21 Easy, Cozy Soups & Stews You’d Never Guess Came Out of the Slow Cooker

12 Appetizers You Won’t Believe Came Out of the Crock-Pot
05/09/2019
9 Easy Slow Cooker Pasta Sauces to Last You All Week
05/09/2019
Show all

21 Easy, Cozy Soups & Stews You’d Never Guess Came Out of the Slow Cooker

Easy Crock Pot Taco Soup recipe for slow cooker

These 21 easy slow cooker soups and stews make cooking with a plug-in appliance taste super sophisticated—which is a good thing, because when spoon weather rolls around (and then sticks around for a long time), we have to satisfy the craving again and again. Our favorite easy Crock-Pot soup and stew recipes range from classic to deliciously non-traditional.

Cracking a can of tomato soup is great and all, especially when paired with a perfect grilled cheese sandwich, but even that gets old after a while. Enter: the Crock-Pot. It’s convenient for sure, but just because you toss a bunch of ingredients together, press “cook,” and head to work doesn’t mean you’ll have a meal to be proud of at the end of the day. A little finesse is still a good idea, and so we present these fantastic and easy slow cooker soups to get you through early fall all the way through the last stretch of winter.

The Pioneer Woman Floral 6-Quart Slow Cooker, $24.96 at Walmart

If you’re in the market for a slow cooker, why not make it a pretty one?

Buy Now

They’re great one-pot, make-ahead meals that are even better the next day…and the next…and the next, if you still have some left over. So this idea works equally well for weeknight dinners, when you have a time crunch, and on weekends, when all you want to do is hibernate and scroll through Netflix or watch “Harry Potter” again. We understand. We recommend you get cooking—or rather, let your Crock-Pot do most of the cooking for you.

1. Chinese Brisket and Turnip Stew

Chowhound

This classic Chinese dish flavors beef brisket with ginger, star anise, garlic, and chu hou, a paste made of soybeans. You can use steamed rice or rice noodles along with a good broth, which is best if you have your own, but it will still be good if you get store-bought broth. With this stew comes the low-and-slow beauty of making tough meat tender in a slow cooker. Get our Chinese Brisket and Turnip Stew recipe.

2. Ethiopian-Spiced Chicken Stew

This staple in Ethiopian cooking is a heady mix that usually includes garlic, fenugreek, allspice, red pepper, ginger, chiles, coriander, cinnamon, and black pepper. If you can’t find it, use a mixture of 4 tablespoons garam masala, 1 tablespoon hot paprika, 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek and 1 teaspoon salt in this recipe. Get the Ethiopian-Spiced Chicken Stew recipe.

3. Slow Cooker Root Vegetable Stew

Slow Cooker Root Vegetable Stew recipe

Chowhound

This stew is wonderful for so many reasons. Let’s count the ways. One, it utilizes the root vegetables available locally in the winter season (well, for those in the Northern hemisphere).  Two, the spices—saffron, cayenne, ginger, cinnamon—are so pungent, they make parsnips and potatoes exciting. And three, those spices are medicine for your immune system, a great thing during cold and flu season. Get our Slow Cooker Root Vegetable Stew recipe.

4. Sweet Potato, Chicken, & Quinoa Soup

Chelsea has it going on with this healthy, rich, filling, sweet, spicy, and savory soup. Plus, you’ll be a part of the ancient grain game, by using quinoa, a nice change from rice or pasta. Get the Sweet Potato, Chicken, & Quinoa Soup recipe.

5. Moroccan Lentil Soup

Easy Lentil Soup

Chowhound

Leave out the chicken, and you still have a hearty, protein-filled soup spiced with curry, Sriracha, and cinnamon. With this soup, you really can toss it in a pot and leave it to cook for eight to 10 hours while you work. Get the Moroccan Lentil Soup recipe.

6. Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Slow Cooker Beef Stew recipe

Chowhound

The dry red wine, Dijon mustard, and cremini mushrooms deepen the earthy, savory essence of this class wintertime stew. Get our Slow Cooker Beef Stew recipe.

7. Indian Cauliflower and Potato Soup (Aloo Gobi)

Creamy and smooth, this Aloo Gobi recipe even re-purposes your leftover mashed potatoes. It’s a soup after our own hearts (located in the belly, of course). Get the Indian Cauliflower and Potato Soup (Aloo Gobi) recipe.

8. Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Soup

slow cooker butternut squash red pepper soup recipe

Chowhound

What could be easier? You load diced butternut squash, a bell pepper, sliced carrots, and an onion in the Crock Pot, add vegetable broth, maple syrup, and a pinch of cumin, and let it simmer away for four hours. Purée it with an immersion bender (or tip it in the blender), and you’re left with something smooth, rich, and long-simmered, perfect for sprinkling with our Spicy Oven-Roasted Chickpeas. Get our Slow Cooker Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Soup recipe.

9. Pork Ramen

Easy Slow Cooker Pork Ramen recipe

Eva Kolenko

“Here is a simplified, yet still delicious, [ramen] that boasts plenty of succulent braised pork,” writes cookbook author Kim Laidlaw. “Serve the soup with your favorite ramen embellishments. I like to top my bowl with a soft-boiled egg and some baby spinach.” Get Kim Laidlaw’s Slow Cooker Pork Ramen recipe.

10. Chicken Soup

slow cooker chicken soup recipe

Chowhound

Throw a whole chicken in the Crock Pot with a few aromatic herbs and veggies. Let it simmer away until the chicken falls apart in a rich, concentrated broth. Shred the meat and add it back to the slow cooker, then stir in cooked egg noodles, or steamed white or wild rice. Done. Get our Slow Cooker Chicken Soup recipe.

11. Split Pea Soup

slow cooker split pea soup recipe

Chowhound

When split peas break down into a thick, creamy soup, it’s pretty much the best thing about cooking, a patient transformation of raw ingredients. Use a slow cooker, and the transformation is slower and arguably more dramatic. Here. Green split peas cook with carrot, celery, onion, and a smoked ham bone to yield an epically comforting soup. Get our Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup recipe.

12. Slow Cooker Chicken and Corn Congee recipe

ginger chicken jook

Chowhound

Congee (rice porridge) is a Chinese breakfast favorite. Here, thanks to pulled chicken and kernels of sweet corn, it becomes a complete meal. Top it with chopped scallions, Sriracha, and a drizzle of sesame oil for pizazz. Get the Slow Cooker Chicken and Corn Congee recipe.

13. Crab and Corn Chowder

summer corn chowder recipe

Chowhound

With this Crock Pot version of crab and corn chowder, you can re-create sunnier days at the shore with little more than your slow cooker insert. To beef it up, go crazy with more mix-ins, like diced potatoes, red bell pepper, and even bacon. Get the Crab and Corn Chowder recipe.

14. Shio Ramen with Chili Oil

vegetarian pho

Enrique Díaz / 7cero / Moment / Getty Images

Enjoy ramen the not-so-instant way by simmering up a batch of slow-cooked shio broth. Not only will you wind up with a full-bodied broth, you’ll have found a way to make the most of your leftover chicken bones. And don’t skip the chili oil. Get the Shio Ramen with Chili Oil recipe.

15. Sopa de Ajo

Sopa de ajo, or garlic soup, is a peasant-style potage that hails from Spain’s Castile-León region. Its intoxicating aroma is sure to warm your kitchen and ward off all signs of cold or flu. We recommend throwing pieces of stale bread in the slow cooker for extra oomph. Get the Sopa de Ajo recipe.

16. Beef Pho

Yes, good Vietnamese noodle soup can be coaxed out of a slow cooker. Don’t skip toasting the spices and browning the aromatics—they’re essential to the synthesis of a complex beef broth, and you’ll be enjoying rice noodles in a delicate beef broth for days to come. Get the Beef Pho recipe.

17. Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

dark roux gumbo recipe with chicken and andouille sausage

sf_foodphoto/E+/Getty Images

Use this versatile recipe to make chicken and sausage gumbo with okra and tomatoes from the farmers’ market in season, or canned tomatoes and frozen okra when the weather turns cold. If it’s Mardi Gras, all the better! (Try our Slow Cooker Shrimp Gumbo recipe too.) Get the Chicken and Sausage Gumbo recipe.

18. Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup

Have the foresight to prep tom kha gai, or Thai chicken and coconut soup, and you won’t have to worry about what restaurant to call for takeout. Get the Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup recipe.

19. Crock Pot Taco Soup

Easy Crock Pot Taco Soup recipe for slow cooker

Chowhound

A brief saute of onions and ground beef and then everything goes into the slow cooker for a Tex Mex taco soup that mostly makes itself. Top it with corn chips, sour cream, cheese, and jalapeños. Get our Crock Pot Taco Soup recipe.

20. Birria

The Spanish word birria means rubbish, but this Jalisco-style stew is anything but, thanks to the addition of guajillo chiles, cumin, and Mexican oregano. The recipe calls for lamb but would work just as well with beef or, if you can get your hands on one, goat. Get the Birria recipe.

21. Slow Cooker Matzo Ball Soup

matzoh ball soup recipe from Wise Sons Deli

Chowhound

Don’t tell your bubbie that your new go-to soup tastes just as good as hers yet requires a fraction of the effort. Who knew? Get the Slow Cooker Matzo Ball Soup recipe.

Looking for more slow cooker saviors? Check out these easy Crock-Pot pasta recipes, see how to make apple butter in your slow cooker, and get Crock-Pot drink recipes to keep you warm and cozy.

Related Video: Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo