14 Surprising Recipes You Wouldn't Expect to Make in a Slow Cooker

We already know what a lifesaver slow cookers can be for hearty chicken dinners, pot roasts, and soups. But how about slow cooker pizza, pie, and salsa? These surprising recipes are delicious and so easy to make in your slow cooker. So grab your trusty countertop appliance and prepare to be amazed by all the meals you can create with a slow cooker.

01 of 14

Slow-Toasted Granola

glass jar slow toasted granola next to pitcher of milk
Andy Lyons

Crunchy, toasty granola from your slow cooker? You bet! The secret: Place the lid offset so the steam can vent during cooking to ensure the granola stays crisp. Once it's ready, use this surprising recipe to top off yogurt, or enjoy it as cereal.

02 of 14

Slow Cooker Pecan Pie

Slow Cooker Pecan Pie on blue table
Karla Conrad

Pie is an unusual slow cooker idea, but that doesn't mean it's complicated. In fact, this easy-as-pie recipe calls for just six ingredients to make the filling (and you probably have most of them in your pantry already). Then slice and serve this buttery pecan pie right from your slow cooker.

Buy It: Crock-Pot 6-Quart Programmable Cook and Carry Slow Cooker ($50, Target)

03 of 14

Slow-Cooked Sourdough Peasant Bread

Slow-Cooked Sourdough Peasant Bread
Andy Lyons

This bread is one of our favorite surprising recipes you can make in a slow cooker because it's so easy (and oh, so tasty). But don't be intimidated. Making this bread is as easy as it gets—simply mix, knead, and slow-cook. Yogurt gives each slice that signature sourdough flavor.

04 of 14

Crunchy Ranch Party Mix

Crunchy Ranch Party Mix
Karla Conrad

This slow cooker snack mix recipe is better than opening a bag—and almost as easy. Simply toss seven ingredients into the slow cooker and stir. Add this to your list of autumn slow cooker recipes to try because it's a great snack for game day and tailgating.

05 of 14

Peppermint Pretzel Candies

Peppermint Pretzel Candies
Blaine Moats

The main work your slow cooker does for this recipe is melting the white chocolate that coats the pretzels (and trust us, it's much easier than melting it on your stove). Mix in pretzels and crushed peppermint candies, and this slow cooker candy is ready for the holidays. Finish each one with a drizzle of chocolate to make them look even more festive.

06 of 14

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Jason Donnelly

Thanksgiving brunch, anyone? One of our favorite fall slow cooker recipes, we love how making cinnamon rolls in the slow cooker frees up valuable oven space during the holidays.

07 of 14

Slow Cooker Pickled Beets

Slow Cooker Pickled Beets
Karla Conrad

Slow cooker recipes and salads may not seem like they go together, but they do. These pickled beets are a surprising recipe and a welcome winter treat. Simply dump the ingredients into your slow cooker, and you're on your way to one of our favorite winter salads. Combine the beets with leafy greens, sliced pears, Parmesan cheese, and croutons, then drizzle with our pickled beet dressing.

08 of 14

Apple-Spiked Monkey Bread

Apple-Spiked Monkey Bread
Jenna VanGrowski

Sweet (or savory) monkey bread is the ultimate finger food for guests to enjoy at any gathering. We combined the canned biscuit base with apples and an irresistible buttery-rum sauce for an easy and unique slow cooker recipe. Your mouth will water at the delicious scent that fills your kitchen.

09 of 14

Raspberry Fudgy Brownies

Raspberry Fudgy Brownies
Karla Conrad

These slow cooker brownies cook in canning jars surrounded by water. The result: extra-fudgy brownies. Slice and serve—of course, we'd argue that this surprising recipe for your slow cooker is best with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a few fresh raspberries.

Buy It: Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker, Large Capacity ($29, Walmart)

10 of 14

Slow Cooker Falafel

Slow Cooker Falafel
Karla Conrad

No fryer needed here. These crispy vegetarian patties get their crunch from just 2 tablespoons of oil and your slow cooker. You can start this creative slow cooker meal in the morning for a tasty lunch or get it started in the afternoon, so dinner's ready to go when the evening rolls around.

11 of 14

Salted Caramel Fudge

Salted Caramel Fudge
Blaine Moats

If you've struggled to get stove top fudge to turn out exactly right, look to this slow cooker recipe for your fudge fix. White chocolate, cashews, dulce de leche—it doesn't get better (or easier) than this marbled candy. Top each piece with a generous sprinkle of sea salt.

Buy It: Coarse Mediterranean Sea Salt ($7, The Spice House)

12 of 14

Crustless Spinach-and-Mushroom Quiche

Crustless Spinach-and-Mushroom Quiche
Scott Little

This recipe proves you don't need the crust to enjoy eggy goodness. We kept all the delicious parts of quiche—bacon, mushrooms, cheese—with none of the work. You could serve this quiche for breakfast or brunch, but it would also fit in with other slow cooker dinner recipes.

13 of 14

Mushroom Risotto with Peas

Mushroom Risotto with Peas
Jason Donnelly

Skip the stirring and serve restaurant-quality risotto right from your slow cooker. Adding nutty Asiago cheese right before serving gives this risotto dish the creaminess we love. With so many protein-rich mushrooms, this recipe is hearty enough for an easy vegetarian dinner.

14 of 14

Slow Cooker S'more Cake

S'more Cake
Blaine Moats

Warm, decadent desserts are our favorite surprising recipes for slow cooker treats. Better than a campfire, this cake is loaded with chocolate, marshmallow, and graham crackers without any of the gooey mess. Simply combine the ingredients in your slow cooker and forget it.

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