Two Ingredient Slow Cooker Meals


This tip requires so little cooking, I’m almost hesitant to share it here as though it’s a recipe. It’s more of a faux recipe, and for that, I’m in love. Because sometimes I just don’t have the time or the energy to create a delicious meal. Sometimes all I want, all I need in the world, is my own personal *Jamie Oliver.


*For strictly cooking purposes.

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Here it is: You can combine any meat (chicken, beef, pork) with any pre-made bottled sauce (marinades, salsa, marinara, you name it), and set it to cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, and what you will be left with is nothing short of marvelous.

Just two ingredients. One of which you didn’t even make yourself.

Chicken and salsa? It works. Pork and honey barbecue sauce? It works. Ground beef and marinara? Don’t make me say it again.

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Use enough sauce to cover the meat (about 1.5 to 2 cups) and let the mix slowly cook all day long. The finished product will be not only infused with the flavor of the sauce (a reason to use only sauces you love!), but it will be so tender it falls apart upon fork contact.

slow cooker beef quesadilla-3

Try this: Slow Cooked Beef and Mango Quesadillas

What’s your favorite slow cooker combination?


  1. Renee says

    Exactly what I did for my family today! And I was short on time, so I set it for 4 hours on high instead. Just boneless, skinless chicken breasts and barbecue sauce.

    I actually pulled some out after about 3 hours, when it was done, super tender, and still holding together. Then I left it in the slow cooker on “warm” after, and it’s been sitting while we eat and get or little one down to sleep. Then I’ll pull it apart for meals for later this week. Wraps, served over lettuce, whatever…

    Good stuff!

  2. TJ says

    Yum! There is a McCormick Grill Mate seasoning “Memphis Pit BBQ”, rub that on very generously add some Worcestershire, oh baby come to Momma! :)

    • Cari says

      I love the McCormick’s Grill Mates Mesquite marinade. It’s delicious, I end up using it for every family or friends gathering, BBQ, party, whatever. Everyone loves it. I’m actually trying a slow cooker version of the Mesquite for the first time today, I added a little KC Masterpiece Original BBQ sauce along with it. Attempting to make pulled chicken sandwiches! We’ll see how it turns out. I’ve been wanting to try it for months now, just never got around to it. I’ll have to try the Memphis Pit BBQ one now, too!!

  3. Katie P says

    Do you have a favorite slow cooker? I have been wanting to get one for a while and would love a recommendation.

  4. Happy Girl says

    Totally new at the cooking thing and now I have 5 mouths to feed! Does the protein/meat need to be fresh or can I use frozen? If I use beef what happens to the grease? Is it absorbed at all? Thanks for the ideas! Loving the blog!

  5. Rockingmomma says

    I kinda have the same question as Happy Girl. Do I use frozen or thawed? I find when I use frozen skinless boneless chicken there is a little “foam” or ‘Scum”. Is that what is causing it? It kinda grosses me out! Let me know.

    • Jen says

      You can use frozen, works like a charm. Some worry about bacteria because they think it doesn’t get hot enough to kill it, but I have NEVER had a problem with that. I figure as long as it the meat is done, it’s all good.

  6. Melinda says

    I love chicken with a bag of frozen broccoli (or oriental veggies) and a bottle of teriyaki sauce. Technically 3 ingredients, but still simple. Serve over rice. Yummy.

  7. Lynne says

    I love chicken breast with marinara. I added shredded mozzarella at the end to make it cheesy. Yum!

    I throw the meat in frozen, for those that asked. It works fine, sometimes you end up with more liquid in the crockpot than you’d expect.

  8. says

    We got a slow cooker given to us for our new appt but I’d been struggling to come up with interesting new recipes to make use of it.

    You have just solved my problem :)

  9. says

    Hi Andie! I too am wondering about the ground beef in the crockpot recipe. You mentioned ground beef with marinara…so does the grease absorb? Do you put the ground beef in frozen or thawed? I ask because I feel like the ground beef would cook faster than say a chicken breast or thicker cut of meat so I was thinking maybe put it in frozen.


  10. J says

    Cheap, lean beef roast and a jar of pepperocini–those pickled pepper rings you can put on sandwiches. Just pour the whole jar over the roast and cook on low all day–juice and all. Smells super vinegary while it cooks, but makes the BEST sandiwches or whatever. Not too spicy, but with a good kick.

  11. Ashley says

    Our Costco has a 3 pack of Patak’s Tikka Masala/Korma sauce – I have chicken breasts in the crock pot with the tikka masala sauce right now. I can’t wait!

    For those who asked: I use frozen chicken breasts. Draws out the cooking time making the meat more tender and less likely to dry out.

    • jenna lehr says

      does your tikka masala sauce have half and half/milk in it? I was worried slow cooking a sauce with milk for so long.. does it get weird? or work well?

      Thanks so much!

  12. jenna lehr says

    I am so glad you shared this! I know it seems common sense but sometimes we forget to do the easy things in life and waste time for no reason! Inspired by reading this last night I made two wonderful dishes today…

    First I used garlic expression salad dressing (which has whole cloves of garlic) and i also used a big handful of fresh basil from my balcony garden and I cooked in my slower cooker for 4 hours on high. Then i shredded it and served it with baked sweet potatoes.

    Then because I get on these little kicks i couldnt stop at just one slower cooker dish… so i also did an 8 hour on low chicken with light sweet basil italian dressing which i also put a handful of chopped fresh basil from the garden. I also sliced one red pepper and one green pepper. So this will be all ready for our lunches for tomorrow.

    Thanks again for inspiring me to do some stress free simple cooking! My fiancé loved loved loved the garlic chicken!

    I paired my dinner with small apple tarts from the local orchard which opened today :) Delicious!

    Thanks agin!

    • Kate says

      Hey! I don’t know for sure about that particular one, but most Indian cooking is done with coconut milk, which isn’t milk or dairy at all.

      Hope that helps!

  13. Samantha says

    Hi Andie! You have made me want a slow cooker for this winter. Which model do you have? There are so many out there, it’s hard to know what is good. Do you recommend a size for the recipes you mentioned? Thanks!

  14. Brenda says

    My fav is Salsa Chicken. It’s four ingredients but it’s fantastic. My mexican son-in-law actually likes it 😉 Just toss in a bag of frozen chicken fillets, one pkg taco seasoning, large jar of your fav salsa and one can (ok, i know this sounds gross) of cream o mushroom soup. 6-8 hours on low. Serve with refried beans and warm tortillas and maybe a little spanish rice. YUM!!

  15. Cynthia Cone says

    Yes, the slow cooker is a wonderful invention, but as a nurse, I have to suggest that if you’re using pre-made, processed sauces, opt for low-sodium versions. Bottled sauces often have way too much salt for daily use.

  16. Mark says


    “You can combine any meat (chicken, beef, pork) with any pre-made bottled sauce (marinades, salsa, marinara, you name it), and set it to cook on low for 8 to 10 hours”.

    I have two kids, a full-time job, no time, and pathetic cooking skills. Everyone kept telling me how a slow cooker could simply my life…after reading that sentence, I get it. Brilliant in its simplicity.

    Can anyone suggest any additional meats and pre-made bottled sauces that would work?

    Thank you so very much.

    • Jen says

      I love frozen chicken breats/tenders with a bottle of Trader Joe’s Island Soyaki sauce. You can shred the chicken when it’s done, put on your favorite bun or wrap with some pineapple, whatever greens you like etc.. and it’s so tasty! Perfect in summer :)

  17. Stacy says

    I love this! but i am definitely cooking the chicken before i put it in the slow cooker, I dont think my boyfriend would eat it uncooked. I have a love for buffalo sauce, could i put that sauce in with the salsa instead?? Thanks!

    • Tracy says

      Stacy, the slow cooker cooks the chicken… no need to cook it beforehand! If it makes you nervous, use a food thermometer. The innermost part of the chicken should reach 165 F to be safe for eating.

    • Pam says

      Hey, Stacy – Please don’t cook the chicken first – the slow cooker does it – I PROMISE!!!

      Also, try a jar (or as much as you want) of Frank’s hot sauce and a package of ranch dressing for a yummy buffalo chicken like you want – no salsa.

  18. Tracy says

    I dont’ cook my chicken, but I do brown in the frying pan before putting in the slow cooker. Just makes it look better. Either way it’s to die for no matter what you do to it! Get a slow cooker with the smart option, so it turns to warm after you cook it for however many hours. That way if you work and are away for 10 hours, cook for 8 hours and automatically switch to warm. Trust me on that. Get a smart crock pot!

  19. Michelle says

    Guilty but oh so good,,, pork roast and dark soda… Root beer, Dr Pepper, whatever. Add some Lipton onion soup mix up you’re feeling adventurous.. umm, so good!


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