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Crock-pot recipe slow cooker chili

Crock-Pot Recipe Favorites

just what you need during the cold winter months

When we think easy dinners, we think Crock-Pot or slow cooker. All you have to do is grab everything and throw it all in there, then voila! You have a scrumptious meal without the heavy lifting. Here are some of our favorite Crock-Pot recipes that also happen to be perfect for the colder weather.

Chicken and Dumplings

This classic is great for those chilly, rainy days where you just need some comfort food.

What You Need:
3–4 large chicken breasts
2 cans of cream of chicken soup (grab the 98% fat free soups for a healthier option)
1 can of chicken broth (or make your own with chicken bouillon—2 cups of boiling water with 1 to 1 ½ tsp. of bouillon)
¼ tsp. poultry seasoning
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. salt
A few dashes of red pepper
A few dashes of black pepper
Two handfuls of chopped yellow onion and celery (adjust your amount on how much you prefer)
1 can of biscuits

What You’ll Do:
Grab your Crock-Pot and place the chicken breasts, broth, cream of chicken soup, onion, celery and seasonings all inside. Stir together to mix well and turn the Crock-Pot to high (or heat at 4 hours). Using one can of broth or one cup of self-made broth will give you a thicker soup. Add another cup of self-made broth if you prefer your soup to be slightly thinner.

After cooking for two hours, take the chicken breasts out one at a time and shred them. Place the shredded chicken back into the Crock-Pot. Stir.

After all the chicken is shredded, take the biscuits and begin cutting them to make your dumplings. Take one biscuit, cut in half. Then cut each half into three pieces. Use your fingers to flatten the pieces (but not too flat).

Add the biscuits to the Crock-Pot after two and half to three hours of cooking. Stir occasionally. Allow dumplings to cook for at least one hour (we prefer it at one and a half hours).

If you want this to cook all day, adjust your heat and timing appropriately: turn heat to low or medium (6 or 8 hours) and turn to high for your final hour and a half of cooking for the dumplings.

Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies

For the days you want something a little lighter and healthier.

What You’ll Need:
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
16 oz. baby red potatoes, halved
16 oz. baby carrots
16 oz. green beans, trimmed
2 Tbps. chopped fresh parsley leaves (or dried)
½ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
½ cup honey
¼ cup ketchup
2 cloves garlic, minced (or ½ tsp. garlic powder)
1 tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (or red pepper)
¼ tsp. ground black pepper

What You’ll Do:
In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, honey, ketchup, garlic, basil, oregano, red pepper and pepper. Place the chicken thighs, potatoes, carrots and sauce mixture into the slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low for 7–8 hours or high for 3–4 hours. Baste every hour. Add green beans during the last 30 minutes of cook time.

Pro Tip: If you want a crispier chicken thigh, place the thighs on a baking sheet (skin side up) and broil in the oven until crisp (about 3–4 minutes).

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

This is what winter is all about.

What You’ll Need:
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 ½ lb. ground turkey
Black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tsp. garlic powder)
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
Shredded cheddar for garnish
Sliced green onions for garnish

What You’ll Do:
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until both are softened (about 4 minutes). Add the ground turkey and cook until golden (stir occasionally). Season with salt and pepper, stir in garlic and tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker.

In the crock-pot, add tomatoes, black beans, kidney beans, chicken broth, chili powder, cumin and oregano. Cook on high for 4 hours, until thickened. Check for seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with cheese and green onion.

Pro Tip: If you want a thicker chili, take the lid off and leave the heat on high for the final 30 minutes.
Pro Tip #2: Don’t cook the turkey in the skillet until it is cooked through. It could result in a dry chili even with stewing for four hours.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Great for sliders, tacos, bowls, you name it!

What You’ll Need:
4 lb. boneless pork shoulder (or pork butt)

Optional Additional Seasoning:
1 Tbsp. ground coriander
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. turmeric
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. onion powder

What You’ll Do:
Season the pork all over with salt, pepper and the additional seasoning listed above (if you prefer). Place in the slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, until internal temperature reaches 190 degrees. When the pork is done, let cool for 20 minutes before shredding with fork.

Take the leftover liquid from the pot and strain to remove any solids. Add the liquid back to the shredded pork and toss well.

Pro Tip: If you want to avoid adding fat back in with the leftover liquid, toss in your favorite BBQ sauce instead.

Crock-Pot Alfredo

You’ll never strain your pasta again.

What You’ll Need:
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. Italian seasoning
Black pepper
½ lb. rigatoni
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

What You’ll Do:
Add heavy cream, butter, broth, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to pot. Mix well.

Stir in rigatoni and Parmesan and cook until tender at high heat (20–25 minutes).

If using chicken, add the chicken with the wet and dry ingredients excluding the pasta. Cook on high for two hours. Transfer the chicken to a plate to shred using a fork. Add the rigatoni and Parmesan to cook for the same amount of time as mentioned above. Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker after the rigatoni has been cooked. Serve.

Image courtesy of iStock.