Not everyone gets the point of using a slow cooker where the most ordinary recipes take hours to cook! However, if you want to come home to a ready-to-eat hot meal or wake up to a steaming serving of breakfast, there’s no better option than a slow-cooker. 

A lot of people think slow cookers are only good for soups and sauces, but there are many more dishes that you can cook in this unique kitchen utensil. It might take a few hours to cook anything in a slow cooker, but all the ingredients are thoroughly cooked – which means you will get the most nutrition out of every single item you put inside the cooker.

So, as mentioned before – there’s no limit to what you can cook in your slow cooker. In fact, here is a lit of 15 surprising recipes that you can try in your slow cooker today.

 1. Slow Cooker Pumpkin Dump Cake 

This is an easy recipe from Simply Stacie requires a preparation of 5 minutes and a cook time of 4 hours, and only needs a handful of ingredients. Pumpkin dump cake is a spicy cake that you can even serve when you have company coming; it can keep on cooking in your slow cooker while you concentrate on the appetizers or the main dish. 

2. Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes 

Another side dish that you can prepare in your slow cooker is mashed potatoes – which would actually be a convenience. While your steak is being prepared in the grill or on the stove, the mashed potatoes will be slowly cooking on the side. With this recipe from Fluxing Well, it takes around 3 hours or more to make a batch of perfect mashed potatoes. 

3. Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken 

Chicken doesn’t take a lot of time to cook, but they need to be stirred a lot so that the pieces don’t burn. However, if you cook your chicken in a slow cooker, it might take hours for the cooking to be completed, but you won’t need to stir anything. At all. This delicious recipe from Mommy Knows What’s Best is best served with any kind of rice. 

4. Crock Pot Refried Beans 

There aren’t a lot of delicious recipes available when it comes to beans, but this is one. It doesn’t require much to prepare this bean recipe from Beyond the Chicken Coop beside pinto beans, onions, garlic cloves and jalapeno pepper. The recipe takes about 6 hours to cook which means you’ll be able to come home to a ready meal. 

5. Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken

This is another chicken recipe that’s served best over rice. With this recipe from Swirls Off Flavor, you can cook an unique chicken dish in your slow cooker with just a few chicken thighs, taco seasoning mix, Salsa Verde sauce and some fresh Cilantro. It takes 5 minutes to prepare this meal but 8 hours to cook, welcoming you home with a ready-to-eat dish. 

6. Slow Cooker Mexican Macaroni and Cheese  

Macaroni and Cheese is supposed to be a quick affair, but this widely popular meal can also be cooked in a slow cooker. The recipe is almost the same as regular Mac & Cheese, but this recipe from Snappy Gourmet takes 1.5 hours to cook. 

7. Slow Cooker Skirt Steak (Carne Asada)  

If you love your meat to be tender, the best option is to cook it in your slow cooker. This recipe from The Cookware Geek cooks 500 grams of skirt steak with some Worcestershire sauce and an assortment of spices. The recipe takes 6 hours to cook but will give you the most tender meat you’ve ever had. 

8. Crock Pot Ranch Style Beans 

Your slow cooker can make your ordinary bean recipes taste absolutely delicious, and this one isn’t an exception. Everyone will love this amazing Ranch style bean recipe from Eating On a Dime with Pinto beans, tomato paste, dried marjoram and some herbs and spices. It takes 8 hours to slowly cook this meal to perfection, so that you have a hot dinner waiting for you at home. 

9. Slow Cooker Gingerbread Cake  

This is a fancy and rich cake recipe that you won’t need an oven for! Yes, you can make this spicy and sweet gingerbread cake in your very own slow cooker, according to this recipe from Maria’s Mixing Bowl. This cake recipe is sweetened with brown sugar and molasses and uses plenty of butter in it, making it a holiday favorite. 

10. The World’s Creamiest Most Delicious Hot Chocolate 

Now, who’s surprised? Yes, you can make an amazing hot chocolate for the holidays in your slow cooker using only the basic ingredients: milk, heavy cream, condensed milk and chocolate chips. The cooking time, according to this recipe from Saving Talents is two hours, but your hot chocolate will stay steaming hot for hours inside the slow cooker. 

11. Slow Cooker Coffee Cake 

Another cake recipe that you can easily make in your slow cooker – a coffee cake with all the usual ingredients for a cake, including a box of yellow cake. It doesn’t take more than 30 minutes to cook this cake, according to this recipe from The Country Chic Cottagebut your cake will stay warm inside for hours until you are ready to serve it. 

12. Amazing Pork Loin in the Crock Pot Every Time 

An one-pot recipe for pork loin where you won’t have to dirty any other dish; you can cook between three to five pounds of pork in your slow cooker at a time. When cooked on low, this recipe from On My Kid’s Plate takes 6 hours to cook, but the food will be kept warm for hours after that. A single dish will serve 8 people with 3 to 4 pounds of pork and a little amount of broth.  

13. Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Soup 

Of course, no list about slow cookers will be complete without a recipe for soup. This particular recipe from The Inspiration Edit uses two chicken breasts and some vegetables to make a thick and filling soup, with some all-purpose flour and a lot of butter for added thickness and flavor. It takes 15 minutes to add all the ingredients together and a total of 5 hours for the soup to be ready. 

14. Puerto Rican Slow Cooker Turkey Chili 

It’s not just chicken and pork that can be cooked in a slow cooker, but turkey as well. In this recipe from Latina Mom Mealskidney beans, corn, tomatoes and lean turkey comes together to make a delicious chili recipe in just over 2 hours. This Puerto Rican dish is also popular in Hispanic and Spanish cuisines, and is best served with rice. 

15. Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes and Ham 

This is an amazing potatoes-and-ham recipe from The Cozy Cook that you can cook in a large volume for not just your immediate family, but for a crowd. It can be the side dish or the main dish, or anything you want it to be – breakfast, lunch or dinner. On low, it takes 8 to 9 hours for this dish to be ready to eat, so that you have lots of time on your hand for concentrating on your other dishes. 

So as you can see – you can cook a lot more dishes than just soups and casseroles in your Slow Cooker! When you have time on your hands but not the manpower, your main dish or your side dish can be calmly cooking in your Slow Cooker, ready and steaming hot for serving. It might take a slow cooker a long time to cook your meals, but they are cooked to perfection.