By Pamm Clark

There are so many things you can prepare in the crock pot that you may not have thought about. I've known about soups, stews, roasts and casserole dishes, but I hadn't thought about vegetables, baked potatoes, meatballs, or rice. I hadn't thought about a crock pot as something to reheat in either.

    From my online friend, Debra:
One thing that has helped me out with meals and prep time is my little 2 quart crock pots. I have gotten them at the day after Thanksgiving blitz at Wal-Mart. They are perfect for putting your veggies in first thing in the morning and they are ready by lunch time.

I had thought about pre-making main courses, but hadn't thought about pre-making veggies. What a grand idea! I started researching and trying different things I could prepare in the crock pot.

If you aren't a morning person, then maybe preparing these items in the evening and putting them in the refrigerator would be better for you than getting it together first thing in the morning. For me, as long as I have a plan, I can follow it, even when I'm not quite awake. The most important tool in pre-planing meals is a planned menu.

NOTE: Using your crock pot is very energy efficient!

Vegetables & Sides
Canned Vegetables Frozen Vegetables Colleen's Potatoes
Baked Potatoes Wild Rice
Easy Main Dishes
Hot Dogs Breakfast Sausage Vienna Sausage
Burritos Easy Chicken Soup Barb's Tomato Soup
Lemon Chicken Chunks Meatballs Hamburgers
Beans & Franks Hard-cooked Eggs
Main Dishes
Crock Pot Pizza Meatloaf Crock Pot Cheeseburger
Macaroni And Cheese Rice & Chicken Easy Spaghetti
Orange Chicken Meatballs & Noodles
Heat & Reheat
Ideas on what else you can use your crock pot to prepare.

Vegetables & Sides

Canned Vegetables: Open a can (or two if you have a larger group) of canned vegetables (carrots, corn, peas, green beans, yams, etc.) Pour out about half the water and put the rest in your mini-crock pot. Add a pat of butter or margarine and season to taste (we like seasoning salt or celery salt). Cook on low for 2 to 4 hours.

Frozen Vegetables: Put desired amount of frozen veggies in small crock pot. Add a little water, a pat of butter or margarine, and season to taste. Cook on low for 2 to 4 hours.

Colleen's Potatoes: I had some large baking potatoes and I cut them up into small cubes. I placed them into the crock pot with a small amount of water, some butter, pepper, crushed garlic, and some season salt. I started them about 8am this morning to be ready for noon and they were AWESOME!

Crock-Pot Baked Potatoes: Prick pots with fork. Wrap them in foil. Fill Crock-Pot with 6 to 12 potatoes. Cover. Go away. Cook on Low 8 to 10 hours (High: 2 1/2 to 4 hours]. Come back. Don't you dare add water!

Wild Rice

1 1/2 C uncooked long grain rice
1/2 C uncooked wild rice
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 Tbsp parsley (optional)
4 C water
1 bunch green onions, chopped
8 oz fresh or canned mushrooms, sliced
1/4 C butter or margarine, melted

Combine all ingredients. Pour into lightly greased slow cooker. Cover & cook on high 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Easy Main Dishes

Hot Dogs: Because I worry about choking with the toddlers, I cut hot dogs length-wise, then into chunks, but for older kids you could leave them whole. Add hot dogs and a tablespoon of water to crock pot. Cook on low for 2 to 4 hours. They came out perfectly 'roasted'!

Breakfast Sausage: Put thawed or frozen breakfast sausage links or patties in crock pot. Add a tablespoon of water. Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours.

Vienna Sausage: Drain off some liquid from Vienna sausage can and dump some liquid with the sausages into the crock pot. Cook on low for 2 hours.

Burritos: Put frozen burritos in crock pot and sprinkle the tops with a teaspoon or so of water or vegetable oil. Cook on low about 2 hours.

Easy Chicken Soup: Add to crock pot--chicken broth, canned or frozen vegetables, canned or leftover cooked & chopped chicken, prepared noodles.

Barb's Tomato Soup: I put a couple cans of tomato soup in my crock pot. To make it easier for the kids to eat I don't usually add water so its not as runny. Today I added about half a can of water and about a cup of elbow noodles dry and put it on low for three hours and it was just right. The kids gobbled it all up. ~Barb in Ontario

Lemon Chicken Chunks: Cut uncooked boneless, skinless chicken into bite-sized chunks. Add to crock pot with one or two tablespoons each of olive oil, lemon juice, a teaspoon of garlic powder, and a dash of pepper. Cook on low for 2 hours.

Meatballs: Put frozen meatballs in crock pot (either store bought or some that you've made ahead). If desired, add brown gravy or spaghetti sauce (or just leave them plain). Cook on low 2 to 4 hours.

Hamburgers: Place frozen hamburgers in crock pot. Cook on low 3 to 4 hours.

Beans & Franks: Add cut-up hot dogs to cans of pork and beans. Heat on low for 2 hours.

Hardcooked Eggs: Put 3 to 6 eggs (straight from the refrigerator) into the slow cooker and cover with lukewarm water (about 3 to 4 cups water in a 3 1/2-quart pot). Cover and cook on low for about 3 1/2 hours.

Main Dishes

Crock Pot Pizza
From Debra

1 1/2 pounds hamburger meat
1 jar spaghetti sauce (16 oz)
1 jar pizza sauce
1 bag wide egg noodles
1 package pepperoni or Canadian bacon
1 package shredded mozzarella cheese
1 package shredded Swiss cheese

Brown hamburger meat (can add chopped onion and/or bell pepper if you choose), drain. Add pizza and spaghetti sauce to hamburger and simmer. Cook noodles as directed (I add chicken bullion cube to the water to cook the noodles in, it adds flavor to the noodles). Lightly spray crock pot with cooking spray. Layer ingredients in crock pot in this order: hamburger mixture, noodles, cheese and pepperoni. Repeat layers until crock pot is full. Cook on low till cheese melts. (approximately 2 - 3 hours)

Meatloaf: Mix in bowl: 2 lbs ground beef (I used 1 lb. ground beef and 1 lb ground pork), 2 beaten eggs, 2/3 cup oats, 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce, and 1 envelope onion soup mix. Shape in a loaf and put in crock pot on low for 6-8 hours. I put ours on high and it was done in about 4-5 hours. **Notes: If you don't have onion soup mix, use onions or dried onion flakes and other seasonings. If you don't have spaghetti sauce, use tomato sauce and add seasonings. If you don't have oats, use crushed saltines. If you only have one pound ground meat, cut the recipe in half. It's easy to improvise.

Cheeseburger in the Crock Pot
From Debbie

1 lb. extra lean ground beef
3 Tbsp. ketchup
2 tsp. yellow mustard
2 cups cubed pasteurized process American cheese
10 hamburger buns

Cook ground beef in large skillet until thoroughly cooked, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently to break meat up into small pieces. Drain beef thoroughly. Combine in slow cooker with ketchup and mustard and mix well. Top with cubed cheese. Cover crock pot and cook on low for 3-4 hours. Stir beef mixture gently. Serve beef mixture in hamburger buns.

Macaroni And Cheese

8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
4 cups(16 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Place the cooked macaroni in crock pot that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Add the remaining ingredients, all except 1 cup of the cheese, mix well. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of cheese and then cover and cook on low setting for 5 to 6 hours or until the mixture is firm and golden around the edges. Do not remove the cover or stir until it has finished cooking.

Brown Rice And Chicken

1 c. diced cooked chicken
2 onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 c. cooked brown rice
2 c. chicken broth

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours or on high 4 to 5 hours.

Easy Does It Spaghetti

1 lb. ground chuck
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (8 oz each) cans tomato sauce
1 to 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained
3 c. tomato juice
6 oz. dry spaghetti, broken into 4 to 5 inch pieces

Brown ground chuck in skillet, drain and put in Crock-Pot. Add all remaining ingredients except dry spaghetti; stir well. Cover; cook on Low 6 to 8 hours (High: 3 to 5 hours). Turn to high last hour and stir in dry spaghetti. 4 servings.

Orange Chicken

6 Chicken breasts -- boned and skinned
1/2 teaspoon Ginger
1 teaspoon Salt
8 ounces Frozen concentrate orange juice
1 1/2 cups Shredded coconut
2 cups Orange segments or canned, mandarin oranges
2 Green onions, chopped

Put chicken, ginger, salt, pepper and frozen orange juice in crock pot and cook on low 6 hours. Serve chicken on hot cooked rice on platter. Top with coconut, orange segments and green onions. Serve chicken liquid in gravy boat, if desired.

Meatballs & Noodles
From Jennifer

My kids' favorite: 2 boxes of Noodle-Roni (I stock up when they go on sale), add several handfuls of frozen meatballs when you add the noodles, and you have a complete meal everyone loves. Sometimes I add chopped broccoli to make it a one-pot meal. Note: I stopped using the olive oil flavor - the noodles were really slippery, making it harder for the little ones to eat. We like the parmesan flavor.

Pamm's Note: Make the noodles and mix with the frozen meatballs (add broccoli if you want to), then put in the crockpot with a little extra water for 3 hours, stirring every half hour. The meatballs will defrost and everything heated through.

Heat & Reheat


Breast Milk & Formula
Canned Stew
Chunky Soups
Canned Chili


Spaghetti Sauce
Fried Rice
Mac 'N Cheese

You can find more of my favorite crockpot recipes on my Crockpot page.

More recipe sites:


All praise and glory go to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Apart from Him, I could do nothing. (John 15:5)