The CrockPot is by far my favorite kitchen appliance. Not only are they relatively inexpensive to buy, they make mealtime a breeze. I am a huge fan of fix-it and forget it meals. There is no better feeling than getting home from a long day at work and having dinner already done and ready to go. No additional brain power is necessary, just open up your slow cooker, and enjoy. The little bit of extra time it takes in the morning before work to get things into the CrockPot is totally worth it in the long run. I like to believe that you can cook just about ANYTHING in the CrockPot. From dessert to breakfast, it’s an excellent way to cook for a crowd or to have a few days of leftovers. It’s perfect for using up old pantry items and overly ripe vegetables.
There are many makes, models, and sizes of slow cookers out on the market. I am partial to the CrockPot brand, because it is all I have used and I have never had problems. I imagine they all cook similarly. I have the basic CrockPot seen here on Amazon. At times, I wish it were the programmable model, but like I said, it’s all that I know, and I’ve grown used to the 3 options of “Low, High, and Warm.” My second, wonderful CrockPot is this casserole model. It was new on the market last year, and I Had To Have It. I have found it handy to make any recipe, including new casserole dishes. I also like that it is shallower but still holds the same amount of food. With two slow cookers, sometimes both are going simultaneously.
I wanted to compile a list of my family’s favorite CrockPot suppers. I like to try a variety of recipes and a lot of the time I modify them to what my family and I enjoy. I don’t often make the same recipe twice. The 5 recipes below have definitely been made on more than one occasion because they’re the favorites!
- Caesar sandwiches
You cannot go wrong with this recipe. My husband gives it 5 stars. It is so delicious, great as leftovers, and you can make as much as you want – great for parties. Here is the site where I originally found the recipe, but I will be honest, I’ve made it so much now that I never use a recipe. Throw in your white meat chicken (fresh or frozen, breasts or tenders) along with your water; I also add some garlic, onion, salt and pepper at this time too for extra flavor. Cook on low all day (anywhere from 7-10 hours). If you’re in a hurry, you can cook it on high for 4 hours. When it’s cooked through, remove the chicken from the pot, dump out your cooking liquid, and return your chicken back to the slow cooker. Mix in your parmesan cheese, Caesar dressing, and parsley while simultaneously shredding up the chicken. I usually let it heat through on low for another 15-20 minutes at this time, or as long as you can hold off from eating this good stuff. It’s great hot or cold, bun or wrap. We have tried it all, because it is that good!!
2. Creamy Italian Chicken
This recipe is even simpler than the first one. I can’t remember where I originally found it, but I imagine it was somewhere on PINTEREST. Similar to the one above, into your CrockPot place your fresh or frozen white meat chicken along with 2 cans of cream of chicken soup, 1 – 8oz cream cheese, and 1 packet dry Italian dressing seasoning. I don’t even mix everything together anymore. That’s it. Cook on low for 6-8 hours (I’ve let it go 10 with no problem) and shred it up when it’s done right in the sauce. It’s excellent served over pasta. This is where I usually use up partial boxes of leftover noodles and sometimes there’s 2-3 kinds mixed together. This one will require more than one helping, trust me!
3. Short Ribs
I never cooked ribs until I made this CrockPot recipe. I will admit, I was scared to make them. I never knew of a good recipe and I thought they were just too hard to make. But ribs in a CrockPot – maybe this could work. I was eager to try it out and was pleasantly surprised at the result. My family loved them and everyone always asks for the recipe. The meat literally falls off the bone after these cook on low all day long. You can’t beat it.
½ can tomato soup
¼ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tablespoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon chili powder
Mix above ingredients together. Place your ribs (2-5 lbs) in the slow cooker first, pour mixture over top. Cook on low 8 hours.
4. Roast & Potatoes
Meat and potatoes are a staple meal in any kitchen. We like beef in our home so much we decided to buy 1/3 cow. We have done this in the past, and we find it super handy to have beef always available in the freezer. The meat is better quality and often leaner than what you would find in a typical supermarket. It’s also less expensive and can be ordered in the cuts and amounts you wish (ground beef, roasts, ribs, steaks, etc). If you have the space available, this is highly recommended!
Putting any cut of roast in the CrockPot with vegetables and letting it slow cook on low heat all day long is a delicious, simple, and healthy meal. It’s very versatile – I feel like I make it differently every time. The classic route uses potatoes, onions, and carrots, but play around with it. Add any ripe veggies you may have. I’ve used tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, peppers. The possibilities are endless. Below is a recipe I made recently that was an instant hit with the fam and we had leftovers for lunches too. Most recipes you will find will recommend browning your meat in a skillet prior to putting it in the slow cooker. I rarely do this. It does add some flavor, but I don’t think it’s necessary. Most of the time I put my roast in and it’s still frozen.
3-5 lb Beef or Pork Roast
Veggies – potatoes (3-5), carrots, peppers, onions, zucchini, squash, mushrooms (enough to fill the pot)
1 – 15 oz can tomato sauce
½ can water
1 packet brown gravy mix
Minced onion (if not using raw)
Put everything together in the CrockPot and cook on low 6-8 hours. Enjoy!
5. Cola & Bacon Roast Beef
This next recipe is a twist on meat and potatoes. It’s not as simple as the recipe above, but it tastes even better. The extra steps that include added bacon crumbles and making gravy create mouthwatering flavors that I promise you will love. All of the ingredients are things most of us have on hand (cola, bacon, onion soup mix, cream of celery soup, and corn starch). It pairs great with mashed potatoes, so I thought it was only fitting to provide a CrockPot mashed potato recipe too, but any potato would work perfectly.
I hope these recipes are enjoyed by not only you, but also your family. I also hope that they will help create a new found love between you and your CrockPot. It’s a great appliance that can ease that busy Mom life so many of us have. Instead of trying to figure out what’s for dinner all week, pick up some of the ingredients from the recipes we love at my house, and let the slow cooker do the rest!