AMAZING Real Food Slow Cooker Recipes

Comforting crock pot classics, flavorful tacos, hearty sandwiches, and cozy soups, stews, and chilis make up this list of popular real food slow cooker recipes!

Amazing Slow Cooker Recipes Made with Real Ingredients, collage of 4 photos


It's hard to beat a good slow cooker supper. And with this index of popular, tried-and-true crock pot favorites, you can have a warm cozy dinner waiting for you every day of the week. There are even a few options for side dishes, breakfasts, and desserts!

Finding a recipe to try is easy. Recipes are categorized in a variety of ways for your convenience. You can peruse options by the type of protein used, the category of recipe, or even the type of cuisine. Some recipes are listed more than once, since they happen to fall under multiple categories. So however you prefer to search, you're sure to find something simple and delicious to make!

As always, some crock pots run hotter than others (particularly newer models), so you need to be familiar with your own personal slow cooker to determine optimal cooking time for different recipes.

Click below to jump to your desired category of SLOW COOKER RECIPES!


Beef Recipes

My favorite beef cut for cooking in the crock pot is a roast, and I always recommend using a chuck roast. Its generous marbling results in moist, tender meat at the end of a low, slow cooking time.




Slow Cooker Barbacoa ~ a delicious addition to tacos, burritos, rice bowls, salads, and more...and this easy, succulent, crockpot version is bursting with chipotles, garlic, cilantro, & Mexican spices! | #barbacoa #tacos #tacotuesday #barbacoabeef

Chicken Recipes

I always keep a bag of boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs on hand, and I prefer to toss in a combo when making most slow cooker chicken recipes. Chicken breasts are larger and have hardly any fat to trim, so just few of them yield more meat and are quick to shred. On the other hand, chicken thighs shrink up quite a bit and take longer to trim, but they also have more flavor and don't dry out as much. So I prefer using a combination for the best of both worlds, but either one will work beautifully.



Slow Cooker Chicken Gnocchi Soup ~ a creamy, lightened-up copycat recipe of the famous Olive Garden classic, made easy thanks to the crockpot! |

Pork Recipes

Would you believe that you can cook a decent-sized ham or even a rack of ribs in your crock pot? There are plenty of variations of pulled pork below as well. And anytime I have leftover ham, I dice it up and toss it in the freezer for future use in these slow cooker soups.






Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs ~ sticky, smoky, and fall-apart delicious...nobody will ever believe that they came out of the crock pot! |

Bean Recipes

Unless specified, all of the recipes below start with dried beans or lentils, and none of those recipes require pre-soaking (unless that happens to be your personal preference). I simply rinse and pick over my beans before letting them cook all day. Please keep in mind that old beans take longer to cook and soften...and sometimes, if they're really old, they never soften! So if your beans having been sitting in your pantry -- or in a grocery store warehouse -- for a long time, this can definitely lengthen required cooking time.






Slow Cooker Cajun White Bean Soup ~ a cozy crock pot recipe loaded with beans, andouille sausage, veggies, and a flavorful broth that's sure to warm you up! |

Vegetarian Recipes

These crock pot recipes on the site are not necessarily written as vegetarian recipes. However, they can easily be converted to vegetarian recipes by (1.) using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, and (2.) eliminating any added ham, bacon, or sausage. Just keep in mind that if you eliminate ham, bacon, or sausage, you will likely need to increase the salt and/or other seasonings to make up for the missing flavor.

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup ~ silky and delicious, packed with vitamins, and as effortless as tossing frozen butternut squash cubes into the crock pot! |

Main Course Recipes

The recipes in this category are more like "stand-alone" main courses. You can scroll down just below this section for sandwiches, tacos, and soups that would also work as main courses.

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken with Peanut Sauce ~ features tender chicken stewed in a flavor-infused coconut milk/peanut sauce, served over rice or rice noodles, and garnished with chopped peanuts and cilantro |

Sandwich Recipes

There's something just so hearty and satisfying about supper on a bun!

Slow Cooker French Dip ~ this crock pot recipe features succulent beef slow cooked in a flavorful broth, served on toasty rolls with melted cheese and extra au jus for dipping! |

Taco Recipes

These flavorful pulled meats are fabulous in tacos, but they're also delicious as toppings or fillings for other Mexican food fare, from enchiladas to burritos to nachos.

Slow Cooker Honey Lime Pulled Pork Tacos ~ tender, spicy-sweet pork piled on flour tortillas and topped with red cabbage, carrots, avocado, cotija cheese, and fresh cilantro for an easy, effortless dinner...and the leftover pork is fantastic on nachos! |

Soup Recipes

With long, low cooking times, slow cookers especially lend themselves to soups! Most of these are set-and-forget recipes, although you'll typically want to reserve a few minutes just before dinner time for shredding any meat and stirring in any add-ins or garnishes (which you can often prep earlier in the day).

The BEST Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup ~ wholesome and easy to make, this crock pot soup is extra flavorful thanks to a few secret ingredients...and it's the perfect get-well-soon recipe for making it through cold and flu season! |

Side Dish Recipes

Making a side dish in the crock pot is not only hands-off, but it also leaves your stove and oven free for other dishes.

Slow Cooker Creamy Cheesy Corn ~ a rich, comforting side dish that's the perfect addition to any holiday menu...because not only is this recipe delicious, but it also frees up the stove and oven! |

Breakfast Recipes

You may not always think of breakfast when crock pot cooking comes to mind, but these options are tasty, wholesome, and fun.

Slow Cooker Granola ~ a combination of oats, nuts, coconut, coconut oil, and honey effortlessly cook in the crock pot for a crunchy, wholesome breakfast or snack! |

Dessert Recipes

Sweets for the sweet. 🙂

Slow Cooker Chocolate Peanut Butter Fondue ~ a decadent, glossy, chocolate dessert recipe kissed with peanut butter, the perfect crock pot dip for your favorite fruit and confections on Valentine's Day or any day! |

Holiday Recipes

When I cook a big meal for a holiday, I inevitably have every oven rack and stove burner accounted for. So pulling out a slow cooker or two means that it's no problem to add a few more dishes to the menu!

Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Ham ~ an effortless way to cook your Easter ham with a glaze of pineapple juice, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, Dijon, and honey |

Mexican Recipes

If your family (like mine!) is a fan of Mexican cuisine, you just might find yourself regularly adding these delicious recipes to your meal plan.

Slow Cooker Charro Beans ~ flavored with bacon, garlic, tomatoes, green chiles, jalapeños, cilantro, and spices, this crock pot recipe is the perfect side dish for Mexican food! |

Asian Recipes

Skip the take-out and let your crock pot do the work instead!

Slow Cooker Sweet Chili Drumsticks ~ this chicken recipe starts with a simple marinade of soy sauce, Thai sweet chili sauce, and ginger, then slow cooks until tender for an effortless, sweet-and-savory, Asian dinner that's healthier and more economical than take-out! |

* * * * * * * * * *

I hope this slow cooker recipe index helps you find a new favorite (or ten!) to add to your regular rotation of meals. I'll continue updating it as I publish new crock pot recipes on the blog.

And in case you enjoy these types of recipes and would like even more of them, be sure to check out my Real Food Slow Cooker Suppers cookbook, which features a total of 80 amazing dinner recipes made with wholesome, unprocessed ingredients!

Originally published September 30, 2015.

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  1. I just found your site today and made the slow cooker beef stroganoff. VERY GOOD!
    Your real ingredient approach is what made me come back to look for more recipes. Good luck with the book.

  2. This is a great announcement! Congratulations! All your slow cooker recipes sounds and look SO good, you inspire me to pull out my crock pot 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Lyuba! I can only hope that my cookbook will turn out as lovely as yours... 🙂

  3. This is wonderful Samantha!!! I've done 2 for another publisher and remember the first email--like you can't believe it's actually legit!!!

    So happy for you! <3

    1. Thank you so much, Judy! You're right...I wasn't sure that the e-mail was legit the first half dozen times that I read it. Good thing I decided to follow up on it! 😉 And I had no idea that you've already published two cookbooks...congrats! Heading over now to check them out. 🙂

  4. Congrats!!!!! Your blog is wonderful, you are so deserving of the honor of writing a cookbook, can't wait to buy a copy!!

    1. Thank you, are too sweet and your comment totally made me blush. 🙂 Happy Friday!

  5. Oh my goodness, CONGRATS on your book!! How exciting! 🙂 I'll absolutely be looking forward to picking up a copy, because I love all your real food crockpot recipes!

  6. I am so excited! It seems every crockpot recipe has a can of cream chemical in it.....drives me crazy! Can't wait to try some of your recipes out! Thanks for sharing. Visiting from Link Party Palooza

    1. Thank you, Kelly! I'm excited, too. I love figuring out how to make classic crock pot recipes using only real food ingredients, so it's been fun (and a lot of work!) recipe testing over the past few weeks. Thanks so much for hopping over and I hope you have a great weekend! 🙂

  7. Congratulations, Sam! This is exciting news, and I know your cookbook will be wonderful! Can't wait to see it....have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you, Deb, for being a longtime follower...I always appreciate your sweet, supportive comments! Hope your weekend was great as well. Have a wonderful upcoming week! 🙂

  8. I am so excited for you Samantha! You just never know what will come your way when you put your heart into something. Looking forward to your cookbook for our family and to pass along as gifts. My third grader now thinks you will be rich and famous after publishing a book-I hope he is right!

    1. You are the sweetest, Sarah...thank you! And your 3rd grader's prediction made me laugh...but now I'm feeling the pressure! 😉

  9. I love everything about this! I am super excited for you, and I can't wait for more real food crockpot recipes!

  10. Oh wow Samantha this is fantastic - congratulations!!! I love crock-pot recipes (and my crock-pot) so put me in line for your book. Your recipes are fantastic, so I'm looking forward to seeing them in book form 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Kristin! I'm thrilled that you enjoy my recipes and I appreciate all of your support since way back when I first started this blog. Your comments always make me smile! 🙂

  11. Samantha, I love the big news! Your site, as well as your recipes, is impeccable and so fun to read. I'll definitely be purchasing your new cookbook when it becomes available - congratulations!

    1. Thank you, Tami! Your sweet comment means so much. I'm excited that you're excited about the cookbook! 🙂 I appreciate you taking the time to comment and hope that your week is off to a great start!