Food

What’s In Your Slow Cooker? #askingforafriend

Advantages of Slow Cooker Meals:

I am a huge fan of using a slow cooker all year round. The big draw is that I can get dinner prep out of the way early, set it and forget it. The slow cooker does all of the heavy lifting. Long, low temperatures help flavours to pop and tenderize meats and vegetables. As an added bonus, slow cookers use less electricity than an oven and kick off far less heat.

Our slow cooker pot can be lifted out of its electric base and makes a perfect serving dish. Win-win!

Donna’s Dilemma

My ongoing dilemma is finding new, tasty slow cooker recipes that go far beyond the standard chilli. Thus the reason for this post. I am hoping that you will be willing to share one of your favourite slow cooker recipes. In return, I’m happy to share one of mine.

My co-host, Deb, and I have been taking a local course together on Wednesday mornings. I invited her over for lunch immediately following one of our recent classes. That meant that either Richard prepared lunch or the slow cooker did.

Despite his incredible culinary talents, Richard voted for the latter!

Vietnamese Chicken Meatball Soup

I came across this recipe and decided to give it a go. I prepared everything the night before and added it all to the slow cooker in the morning.


  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 serrano peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 pound ground chicken
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 small onion, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup bok choy leaves, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1 cup fresh baby carrots, julienned
  • 1 cup julienned roasted sweet red peppers
  • 3 serrano peppers, julienned
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs, optional
  • 1 large egg, beaten
    Full Recipe from Taste of Home

The Verdict

Here’s what our lunch looked like in the closeups. We ended our meal by playing another round of Universal Yums, this time with a snack box from Korea. Deb and I agreed that this snack box was the best yet. Richard (who has been a Guest Judge for two rounds) liked it too!

Behind the Scenes Trivia

As I frequently write my posts in advance (nerd alert!), this edition was written three weeks ago following our first “after-course lunch”. I was super keen to get everything just right. For our second after-course lunch, I served leftover Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry. Deb didn’t seem to mind being served our scraps…remnants…er, I mean make-shift lunch. She even asked for the recipe. These facts combined led me to a little meal-prep laziness for our third lunch. Deb wrote about that here. In case you are wondering, she is not only witty and very, very funny, every word that she wrote is true…even the geeky questions that I asked.

Please Share

So, back to my opening request. If you have a favourite slow cooker recipe, I’d love for you to share it in the comments or as a linkup. As this is our monthly What’s On Your Plate, Deb and I invite you to link with a post on any food-related topic. We hope to see you here!

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81 thoughts on “What’s In Your Slow Cooker? #askingforafriend”

  1. Hi Donna – years ago … in the 1970s – my father bought one, my parents had separated, and he made a meal – I wasn’t that thrilled … he might have continued to use it – me I carried on cooking (We were both in London, or home at weekends). I still can’t get to grips with one – but perhaps only cooking for me I can understand people having better options now – lots of changes in food availability. I do hope blogging friends come up trumps for you. The Korean box sounds interesting – cheers Hilary

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  2. I like slow cookers too. I use them for my basic minestrone soup and pot roast is marvelous in it. Last time I hosted our family reunion, I put a large pork shoulder in overnight and the pulled pork was so tender. Most of my recipes are not exactly written anywhere. They are more of the what do I have here variety. I much prefer prepping in the morning.

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  3. Hi Donna we love our slow cooker too! Mike makes a delicious mediterranean style slow cook each week when I’m minding my grandsons. I come home to a delicious dinner and there is usually enough leftovers for another meal. I also use my slow cooker to make my Christmas pudding which I’ve linked up for #WOYP this month. x

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    1. Thanks, Sue – Any Mediterranean style food always gets my attention. Your Christmas Pudding looks delicious. I love that you make Christmas recipes from your mom. I have never asked my mom for any of her recipes but will do so now.

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  4. Hi Donna – we use our crockpot (slow cooker) a bit in winter – mainly for casseroles and I’m the cheap date type who uses a can of soup as the base and just adds whatever meat and veg etc to that. I popped over and read Deb’s post + her other one about her birthday that you failed on too – she must really like you to keep coming back for more 😀 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love my crockpot and use it all the time. Some of my favorite recipes are chili, white bean chicken chili, barbacoa, carnitas, taco soup, pot roast, and beef stew. All of these freeze well and I usually have leftovers in my freezer.

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  6. I, too, love using a slow cooker and do so at least once a week. Generally, I make some kind of bean or lentil soup. Have a lentil soup recipe to share and will try to remember to share it either tomorrow or Friday. Bon appetit!

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  7. That Vietnamese soup looks and sounds delicious, Donna. If we would have more space in our camper, I think we’d buy a slow cooker as well. Now, the tiny, electric oven we bought and installed will do that job as it runs on only 130Watts and goes up 350 degrees. 🙂

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  8. That soup was delicious, as were all your other lunches (no joking this time!). I love the crockpot too! Most of my beloved crockpot recipes involve chunks of beef or pork so not your cup of tea. I made your slow cooker curry and got rave reviews from the family – that recipe is a keeper!

    At this time of year, I’ve been known to make mulled cider in the crockpot but there really isn’t a recipe per se for that. Put cider in a pot, throw in purchased mulling spice, or cinnamon sticks and orange slices studded with cloves. Works with wine as well, from what I can remember 😉🤣.

    Deb

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  9. I need to make better use of our slow cooker. Between your recipes and those shared in the comments, I have a good start!

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  10. Donna,
    We lived by the Crock Pot during our working years, and with two always-hungry boys to feed, it was an essential appliance in our home. The recipe below was a favorite of the men in our house, and Helen loved it because it is so simple and makes plenty of leftovers. In addition to the ingredients shown, I sometimes sautee mushrooms in red wine and add them at the end. I apologize for using so much space in your comments. It was easier to add a photo than re-type. Both recipes above look fabulous!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Fun post, Donna! I should use my crock pot more often. I used to make the best split pea soup in it. We now have a ninja foodie multicooker and that thing is truly amazing! There are plenty of recipes and instructions online to try. I love the pic of Richard tossing the dough! He looks like a pro!

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  12. Hi Donna, I use the slow cooker during winter and could also do with some help with recipes so I’ll be watching the comment section closely! Your posts are always entertaining and informative, I learn a lot from you in so many ways 🙂

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  13. That soups looks yummy! I don’t use my slow cooker nearly as often as I should (it’s stored high on a shelf and easily forgotten). I have a few go-tos I make, but one of my favorites is Chicken Tortilla Soup. If you are interested, I’m happy to share.

    And, speaking of sharing, here’s my newest short story I wrote for WOYP? I’ll also try leaving a link in the linky thing.

    Making Room at the Table

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    1. Hi, Janis – I would definitely love your recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup. Deb and I have one more course together so I could make this for her then! I am off to read your short story now. So cool that you wrote it for #WOYPBC. I am honoured! ❤

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  14. Are you familiar with the Michaels Soup mixes from Duncan? They are usually displayed in a wooden shelf in Thriftys. You can do them all in an instant pot or slow cooker. You have to buy some fresh ingredients to some of the dishes. I like the instant pot because i can fry onions in it. I have separated out the packages into half portions and written out the shopping list for half portions. My favourite is Rockin Moroccan and the pea soup mix but they are all very tasty.

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  15. I love my slow cooker. Many of the recipes I make are just off the top of my head, I’m an impulsive cook. I do have a copy of Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger that I refer to often. Lots of wonderful recipes and ideas in there.

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    1. Thanks for this tip, Ally. I just checked our local library. They have a copy of Beth’s book about 100 dishes that you can make in your rice cooker but they don’t have the book that you mentioned. I will look for it in our second hand book stores.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. The most frequent use of the slow cooker here is for baked beans using a modified recipe for pineapple beans from Jean Pare’s Company’s Coming Barbecue book. I start with dry beans that have been soaked overnight then just keep adding ingredients to taste but it does include worcestershire (what’s this here sauce) sauce, liquid smoke, molasses, dry mustard, crushed pineapple. There’s a brisked lanquishing in the freezer that will very likely end up in the slow cooker if it fits. “Tis the season for mulled cider. Again, no real recipe. Cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, orange slices are added to a mixture of cranberry & apple juice. Great with a splash of apricot brandy.

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  17. Thank you, Donna. I very much under-utilize my slow cooker — although it’s the absolute star of Thanksgiving with my [its] vegetarian stuffing from Show Me The Yummy. I will definitely try the recipe you kindly shared!

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing this, Sandy. I have tried Jello Salads and Cheese Balls but am not a huge fan of either. I have never heard of Noodle Kugel before (seriously, who names these things?). I’ve had shredded chicken in the crock pot but only cooked in a light broth and mild spices. I’m trying to imagine the addition of creamed soup and potato chips. I’d definitely try it…at least once! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi Donna, I have 2 slow cookers. The big one us for the crowd meals; Sunday sauce and meatballs, pulled pork, chowders, and a big pot of split pea soup. The small one is for a meal and next day lunch, a chicken, beef or seafood stew usually. Presently, I am in time crunch mode between book launch and the holidays. I will be back on challenge track after the new year and look forward to sharing and reading more fun with food.

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  19. Pulled pork is the only thing we use ours for regularly. Very underutilized. I think my mom’s less than stellar cooking in hers turned me off. I usually make my soup in the oven in a BIG pot.

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    1. Hi, Bernie – You are the second commenter to mention their parent’s ‘not so great’ slow cooker meals. I’ve always found crockpot recipes to be more flexible and forgiving. I wonder if crockpot meals have changed significantly over time.

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  20. It sounds like you do know how to get dinner sorted with a slow cooker, Donna. I haven’t got a slow cooker but I heard you can make all kinds of things in there, from stews to soups to cake and bread. So I think you will have a lot of things to try with your slow cooker. I’d suggest try to source the freshest ingredients possibly that are in season and take it from there. When I meal prep, I also like to take a moment to feel what I actually want to it – that is, cook what I feel like eating 🙂

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