Pot Pesto Spinach Chicken
 
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Author:
Ingredients
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ⅔ cup jarred prepared pesto
  • a splash of chicken stock or white wine
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Place chicken breasts in slow cooker and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. In a bowl, combine thawed and drained spinach, onion, garlic, pesto, and chicken stock or white wine.
  3. Spread mixture over chicken breasts.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW 7-8 hours or on HIGH 4-5 hours.
  5. Top with parmesan cheese and cover again until melted, about 5 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

Feedback

Linda

This was so delicious, and so fragrant when I came home from work! I did add a jar of artichoke hearts, and added a few red pepper flakes. We had ours over fresh cheese tortellini, topped with Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts. Everybody ate this right down. It was an easy fix with the pre-made pesto.

Kim

Ours turned out pretty watery, probably because I started with frozen chicken breasts. The frozen spinach has a lot of moisture as well. Thanks to Linda’s recommendation, we added artichoke hearts, which I thought was a yummy addition. We served with noodles tossed in olive oil and shaved parm. I would rank this tops on the easy scale and fairly healthy, but just ok on the flavor scale. Maybe because I found the flavor of the spinach to be a little overpowering – it kind of drowned out the pesto. And the consistency wasn’t my favorite. I’m curious how this recipe would do baked in the oven. If I made again, I would probably try to make some adjustments.

Sarah

I thought this chicken has great flavor. It was a yummy pesto and spinach dish. However, I had read over Linda’s review and thought I’d serve this over penne (since she did pasta too) and since there was some juices in the bottom I thought, “Hey that will work as sauce.” (I know stupid pregnancy brain)…. it did not. We had delicious chicken on a bed of tasteless pasta. I am reheating the chicken tonight and serving with mashed potatoes. I used a whole jar (small size 8 oz.) of Pesto and a small package of frozen spinach that had been defrosted and drained really well of liquid. I dumped in a little white wine… but really I am not sure it needed it. I also used 5 chicken breasts but other than that followed the recipe.

Me

My family really liked this chicken, and I loved how easy it was to throw together. Winner, winner, chicken for dinner!


Crock Pot Tater Tot Taco Casserole

This Crockpot Tater Tot Taco Casserole is a hearty, family-friendly dinner idea. The beef, cheese, tomatoes, and tater tots come together for a casserole recipe your family will love!

We have several versions of Tater Tot Casserole in our Crock Pot Thursday recipe box, and each one has been a winner. This Crock Pot Tater Tot Taco Casserole is no exception. I loved the way the taco meat mixed with the tater tots, and the sour cream mixture adds a nice creamy layer to the dish.

This recipe is great for those with hearty appetites, and is also a hit with kids. My kids are a fan of tater tot anything, and of taco anything, for that matter, so Crock Pot Tater Tot Taco Casserole was really a no-brainer for my family. The only thing I need to look out for was the spice factor. For my six and eight-year-old, if it’s too spicy, it’s not happening.

This recipe isn’t spicy, but it does have nice taco flavors throughout, so everyone was happy. This dish is really lovely with fresh cilantro, green onions, or a few fresh, diced tomatoes on top. We served it with a dollop of sour cream, and my husband used some sriracha on his.

I used my 3.5 Quart Crock-Pot Casserole Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Tater Tot Taco Casserole. (affiliate link)

Crock Pot Tater Tot Taco Casserole

Crock Pot Tater Tot Taco Casserole
 
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This Crock Pot Tater Tot Taco Casserole is a hearty, family-friendly dish!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 32 oz bag frozen tater tots (may not need entire bag)
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 (1.25 ounce) packets taco seasoning
  • 1 (14½-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 (4 oz) cans diced green chiles, drained
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
Instructions
  1. Spray slow cooker crockery with cooking spray.
  2. Place frozen tater tots in a layer on the bottom of slow cooker.
  3. In a large frying pan over medium high heat, brown ground beef, working it into small pieces as it cooks. When meat is browned, drain fat, and following the instructions on the taco seasoning packets, add taco seasoning and water. Simmer according to seasoning directions (usually about 5 minutes).
  4. Transfer seasoned meat to slow cooker into a layer on top of the tater tots.
  5. Add drained tomatoes in a layer on top of the meat.
  6. Add a layer of drained diced green chilis
  7. In a bowl, combine sour cream and half of the shredded cheddar cheese, and spread over the diced green chilis.
  8. Cover and cook on LOW 4-5 hours, or on HIGH 2-3 hours.
  9. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of casserole, and cover again until cheese is melted (about 10 minutes.)
  10. Top with desired toppings, and enjoy!
Notes
Optional toppings include: sour cream, green onions, diced tomatoes, lettuce, hot sauce, or cilantro.

Feedback

Linda

(Linda used a biscuit base, and her feedback is what motivated us to switch the bottom layer to tater tots.) When I made this it was delicious, but I remember that the biscuit texture was totally lost in the meat mixture. I think tater tots are a great substitution, and I am glad that there were really tasty. I would make this again, it is hard to go wrong with a good meat casserole.

Sarah

This was so good. Like so so good. Every member of our family had a second helping and we all LOVED it! My husband hate tater tot casserole… but he loved this! I followed the recipe exactly and wouldn’t change a thing! YUM YUM YUM!

Me

We really liked this recipe, and I loved the taco twist on traditional tater tot casserole. Since we are a bunch of carnivores, we appreciated the 2 lbs of beef, but if you wanted, you could cut the beef (and taco seasoning) in half and still have a respectable casserole.


Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip

This Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Dip is the perfect balance of spicy, tangy, and creamy, and is perfect for potlucks, parties, and game day! Grab some chips, crackers, and celery sticks and make this easy slow cooker dip soon!

Sometimes I sit on a recipe I love, even though I want to share it will all of you immediately. Every single time this happens, it’s because I don’t have a good image to go with the post, and in most of those cases, it’s because we loved the dish so much we ate it all up before a photo could be taken.

That was the situation with this Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip. Like every recipe I share with you, I make this food to feed my family and sometimes my friends. Many Thursdays my family can be found waiting patiently around the dinner table while I do a quick photo shoot in my kitchen, or they’re waiting not so patiently if I’m being completely honest.

The first time I made this recipe was on Halloween. I doubled it because we were having friends over, and I got so swept up in the trick-or-treating fun, I never snapped a photo.

That was fine, though, because I was happy to make it again, and I was pleased with the feedback from my guest reviewers. Everyone liked it, even the kids, which meant it struck the right balance between spicy, tangy, and creamy. This is a great dip for parties, as it accommodates most palates.

Have you ever shown up to a party carrying your Crock Pot? People are so excited when they see you, right? Hot appetizers are a hit. Always. It’s one of the most basic rules of potlucking.

You’ll want to use a smaller slow cooker for this dish. I used my 3.5 Quart Crock-Pot Casserole Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip, both when I cooked the original recipe and when I doubled it. If you don’t have a smaller slow cooker, you can place a smaller, oven-safe dish inside your slow cooker’s removable stoneware, put the recipe inside the dish, put the dish lid on, AND the Crock Pot lid. Use regular cook times.

I use this CorningWare set that was a wedding gift a million years ago, and is still going strong.

If you plan on feeding a crowd, I’d suggest doubling this recipe. If you want it spicier, keep the Frank’s on hand to spice up individual servings.

The dip is delicious with crackers, corn or tortilla chips, and celery sticks. The leftovers are great in a tortilla or over nachos. If you’re looking for the perfect chicken to put on a bun, check out this Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Slider recipe!

If you like Buffalo chicken, you must try this Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip!

This Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Dip is the perfect balance of spicy, tangy, and creamy, and is perfect for potlucks, parties, and game day! Grab some chips, crackers, and celery sticks and make this easy slow cooker dip soon!

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip

Crock Pot Thursday: Buffalo Chicken Dip
 
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If you love Buffalo chicken, you MUST try this delicious and creamy Buffalo Chicken Dip!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 lb raw boneless, skinless chicken
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup blue cheese or ranch dressing
  • ½ cup Frank's Red Hot sauce
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Place uncooked chicken in bottom of 3 quart slow cooker.
  2. Top with minced garlic, blue cheese (or ranch) dressing, and Frank's Red Hot sauce.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or HIGH for 4-5 hours.
  4. When chicken falls apart easily, shred it in the slow cooker and mix with the dressing/hot sauce mixture.
  5. Add in cream cheese and mix as best you can.
  6. Stir in shredded cheese.
  7. Cover again until cream cheese and shredded cheese are melted.
  8. Stir well and serve with crackers or chips and celery sticks.
Notes
ALTERNATE PREPARATION METHOD
Using pre-cooked, pre-shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken works great!), start by placing cream cheese in slow cooker until soft.
Add minced garlic, blue cheese dressing (or ranch), Frank's Red Hot sauce, shredded cheese, and one pound shredded chicken to slow cooker.
Mix well, cover and cook on high for 1-2 hours, or until dip is heated through and cheese is melted.

Feedback

Linda
To help celebrate our football team’s game on Saturday, I made the chicken buffalo dip. I made it with blue cheese dressing. It was very easy to throw together, and was delicious. I served it with celery sticks and tortilla chips. I liked the celery sticks, and everyone else liked the chips. This is really good for a quick throw together.

Sarah
My husband and I both liked this a lot. I boiled my chicken and wished I had just bought a rotisserie one. I wasn’t in love with the taste of the chicken. However, we still ate it right up and my husband ate it over chips like nachos and loved that! Will for sure make again with a different cooking method for my chicken!

Kim
I love this dip.

Me
I’ve made this dip three times, all with the first prep method (using uncooked chicken), and every time it was gobbled right up. I love that there is a quick version for times when you need to whip up an appetizer in a hurry!

Recipe modified from Midget Momma.


Crock Pot Beef Bolognese

This Crockpot Beef Bolognese will make your house smell amazing, and you will love the way it looks on your table. Let your slow cooker do the work in preparing this simple and delicious family-friendly dinner idea!

My kids are consistently inconsistent. If you ask me what they’ll do in a given situation, I can make an educated guess, but honestly, I’m as curious as anyone how it’ll turn out. Usually, I like this about them. I like that they are always growing and changing, and I appreciate how one’s behavior can depend on their mood.

I don’t love this whimsical trait of my children when it comes to dinnertime. If I make a favorite food, I expect them to wolf it down the same every time, not announce “I don’t like tacos anymore.”

It was because of this possibility that I didn’t double this Crock Pot Beef Bolognese recipe. While my gut told me they’d love it, I was afraid of a pasta strike, which would have left me with a tanker truck’s worth of delicious sauce. I know this doesn’t sound like a bad thing, but my freezer isn’t very big.

I shouldn’t have worried. Everyone happily ate this delicious sauce, both over pasta and mopped up with garlic bread, and all that ended up in the freezer after two nights of pasta dinners was a small quart-sized resealable bag. This actually makes quite a bit of sauce, and had I tried to double it, I would have had to use two Crock Pots. My slow cooker was pretty full.

This Crockpot Beef Bolognese will make your house smell amazing, and you will love the way it looks on your table. Let your slow cooker do the work in preparing this simple and delicious family-friendly dinner idea!

Now, this recipe is different from any other meat sauce I’ve made in the past, in that you don’t brown the beef before putting it in the sauce. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but I loved it! Two slices of bread are soaked in half-and-half and mixed with ground beef, salt, and pepper; that mixture is crumbled into the tomato sauce, and it cooks up perfectly. You’ll want to make sure you use very lean ground beef, otherwise your sauce will be a little bit greasy, and that’s not what we’re looking for, is it?

I was happy to still have fresh basil in my garden, and I highly recommend making sure you’ve got some on hand for your beef bolognese. It’s a delicious touch!

Serve with your favorite pasta (we used fettucine), a green salad, and garlic bread, and you’ve got an amazing weeknight dinner or an easy and lovely meal for a special gathering.

I used my 6.5-Quart Crock-Pot Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Beef Bolognese.

Crock Pot Beef Bolognese

Crock Pot Beef Bolognese
 
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This delicious beef bolognese sauce is packed full of flavor, and is sure to be a family favorite!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium carrot, minced
  • ¼ cup minced celery
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ½ cup red wine or beef broth
  • 2 cans (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 slices bread
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1½ lbs very lean ground beef
  • ¼ cup minced fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a skillet, over medium-high heat, brown onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in oil until they are soft (just a few minutes). Reduce heat to low and stir in tomato paste. Add red wine (or beef broth), and mix until smooth. Bring to a simmer then remove from heat and transfer to slow cooker. Stir in crushed tomatoes.
  2. Place torn bread slices in a large bowl and pour in half-and-half. Give it a stir until a thick paste is formed. Add ground beef, salt, and pepper, and mix with hands until combined.
  3. Crumble uncooked beef mixture into tomato mixture in slow cooker.
  4. Gently stir sauce until combined.
  5. Cover crockpot and cook on high 4-5 hours OR on low 6-7 hours.
  6. Before serving, use a spoon to break up meat into bite-sized chunks and stir basil into sauce. Season sauce with salt and pepper and serve over hot pasta.

Feedback

Kim

I love making bolognese in the crock and this was a version that I would make again for sure. That said, this is NOT a dump and go crock recipe so be prepared to do a little work before hand – it’s worth it. Don’t be afraid of the raw beef in the sauce, it cooked up just fine. The flavor was delicious. I made is as-is without any tweaks. Very kid friendly. Yum!

Me

This sauce was delicious! Everyone liked it and happily ate it for a couple of meals, and we had a little left over that we froze. I wish I would have doubled it so I could have more in my freezer for another day!

 Recipe modified from Whole and Heavenly Oven.

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Crock Pot Butternut Squash Soup

This Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup recipe combines carrots, onions, squash, and Granny Smith apples to create a wonderful fall soup!

Yesterday the kids had no school, the rain and wind had me craving soup, and the butternut squash sitting on my counter was begging to finally be eaten. I have no idea how long gourds last, but it honestly feels like forever, and this one had been living with us for well over two weeks.

Do you ever see something at the grocery store that you absolutely must make? The fact that I can pull my shopping cart out of the way and do a quick search for recipes on my phone is both a blessing and a curse, and this modern day convenience is directly responsible for the Granny Smith apples and heavy cream that accompanied the squash home with me to be made into a creamy fall soup. By the time I got around to making this soup for Crock Pot Thursday, though, the original butternut squash soup recipe I found in my frantic grocery store Google search was only a memory. This version is partially a mash-up of a few other recipes and partially based on my own personal preferences.

This Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup recipe combines carrots, onions, squash, and Granny Smith apples to create a wonderful fall soup!

I knew this soup would receive a lukewarm reception from my husband and kids, but sometimes I disregard their meat and potatoes ways, and make something just for me. This Crock Pot Butternut Squash Soup would be a delicious starter for Thanksgiving, or would make a hearty lunch with a crusty roll or salad. You can make it a vegan meal by using vegetable stock and coconut milk, and you can adjust the spices based on your tastes.

This Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup recipe combines carrots, onions, squash, and Granny Smith apples to create a wonderful fall soup!Fall is the perfect time for soup, and this creamy Crock Pot Butternut Squash Soup would look beautiful on a Thanksgiving table!

I used my 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Butternut Squash Soup.

Crock Pot Butternut Squash Soup

Crock Pot Thursday: Butternut Squash Soup
 
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This Crock Pot Butternut Squash is hearty, healthy, and delicious!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced (or 2-3 cups baby carrots)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • ½ tsp salt (more to taste)
  • ¼ tsp black pepper (more to taste)
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • dash of cayenne pepper (more for garnish if desired)
  • ½ cup heavy cream (or coconut milk to make it vegan)
  • green onions for garnish
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients except heavy cream in slow cooker, and stir to combine.
  2. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours, or until vegetables are soft.
  3. Stir in heavy cream.
  4. Use an immersion blender to puree soup to desired thickness.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste, and top with chopped green onions if desired.


Crock Pot Ham and Beans

This Crockpot Ham and Beans recipe is the perfect use for leftover ham bone, but is delicious with diced ham, too! Throw this family-friendly dinner idea in your slow cooker on a cold day for an easy and hearty meal!

When I was a kid, my dad loved making ham and beans. Seeing a big pot of beans simmering on our stove marked fall for me just as much as watching the leaves change color. I always loved the way the ham bone and the white beans made the house smell, but when it came to eating it? No, thanks.

It became a joke, as many things between my father and I did, and he would delight in announcing what we were having for dinner if ham and beans were on the menu. When I was away at college, he would email me to tell me my welcome home dinner would be “my favorite.” He was always joking, but I reacted with horror, partially to make him laugh, partially because what if he was serious? My dad was forever busting my chops, not unlike his father before him; and now I am carrying on the family legacy. My kids love it.

It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I began liking beans. Maybe it was because they’re cheap, and I was buying my own groceries. Maybe it was because I was finally starting to care a tiny bit about what kinds of foods I put into my body, and beans are full of good stuff. Whatever it was, I now love beans, and I especially love ham and beans.

This Crockpot Ham and Beans recipe is the perfect use for leftover ham bone, but is delicious with diced ham, too! Throw this family-friendly dinner idea in your slow cooker on a cold day for an easy and hearty meal!

This Crock Pot Ham and Bean recipe doesn’t disappoint. It’s the perfect way to use leftover ham bones, and it’s a wonderful dish for cooler nights. My family really liked it, the flavors get even better the second day, and it freezes beautifully. I chose not to mash some of the beans at the end, because I was looking for more of a soupy consistency, but one of my kids mashed theirs up in the bowl, and it made for a nice, thick texture. You can mash yours as much as you want, or not at all, and could put in different vegetables if you wanted. I’ll bet it would be great with some sausage in it, too.

I can’t wait to make this dish again!

I used my 6.5-Quart Crock-Pot Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Ham and Beans recipe.

Crock Pot Ham and Beans

Ingredients

1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, minced
1 carrot, chopped, or 2 cups baby carrots
1 meaty ham bone, 4 ham hocks, or 1 lb diced ham
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoons minced garlic
1 lb great northern bean, rinsed and sorted
6 -8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp pepper (to taste)

Instructions

Place chopped onion, minced celery, and carrots in slow cooker, and top with ham bone or hocks.
Add bay leaves, minced garlic, and rinsed and sorted beans to the pot.
Pour in low-sodium chicken broth.
Cover, and cook on low 7-8 hours, or until beans are soft and meat falls off the bone.
Remove ham bone from slow cooker, and cut the meat from the bone. Shred or cut ham into bite-sized pieces, and stir back into slow cooker.
Skim off fat and remove bay leaves.
If desired, smash some of the beans up in the pot to thicken the dish.
Pepper to taste, and enjoy!

Feedback

Kim

I love a good crock soup recipe, and this didn’t disappoint! I would basically categorize this as split pea soup, but with white beans – yummy, comfort-style food. My version turned out a bit thicker and “muddier” looking than the photo, probably due to us mashing/thickening the beans a bit more, which we liked. I added some shredded carrots. Next time, we could probably make them chunkier for a bit more texture. The ham flavor really permeates the dish. Thumbs up from the whole crew!

Linda

This made a steaming crock pot of the best cold weather soup! I used 15 bean mix, because I like all the different shapes and colors, but followed the recipe exactly. It is a definite winner, and will be on my repeat list soon.

Me

I loved this recipe. The flavor was great, and it was easy to assemble. I used a leftover ham bone and baby carrots, and chose not to thicken the dish by smashing some of the beans, which is why the images are more soup-like.

 

Crock Pot Thursday: Ham and Beans
 
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Author:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, minced
  • 1 carrot, chopped, or 2 cups baby carrots
  • 1 meaty ham bone, 4 ham hocks, or 1 lb diced ham
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 lb great northern bean, rinsed and sorted
  • 6 -8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp pepper (to taste)
Instructions
  1. Place chopped onion, minced celery, and carrots in slow cooker, and top with ham bone or hocks.
  2. Add bay leaves, minced garlic, and rinsed and sorted beans to the pot.
  3. Pour in low-sodium chicken broth.
  4. Cover, and cook on low 7-8 hours, or until beans are soft and meat falls off the bone.
  5. Remove ham bone from slow cooker, and cut the meat from the bone. Shred or cut ham into bite-sized pieces, and stir back into slow cooker.
  6. Skim off fat and remove bay leaves.
  7. If desired, smash some of the beans up in the pot to thicken the dish.
  8. Pepper to taste, and enjoy!

 


Crock Pot Cheesy Spinach and Tomato Tortellini

Give this Crockpot Cheesy Spinach and Tomato Tortellini recipe a try if you're looking for a simple and delicious family-friendly dinner idea! Feel free to substitute your favorite tortellini and while it's excellent with the spinach and tomato, you can jazz it up with different vegetables or even some bacon bits if you want!

You know those slow cooker recipes that you can throw together in the morning and let cook all day long? This is not that recipe. This Crock Pot Cheesy Spinach and Tomato Tortellini is super easy to make, but the pasta only takes a couple of hours to cook, so you can’t step away from it for too long.

Did you guys know that Crock Pot Thursday isn’t just for recipe reviews? My family, and my extended family, make these dishes in our regular life, just like you do. We toss them together with a cup of coffee in one hand, and we delight in the aroma of our slow cooked meals when we come home from work in the evening or from hauling our kids around all day long. Really the only difference between your house and mine is that I plate one serving for my blog photos. That serving usually ends up being my dinner.

Give this Crockpot Cheesy Spinach and Tomato Tortellini a try if you're looking for a simple and delicious family-friendly dinner idea! Feel free to substitute your favorite tortellini and while it's excellent with the spinach and tomato, you can jazz it up with different vegetables or even some bacon bits if you want!

On Thursdays, my daughter has soccer practice in the evening, so I threw it together in the afternoon, and it was ready to serve when we walked in the door from practice. Well, ready as soon as I took my quick pictures with my point and shoot camera. Someday I’ll upgrade to a fancy model, but my discontinued Panasonic Lumix is treating me well for now, despite my habit of dropping electronics.

On second thought, maybe I shouldn’t get a fancy camera.

Give this Crockpot Cheesy Spinach and Tomato Tortellini recipe a try if you're looking for a simple and delicious family-friendly dinner idea! Feel free to substitute your favorite tortellini and while it's excellent with the spinach and tomato, you can jazz it up with different vegetables or even some bacon bits if you want!

Give this recipe a try if you like simple dishes your family will eat. Put it on your menu if you like meals that take 10 minutes or less to assemble. Have at it if you’re trying to gain weight, because it is not at all low calorie, and you won’t be able to eat a small serving. Trust me, I tried.

I used my 6.5-Quart Crock-Pot Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Cheesy Spinach and Tomato Tortellini.

Crock Pot Cheesy Spinach and Tomato Tortellini

Crock Pot Cheesy Spinach and Tomato Tortellini
 
Prep time
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This delicious Crock Pot Cheesy Spinach and Tomato Tortellini is a great weeknight meal the whole family will love!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 14 oz cans Italian-style diced tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz block cream cheese, chunked into pieces
  • 2 9 oz packages fresh cheese tortellini (or whatever flavor tortellini you like)
  • 1 5 oz bag fresh spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Place chicken or vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, and cream cheese chunks into slow cooker and mix together.
  2. Cover and cook on low 2-3 hours.
  3. Stir in the pasta.
  4. Cover and cook on low for about two more hours, or until pasta is cooked.
  5. Stir in spinach until wilted.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste, and serve with parmesan cheese.

Feedback

Linda
This was easy and really good. I used sausage parmesan tortellini, and also added a little piece of chopped zucchini I had on hand. I cooked this about 5 hours, and we loved it!!

Sarah
Our family like the flavor of this meal. I added stew meat which I probably would not recommend just because it doesn’t cook long enough to get really tender. We also thought the noodles were overlooked even though I only cooked them on low for five hours. I would suggest cooking for two hours maybe three and then adding the noodles just for the last couple hours.

Kim
This was a great throw together weekend crock meal. The flavor will obviously depend on what type of tortellini you use. We did a whole package Italian sausage tortellini from the refrigerated grocery aisle, and it was really tasty (and added meat to the dish which is kind of a must in our house). I cooked the sauce for about 3 hours, then threw in the pasta for the last 2 hours. Any longer and I think it would have been overcooked. Would make again!

Me
We all liked this pasta, even though my kids ate around the spinach and my husband ate around the tomatoes. I happily ate their rejects. I added 1/2 cup of bacon bits, which gave it a carbonara-type taste.


You will not believe how creamy and delicious this Crockpot Butternut Squash Tortellini recipe tastes!
My family went crazy for this Crockpot Cheesy Tortellini recipe!

Crock Pot Curry Mustard Beef Roast

This Crockpot Curry Mustard Beef Roast recipe is a delicious twist on traditional pot roast that you're going to love! Check out this quick and easy one pot dinner idea soon!

I love one pot meals. I like the fact that they dirty less dishes, I like not having to worry about sides, and I totally dig coming home from work and hearing my Crock Pot tell me, “Don’t worry about dinner. I’ve got your family’s entire meal right here.”

My slow cookers talk to me. I think objects take on human qualities when they are loved hard, a lesson we all learned from The Velveteen Rabbit. Usually my trusty slow cookers say nice things, like, “Go read a book while I whip up something your kids may or may not eat,” but sometimes they say “Hey lady, uh, are you going to wash me? I’ve been sitting next to this sink for two days.” Or, “Listen, it’s not my fault dinner is ruined. You forgot to turn me on again.”

Even if your slow cooker doesn’t talk to you (yet), it can crank out a delicious roast. Pot roasts are a popular slow cooker meal, and while we’ve made a few here at Crock Pot Thursday, but none have tasted like this. The addition of mustard and curry in this Crock Pot Curry Mustard Beef Roast adds a super tasty twist on the basic roast idea, and it’s versatile. You can use pretty much any kind of mustard and any inexpensive cut of beef you like, and the vegetables are adaptable, too. Some of us used different types of curry in our recipes, too. I used yellow curry powder, but Sarah substituted green curry paste for the powder with great results, and if you are a fan of red curry, then by all means, use that.

This Crockpot Curry Mustard Beef Roast recipe is a delicious twist on traditional pot roast that you're going to love! Check out this quick and easy one pot dinner idea soon!

I usually leave the peels on my potatoes because I don’t like throwing away those nutrients, and because I like the rustic way the dish looks with the potato skins, but you can peel yours if you like. Baby carrots are super easy, but peeled and chunked carrots are great, too. I’d love to hear any modifications you use, and how you’d rate this recipe!

This fun take on pot roast is a great way to kick off fall, which is officially here, even though it’s still 80 degrees here in Connecticut!

Crock Pot Curry Mustard Beef Roast
 
Prep time
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Traditional beef pot roast with a delicious curry twist!
Author:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 4-6 small red or yukon gold potatoes,peeled if desired, and quartered
  • 3 cups baby carrots, or 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 medium onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 1⁄2 cups beef stock
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 3 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • 2 TBSP mild curry powder (use your favorite type of curry)
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 lbs beef eye round
For Gravy
  • 1⁄3 cup water
  • 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place potatoes and carrots in slow cooker and add beef broth.
  2. Sprinkle with pepper.
  3. In a small bowl, combine mustard, curry powder, oregano, garlic powder, and thyme to make a paste.
  4. Spread mustard mixture all over roast, and place roast on top of vegetables in slow cooker.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  6. When vegetables are cooked and meat is fork tender, remove roast to a platter.
  7. Scoop out vegetables and place around roast on platter. Cover platter with foil to keep warm.
For Gravy
  1. Pour juices from slow cooker through a strainer into a saucepan to remove any chunks.
  2. In a small bowl, combine water and flour, and whisk until smooth.
  3. Pour flour mixture into saucepan and stir well.
  4. Over medium high heat, bring to a boil, stirring frequently, until desired thickness.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste, and serve over meat and vegetables.
Notes
Sarah
I used honey mustard because that's what we had. With about an hour left, I tried this and couldn't taste the curry as much as I wanted to, so I put about 2 to 3 tbsp of chili with garlic sauce and about 2 tsp of green curry paste. It came out delicious with a hint of spice but so yummy and such a different type of roast. I thought later this would have been great chunked up with ramen noodles and green onion. Yummy!

Kim
I was pleasantly surprised with how this turned out. Instead of roast, I used stew meat. Otherwise I followed the recipe almost exactly, adding a just touch more curry and salt. After nearly 10 hours on low, the meat was so tender that it entirely fell apart when I stirred it before serving. Our meal looked like prison food, but the flavor was amazing! I loved the seasoning combo in this recipe and will definitely use it again, with either a roast or stew meat! Yum.

Linda
We really enjoyed this very different roast flavor, and the gravy with the mustard/curry flavor combo was amazing. I used tiny, new potatoes, and followed the recipe exactly. I will do this again!! It almost rivaled our Crock Pot Mississippi Roast. (Do I dare say that?)

Me
We all enjoyed this roast, and liked the interesting twist on traditional pot roast. The curry added a nice layer of complexity, and wasn't at all spicy for the kids. My husband would have liked a stronger curry flavor, so if you are like him, you may want to add an extra tablespoon or two of the curry powder.

Recipe modified from Food.com.

I used my 6.5-Quart Crock-Pot Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Curry Mustard Beef Roast.

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Crock Pot Meatloaf and Vegetables

This Crockpot Meatloaf cooks on top of the vegetables, giving this quick and easy one pot meal a great flavor!

Sometimes I like to think back to when I was a newlywed, and I was trying to cook like how I imagined a wife should cook. This was funny for a few reasons. One, my dad did a good majority of the cooking when I was growing up because my mom was busy saving lives at the hospital; and two, I was a terrible cook.

One of the first dishes I tried to make for my husband was meatloaf. It tasted bad and looked worse. I couldn’t figure  out why such a seemingly simple recipe could have gone so wrong. It was bland, dense, and wouldn’t stay in loaf form. My husband suffered through far too many failed meatloaf attempts before I learned that the key to tasty meatloaf is very finely chopped vegetables, enough salt and pepper, and the proper ratio of meat to bread crumbs. We like our meatloaf without big chunks of onion and bell pepper, and the bread crumbs keep it from becoming too dense.

Really, though, I finally mastered meatloaf when I was introduced to my mother-in-law‘s recipe. Until now, her simple and delicious recipe has been cooked in the oven (at 350 for one hour), but today we’re making it in the Crock Pot, and we’re throwing some carrots and potatoes in with it!

This Crockpot Meatloaf and Vegetables recipe is a great one pot meal for a quick family dinner!

You can use whatever vegetables you like with your meatloaf, and if you want to use ground turkey in place of the beef, go right ahead. If you don’t like glaze on your meatloaf, you can skip that step and your meal will turn out just fine. My kids and husband like the glaze, and in the last few years, I’ve come around to the glaze, too. When we ate this Crock Pot Thursday dish, one of the kids said it was like “Frosting for the meatloaf,” which sounds gross, but totally isn’t.

I used my 6.5-Quart Crock-Pot Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Meatloaf and Vegetables. (affiliate link)

Crock Pot Meatloaf and Vegetables

Crock Pot Meatloaf and Vegetables
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Cook your meatloaf and your vegetables in the same slow cooker for a delicious one pot meal!
Author:
Ingredients
  • about 3 cups baby carrots
  • about 4 small to medium potatoes, quartered
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1½ tsp pepper, divided
  • 1½ lbs ground beef
  • ½ cup onion, chopped very finely
  • ½ green bell pepper, chopped very finely
  • ⅔ cup bread crumbs or crushed Saltines
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • For Glaze
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 3 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
Instructions
  1. In the bottom of slow cooker, place baby carrots and quartered potatoes.
  2. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper.
  3. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, onion, bell pepper, bread crumbs or Saltines, milk, eggs, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper. Using your hands, mix the ingredients well.
  4. Shape the meatloaf mixture into a loaf, and place directly on top of the carrots and potatoes.
  5. If desired, mix glaze ingredients in a small bowl, and spread over the top of the meatloaf.
  6. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours.
  7. To serve, carefully transfer meatloaf to a platter, and add vegetables to the platter.
Notes
Kim
I was worried that cooking meatloaf in the crock would make it turn out mushy, but it worked great! And with chopped potatoes and baby carrots on the bottom, the meatloaf concoction on top created enough juices to give the veggies great moisture and flavor. Next time I might try adding a half of a brown gravy packet to the veggies. Usually meatloaf is for weekends in our house due to baking time, but now we can make this yummy comfort food any day of the week!

Linda
This was genius! The carrots and potato chunks on the bottom were very moist and tender. I did salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash them before covering them with the meatloaf. I cooked everything on low for 8 hours and it was perfectly done.

Me
I've made this twice now, and it's a great way to make a whole meal in one pot. Winner, winner, meatloaf for dinner!


I shared this recipe on Whatcha Crockin’ Wednesdays.

Crock Pot Hawaiian Chicken

This Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken is a tasty mix of pineapple, BBQ sauce, soy sauce, and garlic, that can be served over rice or on buns! Try this quick and easy dinner idea soon!

Sometimes we make a Crock Pot Thursday recipe that we like, but life gets busy and I forget about it before I have a chance to write about it. Yesterday I was scrolling through the images on my camera and came across the ones for this Crock Pot Hawaiian Chicken, and immediately wished I had sweet and tangy shredded chicken in my slow cooker and not just in my camera.

I’m a fan of dishes that can be served multiple ways. I won’t make different dinners for each of my family members, but if my six-year-old is in a kick where she doesn’t like sandwiches, I have no problem giving her the exact same thing we’re eating, only disassembled on her plate. “Here’s your chicken, your bun, and your shredded cabbage. Enjoy!” She’s happy and I’m happy. My husband is irritated, but only because he can’t understand why someone wouldn’t like a sandwich. I also love sandwiches, but I save my aggravation for the fact that she refuses to wear jeans.

This Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken is a tasty mix of pineapple, BBQ sauce, soy sauce, and garlic, that can be served over rice or on buns! Try this quick and easy dinner idea soon!

We piled this chicken on buns the first night, and over rice the next. I had some of it on a salad for lunch once, too.

If you like a little bit of heat, increase the cayenne pepper or use spicy BBQ sauce. As always, I’m a huge fan of Sweet Baby Ray’s, but any sort of BBQ sauce is fine.

I used my 3.5 Quart Crock-Pot Casserole Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Hawaiian Chicken, but whichever kind of slow cooker you have will work!

Crock Pot Hawaiian Chicken

Crock Pot Hawaiian Chicken
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple, with juice
  • 2 cups BBQ sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • dash of cayenne pepper if desired
  • Optional: cabbage, cilantro, pineapple rings, red onion, buns
Instructions
  1. Place chicken in slow cooker.
  2. In a bowl, combine pineapple, BBQ sauce, garlic cloves, soy sauce and cayenne pepper.
  3. Pour over chicken.
  4. Cover and cook on low 4-6 hours.
  5. Serving suggestions: Shred chicken and place on buns topped with cabbage, cilantro, red onions, or pineapple rings, or serve chicken over rice.
Notes
Linda

This was really good. I used garlic powder and spicy barbecue sauce. Even my son who is not a fan of chicken liked this. I had mine shredded on top of a green salad, others ate it as a whole piece of chicken with rice and salad. Either way, we liked the flavors!

Me

I served this chicken on buns with shredded cabbage the first night, and over rice the next. We enjoyed the sweet, tangy flavor of the chicken, and next time, I'll add cilantro and red onion to the sandwiches!


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Back to School Crock Pot Recipes Your Kids Will Actually Eat

Make Back to School meal planning a breeze with these Crock Pot recipes your kids will love! Dinner ideas include: chicken, pasta, meatballs, wraps, pork, soups, tacos, sandwiches, beef, and even super easy baked potatoes! This is your one stop shop for easy, family-friendly slow cooker meal ideas

Back to school is right around the corner, and I’m already thinking about how busy our afternoons and evenings will be. I’m not going to lie, it’s bumming me out.

If you are like me, you’re dreading trying to get back into a routine, and are worried about the responsibility of feeding a family when evenings are quick and bedtimes are early. Well, you guys, I’m here to help.

If you are familiar with my Crock Pot Thursday series, you know that I have spent several years testing and reviewing one slow cooker recipe a week with my mother-in-law and a few of my sisters-in-law. Most of us feed children, and all of us feed grown men who are often more picky than the kids. Today I’m sharing the recipes our kids actually ate!

I selected easy, quick, and family-friendly choices, so you can slap the meal together in the time it takes to make lunch. Often, the recipe can be assembled the night before, plopped in your Crock Pot and turned on in the morning, freeing up time to pour yourself one more cup of coffee before the chaos begins.

Feast your eyes on these Back to School Crock Pot recipes kids will actually eat, and click on the picture or the name to go to the recipe page. Enjoy!

Crock Pot Recipes Kids Will Actually Eat!

40 Clove Garlic Chicken
Don’t let the 40 cloves of garlic scare you. This chicken tastes delicious, and while you’ll be scavenging for the delicious chunks of garlic, your kids will be gobbling up the moist and flavorful chicken.

This Crockpot 40 Clove Garlic Chicken is an amazing dinner recipe your whole family will love. Low carb and healthy, you can't go wrong with this chicken meal!

Bacon Cheeseburgers

These delicious Crockpot Bacon Cheeseburgers look like a Sloppy Joe, and taste like a bacon burger! This is a fun crockpot sandwich recipe your family will love!

Bacon Ranch Chicken

This Crockpot Bacon Ranch Chicken is quick, easy, and crockpot chicken recipe your kids will love

Beef and Broccoli
If the trick of pretending broccoli is “baby trees” no longer works on your kids, try getting them to eat it by preparing it in an extra delicious way. This recipe should do the trick!

This Crockpot Beef and Broccoli is a quick, easy, and delicious slow cooker recipe!

Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole

My kids went crazy for this quick and easy Crockpot Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole recipe!

Chicken and Noodles
This recipe isn’t fancy, but kids LOVE it. Sometimes I add peas and carrots to it, because adding extra veggies to kid-friendly dishes is kind of my thing.

It takes less than 10 minutes to assemble this hearty crockpot chicken and noodles recipe! If you're looking for comfort food, this easy recipe is just right!

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

Crock Pot Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

Chicken Doritos Casserole
This one is an obvious winner, because DORITOS. Your kids will be shocked, in the very best way. “Are these chips? For dinner?” The final product tastes like enchiladas, but without all of the work. Top it with lettuce and tomatoes to make yourself feel better about gorging on Doritos casserole.

Chicken Doritos Casserole1

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Crockpot Chicken Cordon Bleu is a quick and easy way to get big, fancy flavor. Try this crockpot chicken recipe for your next dinner!

Chicken Pot Pie Stew

Delicious and hearty, this Chicken Pot Pie Stew will be loved by all!

Cheesy Tortellini
My family went crazy for this Cheesy Tortellini, and now I make sure I double the recipe. Sometimes I reheat some of the leftovers and throw it in a Thermos for my kids’ school lunches.

My family went crazy for this Crockpot Cheesy Tortellini recipe!

Corn Chowder

This Crockpot Corn Chowder is a delicious and hearty soup you'll love! Try this quick and easy dinner idea today!

Cream Cheese Chicken

Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken1

Cowboy Casserole
It’s no surprise this casserole has been pinned over 10,ooo times! It’s sort of a love child of chili and homestyle potatoes, and the result is delicious. Top it with sour cream and green onions to really bring it home!

This Crockpot Cowboy Casserole is a hearty and family-friendly crockpot meal. My husband loved this slow cooker recipe!

Creamy Beef Stroganoff

This Crockpot Beef Stroganoff recipe is a quick, easy, and delicious weeknight meal! Your whole family will love this beef dinner idea!

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
What’s a list of kid-friendly recipes without macaroni and cheese? The adults in our family loved this dish, too!

This Creamy Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese is a recipe loved by adults and kids alike!

Creamy Ranch Pork Chops

These Crockpot Creamy Ranch Pork Chops are easy to prepare and will be loved by all. Double this recipe if you expect any leftovers!

Creamy Salsa Chicken

This Crockpot Creamy Salsa Chicken recipe is incredibly easy to throw together, and tastes great! Wrap it in a tortilla or serve it over rice for a quick and easy dinner idea!

Easy Beef Pot Roast
The first thing people think of when they hear “Crock Pot” is soups, stews, and roasts. We rarely makes roasts in our slow cooker, but when we do, everyone’s happy. This one calls for a secret ingredient!

You won't believe the secret ingredient that makes this easy crockpot beef pot roast a family favorite!

Easy Chicken Chili

Crockpot Chicken Chili is perfect for a weeknight meal or for feeding a crowd. My family loves this easy chicken recipe!

Easy Crock Pot Applesauce

Crock Pot Applesauce that is easy, sugar-free, and delicious!

French Dip Subs
People went crazy over these subs, and for good reason. A friend’s pre-teen daughter even requested these for her special birthday dinner. They are that good. Make them. Make them soon!

Crock Pot French Dip Subs are a quick and easy dinner idea your family will love!

Honey Garlic Chicken

This Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken is a quick and easy dinner idea your family will love! It's one of our favorite slow cooker chicken recipes!

Lasagna Soup

This Crockpot Lasagna Soup is delicious!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup
The most time consuming part of preparing this incredible soup is frying the bacon and chopping the veggies. Do it the night before, and morning you will sing the praises of night you.

This Crockpot Loaded Baked Potato Soup is hearty, delicious, and looks beautiful when the toppings are added! It's one of my favorite crockpot soup recipes!

Meatball Subs

These Crock Pot Meatball Subs are delicious!

Minestrone

This Crock Pot Minestrone recipe is full of delicious veggies! This healthy and hearty dinner idea is a family favorite!

Mississippi Chicken
This chicken looks spicy, but it isn’t! All of the Crock Pot Thursday children (7 kids, ages 8 and under) loved it! This is my all-time favorite chicken. Because butter. And ranch.

This Crock Pot Mississippi Chicken recipe is a quick and easy dinner idea that has incredible flavor! Whatever you do, don't skip the pepperoncinis!

Mississippi Roast Sandwich 

This Crockpot Mississippi Roast Sandwich recipe is the most amazing beef to come out of a slow cooker. It is moist, flavorful, and so easy it takes only 5 minutes to prepare. Try this! It will become a dinner you'll LOVE!

Pork Carnitas
The flavors in this recipe are complex enough for the adults to enjoy, and the kids love being able to put together their own tortilla fixings. Throw some barbeque sauce on the leftovers and make tasty BBQ pork sandwiches.

These Crockpot Pork Carnitas are an easy and delicious dinner idea!

Pork Tacos
If your family is like mine, they’ll eat pretty much anything wrapped in a tortilla. These pork tacos taste even better than they look, if you can believe that. I love them, and my kids love adding their own toppings!

The shredded meat for these Crockpot Pork Tacos is also excellent on salads, nachos, and with rice! If you're looking for quick, easy, and versatile dinner recipes, this is for you!

Salsa Verde Chicken

Salsa Verde Chicken from @FunnyIsFamily

Sausage and Peppers

These Crockpot Sausage and Peppers are delicious and super easy to make! Give this dinner recipe a try when you're craving fair food without the cost or the crowds! They are great for parties, picnics, and holiday celebrations, too!

Shredded Chicken
This incredibly easy, super tasty shredded chicken is a dinner saver! I like to whip up a big batch of it, and use it in everything from tacos to pasta to salads. It’s excellent in soups, you can squirt some BBQ sauce on it for BBQ chicken sandwiches, and it can go on top of nachos. Truly, the possibilities are endless, and the spices in this recipe lend themselves to all sorts of dishes.

This recipe is the easiest and most delicious Crockpot Shredded Chicken, and is great in so many dishes! Use it for tacos, soups, nachos, salads, sandwiches, and more! My family loves this quick and easy dinner idea!

Sausage Pizza Pasta

This Crock Pot Pizza Pasta recipe is a quick and easy dinner idea kids and adults will love equally!

Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes
I don’t know if you’ll find an easier Crock Pot recipe, and the kids will love adding their own toppings!

These Crockpot Baked Potatoes don't need to be wrapped in foil, and they turn out perfectly in the slow cooker!

Slow Cooker Lasagna

Classic Crockpot Lasagna is a dinner everyone in my family loves! Give this delicious meal a try for dinner soon!

Slow Cooker Roasted Turkey Breast
This roasted turkey breast is made with the most incredible rub! Don’t wait for Thanksgiving to make this quick and easy dinner. You deserve Thanksgiving quality turkey more than once a year, and the leftovers (if there are any) of this turkey makes fantastic sandwiches.

This Crockpot Roasted Turkey Breast is made with the most incredible rub! Don't wait for Thanksgiving to make this quick and easy dinner. Your family will love it!

Slow Cooked Mashed Potatoes

These Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes are easy and delicious!

Slow Cooked Whole Chicken
A few spices, an onion, and a chicken make up this recipe. This may be the easiest recipe in the entire Crock Pot Thursday lineup, and it’s healthy and delicious.
This Crockpot whole chicken tastes incredible and you won't believe how quick and easy it is!

Smothered Pork Chops

These crockpot smothered pork chops are an easy and delicious dinner idea!

Southwest Chicken Soup

Southwest Chicken Soup

Spaghetti and Meatballs
We love spaghetti and meatballs around here, but we love meatball subs equally. This recipe can be used for either of these family favorites!

This Crockpot Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe is a family favorite! It's an easy dinner idea that is perfect for company or for a quick weeknight dish!

Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup

Steak and Gravy

Crock Pot Steak and Gravy

Spare Ribs
You will be shocked at how much these Crock Pot spare ribs taste like they came off the BBQ! If you don’t have all day to make fall-off-the-bone ribs on your grill, let the slow cooker do the work for you.

You will be shocked at how much these Crockpot Spare Ribs taste like they came off the BBQ! If you need an easy recipe for fall off the bone ribs, this is it!

Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup

Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup

Sweet Potatoes

Don't wait for Thanksgiving to make these incredibly easy Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes recipe! They have the perfect blend of buttery sweetness, and make an excellent side dish!

Sweet and Sour Pork Wraps
These wraps are great for warm evenings, and the cabbage, pork, and cilantro combination tastes amazing!

These Crockpot Sweet and Sour Pork Wraps will knock your socks off! They are a quick and easy dinner idea for hot days, and are a family favorite!

Teriyaki Chicken

This Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken recipe is a quick and easy dinner idea your family will love! YUM!

Tex-Mex Chicken

This Crockpot Tex-Mex Chicken recipe is great in a tortilla or over rice. My family loves this easy dinner idea!

Vegetable Beef Soup

This Crockpot Vegetable Beef Soup recipe is an easy dinner ideas, and a delicious way to eat your veggies!

World’s Greatest Chili
My kids like to top this chili with sour cream, cheese, and if I’m feeling like a fun mom, Fritos. We love chili dogs, too!

This Crockpot Chili is my very favorite chili of all-time. It has both beef and pork in it, and the mix of spices and peppers adds a wonderfully complex flavor. You have to try it!

These crock pot recipes kids will actually eat are all tried, tested, and loved by multiple families. Check out the full compilation HERE, make yourself a shopping list, and log some miles on that slow cooker in your kitchen!

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Crock Pot Mississippi Chicken

This Crockpot Mississippi Chicken recipe is a quick and easy dinner idea that has incredible flavor! Whatever you do, don't skip the pepperoncinis!

Have you heard of the Mississippi Roast craze? We made one last year, and it’s still one of our very favorite Crock Pot Thursday recipes, so I was excited to try the same idea, but with chicken. I’m hooked on cooking with pepperoncinis, and am loving the slight kick they give the meat, without being too spicy.

This version uses chicken breasts, and I’ve made it two ways now. The first is as seen above, keeping the chicken breast intact, which plates beautifully and is nice and moist.

This Crock Pot Mississippi Chicken recipe is a quick and easy dinner idea that has incredible flavor! Whatever you do, don't skip the pepperoncinis!

The second way is to shred the chicken in the juices at the end of the cook time, and serve it over rice, on top of a salad, or in a tortilla. This version was excellent as well, and helps the chicken absorb even more of the delicious buttery sauce.

Honestly, you can’t go wrong either way, and you are going to fall in love with this chicken!

I used my 3.5 Quart Crock-Pot Casserole Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Mississippi Chicken.

This Crockpot Mississippi Chicken recipe is a quick and easy dinner idea that has incredible flavor! Whatever you do, don't skip the pepperoncinis!

Crock Pot Mississippi Chicken

Crock Pot Mississippi Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
You won't believe how delicious and easy this Crock Pot Mississippi Chicken is!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
  • 1 packet gravy mix (I used turkey)
  • 10 pepperoncinis
Instructions
  1. Place chicken in slow cooker, and sprinkle dry ranch mix and gravy packet over the top.
  2. Slice butter into four or five even slices, and place on top of chicken.
  3. Distribute pepperoncinis on top.
  4. Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours.
  5. If desired, shred chicken in juices. Otherwise, serve breasts with a little of the sauce drizzled on top.
Notes
Sarah

This recipe was deeelicious! The taste of the pepperoncinis made this dish amazing! I thought it might be a little spicy, but the spice level was perfect for kids. Both of my kids ate two plates. I want to make this again right now!

Kim

One of my favorite recipes for Crock Pot Thursday is our Mississippi Roast. So I was excited to see that we were making a chicken version this week. And it didn't disappoint! The chicken was moist and tender, and the juices (which I made into gravy) were so so flavorful. We had with garlic mashed potatoes and together it was the ultimate comfort food. We had 4 kids age 4 and under for dinner, and they all lapped it up. Win!
(Kim used boneless, skinless chicken thighs.)

Linda

This made the most moist, flavorful, and delicious chicken ever. I used frozen chicken breasts, and cooked on low for 8 hours. The chicken shredded perfectly. The first night we ate it over mashed potatoes, and the next we poured it over ciabatta buns and topped with bacon and cheddar cheese. Yummm!!!

Me

I loved this recipe, and it may be my favorite Crock Pot Thursday chicken recipe, and with tons of chicken in our recipe index, that's a pretty bold statement.

Recipe modified from Recipes That Crock!


This Crockpot Mississippi Chicken recipe is a quick and easy dinner idea that has incredible flavor! Whatever you do, don't skip the pepperoncini!

Crock Pot Chicken Penne Pasta

This Crockpot Chicken Penne Pasta recipe is a simple dinner idea the whole family will enjoy!

I love my Crock Pot in the winter because it warms soups, stews, and hearty meals that are perfect for cold days, but I also love it in the summer when I can throw something together in the morning, and avoid the kitchen for the rest of the day. It’s really an all-season kitchen tool!

My kids love pasta. My husband does, too, and this recipe is a family favorite. There are rarely leftovers, and that’s high praise around here.

​This Crock Pot Chicken Penne Pasta is very adaptable. Chicken thighs can be substituted for the chicken breasts, and I’ve used pork chops or ground sausage in the past. If you don’t have penne on hand, most other kinds of pasta would work, too. I’m going to let you in on a secret: Sometimes, I throw in a jar of spaghetti sauce instead of the Italian tomatoes and tomato sauce. I’m crazy like that.

Use what you have on hand, and make this dish your own!

I used my 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Chicken Penne Pasta.

Crock Pot Chicken Penne Pasta

Crock Pot Chicken Penne Pasta
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28 ounce can diced Italian tomatoes
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • Parmesan cheese and fresh oregano or basil
Instructions
  1. Place the chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Top with onion, garlic, diced Italian tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, and basil. Stir to combine.
  3. Cover, and cook on low for six to eight hours.
  4. Cook pasta according to directions on box, ensuring they are al dente.
  5. Remove chicken from slow cooker and add pasta to sauce. Stir to combine. Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve chicken over pasta. Top with parmesan cheese and fresh basil or oregano.
  7. Enjoy!


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Crock Pot Easy Sweet Potatoes

Don't wait for Thanksgiving to make these incredibly easy Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes recipe! They have the perfect blend of buttery sweetness, and make an excellent side dish!

We are almost a half a year away from Thanksgiving, but I can’t stop thinking about sweet potatoes. I’m not talking about the healthy-type baked sweet potatoes topped with skinny things like broccoli, ground turkey, or black beans. The sweet potatoes clouding my brain are the buttery kind topped with things like salt, pepper, and delicious brown sugar.

You won’t believe how easy these Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes are, and if you are like me, and need to scratch that Thanksgiving itch more than once a year, may I suggest this Crock Pot Roasted Turkey to go with your spuds? It is another easy recipe that reminds you of those fancy holiday dinners, without having to get out the good dishes or navigate family politics over the sound of football and crying children.

Since it’s July, skip the pumpkin pie and have watermelon  for dessert. Mmm…watermelon. Now that’s something to give thanks for.

Don't wait for Thanksgiving to make these incredibly easy Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes recipe! They have the perfect blend of buttery sweetness, and make an excellent side dish!

Easy Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes

Easy Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 3 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Place sweet potatoes in slow cooker.
  2. Add salt, pepper, and brown sugar.
  3. Pour butter over it all, and stir to combine.
  4. Cover and cook on high 2 hours or low 4 hours, stirring once during cooking.
  5. Stir once more before serving to get all the sugary, buttery goodness all over the sweet potatoes.

I used my 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker to make these Easy Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes.


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11 Reasons to Love Your Slow Cooker

Today I spent 15 minutes making dinner, and that included the time it took me to wash my Crock Pot insert from dinner last night.

I can’t tell you how often people say to me, “I have a Crock Pot, but I never use it.” Variations of this include, “My family wouldn’t eat anything from a slow cooker,” or “Well, I don’t like cream of mushroom stuff.”

This Crockpot 40 Clove Garlic Chicken is an amazing dinner recipe your whole family will love. Low carb and healthy, you can't go wrong with this chicken meal!
No cream of mushroom soup in this gorgeous chicken.

I love slow cooking, but until now, I haven’t shared why. If you don’t get what is so great about slow cooking; if you imagine all slow cooked food looking brown, soggy, and bland; or if you are the person who said to me, “Yeah, I know how to throw chicken and barbeque sauce in a Crock Pot. Thanks, though,” this post is for you.

Crock Pot cooking can be fancy, or it can be as simple as chicken breasts and a jar of salsa. My ideal slow cooker recipe is quick, healthy, and something my kids and husband will eat.

Impossible, you say? No, sir. My family, including my mother-in-law and three sisters-in-law, have tested and reviewed almost 200 recipes in the past few years, and have shared our honest feedback, along with our modifications in our popular Crock Pot Thursday series. But before you check out what you should make, read why you should love your slow cooker.Slow cooking isn't just for roasts and stews! If you have a crockpot, but rarely use it, read these tips, tricks, and ideas for why and when you can use a slow cooker. I love mine for summer recipes, holiday meals, and easy dinner ideas my family loves!

11 Reasons to Love Your Slow Cooker

1. You can pretend someone else made your meal.

You know when you go to someone’s house for dinner, and the smell of the food meets you at the door? That’s how I feel when I come home from work and the scents from my slow cooker greet me. Even though it was Morning Me who prepared dinner, it still feels like a treat for Afternoon Me. Similarly, if I make an overnight breakfast recipe, I wake up to a fully cooked meal, and as an early riser who rarely wakes up to breakfast smells, that is the ultimate treat.

2. It keeps your house cool.

On hot days, avoid heating up the kitchen by using your slow cooker. Instead of sweating over a stove, sit in front of the air conditioner, lie by the pool, or eat popsicles on the front steps. Don’t all of those things sound better that standing in the kitchen?

These Crockpot Sweet and Sour Pork Wraps will knock your socks off! They are a quick and easy dinner idea for hot days, and are a family favorite!
These are perfect for a hot day!

3. Slow cookers are forgiving. 

If you get distracted by a phone call or get caught up chatting with the neighbors, your food won’t burn. If you’re late getting home from work because of clients or meetings that ran long, or because you were stuck in traffic, your slow cooker doesn’t care. It’s all, “Oh, hey. You’re 40 minutes late, but dinner’s still going to be delicious!”

4. They are great for when people are eating at different times.

Whether it be a potluck, a New Year’s Eve party, or just when my husband works late and eats a few hours later than the kids and I, the food in the slow cooker is ready for the first person in the buffet line, but is still going strong for the later crowd.

We rang in the New Year with these bad boys.
We rang in the New Year with these bad boys.

5. It can save money.

Oh, now I have your attention! Slow cooking uses less electricity than ovens and stoves, and is a great method for cooking inexpensive cuts of meat. Over time, both of these facts will save you some dollar bills, which you can use to buy fun things like ice cream and books.

6. A little morning planning saves precious time in the evening. 

Our evenings are busy, and I’d much rather be able to help the kids with their homework or knock out an early evening dance party than be tethered to the kitchen while the kids try to kill each other and break my couch. Honestly, many of the slow cooker recipes I’ve posted can be thrown together in the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee. Not your first cup, of course. Please sit and enjoy that first cup. You deserve it.

These Crockpot Sausage and Peppers are delicious and super easy to make! Give this dinner recipe a try when you're craving fair food without the cost or the crowds! They are great for parties, picnics, and holiday celebrations, too!
These honestly couldn’t be easier, and they taste AMAZING.

7. Crock Pots are an excellent tool to use during the holidays.

Our kitchen has one oven, and that thing gets tons of action on Thanksgiving and Easter. I couldn’t make side dishes without my trusty slow cookers, nor would I want to. Mashed potatoes, roasted turkeysausage stuffing, ham, and au gratin potatoes are incredible when slow cooked!

8. It’ll make you popular, and get you invited to stuff.

Everyone loves it when someone brings a slow cooker to a party. Think about when you roll into a function with a veggie tray. Everyone is happy to see you, but the only people who are thrilled to see your food are those folks who are getting serious about weight loss again. (And they’re really serious this time.) Now think about the reaction when you saunter up with a slow cooker. Your friends can’t wait to see what’s inside. Is it meatballs? Little Smokies? Seven Layer Dip? Oh, the anticipation!

These Crockpot Grape Jelly Meatballs are simple, delicious, and the perfect party appetizer! With only a few ingredients, they are so easy!
Bring these to a party. Stand back and watch them get devoured.

9. They help you avoid the drive-thru.

On nights when my kids have sports or school activities, we sometimes leave the house at 4:30, and don’t get home until after 7 pm. Everyone is starving, and we’re dangerously close to bedtime. When there is a Crock Pot recipe waiting for us, I can throw food on the table quickly, and have the kids heading up to bed by 8. Sure, they still come down for water, or to report a “creepy noise,” or for one more hug, but that’s not something my slow cooker can control.

10. They make the best chicken and turkey stock.

After eating a whole chicken or after stripping the meat off your Thanksgiving turkey, toss the bones and some veggies into your slow cooker with water, and cook it long and low. It makes incredible stock, and you can fill your freezer with that delicious nectar and never buy store bought stock again!

11. They make your house smell amazing.

Depending on how you look at it, this can actually be a bad thing. Sometimes when I’m home all day, the enticing aromas from my slow cooker make me extra hungry, and I’m itching to rip the lid off and tear into whatever is cooking. I’m not the only one who has reported this problem.

There is a reason this Crockpot Beer Chicken has been pinned thousands of times! It is moist, flavorful, and it makes an excellent gravy. Give this popular crockpot chicken recipe a try!
You’ll want to sneak some of this before dinnertime. DON’T.

Slow cooking isn’t just for stews and roasts, and it shouldn’t only be busted out in the winter when you’re making your grandma’s bread pudding recipe. There are countless amazing slow cooker recipes just waiting for you to try, and with a little bit of planning, this one kitchen tool can save you so much valuable time in your day. And who doesn’t want delicious food and more time?

Here are the slow cooker I have in my current rotation. I particularly love my casserole shaped Crock Pot, because the insert transfers to the table easily and looks beautiful. (These contain affiliate links.)

Check out the entire Crock Pot Thursday recipe index, and start planning your slow cooking menu!



Follow me on Pinterest, where I pin tons of delicious-looking slow cooker recipes!

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Crock Pot Bacon and Sausage Breakfast Casserole

This Crockpot Bacon and Sausage Breakfast Casserole recipe is a hearty meal that will be ready when you wake up!

I’ll never get over how it feels to wake up to breakfast cooking. It’s such a wonderful sensation, and as a mom, one that I rarely experience anymore. In fact, when I’m at someone else’s house and I get to wake up to the glorious scents of morning foods, I feel guilty.

I think, I should be out there helping.

Are the kids up? How long have I been sleeping?

Since I didn’t help with breakfast, I’d better get down there to help with the dishes.

The amazing thing about overnight slow cooker breakfast casseroles is that I get to wake up to breakfast smells without the guilt of oversleeping. It’s the best.

This Crock Pot breakfast casserole has all of the usual players: eggs, potatoes, cheese, and onions, but it kicks it up a notch and doubles down on the meat. Bacon AND sausage? Yes, please!

I vow to make more overnight breakfasts in my slow cooker. I also vow to stop feeling guilty when I wake up to breakfast at someone else’s house. Instead, I will graciously accept their breakfast foods and hospitality, and I will continue to offer to do the dishes.

I used my 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Bacon and Sausage Breakfast Casserole.

Crock Pot Bacon and Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Crock Pot Bacon and Sausage Breakfast Casserole
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 32 ounces frozen cubed (or shredded) hash browns
  • 1 pound breakfast sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • 1½ cups bacon bits, or 1 pound fried chopped bacon
  • 6 green onions, finely chopped
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 12 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp dried mustard
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Additional salt and pepper on hashbrown layers
Instructions
  1. Lightly grease the insert of slow cooker with nonstick spray, or use a slow cooker liner.
  2. Layer ⅓ of the hashbrowns on the bottom, sprinkling with salt and pepper.
  3. Top with ⅓ of the cooked sausage and bacon, then ⅓ of the onions and ⅓ of the cheese. Repeat layers two more times, ending with the cheese.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, garlic powder, dried mustard, salt, and pepper.
  5. Pour egg mixture over the layers in the slow cooker.
  6. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
Notes
Linda

The aroma of this casserole was a great wake-up call. We all thought it could use a little more sausage, but it was still really good. The leftovers were even better the next day. I did add some salt and pepper.

Sarah

What a yummy meal this was. Instead of bacon, I added two pounds of sausage and it was about perfect! I also added a bit of Mrs. Dash because it adds a little something. We were left with some and ate it for the a few breakfasts.

Me

This was a solid breakfast casserole recipe, and I liked the bacon and sausage mix. Who says breakfast casseroles can't have two meats? We all liked this dish, and would make it again.

Recipe modified from Seeded at the Table.


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Crock Pot Creamy Tomato Soup

This Creamy Crockpot Tomato Soup tastes fancy, looks beautiful, and is a light lunch or dinner recipe!

Behold, the beauty of homemade tomato soup. I’ll admit, I have a fierce devotion to the stuff in a can, but this Crock Pot Creamy Tomato Soup? It’s in a whole other league.

It starts with sauteed vegetables, a fact I will adamantly deny if you tell my kids, and ends with fancy cheeses. It has basil and thyme, milk and tomatoes, and everything comes together perfectly.

Did I serve it with grilled cheese? Of course I did. Around here, we call a grilled cheese sandwich a GC-dub, which is short for GCW, which is short for grilled cheese on white (or wheat). GC-dubs were my go to as a college freshman, and I liked mine with a side of french fries. I was committed to gaining my freshman fifteen, and I knew just how to make it happen.

These days, I still like a grilled cheese sandwich, but I take them with a bowl of tomato soup instead of a side of fries. I’m heavy into the dipping, and this soup is excellent on that front.

This recipe is easiest to prepare if you have an immersion blender, but can be done without one. Do you have an immersion blender? I had no idea what I was missing the years I spent transferring small batches of soups to my blender when it called for blending. If you are holding out like I did for far too long, now is the time. Get yourself an immersion blender today, and go crazy blending soups. It’s really fun. (I don’t get out much.)

I used my 6.5-Quart Crock-Pot Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker to make this Creamy Crock Pot Tomato Soup.

Crock Pot Creamy Tomato Soup

Creamy Crock Pot Tomato Soup
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • 28 oz can whole plum tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3½ cups reduced sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • Parmesan or Romano cheese rind (optional, but recommended)
  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 2 TBSP flour
  • ⅓ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1¾ cups 2% milk, warm
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • additional grated cheese and croutons for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil, celery, carrot, and onion. Cook for about five minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften. Transfer to the slow cooker.
  2. Add the tomatoes with juice, and crush gently to break up the tomatoes.
  3. Add thyme, basil, bay leaf, chicken (or vegetable) broth, and cheese rind. Stir to combine.
  4. Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours.
  5. Remove the cheese rind, and using an immersion blender, blend the soup to desired consistency. (If you don't have an immersion blender, you can transfer the soup in batches to a regular blender.)
  6. In a pan on the stove, melt the butter and add the flour, using a whisk to combine.
  7. Continue stirring for a few minutes, and add about a cup of the soup to the pan. Continue stirring, and slowly stir in the milk.
  8. Return the milk mixture to the slow cooker, and stir well.
  9. Add the grated Pecorino Romano cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Cover again, and cook for another 30 minutes or so, or until the cheese is melted.
  11. Serve with additional cheese on top and croutons for garnish.
Notes
Kim

This was really good. I added a little extra brown sugar to cut the acidity and salt at the end. We couldn't find Pecorino at our local store so just used Parmesan. This was creamy, flavorful and perfect with grilled cheese. Would definitely make again.

Linda

We all loved this soup! I made it exactly like the recipe, but I used a Romano/Parmesan/asiago cheese blend. I served it with cheese filled bread sticks, and it was perfect. This will go in my soup repertoire for sure.

Sarah

The adults in our family thought that this soup was perfect for dipping a grilled cheese into. The kids could not be persuaded to try it. I haven't been able to locate my immersion blender since we moved, so I had to use a blender. It was a messy mess to clean up. If you have an immersion blender use it! If you don't, buy one! It may help you enjoy this soup a little more. We couldn't find any special cheeses or rind and still thought this soup was good, and perfect for hot weather since it pairs so nicely with a sandwich.

Me

I love all tomato soups, so I'm not the best person to rate this recipe. My husband is a tougher critic of soups, though, and he gave this one and a half thumbs up. For him, that's high soup praise.

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Crock Pot Pork Tacos

The shredded meat for these Crockpot Pork Tacos is also excellent on salads, nachos, and with rice! If you're looking for quick, easy, and versatile dinner recipes, this is for you! I’ve mentioned before my love for anything wrapped in a tortilla. I’ve also shared my adoration for all recipes that boast preparation times of 15 minutes or less. These Crock Pot Pork Tacos are simple in prep, yet deliciously complex in flavor, and everyone loved them. The shredded meat is obviously outstanding in taco form, but it is also great on top of a salad, served over rice, made into nachos, and I even snuck the last little bit into some scrambled eggs one morning. You can modify the spice based on your family’s preferences, and can substitute pork butt for the tenderloin if you like. This is a very forgiving recipe, so use what you have on hand and enjoy! I used my 3.5 Quart Crock-Pot Casserole Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Pork Tacos recipe.

Crock Pot Pork Tacos

Crockpot Pork Tacos
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lb pork tenderloin
  • 2 TBSP chili powder
  • 2 TBSP ground cumin
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 3 tsp garlic powder
  • 24 oz container medium salsa
  • For serving:
  • corn or flour tortillas
  • chopped tomatoes
  • shredded lettuce
  • diced onions
  • grated cheese
  • sour cream
  • hot sauce
  • olives
Instructions
  1. Place pork in the slow cooker.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in bowl, and sprinkle over pork, making sure to cover all of the meat with seasoning.
  3. Pour salsa over the top.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
  5. Shred pork, either by removing it to a cutting board, or just attacking it in the slow cooker. Mix shredded pork back in with salsa mixture, and cover while you get your fixings ready.
  6. Serve in warm tortillas and top with whatever toppings your heart desires.
Notes
Linda

This was really yummy. It was fork tender, and shredded really easily. I served it on tortillas with pico de gallo, cheese, avocado, and sour cream. I will make this again. It is a great summer crockpot meal.

Kim

I made this with a pork butt since that's what I had on hand, and it turned out great. I halved the cayenne to make it more kid friendly and the spiciness was about right. The kiddos gobbled to their tacos three nights in a row (this made plenty, I thought). We paired with corn tortillas, avocado, lettuce, cotija cheese and hot sauce. This is a tasty, quick and easy recipe made from ingredients we usually have on hand, so it's a keeper!

Sarah

These were so good! We ate these one Sunday night when we had guests stop by and when we served them for dinner I felt like, WOW, that was lucky because seriously they were good enough to serve guests! They were so easy!! A total 100% make again! I made a Spanish Rice and we put that in the tortilla too.

Me

I substituted pico de gallo for the salsa. We had this on tacos the first night, in a salad for lunch the next day, and over a huge tray of nachos the following night. It's super versatile, and no one got sick of it, which is kind of a miracle in our house.

Recipe modified from Polish the Stars.

Check out a bunch of other slow cooker recipes at Whatcha Crockin’!

 
Over 100 tested and reviewed family-friendly Crockoot recipes in one place!

Crock Pot Chicken Gyros

These Crockpot Chicken Gyros are a tasty and fun dinner idea the whole family will love!

Since moving to Connecticut seven years ago, I’ve become accustomed to many of the regional expressions, and have adopted a few as my own. I now say  “package store” instead of “liquor store”, or even “the packy” if I’m feeling particularly New Englandy. I know that a “coffee regular” comes with cream and sugar, and a carriage is a shopping cart and not just something that comes after love and marriage when someone is K-I-S-S-I-N-G.

I’ve also adopted the habit of pronouncing “gyro” like “ji-ro.” For the better part of my 37 years, I’ve pronounced it “yee-ro”, but alas, no more. I can’t help it. I was confusing the nice food-truck vendors in downtown New Haven with my west coast speech patterns, and if I wanted to get a warm, grilled pita stuffed with creamy Tzatziki sauce, roasted lamb, tomato, and onion, I needed to learn to ask for it in a way they would understand.

When it comes to delicious food, I’m highly motivated.

This Crock Pot Chicken Gyro recipe is a tasty alternative to food-truck gyros when you don’t have the time to properly season and grill or roast the meat. The slow cooked chicken is tender and flavorful, and it’s a simple recipe to throw together. I used flatbread for the kids’ gyros, as they were a better fit for their little hands, but whether I used flatbread or pita, both breads were warmed in a pan for a few minutes before being filled with Tzatziki, chicken, and toppings.

Wrap them in foil to catch the sauce and filling that will inevitably sneak out of the gyro, and pretend you got them from a street vendor instead of your trusty slow cooker.

I used my 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Chicken Gyro dish.

I’m dying to know, how do you pronounce gyro, and where are you from?

Crock Pot Chicken Gyros

Crockpot Chicken Gyros
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp butter, divided in a few chunks
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1½ lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1" pieces
  • lemon zest from 1 medium-sized lemon
  • juice from 1 medium-sized lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • pita or flatbread for gyros
  • Tzatziki sauce (store-bought or homemade)
  • topping ideas: tomato, red onion, fresh dill, feta cheese, lettuce, cucumber
Instructions
  1. Place the onion in the bottom of slow cooker, and add butter and chicken broth.
  2. Add chicken, and sprinkle lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic cloves, oregano, salt, and pepper on top.
  3. Cover and cook on high 2-3 hours or low 4-5 hours.
  4. To make gyros, slather Tzatziki sauce on flatbread or gyro, add chicken mixture, and top with favorite toppings.
  5. Wrap bottom with aluminum foil to catch the mess, grab some napkins, and enjoy!
Notes
Linda

This was yummy, and smelled sooo good all afternoon while it was cooking. The chicken was tender and really flavorful. The whole combination of the chicken, tomatoes, and the tzatziki sauce was perfect. This is a great summer recipe!

Kim

I am a huge gyro fan and while this chicken has great flavor, it's no match for gyro meat. That said, I would make this again. The chicken is light and herby, and paired with tzatziki (I made my own), Feta, lettuce and tomatoes in a pita, it was quite tasty.

Me

We all really liked this recipe, and I used some of the leftover meat on top of a salad for lunch the next day. My kids had a hard time keeping their gyros together, and they ended up taking them apart and eating them in pieces, which was messy, but predictable. This is a make again for sure!

Over 100 tested and reviewed family-friendly Crockoot recipes in one place!

Crock Pot Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Chicken

This Crockpot Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Chicken is a beautiful and delicious dinner recipe!

I loved stuffed foods. I love burritos, tacos, and gyros; I love stuffed breads and chocolates with filling; and I love stuffed chicken. I mean, what’s not to love? Food inside food? YUM.

Stuffed chicken breasts always make a beautiful dish, and I was pleased with the way this Crock Pot Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Chicken turned out. I couldn’t find spinach and artichoke dip at my local grocery store, so I bought spinach dip and chopped up a can of artichoke hearts to toss in. It worked perfectly.

The tomatoes were a fun touch, and we happily ate this dip-turned-dinner for two nights. If you are watching your carbs, this is a great meal idea!

I used my 3.5 Quart Crock-Pot Casserole Slow Cooker to make this recipe, which allowed me to take the insert out and pop it in the oven for a few minutes to broil the cheese at the end. Any large slow cooker will work, and broiling at the end isn’t necessary, but it adds a pretty touch!

Crock Pot Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Chicken

Crockpot Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Chicken
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 28 oz spinach and artichoke dip (store-bought or homemade)
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese
  • 2 oz parmesan cheese
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
Instructions
  1. Spray slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. Cut a slit in the thick side of the chicken, creating a pocket. Be careful not to cut all the way through.
  3. Salt and pepper the chicken breast, including inside the newly created pocket.
  4. Stuff each chicken breast with spinach and artichoke dip, and place them in the slow cooker.
  5. Combine the remaining dip with the diced tomatoes, and use it to cover the chicken.
  6. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
  7. When cook time is about 30 minutes from done, top with mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese, and cover again until cheese is melted.
Notes
Linda

This was a really beautiful and yummy chicken recipe. I made this using premade spinach dip, with artichoke hearts added. I cooked in the crockpot for 7 hours on low. Since I had some last minute guests for dinner--I took the chicken breasts out of the crockpot, covered with the cheeses, and cooked in the oven until the cheese was melted. Everyone raved about the moistness, flavors, and appearance. If I did not have company, I would have just drained off some liquid, and put the cheese on top in the crockot. I recommend this recipe highly.

Me

Like Linda, I used store-bought spinach dip, and added a 14 oz can of chopped artichoke hearts. Everyone liked their chicken, and it made plenty for leftovers the next night and lunch for me the following day.



Over 100 tested and reviewed family-friendly Crock Pot recipes in one place!

Crock Pot Cowboy Casserole

File this Crockpot Cowboy Casserole under hearty and family-friendly crockpot dinner recipes. My husband loved the beef and potatoes in this slow cooker meal!

There are some recipes I just know my husband will love, and Crock Pot Cowboy Casserole falls solidly in that category. The name of the dish screams meat and potatoes, and the ingredients back that up nicely. When the tomatoes, spices, and kidney beans are added it turns into a love child of roasted potatoes and chili, and then you really have no choice but to top it with cheese.

I made this dish when my in-laws were visiting, and we all really liked it. Since my mother-in-law is a founding member of Crock Pot Thursday, and prides herself on never skipping a weekly recipe, she plans on making this in her own kitchen soon. We agreed that chili beans would be delicious if substituted for the red kidney beans, so if you’re looking for a little more zing to your recipe, try that modification.

I used mozzarella cheese because that’s what I had on hand, but cheddar, Monterrey jack, or Colby jack cheese would be excellent on top of this casserole.

My 3.5 Quart Crock-Pot Casserole Slow Cooker was perfect for this recipe, but any sort of slow cooker would work well.

UPDATE: Based on reader feedback (thank you to everyone who commented!) I’ve updated the directions to highlight the importance of generously salting and peppering the potatoes when they go in the slow cooker. Potatoes are bland without seasoning, and without this step, the dish will be a bummer. If you’re looking for more of a taco-type flavor, add some taco seasoning, chili powder, or cumin to the beef as it’s browning.

This Crockpot Cowboy Casserole is a hearty and family-friendly crockpot meal. My husband loved this slow cooker recipe!

Crock Pot Cowboy Casserole

Crockpot Cowboy Casserole
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1½ pounds ground beef, browned and drained
  • 6 medium potatoes, cut into 1½ inch cubes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • ¼ cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 oz shredded cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. While the ground beef is browning, place potatoes in bottom of slow cooker.
  2. Salt and pepper generously.
  3. Add onions and minced garlic.
  4. Layer ground beef on onions and garlic, and top with kidney beans, diced tomatoes, and water.
  5. Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours.
  6. When there is about 15 minutes of cook time left, sprinkle cheese on top of dish and cover again until cheese is melted.

Feedback

Linda
I made it with the chili beans, and it was delicious–especially with the sour cream we dolloped on! I also think some corn or carrots or peas would be delicious. Maybe that would take the place of the sour cream–for a bit more low-fat meal.

Me
I like the idea of chili beans, and of sour cream. Like most casseroles, this one is adaptable based on tastes and ingredients on hand.

Recipe modified from Amanda’s Cookin’.


Crock Pot Chicken Taco Soup

This Crockpot Chicken Taco Soup is easy, delicious, and a family favorite! We topped ours with green onions, avocado, cheese, sour cream, tomato and tortilla chips.

I love taco soup. It begs to be topped with chips and cheese, and any soup that can be made into a bowl of nachos by the time it’s served gets two thumbs up in my book. Soups with a hint of spiciness are my weakness, and when that is combined with black beans, corn, and chicken, there is 100% chance of my going back for seconds.

This Crock Pot Chicken Taco Soup takes ten minutes to throw together, and it tastes great. I thought the cayenne might make it too spicy for the kids, but they really liked it, and didn’t chug gallons of water after the first bite like they do when I make them try something with a little kick. I’m sure the sour cream helped cut the spice.

I used chicken breast tenderloins in my soup because it was on sale, but any sort of boneless, skinless chicken will work. You can even throw in frozen chicken and cook it on low for 8 hours or so, which is a great alternative for those who are at work all day and need a longer cook time.

Not everyone in the Crock Pot Thursday group loved this recipe, but that may be because the original recipe called for far fewer spices. I made mine based on Sarah, Kim, and Linda’s reviews, and the recipe below reflects the newest, and in my opinion, most delicious version.

I used my 6.5-Quart Crock-Pot Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Chicken Taco Soup.

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Soup

Crockpot Chicken Taco Soup
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1½ cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Topping Ideas:
  • cheese
  • sour cream
  • diced tomatoes
  • green onions
  • cilantro
  • lettuce
  • diced avocado
  • tortilla strips or chips
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to slow cooker except shredded cheese and toppings.
  2. Mix well, cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours.
  3. Uncover and shred chicken in pot.
  4. Stir in one cup of cheddar cheese, and recover until cheese is melted.
  5. Serve with desired toppings!
Notes
Kim

The was super easy, creamy and flavorful. Toppers included crumbled tortilla chips, sour cream, fresh avocado and chopped tomatoes, which added nice texture and depth of flavor. I forgot to stir in the cheese at the end and it was still good. I'll be adding it to our leftovers tonight, but it's good to know the lower cal option works too! Solid 4 star dish.

Linda

I love soup, so I loved this recipe. It had great flavor, and was just the right thickness. Adding your own toppings made it perfect for all of us. The leftovers were just as good. I started with frozen chicken breasts, and cooked this for 8 hours on low. Delicious!!

Sarah

The adults in our house ate this and it was decent but nothing extraordinary. I'm sure for a soup lover there is some appeal to this meal but for me... I wouldn't probably make it again. My kids didn't want to eat it and my husband ended up eating most of it. I made it as directed and cooked on high 4 hours.

Amy

Everyone in our family loved this soup. We topped it with personal preferences that included different combinations of: cheese, sour cream, avocado, tomatoes, and green onions. It would have been outstanding with tortilla strips, which I planned on making myself but didn't get done. It made enough for one dinner and three lunches. Next time I'll double it!

Recipe adapted from The Recipe Critic.


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Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta

This Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Pasta recipe is cheesy, easy, and delicious. If you love easy chicken pasta recipes, you have to try this!

I love Buffalo sauce. I like it on chicken wings with a cold beer, I like it mixed with ranch dressing on my salads, and I love, love, love it in this Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta. When I saw this recipe, I knew it was going to be a winner. It boasts so many of my favorite things: cream cheese, linguine, chicken, cheddar cheese, ranch seasoning, and my beloved Buffalo sauce.

Here’s an important step in the directions that I missed, though. It’s crucial to plug the slow cooker in. I lovingly prepared my crockpot recipe one morning before work, but I didn’t plug the bad boy in, so I came home to raw chicken and disappointment. I wish I could say this is the first time I’ve forgotten to plug in my slow cooker or have neglected to turn it on.

Alas, no.

I dried my tears, ran to the store to get more cream cheese, and tried again.

This Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Pasta recipe is cheesy, easy, and delicious. If you love easy chicken pasta recipes, you have to try this!

This Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta is creamy, tangy, and delicious. You need to be around your slow cooker for the last hour or so of the cook time, since the noodles are added and cooked in the crockpot, but it’s worth it. It makes a good amount of pasta, so we enjoyed it for two nights, and I was able to have it for lunch twice. It’s no wonder my weight loss efforts seem to be stalled. This dish is not low calorie.

One of my kids liked it, the other thought it was too spicy. She’s kind of a wimp when it comes to any heat, though.

I used my 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta.

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Pasta
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta is creamy, tangy, and delicious!
Ingredients
  • 1½ pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup buffalo wing sauce, divided (I used Sweet Baby Ray's Buffalo Wing Sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon dried ranch dressing mix
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 16 oz linguine noodles
Instructions
  1. Place chicken, broth, ¼ cup buffalo sauce, and seasonings in slow cooker.
  2. Top with cream cheese and shredded cheese.
  3. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
  4. When chicken is done, shred with two forks in the slow cooker and add remaining ¼ cup Buffalo sauce to chicken and stir to combine.
  5. Use a whisk and stir until cheese and cream cheese is all combined and smooth
  6. Break noodles in half and add to slow cooker, and stir well.
  7. Turn heat up to high for 30 to 45 minutes until noodles are fully cooked, stirring a few times during cooking to make sure noodles don't stick together.
  8. If the dish looks too dry while noodles are cooking, you can add a ¼ cup chicken broth to get it to the desired consistency. If things look too runny, mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon cold water and stir into the chicken and pasta.
  9. Garnish with parsley or cilantro, and enjoy!

Kim

The pasta was very good – if you’re a fan of Frank’s then you will like it. Mario Batali probably won’t approve, especially since we added a squirt of ranch on top! But we aren’t going for fancy here. It makes a lot, so it will be nice to have leftovers. Definitely not kid-friendly, so be sure to have some hot dogs on hand when you make this. Because I let it cook all day while at work, it probably verged on too long so that by the time we added the noodles, most of the remaining liquid was sucked right up. It ended up more like a thicker casserole style noodle than a traditional pasta with sauce but the flavor was still good. If you need to cook longer, I’d just add another 1/2-1 cup of broth.

Linda

The cheesy buffalo chicken pasta was great! I loved the buffalo chicken zing in the pasta. I used whole grain linguine, which gave it a very chewy and hearty flavor. I used fresh cut chives as a garnish, and that was a good complimenting flavor, and the leftovers were amazing!!

Me

I’m a huge fan of Buffalo chicken anything, so I dreamed about this recipe from the time Linda added it to our Crockpot Thursday calendar. It did not disappoint. I forgot to add the cream cheese at the beginning, so I tossed it in about an hour before the pasta, and it was plenty of time for it to melt nicely. My only complaint is that I’m counting my calories, and this delicious pasta does not help my weight loss efforts.

Modified from Crockpot Gourmet.


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This Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Pasta recipe is cheesy, easy, and delicious. If you love easy chicken pasta recipes, you have to try this!

Crock Pot Jambalaya

This Crockpot Jambalaya recipe is crammed full of shrimp, chicken, sausage, vegetables, and spices! It's so good!

Jambalaya is as fun to eat as it is difficult to spell. I swear, I typed it about 7000 times while creating this post, and I’ve only spelled it correctly once. It’s all of the “a”s; they throw me off. Spell check earned its keep today!

I made this jambalaya on a day the kids had an evening birthday party to attend, assuming it would be too spicy for them, or that they would turn their noses up at all of the bell peppers and onions mixed into the delicious tomato sauce. They filled up on pizza and ice cream cake while I bragged to my friends that I had Crock Pot jambalaya waiting for me at home.

After the party, we raced home, taking back roads and quick turns to shake the line of cars trying to follow us home for dinner, and the smell that awaited us was exactly what I’d hoped it would be – spicy, fragrant, and mouthwatering.

The kids must have thought so, too, because they raised their eyebrows when I suggested they had already eaten their dinner. They demanded bowls of their own, although I strongly suspect their  motives were solely for the sausage and shrimp. My first clue was when my five-year-old said, “Can mine just be shrimp?”, and then her seven-year-old brother piggybacked that with “Yeah! Can I just have sausage?”

No, and no.

This Crock Pot jambalaya (I spelled it right that time!) was a winner, and while it isn’t the same, it reminds me of how much we loved the Crock Pot shrimp boil from last summer.

If you’re feeding children, you may want to cut back on the red pepper a bit, and save the hot sauce for individual bowls. If it’s only adults at your table, go to town on the spice and chase your jambalaya with a cold beer. And invite me over.

Crock Pot Jambalaya

Crock Pot Jambalaya
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 lb smoked sausage, cut to ¼-inch rounds
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 10 oz can Rotel tomatoes with chiles, undrained
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 TBSP parsley flakes
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp hot sauce, to taste
  • 1 cup uncooked instant rice
  • 1 lb uncooked frozen shrimp
  • green onion for garnish
Instructions
  1. Place chicken and sausage in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Top with celery, garlic, onion, and bell pepper.
  3. Next add spices.
  4. Then top with diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and chicken stock, and give it all a good stir.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 6--8 hours.
  6. About 30 minutes before cook time is up, stir the jambalaya and shred the chicken.
  7. Add the hot sauce to taste. You may need more or less than 1 tsp, depending on your spice preferences.
  8. Add in uncooked instant rice and frozen shrimp and stir it well.
  9. Cover and cook an additional 30 minutes, until the shrimp is no longer translucent, and the rice is cooked.
  10. Top with green onions and enjoy!
Notes
Linda

This was soo good! I made it with the frozen chicken breast, for 8 hours, then added the shrimp, then the cooked rice. I did not need any additional hot sauce. It is probably too spicy for kids as it is. The flavors were amazing. It was a fun crockpot dinner.

Kim

5 stars! Everyone slurped this up, even the kids. I opted to use instant rice and added with about 20-30 minutes left. Worked great! To make it more kid friendly, I reduced the cayenne pepper just a bit. Awesome flavor! A definite make again...and again.

Sarah

This is a new top 5 crock for me! Amazing! Soo good, just a little spicy and hit the spot for both hubby and myself! I cooked jasmine rice and added it when I added the shrimp! A total must have in my opinion! I did not add the hot sauce. Didn't feed it to the kids but probably could of. Mine don't mind a little spice.

Me

This was a hit over here, too. My daughter loved the shrimp, my son loved the sausage and rice, and my husband and I just dug the entire dish. The kids skipped the hot sauce, and we adults used it on our individual servings.




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Crock Pot Classic Beef Stew

This classic crockpot beef stew tastes like the slow cooker stew recipe my grandma used to make! I served it with homemade biscuits and it a great weeknight meal!

Sure, it’s almost spring, but here in Connecticut, it’s still below freezing. My poor daffodils need tiny little coats to keep them from dying of frostbite, but every time I give them cold weather gear, my daughter gets mad and takes her Barbie clothes back.

The only good thing about this never ending winter is the fact that soup and stew season is lingering, too. If it were a warm spring day like it’s supposed to be, I wouldn’t be as excited about this crock pot beef stew, but since I’m still wearing winter socks and winter leg hair, I say bring on the stew!

We served our hearty stew with drop biscuits and a green salad.

This classic crockpot beef stew tastes like the slow cooker stew recipe my grandma used to make! I served it with homemade biscuits and it a great weeknight meal!

Crock Pot Beef Stew

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds beef stew meat
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
few tablespoons oil for browning meat
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups baby carrots
4 to 5 small potatoes,cut into 1 inch pieces (red or Yukon gold work great)
1 32 oz can crushed tomatoes
4 cups beef broth
2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 TBSP dried parsley
1 tsp oregano
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas

DIRECTIONS

Place flour, salt, and pepper in a large Ziploc bag, and mix well.
Add stew meat, seal bag, and shake to coat meat with flour mixture.
In a skillet, over medium high heat, brown stew meat. Place browned meat into slow cooker.
Add onion, celery, garlic, carrots, potatoes, crushed tomatoes, beef broth, Worcestershire, parsley, and oregano to slow cooker. Mix to combine.
Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 6-7 hours.
About 30 minutes before serving, add frozen mixed vegetables.
Cover and cook until vegetables are done.

FEEDBACK

Kim

This stew definitely lived up to its name. I mean, stews are stews… Hearty goodness, not fancy, hard to mess up… This one meets all those criteria plus it was just a great balance of texture and flavor. When I make stew again, it will be this one!

Sarah

This stew was good but I did like the previous beef stew recipe better. I think it was the tomato sauce that made this a little more soup that stew to me.

Me

I have a secret: You don’t need to brown the meat if you don’t want to. I’ve done it both ways, and stew is so forgiving, it almost doesn’t matter. You can vary the veggies you use, too.

Crock Pot Classic Beef Stew
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • few tablespoons oil for browning meat
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 4 to 5 small potatoes,cut into 1 inch pieces (red or Yukon gold work great)
  • 1 32 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 TBSP dried parsley
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup frozen peas
Instructions
  1. Place flour, salt, and pepper in a large Ziploc bag, and mix well.
  2. Add stew meat, seal bag, and shake to coat meat with flour mixture.
  3. In a skillet, over medium high heat, brown stew meat. Place browned meat into slow cooker.
  4. Add onion, celery, garlic, carrots, potatoes, crushed tomatoes, beef broth, Worcestershire, parsley, and oregano to slow cooker. Mix to combine.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 6-7 hours.
  6. About 30 minutes before serving, add frozen mixed vegetables.
  7. Cover and cook until vegetables are done.

 

 

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Crock Pot Seven Layer Dip

This Crockpot Seven Layer Dip is a perfect appetizer for the slow cooker! Whip up this crockpot dip recipe for your next party, bbq, or for Cinco de Mayo!

 

I love this Crock Pot Seven Layer Dip. I mean, come on. What’s not to love?

Beans? Good.

Meat? Good.

Sour cream and salsa? Gooood.

Cheese? You see where this is going.

I had never even considered making it in the slow cooker, but I received a casserole-sized Crock Pot for Christmas, and now I’m obsessed with making things that are traditionally made in casserole dishes. And seven layer dip fits the bill.

I’ve made this both with the ground beef, and once without the meat. Both are excellent. You could add jalapenos to the top of the dip, or use ground turkey instead of beef. You could throw some taco seasoning on the meat, or mix the chilis into the beans instead of making a layer of them. You can use mild or hot salsa.

This dip is easily modified based on personal preferences  and what you have on hand, and tastes great scooped with a tortilla chip, a corn chip, or just a spoon.

This Crockpot Seven Layer Dip is a perfect appetizer for the slow cooker! Crockpot dip recipes are great for bbqs, potlucks, and parties!

Crock Pot Seven Layer Dip

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 15 oz can refried beans
  • 1 4 oz can diced green chilies
  • 1 lb crumbled and cooked ground beef, seasoned well with salt and pepper
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup salsa or Rotel, drained
  • 1 8 oz bag shredded Mexican cheese
  • 1 2 oz can sliced black olives
  • 2 green onions, sliced

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Grease the bottom of the slow cooker, and spread refried beans into a layer.
  2. Next add layer of diced green chilies.
  3. Top with cooked ground beef.
  4. Layer sour cream over top of ground beef. It won’t be a nice smooth layer, and that’s okay.
  5. Next up is the salsa or Rotel. Don’t forget to drain this well, or your dip may be a little runny.
  6. Sprinkle the cheese over the top, and add the olives.
  7. Cover and cook on low for about two hours.
  8. Add the onions before serving.

You can use any sized slow cooker for this recipe, but I love my casserole-shaped Crock Pot! (affiliate link)

Crock Pot Seven Layer Dip
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 15 oz can refried beans
  • 1 4 oz can diced green chilies
  • 1 lb crumbled and cooked ground beef, seasoned well with salt and pepper
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup salsa or Rotel, drained
  • 1 8 oz bag shredded Mexican cheese
  • 1 2 oz can sliced black olives
  • 2 green onions, sliced
Instructions
  1. Grease the bottom of the slow cooker, and spread refried beans into a layer.
  2. Next add layer of diced green chilies.
  3. Top with cooked ground beef.
  4. Layer sour cream over top of ground beef. It won't be a nice smooth layer, and that's okay.
  5. Next up is the salsa or Rotel. Don't forget to drain this well, or your dip may be a little runny.
  6. Sprinkle the cheese over the top, and add the olives.
  7. Cover and cook on low for about two hours.
  8. Add the onions before serving.

Feedback

Linda

This was so good! The flavors went together really well, and it was a nice, thick consistency. We served ours on green chili tortilla shells with lettuce. This dip would be yummy on anything. My husband put more sour cream on top of his – it was great either way.

Sarah

This was awesome! We used it for dinner one night by adding it to tortillas. They were so flavorful and good. We had cilantro in the fridge and I did add that to the burrito; it’s really not necessary but pretty tasty! The next day we used it as a dip with tortilla chips! Yummy and yummy!

Me

We served this as an appetizer one night, and my husband threw the leftovers in a tortilla for lunch the next day. It’s a winner!


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Crock Pot Cola Ham

This Crockpot Cola Ham recipe is so simple, and the flavor is incredible! Make this dish for dinner and use the leftovers for soup, breakfast, and in sandwiches. Slow cooker ham is such a hardworking meal!

We’re big sandwich eaters around here. Almost every day, at least two of the members of our family pack a sandwich for lunch, and it’s not uncommon for my seven-year-old to whip up a sandwich for his after school snack. That kid eats almost as much as his father, and he consumes substantially more calories than I do. I don’t know how people afford to feed teenagers, since we can barely afford the bread and lunch meat that is devoured up in here.

Sometimes, to combat the hefty price of feeding my family, I slow cook a large ham, which is less expensive than deli meat. We eat it for dinner one or two nights, and slice the rest up for sandwiches.

I was skeptical of this recipe at first. I don’t love the idea of cooking with soda, but I’ve seen various versions of Crock Pot cola ham floating around the internet, and was ready to give it a go. This Crock Pot ham recipe boast only four ingredients and a five minute prep time, so who am I kidding? This is totally my kind of recipe.

And man, oh, man. I loved this ham. It was moist and flavorful, and I seriously couldn’t stop eating it. My family dug it too, which was a problem because we stuffed our faces too much and didn’t have as much meat leftover as I had planned.

It was fine, though. We rubbed our full bellies happily and planned on eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the rest of the week.

I think we’ll make it again for Easter, using a spiral ham.

 Crock Pot Cola Ham

Crock Pot Thursday: Cola Ham
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1 3-4 lb fully cooked boneless ham
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP mustard
  • 1 20 oz bottle Coca-Cola
Instructions
  1. Lightly score ham in diagonal lines, first one way and then the other, to form a diamond pattern.
  2. Make a paste of brown sugar and mustard.
  3. Rub paste into ham on sides that have been lightly scored, and transfer it to slow cooker.
  4. Pour soda into bottom of pot. Don't pour it over the ham because you don't want to wash away the paste.
  5. Cover and cook on low 7 to 8 hours.
Notes
Kim

With ham, it's kind of hard to tell if the flavor is a result of the recipe or if it was already cooked in there... but this turned out great and was super easy! I bought a cheap boneless cut and my husband said he would eat it every day, so I guess it was pretty good. We made a baked sweet potato dish to go along with it, which was perfect.

Sarah

We thought this meal was good but couldn't taste any bit of coke. I thought that this would make a nice glazed ham but really didn't. Would I make this again? Maybe, but I like the Pineapple Ham we made a while ago much better!

Linda

This was great! It was easy and the ham was unbelievably tender and moist. It made a regular chunk oh ham quite delicious.

Me

I've always been skeptical of a recipe that calls for soda, but I'm a convert. This ham knocked our socks off, and I'll for sure make it again!

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