8 Slow-Cooker Recipes That Use Lots of Beer

beef carnitas with beer
Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock

The prevailing sentiment around slow cookers is that they're only good for cold-weather stews and heavy comfort foods. But that's entirely untrue, as evidenced by these beer-loaded recipes. Some subtle suds can add major flavor depth to all kinds of sandwich and Tex-Mex meats or lighter soups and chilis that you can, and should, totally eat even when the weather gets a little warmer.

crockpot bbq beer chicken
Courtesy of How Sweet Eats

This super-tender BBQ chicken gets an extra kick with store-bought sauce. You can make your own, but... nah. Recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts
  • Onion powder
  • Beer
  • BBQ sauce
Crockpot chalupas
Courtesy of Pinch of Yum

While you're trying to stay awake at work, the slow cooker is doing all the work for you. Come home to the aroma of pork and pinto beans, pile them high on a crispy baked tortilla, add sour cream, and thank your lucky stars someone invented this magical cookware. Get on that here.

Key ingredients:

  • Pork shoulder
  • Pinto beans
  • Light beer
  • Jalapeños
  • Garlic
Carnitas Tacos with Apple Salsa
Courtesy of Spoonful of Flavor

Even though there's beer in these carnitas, they're lightened up due to the use of pork tenderloin over pork shoulder. And the apple salsa freshens it up even more. Try it out here.

Key ingredients:

  • Pork tenderloin
  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Green salsa
  • Lime
turkey quinoa chili
Courtesy of Well Plated

If you don't eat beef and still want a hearty chili to warm you up, this quinoa and sweet potato turkey chili is for you. The IPA adds great depth. Stay fueled with the recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Ground turkey
  • Quinoa
  • Onion
  • Chicken stock
  • Black beans
Beer, Black Bean and Pork Soup
Courtesy of Bev Cooks

Lots of beer goes into this one. And lots of pork and beans. Click here for the recipe.

Key ingredients:

  • Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • Pork shoulder
  • Swiss chard
  • White onion
Easy Crockpot Carnitas
Courtesy of Pinch of Yum

Carnitas are packed with flavor and get a touch of sweetness with cinnamon and orange juice. Carnitas should also be crisped on the edges, so the only real work you have to do here is broil for a few minutes on a baking sheet. Recipe right here.

Key ingredients:

  • Pork shoulder
  • Orange juice
  • Salsa
  • Hot sauce
  • Garlic
pumpkin chicken and beer tacos
Courtesy of Mantitlement

It may not be fall anymore, but that doesn't mean you have to forget about pumpkin. The chicken is simmered in both pumpkin puree and pumpkin ale for hours, which makes it plump, sweet, and tangy from spices. Added bonus: pumpkin Sriracha sauce on top. Get cooking with the recipe.

Key ingredients:

  • Pumpkin puree
  • Chicken breast
  • Pumpkin ale
  • Taco seasoning
Steak and Beer Chili
Courtesy of Recipe Girl

Sometimes you just need steak. And you don't want to go crazy with searing and broiling. Here we take steak and put it into chili with beer, lots of beans, and chilies. Do not shy away from topping it off with sour cream and shredded cheese. Steak chili means go big or go home. Get the recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Sirloin steak
  • Green and red peppers
  • Black beans
  • Tomato paste
  • Beef broth

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Dara Pollak is a freelance writer and recipe creator. She likes her pasta with a side of bacon. Follow her at @theskinnypignyc.