The slow cooker has become a staple in most homes for flavorful fish and decadent slow-roasted meats—both of which require minimum prep and almost no stovetop cooking time. Though you might consider a faithful crockpot your favorite kitchen appliance, there are a ton of new ways to harness its potential beyond chilli and pulled pork. To help you take advantage of it’s slow cooking powers, here are five perfect crockpot recipes that will have you and your family loving mealtime once again.
Lemon Pepper Tilapia with Asparagus
This healthy, light recipe by The Crockin’ Girls features buttery Tilapia fillets with a zesty, lemon twist. As a recipe with only five ingredients, the slow cooker is really put to work to develop robust flavors—plus the foil packets are a neat take on more typical recipes. This is quite possibly the easiest (and tastiest!) slow-cooker dish you can whip up.
- 1 bundle of asparagus
- 4-6 Tilapia fillets, frozen or thawed
- 8-12 tablespoons lemon juice
- Lemon pepper seasoning
- 1/2 tablespoon butter for each fillet
- Cut a piece of foil for each fillet.
- Divide the bundle of asparagus evenly by the number of fillets you’re making.
- Lay fillet onto the piece of foil and evenly sprinkle it with 1 teaspoon of lemon pepper seasoning and the juice of half of a lemon. Add butter.
- Top with asparagus.
- Fold the foil over the fish, then fold the ends together to seal it.
- Repeat for all of the fillets, then place in the slow cooker on high for two hours if the fish is thawed or three hours if the fish is frozen.
This recipe from Canadian Living does a classic justice. The creamy chowder is exactly what you’ll want to come home to after a long day at work and it’s also perfect to reheat for the next day’s lunch. It’s filling, comforting and packs flavor into every spoonful.
- Half bulb fennel, cored and diced
- 2 yellow-fleshed potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 rib celery, diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 bottle clam juice
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 3 tablespoon (45 mL) cornstarch
- 675 grams skinless salmon fillets, cut in 3/4-inch chunks
- 24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 5 sea scallops, halved horizontally
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Add fennel, potatoes, onion, celery, bay leaves, thyme, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, clam juice and two cups of water to the slow cooker and stir it all together.
- Cook on low for about eight hours, at this point the potatoes and fennel should be tender.
- Remove the bay leaves.
- In a bowl, whisk together cornstarch and cream until the mix is smooth, then stir it into the slow cooker. Add scallops, shrimp and salmon. Cook the chowder on high for about 30 minutes. Fish should be flaky and chowder should be slightly thickened.
Salmon Fillets and Asian-Style Vegetables
Who knew you could make delicious Asian cuisine in a slow cooker? Try out this recipe by Simple Nourished Living and you’ll experience the wonderful flavors of your favorite cuisine without having to master the art and technique of Asian cooking. The perfect balance of sweet and salty, you’ll have a hard time convincing your family this isn’t take-out.
- 10 ounces salmon fillets
- 1 package frozen Asian stir fry vegetable blend (12 to 16 ounces)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, optional
- Add frozen vegetables to the slow cooker as the base.
- Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper to taste and place on top of vegetables.
- Mix together soy sauce, honey and lemon juice then drizzle it over the salmon and vegetables.
- Add sesame seeds on top.
- Cook on low for 2-3 hours depending on how well-done you enjoy your salmon.
- Serve with brown rice and make sure to drizzle all the sauce from the slow cooker over the fish.
If you’re not a fan of creamy chowder, then a seafood stew might be for you. This recipe from Slow Cooker Gourmet explores all sorts of delectable flavors—from spicy to tangy and everything in between. It’s a filling soup that’ll have your family asking for seconds (or thirds) even after they’re full. It’s just that good!
- 1 can (28oz) crushed tomatoes
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2-3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 pound dutch baby potatoes or other white/yellow baby potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 medium onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 pounds seafood
- Add everything except for the seafood into the slow cooker and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6 hours. The potatoes should be cooked all the way through at this point.
- Add seafood and cook for 30-60 minutes on high heat.
- Serve with a side of bread for a hearty meal.
Shrimp scampi is traditionally cooked on the stove, but when you have a big family to feed, cooking large quantities can be time consuming, finicky and involve more burners than your trusty stove can offer. This recipe from LiveStrong ditches the stovetop for the slow cooker so you have more time to spend relaxing with family while the crockpot does the work for you.
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 2 teaspoons parsley, minced
- 1 pound large raw shrimp, 16- to 20-count, thawed
- In the slow cooker, mix together chicken broth, white wine, lemon juice, olive oil, chopped garlic and minced fresh parsley.
- Add thawed shrimp. The ratio should be one pound of shrimp for every 1/4 cup of broth and 1/2 cup of wine.
- With the lid on, cook on low for 2-1/2 hours or on high for 1-1/2 hours.
- To serve, first remove the shrimp and place them into bowls. Then pour the remaining mixture over it evenly.
Using a crockpot is a great way to free up time for yourself while also letting your favorite ingredients—from Tilapia to thyme—shine. Especially when you’re cooking for a big family, any one of these recipes promises a delicious meal you can enjoy with the people you love.