Surprising Recipes You Can Make in Your 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 unique slow cooker recipes are delicious (and so simple). We've got slow cooker takes on your favorite recipes, including bread, brownies, and even quiche. Grab your trusty countertop appliance and prepare to be amazed by all the surprising things you can cook in a slow cooker.

01 of 20

Sausage, Artichoke, and Sweet Pepper Deep-Dish Pizza

Sausage, Artichoke, and Sweet Pepper Deep-Dish Pizza
Andy Lyons

Pizza's got a new shape (and super easy cooking method). Top our homemade honey crust with your favorites and slow-cook for 3 hours—that's it! One of our favorite slow cooker dinner recipes, this unique pizza recipe is even better than takeout.

02 of 20

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 fun slow cooker recipe to top off yogurt, or eat it all on its own as cereal.

03 of 20

Slow Cooker Pecan Pie

Slow Cooker Pecan Pie on blue table
Karla Conrad

Pie is definitely an unusual slow cooker idea, but that doesn't mean it's difficult. 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)

04 of 20

Homemade Yogurt

Homemade Yogurt

You don't need an Instant Pot cooker to make homemade yogurt, and it's much easier than you think. It takes just three ingredients and your slow cooker. Try our variations for Greek yogurt, flavored yogurt, and low-fat yogurt. This unusual slow cooker recipe is a great way to trim down your grocery list.

05 of 20

Eggs in Spicy Cherry Tomato Marinara

Eggs in Spicy Cherry Tomato Marinara
Carson Downing

Give your frying pan a break—cook eggs in your slow cooker instead. This unique slow cooker recipe features a fresh cherry tomato sauce with a runny egg on top. Serve it as a slow cooker breakfast, or let it cook during the day and enjoy as a light dinner instead.

06 of 20

Slow Cooker Salsa Verde

Slow Cooker Salsa Verde
Karla Conrad

We bet you didn't know canning was included in the many things you can do using your slow cooker. As it turns out, you're a few simple steps away from homemade salsa verde. Roast the veggies first, then slow-cook to spicy perfection. Like it hot? Toss a few extra serrano peppers in the unique slow cooker recipe.

Buy It: Ball Glass Mason Jars with Lids and Bands, 12-Pack ($11, Walmart)

07 of 20

Slow-Cooked Sourdough Peasant Bread

Slow-Cooked Sourdough Peasant Bread
Andy Lyons

Baking bread is one of our favorite unusual slow cooker recipes 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.

08 of 20

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.

09 of 20

Flavored Dinner Rolls

Flavored Dinner Rolls
Jason Donnelly

You know you can bake bread in your slow cooker, but you can also make dinner rolls. When you've already got your main dish figured out (or leftovers on hand), make this creative slow cooker recipe to serve on the side. Use our fun flavor variations for everything bagel seasoned, chive-dill, or pumpkin ginger.

10 of 20

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.

11 of 20
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.

12 of 20

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 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.

13 of 20

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. For a unique slow cooker recipe, we combined the easy canned biscuit base with apples and an irresistible buttery-rum sauce. Your mouth will water at the delicious scent that fills your kitchen.

14 of 20

Raspberry Fudgy Brownies

Raspberry Fudgy Brownies
Karla Conrad

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

Buy It: Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker, Large Capacity ($25, Walmart)

15 of 20

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 started on it in the afternoon so dinner's ready to go when evening rolls around.

16 of 20

Salted Caramel Fudge

Salted Caramel Fudge
Blaine Moats

If you've struggled to get stove top fudge to turn out exactly right, then look to this surprising 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 ($6, The Spice House)

17 of 20

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.

18 of 20

Crispy Holiday Treats

Crispy Holiday Treats
Jason Donnelly

These six-ingredient cereal treats are super easy, thanks to your slow cooker. They're a great addition to any holiday cookie plate or dessert table. And since it's a slow cooker dessert recipe, it'll free up your oven for other treats.

19 of 20

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 just 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.

20 of 20

Slow Cooker S'more Cake

S'more Cake
Blaine Moats

Warm, rich slow cooker desserts are our favorite unique 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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