70 Slow Cooker Recipes Grandma Wishes She Knew 30 Years Ago

Slow cookers may not have been around in Grandma’s day, but if they were, she would have wanted to make these irresistible recipes.

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Stewed Zucchini and Tomatoes

A fresh take on traditional vegetable sides, this make-ahead dish stars zucchini, tomatoes and green pepper. Bubbly cheddar cheese adds a down-home feel. —Barbara Smith, Salem, Oregon
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Old-Fashioned Tapioca

My family loves traditional 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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Cherry Upside-Down Bread Pudding

I've always loved bread pudding, and I enjoy fixing this for my family on a chilly day. You could use a different flavor of pie filling and omit the chocolate chips to make a completely different dessert. It's always delicious! —Ronna Farley, Rockville, Maryland
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English Pub Split Pea Soup

This family favorite is the same recipe my grandmother used. Now with the magic of the slow cooker, I can spend 15 minutes putting it together, walk away for five hours, and come back to "soup's on." Finish it with more milk if you like your soup a bit thinner. —Judy Batson, Tampa, Florida
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Slow-Cooker Caponata

This Italian eggplant dip preps quickly and actually gets better as it stands. Serve it warm or at room temperature. Try adding a little leftover caponata to scrambled eggs for a savory breakfast. —Nancy Beckman, Helena, Montana
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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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Peachy Summer Cheesecake

This is a cool, always refreshing dessert that is fancy enough to take to a gathering. You can make this ahead of time and freeze it. Make sure you cover it well in an airtight container and add the peaches only after the cheesecake thaws. —Joan Engelhardt, Latrobe, Pennsylvania
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Sunday Dinner Brisket

We loved how tender this brisket came out of the slow cooker. The sauce has a robust, beefy flavor with a slight tang from the balsamic vinegar, and the rich caramelized onions complete the dish.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Slow-Cooker Strawberry Pudding Cake

I had these ingredients in my pantry and thought I'd experiment. The flavors are just like strawberry cheesecake—only in a warm, comforting cake version. It's a whole lot easier than making cheesecake, too! —Lisa Renshaw, Kansas City, Missouri
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Creamy Polenta with Balsamic Glaze

This delicious, easy side dish goes incredibly well with braised meat. It makes any meal feel a little more elevated. —Sarah Vasques, Milford, New Hampshire
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Black-Eyed Peas with Ham

Here's a regional favorite I grew to love after moving to the South. Serve the dish as a side with grilled chicken, or make it your main course and round out the meal with greens and cornbread. —Tammie Merrill, Wake Forest, North Carolina
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Chicken Chop Suey with a Twist

If you’re in for a busy evening, here’s a great way to ensure you can still have a healthful supper. It’s tasty and traditional, and easy, too!
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Bacon Breakfast Casserole

This easy breakfast dish allows me to make a comforting family favorite that doesn't take a lot of prep. It's also great for big brunch gatherings. —Paula Lawson, Springfield, Ohio
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Contest-Winning Mushroom Pot Roast

Wow! The wine-warmed flavors in this recipe are amazing! Packed with wholesome veggies and tender beef, this is one company-special dish all ages will like. Serve with mashed potatoes to enjoy every last drop of the rich, beefy gravy. —Angie Stewart, Topeka, Kansas
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Sweet and Tangy Beets

Fresh beets are delicious when combined with aromatic spices and a hint of orange. These have the ideal balance of sweet and sour flavors. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Slow-Cooker Rice Porridge

We Italians have a soft spot for our rice dishes. Whether it's risotto or rice pudding, it's all good. This not-too-sweet treat is a terrific way to finish a meal. Top it off with cherry or blueberry pie filling right before serving...or stir in a little amaretto. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Turkey & Pork Meatballs

Treat yourself to homemade meatballs, already simmering in sauce, at the end of a busy day. —Suzanne Wagg, Madison, Maine
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Slow-Cooker Apple Pudding Cake

A satisfying dessert like this is a superb treat on a chilly night. It has three layers—apples, cake and sauce—and I like to serve it in a bowl. It's comfort food for the soul. —Ellen Schroeder, Reedsburg, Wisconsin
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French Onion Soup with Meatballs

I got the idea for how to make this soup after I went to a brewhouse restaurant that put ale in their gravy. I make this every time the weather starts to cool down in the fall—it's comfort food for the soul. —Crystal Holsinger, Surprise, Arizona
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Slow-Cooked Blueberry Grunt

If you love blueberries, then you can't go wrong with this easy dessert. For a special treat, serve it warm with vanilla ice cream. —Cleo Gonske, Redding, California
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Slow-Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes

The combination of chili sauce and ground turkey in these sloppy joes creates a delicious flavor. The avocado adds a special touch to the sandwiches. —Nichole Jones, Idaho Falls, Idaho
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Calico Cowboy Beans

This cowboy beans recipe is tradition when my girlfriends and I go up north for a girls' weekend. The husbands and kids are left at home, but the slow cooker comes with us! —Julie Butsch, Hartland, Wisconsin
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Corn and Broccoli in Cheese Sauce

Save room in the oven by making this savory side in your slow cooker. It is a standby in my house. My daughter likes to add leftover ham to create a hearty main course. —Joyce Johnson, Uniontown, Ohio
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Apple Betty with Almond Cream

I love making this apple betty for friends during the peak of apple season. I plan a quick soup and bread meal, so we can get right to the dessert! —Elizabeth Godecke, Chicago, Illinois
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Cranberry Sauerkraut Meatballs

I tried these meatballs at a birthday party for a friend, and now I make them all the time. They are super easy to make and perfect for a potluck or a Sunday afternoon football game. —Lisa Castelli, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
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All-Day Red Beans & Rice

My family loves New Orleans-style cooking, so I make this authentic dish often. I appreciate how uncomplicated it is. And its smoky ham flavor is scrumptious. —Celinda Dahlgren, Napa, California
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Fruity Pork Roast

I like using the slow cooker for our meals because it gives me time for other preparations, frees the oven, and it usually doesn't matter if you serve it later than planned. The fruit in this recipe, which I adapted, gives the pork a special flavor. —Mary Jeppesen-Davis, St. Cloud, Minnesota
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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.—Judy Dames, Bridgeville, Pennsylvania
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Honey-Glazed Ham

Here's an easy solution for feeding a large group. The simple honey ham is perfect for family dinners, where time in the kitchen is as valuable as space in the oven.—Jacquie Stolz, Little Sioux, Iowa
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Slow-Cooker Oatmeal

Waking up to the wonderful aroma of this cinnamon-sugar Crock-Pot oatmeal is a great way to start the day! —Brandy Schaefer, Glen Carbon, Illinois
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New England Indian Pudding

This recipe was inspired by traditional New England Indian pudding. My version is made in the slow cooker instead of being baked for hours in the oven. If the molasses flavor is too strong, cut the amount to 1/3 cup. —Susan Bickta, Kutztown, Pennsylvania
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Slow-Cooker Chocolate Pots de Creme

Lunch on the go just got a whole lot sweeter. Tuck the jars of rich chocolate custard into lunch bags for a midday treat. These portable desserts are fun for picnics too. —Nick Iverson, Denver, Colorado
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Slow-Cooker Tater Tot Casserole

What's not to love about classic Tater Tot casserole—especially when it's made in the slow cooker? You'll want to add this family-pleasing potluck favorite to your regular rotation. —Nick Iverson, Denver, Colorado
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Slow-Cooker Creamy Cauliflower Soup

I love indulgent cream soups but not the fat that goes along with them. In this healthier version, the soup's velvety texture makes it feel rich and the spicy kick warms you up in a flash. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
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Apple Pie Steel-Cut Oatmeal

I absolutely love this slow-cooked oatmeal. The steel-cut oats have so much flavor and texture. My family sprinkles toasted pecans on top whenever possible. —Angela Lively, Conroe, Texas
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Slow-Cooked Summer Squash

We love squash, but I got tired of fixing just plain squash and cheese. I decided to jazz up the dish a bit. This was a huge hit with my family. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Chicago-Style Beef Rolls

I have fond memories of eating these big, messy sandwiches at a neighbor's house when I was growing up. Freeze any extras and save for another meal! —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Slow-Cooker Pasta e Fagioli

This chunky soup is good to the last spoonful. It's my go-to recipe because it's so hearty and we all always want more. —Penny Novy, Buffalo Grove, Illinois
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Slow-Cooked Bread Pudding

This warm and hearty dessert is perfect on any cold, blustery winter evening. And the slow cooker fills your kitchen with an amazing aroma. My stomach is growling just thinking about it! —Maiah Albi, Carlsbad, California
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Creamy Onion Pork Chops

Wine adds delectable flavor to the chops, and the meat falls from the bone. This easy dish just might initiate every family member into the cook something good for dinner club! —Kristina Wyatt, Catawba, Virginia
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Slow-Cooker Sauerbraten

My family is of German Lutheran descent, and although we enjoy this traditional beef roast, I never liked the amount of time and fuss it takes to make it. This recipe is so good and oh-so-easy. It's great served with dumplings, spaetzle, veggies or a salad. —Norma English, Baden, Pennsylvania
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Italian Meatball 'n' Bean Soup

Tender meatballs in a savory, chili-like soup deliver a taste sensation the whole family will love. You can use sweet, medium or hot Italian sausage, depending on your heat preferences! —Amanda Bowyer, Caldwell, Idaho
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Slow-Cooked Bean Medley

I often change the variety of beans in this classic recipe, using whatever I have on hand to total the five cans called for. The sauce makes any combination delicious! It's a gluten-free side dish that's popular with just about everyone. —Peggy Gwillim, Strasbourg, Saskatchewan
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Vegetarian Pea Soup

I combined several online recipes to make my own version of this soup. It was a real favorite when I was a vegetarian for health reasons. Even my meat-loving husband asked for seconds! —Corrie Gamache, Palmyra, Virginia
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Melt-in-Your-Mouth Pot Roast

Slow-simmered and seasoned with rosemary, mustard and thyme, this tender and tasty crock pot roast and potatoes recipe is so easy to make and always a hit. Substitute burgundy or brandy plus a half-cup of water for the broth…the aroma of this English roast recipe is wonderful! —Jeannie Klugh, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
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Steak Strips with Dumplings

Take in a parade on the Fourth or spend a day by the lake and come home to this slow-cooked specialty all ready to eat! The recipe’s from John Smalldridge of Princeton, Idaho.
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Slow-Cooked Turkey Sandwiches

These sandwiches have been such a hit at office potlucks that I keep copies of the recipe in my desk to hand out. —Diane Twait Nelsen, Ringsted, Iowa
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Squash & Chicken Stew

We created a satisfying stew that’s nutritious, loaded with flavor and family-friendly. Slowly simmer chicken thighs with stewed tomatoes, butternut squash, green peppers and onion for meal-in-one convenience. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Rosemary Pot Roast

Come home to a comforting, ready-to-eat entree with this slow-cooker favorite. It’s so easy and fills the house with a wonderful aroma. I’ve served it often…guests always want the recipe.
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Apple-Dijon Pork Roast

This recipe takes just minutes to assemble and is delicious. I like to serve the roast with rice, then use the tangy sauce as a gravy for both. —Cindy Steffen, Cedarburg, Wisconsin
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Cider Cheese Fondue

Cheese lovers are sure to enjoy dipping into this creamy quick-to-fix fondue cheese dip that has just a hint of apple. You can also serve this appetizer with pear wedges. —Kim Marie Van Rheenen, Mendota, Illinois
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Deviled Swiss Steak

This main dish is satisfying all by itself, but you can also serve the Swiss steak over hot mashed potatoes. —Melissa Gerken, Zumbrota, Minnesota
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Slow-Cooker Reuben Spread

My daughter shared this recipe with me for a hearty spread that tastes just like a Reuben sandwich. Serve it from a slow cooker set to warm so the dip stays at its most tasty temperature. —Rosalie Fuchs, Paynesville, Minnesota
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Vegetable Soup with Hamburger

I work full time, but my family sits down to a home-cooked meal just about every night. I rely on simple recipes like this. —Theresa Jackson, Cicero, New York
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Turkey in Cream Sauce

I've been relying on this recipe for tender turkey since I first moved out on my own years ago. I serve it whenever I invite new guests to the house, and I'm constantly writing out the recipe. —Kathy-Jo Winterbottom, Pottstown, Pennsylvania
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Teriyaki Pork Roast

With three kids and a husband who works full time and attends school, it's fair to say we have a busy household. I'm always looking for no-fuss recipes, so I was thrilled to find this one. The juicy teriyaki seasoned pork roast has become a family favorite. —Roxanne Hulsey, Gainsville, Georgia
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Hot Crab Dip

I have a large family, work full time, and coach soccer and football, so I appreciate recipes that are easy to assemble. This rich, creamy dip is a fun appetizer to whip up for any gathering. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
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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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Creamy Red Potatoes

This rich and creamy potato side dish is my go-to for potlucks. It’s super easy to double, so I usually do. Folks almost always take seconds, and I almost always get compliments. —Shelia Schmitt, Topeka, Kansas
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Shrimp Marinara

Flavorful marinara sauce simmers for just a few hours. Right before mealtime, toss in the shrimp to cook quickly. Serve over hot spaghetti for a delicious weeknight dish that feels dressed up. —Sue Mackey, Jackson, Wisconsin
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Slow-Cooker Lava Cake

I love chocolate. Perhaps that's why this decadent slow-cooker cake has long been a family favorite. The cake can also be served cold. —Elizabeth Farrell, Hamilton, Montana
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Amaretto Cherries with Dumplings

You can't beat the combination of almond flavor with cherries. These light and fluffy dumplings are heavenly. Topped with the sauce and ice cream, it makes for a scrumptious dessert. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Slow-Cooked Corned Beef

It’s not luck; it’s just an amazing Irish recipe. With this in the slow cooker by sunrise, you can be sure to fill seats at the dinner table by sundown. —Heather Parraz, Rochester, Washington
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Spicy Shredded Beef Sandwiches

If you like your shredded beef with a little kick, then this recipe is for you. For an even zestier version of this recipe, add another jar of jalapenos or use hot peppers instead of the pepperocinis. —Kristen Langmeier, Faribault, Minnesota
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Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

When I have leftover ham in the fridge, I like to make this slow-cooker split pea soup. Just throw the ingredients in the slow cooker, turn it on and dinner is done. —Pamela Chambers, West Columbia, South Carolina
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Slow-Cooked Beef Vegetable Soup

Convenient frozen veggies and hash browns make this meaty soup a snap to make. Simply brown the ground beef, then stir everything together to simmer all day. It's wonderful served with bread and a salad. —Carol Calhoun, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Emily Racette Parulski
Emily has spent the last decade writing and editing food and lifestyle content. As a senior editor at Taste of Home, she leads the newsletter team sharing delicious recipes and helpful cooking tips to more than 2 million loyal email subscribers. Since joining TMB seven years ago as an associate editor, she has worked on special interest publications, launched TMB’s first cross-branded newsletter, supported the launch of the brand's affiliate strategy, orchestrated holiday countdowns, participated in taste tests and was selected for a task force to enhance the Taste of Home community. Emily was first mentioned by name in Taste of Home magazine in 1994, when her mother won a contest. When she’s not editing, Emily can be found in her kitchen baking something sweet, taking a wine class with her husband, or making lasagnas for neighbors through Lasagna Love.