We all know that often it is healthier for your body and for your bank account to eat at home. However, who really has the time? Even stay-at-home moms and dads struggle to find the time to cook a delicious and nutritious home-cooked meal everyday. Between work, kids, friends and family, cleaning, managing life, catching up on your favorite episodes, and maybe even a quick trip to the gym, dinnertime can rapidly appear without warning. Surprisingly, dinnertime occurs everyday around the same time, and we are still startled when it shows up. It’s like declaring a state of emergency when your kids grow out of their shoes. Why didn’t anyone tell us that they grow so fast?!
While we can’t help you with your kids’ growth rate, we can maybe help you, and ourselves, by providing you with these 25 Yummy Slow-Cooker Recipes To Help Dinner Go Smoother. Let’s pull out those crock pots, fill them up with good stuff, and get back to our regularly scheduled programs. After only about 20-30 minutes of prep time, we have about 6-8 hours to complete our to-do lists before dinnertime arrives; this time we will be prepared!
Note: There are a few meat-free recipes here; They are marked (MF) for all of our herbivores out there.
Slow-Cooker Beef Stew
Most of what we think of when we think slow-cooker is stew and beef. Let’s start off this list with something to satisfy the cliche stereotype. After taking about 20 minutes to brown the meat and prep the gravy and veggies (testing the wine is optional), we can leave it alone for 8 hours. This is a hardy classic with savory veggies to compliment the beef.
Slow Cooked Cuban Sandwich
A Cuban sandwich from a slow-cooker? Unfortunately, our crock pots don’t currently have the capability to assemble sandwiches for us, but most of the prep work for you is just that: sandwich assembly. This slow cooked pork beats the ubiquitous PB&J, and it’s a huge improvement from your local sub shop. There’s even a video for this one.
Spicy Fajita Soup (MF if you substitute chicken broth)
This delicious soup is sure to turn up the heat. For those of you who love fajitas and love soup, this is for you. The bonus? It’s on this list, so it’s something you can throw in the crock pot.
Quinoa is all the craze these days, and there’s no wonder with how healthy and easy it is to add to many meals. While rice and pasta have their place, this minestrone gives quinoa it’s due turn with a new take on a classic. Yummy and delicious; what else could you ask for?
Slow Cooker Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs
Pasta is great. Pasta all the time is boring, not to mention that it’s not-so-great for our bodies. Spaghetti squash is an amazing magical veggie that takes the place of pasta and adds a lot more nutrition. Try this new way to serve up spaghetti and meatballs next time you just can’t take pasta anymore.
Slow Cooker Baked Spaghetti
For those not quite sick of pasta, this baked spaghetti a great spin to the traditional recipes out there. The flavors and seasonings have extra time to marinate too, as it’s in the slow cooker for several hours. There are great photos and a video for this recipe, too.
Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
This is another classic dish, but not one that we normally associate with the slow cooker. With all of your standard yummy ingredients, this soup will not disappoint, and you can still accomplish that to-do list while you let it simmer for 8 hours.
Slow Cooker Beef & Broccoli
This slow cooker version of beef and broccoli is super easy even for as these types of recipes go and is sure to delight your whole family. It’s especially great for a night when you want Chinese but don’t want to eat out or slave over the stove.
Slow-Cooker Creamy Chicken Pot Pie
Who doesn’t love Pot Pie? Okay, you over there, we see you. Just skip this one. For the rest of you who know how amazing and filling Pot Pie can be, this is for you. It’s soul food. This recipe combines about 4 hours in the slow cooker and about 40 minutes in the oven, and it’s from Pillsbury, so just imagine those biscuits…
Slow-Cooker Stuffed Peppers
Love stuffed peppers but don’t want to take the time to wait around for them to bake? Here is a great solution! You basically brown the beef with some seasonings, stuff the peppers, and let your slow cooker do the baking. Like most of the other recipes, about 30 minutes of prep time and 6 hours later, you can come home from those errands, work, or school to delicious stuffed peppers.
Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole
This dish is actually a breakfast meal. You can choose to go the traditional route and cook it overnight for breakfast the next morning, or you can have breakfast for dinner! After all, variety is the spice of life, as the magical “they” say. Sausage, eggs, cheese, hash browns, half-n-half…all the breakfast goodies in one pot waiting for when you are ready 7-10 hours later.
Slow Cooker Red Lentil Cauliflower Curry (MF)
So many slow cooker dishes include beef, chicken, or pork, which is not very encouraging for meat-free food-lovers. Here is a curry that will satisfy carnivores and herbivores alike with its intense flavor. It’s also a great way to get rid of those lentils that have been sitting in your cupboard for who knows how many months (years?).
Slow Cooker Chicken Gyros
Still looking for something different than that beef stew? How about a Mediterranean twist? Gyros, anyone? Like one of the earlier entrees, the most time consuming part to this is probably assembling the “sandwich.” You could probably even cheat and buy pre-made tzatziki sauce at the store. We won’t tell anyone.
Kalua Pork with Cabbage
Here is another super easy, low prep-work recipe. Plus, if you’ve ever wondered to yourself, “Who actually eats cabbage anymore? What do you even do with it?” now is your chance to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. The smokiness from the seasonings is sure to give both the pork and the cabbage a mouth-watering flavor.
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lentil Chili (MF)
Hopefully we haven’t lost the attention of the vegetarians. This meatless chili only requires you to chop and dump; Chop the veggies, dump all the ingredients, and you’re good to go for 8 hours. This recipe is jam-packed with nutrients and yumminess. (Is that a word? No? It is now…)
Slow Cooker Zucchini Lasagna (MF)
Here is another recipe that you wouldn’t normally associate with a crock pot. Prepare to set aside those pre-conceived notions, and check out this refreshing take on lasagna.
Easy Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs
Did you know that you can make baby back ribs in the slow cooker? It’s amazing what you can do with that slow cooker that has been collecting dust on the top of your refrigerator, isn’t it? After placing all the ingredients in the crock pot and leaving it for 8 hours, you just need to bake it for about 10 minutes.
Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff
With a creamy texture and flavorful ingredients, this hardy meal will be amazing to come home to. This is also a quick recipe as far as slow cooker recipes go as it only needs to simmer for about 4 hours and only requires about 10 minutes of prep work.
Slow Cooker Broccoli and Cheese Soup (MF)
Broccoli and cheese soup is always a great soup for lunch, dinner, or as a major accompaniment to another entree. This slow cooker version sticks with classic flavors and ingredients and is sure to delight body and soul.
5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Steak Fajitas
Who is up for some fajitas? Not only does this recipe look amazing, it also only needs 5 ingredients. Bring it on!
Slow Cooker Thai Seafood Boil
We know that many slow cooker recipes are best suited for cooler months or for when you really want a warm and hardy meal. However, this recipe is great for summer as it adds cooling flavors like dill, mint, and lemongrass, while keeping healthy veggies and delicious seafood in the mix. Try it at your next family or neighborhood cookout.
Slow Cooker Tri-Tip Salad
Speaking of summer, doesn’t this salad look amazing and refreshing? Of course, the salad greens don’t go in the slow cooker, but the meat does. This is a great idea to change up what you normally do with slow cooker meat. You can find the recipe for the salad, the dressing, and the tri-tip all on one page.
Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Apple Butter and Potatoes
Some people are all about meat and potatoes. If you are one of those people, what do you think about meat and potatoes and apple butter? Wait, what? Apple butter? This recipe looks as delicious as it is curious. This is also a great recipe for getting in a good serving of spinach.
Slow-Cooker Cheeseburger Soup
Here is one final summer recipe. Normally, burgers go on the grill; however, this amazing dish is done all in the slow cooker! It even gets topped off with fries.
Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake (MF)
There are some nights after a long day when dessert is just not optional. There is no judgement over here. Go ahead and order that take out, pick up that pizza, or just skip dinner all together because tonight, your slow cooker is going to be busy with something else. We couldn’t leave you without adding at least one dessert. How is chocolate lava cake for a grand finale? You’re welcome.