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5 Beginner Crockpot Meals that anyone can make

You have heard it before–one way to get dinner on the table with no fuss is to use a crockpot. If you're not sure where to start, or your slow cooker still sitting in the cabinet unused, now is your chance! These 5 beginner crockpot meals are the best way to start.

With simple meals like this, you'll gain the confidence to feed your family easily and frugally. Then you can move on to all kinds of slow cooker meals.

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White crockpot on kitchen counter - beginner crockpot meals

All of these Beginner Crockpot Meals can be cooked in either a 4-quart or 6-quart slow cooker, depending on the size of your family (or the crowd you're feeding!).

Are these easy slow cooker meals for beginners?

Yes! One of the best ways to start using your slow cooker is to find super-easy recipes like these. Some only have 2-3 ingredients. Plus, they're all “dump” recipes, which means you just load the crock with the ingredients, stir, and turn on the heat.

Shredded chicken taco meat with shredded cheese and lettuce in bowls - beginner slow cooker meals

5 Beginner Crockpot Meals

Shredded Tacos

It doesn't get any easier than this! Combine 2 lbs of boneless chicken or pork with a jar of salsa (or a can of tomatoes w/green chiles), and cook on low all day for 6-8 hours.

Turn off the heat and use two forks to shred the tender meat. Serve with tortillas or over rice along with your favorite taco toppings: tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, and black beans.

A sandwich with slow cooker bbq chicken with grapes on a plate.

BBQ Sandwiches

Again, choose from 2 lbs of boneless chicken or pork, and combine with a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce. If you prefer to avoid processed foods, you can make your own (rather than simmer as in that recipe, just mix in the crockpot before adding your meat).

Cook on low for 8-10 hours, then use two forks to shred the meat. Add extra sauce if desired, then serve on buns alongside a salad or your family's favorite veggie.

Chicken or Pork Teriyaki

This time, combine chicken or pork with a bottle of teriyaki sauce or teriyaki marinade (if you prefer homemade or need gluten-free, make your own). Cook on low 8-10 hours, and use two forks to shred.

Serve over rice with a side veggie. Another option is to toss a bag of broccoli slaw in for the last 30 minutes of cook time, as we like to do.

Hand sprinkling cheese and bacon on baked potato

Baked Potato Bar

Not just for parties, my family loves this meal, too. Wash as many baking potatoes (we like Russets) as you need, and prick each with a fork. Wrap individually in foil, then place in crockpot and cook for 8-10 hours on low.

Serve with an assortment of baked potato toppings like cooked broccoli, shredded cheese, sour cream, bacon bits, chives, or even chili.

Pepperoncini Beef

Just two ingredients again–a 3 lb beef roast (such as chuck or bottom round) and a 16oz jar of pepperoncini peppers. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, then shred. Serve over mashed potatoes, in a sub roll, or even on top of a salad. Delish!

Whether you're a beginner crockpot cook or a veteran like me, easy time-saving recipes are key to getting a healthy meal on the table on busy nights.

Italian beef with banana peppers in a white bowl

Want more slow cooker and crockpot meals?

Follow my Slow Cooker & Crockpot board on Pinterest. Then, try these:

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Natalie Patalie

Thursday 8th of May 2014

This really is something I could do, hahah! I recently got a crock pot SPECIFICALLY because I suck at cooking. This is perfect!

Gina

Thursday 8th of May 2014

Natalie, YOU are exactly why I wrote this post. These are the easiest recipes out there, and yet they're delicious!

Sarah

Tuesday 4th of March 2014

Totally Pinned this!! Great reminder for me to get the crock pot back out. I've been meaning to try it with baked potatoes. Thanks!!!

Elaine

Monday 24th of February 2014

Wow, this is about as easy as they get. Thank you, Gina!

Sheila Dunning

Friday 21st of February 2014

I don't use my crockpot enough, but when I do I love it! One of our family favorites is Buffalo Chicken Slider...chicken breast, Frank's Wing Sauce and a packet of ranch dressing. I think I cook it for at least 6 hours then shred it and put it on whole wheat hamburger rolls and a smear of blue cheese dressing. So delish! Thanks for the easy recipes!

Gina

Friday 21st of February 2014

Yum! That sounds great, too.

Dee Williamson

Wednesday 19th of February 2014

I think I love my crock pot THAT much more. I use it quite a bit. I came across a recipe with the pepperoncini and chuck roast, but I like yours better. It doesn't call for the butter or the ranch seasoning mix (which contains MSG)

Thanks for sharing!

Gina

Friday 21st of February 2014

I've also just found a great make-your-own ranch seasoning mix. I like to make this and taco seasoning and just keep it in the pantry. It's cheaper and healthier than the packages: http://savingslifestyle.com/2014/02/homemade-ranch-dressing-dry-mix/