• Julie Marie

My Top 10 Slow Cooker Main Dishes

Updated: Oct 20, 2021

Since We have Football Practice 4 days out of the week and Game Days on Saturdays, most of our meals are cooked in a crock pot! My lifestyle with so many kids and working full time has made me try probably every crockpot recipe out there until I have perfected our favorites :) People laugh because I have probably 15 crockpots, but seriously when it comes time for a party, gathering, or holiday... Im more than happy to host and don't have to spend the whole day cooking! Below are our Go To Meals that we Love:


Super Simple. Short Prep Time. Delicious Meals.



  • Chicken and Dumplins

  • Chicken Tacos

  • Pepper Steak

  • Ham

  • Beef Short Ribs

  • Lasagna

  • Mississippi Pot Roast

  • BBQ Pulled Pork

  • Salisbury Steak

  • Baby Back Ribs


1. Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings


We probably eat this once a week at my house- sometimes as a Main Course and sometimes as a Side Dish. Definitely a crowd pleaser! This recipe probably has the shortest prep time. I actually made the easiest recipe even easier by using frozen dumplins but you will not be disappointed, they are amazing!


Ingredients

  • 3-4 lbs Boneless Chicken Breasts

  • 4- 10.5 oz Cream of Chicken Soup

  • Chicken Broth

  • Frozen Dumplings


Nothing is measured too well, BUT there is NO WAY of messing this one up! Put Boneless Chicken Breasts in Crock Pot and Cover with 4 Cans of Cream of Chicken Soup- Then I usually fill crockpot 3/4 way full with Chicken Broth on top. (This will determine how thick or liquidy it is so personal taste is key- may be good to fill 1/2 way and all more at the end) Cook on High for 5-6 Hours.


After 5-6 Hours, Shred Chicken and Add Back. Add Salt and Pepper to your liking and any additional chicken broth, if it is too thick. (Consistency now will be finished product) Add broken up frozen dumplings equally in one layer on top, then tap with spoon under soup mixture and add one more layer equally, then tap those with a spoon right under the soup mixture. Continue Cooking 30 min on High. All Done :)


My favorite dumplings to use are Annes or Mary Hill, found in Frozen Section at Grocery Store, Seen Below:





2. Chicken Tacos



Ingredients

  • 3-4 lbs Boneless Chicken Breasts

  • 16 oz Salsa

  • 2 T Taco Seasoning


Put Chicken on Bottom of Slow Cooker. Sprinkle Taco Seasoning over chicken and top with Salsa. Cook on Low for 6-8 hours, Shred and serve for tacos!


3. Pepper Steak




We usually double this recipe since we have a family of 7! and dont worry, Typically we dont use onions and peppers in recipes either because of the picky kids, but this recipe we do- doesnt seem to bother anyone! I usually serve this over rice, with tortilla wraps. This one has a little more prep time than most my recipes but under 20 minutes and totally worth it!


  • Garlic Powder

  • 2lb Beef Sirloin- Cut into Strips (I have used several different cuts, they all work)

  • 1/4 C Hot Water

  • 1Beef Bouillon Cube

  • 1 T Cornstarch

  • 3T Soy

  • 1t Sugar

  • 1t Salt

  • 1 Can Stewed Tomatoes- 14.5 oz

  • 1C cut onions & peppers


Sprinkle steak with Garlic Powder and lightly Brown in Pan in about 1-2T of Oil. Then put steak in bottom of slow cooker.


In separate bowl together Mix 1/4 C of Hot Water and 1 Beef Bouillon Cube, then mix in Cornstarch until dissolved. Pour over meat in slow cooker.


Mix in 3T Soy Sauce, 1t Sugar, 1t Salt, 14.5 Stewed Tomatoes, and about 1 Cup of Onions and Peppers Cut in Strips (I always buy precut to speed up the process) Cook on Low 6-8 Hours


4. Brown Sugar Ham


  • 1 1/2 C Brown Sugar

  • Bone-in Ham (I usually get Pork Shoulder that will barely fit in my large crock pot- some times I carve a little to make it fit)


Sprinkle brown sugar on bottom of slow cooker. Place ham face side down on top. Cover and cook on Low 8 hours.


5. Beef Short Ribs


  • 8-10 Short Ribs (but this is NEVER enough for our family)

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • 3 C Beef Broth

  • 1/4 C Worcestershire Sauce

  • 1t Garlic Powder

  • 1t Onion Powder


Season the Ribs with Salt & Pepper. Heat about 1T Cooking Oil (I use Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil) in skillet on High and Sear to Lightly Brown- About 1-2 Minutes.

In Slow Cooker, Combine Beef Broth, Worcestershire, Garlic Powder & Onion Powder. Place Ribs in Slow Cooker. Cover and Cook on Low 6-8 Hours.


6. Lasagna


This one probably probably takes the most prep time and is the most time sensitive for cook time- Great at 4-5 hours but 6 or more is too tough! And I know cottage cheese sounds strange for lasagna but it is the only thing that seems to work for this slow cooker recipe and tastes great!





  • 1 lb Ground Beef

  • 1 Onion, Chopped

  • 2t Minced Garlic

  • 29 oz Tomato Sauce

  • 6 oz Tomato Paste

  • 1 1/2t Salt

  • 1t Oregano

  • 12 oz Cottage Cheese

  • 1/2 C Grated Parmesan Cheese

  • 16 oz Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

  • 12 oz Lasagna Noodles


Meat Mixture- Brown Ground Beef, Onion, and Garlic. Stir in Tomato Sauce, Tomato Past, Salt and Oregano. Cook until heated, then put on low and simmer.


Cheese Mixture- In separate bowl mix together Cottage Cheese, Parmesan Cheese, and Mozzarella Cheese.


Spray Slow Cooker with non stick spray. In Slow Cooker Layer the Meat Mixture first, Top with Double Layer of Noodles (Break to Fit). Top noodles with Cheese Mixture. Repeat until all ingredients are used. Make sure top layer is sauce/meat mixture. Cover and Cook on Low 4-6 Hours. (I personally prefer 4-5, and usually add some mozzarella on top the last 30 minutes cooking time)


7. Mississippi Pot Roast


We are a typically a NON POT ROAST eating family.. I think my husband had bad past pot roast experiences lol so... I just never go that route... BUT I snuck this recipe in one day and everyone loved it! Now it is a regular at our house and everyone loves it, even the picky ones!



  • 4 lb Beef Chuck Roast

  • 1/4 C Butter (cubed)

  • 8 Pepperoncini Peppers

  • 2T Pepperoncini Pepper Juice

  • 1 Pk Dry Ranch Dressing Mix

  • 1 Pk Au Jus Gravy Mix




In a slow cooker add Beef Roast. Top with Ranch Dressing Mix, Au Jus Mix, Butter, Peppers, and Pepper Juice. Cover and Cook on Low 8 Hours.


8. BBQ Pork


By far my favorite crock pot BBQ- after slow cooking it does require 30 minute Oven Time but you literally just shred, dump and bake :)




  • 3 lb Country Style Ribs (Boneless Pork Ribs)

  • 24 oz Beef Broth

  • 18 oz Bottle of BBQ Sauce (We always use Sweet Baby Rays)


Add Ribs to Slow Cooker, then add Beef Broth. Cover and Cook on High for 4 Hours. Remove and Shred. Transfer to skillet or dutch oven and Stir in BBQ Sauce) Bake in Oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


9. Salisbury Steak


I have a great recipe for the hamburger patties using dry onion soup mix that sends this recipe over the top~ so hit me up if you would like it... BUT for quick slow cooker meals we are going to use hamburgers already in patty form for time purposes.


  • 8 Hamburger Patties (Pre-formed)

  • 2T Vegetable Oil

  • 1/4 C Flour

  • 2- 10.75 Oz Can of Cream of Chicken Soup

  • 1- Pk Au Jus Gravy Mix

  • 3/4 C Water


Lightly dredge patties in Flour. Heat up Vegetable Oil in Skillet and Brown on both sides. Place Patties in Slow Cooker stacking like a Pyramid so they have room and are not right on top of each other. In separate bowl mix together Cream of Chicken Soup, Au Jus Gravy Mix, and Water. Pour over meat. Cover and Cook on Low for 4-5 Hours.


10. Baby Back Ribs




  • 3lb Baby Back Ribs

  • Salt & Pepper

  • 1/2 C Water

  • 1/2 Onion

  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced

  • 18 Oz BBQ Sauce (We always use Sweet Baby Rays)


Season Ribs with Salt & Pepper to Taste. Pour Water in Slow Cooker. Put Ribs in Slow Cooker and Top with Garlic & Onions. Cover and Cook on High, 4 Hours. (Or Low for 8 Hours)


Transfer Ribs to Baking Sheet and Top with BBQ Sauce. Bake at 375 for 15 Minutes.



I hope you find this helpful to your family and make your life a bit easier! Fell free to send me your comments on these meals and how they turned out! Thanks for reading!

















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