Categories: Recipes

12 Crock Pot Recipes to Impress the Parents

You are going to want to try these crockpot recipes to impress the parents the next time you invite them over.  Your significant other and his parents are going to thank you for years to come!  So dust off your crock pot and get busy.  Don’t have one?  Well, it’s time to buy one.  You are an adult now.  In 2010, a study by Betty Crocker Kitchens found that 80.6 percent of homes in the United States owned this “work-life balance” appliance.  So, get on board and check out these 12 crock pot recipes to impress the parents.

1. Over-stuffed Bell Peppers

Let’s start with a simple, yet succulent dish that is as memorable as it is impressive.    This meal appeals to all senses.  This is your opportunity to wow your guests with great color presentation, an aroma to die for, and flavors that appear happily married.


# of guests amount of bell peppers (green, red, and orange)

Black beans (canned, rinsed)

1 pound ground hamburger (sub with veggie crumbles or shredded chicken)

Quinoa or pre-cooked rice

1 tablespoon each of cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder

Shredded cheese of your choice (personal favorite: Monterey Jack)

Toppings: whatever you like on tacos (green onions, sour cream, cilantro, diced red onions)


Cut the tops off bell peppers and remove ribs and seeds

Combine the meat, rice, beans, and spices together with clean hands

Spoon into bell pepper

Add a little water to your crock pot and stand the peppers up in the water

Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours

Once the bell peppers are tender, remove lid and add cheese

Cover until cheese is melted

Split them open on your plate and add your choice toppings


Wasn’t that easy?  This is one of the easiest recipes to impress the parents, or anyone for that matter.  Not only will the taste get them, but they are just fun to eat.  I don’t know why they are so fun, but they just are.  Enjoy! Make new traditions!

2. Low And Slow Smoky Pulled Pork

I hope you are still feeling as ambitious as you were when you got yourself into this mess.  I’m not going to lie, pulled pork is hard to pull off.  However, I have simplified this for you into a no-fail crockpot recipe to impress the parents.  You will be impressed with yourself! Heck, you may even change your major to Culinary studies.


3 – 4 pounds pork shoulder butt roast (or 1/2 pound per person)

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

3 tablespoons paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 1/2 tablespoon black pepper

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 cup liquid smoke

1 (18 ounce) bottle BBQ sauce


Spray inside of crockpot

Combine paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, dry mustard, and liquid smoke in a small bowl

Rub all over the roast

Place in crock pot and cover

Cook low 8-10 hours for the best..or

Cook high for 5-6 hours for second best

Shred meat with a fork when finished

Mix the meat with bottle of BBQ sauce

Serve on warm hamburger buns

Coleslaw makes a perfect side

You should expect a marriage proposal shortly after making this recipe to impress the parents.  They will get the whole family on board that you are “the one”.  Come to think of it, you should expect random phone calls from their country club friends and fellow church members requesting your presence at their next event.  Guess what dish they want you to bring?

3. Cranberry Sherry’s Pot Roast

Who is Sherry, you ask?  Sherry is Blair’s mom.  Who is Blair, you ask?  Look, you aren’t the only one trying to impress the parents okay?  Let’s not get sidetracked.  Ahem. With ingredients like cinnamon and cranberries, this is a great crock pot recipe to impress the parents during the holidays.  But it’s also a great meal if you are really trying to work your way into the family.  After all, nothing says family like pot roast.


1 Chuck roast

2 tablespoons flour

4 whole cloves (sub teaspoon ground cloves)

1/4 cup water plus 2 tablespoons

1 (12 ounce) can whole cranberries

1 tablespoon vinegar


Flour meat on both sides

Brown in skillet with a little oil

Transfer to crock pot

Add cloves, cinnamon, cloves, and 1/4 cup water.

Cover and cook for 4-6 hours

Pour off excess fat

Add cranberries, 2 tablespoons water, and 1 tablespoon vinegar

Cover and cook 15 minutes

Serve with rice

This aromatic dish will get everyone’s appetites wound up tighter than Alex Jones at the Women’s March…but in a good way.  Your parents are already making vacation plans with his parents before the first bite.  Even if you and your significant other ever break up, you will forever be referred to as the “lovely girl who made the amazing pot roast” (or in my case, “the lovely girl who used my recipe”).

4. Pain Dore Aux Bleuets

You can just call this Blueberry French Toast if you prefer.  This is an excellent choice to host a brunch.  I guarantee this crock pot recipe to impress the parents will earn you a special place in their heart. You will want to make this the night before.  Use the rest of your time to decorate your table with flowers and fine linens.

Ingredients For The Toast

8 large eggs

1/2 cup yogurt

1/3 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup milk

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 pound French bread, cubed

1 1/2 cup blueberries

12 ounces cream cheese, cubed

Ingredients For The Syrup

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup cold water

3/4 cups blueberries

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Method For The Toast

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, yogurt, sour cream, vanilla, and cinnamon

Gradually whisk in the milk and maple syrup until blended

Place half the bread in a lightly greased crock pot

Layer with 1/2 the blueberries, 1/2 the cream cheese, and 1/2 the egg mixture

Repeat layers

Cover and refrigerate overnight

Remove 30 mins prior to cooking

Cook on low for 3-4 hours or until a knife comes out clean of center

Method For The Syrup

In a small sauce pan, mix sugar, cornstarch, and water until smooth

Stir in 1/4 cup of blueberries

Bring to boil

Cook and stir until berries pop (about 3 minutes)

Remove from heat

Stir in butter, lemon juice, and remaining berries


This fancy shmancy meal will light up anyone’s face.  You’ll come out looking like the Queen of Brunch!  Although this crock pot recipe takes a little planning, it is well worth the extra effort.  I strongly recommend serving with whipped cream and mimosas.

5. New Orleans Gal’s Roast Beef Po’Boy

This cajun version of crock pot recipes to impress the parents stuns because it is unexpected.  Many people order this at restaurants but rarely think to make it at home.  So get out your red and white checkered tablecloth and set the music to “Uncle” John Turner.  Don’t just make meals, make memories!


2 1/2 – 3 pounds Chuck roast

1 package of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing

1 package of Zesty Italian dressing

1 package of gravy mix

pick of each salt and pepper

Roast and sear on all sides

Place in crock pot

Add all three packages

Add 3 cups water

Cook on low for 8 hours

Shred Beef with a fork

Toast French bread sub rolls to crisp the outside, while keeping inside soft

Top with lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayo, and desired amount of salt and pepper

This casual favorite is perfect for lunch and sets the tone for a laid back weekend gathering. Serve your favorite beer and sweet iced tea to get the full New Orleans effect.  Your significant other will ask for a repeat performance throughout your relationship.  Laissez les bon temps rouler!

6. Savannah Style Cheesy Bacon Ranch Potatoes

Oh my my, what a great side!  These potatoes are a perfect compliment to any meal, however in my experience they fair quite well with any kind of kabobs on the grill.  You can’t go wrong with potatoes! Potatoes seem to make everyone feel at home.


6 slices of bacon

3 pounds red potatoes, quartered

1/2 cup shredded shard cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon Ranch seasoning mix/salad mix

2 tablespoons chopped green onions


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

Spread bacon in a single layer on a foil covered baking sheet

Bake 12 – 14 minutes

Cool before crumbling

Line crock pot with foil, leaving extra to cover the potatoes

Layer the potatoes, cheese (reserve 1/2 cup), ranch, and bacon

Repeat twice

Cover potatoes with foil

Cover crock pot

Cook on low for 7 – 8 hours or high for 3 – 4 hours

Sprinkle with remaining cheese

Cook for 1 – 2 minutes

Top with green onions

Add sour cream, salt, pepper, and/or additional cheese

Voila!  This is a great choice for a side crock pot recipe to impress the parents because it is versatile and lets them think they are in control of their meal.  The possibility for additional toppings is extensive as your shoe collection.  Mix it up and keep it fun!

7. Oh So Darling Sweet And Sour Meatballs

There is just something so adorable about meatballs!  And what’s a crock pot recipe list without them?  You have a lot of options in how you want to serve these.  Over rice? Hell yes!  In pasta?  Hell yes!  On a sub roll? Oh, hell yes! Sweet and Sour meatballs are casual, yet classic.  This recipe yields 35 meatballs, adjust accordingly.

Ingredients For Meatballs

2 pounds ground beef (85 – 15 mix)

2/3 cups Panko breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons dried minced onion

1 large eggs

1/4 cup coconut milk

1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients For Sweet And Sour Sauce

1 tablespoon canola oil

3 large bell peppers ( 1 green, 1 red, 1 orange)

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 cup rice vinegar

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup

low sodium soy sauce

2 cups granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon sesame oil

1/2 of 1 full (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, smashed with their juices

2 – 3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup cold water

Optional: toasted sesame seeds, green onions, rice for serving

Method For The Meatballs

Lightly oil the crock pot cooking insert

In a large bowl, add ground beef, Panko, minced onion, egg, coconut milk, ginger, salt, and pepper

Mix with clean hands until combined

Rub a little oil on your hands and roll meat into 1-inch balls

Place in crock pot

Method For Sauce

In a small sauce pan over medium heat, add oil, chopped peppers, and garlic

Sautee until tender (3 minutes, stirring frequently)

Add the onion powder, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil

Stir to combine

Add the mandarin oranges and juice

Bring to a boil

Reduce heat to medium low

Simmer 10 minutes

Pour over meatballs

Cook 3 – 4 hours

Garnish with sesame seeds, green onion, and serve over rice

This crock pot sweet and sour meatball recipe is a surefire hit.  Again, be prepared to make this one again, as you will be getting requests.   By making this meal, you are giving something for your mom and his mom to talk about because everyone has a crock pot recipe.  Now you have yours.

8. Crispy Chicken Carnitas

Although carnitas are traditionally made with pork, what better time to show off your think-outside-of-the-box skills?  This crock pot recipe is sure to impress the parents time and time again.


4 – 5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 bottle of beer (or use stock)

1 small white onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon chipotle powder

See Also

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon chili. powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 – 4 fresh limes


Add the chicken, beer, onion, garlic, chipotle, chili powder, and salt to bowl of crock pot

Gently toss to combine

Cook on low 6 – 8 hours

Pre-heat broiler to high heat

Spread chicken on a greased baking sheet, reserve juice in crock pot

Shred chicken into bite-sized pieces

Broil 2 racks down from top of oven for 5 – 6 minutes when edges are crisp


Ladle about 1/2 cup of juices from the crock pot and drizzle over chicken

Drizzle with lime juice

Toss to combine

Serve immediately in tacos, burritos, or salad

Feel free to add diced tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, onions, shredded cheese and whatever else your heart desires.  This is another fun, bring-the-family-together kind of meal.   I can already see the nods of approval!

9. Extra Cheesy Mac And Cheese

Who doesn’t love mac and cheese?  This recipe is so rich it may be served as a side or even a main dish.  If you want to serve this as a side, consider pairing with roasted chicken and sautéed asparagus.  It can be tricky to pull off homemade Mac and cheese, but I have made it easy for you with this crock pot recipe to impress the parents.


1 pound corkscrew pasta, pre-cooked (2 minutes less then package instructions)

1/4 cup butter, cubed

1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk

1 1/2 cups half and half

4 cups shredded shard cheddar cheese

1/2 block of American cheese, cubed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon paprika

2 teaspoons chopped parsley


Cook crock pot with cooking spray

Place noodles and butter in crock pot

Stir until coated

Add evaporated milk, half and half, cheddar cheese, American cheese, salt, pepper, onion powder, and paprika

Stir until combined

Cover and cook low for 1 1/2 hours, stir every 30 minutes

Serve and top with parsley

I suggest shredding your own cheese for this recipe.  It will be creamy and smooth. Everyone will love this!  It compliments many different dishes and is filling enough to serve with breadsticks and salad as well.  Top with Panko breadcrumbs for an elegant touch.

10.  Sausage, Spinach, And White Bean Soup

This crock pot recipe to impress the parents is sophisticated, yet comforting.  You can serve this as a main dish with salad and bread, or as an appetizer to any main dish.  It contains lots of healthy vegetables so your significant other’s parents will know you are going to take great care of their precious offspring.


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 (12.8 ounces) package smoked andouille sausage, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 onion, diced

3 carrots, peeled and diced

2 stalks celery, diced

2 (15 ounces) cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

2 bay leaves

4 cups chicken broth

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

3 cups baby spinach


Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat

Add sausage and cook until browned, stirring frequently  (3 – 4 minutes)

Place sausage, onion, carrots, celery, beans, oregano, and bay leaves into crock pot

Stir in chicken broth and two cups of water until well combined

Season with salt and pepper

Cook on low for 7 – 8 hours or on high for 3 – 4 hours

Stir in spinach until wilted

Remove bay leaves

Serve immediately

This crock pot recipe to impress the parents is as tasty as it is filling.  Serve with toasted baguettes or oyster crackers.  This crowd pleaser goes great with wine and soft music.  Both sets of parents will be delighted with this enjoyable soup.

11.  BBQ Chickpeas

This is a delish variation of the traditional BBQ sandwich that will not only please the vegetarians in your life, but will impure the parents as well.  This super healthy sandwich will keep them talking for weeks!


3 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 teaspoon each garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses

4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup water


Combine all ingredients in crock pot

Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5 hours

Yes, that is really it!  You can’t get much easier than this.  Serve with sweet potato chips and your favorite beer.  This crock pot recipe to impress the parents will impress you significant other as well! Double win!

12. Brownie Pudding

You didn’t think I was going to leave you without a dessert, did you?  This brownie pudding is so moist and decadent everyone will want to save room for this crock pot recipe.  And impress, it will!


1 box brownie mix

2 large eggs, water, and oil called for on box

1/2 vegetable oil

3 tablespoons water

1 (3.4 ounce) box instant chocolate or chocolate fudge pudding mix


Spray crock pot with cooking spray

Pour brownie mixture into crock pot

Whisk pudding mix and milk in a medium sized bowl in crock pot

Cover crock pot with a paper towel and place lid on top

Cook on high 2 – 3 hours

Serve warm with ice cream

Yet another very easy and delicious crock pot recipe to impress the parents.  This dessert is an excellent way to finish off a wonderful meal.  Have some toppings available for your guests to choose from such as nuts, syrups, and cherries.

Do you have a special crock pot recipe to impress the parents?  Tell us about it in the comments below.

Featured Image Credit:
Jessica Murphy

essica Hope Murphy is a student at Ashford University studying English and Journalism & Mass Communications. If she isn't writing, she is fishing, cooking, or entertaining friends. In addition to Society19, her work can be found on Points In Case, Cracked Mirrors Online, LinkedIn, Murphy Review, and in The National Library of Poetry.

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