Really Easy Slow Cooker Recipes

Using your Crock Pot or slow cooker–or even your InstaPot pressure cooker–is a great way to make easy slow cooker recipes and get meals on the table without spending a lot of money. It’s a time saver and it’s a money saver. 

I first fell in love with my slow cooker when we were renovating the kitchen in our house. In order to survive without a kitchen, I had to get creative with the tools I already owned.

So my slow cooker, rice cooker, George Foreman grill, microwave and outdoor grill went into heavy rotation. I used at least one of them every night to make dinner. Again, even without a functioning kitchen. However, I did have running water.

While you may not have such drastic circumstances to deal with, it’s worth noting how, even in everyday circumstances, a slow cooker can be a lifesaver.

really easy slow cooker recipes

Why I Still Love My Crock Pot Slow Cooker

How do I love my Crock Pot slow cooker? Let me count the ways:

  1. I’ve found that cheaper cuts of meat cook up better when slow cooked.
  2. If you’re entertaining a large group a Crock Pot can double as a chafing dish to keep food warm and make it easy to serve.
  3. As a busy working parent, you can throw that night’s dinner into your Crock Pot before your leave for work, and when you arrive home, dinner is cooked and ready.

I know that my blog readers enjoy slow cooker cooking because some of the posts I’ve written over the years have continued to be the most read. Rather than have you clicking all over this blog to find those really easy slow cooker recipes, I’ve decided to take all of those recipes and posts and put them in one, round up blog post–this one!

3 really easy slow cooker recipes

Read on for ways to use your Crock Pot slow cooker for Christmas breakfast, Cinco de Mayo recipes, and everyday meals to feed your family, such as fried chicken in the Crock Pot.

Here are the 3 really easy slow cooker recipes I’ve shared over the years.

  • “Fried” Chicken in the Crock Pot
  • Chicken Stir Fry in the Crock Pot
  • Pork Loin in the Crock Pot

If you’re new to cooking with a Crock Pot slow cooker, I would recommend investing in one with a timer

“Fried” chicken in the Crock Pot

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A few weeks ago my supermarket had chicken on sale for $.79 per pound. As any smart frugal shopper would have done, I stocked up so I could make easy cheap slow cooker recipes.

Yesterday, I finally got around to using some of that chicken–which was chicken legs and thighs, I think. This one package, with six generous pieces of chicken in it, cost a whopping $4.12.

I decided to make “fried” chicken in the Crock-Pot, something I done before, thanks to A Year of Slow Cooking’s recipe for drumsticks. Stephanie O’Dea is the founder of A Year of Slow Cooking. It became one of my favorites because it’s an easy slow cooker chicken recipe with just a few ingredients. In fact, it has just five.

I didn’t have the recipe in front of me but remembered most of it. So I tried my own version with these five simple ingredients,

Ingredients for “fried” chicken in the slow cooker

4 to 6 chicken thighs (you could use breasts, drumsticks, whatever will fill your slow cooker)
1 c whole-wheat flour
one T paprika
1 t salt
1/4 c canola oil

Instructions for this easy slow cooker chicken recipe with just a few ingredients

First, I used the canola oil to coat the bottom of my slow cooker. Then, I dumped the flour, paprika and salt in a large bowl, and used a spoon to mix the ingredients.

After that I washed the chicken pieces in the sink to remove any feathers, fat and other goo you sometimes find with on-the-bone chicken. One by one, I took each piece of chicken and “rolled” it in the flour mixture. If rolling didn’t fully cover the pieces in the flour, I grabbed it by the handful and sprinkled it over the chicken until it was coated liberally.

Finally, I placed each piece of chicken in the Crock-Pot. I could fit only two pieces in the bottom of the slow cooker, and then I placed the rest on top. I put the slow cooker on high for six hours and went outside to shovel the driveway. (We got 12 inches of snow this weekend.)

You may have to shift ingredients around

About halfway through the cooking time, when everything was starting to smell yummy and my family was beginning to ask when we would be eating dinner–even though dinner was hours away–I shifted the chicken in the slow cooker. I took the pieces from the bottom, which were now sizzling, and switched them out with the pieces that had been on top. Then I put all the pieces back in the slow cooker, placed the top back on, and let it cook for the remainder of the time.

You know how you’ve heard about chicken that just falls off the bone and melts in your mouth? Yeah, well that’s what happened with this chicken. Though it wasn’t fried in a traditional sense, it sure tasted like a reasonable facsimile. We rounded out dinner with rice from the rice cooker and a great salad.

Chicken Stir Fry in the Crock Pot

This is another great, easy slow cooker chicken recipe with just a few ingredients. It’s for stir-fry chicken. Yes, I know that sounds like a misnomer.

You may be asking, how can you stir-fry in the slow cooker? Well, you can’t. However, the end result tastes like you had.

You’ll serve this chicken recipe with rice cooked in the microwave or rice cooker

Ingredients for chicken stir fry in the crock pot

8 thin chicken breasts
2 cups broccoli
2 cans baby corn, cut
1 can water chestnuts
1 T canola oil
teriyaki or stir-fry sauce to taste

Instructions for this really easy slow cooker chicken stir fry recipe

Pour canola oil into Crock-Pot or slow cooker and tilt back and forth to coat the bottom.

Cut the chicken breasts into approximately 1-inch cubes (or about the size of Starburst candy). I use my favorite pair of kitchen shears to get the job done, but I supposed you could buy already cubed chicken if you’re short on time. Place the uncooked, cubed chicken all along the bottom of the slow cooker.

Layer in corn, water chestnuts and broccoli.

Drizzle teriyaki or stir-fry sauce over the top.

Turn Crock-Pot on high for four hours or low for eight.

When the timer goes off, dinner is ready.

Of course, you can add other favorite vegetables to this stir fry: cut carrots, snow peas, onions, whatever you’d like. My kids are partial to broccoli and baby corn, and I love water chestnuts.

Since this chicken recipe cooks in four hours or less on high, I’d call it a fast Crock-Pot chicken recipe.

Pork loin in the Crock Pot slow cooker

Months ago my supermarket had a super deal on pork loin. So, I stocked up.

I had the butcher cut the pork loin into one-pound pieces, and I put a bunch in the freezer. Yesterday, we enjoy that last piece of loin, cooked in our slow cooker.

Normally, I would do a pulled pork recipe with barbecue sauce in the Crock-Pot, but I decided to experiment.

Recently, I’d purchased a couple of bottles of discontinued salad dressing on clearance at the grocery store ($.50/bottle) and had one left–spicy Italian. I figured I could do worse with a “sauce” for the pork loin. So I got cooking. Here’s what I used:

Ingredients for slow cooker pork loin

2 T olive oil
1 pound pork loin (no need to thaw if frozen)
1 16-ounce bottle of salad dressing (whichever flavor you prefer)
2 cups of water

Instructions for this easy pork recipe with just a few ingredients

First, I coated the bottom of the Crock-Pot with the olive oil and swished the bowl around to cover the bottom surface. Then I put the rock-solid frozen pork loin in the bottom of the Crock-Pot. Next, I dumped the entire salad dressing over it. After that, I added an additional two cups of water. Finally, I put the slow cooker on high for eight hours.

Fast forward eight hours and the pork smelled delicious. It just fell apart when I cut into it to serve it. It behaved like pulled pork, which we love. We served it with a salad for a simple and inexpensive dinner.

This is definitely a really easy slow cooker recipe that I’ll use again in the future.

Leftovers from your really easy slow cooker recipes

What’s great about all of these really easy slow cooker recipes is they are bound to give you leftovers. And if, like me, you love having leftovers.

I discovered this adorable Crock-Pot Lunch Crock Food Warmer. It’s perfect for taking a slow cooked meal to work or school. 

Keep in mind that this mini Crock Pot is a food warmer, not a slow cooker. So don’t put raw ingredients in it thinking it will cook your lunch. It won’t, and you will be very disappointed.

Try this easy overnight French toast recipe to serve on Christmas morning.


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  4. I am single and live alone, and I use my crockpot constantly! I have a small and large crockpot. In the small, the night before, I make steel cut oatmeal with apples and cinnamon, 4 servings, and divide it up and put it in glass containers and take it to work.

    I use the large crockpot for freezer meals for 4 persons, which I have pre-prepared, or throw in a whole chicken, and I eat on it for several days.

    I guess I’m fortunate that I absolutely love leftovers!

    I remember back in the 70’s when crock pots were the new invention, and I’ve been a crock potter for over 40 years!

    1. Maybe that’s why I love my Crock Pot too–I love leftovers like you do!

      Thanks for sharing how you use your Crock Pots.


  5. I have used Stephanie O’Dea’s blog for a couple of years now about Crock Pot cooking. My family thinks our crock pot is a permanent fixture on the counter, but it’s nice to come home to a cooked meal.

    Also, during this 2013 Less is More Purge my family and I doing, I’m down from 6 crock pots to 4. We have used them all at some time and I’m proud to say that my daughters want to use them from time to time when they cook.

    Embrace the Crock!!!

    1. Are you blogging about your 2013 Less is More Purge? If so, post a link. I’d love to read about it.

      Also, I’m a big Stephanie O’Dea fan. In fact, if you search Suddenly Frugal, you’ll see I’ve written about her a number of times–and have gotten to meet her in person at BlogHer. She’s quite awesome.

  6. I have two crockpots, 3 qt and 6 qt, and they’ve been gathering dust. Most of the time, I’m cooking for just my husband and myself; our kids are grown. Thanks for the Mr. Food cookbook; I used to see him on TV, and was sad to hear that he recently passed away.

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