I use my slow cooker a ton, about two to three times per week. With four young children and a husband who works late three days a week, preparing easy dinners is a must. I put the meals in the crockpot in the morning while my oldest is at school, and then I don’t have to cook dinner in the evenings, which makes me better able to focus on the kids and their needs.
Having dinner prepared ahead of time also lessens the chaos that is inevitable when trying to get four children fed and ready for bed by myself. I prefer easy slow cooker recipes that don’t take a lot of extra preparation or ingredients, so here are five of my favorite crockpot recipes.
5 Easy Slow Cooker Recipes That Will Be a Hit
Refried Bean Chili
I got this recipe from my cousin’s wife for my wedding, but a similar recipe can be found at geniuskitchen.com (which uses ground turkey while I use ground beef).
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 can refried beans
- 1 (14 oz) can beef broth
- 1 jar thick and chunky salsa
- 2 cans chili beans in chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- Brown the ground beef with the onion in a pan; drain the fat.
- Add all ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low 6-8 hours or on high 4-5 hours.
- Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, and/or corn tortilla chips.
Mediterranean Chicken Stew
This is another one of those easy slow cooker recipes that you and your kids will enjoy.
- 1 ½ pounds chicken breasts
- garlic salt, pepper, oregano to taste
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 1 can artichoke hearts, drained
- 1 can black olives, drained
- 1-2 boxes of couscous, any flavor
- Sprinkle the chicken with the garlic salt, pepper, and oregano.
- Add to slow cooker. Add tomatoes and artichoke hearts.
- Cook on low 5-6 hours.
- Cook couscous according to package directions.
- Stir olives into stew and serve stew over couscous.
This recipe is my mom’s and she has been making it for many years. She uses homegrown canned tomatoes, but if you don’t have them it will still taste yummy with store-bought.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 beef bouillon cube
- Brown the ground beef with the onion and garlic then drain the fat.
- Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low 5-6 hours.
- Serve over with spaghetti noodles with parmesan cheese, and garlic bread on the side.
Bacon Ranch Chicken Salad Sandwiches
This is an easy way to make chicken salad and it is even better with bacon bits and ranch dip mix. This recipe can be found at crock-pot.com.
- 1-1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
- ¼ cup chicken broth
- 5 teaspoons ranch dip mix
- ¾-1 cup mayonnaise
- 4 tablespoons bacon bits or bacon pieces
- 2 stalks celery
- bread or roll for serving
- Place chicken breasts in slow cooker. Pour chicken broth over the chicken and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of ranch dip mix.
- Cook on low for 4-5 hours.
- Remove chicken from crockpot and let chicken cool for a bit. Shred the chicken with 2 forks. Mix it in a bowl with the remaining ranch mix, mayonnaise, bacon pieces, and celery.
- Serve warm or chilled on the bread of your choice.
This is another easy and delicious recipe. It can be found on babble.com.
- 1-1 ½ pounds chicken breasts
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 6 ounces cream cheese, cubed
- ¼ cup water
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
- about 20 fajita/soft taco sized tortillas
- Place chicken in slow cooker. Add water. Sprinkle chicken with taco seasoning and top with cream cheese.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- Shred the chicken, add the cheddar cheese, and stir well to combine.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a small amount of chicken mixture on each tortilla and roll it up.
- Place taquitos on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.
- Cook in the oven for 8-12 minutes.
- Serve with your choice of sour cream, salsa, guacamole, or queso.
If you are looking for some new simple slow cooker recipes, give these a try. I don’t think you will be disappointed. One final tip I recommend is using slow cooker liners; they make clean up much easier. I hope you enjoy making and eating these recipes as much as I enjoyed sharing them with you. Happy cooking (or should I say, sitting back while the crockpot does the cooking!)
Sarah Morel is a stay at home mom to four kids ages 6 and under, including twin toddlers. When not caring for children and keeping the house clean, she enjoys reading, especially Harry Potter, chatting with other moms online, or writing. You can find more about her on her blog.