Welcome to Slow Cooker Week! We’re sharing all our favorite Crock Pot recipes, tips, tricks, and advice this week—and including the Instant Pot, of course, since it slow cooks too. Here, discover 12 delightful weeknight dinners to make in a Crock Pot.
Cooking anything on a weeknight can be a hassle, let alone a complete meal. But luckily, a Crock Pot (or other slow cooker) can be your saving grace.
Yes, there’s also now the Instant Pot for quick and easy meals, but we still love a slow cooker for low and slow dinners that are mostly hands-off—and make-ahead. Just set it in the morning and dinner will be ready by the time you’re home that night. Try out one of these 12 easy Crock Pot recipes and you’ll have a complete weeknight dinner, in less active time than it takes to boil a pot of water.
Our slow cooker pulled pork is the definition of easy. Just rub down the pork butt with a mixture of dark brown sugar, chili powder, cumin and cinnamon and stick it in the slow cooker with some garlic, onions, and chicken broth. Six to ten hours later, the pork is ready to be shredded and slathered with BBQ sauce. Get our Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork recipe.
Low and slow is the best way to cook beef stew, which makes a Crock-Pot the perfect vessel to create a stew that is rich and tender. Our favorite way is to serve it over a bowl of steamed potatoes or egg noodles. Get our recipe for Slow Cooker Beef Stew recipe.
Coq au Vin, translated as rooster/cock in red wine, is a traditional French dish that involves slowly braising chicken with wine, mushrooms, vegetables and herbs. And while you can cook it the traditional way, using a slow cooker is easier and will lead to a richer, more layered dish. Get our Slow Cooker Coq au Vin recipe.
Related Reading: 11 Sleek Slow Cookers That You’ll Be Glad to Keep on The Counter
As the weather starts to get a little cooler, nothing hits the spot more than a bowl of chili. After spending all day simmering in the slow cooker, our spicy beef chili will definitely warm you up (thanks in part to a healthy serving of pickled jalapenos). Get our Spicy Slow Cooker Beef Chili recipe.
Traditional Jamaican jerk chicken is an all day affair, involving a lengthy marinade and hours spent smoking over hot coals and pimento wood. With a slow cooker, however, you can marinade and cook at the same time giving you flavorful, tender chicken in a fraction of the time it would take to make it the regular way. Get our Pulled Jerk Chicken Sandwiches recipe.
Bet you didn’t know you could cook hot wings in a slow cooker. The perfect recipe for a weeknight game night, our slow cooker wings are unbelievably tender. Just throw them in the oven for a quick crisp when you get home and it’s game time. Get our Slow Cooker Hot Wings recipe.
Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker, $34.99 on Amazon
Sometimes after a long day, a hearty meal can cure all that ails you. And if you are looking for something rib-coating, slow cooked sausage, spareribs, sauerkraut, and potatoes should be all the medicine you need. That and maybe a nice tall German beer. Get our Slow Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut recipe.
While what exactly goes into a traditional Filipino chicken adobo is up for debate, our version still hits all the right notes. Chicken, onions, soy sauce, and vinegar stew away in the slow cooker all day for a savory, slightly sweet, and deliciously tangy dish. Get our Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo recipe.
While this won’t make you forget about that late night bowl of ramen you slurped on the streets of Shinjuku, this slow cooker version is about as good as you’ll get for a homemade version. Get our Slow Cooker Pork Ramen recipe.
Without a doubt, this will be the easiest chicken soup recipe you can make. Just throw a whole chicken in the slow cooker with some thyme, vegetables, and water. Once the chicken is fully cooked, shred it and add in some cooked noodles. There you go, chicken noodle soup. Get our Slow Cooker Chicken Soup recipe.
Technically, this is a little more complicated than some of the other recipes so let’s consider it a Thursday night type dinner (or pick whichever night tends to be less stress-free). Rolled corn tortillas are filled with slow cooked pork shoulder, chilies, and tomatoes, topped with cheese and then baked. It’s a great end to the work week meal and will make for great leftovers on Friday. Get our Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Enchiladas recipe.
Slow cooked brisket can be one of life’s true pleasures. After 10 hours of cooking in a smoky chipotle sauce, our brisket will quickly become one of your favorite slow cooker recipes. Just look at that picture without drooling—it’s impossible. Get our Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket recipe.
Visit our Slow Cooker Week headquarters for everything else you need to know (and cook).
Dan McKay is a Canadian actor, film director, screenwriter, and musician—oh wait, that’s Ryan Gosling. Dan is a Philly-based freelance writer, photographer, and digital marketer. He has written for Eater and Thrillist, in addition to other publications. Outside of work, you might run across him in the Asian market or in one of Philly’s local drinking establishments.
Header image by Chowhound.