Set it and forget it.

It’s possibly the most-used phrase during dreary winter days.

The idea of adding ingredients to a slow cooker, going about your day and coming back to a hearty, homecooked meal feels all warm and fuzzy.

We dug through our Local Flavor archives for some of the best slow cooker recipes.

Al Micka’s French Onion Soup


Al Micka’s French Onion Soup

Originally published Aug. 4, 2010


  • 5 tablespoons bacon drippings
  • 3 pounds large Bermuda onions
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 8 ounces Gruyere cheese
  • 8 ounces Swiss cheese
  • 6 ounces Cooper CV Sharp American cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Kitchen Bouquet
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 large can chicken broth, plus (1) 15-ounce can
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 loaf crusty French bread


  1. Melt bacon drippings in a large pot. Slice onions very thin (using a mandoline for ease), then add to pot, cooking until golden brown. Add flour, stir for one minute then add wine, pepper, thyme, Kitchen Bouquet and chicken broth. Let simmer for 90 minutes to two hours.
  2. Optional: Let soup sit overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Cut bread into 1-inch thick slices and toast until golden brown. Shred cheese and blend together. Place hot soup into crock bowls, leaving 1 inch of space from rim. Place slice of toasted bread on top of soup and cover with cheese. Place crock bowl under broiler until cheese is bubbly and just turning brown.
  4. Serve immediately.

Gretchen Kohut’s Slow Cooker Pork Barbecue


Gretchen Kohut’s Slow Cooker Pork Barbecue

Originally published June 12, 2013

Serves 4-6


  • 1 2-pound boneless pork butt
  • 1 teaspoon margarine
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 teaspoons chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar


  1. Put all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low setting for 8 hours. Serve on buns of your choice.

Anne Marie Phillips shows off her Easy Crock-Pot Chicken.


Anne Marie Phillips Easy Crock-Pot Chicken

Originally published July 9, 2017


  • 4 to 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s Original barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup Italian salad dressing
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 1/4 cup water (approximate)


  1. Cut chicken breasts in half and place in Crock-Pot. Pour barbecue sauce and Italian dressing over chicken and stir. Add liquid smoke and water. Cover and cook on low for approximately 4 hours.
  2. Remove chicken from Crock-Pot and shred with fork on a separate plate. Return chicken to Crock-Pot, stir and serve.

Joan Lizzio’s Barbequed Spare Ribs


Joan Lizzio’s Barbecued Spare Ribs

Originally published June 22, 2016


  • 5 to 6 pounds boneless country-style spare ribs
  • 3 teaspoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups finely diced (celery
  • 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped or minced
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon prepared (mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple


  1. Fry onion and garlic in butter. Add all other ingredients, except for the ribs. Cook sauce over low heat for 45 minutes, adding an additional 1/2 cup of water along the way.
  2. Boil ribs slowly in large pot of water for 90 minutes. Remove ribs from water. Spread small amount of sauce on each rib. Place ribs in a pan and bake at 350 F for 2 hours and 45 minutes. Put remaining sauce on ribs and keep warm until ready to serve.
  3. (Instead of the oven, the ribs also can be prepared in the Crock-Pot, which eliminates the need for boiling. Mrs. Lizzio cooks the ribs and sauce in the slow cooker for 5 to 6 hours altogether, with the first two hours on high before setting to low.)

Mary Jo Pahoski displays her Crock-Pot Pork Tenderloins.


Mary Jo Pahoski’s Crock-Pot Pork Tenderloin

Originally published Feb. 19, 2017


  • 2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins
  • 10 3/4-ounce can cheddar cheese soup
  • 10 3/4-ounce can golden mushroom soup
  • 10 1/2-ounce can French onion soup


  1. Place pork in slow cooker. Combine soups in a bowl and stir until smooth. Pour over pork. Cover and cook on low four to five hours, or until meat is tender.

Anissa Fetchen’s Crock-Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup


Anissa Fetchen’s Crock-Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Originally published Nov. 17, 2010


  • 1 pound skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 1 can enchilada sauce (mild or medium)
  • 1 large container chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon oregano (Mexican if on hand)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 10 ounces frozen sweet corn
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 flour or corn tortillas
  • Mexican blend shredded cheese, to taste
  • Sour cream, to taste


  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Add all ingredients except for tortillas, cheese and sour cream to Crock-Pot. Cook for four hours on high, or six to eight hours on low.
  3. A half-hour before serving, remove chicken from pot, shredding after removing skin and bones. Return chicken to Crock-Pot. Cut tortillas with a pizza cutter into long strips and place a handful in the Crock-Pot.
  4. On a cookie sheet, spray the rest of the tortilla strips with Pam cooking spray and bake in oven or toaster oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until crisp.
  5. Serve soup topped with tortillas crisps, cheese, sour cream and any other garnish you like.

Pam Sparacino’s Spicy Tortilla Soup


Pam Sparacino’s Homemade Original Spicy Tortilla Soup

Originally published Feb. 24, 2016


  • 3 big boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cleaned
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 red bell peppers, minced
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 jar fire-roasted green chilies, minced (she uses Tres Hermanos brand)
  • 1 11-ounce can Niblets corn, drained
  • 2 10-ounce cans Rotel Hot diced tomatoes (also could use mild or one of each for less spice; or, substitute diced tomatoes with jalapenos)
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed (tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh (cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Sour cream, to taste (or plain Greek yogurt)
  • Diced avocado (optional)
  • Broken-up tortilla chips


  1. Place cleaned chicken breasts in a slow cooker. Sprinkle chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper and coriander over the chicken.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan and add minced peppers, onion and fire-roasted chilies. Cook until tender and then add to the slow cooker. Add chicken stock, corn, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, cilantro and lime juice. Stir slowly and then set slow cooker to low setting. Take chicken out after four or five hours, dice it, then put back in slow cooker.
  3. Let simmer for two to three more hours.
  4. Place soup in individual bowls and add a dollop of sour cream, avocado, more cilantro and crushed tortilla chips. If needed, add more salt and pepper to taste.