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4 Ingredient Recipes: Slow Cooker Crock Pot Dinners

Updated on August 24, 2016
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Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.

Chicken and dumplings is a classic slow cooker recipe.
Chicken and dumplings is a classic slow cooker recipe. | Source

Slow cookers, also known as crock pots, make it simple to make a healthy dinner with a minimal amount of prep time. Although the meal will take a while to cook, after you put everything together in the pot, you'll barely have to touch it until it's almost dinner time. There are a handful of wonderful slow cooker dinner recipes that have just 4 ingredients. It doesn't get much more simple than that. Happy cooking!

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Tip: Watch the timing the first time that you make a new slow cooker recipe. The time may vary from the time given in the recipe depending on the size and model of your slow cooker. The time may also vary depending on the amount of food that you are preparing. (For example, the recipe may suggest 4-6 pork chops, but you choose to prepare 2-3 instead.)

Do you avoid using your slow cooker because you hate the clean up process? Consider using slow cooker liners.

Most slow cookers are big and can be a chore to clean. If you are not a fan of this process, consider purchasing liners for your slow cooker. They are inexpensive, readily available, and make the clean up process much more simple.

Simple Slow Cooker Tips

You can make stracotto or Italian pot roast in a slow cooker.
You can make stracotto or Italian pot roast in a slow cooker. | Source

Buffalo Chicken

Ingredients: chicken breasts, Frank's buffalo sauce (or other buffalo sauce of your choosing), ranch dip mix, butter

Variations: This recipe would also work well with chicken thighs.

What else you'll need to serve dinner: Nikki recommends serving the shredded chicken on toasted, buttered bread with a cream cheese spread. She includes the recipe for the cream cheese spread that she uses, which consists solely of three kinds of cheese. You could easily customize it to suit your own tastes.

London Broil

Ingredients: flank steak, condensed cream of mushroom soup, condensed tomato soup, dry onion soup mix

Variations: Different cuts of meat, such as top round roast, will also work well. Consider switching up the soups or soup mix slightly if the flavors don't suit your tastes exactly.

What else you'll need to serve dinner: A simple salad or steamed green vegetable and fruit side will complete this meal.

Italian Beef

Ingredients: bottom round beef roast, dry Italian salad dressing mix, pepperoncini peppers, sandwich rolls

Variations: Different cuts of meat, milder and/or sweeter peppers, choice of sandwich rolls.

What else you'll need to serve dinner: A salad (green, potato, or pasta...the possibilities are endless) and your favorite chips or homemade fries will complete this simple dinner any time of year. The Six Sisters recommend baked potato wedges as a compliment to these sandwiches and include a recipe link in their post.

Spinach and Chicken

Ingredients: chicken breasts, frozen spinach, canned diced tomatoes, marinara sauce

Variations: Chicken thighs will also work well. If tomatoes are in season, opt for fresh tomatoes instead of canned. Use your favorite type of store bought or homemade marinara sauce.

What else you'll need to serve dinner: This dish is full of protein and vegetables. Finish the meal off with some fruit.

Kalua Pork

Ingredients: pork butt roast, liquid smoke flavoring, Hawaiian black lava sea salt, Hawaiian alaea sea salt

Variations: You can switch up the cut of pork to suit your preferences. This is a great dish to serve as sandwiches. Sarah recommends using Hawaiian buns and adding tomato slices and fresh spinach.

What else you'll need to serve dinner: Sarah recommends fresh homemade coleslaw and slices of pineapple.

Chicken Chili

Ingredients: chicken breasts, Monterey Jack cheese, salsa, Great Northern beans

Variations: As chili is such a classic slow cooker recipe, you should have no problem finding numerous options for customizing your chili. It is not hard to find simple, readily available substitutions and additional ingredients.

What else you'll need to serve dinner: Chili is delicious served over plain pasta or macaroni and cheese.

Chicken With Stuffing

Ingredients: chicken breasts, Stove Top stuffing mix, sour cream, cream of chicken soup

Variations: Substitute chicken thighs, a different variety of stuffing mix, and/or a different variety of cream soup (i.e. mushroom, celery). You can also cut the calories a little by using light sour cream.

What else you'll need to serve dinner: As this recipe has a classic holiday flare, many people will enjoy holiday sides with it such as sweet potatoes or cranberries.

Barbecue Chicken

Ingredients: chicken breasts, bottled barbecue sauce, Italian dressing, steak sauce

Variations: You can switch up the flavor and spice level with different barbecue and steak sauces.

What else you'll need to serve dinner: Barbecue chicken makes great sandwiches. Serve a salad and chips or fries on the side.

Cafe Rio Pork

Ingredients: pork roast, chunky salsa, Dr. Pepper, brown sugar

Variations: Other dark sodas, such as Coca-Cola, work well. Just make sure to use regular soda instead of diet, as the sugar is a key ingredient for this recipe. Switch up the salsa to suit your tastes.

What else you'll need to serve dinner: The Six Sisters use Cafe Rio pork in sandwiches, salads, burritos, and quesadillas. You can customize the toppings and sides for your dinner as needed, depending on how you serve the meat.

Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast Recipe - How to Make Beef Pot Roast

Chili is another classic slow cooker recipe.
Chili is another classic slow cooker recipe. | Source

Pasta and Meatballs Slow Cooker Recipe

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    • randomcreative profile image
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      Rose Clearfield 7 months ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Happy New Year, Audrey! I don't make a lot of vegetarian recipes, but I'll let you know if I post any!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 7 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      I'm back to review your mouth-watering recipes Rose. If you come up with a vegetarian recipe, crock pot or otherwise, I'd love to see this. Thank you my friend and Happy New Year and good health to you.

      Audrey

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 7 months ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Sounds good!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 7 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Rose. I'll buy some liners this weekend from Target--one box should do for now.

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 7 months ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      That's awesome! Happy cooking!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 7 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      This is a great hub. I just got my crock pot for Christmas today from my brother. I might consider getting liners somewhere down the road. But I love the chicken breast recipes though.

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I'm glad to hear it, Helena! I hope that you get to try some new slow cooker recipes soon.

    • Helena Ricketts profile image

      Helena Ricketts 3 years ago from Indiana

      I don't use my crockpot as much as I used to but this has reminded me how easy these recipes are. I may have to dig it out. :) Thanks for sharing!

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I'm glad that you got some new ideas here, Dolores! It is easy to get into a rut with familiar recipes that everyone likes. I don't take full advantage of all of the recipe options with my slow cooker either.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 3 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Thanks for the recipes. I like the idea of the chicken and stuffing, though I think that I would brown the chicken first. Tonight, we are having soup, now in the slow cooker, just waiting for the homemade bread! I am a fuddy duddy with the slow cooker usually sticking to soups, chili, and stews. I really must branch out!

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      That's great, Anita! Enjoy the new recipes.

    • Anita Coleman profile image

      Anita Coleman 4 years ago from virginia beach

      Love my slow cooker... Making Beef Stew as "we speak". I am always on the lookout for new recipes. Thanks...

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      That's great, vespawoolf! Thanks.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      What a great collection of easy yet delicious recipes! I especially like the sounds of spinach chicken and kahlua pork. Thanks!

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      That's great, Linda! Enjoy.

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 4 years ago from Arizona

      Thanks for writing this Hub! I have been thinking about slow cooker recipes this week. Now you've given me new ones to try! Voted up, useful and bookmarked.

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      That's great, loveofnight! Enjoy. :)

    • loveofnight profile image

      loveofnight 4 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      Yumm.....I just got a crock pot as as housewarming gift and now I know what to do with it. Thanks much and happy hubbing.

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      That's great, Glimmer Twin Fan! Enjoy your new recipes this fall and winter.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Boy that italian beef looks delicious and sounds perfect for the cold nights ahead. I've never heard of the Kahlua recipe. There are quite a few here I'm going to have to try. Voted up!

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      How sad! A slow cooker would be a great Christmas present.

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      Now that you mention the slow cooker, I don't think ours made it here several months ago when we moved :( I may have to ask Santa to bring me one. The recipes sounds delish and I love that they are so few ingredients. Thanks for sharing!

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      That's great, Thelma! Enjoy the recipes.

      bridalletter, that's too bad! It is important to pay attention to the cooking time as it can vary in different models. I'm glad that you enjoyed this.

    • bridalletter profile image

      Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      I love using my slow cooker, although it did overcook my huge roast this last time. 5 pounder shrunk a whole lot. Mine runs hotter then most for some reason. The hub is great with the added videos.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Yummy! You make my mouth water. I´ll save these recipes for later use. Thank you. Voted up and SHARED.

    • randomcreative profile image
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      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      That's great, NornsMercy! Enjoy these new recipes.

    • NornsMercy profile image

      Chace 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      Yay, I love cooking with the crock pot. Just throw a few things together and you have a great dinner (for days), and it makes your house smell good. :) Voted up and useful/interesting!

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Like many cooking endeavors, it can range quite a bit, but there are certainly lots of simple slow cooker recipes out there. Best of luck!

    • livingsta profile image

      livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I have never tried slow cooking. This seems so simple. I should definitely try! Voted up and useful!

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      That's great, everythingdazzles! If you're looking to save time and make clean up easier, the slow cooker liners are a good option.

      Tracy, I'm so glad that you found this article. It is wonderful to have slow cooker recipes that do not require a lot of ingredients or additional prep time. Happy cooking this fall and winter. :)

    • Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

      Tracy Lynn Conway 4 years ago from Virginia, USA

      Looks like it is time to whip out the slow cooker and dust off the lid. Your hub is jam packed with some easy and delicious recipes, two qualities that seem to be lacking in any crock pot cookbook I have seen. I love the four ingredient simplicity and that I have landed here just in time for fall and winter.

    • everythingdazzles profile image

      Janelle 4 years ago from Houston

      Awesome recipes and I agree liners are amazing! We used to use them all the time at a camp I worked for. Much easier clean up.

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks, Audrey! Slow cooker liners are readily available at most grocery stores and big box stores. You can also order them in bulk online.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Fantastic recipes! Where do I find the liners for my crock pot? Great job. A big thank you and Up and sharing.

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      That's great, Kelley! Enjoy.

    • profile image

      kelleyward 4 years ago

      Definitely bookmarking this one. It's chilly here today so I might make one tomorrow! Thanks for sharing. Voted up and shared, Kelley

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Yes, for sure about slow cooking. I'm so glad that this is helpful for you!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Never to be at a loss for recipes for slow cooking. Will save this for future meals.. Thanks for all the work on this ...great hub. Voting up and sharing.