Our Favorite 5-Ingredient Slow-Cooker Recipes

You need just five ingredients (or fewer!) to slow-cook these tasty main dishes, sides and snacks.

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Potato Chowder

One of the ladies in our church quilting group brought this savory potato soup to a meeting, and everyone loved how the cream cheese and bacon made it so rich. It’s easy to assemble in the morning so it can simmer on its own all day. —Anna Mayer, Fort Branch, Indiana

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Slow-Cooked Smokies

I like to include these little smokies smothered in barbecue sauce on all my appetizer buffets since they're popular with both children and adults. —Sundra Hauck, Bogalusa, Louisiana
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Soy-Garlic Chicken

Because I’m a full-time mom and help my husband on our ranch, I’m always looking for simple yet hearty meals for the slow cooker. My family really likes this one. —Colleen Faber, Buffalo, Montana
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Onion Meat Loaf

My husband and I really enjoy this delicious meat loaf made with onion soup mix. You only need five ingredients to assemble this easy entree before popping it in the slow cooker. —Rhonda Cowden, Quincy, Illinois
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Hot Cocoa for a Crowd

This is a simple, delicious and comforting hot cocoa with a hint of cinnamon. It has just the right amount of sweetness.—Deborah Canaday, Manhattan, Kansas
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Buffalo Pulled Chicken

This slow cooker dump dinner is one of my go-to's. The lighter chicken is a nice alternative to pulled pork. —Kim Ciepluch, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Apple-Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots

Carrots seem so simple, but this recipe is something special. Sweet and buttery, it was a favorite my mother always used to serve around the holidays. —Darlis Wilfer, West Bend, Wisconsin
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Slow-Cooked Salsa

I love the fresh taste of homemade salsa, but as a working mother, I don’t have much time to make it. So I came up with this slow-cooked version that practically makes itself! —Toni Menard, Lompoc, California
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Buffet Meatballs

I need only five ingredients to fix these easy appetizers. My grape jelly and ketchup meatballs make an appearance at almost every potluck and party. —Janet Anderson, Carson City, Nevada
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Saucy Raspberry Chicken

I first had this as a teenage babysitter, when the children’s mom prepared it for us to eat while she was out. The kids loved it, and so did I! Now I make it for my own kids.
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Mulled Grape Cider

I came up with this recipe one year when I tried to make grape jelly and ended up with 30 jars of delicious grape syrup instead. I simmered the syrup with spices to make a lovely autumn drink. —Sharon Harmon, Orange, Massachusetts
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Slow-Cooker Baked Potatoes

These slow-cooker baked potatoes are so easy—just add your favorite toppings. Save any extra potatoes to make baked potato soup the next day. —Teresa Emrick, Tipp City, Ohio
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Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Chicken Sandwiches

My kids often ask for chicken sloppy joes, and this version has a bonus of sweet pineapple. It is a perfect recipe to double for a potluck. Try topping the sandwiches with smoked Gouda cheese. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Root Beer Pulled Pork Nachos

I count on my slow cooker to do the honors when I have a house full of summer guests. Teenagers especially love DIY nachos. Try cola, ginger ale or lemon-lime soda if you’re not into root beer. —James Schend, Dairy Freed
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Slow-Cooked Mesquite Ribs

When we're missing the grill during winter, these tangy ribs give us that same smoky barbecue taste we love. They're so simple, and fall-off-the-bone delicious, too! —Sue Evans, Marquette, Michigan
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Slow-Cooker Cheese Dip

I brought this slightly spicy cheese dip to a gathering with friends and it was a huge hit. The spicy pork sausage gives the dip plenty of zip! —Marion Bartone, Conneaut, Ohio
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Flavorful Pot Roast

On hectic days, this is so quick and easy to prep! Convenient packages of dressing and gravy combine to create a sauce worthy of a fall-apart roast. For a filling meal-in-one, serve with mashed potatoes and ladle the juices over top. —Arlene Butler, Ogden, Utah
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Buffalo Chicken Sliders

I got the idea for these Buffalo chicken sliders from my mom and dad, who'd made a similar version for a family get-together. It's a versatile recipe, and I sometimes use several different styles of Buffalo sauce and let guests mix and match their favorites. —Christina Addison, Blanchester, Ohio
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Apple Butter

I make several batches of this simple and delicious homemade apple butter recipe to freeze in jars. Depending on the sweetness of the apples used, you can adjust the sugar to taste. —Betty Ruenholl, Syracuse, Nebraska
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Tomato Hamburger Soup

As a full-time teacher, I only have time to cook from scratch a few nights each week. This slow-cooker soup recipe makes a big enough batch to feed my family for two nights. —Julie Kruger, St. Cloud, Minnesota
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Slow-Cooker Dressing

Here’s an easy dressing that’s perfect for Thanksgiving get-togethers. Once it’s in the slow cooker, you’re free to turn your attention to the other dishes. —Rita Nodland, Bismarck, North Dakota
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"Secret's in the Sauce" BBQ Ribs

A sweet, rich sauce makes this BBQ ribs recipe so tender that the meat literally falls off the bones. And the aroma is wonderful. Yum! —Tanya Reid, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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Italian Mushrooms

Only four ingredients create a rich and flavorful side dish that goes well with beef and mashed potatoes. —Kim Reichert, Fargo, North Dakota
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Slow-Cooked Swiss Steak

This is one of my favorite recipes to make because I can flour and season the steaks and refrigerate them overnight. The next morning, I just put all the ingredients in the slow cooker, and I have a delicious dinner waiting when I arrive home from work. —Sarah Burks, Wathena, Kansas
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Creamy Corn

Out of all my corn recipes, this is my favorite. You need just a few ingredients and a slow cooker to make this delicious side dish. Because it cooks on its own, you'll have extra time to prepare the main course. —Judy McCarthy, Derby, Kansas
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Easy Chili Verde

I love chili verde. I order it whenever I can at restaurants, and figured out how to make an easy, tasty version at home. People have the option to eat the chili verde with a fork or in tortillas with a variety of toppings such as cheese, cilantro, minced onions or lime wedges. There are never leftovers at my house. —Julie Rowland, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Garlic-Apple Pork Roast

This is the meal I have become famous for, and it is so simple. The garlic and apple flavors really complement the pork. It's especially good with steamed fresh asparagus and roasted red potatoes. —Jennifer Loos, Washington Boro, Pennsylvania
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Minister's Delight

A friend gave me this recipe several years ago. She said a local minister's wife fixed it every Sunday, so she named it accordingly. —Mary Ann Potter, Blue Springs, Missouri
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Slow-Cooked Ham

Entertaining doesn't get much easier than serving this tasty five-ingredient ham from the slow cooker. And the leftovers are delicious in casseroles! —Heather Spring, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas
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Creamed Corn

Five ingredients are all you'll need for my popular creamed corn recipe. It's wonderful no matter what the occasion is. Try it on a barbecue buffet or holiday menu. —Barbara Brizendine, Harrisonville, Missouri
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Italian Beef Hoagies

You'll need just five ingredients to feed a crowd these tender and tangy Italian beef sandwiches. On weekends, I start the roast the night before, so I can shred it in the morning. —Lori Piatt, Danville, Illinois
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Saucy Ranch Pork and Potatoes

Awhile back, my sister Elyse shared a tasty ranch pork roast recipe. I tweaked it so I could use what was already in my pantry, and this dish was born. —Kendra Adamson, Layton, Utah
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Slow-Cooker Pear Butter

This is a tasty spread for toast, muffins, biscuits or any of your favorite breads. It is easy to make and has a rich pear flavor with hints of cinnamon, star anise and lemon. —Geraldine Saucier, Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Super Easy Country-Style Ribs

I'm a die-hard rib fan. When we were growing up, our mom made these for us all the time, and we still can’t get enough of them. —Stephanie Loaiza, Layton, Utah
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Creamy Hash Brown Potatoes

Convenient frozen hash browns are the secret behind the cheesy slow-cooker potatoes I cook up for potlucks and big group gatherings. —Julianne Henson, Streamwood, Illinois
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Slow-Cooked Green Beans

I spent hours in search of sides for a cooking demo to present to women from my church. These easy green beans became my star attraction. —Alice White, Willow Spring, North Carolina
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Crunchy Candy Clusters

These cereal and marshmallow clusters are so simple that I make them for the holidays each year, as my family looks forward to them. —Faye O'Bryan, Owensboro, Kentucky
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Carolina-Style Vinegar BBQ Chicken

I live in Georgia, but I appreciate the tangy, sweet and slightly spicy taste of Carolina vinegar chicken. I make my version in the slow cooker. After the tempting aroma fills the house, your family is sure to be at the dinner table on time! —Ramona Parris, Canton, Georgia
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Slow-Cooked Enchilada Casserole

Tortilla chips and a side salad turn this savory casserole into a fun and festive meal with very little effort. —Denise Waller, Omaha, Nebraska
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Easy and Elegant Ham

I fix this moist, tender ham to serve my large family. It can be readied quickly in the morning, frees up my oven, tastes outstanding and can feed a crowd. Covered with colorful pineapple slices, cherries and orange glaze, its showstopping appearance appeals to both children and adults. —Denise DiPace, Medford, New Jersey
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Slow-Cooked Cherry Pork Chops

I mixed and matched several recipes to come up with this one. I'm always happy to adapt recipes for my slow cooker. It's so easy to prepare a meal that way. —Mildred Sherrer, Fort Worth, Texas
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Sausage Pepper Sandwiches

Peppers and onions add fresh flavor to this sausage filling for sandwiches. It's simple to assemble, and it's always gobbled up quickly. —Suzette Gessel, Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Warm Feta Cheese Dip

We’re big on appetizers, so this dip is a mashup of our favorite tastes, like cream cheese, feta, basil and sweet peppers. Serve with bread or chips. —Ashley Lecker, Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Applesauce Sweet Potatoes

During the holidays, using a slow cooker not only frees up oven space, but time, too! Sweet potatoes are a must on our family menu, and this no-fuss version will have everyone thinking you spent hours in the kitchen. —Pamela Allen, Marysville, Ohio
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Slow-Cooker Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwiches

“Foolproof” is a perfect way to describe my barbecue pork recipe. With just four ingredients and a slow cooker, you can make these fabulous sandwiches with very little effort. —Sarah Johnson, Chicago, Illinois
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Slow-Cooked Golden Mashed Potatoes

Making a grand meal can be a little daunting, even for the most experienced cook. The convenience of the slow cooker for these classic spuds makes your task one step easier and allows you to spend more time with family. —Samantha Six, Fredricksburg, Indiana
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Slow Cooker Fruit Compote

I use canned goods and my slow cooker to whip up an old-fashioned treat that’s loaded with sweet fruits. It makes a cozy dessert or even a change-of-pace side dish for large parties. —Mary Ann Jonns, Midlothian, Illinois
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Slow-Cooked Potatoes with Spring Onions

I love the simplicity of this recipe, as well as its ease of preparation with my slow cooker. Everyone always enjoys roasted potatoes, even my pickiest child! If desired, top with shredded or crumbled cheese. —Theresa Gomez, Stuart, Florida
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Butterscotch Fruit Dip

If you like the sweetness of butterscotch chips, you'll enjoy this warm rum-flavored fruit dip. I serve it with apple and pear wedges. It holds up for up to two hours in the slow cooker. —Jeaune Hadl Van Meter, Lexington, Kentucky

Nicole Doster
With nearly a decade of experience creating content for various lifestyle publishers and eCommerce brands, Nicole combines her love of at-home cooking with her expertise in product reviews and digital content creation to lead the award-winning shopping editorial team across Taste of Home, Family Handyman and Reader's Digest. As TMB's content director, affiliate, she oversees strategy, operations and planning for all product testing and shopping content, to bring readers recommendations and inspiration you can trust. Before joining the affiliate team, Nicole edited hundreds of recipe and food lifestyle articles for Taste of Home working closely with our Test Kitchen team and network of contributors. With a passion for baking, comfort food and hosting get-togethers you'll often see Nicole testing new products that make life easier. As a former barista in Chicago and Baltimore, she's slung hundreds of cappuccinos and doppio espressos in her lifetime and she will talk your ear off about the best gadgets to make cafe-quality coffee at home. When she's not hunched over her laptop, she's either fixating on her latest DIY home renovation or on a walk with her rescue pup, Huey.