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Get flavorful and hearty meals with these slow-cooker recipes
Forget the fuss with these simple crock-pot meals.
Slow-cookers, also known as crock-pots, make dinner simple and easy. With some quick prep work in the morning, this handy cooking appliance simmers ingredients throughout the day, leaving you with a warm, home cooked meal when you get home.
Click here to see the 10 Easy and Delicious Crock-Pot Dinners (Slideshow)
From soups and stews to tender pieces of meat, crock-pots deliver hearty and flavorful meals without much work or fuss. This week, we put the Culinary Content Network and our staff to the test to come up with easy and delicious crock-pot recipes. Here are some of the highlights:
- Lori Yates of Foxes Love Lemons shared with us her recipe for Asian short rib tacos filled with pineapple and crunchy slaw. Lori is a member of the Culinary Content Network.
- Karen of Baking in A Tornado submitted her recipe for warm chicken soup, perfect to fight off a cold this season. Karen is a member of the Culinary Content Network.
- The winner this week is Marjory Pilley of The Dinner Mom. Marjory’s recipe for baked ziti is simple, hearty, and perfect for any weeknight meal. Marjory is a member of The Culinary Content Network.
All of the recipes featured can be made at home for about $30 or less, excluding the cost of small amounts of basic ingredients such as butter, oil, flour, sugar, salt, pepper, and other dried herbs and spices.
Emily Jacobs is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyRecipes.
12 Easy Crock-Pot Recipes (10 Minutes or Less in Prep Time)
Crockpot lovers know why using a slow cooker can save you many hours in the kitchen. If this is your first time looking at slow cooker recipes, you’ll understand why crockpot recipes are so popular and will agree that having a crockpot in your kitchen is a must after your first meal! This is especially true if you’re busy and want to come home to a ready-to-eat meal without all the hassle of cooking.
With easy crockpot recipes, you can prep all of your ingredients the night before and toss them into your slow cooker in the morning. By the time evening arrives, you’ll have a delicious dinner waiting for you!
Whether you’re trying to save time with healthy meal prep ideas and Instant Pot recipes or looking to save money with cheap healthy meals, adding crockpot recipes to your cookbook will save you both time and money.
The best way to cook with slow cookers is to use low-temperate cooking and give your ingredients some quality time together. This method of cooking helps tenderize tough meat and bring out the wonderful flavors of your ingredients, which makes your food super tasty.
Cooking with a crockpot is so convenient and easy you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!
You seriously have to try all these amazing chicken, beef, pulled pork, and soup recipes this week. They’re perfect for weeknight dinners and group gatherings too!
2 of 20
Slow Cooker Taco Soup
Combine wallet-friendly ground beef with a few pantry staple ingredients like canned kidney beans, corn, and peeled and diced tomatoes for an easy, hands-off soup dinner. "Best taco soup I've ever made! I made it a day early and took it to an office lunch (oh, was much better the second day), and it got raves," writers cooker VALIERRAN.
Budget Tip: Stock up on canned beans, tomatoes, and vegetables when they're on sale. They last years and can be used in a variety of recipes, so all cooks should have a stock on hand.
1. Beef Stew
Beef stew is delicious, hearty and filling perfect for a brisk fall evening. It’s also super easy to make in a crock pot. Generally, all you need is white potatoes, carrots, beef broth and beef stew meat cut into small 1-inch chunks. You can find beef stew meat at most grocery stores already cut up and ready to cook for just a few dollars. You’ll season your stew to taste. I recommend using salt, pepper, garlic salt and dried herbs like parsley and rosemary. Check out the full crock pot recipe for beef stew here.
Chicken is so versatile and I use it way more often than beef in the crockpot because I’m usually too lazy to brown beef in the morning when I’m filling the crockpot to cook. (Sorry, not sorry.) Not to mention, chicken is cheaper.
Balsamic Rosemary Chicken
Balsamic vinegar is one of my favorite staples in the kitchen. This combination with chicken thighs, which always turn out so juicy (and they’re so cheap!) is superb.
Best Tomatillo Chicken for Tacos or Burritos
Shredded chicken recipes are great because there are always so many uses for leftovers. Topped on a salad, freezing burritos for later. But what I really like about this recipe is its use of tomatillos. I love growing tomatillos for salsa (and because they look fun), so it is nice to have another use.
Many Mexican chicken recipes include sour cream or lots of cheese, which is a very American take. This recipe is all spices, fresh cilantro, onion, and jalapeno. A delicious dairy-free Mexican chicken recipe for your next taco night!
Chicken Fajitas – Paleo
Before Fuss Fish was born, I tried freezing a bunch of slow cooker meals. Major fail. Most came out pretty tasteless or mushy and were pretty disappointing. Fajitas, however, are a great freezer meal. They came out very yummy. Try this recipe out to save you on days when you couldn’t make it to the grocery store or you just don’t have time to whip something up.
Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken and dumplings are absolutely soul food. But for some reason, I always convince myself that it is complicated to make. Not anymore! This recipe is super simple, only has a few ingredients, and the dumplings are made from quartered take-and-bake biscuits that cook on top of the chicken in the Crockpot!
Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches
Chicken parmesan is one of my husband’s favorite foods. Usually, it is reserved for nights when we have time to cook and make it properly, but this Crockpot recipe can give him the flavors he loves and it tastes awesome on a toasted sub roll.
5 Ingredient Mexican Chicken
Chicken, black beans, corn, salsa, and cream cheese. That’s it. With just those ingredients it can win over your whole family. We like eating it as a dip with chips or over rice, but it would also be great on a taco.
Garlic Chipotle Lime Chicken
I love garlic. Love. Like, we bought a Costco size tub of minced garlic because I use it almost every day. So a garlic chicken that was low carb? I had to try it. And it is so good! It isn’t too spicy (which we prefer), but if you like spice add some jalapeno or extra chili powder.
Indian Butter Chicken Curry
When we used to live in Jersey City, New Jersey, there was a lot of great Indian food. We couldn’t find as much in Boston and now in rural Connecticut, we are mostly out of luck. Finding this Indian butter chicken curry was perfect for when we need a fix!
Orange Soda Pop Chicken
I try to skip soda most of the time (try to avoid high fructose corn syrup in general), but I have this weird love for orange soda. It’s just delicious. Still, pouring some into my Crockpot felt like a stretch. Luckily, the final product is worth the slightly unusual addition!
Pulled chicken is a meal prep staple. Whether to serve as BBQ sandwiches, over rice, or on a salad, a big batch of pulled chicken can go a long way. And since you don’t add the BBQ sauce for this recipe until after you’ve shredded the chicken, you can save some plain chicken for other uses.
Pumpkin Turkey Chili
Alright, I’m going to let you in on a secret. I put this recipe on the list only because it looks yummy and I couldn’t have a fall list without a pumpkin recipe. But pumpkin makes my mouth go numb and gives Baby Minnow a major face rash, so we can’t whip it up anytime soon. Someone tell me how it is though!
Whole Chicken Cranberry Bake
Once or twice a year, Papa Fish and I stock our drop freezer with a batch of whole chickens. And while cooking them in the oven is easy, we do have to be able to start making dinner a couple hours before we put it on the table. So discovering we could cook it in the Crockpot, and add some cranberry sauce (I LOVE cranberries), was a major revelation. Highly recommend.
What supplies do you need to make crockpot freezer meals?
Here is what you’ll need in order to create these delicious and easy crock pot freezer meals, chicken, pork and beef recipes!
- 10 gallon sized freezer bags
- Labels or a permanent marker to label your bags
- Can opener
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Long handled spoon
These hands free bag holders are seriously a life saver. They keep your bags open so you can just dump your ingredients inside.
You can snag them very inexpensively on Amazon and even though they are not required, I highly recommend them when you make these healthy slow cooker meals.
109 Delicious Crock Pot Recipes for A More Efficient Cooking Time
Jennifer is a full-time homesteader who started her journey in the foothills of North Carolina in 2010. Currently, she spends her days gardening, caring for her orchard and vineyard, raising chickens, ducks, goats, and bees. Jennifer is an avid canner who provides almost all food for her family needs. She enjoys working on DIY remodeling projects to bring beauty to her homestead in her spare times.
75. Crock Pot Chicken Corn Chowder
This soup is a creamy comfort food in my book. It includes tasty corn, chicken, potatoes, and delicious cheese. If you need something delicious in a hurry, you might want to consider this no-fuss soup.
76. Crock Pot Cheeseburger Soup
I make this soup a lot during the winter. It has a lot of cheese flavor to it, but you can also really taste the potatoes and burger too. I’m just glad to finally have a crock pot recipe to make it a more efficient meal.
77. Crock Pot Pierogi Casserole
Pierogis are these larger dumpling items that are usually served in a creamy sauce with meat. This recipe calls for smoked sausage, but she says you can use any variety. It looks like a very filling meal.
78. Slow Cooker Korean Beef
Do you like to eat a variety of ethnic foods? Well, if so, then this recipe is a Korean beef which means it has a lot of delicious flavors and a variety of textures since it is topped with sesame seeds.
79. Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken
This recipe has a lot of flavors but doesn’t use many uncommon kitchen staples to create a bold flavor. If you have soy sauce, cornstarch, and apple cider vinegar then you pretty much have what you need to make this recipe.
80. Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers
Stuffed peppers are a very nutritious dinner that doesn’t usually cost a lot to put together. Now you can make it even easier on yourself by using your crock pot to cook it.
81. Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls in Tomato Sauce
This recipe looks really easy to make. You roll some meat up into a cabbage leaf. Then place in the slow cooker with the tomato sauce, and you cook them until done.
82. Crock Pot Corn on the Cob
Apparently, I’m behind in the times because I had never considered cooking corn on the cob in the crock pot before. But after seeing how delicious and easy this recipe appears to be, I’m about to change that.
83. Crock Pot Bacon Ranch Potatoes
My family is steak-and-potatoes type people. Anything that goes with a potato, they will most likely love immediately.
So when I saw this recipe for bacon ranch potatoes, I realized I could make this dish in the crock pot and I knew I had to try it.
84. Crock Pot Cheesy Chicken
Does your family love chicken? Do they love cheese? If you answered yes to one or both of those questions, then you might want to check out this recipe.
So if you didn’t already guess, it is a dish filled with delicious chicken that just covered with cheesy goodness. It could be your next weeknight dinner hit.
85. Easy Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken
Do you love Indian cuisine? If so, then you’ll definitely want to give this dish a try.
Not only does it include traditional Indian cuisine, but it can be easily put together in your crock pot and ready to eat when you are.
86. Crock Pot Easy Peach Cobbler
Do you love delicious, warm peach cobbler? I’ll be honest. I’m a cobbler fanatic. I love it all the more now because I can make it in my crock pot.
So the next time you’re craving a sweet summer dessert, don’t heat up your whole kitchen. Just fire up your crock pot.
87. Crock Pot Queso Blanco
Every time we eat Mexican cuisine at a restaurant, this is the dip we order before anything else. It has a unique flavor that tastes good on anything.
So the next time you and your family want to have a special treat, just whip up this dip in your crock pot. Then add a few chips. It could be your family’s favorite too.
88. Crock Pot Mushroom Portabella Chicken
Do you love mushrooms? My oldest son absolutely adores anything with mushrooms in it. He will actually just heat up a can of mushrooms and make a snack out them.
So when I saw this recipe that contains both mushrooms and protein, I knew it would be a good fit for my family.
89. Slow Cooker Meatloaf
I am a huge fan of meatloaf. It is probably one of my favorite traditional dinner dishes.
So when I realized it could be made in a crock pot, I was over the moon. If you are like me and love meatloaf too, then break out into a happy dance because your crock pot can now do the work for you.
90. Ham and Cheese Pasta Bake
Does the idea of ham, cheese, and pasta and all baked together sound like a wonderful meal to come home to after a long day at work?
If so, then you’ll want to give this recipe a quick glance. It has all of those elements and requires very little work since it is crock pot friendly.
91. Crock Pot Buffalo Ranch Chicken
I’m a huge fan of anything spicy. My husband loves it too. Which is why this recipe for buffalo chicken in the crock pot caught my attention.
But I also love the fact that this chicken could create tasty sandwiches, or go inside tortillas to have a delicious taco as well.
92. Crock Pot Low Carb Taco Soup
If you’ve ever partaken in a low carb diet or lifestyle, then you know that finding things that fit into this realm of nutrition is often difficult to find.
But this recipe fits that bill. It also has one up on other recipes because it can be easily created right in your crock pot.
93. Crock Pot Broccoli and Cheese Casserole
One of my favorite dishes that our family has almost every Thanksgiving at my mom’s house is broccoli and cheese casserole.
But I’m excited after finding this recipe because I know how easily I can make it myself and quickly too, thanks to the crock pot.
94. Crock Pot Chicken Tater Tot Casserole
If you are a fan of tater tot casserole, then you’ll like this version. It gives you the same traditional flavor of tater tot casserole but uses chicken instead of beef.
Plus, it can be easily created right in your crock pot. So no cooking for you after a long day if you use this recipe.
95. Easy Crock Pot French Dip Sandwiches
In case you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a foodie. I love food, but I especially love sandwiches. Care to take a guess at one of my favorite sandwiches?
Well, it would be a French Dip sandwich. This recipe is even more fantastic because now one of my favorite sandwiches can be created in a crock pot.
96. Herbed Crock Pot Bread
You no longer have to buy your bread at the store if you don’t want to. You don’t have to purchase a fancy bread machine either.
Instead, you can just pull out your crock pot and this recipe to create your own fresh bread loaves. Give it a try and see what you think.
97. Crock Pot Creamy Italian Chicken
Carbohydrates do not like me, but I love them, unfortunately. Which is why my mouth instantly started to water when I saw this delicious recipe.
So if you love carbs too, then you’ll want to try this delicious pasta dish. It could easily be a one pot meal and a great meal to feed your family on a busy night.
98. Slow Cooker Parmesan Herb Chicken
I can’t help but share a lot of chicken recipes that can be made in your crock pot. My mother loves chicken.
And I was raised mainly on chicken. So for every other chicken lover in the world, here is another recipe to give you a little variety and can be made conveniently in your crock pot.
99. Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers
My husband’s favorite meal is Polish sausages that have been cut and fried. Then he likes for me to sauté peppers and onions with them.
So when I saw I could create this meal effortlessly in my crock pot, I knew it had to be shared with our community.
A few tips to consider before buying the perfect crock pot
We received the Crock Pot 8-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker (pictured above) as a gift some years ago and we absolutely love it. It&rsquos BIG which means we can use it to make huge portions and save our leftovers for lunches and dinners throughout the week. Crock Pots come in all shapes, sizes and price points and at around 60 bucks ours does a phenomenal job! No need to spend a fortune on your pot! Having said that, there are a few features you should be considering before buying one.
If you&rsquove got a large family, know you want to cook extras or plan on putting large cuts of meat in your slow cooker, then I highly suggest you buy a 7 quart Crock Pot at a minimum. I&rsquom of the mindset that bigger is better when it comes to Crock Pots because you&rsquore doing the prep work anyway. You might as well make extra and eat it throughout the week or pop leftovers in the freezer to use for convenient lunches or dinners when you don&rsquot have anything prepared.
Most Crock Pots offer low and high settings. Another temperature setting that I think is super important is the warm setting. If you&rsquore out all day and your Crock Pot finishes the cooking cycle you really want it to keep your food warm until you&rsquore able to eat it.
Our first ever Crock Pot wasn&rsquot dishwasher safe which sucked because I&rsquod have to scrub it by hand. I eventually broke the stoneware insert because it was heavy and my clumsy hands dropped it on the floor. Our current crock pot is completely dishwasher safe which makes clean up a breeze. After a quick rinse, I pop the insert and the lid in the dishwasher and it comes out squeaky clean every time!
You can spend a pretty penny on a crock pot folks. They come in all different sizes, colors and prices. Quite honestly, we&rsquove got a mid range 60$ programmable Crock Pot and it does the job just fine! If you&rsquove got the budget to buy a more expensive one great! If not, there are a TON of really affordable Crock Pot options out there that do the
1. Crock Pot Chicken Teriyaki
Chicken teriyaki is an old favorite among people of all ages because of how delicious they taste. Chicken Teriyaki is prepared by a combination of vegetables, chicken and varied seasonings, made complete by pouring some soy sauce and vinegar over it. Thawing is one way to make a perfect chicken teriyaki.
19. Slow-Cooked Fisherman&rsquos Wharf Seafood Stew
Easy recipe. Mix the ingredients in crock pot, and cook for 8-9 hours. 20 minutes before the end, add meaty stuff, and let them cook together. Extraordinary delicious, and healthy meal.
Seafood should be implemented in your weekly feeding regime for health reasons, and it&rsquos tasty.