Food, Link Party, Pinterest, Recipes

My All-Time Favorite Crock Pot Recipes


I love a good crock pot recipe.

When it isn’t a good slow cooker recipe.

Just kidding, they’re both the same.

I am blowing the minds of those of you who don’t cook now. Amiright??

There is something magical about putting all of your ingredients into a metal container, turning on a button and 6-8 hours later having a meal. A fully cooked damn meal. MAGICAL.

Which is why I am here to help all you anti-cooking people out because here’s a secret that us “cooks” don’t want you to know: crockpot cooking doesn’t take any talent other than flipping a switch.

There’s no sautéing, no flash freezing or blanching, hell, sometimes you don’t even have to slice or dice! Just throw the crap into the crock pot (aka slow cooker) and away you go.

Just don’t forget to press the ON button.

I’ve done that before, a very sad tale that I won’t go into here.

But it really is the simplest form of cooking (well, besides throwing food in the microwave) and even you can do it!


Here are my most favorite crock-pot recipes of all-time and you won’t even have to break a sweat throwing everything in the pot.


Dollywood Cowboy Beans

I have made this recipe every fall and winter for the past seven years since we went to Silver Dollar City (which is identical to Dollywood) and never have leftovers for more than a day. They make these beans in both amusement parks and the smell alone is enough to transport me back to both places. I serve this with sour cream and Fritos, chili-style but you could serve it alone and it is just as amazing.


Dollywood Cowboy Beans

  • 1 pound of ground beef (browned)
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 1 green pepper (chopped)
  • 28 ounce can of baked beans (or pork and beans (your choice))
  • 1 cup of ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon of white or apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons of salt (or to your taste and health requirements)
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper (or to your taste)
  1. Brown the ground beef in a medium saucepan with the onion and green pepper until the meat is no longer pink.
  2. Transfer the meat to the crock pot and add the remaining ingredients. Combine well.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 1-2 hours.


Crock Pot Brats

I found this recipe in one of my Gooseberry Patch cookbooks (remember those??) and thought it sounded easier than grilling because I don’t know how to do that nor do I want to learn. LISTEN- I already do enough shit around here, I need to keep my family on their toes. These are so yummy and are a fall staple in my house.



Crock Pot Brats

  • 1 Package Bratwurst
  • 1 Onion (sliced)
  • 2 Cups Apple Juice
  • 4 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Package Brat Buns
  • Condiments (Mustard, Onion, you name it!)
Brown both sides of all of the bratwurst in the package in a skillet. After sides are browned, place into a crock pot.

Top with sliced onion.

In a small bowl, mix together apple juice and dijon mustard, then pour over the brats and onions.

Cook on low for 6-7 hours, making sure they are cooked through before eating.


Mom’s Italian Beef

I had never heard of nor had I eaten a “beef” before moving to the Chicago area from rural Ohio. It was actually 2001 that I had Italian Beef for the first time, some 11 years after moving here, at a birthday party where Portillo’s Italian Beef was catered in. I was in love. But there is nothing like a good homemade Italian Beef recipe and my mom has an amazing one.

Mom’s Italian Beef

  • 1 3-4 Pound Rump Roast
  • 1 Packet Dry Italian Seasoning
  • 2 Cans Beef Stock
  • 2 Teaspoons Each Marjoram and Oregano
  • 4 Garlic Cloves (Smashed a little to get the flavor out)
  • 1 Jar Giardiniera (Juice and all)
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Rolls for serving
  • 2 Packages Provolone or Mozzarella Cheese Slices (The more cheese, the better is my life motto)
Put everything in the crockpot with the exception of the rolls and the cheese slices.

Cook on low at least 10 hours. It’s okay if it is in longer as it can be in the crock pot as long as 14 hours.

When done, pull out the bay leaf and with two forks, shred the beef right in the crockpot.

Put on heated crusty rolls and top with the provolone.

If desired, put under the broiler for just a few minutes to melt the cheese.



Italian Sausage and Penne Pasta

Another Gooseberry Patch recipe, I have made this pasta dish for many years. It smells so damn good while it is cooking, you will want to eat the air.  This is yummy with penne pasta or any kind of pasta for that matter. You could also omit the pasta altogether and just make this for Italian Sausage sandwiches too.

Crock Pot Italian Sausage and Penne Pasta

  • 1 Package Italian Sausage Links, Raw (Cut into bite-size pieces)
  • 1 Whole Red pepper (Chopped)
  • 1 Whole Yellow or White Onion (Chopped)
  • 1 28 Ounce Jar/ Can Spaghetti Sauce
  • 6 Ounce Penne Pasta or any other pasta (Cooked)
Stir together all ingredients except for the pasta in a crock pot. Cover and cook on low 7 hours. Stir in pasta before serving.


Cheese and Broccoli Soup

I have shared this soup before on the blog but it needs to be mentioned again because it is honestly the best broccoli cheese soup I have ever tasted and yes, it is 100 times better than Panera.

The Best Broccoli Cheese Soup Ever

  • 8 Ounces Velveeta (can use the low-fat version) (Cubed)
  • 2 Cans Cream of Celery Soup
  • 1 Pint Half and Half
  • 2 10 Ounce Packages Frozen Chopped Broccoli
Cube the Velveeta, then add all of the ingredients to your crock pot.

Cook on low 4-6 hours.

What are some of your favorite crockpot recipes? Let me know in the comments (links to pins or even the whole recipe!) because I need some new ones!


18 thoughts on “My All-Time Favorite Crock Pot Recipes”

  1. Whoop, whoop. I actually know how to make things in a crock pot. I’m so happy you shared these Kari, I’m always on the hunt for new recipes to try. Your Mom’s Italian Beef recipe sounds sooooooo yummy


  2. All of the recipes look so delicious… I have to try most of them 🙂 Thank you for sharing at Sweet Inspiration Link Party 🙂


  3. Written for me b/c I hate to cook. Not saying I can’t…just hate doing it. Give me a toilet to clean instead…haha. Or a garden bed to weed…anything but cooking, so I’ll have to give some of these a try.


  4. I really like these crock pot recipes… will have to try! I admit my favorite crock pot recipe when I was working (I’ve retired) was brisket, as it could stand being in the pot for 11 or so hours cooking while I commuted back and forth, and worked 9 or so hours. Most foods don’t really hold up like that! At least, I don’t have to crock pot like that anymore!


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