How Can I Cook a Small Batch of Food in a Large Crockpot?

by Michelle Powell-Smith

Dips, like cheese dip, are often made in smaller batches.

Hemera Technologies/ Images

Slow cookers work best if they are at least half full. While many families routinely need a 4- to 6-qt. crockpot, some recipes, like desserts or dips, won't fill your usual slow cooker. You can cook smaller batches of food in a large crockpot by using a separate, oven-safe casserole dish or baking pan, like a loaf pan or small cake pan, inside the larger crock of your slow cooker.

Select a casserole dish or oven safe baking pan that fits into your crockpot.

Spray the inside of the casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray for easy clean up.

Fill the casserole dish with your favorite slow cooker recipe.

Place a wire rack into the bottom of your slow cooker. If you don't have a rack that fits your crockpot, you can place balls of aluminum foil on the bottom of the slow cooker in place of a rack.

Set the prepared casserole dish or baking pan onto the rack or foil in the slow cooker. Plug in and turn on the crockpot, cooking as directed by your recipe, usually four to six hours on high or around eight hours on low.


  • While you may think of casseroles, soups, or stews in your slow cooker, you can also bake bread or cakes in a smaller pan in the crockpot.

    Experiment with cakes, breads and other favorite recipes.


Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images

About the Author

With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.