Our 22 Best Crock Pot and Slow-Cooker Recipes

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Photo: Greg DuPree

Looking to amp up your beef stew but unsure where to start? A slow cooker can help create layers of flavor in any weeknight dinner, from hearty stews to healthy chicken dishes. It can take your comfort food to the next level, like a fall-off-the-bone pulled pork sandwich, perfectly cooked chicken thighs, or a pot roast with tender beef. All it takes is a few simple ingredients and minimal hassle (if you can plan ahead).Even desserts can benefit from a crock pot; cheesecake cooked in a slow cooker gets an incredible silky texture as the machine steams the cake as it bakes. F&W has plenty of easy slow cooker recipes including glazed pork ribs with white beans and meatballs that are delicious served in a bowl, with spaghetti or on a hoagie roll. Read on for our very best crock pot and slow cooker recipes.

01 of 22

Harissa White Bean Stew with Turmeric Yogurt

Harissa White Bean Stew with Turmeric Yogurt
© John Kernick

Cookbook author Sarah DiGregorio adds depth and heat to her hearty white bean stew by adding harissa twice: first for the long simmer in the slow cooker, then at the end, to finish the dish with some bright heat. This stew will keep in the fridge for up to four days, so it's a perfect make-ahead meal.

02 of 22

Slow Cooker Glazed Pork Ribs with White Beans

Slow Cooker Glazed Pork Ribs with White Beans
© Fredrika Stjärne

Baby back ribs, Great Northern beans, white wine, tomatoes, chicken broth, and more come together for a hearty meal.

03 of 22

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja
© Fredrika Stjärne

This Cuban stew, featuring shredded flank steak, tomatoes and olives, can be made up to two days in advance.

04 of 22

Slow-Cooker Sour Cream Cheesecake

Slow-Cooker Sour Cream Cheesecake
© Ellie Miller

Cheesecake cooked in a slow cooker has an unbelievably silky texture because the machine steams the cake as it bakes. The toughest part about making it is resisting the urge to peek inside the slow cooker—the lid must stay closed to retain heat.

05 of 22

Slow Cooker Barbecued Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Barbecued Pulled Pork
HANNAH QUEEN

Serve the pulled pork with coleslaw and pickles, or mound it on hamburger buns and top with coleslaw and thinly sliced onion and dill pickles.

06 of 22

Slow Cooker Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

Slow Cooker Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
© Lucy Schaeffer

Yes, you read that correctly—40 cloves of garlic. This flavorful dish is ready in three and a half hours, and is best paired with a smooth, spicy California Pinot Noir.

07 of 22

Slow Cooker Korean Beef Stew with Napa Cabbage and Pickles

Slow Cooker Korean Beef Stew with Napa Cabbage and Pickles

Napa cabbage and thinly-sliced sour pickles add texture and tang to this hearty stew. Searing the pieces of beef chuck before putting them in the slow cooker gives the stew a rich flavor.

08 of 22

Slow Cooker Sweet-and-Sour Brisket

Slow Cooker Sweet-and-Sour Brisket

A few hours in the slow cooker and this beef dish will be melt-in-your-mouth delicious by the time you're ready to eat it.

09 of 22

Slow Cooker Beef Goulash

March 5: Slow Cooker Beef Goulash

This warming eastern European short rib stew is best served in deep bowls over buttery noodles.

10 of 22

Slow Cooker Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Slow Cooker Meatballs
FREDRIKA STJÄRNE

These meatballs are served in a bowl, but they are equally delicious with spaghetti or on a hoagie roll.

11 of 22

Slow Cooker Coconut Pork Curry

Slow Cooker Coconut Pork Curry

Grace Parisi cooks pork shoulder with bold ingredients like fresh ginger, garlic, curry powder, cumin and turmeric. The flavors intensify and penetrate the meat after four hours in the slow cooker.

12 of 22

Slow Cooker Ginger-Beef Noodle Soup

Slow Cooker Ginger-Beef Noodle Soup

This gingery soup features meaty shiitake mushrooms, shredded beef chuck and chewy Japanese udon noodles.

13 of 22

Slow Cooker Sunday Sauce on Spaghetti

Slow Cooker Sunday Sauce for Spaghetti
© Fredrika Stjärne

This indulgent Sunday sauce recipe includes pork shoulder, pancetta, sweet Italian sausages, and plenty of garlic.

14 of 22

Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks with Lemon, Dill and Feta

Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks with Lemon, Dill and Feta

Lamb shanks are slow cooked to perfection with herbs and spices, giving this dish a complex flavor through a simple method.

15 of 22

Slow Cooker Chickpea and Ham Hock Stew

March 20: Slow Cooker Ham Hock and Chickpea Stew

Marcia Kiesel credits split pea soup, one of her favorites, as the inspiration for this hearty stew. Like split peas, chickpeas need to simmer for a long time, making them great for a slow cooker.

16 of 22

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken with Apricots, Olives and Almonds

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken with Apricots, Olives and Almonds

This flavorful chicken dish is slow cooked in Moroccan spices, best served on couscous with a sprinkle of toasted almonds.

17 of 22

Slow Cooker Thai-Inspired Chicken Stew

Slow Cooker Thai-Inspired Chicken Stew

The Thai accents in this fragrant chicken stew come from creamy coconut milk, fresh ginger, salty fish sauce and lime.

18 of 22

Slow-Cooker Classic Beef Stew

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Greg DuPree

Be sure to use boneless chuck roast for this recipe, which has excellent marbling and flavor.

19 of 22

Slow Cooker Burnt Honey Barbecue Chicken

Slow Cooker Burnt Honey Barbecue Chicken
Jen Causey

When it’s so blazing hot outside that you can’t bear the thought of firing up the grill, this no-fuss slow cooker barbecue chicken recipe will come to the rescue. A quick sear in a cast-iron skillet awakens the flavors of the herbs and spices and gives the chicken a nice crust that makes the finished barbecue taste more authentic.

20 of 22

Slow-Cooker Pasta Bake

Slow Cooker Pasta Bake
Caitlin Bensel

Valerie Bertinelli’s slow-cooker baked ziti is super simple—it only takes 15 minutes of active time and is ready in an hour and 45 minutes. If you’re really short on time, you can buy the vegetables pre-cut from the store.

21 of 22

Slow-Cooker Turkey Wings

Slow-Cooker Turkey Wings
Abby Hocking / Food & Wine

These slow-cooker turkey wings are first braised until tender and then broiled to a crispy finish.

22 of 22

Slow-Cooker Spaghetti Squash

Slow-Cooker Spaghetti Squash
Abby Hocking / Food & Wine

Of all the ways to cook a spaghetti squash, the slow cooker is easily the most hands-off method. Instead of halving the squash, you just prick it all over. Once the squash are cooked, carefully drain them in a colander set in the sink.

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