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What to cook in my new crock pot?

  • j

Got a slow cooker for my birthday, what should I make in it? I don't eat any fish/seafood and I'm not a huge pork fan. Will likely be cooking for 2 (or maybe even just one) but I like leftovers,....

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  1. You can't fry in a slow cooker....and I wouldn't slow cook a good steak. Almost anything else is possible to cook in it. There are websites that JUST have slow cooker recipes. I like to cook anything that takes time but not a lot of fuss, in the slow cooker, such as soup, stew, "baked" beans...I once made an old fashioned pearl tapioca pudding in it. Whew, all sugar and tapioca and walnuts...it WAS only once.

    Enjoy your new toy!!


    1. Our Favourite is a Short Rib Roast with Au Jus..Mmm perfect for sandwiches & the Au Jus for dipping..make a salad or cole slaw and Voila..Recipe is easy, 1 short rib roast, either fresh or frozen even, 2 - 3 sliced onions, 1 pkg Au Jus Mix..I use McCormick's Brand, 1/2 cup white wine, 2 cups low sodium Beef Broth, 1 bay Leaf, 1/4 cup Worchestshire Sauce. If the roast is fresh then brown it first..if not don't worry, just put it in the pot frozen..Cook on low all day. My best tip is to spray the inside of the pot with Pam first. Then add the onions, then the roast and mix the rest of the ingredients together and pour over the top..Great leftovers!!!

      1. Chili, lentil soup, curried lentils, beef for sandwiches, spaghetti sauce. I just did pulled pork in ours today.

        Happy Birthday!

        1. Because we were in the mood for football snacks I just melted a brick of velveeta and a can of Rot-tel in the pot . Then I browned some ground beef and added it. Add a few dashes of gasp! mexican spice packet from Mccormick and viola! Dip with tortillia chips. Easy, coronary inducing, but good *sometime* food.

          2 Replies
          1. re: chocchipcookie

            Seriously, try adding cooked crumbled hot sausage and a jalapeno.


            1. re: chelleyd01

              I will next time-this was all we had. Some good chorizo would be even better. But then with my picky crowd I can't get too gourmet or they won't eat it.

          2. OK, for me, anything beef-wise that needs a slow cook is fantastic. But you do need to on the stove, brown the meat. This adds the critical Taste factor. Once there, oh yes think, OXtail, think Shortrib, thing beef stew

            Tho' the Best thing I ever made in a crockpot was this most incredible broth. I had fresh ham hocks from the Asian supermarket. SO I chopped up the usual, carrot, celery, onions. I tossed those in the bottom of the pot, cracked fresh peppercorns on top and some salt. Then added Many whole peeled garlic cloves and fresh ginger slices. I placed the hocks on top of all that and filled with water, from the tap. Put some aluminum foil as a top then the crock pot lid. Left it to cook; undisturbed, not even a look for 12 hours. The CLEARest broth I ever made and the tastiest!

            1. One of my simple faves is: Crock Pot Roast in Beer

              Take 1 Pot Roast (no need to brown, just toss it in the crockpot)
              1 bottle of beer
              2/3 Cup barbecue sauce (or chili sauce or even ketchup if you are so inclined...)
              Optional: 1/4 cup brown sugar (only add this if you like it sweet, I usually don't)
              Salt and pepper to taste

              That's it. Cook it till done. It's great with buttered noodles or mashed potatoes or made into sandwiches.

              Just down home cookin' and good.

              1. This is from my friend Janine, and it's sensational!


                1 1/2 cups ketchup
                1/4 cup packed brown sugar
                1/4 cup red wine vinegar
                2 tablespoons prepared Dijon-style mustard
                2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
                1/2 teaspoon salt
                1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
                1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
                1 (4 pound) boneless chuck roast

                In a large bowl, combine ketchup, brown sugar, red wine vinegar, Dijon-style mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
                Place chuck roast in a slow cooker. Pour ketchup mixture over chuck roast and under it, too. Cover, and cook on low for 10 hours. Before removing the chuck roast from the slow cooker and before touching the sauce, use a gravy ladle and removed all pockets of fat liquid you can see floating on top. Then remove the roast and shredded it finely, discarding all signs of fat.
                The directions say to just place the meat back into the sauce but because I wanted a thick sauce, I poured the sauce into a saucepan, added a thickener (1 HEAPING Tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 3 T water, and brought the whole sauce mixture to a boil, stirring constantly and boiling it for 2 minutes.
                Then add the meat to the thickened sauce and it's ready for the Hamburger buns.
                My guess is it would generously fill 12 or more smaller size hamburger buns.
                Hope you like it as much as we did.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mcel215

                  this is my go to beef BBQ as well (it's from allrecipes.com). Only difference is that your friend decided to omit the liquid smoke. It does work better with the corstarch added at the end.

                2. -stewed rhubarb
                  -sloppy joes or pot roast or beef stroganoff
                  -steel cut oats
                  -caramelized onions
                  -bread pudding
                  -tortilla soup http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Slow-Coo...
                  -mac'n'cheese http://www.a-crock-cook.com/crock-pot...
                  -Butternut Squash Soup (this http://www.a-crock-cook.com/pumpkin-s... is almost my recipe but I sub in butternut squash and prefer cinnamon instead of cloves, or omit the sugar and cloves adding in sage and jarlsberg instead
                  )-Baked Apples - core and fill w/ a combo of brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, and optionally chopped nuts (pistachios :-) and/or raisins
                  -Stuffed Peaches - fill core w/ (brown) sugar, butter, cinnamon, and either crumbled shortbread pieces or crumbled macaroons
                  -also, i do a chicken, artichoke hearts, shiitake mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, a little balsamic vinegar, tarragon or capers, white wine, and chicken broth

                  1. Mabel Hoffman's Slow Cooker Cassoulet is very very good...I usually cut the recipe in half for the 3 of us, and I always remove the skin and just brown the chicken pieces without using the flour before starting and I always cut back on the amount of that bacon, 1/2 pound is WAY too much, ridiculous! (my opinion)...but of course, do as you please, it's an excellent dish:


                    1. coq au vin is the best in your slow cook. Chicken, red wine, mushrooms what else do you need....un baguette.

                      1. If you like lamb...these fall off the bone.

                        8 lamb rib chops
                        2 tablespoons vegetable oil
                        1/2 cup orange juice
                        2 tablespoons honey
                        1 teaspoon salt
                        2 tablespoons cornstarch
                        1/4 teaspoon thyme
                        1 teaspoon grated orange peel

                        Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat, brown lamb chops on both sides. In a bowl, whisk together orange juice, honey, salt, cornstarch, thyme, and grated orange peel. Place browned lamb chops in crockpot; pour in the mixture, & coat well. Cover and cook on LOW 7 to 9 hours or HIGH 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours.

                        1. Robin Miller's Foodnetwork show featured a healthy chicken whole meal in the crockpot that I make frequently with rave reviews from friends and family.


                          1. Chicken Stock. I just recently became a HUGE fan of this based on some recent chowhound blogs. I've been enjoying my stock in just about everything for the past month, and don't know how I lived without it. For a large 6 QT pot, save the bones from 2 roasted chickens. Just freeze them until you have enough. Cut up 2 carrots, 2 celery sticks, and throw in a few pepper corns and a bay leaf. Let it simmer on low at least overnight, or even until the next day. Pour your golden stock through a fine strainer into 1 cup and 4 cup storage containers to freeze for later use. Do this once, and you will never buy stock from the store again.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: egbluesuede

                              Yep, ditto. Makes the best chicken stock ever.

                              1. re: egbluesuede

                                I do this too. I love how it makes my house smell great for a long time. I usually cook 12-24 hours. I have a 5 qt, and I just use one chicken carcass, but I add yellow onion too, quartered or eighthed. Leave the onion skin on, and even toss in extra onion skins if you have 'em. Lots of flavor in those skins, and they make the stock even a richer color. My stock is so good I drink it plain or steeped in herbs from the garden like chicken broth tea.

                                1. re: scuzzo

                                  Good idea on the onion. I usually have one or two that I need to use up.
                                  BTW - For the OP....chicken stock is easy, but you can also make delish beef stocks or anythingany other type of stock. For beef, take leftover cuts of meat, or bones and save them until ready. I even pulled out an old Round Eye that was looking a little freezer burned. you can also buy big soup bones for about .79 / # at the store. Roast them all on a baking sheet at about 400 deg for 30-40 minutes to get a nice brown crust. Then toss all of that into your crock pot over night with a few carrots, celery, onion, bay, and pepper corns. Or anything else you want to flavor it with. I keep mine simple to use as a background for what ever I cook it with. Simple simple simple and SO GOOD.

                              2. stuffed peppers braised in V8.
                                filled with pepper trimmings, brown & wild rice, onion and mushrooms
                                freezes well.

                                1. Overnight oatmeal

                                  Chicken Stock

                                  Tomato Sauce with meatballs

                                  Pulled BBQ chicken

                                  Baked Beans

                                  1. sauce and meatballs/sausage
                                    italian beefs!!!!!!!!!!!
                                    apple butter
                                    pumpkin butter
                                    beef/chicken stock
                                    steel cut oats with fruit
                                    garlic chicken
                                    salsa chicken for tacos/fajitas
                                    roast with carrots and potatoes
                                    Greek green beans (party size)
                                    beef stew
                                    pulled bbq pork or beef
                                    ribs (nice and slow before charring on the grill)
                                    Did I mention ITALIAN BEEFS????

                                    11 Replies
                                    1. re: chelleyd01

                                      so of course share -what are Italian beefs?

                                      1. re: pamd

                                        Italian beef is something that I have experienced only in the greater Chicagoland area. They are thinly sliced beef cooked in a broth seasoned with Italian spices. The longer you cook it the better it is. The bun needs to be soaked in the cooking broth and then the beef is piled high atop the bun, add hot peppers to taste. Note that not just any hamburger bun will do. Crusty on the outside baked buns are the best because it can hold up to a quick dunk in the broth.

                                        Sniff, I miss Chicago.

                                        1. re: Phaedrus

                                          I was curious about this to. I found this online. It sounds similar and delish..the recipe poster was from Chicago as well.


                                          1. re: egbluesuede

                                            I make Italian Beef in my slow cooker using a recipe that is very similar to the allrecipes.com one that is linked above and it is really good. My only change is that I use 2 cups of beef broth and a 12 oz. jar of pepperoncinis including the liquid in the jar. Believe it or not, the result is not overly spicey. If you prefer you can add a 12 oz. jar of chopped banana peppers. For rolls I use either the Turano or Rosen French rolls. A little Dell 'Alpe giardinera, and I'm good to go!

                                            1. re: kwe730

                                              Allrecipes had something similar to that as well. Both sound good to me.

                                          2. re: Phaedrus

                                            I grew up eating Italian beefs in southern Illinois, but down there they shred the beef instead of slicing it. I like it better that way because it seems to soak up the juice better, but maybe that's just because that's the way I grew up eating it. We used pepperoncini for the hot peppers.

                                            1. re: MrsCheese

                                              Really? I spent 13 years in St. Louis and when I mention Italian beef to people down in Belleville etc. they look at me like I was crazy. I did find a huge frozen bucket of Italian beef from Chicago at Sam's Club.

                                              1. re: Phaedrus

                                                A little late to reply, but... I don't know if I've ever seen Italian beef in St. Louis, although I grew up only 90 min east of there (and have family there). Maybe someone who came from Chicago introduced it to my small town! We used to have this restaurant where pretty much all they made was fried chicken and Italian beef. Now I live in the Northeast, I usually only get Italian beef once a year, at my aunts for Christmas Eve. That is, unless I make it myself... *digging out Italian beef recipe* ;-)

                                          3. re: pamd

                                            Italian Beefs are love in a pot:

                                            3lb or so tri-tip or london broil
                                            1 can of Campbells Beef Consomme (okay, purists, homemade beef stock)
                                            1 can of water
                                            6 garlic cloves
                                            1 pkg Good Seasons Italian Dressing (dry)
                                            now here is the you choose part:
                                            a jar of hot pepper rings, a jar of mild pepper rings or a few heaping spoons of homemade hot peppers in oil.

                                            Slep it all in the crock pot, cook until it absolutely falls apart. Shred it with forks and mush up the garlic cloves. Cook awhile longer. Serve it on crust italian rolls with sharp provolone and more hot peppers and caramelized onions! (Jake eats it over homemade fat egg noodles but hey, whatever gets you through the day).

                                            1. re: chelleyd01

                                              thanks-will give it a whirl. What type of peppers, any particular? (we like hot stuff!)

                                              1. re: pamd

                                                thats where your preference comes in...I use my home canned hot bananas in oil. When I am out of those, I use hot vinegar peppers with a hit of the juice in there. You can add as much or as little as you want. We like a little kick so we always use hots. I made it yesterday, in fact and this morning had a strange craving for broccoli so I sauteed it in the juice from the beefs...wow. Thats all I really have to say about that.

                                        2. Red beans and rice (well, the red beans part anyway)
                                          all day short ribs
                                          a lamb roast. seriously. try it. You throw a lamb roast in there along with garlic, onions, and vermouth. /swoon

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: tzurriz

                                            did you brown the lamb roast before throwing it in the pot??? I'd never heard of doing lamb this way, but it will save me tons of prep time on Christmas day if it comes out like you said. Saves my oven for the spiral ham.

                                            1. re: othervoice

                                              Nope. Defrost it and then throw it in the crockpot. It doesn't come out at all like oven roasted, but it does come out 100% delicious. If your expectation is ovenroasted, you'll be disappointed. It doesn't get a crust. If your expectation is wonderfulness, you'll be thrilled.

                                              We actually prefer crockpot braised to ovenroasted lamb these days. :)

                                          2. Beans. Beans is about all I cook in my crock pot and it's worth it just for that. I only boil the beans in the crock pot; I do the flavoring part on the stove.

                                            There's a book called Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker book or something like that, and it's pretty good with a wide range of ideas -- not just "old fashioned" beef stews and such.

                                            1. Place spareribs or county ribs into the crock pot, cover with sliced onions and mushrooms and poor bbq sauce over all. Turn on cooker for at least four hours......or all day if you're working. Yummmmmy.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: pilotgirl210

                                                (psssst..........I really can spell *pour*.......but poorly........tee hee)

                                              2. Lesson learned: Cream cheese in crock pot = NOT GOOD

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: jes

                                                  oops. what did you end up making?

                                                    1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                      well it was snowing here and i decided i wanted tol use the crock pot but didnt want to go to the supermarket. so i took a box of trader joes butternut squash soup, added some fresh garlic and ground chicken. I had decided I was gong to make the soup creamier by adding sour cream but i didnt have any and i thought that since butternut squash can go okay with a sweet taste, I'd use cream cheese. Well i dont home from work and smelled wonderful but when i looked at it wasnt at all a soup/stew consistancy and it was somewhat burned onto the sides. it didnt taste too bad but was kinda a disaster. but live and learn i guess,...

                                                    2. re: jes

                                                      I make a potato chowder in my crock pot, and during the last hour I add in cream cheese. You could try this next time.

                                                    3. brisket in a crock pot is awesome! This will sound absolutely vile, but it's really delicious. Put your brisket in fat side up. Add to it one envelope of golden onion soup mix and two cans of cream of mushroom soup. I also saute about a pound of mushrooms and once sauteed, throw them in. Don't use raw mushrooms because they will add too much liquid. Turn on the pot and about 6 - 8 hours later you'll have incredibly tender brisket with its own mushroom gravy. All you need are some mashed potatoes and green beans and you're good to go. If you're allergic to mushrooms, leave the mushrooms out and use cream of celery soup instead. As I said, sounds awful but tastes heavenly!

                                                      You can also cook corned beef in the crock pot with a little bit of water, pickling spices and brown sugar (just a tad). It's amazing!

                                                      1. 7up Chicken

                                                        3 or 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (can be frozen)
                                                        1 or 2 cans cream of chicken soup (I like lots of sauce)
                                                        some pats of butter
                                                        can of 7up (not diet)
                                                        seasoned salt

                                                        Mix the soup, soda and parsley and pour over chicken breasts in crockpot. Sprinkle with seasoned salt.

                                                        I've found variations on the net. This comes out great and serves great over pasta or baked potatoes, sprinkle with parmesan. I usually use frozen chicken breasts that look like they are from the King Kong of chickens. It's what we have in our store. :s I put this on low all day and come home.

                                                        And no, it's not sweet. :)

                                                        1. Most of the replies on this board are right on with my experience: Stew, Stock, Oxtail, Beans. etc. I recently bought two cookbooks in an attempt to broaden my crockpot horizons... so far, so good.

                                                          Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook
                                                          Southwest Slow Cooking


                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: ldkelley

                                                            Look for my post here for Hungarian Beef Stew - it's awesome!
                                                            Chicken Paprikash is so easy!
                                                            I like to serve them on a small red potato that has been baked in foil with a little olive oil & salt.

                                                            Both those are the most yummy comfort foods!

                                                            If you have a small crockpot (not hot pot!) I can suggest trying some of the cake recipes out there. Search for dump cake crockpot recipes and you'll find some great ideas!

                                                            Chicken & sausage gumbo.

                                                            The best chile recipe I've made is here:

                                                            I like to make crockpot meals and freeze them in single serve containers so I can take them for lunch. :)

                                                          2. I am still new to the whole crock pot thing... but my friend explained it to me like this
                                                            "doesnt matter what you do, it all works out. Just abandon all your cooking 'rules' and fly by the seat of your pants. Then be patient"

                                                            Those ar two things i am not very good at (abandoning coking rules, and being patient). So i had a few cocktails and i went through my pantry.

                                                            I shop a lot of ethnic stores and always pick up odd things. So i just started pulling out all sort of things and throwing them in there. I think i mixed curry with beans, chicken, and rice. I chopped some onions and odd veggies, and some fruit of some sort. I turned it on, and walked away.

                                                            Hours later, it was delicious. To this day i am not sure what i did, however i know for sure that no matter what i throw in there it will all turn out.