50 Easy Slow Cooker Recipes You Shouldn't Live Without
When it comes to culinary convenience, slow cookers always take first place. After all, being able to leave meals to cook unsupervised is a huge plus in any busy household. You can use your slow cooker year-round, but we especially love it in the cooler months. Is there anything better than waking up to a warm bowl of homemade oatmeal or ending your day with a comforting bowl of chili or slow-cooked meat? It's comfort food season, after all.
This is the time to make the most of your slow cooker, and we've got 50 creative ways you can use it. That's why we've curated a list of slow-cooker meals that are cheap, easy, versatile, and can be enjoyed at every meal. Crock-Pots aren't just for dinner—you'll love cooking warm breakfasts and lunches with these recipes, too.
Don't believe us? Take a look for yourself. Let these recipes sit and simmer all day, so you can focus on more important things. Plus, check out: The Most Popular Slow Cooker Dish in Every State
Crock-Pot Creamy Banana French Toast
Did you know you can use your slow cooker to make French toast? This kitchen appliance truly is a workhorse.
Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler Oatmeal
This breakfast is reminiscent of a sweet Southern pie. With steel-cut oats and fresh peach slices, this is one breakfast that's worth waking up for.
Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole
When hashbrowns, egg, broccoli, bacon, and cheddar cheese combine, it's bound to be palatably epic. And the best part is, you can make this breakfast in your slow cooker.
Slow Cooker Breakfast Quinoa
How often do you run out of time for breakfast before work? This time-saving recipe will let you get things ready the night before. After slow-cooking the quinoa overnight, you can have breakfast ready and waiting for you when you get up. Now that's a win-win.
Slow Cooker Banana Bread
Switch things up by making a loaf of bread in your slow cooker instead of in the oven. This tasty recipe features chocolate chunks and overripe bananas.
Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate Oatmeal
Dessert for breakfast, anyone? This recipe combines two great things—oatmeal and hot chocolate—into one delectable slow cooker breakfast.
Crock Pot Banana Bread Quinoa
Want a new way to enjoy banana bread? Try this banana bread quinoa recipe instead of the traditional loaf.
Slow Cooker Caramelized Apple Oatmeal
Once you've tried this recipe, you'll never want to eat packets of apple cinnamon instant oatmeal again.
Slow Cooker Veggie Omelette
Why make an omelet on the stove when you can make it in a slow cooker?
Slow Cooker Cinnamon Rolls
How do you make gooey cinnamon rolls even more perfect? Toss them in the slow cooker! This recipe is perfect for a weekend brunch at home.
Classic Slow-Cooker Chicken in Red Wine
Feeling fancy? You can make coq au vin right in your slow cooker, complete with a red wine sauce. It's definitely cheaper than a trip to France!
Slow Cooker Maple-Balsamic Chicken and Vegetables
Step up your chicken game with this simple, tasty recipe. The chicken gets a major upgrade thanks to the maple and balsamic flavors, and the veggies are soft and tender.
Slow Cooker Turkey Cassoulet
This French-inspired dish blends chili and stew into one delicious meal. If you're looking for a break from chicken but don't want red meat, it's a great option.
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chicken Chili
Pumpkin isn't just for lattes and desserts—it's delicious in savory recipes, too. This chili will make you wonder why you didn't start adding pumpkin to your dinner recipes sooner.
Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
Whether you're under the weather or just looking for a cozy meal, you can't go wrong with a bowl of chicken noodle soup. Try using egg noodles for an extra-hearty dish.
Crock-Pot Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Sure, enchiladas are great. But why not try something new with a chicken enchilada casserole? Just set it in the morning before you leave for the day, and you can come home to a delicious meal.
Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos
If you normally gravitate toward pork or beef tacos, give this chicken recipe a try. You'd be surprised how flavorful chicken tacos can be with the right seasonings and toppings.
Slow Cooker Turkey Breasts with Gravy
Turkey isn't just for Thanksgiving! These citrus-flavored turkey breasts will have you eating this bird all year long.
The secret to this recipe is browning the meat before you put it in the slow cooker. Yes, it's an extra step (and an extra pan to clean), but we promise the flavor will be worth it.
Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken
Letting the chicken and spices cook together in your slow cooker makes for an incredibly flavorful dish.
Beef and Pork Dishes
Short Ribs Braised in Guinness
You don't have to head to a restaurant to eat short ribs (at a price markup, no less). This simple recipe is just as tasty as what you'd get while dining out.
Smoky Crock Pot Chili
Chili is a classic slow cooker meal, and you can't go wrong with this recipe. Chuck roast or sirloin tips combine with veggies, beans, and spices for a tasty, filling meal.
Belgian-Inspired Beef and Beer
If you love drinking beer, why not cook with it, too? This hearty dish features dark beer, meat, onions, and mushrooms for a hearty dish.
Slow Cooker Beef Goulash
If you're tired of the same old pasta dishes, step things up a notch with this recipe. Ground beef, elbow macaroni, and plenty of veggies and spices come together in this filling dish.
Slow Cooker Cuban Tomato and Black Bean Soup
Black bean soup is delicious on its own, but with ham added to the mix, it's a game-changer. This soup works as an appetizer or as a main course—your dinner guests will be so impressed.
Slow Cooker Green Chile Pork Soup
Looking for an alternative to canned soup options? This flavorful dish is easy to assemble, and it's way more delicious than the shelf-stable stuff.
Crock-Pot Beef Ragu
Why settle for spaghetti and meatballs when you can whip up this tasty beef ragu? It's just like Grandma used to make, trust us.
Slow-Cooker Pork Carnitas Tacos
You don't have to visit a Mexican restaurant for delicious tacos. With pork roast and pickled onions, these tacos are juicy and flavorful—you'll definitely want seconds.
Crock-Pot Beef and Broccoli
Once you realize how easy and delicious this recipe is, you'll never want to order takeout again.
Crock-Pot Italian Meatballs
If you don't have time to make meatballs from scratch, use frozen meatballs in a homemade sauce. Slow cooking the meatballs will make a difference flavor-wise, and you'll save a lot of time, too.
Slow Cooker Shredded Pork
If you grew up eating Southern barbecue, you might want a copycat recipe you can make at home. No, this isn't cooked in a smoker, but the slow cooking still makes all the difference.
Crock Pot Jambalaya
With chicken, shrimp, and Andouille sausage, this jambalaya is bursting with flavor. Your dinner guests will be hankering for a second bowl of this tasty meal.
This Moroccan-inspired recipe puts a new spin on slow cooker dishes. If you're looking for a recipe you might not have tried before, this is it.
Braised Brisket With Horseradish Cream
You don't have to head to Texas to get a plate of slow-cooked brisket. This slow cooker recipe uses ingredients like dark beer and chicken stock to soften the meat, right in your slow cooker.
French-Style Pot Roast
You don't need a plane ticket to enjoy a French roast. All you need is a slow cooker and this easy recipe.
Pulled Pork Sandwich
Afraid of cooking pork shoulder at home? Don't be! It couldn't be easier to perfect the slow-cooked meat with this simple recipe.
Asian Beef Noodle Soup
If you want an Asian soup that doesn't come in a plastic takeout container, you'll love this recipe. With flavors from garlic, ginger, and star anise, this soup is just as good as what you'd get at a restaurant.
Crock-Pot Vegetarian Chili
Chilis don't have to have meat! This vegetable-based chili is just as flavorful as its meatier counterparts.
Veggie Crock Pot Lasagna
Rich in flavor, this meal is packed with chopped vegetables of your choosing. Just layer the ingredients in the slow cooker and let this lasagna cook itself.
Lentil Sloppy Joes
Whether you're a vegetarian or just want to cut back on your meat intake, these sloppy joes will blow you away. Lentils really can mimic the taste and consistency of beef, and this recipe is so easy to make in your slow cooker.
Crock Pot Vegetarian Black Bean Enchilada Stack
These vegetarian enchiladas prove that you don't need meat for a flavorful and filling meal.
Barley Bean Tacos
Take a break from the pork and chicken with these barley and bean tacos.
Vegan White Bean Mashed Potatoes
The internet is overflowing with slow cooker mashed potato recipes, but this is one of the best. Combining potatoes with white bean purée makes for an unexpectedly delicious dish.
Crock Pot Cauliflower and Cheese
Cauliflower is having a moment, and this recipe lets you cook the cruciferous vegetable in your slow cooker. Plus, there's cheese, which just makes everything better.
Crock Pot Quinoa Black Bean Stuffed Peppers
Stuffed peppers are even better when you make them in a slow cooker—trust us. This flavorful recipe features avocado and cilantro for a Mexican-inspired dish.
Slow Cooker Fudge
If you've never made fudge before, this easy recipe is a great place to start. The chocolate will melt in your slow cooker, and all you have to do is pour it out, let it cool, and cut it.
Slow Cooker Carrot Cake
You don't need an oven to bake a cake! This carrot cake is moist and flavorful thanks to a secret ingredient: instant pudding.
Crock Pot Hot Chocolate
You could make hot chocolate on the stove, but why not give slow cooker hot chocolate a try? And, of course, you'll want to top this hot cocoa with marshmallows or whipped cream.
Hot Fudge Cake with Peanut Butter Sauce
What's better than chocolate cake? Chocolate cake that you can make in a slow cooker.
Crock Pot Blueberry Crisp
This scrumptious dessert is made right in your slow cooker, and it's delicious topped with a scoop of ice cream.
With so many recipe options, you'll want to use your slow cooker every day of the week. Don't worry, we won't tell if you do!
A previous version of this article was originally published on September 26, 2017.