As the weather turns from warm to cold, you may be looking for warmer, heartier meals. If this sounds like you, then it’s the perfect time to bring out your crockpot.
Crockpot meals are easy to make and require little maintenance since you can focus on other tasks instead of having to check on how your meal’s cooking every few minutes. Plus, these meals make for a perfect addition to any festive get-together such as Thanksgiving or Christmas.
When it comes to crockpots, there are endless recipes to try, like stew, soup, and even spaghetti and meatballs.
If you’re looking for crockpot ideas to use this upcoming winter season, we’ve got you covered.
We’ve compiled a list of our favorite slow cooker recipes you and your family (and even co-workers) will love.
1. Slow Cooker Broccoli Beef
Nothing goes better with broccoli than beef. This classic pairing tastes great when simmered in a crockpot for a few hours.
The secret ingredient in this dish is soy sauce, as it gives it just the right amount of saltiness while still adhering to those classic Asian flavors.
If you don’t have soy sauce, you can swap it out for some Worcestershire sauce. Or, if you’re allergic to soy sauce, you might want to swap it out for some tamari.
2. Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs with Rich Gravy
Beef short ribs are a classic dish, and you can easily prepare and make it from the comfort of your crockpot.
The secret ingredient in this tasty dish is red wine. The flavor is subtle but powerful enough to give the beef a unique taste.
If you don’t have red wine, you can swap it out for some white wine instead. Or, if you prefer not to use any alcohol, you can use non-alcoholic cooking wine or chicken or beef stock.
3. Slow Cooker Chicken and Mushroom Stroganoff
You’ve heard of beef stroganoff, but what about chicken and mushroom stroganoff? This unique spin on an old classic is so good that we recommend it for your next office party.
The secret ingredient in this tasty slow cooker dish is mushrooms. This recipe can host any mushroom, so feel free to experiment with either white or portabello.
This recipe also calls for cream of chicken soup, but you can swap it out for the cream of mushroom soup if you prefer.
4. Crock Pot Beef Stew
Beef stew is a classic crockpot dish, and this one is so simple to make. The secret ingredient in this beef stew recipe is ketchup, which helps elevate the flavors of the sauce.
If you don’t have ketchup or aren’t a huge fan of it, you can easily swap it out for some tomato sauce or even tomato puree if you prefer.
In our opinion, this is one of the best slow cooker recipes out there and one that’s easy to make and delicious to eat.
5. CrockPot Spaghetti and Meatball Recipe
Spaghetti and meatballs…in a crockpot? It’s not the traditional way of cooking it, but after you try it once, it’ll become your new go-to.
The secret ingredient in this flavorful spaghetti and meatball dish is beef stock, giving the tomato sauce a little more flavor.
If you don’t have beef stock, you can swap it out for red wine or even vegetable broth. You could use chicken broth, but that should only be used as a last resort.
6. Crock Pot Cheesy Bacon Ranch Chicken
What is easy to make and tastes great? Cheesy, bacon ranch chicken, of course!
These ingredients are a triple threat and pair great together. Since the chicken is shredded, it’ll taste great as is or even be served on a warm bun.
The ranch seasoning mix is the secret ingredient in this dish. However, you could easily swap it out for some ranch dressing as well.
If you’re looking for easy crockpot meal ideas you can make after work, this is one we highly recommend.
7. Slow Cooker Chicken Alfredo Recipe
Do you love Alfredo but are looking for a new and easy way to make it? If so, you should try tossing the ingredients into your slow cooker.
This is a perfect weekend meal and ideal for chilly nights when you want to eat something warm and filling.
The secret ingredient comes in the smashed garlic cloves, as it elevates all the other flavors. Plus, who doesn’t love garlic, am I right?
If you don’t have garlic cloves, you can easily substitute them for some garlic powder seasoning.
8. Easy Slow Cooker Taco Pasta
Have you ever had taco pasta before? If you haven’t, then this is the next recipe you should out.
Trust us when we say that it’s amazing. Plus, it’s easy to cook as it only takes about 10 minutes of prep time.
The secret ingredient in this dish is the packet of taco seasoning. If your store is out of it, you can easily make your own by swapping the traditional packet out for some chili powder, oregano, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes.
This unique recipe will have everyone wanting to make it for themselves the minute they get home.
More Crockpot Recipes You’ll Love
- Crockpot Chicken Recipes
- Vegetarian Crockpot recipes
- Crockpot Breakfast Recipes
- Crock-Pot Desserts
- Crockpot Chicken Recipes
- Keto Crockpot Recipes
9. Crockpot Lasagna
Are you looking for easy crockpot dinner ideas? If so, we recommend trying some crockpot lasagna for your next meal.
Lasagna is a classic comfort food and is melt-in-your-mouth delicious the second it gets out of the crockpot.
The secret ingredient in this dish can be found in the cheese filling, which is made from ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella cheese.
If you don’t have ricotta cheese, you can swap it out for cottage cheese, as this is popularly used in many lasagna recipes.
10. Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
Slow cooker macaroni and cheese are among our favorite crockpot recipes because of how flavorful and simple it is to make.
As with all macaroni and cheese dishes, the secret ingredient is the type of cheese you use.
While this recipe commonly calls for cheddar cheese, feel free to swap it out for mozzarella, pepper jack, or American.
You can also get creative and use any noodles you like, including elbow macaroni or even shells.
11. Crock Pot Chicken and Stuffing
Did you get an InstaPot for the holidays last year? If so, we have the perfect new recipe you can try out this holiday season.
Chicken and stuffing are a classic combo, and the crockpot makes them so juicy.
The secret ingredient in this holiday-friendly recipe is the cream of chicken soup, which gives the chicken a little bit of extra moisture and flavoring.
If you don’t have the cream of chicken soup, you can swap it out for some cream of mushroom soup or even cream of celery, as both of those ingredients are commonly used in stuffing anyway.
12. Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Crack Chicken Chili
A lot is going on in this meal, but trust us, it all works together. The secret ingredient in this unique chili dish is the chili powder, which gives all the ingredients a little bolt of spice and flavor.
If you don’t have chili powder, don’t worry – you can still get those classic chili flavors by subbing it out for some paprika or cumin.
It’s one of our favorite crockpot ideas for dinner parties and special late-night gatherings over the holidays. Plus, it tastes great as a leftover.
13. Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs
If you’re looking for a hearty meal that will keep everyone’s bellies full, look no further than this flavorful chicken recipe.
The secret ingredient in this dish comes down to the tangy lemon juice that will excite your tastebuds. You can swap it out for some lime juice if you don’t have lemon juice since it has a very similar flavor profile.
You could also use white wine, which is very complimentary to chicken. Serve this dish with some pillowy mashed potatoes and biscuits, and you’ve got a dinner the kids will ask for every year.
14. Crockpot Thai Chicken Curry
Do you like spicy curry? If so, this recipe will quickly become your new favorite! Like many curry dishes, the secret ingredient is the curry paste, which has notes of ginger and garlic.
If you don’t have curry paste, you can easily swap it out for turmeric with chili paste or even chili powder.
The flavors will be a little different but still tasty. Serve over some basmati rice and a side of bread, and enjoy. This meal will quickly become your new favorite.
15. Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs
You don’t have to drive down to Ikea to enjoy some tasty Swedish meatballs.
Swedish meatballs have a unique taste different from traditional meatballs, and a lot of that has to do with the sauce, which includes Worcestershire sauce.
This sauce just so happens to be this dish’s secret ingredient, and for a good reason, as it adds a lot of flavors.
If you don’t have Worcestershire sauce, you can swap it out for some soy sauce.
16. Crockpot Breakfast Casserole
Crockpots aren’t solely used for dinner; they can also be used to make delicious breakfast!
This casserole contains all of your breakfast favorites, including eggs, sausage, cheese, and peppers.
You can swap out the link for ham if you prefer, or vice versa. Likewise, swap out the cheddar cheese for American or pepper jack. The secret ingredient is a teaspoon of dry
17. Homemade Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup
When you think of a crockpot, you probably think of classic recipes like homemade chicken noodle soup. This recipe doesn’t disappoint and tastes great as a leftover so that you can get multiple days out of one dish.
The secret ingredient in this chicken noodle soup recipe is the bouillon cubes, as it helps bring out the flavors of the chicken broth. Plus, you can add in extra bouillon cubes to get your chicken flavor to wherever you want it to be.
This recipe also calls for extra-wide egg noodles, but you can swap them out for any pasta you prefer. Bowties and elbow macaroni were good alternatives.
18. Mozzarella Stuffed Crockpot Meatloaf
Have you ever thought of stuffing your meatloaf with cheese? If not, we introduce you to this unique but uber-flavorful recipe that your kids will love.
The secret ingredient in this dish comes down to what’s in the glaze: sriracha sauce. It gives this dish a little kick.
However, you can swap this out for Sambal Oelek, which is an Indonesian hot sauce.
It provides the same kind of heat as sriracha sauce but is unique to make this dish your own.
It’ll have everyone asking you what you used to make your meatloaf so tasty.
19. Bacon Cheeseburger Crock Pot Tater Tot Casserole
Name a better pairing than bacon and cheeseburgers. I’ll wait. Jokes aside, this tater tot recipe is out of this world and one that works great when served at birthday parties and holiday gatherings.
The secret ingredient in this dish is sour cream, which makes the cheese a little thicker and more flavorful.
If you don’t have sour cream, you can swap it out for some plain greek yogurt. Also, you can add a dollop of hot sauce if you prefer.
20. Slow Cooker Garlic Parmesan Chicken & Potatoes
If you’re into crockpot cooking, then you’ll want to try out this tasty garlic and chicken recipe.
This is an easy-to-make meal and perfect for your next get-together. Baby red potatoes are the secret ingredient in this slow cooker dish, but they can be easily swapped out for some Yukon gold potatoes, too. Or, if you want a healthier alternative, try swapping either of those potatoes out for some sweet potatoes instead.
This is a great tasting recipe that everyone in your family will enjoy each time it’s made.
21. Stuffed Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls
Are you a fan of cabbage? If so, this recipe is calling your name. However, if you’re not the biggest fan of it, this recipe may be just enough to change your mind.
While the cabbage is the main star of this dish, the secret ingredient comes down to the tomato sauce.
The acidity helps balance out the cabbage flavor, which is great if you’re using this as an introduction to cabbage.
In terms of cabbage, it calls for green cabbage, but you can swap this out for red cabbage or even bok choy for a similar flavor profile and consistency.
22. Slow Cooker Garlic Butter Chicken and Veggies
If you’re looking for one of the best crockpot ideas for dinner, look no further than this classic pairing.
Chicken and veggies go perfectly together, and a lot of that comes down to the minced garlic, which is the secret ingredient.
If you don’t have garlic cloves, you can get the same taste by adding garlic powder to your unsalted butter.
This is a tasty dinner that allows for a lot of versatility regarding the types of veggies you use. Feel free to experiment with carrots, celery, corn, or even Brussel sprouts.
23. Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken Alfredo with Broccoli
Are you on the Keto diet? If so, this recipe is perfect for you, as it’s low carb and Keto-friendly.
The secret ingredient in this dish may surprise you since it’s cajun and a little unexpected. But that’s what makes it the ideal secret ingredient.
This bold spice adds a little zing to this dish, turning this classic Italian staple into something a little more extreme.
If you don’t have cajun seasoning, you can get a similar flavor by adding a pinch of paprika or onion powder.
24. Easiest Ever Crockpot Lasagna Recipe
Are you looking for an easy way to make lasagna this weekend? If so, check out this flavorful and tasty recipe.
Like all lasagna, the secret ingredient lies with the tomato sauce. Fortunately, you can get as creative as you’d like and use everything from a plain marinara sauce to vodka sauce or even arrabbiata sauce.
There’s no shortage of ways to get creative with this lasagna dish, including the pasta.
Swap out traditional lasagna pasta for a wheat or veggie version to make this dish even healthier.
25. Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas
These slow cooker chicken fajitas just so happen to be one of the tastiest crockpot recipes out there.
While all the ingredients such as peppers, green chilis, and diced tomatoes are wonderful, the secret ingredient is honey.
The honey balances out all the acidity that comes from the ingredients mentioned above.
This recipe calls for green peppers, but feel free to swap them out for some jalapenos if you want some extra heat. If you’re looking for easy crockpot ideas, look no further.
26. Cheesy Crockpot Chicken Spaghetti Recipe
Spaghetti cooked in a crockpot hits different. This recipe is perfect for any parent on the go who has a lot to get done with the kiddos after work or on the weekend.
Paprika is the secret ingredient in this dish, as it gives the pasta a little bit of heat.
This recipe calls for wheat pasta, but you can easily swap it out for traditional pasta or even those made from veggies such as carrots and zucchini. This is a recipe your kids will surely love!
27. Slow Cooker Buffalo Wings
Do you want to serve buffalo wings at your next football party? Score a touchdown with your friends with these slow cooker buffalo wings.
Sure, the hot sauce is the star, but the white vinegar steals the show, which is why it ranks as our secret ingredient.
The vinegar serves as a preservative and keeps the hot sauce from oxidizing. If you don’t have white vinegar, you can substitute it for red vinegar.
This is a great meal to serve either as the main entree or an appetizer before the big game starts.
28. The Best Crockpot BBQ Chicken
Chicken becomes melt-in-your-mouth good when cooked in a crockpot, and the addition of barbeque sauce only makes it that much more enjoyable.
The secret ingredient in this dish comes down to the barbeque sauce, which features brown sugar. Brown sugar adds a lot of sweetness to the barbeque sauce, which compliments the chicken.
If you don’t have brown sugar, you can swap it out for plain white sugar and a little maple syrup or molasses. Serve this chicken as is, over mashed potatoes or on a hamburger bun.
29. Easy Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings
If you like chicken and dumplings, you’ll love this easy crockpot recipe. The secret ingredient in this dish is the biscuits, as you can’t serve chicken and dumplings without them.
These canned biscuits can be any style you prefer, such as homestyle or buttermilk.
This recipe also calls for some cans of cream of chicken soup, but you could swap it out for some cream of celery soup since this recipe already calls for chopped celery.
It’s a quick and tasty meal that’s very filling and perfect for leftovers.
30. Crock-Pot Hawaiian Ribs
You don’t have to fly to Hawaii to bring the flavors of the island home with you.
The secret ingredient in this dish is a Hawaiian staple: pineapple preserves.
The pineapple makes everything a little sweeter and tangier. If you don’t have pineapple preserves, you can pour in some pineapple juice or serve them over some fresh, grilled pineapple slices.
31. Slow Cooker Pot Roast
Pot roast is a staple during the winter season. It features all your favorites: beef, potatoes, fresh, crispy veggies.
The next time you make it, though, be cognizant of the dry Italian-style salad dressing, as this is the secret ingredient you don’t want to forget.
The salad dressing mix has a lot of flavors, especially in the form of garlicky and fruity notes.
This adds a lot of flavor to the beef and veggies. If you don’t have Italian-style salad dressing, you can swap it out for some olive oil and a little basil.
31 Best Crockpot Recipes & Slow Cooker Dinner ideas
- 1 onion, sliced
- ¼ c all-purpose flour
- 1 (2 1/2 lb) boneless beef chuck roast
- 1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 (1.2 oz) package dry beef gravy mix
- 1 (1 oz) package ranch dressing mix
- 1 (.7 oz) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
- ½ c water, or as needed
- Spray your crockpot with cooking spray so the ingredients don’t stick to the inside.
- Add sliced onions to the bottom of the crockpot
- Sprinkle flour to your cutting board and add chuck roast
- Add salt and pepper to the chuck roast and coat all sides with flour. You can do this by using the edge of a small plate and pounding the flour into the meat.
- Put the chuck roast on top of the onion layer.
- Mix beef gravy mix, Italian dressing, and ranch dressing mix into a bowl. Add water and whisk until smooth.
- Pour mixture on top of chuck roast.
- Add carrots.
- Set your crockpot to low and cook until tender and/or the gravy has thickened. This usually takes about 8 hours.
- Serve and enjoy.