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63 5-Star Recipes You Can Toss in the Slow Cooker

Let's get slow cookin'! Here are the best slow-cooker recipes you need to try—from morning to night.

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Sweet Potato and Pesto Slow-Cooker Bread

I like to bake fresh bread, both as a way to offer my family a delicious accompaniment to dinner and just because I enjoy the process. Baking bread in the slow cooker allows you to achieve a tender, perfectly baked loaf without turning on the oven. —Shauna Havey, Roy, Utah

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Chili Macaroni and CheeseTaste of Home

Chili Macaroni and Cheese

What could be tastier on a brisk day than chili or mac and cheese? Put them together and you have a terrific dish that warms you up and fills you up as well! —Nancy Foust, Stoneboro, Pennsylvania

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Slow-Cooker Pizza DipTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Pizza Dip

I created this dip for my daughter’s pizza-themed birthday party. It was an instant hit and I’ve continued to bring this along to other gatherings. Everyone loves it! —Stephanie Gates, Waterloo, Iowa

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Slow-Cooker Bananas FosterTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Bananas Foster

The flavors of caramel, rum and walnut naturally complement fresh bananas in this classic dessert made easy! —Crystal Jo Bruns, Iliff, Colorado

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Sweet and Spicy Sloppy JoesTaste of Home

Sweet and Spicy Sloppy Joes

These sandwiches have been the go-to meal for my son's basketball team. Turkey is a wonderful change from ground beef and really absorbs all the flavors. I have also used this for a Friday the 13th celebration at work, calling it 13-ingredient sloppy joes (you have to count salt and pepper separately to get to 13). —Karen Hildebrand, LaBelle, Florida

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Simple Saucy PotatoesTaste of Home

Simple Saucy Potatoes

These rich and creamy potatoes are simple to prepare. This saucy side dish always gets rave reviews wherever I take it. —Gloria Schroeder, Ottawa Lake, Michigan

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Slow-Cooker German BratwurstTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker German Bratwurst

I created this Old World favorite from a dish I had in my travels. This flavorful slow-cooker bratwurst recipe is perfect for weeknights or special occasions. I like to serve it with pasta. —Gerald Hetrick, Erie, Pennsylvania

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Slow-Cooked Vegetable CurryTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Vegetable Curry

I love the fuss-free nature of the slow cooker, but I don't want to sacrifice flavor for convenience. This cozy, spiced-up dish has both. —Susan Smith, Mead, Washington

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Beef Brisket in BeerTaste of Home

Beef Brisket in Beer

One bite of this super tender brisket and your family will be hooked! The rich gravy is perfect for spooning over a side of creamy mashed potatoes. —Eunice Stoen, Decorah, Iowa

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Hawaiian Kielbasa SandwichesTaste of Home

Hawaiian Kielbasa Sandwiches

If you are looking for a different way to use kielbasa, the sweet and mildly spicy flavor of these sandwiches is a nice change of pace.—Judy Dames, Bridgeville, Pennsylvania

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Sweet Potato Chili with TurkeyTaste of Home

Sweet Potato Chili with Turkey

My slow-cooker chili is packed with flavor. Swapping ground turkey for ground beef lightens it up, and sweet potato puree sneaks in a healthy dose of vitamin A. —Rachel Lewis, Danville, Virginia

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Slow-Cooker Chai TeaTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Chai Tea

A wonderful sweet and spicy aroma wafts from the slow cooker as this pleasantly flavored chai tea cooks. —Crystal Jo Burns, Iliff, Colorado

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Slow-Cooker Chipotle Beef CarnitasTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Chipotle Beef Carnitas

I came up with this recipe while trying to figure out what I could do with a pot roast that had been in the freezer. Now I keep the rub in a plastic bag, ready and waiting in my cupboard, and I can get the roast in the slow cooker in less than 15 minutes. —Ann Piscitelli, Nokomis, Florida

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Slow-Cooker Cheese DipTaste of Home

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 provides the zip! —Marion Bartone, Conneaut, Ohio

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Slow-Cooked Mesquite RibsTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Mesquite Ribs

When we’re missing the grill when its cold out, 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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Hearty Pork Bean SoupTaste of Home

Hearty Pork Bean Soup

It's wonderful to come home to this pork bean soup dinner simmering away in a slow cooker, especially on a busy weeknight. This soup uses dried beans and is simple to throw together in the morning before work. When you get home, just add a few more ingredients, and in half an hour dinner is ready! Do not put the tomatoes in for the first 8 hours of cooking, or the beans will not become soft. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia

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Stewed Zucchini and TomatoesTaste of Home

Stewed Zucchini and Tomatoes

Zucchini, tomatoes and green peppers star in this make-ahead dish that offers a fresh take on traditional vegetable sides. Bubbly cheddar cheese adds a down-home feel. —Barbara Smith, Salem, Oregon

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Slow-Cooked Turkey with Berry CompoteTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Turkey with Berry Compote

We love to eat turkey, and on warmer days, here’s how we get our fix. For golden-brown turkey, broil for a few minutes before serving. —Margaret Bracher, Robertsdale, Alabama

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Shredded Chicken TostadasTaste of Home

Shredded Chicken Tostadas

These flavorful tostadas are super easy and family friendly. You won't believe how tender and juicy the chicken comes out. Just load up the tostadas with your favorite fresh toppings, and you have one simple, sensational meal. —Lisa Kenny, Houston, Texas

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Vegetable MedleyTaste of Home

Vegetable Medley

This is a wonderful side dish to make when garden vegetables are plentiful, and if you have fresh corn, use that instead of frozen. —Terry Maly, Olathe, Kansas

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Strawberry-Banana Pudding CakeTaste of Home

Strawberry-Banana Pudding Cake

This luscious pink pudding cake is so easy to put together. Top it with ice cream and fresh fruit, and you have one very happy family. —Nadine Mesch, Mount Healthy, Ohio

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All-in-One Slow-Cooker BreakfastTaste of Home

All-in-One Slow-Cooker Breakfast

Let your slow cooker do the work and don't worry about adding sides because this dish already has everything—hash browns, sausage, cheese and eggs. Just sip your coffee, cut up some fresh fruit, and breakfast (or brunch) is served. —Debbie Glasscock, Conway, Arkansas

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Turkey ChiliTaste of Home

Turkey Chili

I've taken my mother's turkey chili recipe and made it thicker and more robust. It's a favorite, especially in fall and winter. —Celesta Zanger, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

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Spiced Acorn SquashTaste of Home

Spiced Acorn Squash

Working full time, I found I didn't always have time to cook the meals my family loved, so I re-created many of those dishes in the slow cooker. This treatment for squash is one of our favorites. —Carol Greco, Centereach, New York

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Slow-Cooked RatatouilleTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Ratatouille

I get my son to eat eggplant by cooking low and slow on this classic French veggie dish. A side of rice and garlic cheese bread also help. —Diane Goedde, Red Lodge, Montana

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Slow-Cooker Key Lime FondueTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Key Lime Fondue

Love fondue but want something other than milk chocolate? Dip into my white chocolate Key lime fondue with graham crackers, fresh fruit and cubed pound cake.—Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah

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Moroccan Chicken Tagine PocketsTaste of Home

Moroccan Chicken Tagine Pockets

I enjoy shredded chicken dishes, Moroccan seasonings and pita sandwiches. The addition of the carrot salad laced with dates and pomegranate seeds lends an extra punch and crunch. Mini flour tortillas can be substituted for pitas. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois

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Slow-Cooked Manhattan Clam ChowderTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Manhattan Clam Chowder

I came up with this simple, delicious soup years ago when my husband and I both worked. It's easy to dump all the ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning...and wonderful to come home to the aroma of dinner ready. —Mary Dixon, Northville, Michigan

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Slow-Cooker Baked ApplesTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Baked Apples

Coming home to this irresistible dessert on a dreary day is just wonderful; it’s slow-cooker easy. — Evangeline Bradford, Erlanger, Kentucky

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Slow-Cooked Potatoes with Spring OnionsTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Potatoes with Spring Onions

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

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Slow-Cooked Ropa ViejaTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Ropa Vieja

I traveled to Cuba a few years ago and had some of the best food imaginable. This dish stuck out, and when I returned home I began to experiment with making ropa vieja in the slow cooker. I hope you enjoy the flavors of Cuba as much as I do. —Joshua Boyer, Traverse City, Michigan

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Carolina Shrimp & Cheddar GritsTaste of Home

Carolina Shrimp & Cheddar Grits

Shrimp and grits were a house favorite—if only we could agree on how to make them. I stirred up a winner for the whole family with some cheddar and Cajun seasoning. —Charlotte Price, Raleigh, North Carolina

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Hearty Slow-Cooker Breakfast HashTaste of Home

Hearty Slow-Cooker Breakfast Hash

This sweet and savory hash certainly won't leave you hungry. The sausage, veggies and eggs fill you up, and the hint of maple syrup makes it all feel extra cozy. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia

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Blueberry CobblerTaste of Home

Blueberry Cobbler

This simple slow-cooked dessert comes together in a jiffy. If you like, you can substitute apple or cherry pie filling for the blueberry. —Nelda Cronbaugh, Belle Plaine, Iowa

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Ginger Chicken and Quinoa StewTaste of Home

Ginger Chicken and Quinoa Stew

This Asian-inspired one-pot chicken dinner is healthy and tasty. You can serve it hot, cold or at room temperature. —Doris Kwon, Newport Coast, California

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Pork Tacos with Mango SalsaTaste of Home

Pork Tacos with Mango Salsa

I've made quite a few tacos in my day, but you can't beat the tender filling made in a slow cooker. These are by far the best pork tacos we've had—and we've tried plenty. Make the mango salsa from scratch if you have time! Yum. —Amber Massey, Argyle, Texas

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Spicy Stuffed Banana PeppersTaste of Home

Spicy Stuffed Banana Peppers

Banana peppers can be very tricky: Sometimes they are hot and sometimes they are not. If you want to be on the safe side, I recommend using Bianca peppers instead, which are a more sweet type of pepper. —Danielle Lee, Sewickley, Pennsylvania

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Lora’s Red Beans & RiceTaste of Home

Lora’s Red Beans & Rice

My dear mother-in-law passed this simple recipe to me. With meats, beans and savory veggies that simmer all day, it's tasty, easy and economical, too! —Carol Simms, Madison, Mississippi

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Rosemary BeetsTaste of Home

Rosemary Beets

We’re a family of beet eaters. For a simple side dish, I use a slow cooker and let the beets mellow with rosemary and thyme. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada

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Buffalo Chicken SlidersTaste of Home

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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Oregano Green Beans with Toasted Pine NutsTaste of Home

Oregano Green Beans with Toasted Pine Nuts

This is a super easy side dish. It’s a beautiful, surprising mix that leaves guests and family raving. You can substitute any kind of nut for the pine nuts or even replace them with fresh berries. —Wolfgang Hanau, West Palm Beach, Florida

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Slow-Cooked Hoisin Pot RoastTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Hoisin Pot Roast

One day my husband commented that he loves plums and meat. The next time I put a roast in the slow cooker, I added some plums. He was onto something! —Jackie Cole, Dunnellon, Florida

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Slow-Cooker Sriracha CornTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Sriracha Corn

A restaurant here advertised Sriracha corn on the cob, but I knew I could make my own. The golden ears cooked up a little sweet, a little smoky and a little hot—perfect if you ask my three teenage boys! —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland

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Slow-Cooker Pork PozoleTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Pork Pozole

I love making this heartwarming stew with pork ribs and hominy. This is a fill-you-up recipe of lightly spiced comfort. —Genie Gunn, Asheville, North Carolina

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Slow-Cooked Italian MeatballsTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Italian Meatballs

What I love about these meatballs is that they can be served as an appetizer right out of the slow cooker, or alongside your favorite pasta. They also make a delicious sandwich. —Jason Romano, Downingtown, Pennsylvania

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Old-Fashioned TapiocaTaste of Home

Old-Fashioned Tapioca

My family loves old-fashioned tapioca, but I don’t always have time to make it. So I came up with this simple recipe that lets us enjoy one of our favorites without all the hands-on time. —Ruth Peters, Bel Air, Maryland

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Sweet N Sour BeansTaste of Home

Sweet N Sour Beans

This recipe is popular on both sides of the border. It came from a friend in Alaska, then traveled with me to old Mexico, where I lived for 5 years, and is now a favorite in my Arkansas community. It’s easy to keep the beans warm and serve from a slow cooker. —Barbara Short, Mena, Arkansas

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Moist Cranberry Pork RoastTaste of Home

Moist Cranberry Pork Roast

I love to serve this tender, flavorful pork to guests. You don’t have to toil away in the kitchen to prepare it, yet it tastes like a gourmet meal. —Kimberley Scasny, Douglasville, Georgia

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Double-Duty Heavenly ApplesauceTaste of Home

Double-Duty Heavenly Applesauce

Every year my husband and I take our two daughters to an orchard to pick apples so we can make this luscious applesauce for family and neighbors. —Jennifer Purcell, Vermilion, Ohio

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Cinnamon Blueberry French ToastTaste of Home

Cinnamon Blueberry French Toast

I like to prep this breakfast in the afternoon, chill it, and then put it into the slow cooker and set the timer before I go to bed. When we wake up in the morning, it's done just right and ready for us to dig in. —Angela Lively, Conroe, Texas

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French Lentil and Carrot SoupTaste of Home

French Lentil and Carrot Soup

It's crazy how just a few ingredients can make such a difference. Using finely chopped rotisserie chicken in this recipe makes it perfect for a busy weeknight meal, but you can leave it out if you prefer. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia

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Cheesy Chicken Taco DipTaste of Home

Cheesy Chicken Taco Dip

We're huge college football fans (go Irish!), and my chicken taco dip hasn't missed a season opener in many years. A slow cooker keeps the dip warm for the whole game—if it lasts that long! —Deanna Garretson, Yucaipa, California

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My Brazilian FeijoadaTaste of Home

My Brazilian Feijoada

A co-worker's mom used to make this dish for him and it was his favorite. So I made him my own version. Instead of sausage you can use ham hocks, or substitute lean white meat for the red meat if you prefer. —Christiane Counts, Webster, Texas

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Apple ComfortTaste of Home

Apple Comfort

Years ago, we were without electricity for nine days during an ice storm, but I was able run the slow cooker from our generator. The situation called for a treat, and this has been a favorite ever since. —Awynne Thurstenson, Siloam Springs, Arkansas

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Mulled MerlotTaste of Home

Mulled Merlot

This mulled wine recipe is sure to warm up your guests! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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California Tamale PieTaste of Home

California Tamale Pie

When I serve California Tamale Pie, I know I’ll see smiles on the faces of everyone at the table. With this recipe, you’ll enjoy the taste and texture of classic tamales, without the time and hassle. —Patricia Nieh, Portola Valley, California

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Hearty Black Bean SoupTaste of Home

Hearty Black Bean Soup

Cumin and chili powder give spark to this thick and hearty soup. If you have leftover meat—smoked sausage, browned ground beef or roast—toss it in during the last 30 minutes of cooking. —Amy Chop, Oak Grove, Louisiana

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Sweet & Smoky Pulled Pork SandwichesTaste of Home

Sweet & Smoky Pulled Pork Sandwiches

My primo pork is smoky, tender and tastes like it came from a barbecue joint. Without much help from me, it basically shreds itself. —Lauren Adamson, Layton, Utah

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Slow-Cooker Lasagna SoupTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Lasagna Soup

Every fall and winter, our staff has a soup rotation. I have modified this recipe so I can prep it the night before and put it in the slow cooker in the morning. My colleagues love it! —Sharon Gerst, North Liberty, Iowa

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Candied Sweet PotatoesTaste of Home

Candied Sweet Potatoes

I updated this traditional southern staple so that it can be cooked in a slow cooker. It’s hard to go wrong with candied sweet potatoes. —Deirdre Dee Cox, Kansas City, Missouri

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Artichoke Spread with Garlic BreadTaste of Home

Artichoke Spread with Garlic Bread

I've tried several different artichoke dip recipes, but this one is the absolute best! I serve it at nearly every family gathering and there are never any leftovers. This is probably my most-requested recipe. —Heidi Iacovetto, Phippsburg, Colorado

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Italian Spaghetti SquashTaste of Home

Italian Spaghetti Squash

This is a unique and easy way to cook spaghetti squash. Be sure the squash is on the small or medium side so that it fits into the slow cooker after being cut in half. —Melissa Brooks, Sparta, Wisconsin

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Slow-Cooked Pork StewTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Pork Stew

Try this comforting pork stew recipe that's easy to put together, but tastes like you've been working hard in the kitchen all day. It's even better served over polenta, egg noodles or mashed potatoes. —Nancy Elliott, Houston, Texas

Christina Herbst
Christina is an Assistant Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in content creation and SEO optimization. She enjoys trying out local foodie restaurants and coffeehouses and adding copious amounts of garlic and cheese to any recipe she can get her hands on.