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Cooking for one? We’ll show you how to cook small meals in a large slow cooker by using an oven safe bowl. Plus, we’re sharing several single serving slow cooker and Crock Pot recipes specially created to serve one person. No need to rush out to purchase a small slow cooker, adapt recipes to the size of your slow cooker.

A spoonful of pot roast from a slow cooker next two a bottle of beer and two baguettes

We love our slow cooker and here at One Dish Kitchen we have several delicious slow cooker recipes that serve one or two people.

What if you have a large slow cooker though? Do you need to purchase a small one?

The answer is no. You can cook small portion, easy Crockpot meals in a large slow cooker. We will show you the easy way to adapt recipes to the size of your slow cooker!

For popular Slow Cooker and Crockpot recipes CLICK HERE.

How To Adapt Recipes To The Size Of Your Slow Cooker

For the slow cooker recipes featured on this website, I suggest using a 1.5 to 3-quart slow cooker.

If you have a large slow cooker, that’s fine too. You can easily adapt your large slow cooker into a small slow cooker by placing an oven safe bowl inside of the bowl of your slow cooker. This absolutely works and I’ve done it many times.

Steps for placing a small bowl inside a large slow cooker to adapt a recipe to fit your slow cooker

Rules to follow…

  • Be sure to use an oven safe bowl inside the big bowl of the slow cooker.
  • Slow cookers work best when they are about two-thirds to three-quarters full. When the bowl isn’t full enough, the food will cook faster and possibly burn. If the bowl is too full, the food may need to be cooked longer than the suggested cooking times.
  • Always cook with the lid on your crockpot and try to avoid opening the lid while cooking.

RELATED: 15 Easy Dessert Recipes For One

Cooking a meatloaf in a small bowl placed inside a large slow cooker

Best Slow Cooker When Cooking For One

If you decide that you would like to purchase a small slow cooker, the size I recommend for single serving recipes is a 1.5 to 2-quart slow cooker.

This size isn’t big enough to hold a big roast or a whole chicken, but this size slow cooker will work for many other recipes. (See below for recipes)

Small slow cookers work just as well as large slow cookers and with the removable stoneware crock, clean up is a breeze.

Not only are small slow cookers great for making single serving meals, they are also perfect for keeping dips and sauces warm.

Chicken with orange sauce inside a small slow cooker

What Is The Difference Between A Slow Cooker And A Crock Pot

Many people use the names slow cooker and Crock Pot interchangeably.

A Crock Pot is a type of slow cooker which was introduced in the 1970’s and originally marketed as a bean cooker. Over the years, it has been redesigned and has evolved into the model we are most familiar with today.

The Crock Pot and Crock Pot styles have a stoneware pot that sits inside a surrounding heating element.

A slow cooker refers to the appliance and there are many manufacturers of all sorts of slow cookers.

Some slow cookers have a heating element on the bottom and the pot (usually metal or stoneware) sits on top. These pots are heated solely from the bottom.

Both a Crockpot and a slow cooker can be used to cook any of the slow cooker recipes below.

RELATED: 20 Single Serving Meatless Recipes

A small slow cooker

Slow Cooker Recipes For One

Here are a few of our most popular slow cooker recipes for one:

sesame chicken over rice in a yellow bowl

Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken For One

4.95 from 20 votes
Quick and easy slow cooker sesame chicken for one made with a sweet honey sesame sauce. The perfect amount if you're cooking for one.
View Recipe
chicken thighs topped with marinara sauce next to roasted potatoes on a clear plate

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken For One

5 from 10 votes
A recipe that's been in our family for years, this slow cooker Italian chicken is a winner! Made with simple ingredients and packed with amazing flavors. This single serving version features tender, juicy chicken with a flavorful tomato-based sauce. Wonderful served over pasta, rice, or potatoes.
View Recipe
a bowl of red beans and rice next to a plate of cornbread

Slow Cooker Red Beans And Rice For One

5 from 8 votes
This Small Batch Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice recipe is filled with sausage, the trinity of vegetables, plenty of creole seasoning, and tons of flavor. Our classic Louisiana recipe scaled down to serve one or two. Recipe video included in our easy to make recipe.
View Recipe
chicken piccata topped with capers and onions on a blue plate

Slow Cooker Chicken Piccata For One

4.80 from 10 votes
Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Piccata For One, this delightful low carb meal has the wonderful lemony flavors found in a traditional Chicken Piccata but without the added carbs and calories from the breading. A single serving meal perfect for anyone cooking for one.
View Recipe
Slow Cooker Orange Chicken For One | One Dish Kitchen

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken For One

4.83 from 17 votes
Light and incredibly delicious Orange Chicken recipe. A healthier twist on traditional Orange Chicken and full of flavor. This single serving slow cooker chicken recipe is so easy to make and tastes so much better than takeout!
View Recipe
Slow Cooker Meatloaf For One | One Dish Kitchen

Slow Cooker Meatloaf For One

4.93 from 14 votes
This Mini Slow Cooker Meatloaf is tender and juicy and so easy to make! Made with onions, garlic, spices and topped with a sweet and tangy sauce. This simple recipe makes the perfect amount to serve one or two people. Included in the recipe are instructions for converting a Crockpot or Crockpot-style slow cooker into a single serving slow cooker.
View Recipe
chicken burrito bowl on a silver tray next to fresh cilantro and an avocado.

Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowl For One

4.96 from 25 votes
Create a delectable, single-serving Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowl, brimming with tender chicken, sweet corn, hearty black beans, and juicy tomatoes. Irresistible!
View Recipe

RELATED: Empty Nest Recipe Ideas – The Joy Of Cooking For Two

For information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

Click HERE to join the community!

You might find this handy guide helpful…

Slow Cooker Conversions
Cooking for one or two? We’ll show you how to cook small meals in a large slow cooker by using an oven safe bowl. Plus, we’re sharing several single serving slow cooker and Crock Pot recipes specially created to serve one person. No need to rush out to purchase a mini slow cooker, adapt your large slow cooker for small meals. | One Dish Kitchen | #slowcookersmallrecipes #slowcooker #crockpot
adapt recipes to fit size of your slow cooker | one dish kitchen

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Ideal for home chefs, this individual square ceramic baking dish is safe for oven, microwave, freezer, and dishwasher. Simple to use & easy to clean!


I’m Joanie and I’m incredibly happy you’re here! Our aim is to inspire individuals with access to single serving recipes, education, and a supportive community that will enable them to enjoy the preparation of a meal that will nourish both body and soul.

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  1. Hi – if I’m cooking for 2, do I need to double the ingredients in your “for 1” recipes? Most of the recipes say either specifically for one, or for one or two. Thank you!

  2. I am thrilled to have found your recipes. I am alone now after cooking for a family and find it extremely difficult. I either eat said recipes for days, yes I do freeze, or just don’t bother. I made your fetticine Alfredo tonite and I loved it! Thank you for such easy and awesome recipes.
    May I add, I am disabled and your recipes are quite easy for me to make. Oh I am so excited!

  3. Putting a smaller dish in a large cooker is a great idea, thanks for posting it. Definitely will use that idea

  4. If I put a dish in side my large crockpot for a single person meal; do I have to add water down the side

    1. No, you do not need to add water inside your large crockpot. Just make sure the bowl you use inside the crockpot is oven-safe and fill it about two-thirds to three-quarters full.

  5. I have an original “Crockpot”, I think it’s 1.5, but it doesn’t say on it. Can’t find my little book at the moment, but I’m pretty sure. Anyway, it has no dial at all. I used it once for a small pot of beef stew. It just s3med to be on high all of the time so I kept my eye on it. It came out very well! My problem is I’m afraid to try anything else in it unless I’m here all day to keep an eye on it. Any suggestions? Sorry so long..

    1. Hi Jacqui,

      The problem with so many small slow cookers is that they don’t come with timers. The ones I use just have a warm, low, and high setting. I think your best bet with yours is to keep an eye on it, unfortunately.

  6. I have a 4qt, if I cook the smaller portion in the oven safe bowl is the cooking time the same? That is my problem…everything is usually overcooked which you mentioned may happen if the slow cooker size is too big.

  7. The last time I signed up for something (crochet) I started getting all kinds of things popping up on my computer screen. I really don’t want to do that again. Will I only get these recipes from you and nothing else?

    1. You will only receive emails from me. I send out a weekly newsletter on Friday afternoons. Occasionally, a separate email will go out if there is a special giveaway we’re offering but that happens rarely.

      Thank you.

    1. Laurie,

      It’s a Hamilton Beach Party Crock and I’m not sure they make them anymore, unfortunately. I did a quick check and it’s not on Amazon or Walmart online. The party crock is a 1.5-quart.

      1. It is a thing of beauty!!! I was going to ask about it also! Thanks for all you do!

    1. Gloria,
      I’m really not sure that it will work. I haven’t tried modifying the Instant Pot and would not recommend it.