How To Cook Small Meals In A Large Slow Cooker

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.

slow cooker recipes adapting from a large slow cooker to a small slow cooker | one dish kitchen

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!

RELATED: Single Serving Comfort Food Recipes

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.

placing a small bowl inside a large slow cooker to adapt a recipe to fit your slow cooker | one dish kitchen

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 | adapting a recipe | one dish kitchen

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 inside a small slow cooker | One Dish Kitchen

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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

small slow cooker | One Dish Kitchen

Slow Cooker Recipes For One

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

Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken For One

Easiest, best tasting Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken For One made with a sweet honey sesame sauce. The perfect amount if you're cooking for one.
Check Out This Recipe
Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken For One | One Dish Kitchen

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken For One

Tender and juicy Slow Cooker Italian Chicken Recipe For One – serve with pasta or potatoes. An easy recipe and the perfect amount for anyone cooking for one. Two chicken thighs, a few spices, oil and vinegar, Marinara Sauce and a slow cooker are the only things you need to serve up this healthy and delicious meal.
Check Out This Recipe
Slow Cooker Italian Chicken For One | ONE DISH KITCHEN

Slow Cooker Red Beans And Rice For One

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.
Check Out This Recipe
Slow Cooker Red Beans and RIce For One | One Dish Kitchen

Slow Cooker Chicken Piccata For One

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.
Check Out This Recipe
Chicken Piccata Recipe For One | One Dish Kitchen

Crockpot Orange Chicken For One

Light and flavorful Slow Cooker Orange Chicken For One. A healthier twist on traditional Orange Chicken.  This single serving chicken recipe is so easy to make and the perfect amount for anyone cooking for one.
Check Out This Recipe
Slow Cooker Orange Chicken For One | One Dish Kitchen

Slow Cooker Meatloaf

Mini Crockpot Meatloaf – easy recipe for making a moist and juicy meatloaf in a slow cooker. Made with onions, garlic, spices and topped with a sweet and tangy sauce. Recipe includes instructions for converting a large slow cooker into a single serving slow cooker.
Check Out This Recipe
Slow Cooker Meatloaf For One | One Dish Kitchen

Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowl For One

Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowl For One, filled with chili-spiced beans, corn, rice, diced tomatoes and shredded chicken. A flavorful one pot meal.
Check Out This Recipe
chicken burrito bowl | one dish kitchen

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.

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You might find this handy guide helpful…

Cooking for one? We'll show you how to cook small meals in a large slow cooker by using an oven safe bowl. Plus, several single serving slow cooker recipes | One Dish Kitchen
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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8 thoughts on “How To Cook Small Meals In A Large Slow Cooker”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.
      Joanie

    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.
      Joanie

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