Recipes from The Kitchn

Our Top 16 Slow-Cooker Recipes of 2016

Image Credit: Christine Han

We really took on the slow cooker in 2016, publishing dozens of recipes and articles and equipment reviews. Here are our 16 most popular recipes, from the best pulled pork, to Crock-Pot mac and cheese, to truly crispy apple crisp. Winter, spring, summer, or fall — it's always a good time to pull out the slow cooker.

Image Credit: Christine Han

1. How To Make Mac and Cheese in the Slow Cooker

Mac and cheese! In the slow cooker! Just add dry pasta, milk, and cheese into your slow cooker and walk away. A few hours later, you're scooping warm, gooey macaroni and cheese onto your plate. It's almost too easy.

Image Credit: Christine Han

2. How To Make the Best Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker

Harness this ingenious method of braising pork in a slow cooker and add one extra step to ensure comparable flavor, then head out the door. When you come home, your house will smell divine and you will be blessed with a mountain of delectable pulled pork.

Image Credit: Leela Cyd

3. How To Cook a Whole Chicken in the Slow Cooker

What? A whole chicken in the slow cooker? Well, slow, moist cooking is the best way to ensure a tender and juicy bird. But what about the crispy skin? This recipe has that covered, too, with an optional few minutes under the broiler.

Image Credit: Leela Cyd

4. How To Make Easy Shredded Chicken in the Slow Cooker

With just two ingredients (that's right, just two!) and a slow cooker, you can stock your fridge with a week's worth of shredded chicken. Perfect for salads, taco night, grain bowls, and soups, shredded chicken is pure gold for the busy cook.

Image Credit: Christine Han

5. How To Make Meatballs in the Slow Cooker

In this recipe, the slow cooker gently simmers the meatballs, infusing the sauce with flavor and richness to produce a tender meatball in four to six hours. Perfect on spaghetti or tucked into a sub, these meatballs are sure to satisfy.

Image Credit: Karla Conrad

6. 10-Hour Slow-Cooker Chana Masala

A busy work week and longer days at the office mean that sometimes a 10-hour slow-cooker recipe is the perfect thing. A mere five or eight hours just won't do. This deeply flavored vegetarian dish is just the thing to come home to. Ladle it over rice or swipe your plate clean with some garlic naan.

Image Credit: Karla Conrad

7. Slow-Cooker Chicken & Rice Biryani

Another deeply flavored slow-cooker recipe from Neela Paniz and her wonderful The New Indian Slow Cooker cookbook. In this recipe, a tadka, or the process of blooming spices, is used to create a base of flavor. The rice is par-cooked, and the chicken is marinated for 30 minutes before they all go into the cooker to slowly braise together.

Image Credit: Christine Han

8. How To Make Slow-Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

French dip sandwiches are a classic old-school favorite. Why not bring them back when it's so easy to create the sliced beef and flavorful jus in the slow cooker? Just add a squishy white french roll and you're in heaven, dipping the roll in the juice with each and every bite.

Image Credit: Maria Siriano

9. Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken soup is spiked with fire-roasted tomatoes, carrots, and black beans that meld well over the long, slow cooking process. Be sure to serve with all the classic toppings: avocado, tortilla chips, lime wedges, Jack cheese, and fresh cilantro. And don't forget to pass the hot sauce!

Image Credit: Diana Yen

10. Slow-Cooker Ratatouille

When you think about it, ratatouille is the perfect slow-cooker recipe, as it requires a long, low, slow bake to ensure the proper melding of flavors. And come summertime, when all the classic ratatouille vegetables are in peak season, who wants to have an oven on for six hours? A perfect match of ingredients and method!

Image Credit: Diana Yen

11. Slow-Cooker Chicken Tacos

This recipe for delicious tacos is all about the slow cooker, a few spices, and the toppings of your choice. When you want a simple, fresh, and flavorful meal that won't occupy your entire day, reach for this family favorite.

Image Credit: Maria Midoes

12. How To Make Really Good Chile Verde in the Slow Cooker

In this recipe, pork shoulder is slowly tenderized with a zesty salsa verde, cooking low and slow for hours in the slow cooker. It emerges soft and succulent, ready to spoon over rice or, my favorite, tucked into a tortilla and eaten with a cold beer.

Image Credit: Lauren Volo

13. How To Make Slow-Cooker Breakfast Casserole Kits

What's the next best thing to a breakfast casserole in the slow cooker? Having these handy kits made up and ready in the freezer so you can toss one together the night before and wake up the next morning to a delicious, savory breakfast.

Image Credit: Melissa Ryan

14. Slow-Cooker Beef and Barley Stew

Beef and barley stew is one of those winter recipes that's just perfect for the slow cooker. Flavored with mushrooms, garlic, red wine, and thyme, this stew magically gets better and better as it slowly comes together over the course of several hours. Serve up in large bowls on a frosty afternoon and tuck in.

Image Credit: Leela Cyd

15. How To Make Sloppy Joes in the Slow Cooker

Sloppy Joes and the slow cooker are a match made in culinary heaven. A perfect dish to cook low and slow, these sloppy Joes will only grow tastier from the hours spent gently simmering in a homemade tomato sauce. Toast up the softest roll you can find and pile it on!

Image Credit: Maria Siriano

16. Slow-Cooker Apple Crisp

What? You can make an apple crisp in the slow cooker? Why, yes you can — and quite a delicious one it is. A secret-but-simple trick prevents the topping from getting soggy, resulting in tender apples and a crispy top. In other words, a perfect apple crisp!

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