Try these easy crockpot recipes for chicken, Salisbury steak, tacos and more! Here’s how to save money with quick and easy meals perfect for hot days!
Using your crockpot can save you a lot of money, slash the amount of time you have to spend preparing meals, and reduce your overall stress.
These easy crockpot recipes are perfect for hot days when you don’t want to heat up the house. Cooking with a crockpot can also save a lot of energy, because you don’t have to heat up the house in the summer when you’re trying to keep it cooler.
Here are some easy crockpot recipes and tips from our Easy Crockpot Recipes and Menus e-book to help you with your crockpot cooking.
10 Easy Crockpot Recipes and Tips
- Unless the recipe states otherwise, always cook with the lid on your crockpot. It is best not to open the lid while cooking.
- Many recipes that you cook in the oven or on top of the stove can be adapted to the crockpot. If it takes 2-4 hours to cook in the oven or on the stove top then it will take about 4-6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low in the crockpot.
- If you need to reduce the liquid, take the lid off for the last half hour of cooking. You could also make a mix of 2 teaspoons cornstarch with some of the liquid from the dish and stir it into the rest. Then allow it to cook and thicken.
- If you find yourself going out to eat a lot because you hate the clean up, then try using crockpot liners. It is much less expensive to use them than to eat out. Liners are especially good to use when you have company and during the holidays.
- To make crockpot dishes even easier and faster keep a supply of ingredients like cooked hamburger, sausage, bacon or ham in the freezer. Then you won’t have to dirty a skillet or take the time to cook things like hamburger before you toss them into the crockpot.
- Normally you should fill your crockpot about 3/4 full, especially if you are cooking soups and stews. Add the ingredients and then add liquid to fill it to 3/4 full.
- If you have a large crockpot and a smaller recipe, simply put the recipe ingredients in an oven proof dish (like Pyrex) and set it down inside your crockpot. Then cover and cook.
Barbecue Chicken Crockpot Recipe
4-6 pieces chicken
1 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2-1 tsp. red pepper flakes
Place chicken in a crockpot. Mix remaining ingredients. Pour over chicken. Cook on low in the crockpot about 4-6 hours.
Brown Rice and Chicken
1-2 cups diced cooked chicken
2 onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Combine all ingredients but almonds in a crockpot. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours or on low 4 to 5 hours. Serve with almonds.
Delicious Slow Cooked Roast
1 beef roast, 3-5 lbs.
1 onion, sliced
1 can cream of mushroom soup (omit for GF and sprinkle with seasoned salt)
carrots and potatoes, diced (optional)
Place roast in crockpot. Pour cream of mushroom soup and onion on top. Cover. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8-10 hours. Add carrots and potatoes 2 hours before dinner.
*This recipe is an excellent way to prepare inexpensive roasts. This slow cooked roast recipe makes them so tender they fall off the bone and are almost impossible to lift out of the pan. It is an excellent way to make a delicious meal for Sunday after church or for guests, because it can cook for 2 or 3 hours longer than required without overcooking. Since it is so tender that no meat is left on the bone, you get more for your money. Serves 4.
Crockpot Salisbury Steak Recipe
This crockpot Salisbury Steak recipe is a delicious comfort food your family will love! It’s easy to prepare ahead of time and then simmer in the crockpot until it’s time for dinner!
2 lbs. ground beef
1 pkg. onion mushroom soup mix (If you can’t find it, then onion soup mix will work too.)
1/2 cup saltine crackers, crushed
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 cup flour
2 (10 oz.) cans cream of mushroom soup
1 pkg. brown gravy mix, prepared according to package directions.**
sliced mushrooms (optional)
- Mix the first 5 ingredients and shape into 8 patties.
- Pour vegetable oil into frying pan.
- Dredge the patties on both sides with flour*.
- Brown in the hot oil on both sides.
- Place patties in a crockpot. They can overlap.
- If desired, add sliced mushrooms.
- Combine soup and mixed gravy. Pour over patties.
- Cook on low for 4-6 hours until patties are cooked through.
*I just pour the flour onto a plate, lay the patty in it and dredge on each side.
**You could replace the gravy mix with about 1 cup leftover roast gravy.
Crockpot Bean Goulash Recipe
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. bacon
1 stalk celery
1 small onion
1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans or 2 cups cooked beans
1 (15 oz.) can butter beans
1 (15 oz.) can pork and beans
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1/2 cup barbecue sauce or ketchup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
Brown ground beef, bacon, celery and onion. If using canned beans, drain them. Mix the remaining ingredients together with the beef mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or put in the crockpot on low for 1-2 hours. Serves 8-10.
Crockpot Meatloaf Recipe
2 lbs. of lean hamburger
1 Sleeve of Saltine Crackers
Salt and pepper
1 small onion, chopped
Start by crumbling up your crackers. I keep the sleeve closed and just gently crush them until I’m ready to use them. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat them with a fork. Add the meat, chopped onion, crushed crackers and salt and pepper to taste. Mix it all together with your hands and put it in the crockpot. I pat it down a bit so it molds itself to the shape of the crockpot. Pour enough ketchup on top to cover your meatloaf. Cook on low for 8 -9 hours.
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 package taco seasoning
1 can Rotel tomatoes*
Place all of the ingredients in the crockpot and cook on low 6-8 hours. Shred and use in tacos, burritos, enchiladas or in a salad. You can also serve it hot or cold so it would be great as leftovers to take in a lunch.
*Rotel tomatoes are canned tomatoes with chopped green peppers or jalapenos. Any brand that is labeled “tomatoes and green chilies” should be OK or just used canned tomatoes and add the kind of peppers you would like.
Garlic Roasted Chicken Recipe
3-5 lb. chicken
3 Tbsp. minced garlic
about 1/4 lb. butter
1/2 cup chicken broth
Sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper, paprika. Rub the bird inside and out with garlic. Place in the crockpot. Lay a couple of pats of butter on top of the breast and pour in broth. Cook on Low 6-8 hours. Serve with the garlic butter sauce.
Crockpot Bread Recipe
Submitted by Liz A.
I use my Automatic Bread Machine to make a batch of dough, then bake it in the 3-4 qt. Slow Cooker.
1 cup + 2 Tbsp. water (or more if necessary)
1/4 cup sugar, honey or sweetener of choice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds, roasted & salted
1 cup rolled oats
2 Tbsp. non-fat dry milk powder (optional)
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
Place ingredients in pan according to ABM instructions. Run on Dough Cycle. Place a piece of Parchment Paper in the bottom and slightly up the sides of your Slow Cooker.
When the dough cycle is complete, shape into a large ball and place on the paper. Place a single layer dish towel across the top of the cooker (above the dough) to absorb excess moisture, then top with the lid. Cook on HIGH at least 1 hour, then check for doneness.
I’m at 6300 ft above Sea Level, and a loaf this size takes 1 hour, 15 minutes. The top will be pale and may shrink back a small bit after cooked. At the end of cooking, turn it off but leave it in the cooker 15 minutes. Then remove and cool on a wire rack. The crust closest to the heating element will be darker and thicker — changing in color and thickness the further from it. Something for everyone!
Slow Cooker Apple Dip
2-12 ounce cans condensed milk
6-4 ounce canning jars with lids
Open the cans of condensed milk and pour them evenly into the jars. One jar will fill three 4 ounce canning jars perfectly. Leave a little room for expansion.
Put the jars into the crock of your slow cooker. Add water to cover the jars by at least an inch.
Cook on low for 10 hours, or until the caramel is the color you want it to be. Remove the jars, carefully, and let cool completely before opening. Serve with sliced apples.
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These are great ideas! I got myself into a bind a couple of years ago–many of the newer crockpots are for 5 or 6 quarts. I have 2 older style crockpots that are 3-4 quart sizes. I was in the middle of a recipe before I realized it was intended for a 6 quart crockpot. Fortunately I was able to divide it up into 2 crockpots, but now I check the recipe sizes much more thoroughly! :)
I use my Automatic Bread Machine to make a batch of dough, then bake it in the 3-4qt Slow Cooker. Here’s today’s favorite:
1c + 2TBSP Water (or more if necessary)
1/4 c Sugar, Honey or Sweetener of Choice
1-1/2 tsp Salt
2 TBSP Butter
1/2 c Shelled Sunflower Seeds, Roasted & Salted
1 c Rolled Oats
2 TBSP Non-fat Dry Milk Powder (optional)
2-1/2 c Bread Flour
2-1/2 tsp Instant Yeast
Place ingredients in pan according to ABM instructions. Run on Dough Cycle. Place a piece of Parchment Paper in the bottom and slightly up the sides of your Slow Cooker. When the dough cycle is complete, shape into a large ball and place on the paper. Place a single layer dish towel across the top of the cooker (above the dough) to absorb excess moisture,then top with the lid. Cook on HIGH at least 1 hour, then check for doneness.
I’m at 6300 ft above Sea Level, and a loaf this size takes at 1 hour, 15 minutes. The top will be pale and may shrink back a small bit after cooked. At the end of cooking, turn off but leave in the cooker 15 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack. The crust closest to the heating element will be darker and thicker — changing in color and thickness the further from it. Something for everyone!
I love crockpot cooking almost anytime. When it’s so hot here in Ohio, I put my crockpot (or crockpots) in the garage for the day so even that much heat is kept out of the house. It really does help keep the AC from working as hard.
I find the crockpot cleans up very easily when sprayed with cooking spray. Saves the cost of liners.
I like to use the liners, then with the leftovers, just tie the liner and put it in the refrigerator or freezer..plus easy cleanup
I have trouble with sauces sliding off my chicken and thinning out on my meats unless I braise them before putting them into my crockpot. Is there a better way to stop this ???
Boy Ginny I’m not sure I know the answer to that. Maybe one of our readers who uses their crock pots all the time can help.
Shop for the liners online. The difference in price from the grocery store is quite a lot. Don’t necessarily look for the Reynold’s brand just search “crock pot or slow cooker” liners.
Does anyone know where I can find crockpot liners & about how much they cost? Any help would be appreciated..thanks! :)
Wal Mart and our grocery store carries them. They are usually in with the foil, plastic wrap and plastic bags. You may have to look good for them too because usually they are on the top or very bottom shelf. I’m not sure on the price and the price will very from place to place.
They are available at any large grocery store chain.
They are sold at Bed Bath and Beyond. With the 20% coupons, it’s a great deal. They are sold in an 8 pack for 4.99 when in the grocery store they only come in a 3-pack for a lot of money! I love using them.
I love the liners, but you can use them sparingly. for example, if I make something like soup or stew that doesn’t stick a lot, I don’t mind cleaning the crockpot. if I’m making a crockpot lasagna, though, I definitely use one. they are such time savers if you are in a hurry or just don’t want to stand there scrubbing!
I agree you don’t need to use the liners all the time. I would just reserve them for really sticky things and like you said if you have company or something and don’t want to spend a bunch of time scrubbing.
I love crockpot liners but I also have been known to soak a crockpot for 3 days if necessary! LOL!
I’m with you on the soaking. I am a firm believer in soak don’t scrub. : )
If you use dryer sheets, save the used ones and put one or two in the dirty crock pot filled with water. Soak overnight. The next morning the sticky mess just washes off easily.
I heard that soaking can lead to cracking?
I’m not sure what you mean Kate but if it is soaking it to clean it that won’t hurt it. What they may have been talking about is like any pottery or glass type of thing if you put cold water into any pot or glass is can sometimes crack it. If you think about it putting soapy water in the crock pot would be no different that putting water in it for soup and that type of thing.
Coat your crock pot with butter before you put your ingredients in. Crock washes up like a dream and saves the cost of a bag if you are running low on them.
I’ve never used liners. I found vegetable spray works well, I’ve never had a sticky mess to clean up.
How much liquid is needed when cooking a roast or pork roast in crock pot? Does it need to completely cover the meat?
You only need about 1/2 a cup of liquid because the water doesn’t evaporate in a crock pot. You can add water, broth or like to add leftover coffee. It gives the roast a rich (not coffee) flavor and makes the gravy more brown.
Linda Sue Certuche
I like to use leftover coffee to thin down my sloppy joes, baked beans or chili. No one ever says anything about it because they don’t know. I hate to waste anything.
I have a 7 quart crock pot. To clean , I just soak the pot in warm water and baking soda for 15 to 30 minutes (Of course I do wait for enamel to cool a bit before putting it in the sink to avoid cracking). It usually makes scrubbing much easier. I also do this for my other pots, casserole dishes, etc. I never use liners even if I’m cooking with really sticky food. :)
Crazy, but if you are out of liners or don’t want to use them, put a dryer sheet in the bottom of the messy crock then add hot water. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes(long enough to wipe down the table and counters) :) then simply wipe the crock. Makes clean-up a lot easier. Hope it works for you, too.
You can use the cooking liners (that you put in the oven) also for the crock pot liners in a pinch — I use the large roaster size for my 7 qt. crockpot. It really helps not having to scrub the sides of the heavy clinging goo (such as from crockpot potatoes).
I have no idea what size my crock pot is. It doesn’t say on it. Any suggestions to find out the size?
Take a quart pitcher, jar or use a measuring cup – fill it with water and pour into your crock pot. If using a 1 quart jar and your crock pot holds about 3 jars full it is a 3 quart one if it holds 6 it is a 6 quart one. For a measuring cup a 3 qt. will take a total of 12 cups.
This is an easy method to find the measurement for any thing.
I tell people to measure their drinking glasses this way too. Most do not realize they and especially their children are drinking way more then 8 oz. of things and that is part of the reason there is so much problem with obesity now.Not so much what they are eating but how much.
If you look at the serial number on the bottom of the outside of the cooker, the quart size will be in there, for example, “SCR509” is a 5 quart; SCVT650-PS is 6.5 quarts. Hope this helps!
omg!!! I am surely going to try this recipe. I can’t wait to try this with the family. Thanks a ton for posting this and many of your recipes. Keep up the good work!!
Thanks for posting these recipes. I just started using my crockpot again. I love trying new recipes. Plus the family loves having new and surprising meals during dinner time.
Just a tip. If your crockpot has a removable stone or ceramic liner, save it, if the electrical part burns out. These liners with their original lids, or even covered in aluminum foil make awesome oven proof dishes to use in your regular oven. Save glass lids, and if yours is missing a lid, check thrift shops, yard sales or second hand stores for something suitable. I have had enormous success with replacing the clear glass lids on crockpots, and often the lids will fit a few of my conventional pots as well. If you are without a lid for your crockpot, try using a saucer, luncheon plate or even a ceramic type cereal bowl turned up side down as a cover. In a pinch, regular old aluminum foil slightly tented and crimped around the edges of a crockpot will work fine as a lid. Just be careful of the steam when you take it off, and as always, don’t peek too often.
You can start frozen meat at night and have it ready by afternoon. In winter it keeps the house warm. In the summer plug it in outside on the porch or carport. Keep your house cool.
My favorite and simple meat is three pounds of chicken, beef or pork with one cup salsa, barbecue sauce or simmering sauce. If you start at night with frozen meat, it takes fifteen hours on low to shread itself. Or thawed/raw it takes 8 hours on low or four hours on high with my crockpots.
Pinto beans can be started with only water for over night, then add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper when the beans are soft.
Crock pots are great for mulled cider or keeping hot chocolate ready.
I’m not done, I’m just getting started!
Use your imagination,!
Great tips Sheri. If anyone needs more recipes, tips or info on how to use your crock pot be sure to check out our Easy Crockpot Recipes we mentioned in the post. It really has quite a bit of info in it like over 60 full menus and 187 other recipes plua many things like what Sheri and our other readers have mentioned. Also we tell you how to use your crock pot for other things like deserts, side dishes, beverages and how to use it for things like keeping mashed potatoes warm or using it for beverages like hot chocolate which is especially good if you are serving a crowd. You can make baked apples in it, or just wash off your potatoes and bake them in it. You may find it you have to keep it sitting on your counter because you will be using it so often.
I LOVE my crockpots and use them all of the time. I own 4 in various sizes, and often use 2 or more at a time. Right now in good ‘ol Missouri we’re having low to mid 80’s with humidity to make it feel like I should be living in the swamps of Florida or Louisiana! That crockpot is a life saver to not have to heat up the kitchen. In the winter I forever have a hearty soup or stew in a big pot and hot cocoa going in a small one.
Someone mentioned earlier in the post about their sauce sliding off their meat unless they brown it. I have this happen to me too and have found a sometimes fix for when I don’t have time or am too lazy to brown my meat, I pat the meat as dry as I can before I add it to the crock. Sometimes I dust my meat in flour or corn starch (depending on what it is). This helps sometimes, but not always. Crockpots are definitely moist cooking containers and sometimes it’s a challenge to make a sauce just so.
Well I’m off to start some cheesy potatoes (6 – 8 potatoes washed & cut into bite size pieces, a onion cut up in small bites, salt & pepper, 1 can evaporated milk. Plus cheddar cheese…sorry, I never measure how much cheese I throw in, just eyeball it. Turn on low for 4 or 5 hours until tender. I add my cheese during the last half-hour of cooking to let it get good and gooey, a light stir and you have easy cheesy potatoes) to go with my BBQ pork ribs that I started this morning. I’ll add a nice wilted lettuce leaf salad and supper is served!
Oh Yum Brenda sounds good. I am here in Kansas so I should be able to make it to your house in time for supper if I leave right now. : ) I love cheesy potatoes, love BBQ pork ribs too. I just hung up the phone from talking to my mom in Colorado and she was saying what a nice day it was there and all I could say was “It is miserable muggy here.” Then I read your post on what it is feeling like in Missouri so I am feeling you pain. It feels like I am breathing in a fish bowl here. : ) Thanks for your crock pot tips.
What size can of evaporated milk do you use?
Not sure which recipe you are talking about Janice but in most recipes it is a 12 oz. can that is used and usually if the smaller can is used the recipe specifies that.
I absolutely depend on my crock pot during the summers here. We were 107 today here in AZ and summer hasn’t even arrived.
I don’t know what I’d do without it.
We haven’t turned the air on yet (cost to much) and there is no way I’m adding more heat from a stove or oven.
Thanks for all the great tips
I made the crock pot bbq chicken, then a few days later I tried the same thing with turkey thighs. It was fabulous!
The cornstarch needs to be dissolved in cold water before adding to the pot, or it will be lumpy. For a typical crock pot, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1/2 cup of cold water. I do mine in a Mason jar, screw a lid on, shake it until the cornstarch is dissolved, and pour into the liquid. Bring it to a boil, stirring constantly, and let it cook for about a minute or until the liquid is thick.
Using a lid that does not fit your slow cooker properly can be dangerous. Properly fitting lids keep in the steam and heat but ill-fitting lids allow the food to sit hours at dangerously low temps. My friend made beans and sausage in a slow cooker with a lid that did not fit properly and the family got so sick after eating, they had to go to the ER.
Before I start to use my crock pots. I will put a little olive oil in the bottom of the crock pot. Then I wipe the entire inside of the crock pot with the olive oil. This helps with the clean up. Put hot soapy water in the crock pot and let it sit for a few minutes. Then wash it out. No scrubbing
Thanks for the awesome tip!
I also use my crockpot for keeping items warm during a large meal. For example, at Thanksgiving I make my mashed potatoes early before everyone arrives, then I transfer them to my crock pot and set it on Warm. When it comes time to serve I may add alittle more butter and serve directly from the crock pot buffet style. It saves me the stress of the last minute rush.
I also use my crock pot to simmer and keep canning jar lids and rings hot and sterilized during a big canning session at harvest time. I usually have two canners going, and two burners used up for boiling syrup or brine, and then a hot plate to keep hot sterilized jars on. A large crock pot, started early to hold the canning lids and rings, is like having an extra burner ready in the kitchen.
I love the Not Just Beans barbeque meatball recipe cooked in my crockpot. Yummmm
I am always looking for new tips to make cooking easier. I honestly do not like cooking so I try to spend the least amount of time in the kitchen as possible!
I have never tried a recipe like the Apple Dip. I have a few questions to clarify. Do you use the canning jars w/ the rings? If so, how tight do you put them on when they are in the crockpot? I am thinking that it is probably like traditional canning (which I have also never done, unless you count helping my mother when I was young: many moons ago lol) where you put the lids on just snug for the cooking portion, wait for the little ping for them to be sealed properly, and then tighten them at the end. Or am I totally wrong, and you use other kinds of jars?
Michelle the recipe you are talking about was sent in by a viewer and since then I have found a much easier version you might want to try instead and that is to place the can unopened (peel off the label) in a crock pot, cover by at least 2 in. of water (this is important to do). Cook for about 10 hrs, take out and let cool to room temperature before opening.
Here is a variation which keeps the chicken really moist. grill on pan for the time suggested, then move to a roasting pan. pour a little chicken stock over to coat and cover bottom of pan, then bake 8-10 minutes. The chicken will be very moist while still cooking thoroughly.
In the chicken and brown rice meal, why does it have to cook so long if the rice and chicken are already cooked?
You can put it on the less amount of time Carol. This was more for people who work and if they want to leave it all day. You can cook any casserole for less or more as needed – just a general guide line.
Thank you all for such wonderful advice. I need to start using my crockpot more often. My mother used a pressure cooker to cook almost everything. I am hoping to learn her recipes when I go to Germany to visit her next month.
I used boneless chicken thighs cause we like dark meat. So smaller portions but most definitely a keeper.