13 Best New Slow Cooker Recipes of 2020

Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken Thighs
Photo: fabeveryday

This year, dozens of cooks in the Allrecipes community contributed new, delicious, and innovative slow cooker recipes to our collection of hundreds of other favorites. We shared each of these recipes with the community, and more than a dozen rose to the top as the best of the best. From slow cooker bread to saucy chicken thighs, these recipes were the real stars of 2020.

01 of 13

Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Taco Soup

Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Taco Soup

"I've made this several times both in the crockpot and on the stove. Both turn out awesome. I sometimes omit the extra can of green chilies (mainly because stores have been out of them!) and it still has a ton of flavor. I love spice so I don't change the recipes but it was too spicy for my no-spice mother. Keep that in mind and maybe add less taco seasoning or just add diced tomatoes. This is delicious," writes reviewer Laurie Jones Roberts.

02 of 13

Slow Cooker Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole

While you have the oven occupied with the main dish, whip out the slow cooker for a show-stopping side. This is ready in just about two hours (some reviewers say to cook less if you like al dente cauliflower), and it may actually be more impressive than whatever you're making as the centerpiece.

03 of 13

Cuban-Inspired Slow Cooker Chicken

This year, you may not have been able to travel by air, boat, or train, but you could certainly travel at the dinner table. This slow cooker chicken dish captures all the warmth and life of Cuban recipes, but it's made in the comfort of your home.

"This was really easy to make and great taste, even my grandchildren liked it. I think next time I'll add a little more of the black beans," writes reviewer Marge.

04 of 13

Slow Cooker Pineapple-Teriyaki Pork Chops

Slow Cooker Pineapple-Teriyaki Pork Chops

This four-hour slow cooker recipe makes for a great weekend dinner when you've got things to do but still need to get dinner on the table. Start it just after lunch, and at dinnertime, you have a delicious meal ready to go. Add some simple sides, and everything is ready in a flash.

05 of 13

Copycat Chipotle Beef Barbacoa

Copycat Chipotle Beef Barbacoa

You might be missing your favorite fast-casual Mexican restaurant, but you can bring the flavors to you with this copycat barbacoa recipe made for the slow cooker. It's also a great option for make-ahead meals. You can use it on salads, tacos, burritos, nachos, and more all week.

"We live in Hawaii where there are no Chipotle restaurants. We had been craving this recipe and weren't disappointed," writes home cook TruAloha.

06 of 13

Slow Cooker Bread

Slow Cooker Bread

2020 was a big year for bread — slow cooker, sourdough, focaccia, and more. This recipe came along just in time for bread bakers who perhaps wanted to be a bit more hands off. It's no-knead, requires one rise (the second is in the slow cooker), and cooks low and slow for a few hours. Serve with a side of soft butter, or toast slices for breakfast.

07 of 13

Slow Cooker Loaded Potato Soup

When you're craving a classic baked potato but need something a bit more hands-off, bring out this recipe for potato soup. Recipe creator Mallory offers some suggestions for toppings, but you can get creative with whatever you prefer or have on hand. Using an immersion blender helps get a creamy, smooth soup, but a potato masher will work too (with some extra elbow grease).

08 of 13

Slow Cooker French Onion Pork Chops

Can you sense a theme for our top new slow cooker recipes in 2020? Soups and quick dinners, precisely what we all needed during these crazy days. Here's another pork chops recipe made in the slow cooker that makes its own scrumptious sauce while it cooks. Add a few quick sides like steamed broccoli or cheesy rice to finish this off.

09 of 13

Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken Thighs

This takeout favorite is coming home. Skinless, boneless chicken thighs are an especially good cut for the slow cooker because they stay tender and juicy through the long cooking time, but if you have breasts, they will work here in place of the thighs.

Some reviewers suggest adding your own seasoning and spices to make it closer to your favorite restaurant's version: "I added extra spices (5 spice powder, red pepper flakes). It turned out amazing. My boyfriend has requested I make this recipe every week and says it's the best thing I've ever made," writes reviewer Hannah.

10 of 13

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is a classic slow cooker main dish because the long, slow cooking time tenderizes it, but this version amps up the flavor with teriyaki, apple cider vinegar, and pineapple juice. Recipe creator Soup Loving Nicole recommends it with sandwiches, but you could use it on tacos, salads, or by itself with side dishes like baked beans and slaw.

11 of 13

Healthier Slow Cooker Gumbo

Any cook who has made gumbo before knows a lot of the secrets of this Cajun dish lie in the roux, a flour-fat mixture that's used to thicken everything from chicken soups and stews. This slow cooker gumbo version doesn't skip the roux, so you know it's going to be good. It just takes the hands-on effort of stirring and minding a stockpot easier.

12 of 13

Garlic-Rosemary Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

A whole chicken is another one of those staple make-ahead foods that you can cook on the weekend and use for meals all week. This one is great by itself, or on sandwiches or salads. You can sprinkle the last bites of chicken in soups or stews.

13 of 13

Slow Cooker Hamburgers

It might be too cold to grill, but you can still enjoy fresh hamburgers with the help of your slow cooker. You'll use aluminum foil to create racks for the patties to rest on while they cook. This way, the burgers won't sit in their own juices and disintegrate while they cook. Top with all your favorite accoutrement, like cheese, onions, tomatoes, and more.

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