Crock Pot Envy

I still remember when my mom got a Crock Pot. Such a clever 1970’s invention.

For our 1986 wedding, Todd & I got one too from the owners of the flower shop where I worked in college. Later, we “bumped up” to one that had a new-fangled twist——removable stoneware. :-)

After 25 years of marriage, I’ve burned through a lot of Crock Pots. We currently own two, both about 10 years old.

They’ve been transported to graduation open houses, sick church members and family get-togethers; they’ve been there to celebrate at wedding showers and silently serve at funeral dinners. They return often with food crusted on the outside or nicks in the stoneware.

Loving others means sometimes your stuff gets bumped.

Last month, we attended the regional wrestling match for our 8th graders team. Man, did these wrestling moms have it going on in the Crock Pot arena!

There were ones that switched automatically to “Keep Warm’ when the dish was done.

There were ones that were huge—-7 quart models.

One was camouflage—-my hunters would love that!

One even had little pre-made, removable metal tags that told what was in the Crock Pot—–meatballs, mac & cheese, etc…

I was having me a severe case of “Crock Pot Envy”

So, I had to snap myself back to reality and embrace my beat-up beauties.

Though not state-of-the-art, they still function.

Though they’ve been bumped and bruised, they’ve spread a lot of love.

I will embrace my chipped, dented slow cookers and continue to let them serve.

Here are two favorite crock pot meals.  One is a little involved; one easy.

Will you share yours?

Mexican Chicken

5 boneless chicken breasts, cubed
1 can black beans
1 can corn, drained

Mix the above and place in a slow cooker. Then, over the top pour:

1 (15 ounce) jar chunky salsa ( I use Ortega medium)

Sprinkle with:
one small lime–zested & juiced and 1 tsp. minced garlic

Cover and cook on high for four hours. Then add:

1 (8 block) package cream cheese, cubed

Lightly stir and re-cover. Cook for 30 minutes more.

Serve over brown rice and top with crushed tortilla chips.

Pulled Pork

Place one or two boneless pork loins in a crock pot. Cover and cook 8-10 hours on low.

Drain off juices. Shred meat. Pour Sweet Baby Rays barbeque sauce over. Stir and serve on soft kaiser rolls with some crunchy cole slaw. :-)

Any other good crock pot dishes out there?


  1. I was wondering what we would have for dinner tonight, was hoping for something quick and easy, this Mexican chicken fit the bill perfectly! Thank you!!

  2. @Kathleen Mills
    I take my crockpot to the beach too. (And I have grown kids) it is easy to throw in the car for vacation and I cook easy things like bbq chicken, plain baked chicken or cooked spaghetti sauce. I cook the noodles during showers and add a bagged salad. voila…dinner. We are late day beach people and it is great to come in at sunset and have an almost complete meal ready.

  3. My family picks on me about my crockpots.
    grease the crock pot..
    put a package of scalloped potatoes
    sear porkchops, dont cook all the way though
    put on scaolloped potatoes add frozen veggie
    cook on low.. dinner is ready when get home

    Ill also sear a pork loin wrap in foil,
    butter and salt potaotes place on top of wrapped pork loin
    place a bowl of frozen veggies in side the crock cook on low and dinner is ready

  4. I have 4 crockpot cookbooks, and 3 crockpots – from mini to the fancy timer 6 qt. one (my reward for using a hand-me-down original Crockpot until it died in faithful service). I use them all often, with kids, work, sports, etc we’d starve without them! Or live on fastfood ehwwww. The ultimate crockpot trick-just back from spring break at the beach and I TOOK MY CROCKPOT with me! the kids are young enough that I know the end of the day isn’t always going to be fun if we have to dine out…so there is nothing more relaxing to me than a day out at the beach knowing DINNER IS DONE!!! I even have some great recipes that you make ahead, put in the freezer, then dump the whole bag in the crockpot and cook it.

  5. Every year I cook my St Patrick’s Day Corned Beef in my crock pot. I just cover the beef with water, add the little spice packet that often comes with it and simmer all day while I’m at work. In the evening once I come home I remove the beef, add carrots and potatoes and turn the crock pot to high. I slice the beef while the veggies are cooking. Just before serving I add my cabbage and cook long enough for it to get crisp-tender. Always a big hit.

  6. Crock Pot Rice Pudding (never burns, always good!)
    2 quarts milk, one cup long cooking rice; cook on low 4-6 hours, stir occasionally.
    when milk is absorbed and rice is cooked, stir in 3/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp vanilla.
    Allow to cool in a large bowl or the crock pot , stir in 8 ounces of cool whip. For Christmas I garnish this with cherry pie filling

  7. Here’s one for Crockpot Chicken Teriyaki- I got it from A Year in Slow Cooking- she has so many fabulous recipes!
    Chicken pieces (use whatever you have-wings, drumettes, or I have done a 3lb bag of chix breast)
    Teriyaki sauce- 3/4 cup
    I didn’t have this so I made my own by:
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    3 T brown sugar
    3 cloves smashed and chopped garlic. (When I don’t have this I use garlic powder and garlic salt- just eyeball the amount)
    Directions- put chicken in crockpot, mix the sauce and cover chicken with the sauce. So EASY! Cook on high 4-5 hrs or low 6-8. Frozen will take a little longer. When done, shred chicken and serve over cooked rice.

  8. I too love my crockpot, but mine is actually a slow cooker (metal pan and a heating element) but I have found some at auctions and yardsales for less than $10 and they work great!!! I have 1 that I only use when it is leaving the house affectionately called “the funeral crockpot” Anyhow, my family loves for me to make hamburgers in the crockpot. We raise our own beef, so burgers are made when the freezer is filled. I often unwrap the burgers and drop them into the crockpot frozen. Add a little bit of water, onions and peppers and turn on! They also like meatballs made for meatball subs. I can use the meatballs that I make at home or store bought ones, but drop them in the pan with sauce and put them on low. The sauce cooks into the meatballs – YUM!!!

  9. Put the pork shoulder in (or chicken thighs) add one large can of green enchilada sauce, chopped onion and anything else like bell peppers, garlic, hot jalepenos. Low for 8 or so hours…Shred and use in tacos or burritos…..leftovers can be used for enchiladas later in the week.

    Thanks for all the wonderful ideas!! :o)

  10. The mexican chicken sounds delicious. My easiest crockpot recipe is Italian Sausage Hoagies: Place one or two packages Italian Sausages( I use one pkg mild and one pkg hot) cover with marinara sauce. Simmer for 4 hours on low or until sausage is cooked through. Place link in a hoagie roll, ladle on some sauce, and add grated parmesan cheese.

  11. This article had perfect timing! Needed a tried & true recipe to take a friend recovering from surgery…now i have lots of choices!

  12. I simple LOVE my crockpot…it is my life saver! I have two and have been known to use both at the same time! One of our favorites is Sweet and Sour Chicken (or Pork)…really simple….

    1 1/2 pounds of bonless chicken breast or 1 1/2 boneless pork loin, cut either into 1″ pieces
    1 onion, chopped
    3/4 cup barbecue sauce (I use Sweet Baby Ray’s)
    1 can (14oz.) of chicken broth
    1 8oz. can of pineapple chunks in juice, drained (I use a fresh one and it taste just as good)
    1 green pepper (or red pepper as my family prefers)
    2 cups instant white rice, uncooked

    Place meat in slow cooker; top with onions. Add bbq sauce and broth; cover with lid. Cook on low for 6-7 hours (or high for 4 hours). Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook, covered, on low for 30 minutes or until rice is tender.

    I just love all these recipes….thank you for sharing. May you all be blessed tonight!

    Smiles and Blessings,
    Robin :)

  13. Mix together 1/2 BBQ sauce & 1/2 A1 Steak sauce and cover over any steak.
    Cook on low for 6 – 8 hours.
    -Colleen G.

  14. Great recipes! My whole family, incl. my 2 young kids, loves this BBQ Bacon Chicken. I love it b/c it is so delicious & easy to make!! Your house will smell amazing!

    6 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    26 oz. BBQ Sauce (I like Jack Daniels Original #7)
    6 slices bacon, halved and crisply cooked
    6 slices Provelone or Swiss cheese

    Place chicken in crock pot; cover with BBQ sauce. Cover and cook on low 8-9 hours. Arrange 2 strips halved bacon over each piece of chicken; top w/cheese. Cover and cook on high until cheese melts 10-15 mins. Makes 6 servings.

  15. wow – so many recipes, so little time! thanks so much! i cannot wait to start trying some of these.
    thanks Karen, for relating the crock pot to our human condition. no matter how “dinged up” we are – God can still use us!

  16. Hello, Karen,

    I know I’m a bit behind in my reading, but I was hoping for a reply regarding your piece for Proverbs 31 from April 10th. You mentioned the “Be sure your sins will find you out” speech you always give your son. Would you share it?


    1. i second this request! i’m very curious to hear the “be sure your sins will find you out” speech you give your kids… please share!

      1. You ladies make me smile. :-)

        That is the lecture: “Be sure your sins will find you out.”

        That’s’ all. My mama used to say it to me & I say it to my kids OFTEN. True for kids & adults!

  17. I’m hungry… so many great recipes and I love to cook! I’m from Puerto Rico, so crock pots aren’t popular here. But after this article and the stream of recipes, I’m gonna go buy me one!!! Any suggestions on what’s the best to start with? I bet my mom’s yellow rice with pigeon peas and smoked ham would taste fabulous using a crock pot!

  18. I have three, or make that four, crockpots, if I include the mini for cheese dip! I’ve had the timer kind that turns off to “warm” when it’s finished cooking, but the lid broke on that one. So for Christmas I got a new one, but hated parting with the other, so I kept it. Just in case! Then there is the old one I’ve had for years, but is really bigger than the other two oblong ones I have. I actually am using it today to finish off the ham bone from Easter – in a pot full of pinto beans! I love how dinners are finished or at least almost finished when I get home! I promised my hubby fried potatoes and cornbread tonight along with the beans! He’ll be in “hog” heaven!!! And me, I’ll have fewer dishes to clean up!

  19. Karen, we wrestling moms really have it going on, don’t we. LOL! I am loving all the recipes. My crockpots are well used. Have never used the liners but I think I will pick up some today. I teach and leave home each morning at 7:00; then have to pick up from some sports practice every afternoon. When we return home, usually around 6pm and everyone is famished, it is nice to have dinner ready and waiting.

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