Most of us have a slow cooker. Either we inherit it from family or get one as a wedding gift. But few of us know the true power of a good slow cooker. You can make a ton of delicious, healthy meals with very little prep. Using a slow cooker means you don’t have to slave away over the stove. Below are some popular slow cooker recipes to help you get started, along with some suggestions on which slow cookers and accessories to use. All of these items can be bought online, and come discounted with our Amazon discount codes and Target promo codes. We couldn’t make it easier if we tried!
Barbeque Pulled Pork
Pulled pork is a satisfying Southern-style favorite that is sure to please the whole family. It’s easy to cook and easy on the wallet, too. All you need is a cheap cut of pork large enough to feed everyone (a 4 lb. pork shoulder is standard), your favorite barbeque sauce, and a slow cooker. Place the pork in the slow cooker, add one cup of barbeque sauce, then add enough water to cover. Set the slow cooker to low, and let it do its magic! It should take anywhere between 8 and 10 hours for the pork to cook. You’ll know it’s ready when the pork falls apart easily with a fork. To shred, transfer the cooked pork to a heat-resistant bowl, then use two forks to shred it into small pieces. Add more barbeque sauce before serving.
This recipe makes a ton of food, and pulled pork works great as leftovers. For lunch the next day, toast a hamburger bun, fill it with reheated pulled pork, and garnish with a dill pickle. With this recipe, you’ll want to invest in a slow cooker that as big as it is versatile. This massive 8-quart model from Hamilton Beach ($39.99 from Amazon) is perfect for the job, as it can easily be stored in the fridge, and it’s dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. Before you reach for your credit card, remember to input our Amazon discount codes. Otherwise, you’re simply throwing money away.
Traditional Pot Roast
Cooking a pot roast can seem like a daunting task for home cooks. It has a reputation for taking lots of time and energy, but using a slow cooker makes pot roast an effortless favorite. When you cook pot roast in a slow cooker, you don’t have to worry about roasting the vegetables and making the gravy separately. Just toss everything in the pot and you’re good to go!
First, you’ll need a beef roast large enough for the family, a large onion, 3-4 carrots, 4-5 red potatoes, a can of beef broth, and an envelope of French Onion soup mix. Add the roast, broth, soup mix, and enough water to cover the roast. Cook on low for around 8 hours. Two hours before serving, chop the onion, carrots, and potatoes into bite-sized pieces, then add to the roast.
Pot roast also makes the perfect traveling meal. Invest in a slow cooker with a locking lid, like this 6-quart model from Crock-Pot ($39.99 at Target) to put your mind at ease while traveling to visit family or friends. Slow cookers are a great investment, but with our Target promo codes, they become an easy one as well.
Hearty Black Bean Soup
Most people think all slow cooker recipes involve meat, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Slow cookers are the ideal instrument for cooking beans, which are notorious for taking forever to cook. This black bean soup is perfect for the vegetarian family wanting to warm up on a cold night.
This recipe uses 4 cups of dried black beans. Dried beans need to be soaked before cooking, or else they will be indigestible. The night before cooking the soup, put the beans in a large bowl, and cover with water. Drain in the morning. When you’re ready to cook, add the beans to the slow cooker, along with 4 cups of vegetable broth. Next, chop a small onion, 2 cloves of garlic, and a serrano pepper. Add to the slow cooker. Season with cumin and chili powder. Cook on high for the first hour, then on low for 3 hours. Garnish with grated cheese and/or sliced avocado.
This recipe is also perfect for lunch. You can pack up your soup in a Crock-Pot Lunch Crock ($19.99 at Target), which not only makes it easy to bring your lunch, but also to heat it up. When you use our Target promo codes, you can stock up on lunch crocks for the whole family!
Spicy Queso Dip
Don’t want to stay holed up in the kitchen during game day? Make a big pot of queso, buy some tortilla chips, and you’ll have a satisfying snack made in a matter of seconds. The great thing about queso, too, is that it can be customized to fit anyone’s taste. Having guests over? Chop up some green onions, jalapenos, tomatoes, and onions, and brown some ground beef. Now you have a make-your-own-queso station!
Instead of using cheap processed cheese, this recipe uses traditional queso blanco. Start by shredding 3 cups of Monterey Jack cheese and 2 cups of queso blanco, which is a soft, white Mexican cheese that is usually found in the ethnic food aisle. Add the cheese to the slow cooker, along with a cup of half and half. Add additional ingredients as desired. This can include ground beef, chorizo, hot peppers, whatever you want. Cook on low for 2 hours, stirring frequently.
Be warned that queso is notoriously sticky, and can be difficult to clean out of traditional slow cookers. We recommend a nonstick model like the this West Bend slow cooker ($48.99 at Target), which also comes with a tote, so you can carry your queso to your friends’ football parties. It’s the perfect slow cooker for entertaining, and you can buy it at Target at a very reasonable price. But you can make this deal even better with our Target promo codes.
All-Purpose Pasta Sauce
Pasta sauce is one of those secret slow cooker recipes. Unless passed down by family, most people don’t know that this method allows the tomatoes’ sugars to break down slowly and meld with other flavors, making a sweet, complex sauce.
Start with a lot of tomatoes – up to a pound. Chop each into rough quarters and add to the slow cooker. Finely dice a large onion and 4 cloves of garlic and add to the tomatoes. Season with 2 tablespoons of salt, one bay leaf, 1 teaspoon of oregano, 1 teaspoon of basil, and 1 teaspoon chili powder. If you want to add meat (sausage, beef, or veal), add it uncooked to the slow cooker. Cook the sauce on low for 8 to 10 hours.
Like any other red sauce, this one pairs well with any Italian fare – meatballs, lasagna, or your standard spaghetti. Be sure to use a slow cooker liner ($34.08 on Amazon) when cooking this sauce. Tomatoes can not only stain your slow cooker, but the sugars can also make it extremely difficult to clean. A liner means you don’t have to worry about either. As you can see, they run a little on the pricey side, so use our Amazon discount codes to make them more reasonable.
It’s clear that you that any kind of dinner or snack can be made in a slow cooker. The possibilities are endless, and simply depend on using the right tools. We hope that these slow cooker recipes will encourage you to experiment with others and see how slow cookers can make breakfast, lunch, and dinner so easy. And as always, remember to use our Target promo codes and Amazon discount codes to save some cash.