Easy Crock-Pot Recipes With Only 3 Ingredients

by Eliza Castile

Slow-cooker recipes are a lazy cook's dream: just toss the ingredients into the pot, turn it on, and do your thing for the rest of the day. When you come back, a warm, delicious meal will be ready and waiting for you. Most of these recipes are so easy they're virtually impossible to mess up, but for the kitchen newbies out there, these Crock-Pot recipes with only three ingredients are a great place to begin your foray into the slow cooker world.

Although they're a staple item in many American kitchens these days, slow cookers haven't actually been around very long in the grand scheme of things. According to CNET, the ancestor of the modern-day Crock-Pot dates back to 1936, when the inventor Irving Naxon applied for a patent for a portable cooking device that housed the crock, aka the pot, with its own heating element. Naxon said he was inspired by one of his grandmother's recipes, which involved cooking food at a low heat for several hours.

Naxon's invention, called the Naxon Beanery, went to market in the '50s. In 1970, he sold the design to Rival Manufacturing, which rebranded it as the Crock-Pot, and the rest is culinary history.

Thanks to the Internet, slow cooker recipes are easier than ever to come by. Here are 13 recipes that only have three ingredients, making them the perfect weeknight dinner.


Root Beer BBQ Pulled Pork

The Comfort of Cooking's recipe for BBQ pulled pork is insanely easy and filling.


Maple Apple Cider

You can add pomegranate or oranges to this Half Baked Harvest recipe to spice it up, but the main ingredients are apples, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Just add water and you'll have a warm winter treat within a few hours.


Slow-Cooker Cocktail Meatballs

Try these three-ingredient meatballs from Mom on Time Out for your next party.


3-Ingredient Slow Cooker Pumpkin Cake

Willow Bird Baking's recipe for pumpkin cake takes advantage of boxed spice cake mix. Add pumpkin puree and butter, and you have a delicious dessert.


Beer Cheese Dip

This beer cheese dip from A Spicy Perspective is perfect for game day (or any occasion, honestly).


Sweet & Tangy Meatballs

This meatball recipe from Table for Two is super cheap and easy.


Slow Cooker Queso Dip

Once you've made this slow cooker queso dip from The Kitchn, grab some tortilla chips and enjoy. Or just spoon it into your mouth — no judgment.


Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

Technically, The Kitchn's recipe for slow cooker macaroni and cheese has a little more than three ingredients, but they can be divided into three categories: Noodles, cheese, and spices.


Slow-Cooker Whole Chicken

It doesn't get any simpler than The Kitchn's recipe for cooking a whole chicken in a Crock-Pot.


Mini BBQ Pork Sliders

This recipe for barbecue pork sliders calls for any soda you'd like, or swap it out for beer.


Slow Cooker Kalua Pig

Meat is a popular option for slow cooker recipes, and for good reason. Check out this three-ingredient recipe for Kalua pig from Nom Nom Paleo.



Applesauce doesn't have to be store bought. Make your own with this recipe from The Kitchn, which has three main ingredients: apples, lemon juice, and salt. Add water and enjoy.


Mashed Potatoes

The three big ingredients in Food Fanatic's slow cooker mashed potatoes are butter, onion, and of course, potatoes. Herbs like garlic and parsley make it especially delicious.