10 Slow Cooker Recipes for Newbies

10 Slow Cooker Recipes for Newbies

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Sheela Prakash
May 16, 2018
(Image credit: Christine Han)

So you finally got a slow cooker — congrats! Whether you decided to buy one or received it as a gift, you're probably eager to start breaking it in. So where to begin? Here!

These 10 recipes are fit for newbies like yourself. They show the breadth of what the appliance can do and are nice and easy, which means they're well-suited for beginners.

1. How To Make the Best Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker

If you're going to start with one recipe, make it this one. Pulled pork is ridiculously simple to make in the slow cooker and the results are always tender, juicy, and impressive. While the recipe makes a lot of meat, it freezes well for up to four months.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

2. How To Make Meatballs in the Slow Cooker

Meatballs often require more than a few hours of simmering in sauce on the stove to achieve greatness. Here, the slow cooker does all the work for you and the results might even be better.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

3. Slow Cooker Whole Chicken Soup

Starting with a whole chicken ensures the soup will have plenty of flavor and lots of meat to shred to keep things hearty — plus, you'll produce enough to stash away in the freezer for more than a few future meals.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

4. How To Cook Simple & Tasty Slow Cooker Chili

Long slow cooker braises, like chili, can taste a little flat after so much cooking. To remedy this, add a teaspoon of apple cider or sherry vinegar just before serving to brighten things up.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

5. Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

If you start cooking some basmati rice at the same time you add the cream or coconut milk at the end of cooking, the whole meal will be ready to dig into at the same time.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

6. How To Make Caramelized Onions in the Slow Cooker

Caramelized onions add deep, savory flavor to just about anything, but unfortunately they require a bit of time to make. Lean on your slow cooker, however, and you'll churn out a big batch without fuss that you can divide and freeze for future meals.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

7. Slow Cooker Spinach-Artichoke Dip

The best part of this crowd-pleasing dip is that it can be served right out of the slow cooker. Just keep it on the warm setting and it'll stay good for up to two hours — although it's doubtful it will take that long for it to get eaten up.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

8. How To Make Sloppy Joes in the Slow Cooker

If you have a large-enough slow cooker, feel free to double this classic recipe, as leftover sauce freezes well for future sandwiches.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

9. How To Make Easy Shredded Chicken in the Slow Cooker

Make a batch of this shredded chicken over the weekend and you'll be set up for a week of easy meals. Use the meat to top salads, stuff into sandwiches, toss with pasta, or complete a grain bowl.

(Image credit: Guy Ambrosino)

10. Slow Cooker Minestrone

While some vegetable soups can lack a depth of flavor, this one stands out, since the veggies simmer slowly at a low temperature in a Parmesan and herb broth for hours.

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