Welcome to Slow Cooker Week! We’re sharing all our favorite Crock Pot recipes, tips, tricks, and advice this week—and including the Instant Pot, of course, since it slow cooks too. Here, some of our favorite easy Crock-Pot dinners to keep in rotation; they’ll please the whole family, and are a breeze to pull together.
Even if you’re the world’s most avid home cook, let’s be honest: Between work, school, family commitments, and everything else (there’s always more), sometimes you just need to get dinner done. For those days, turn to one-pot pleasers that are packed with flavor and sure to make everyone—from your pea-averse five-year-old to your persnickety significant other—happy. Here are 21 easy slow cooker dinner recipes that never leave our Crock-Pot rotation.
Related Reading: Enter to Win a Wolf Gourmet Slow Cooker By March 9!
At this Crock-Pot dish’s core is meat or poultry braised in a vinegary sauce. This easy, mild version cooks onions, chicken, soy sauce, and vinegar in a slow cooker, and takes advantage of bone-in chicken thighs’ extra flavor. The onions absorb the savory sauce, and all that’s needed to complete the meal is a pile of steamed rice to soak everything up. Get our Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo recipe.
The Pioneer Woman Floral 6-Quart Slow Cooker, $24.96 at Walmart
If you're in the market for a new slow cooker, may as well make it pretty.
Here is a simplified, yet still delicious, version of ramen that boasts plenty of succulent braised pork. If you can’t find high-quality fresh ramen noodles, use fresh thin Chinese egg noodles or fresh linguine. Serve the soup with your favorite ramen embellishments. Get Kim Laidlaw’s Slow Cooker Pork Ramen recipe.
Pork shoulder, dried chiles, and tomatoes slowly turn luscious over as many as 10 hours in the slow cooker, then get turned into a memorable filling, rolled into sauce-dipped tortillas and baked under a blanket of cheese. Serve these on a Sunday afternoon with a refreshing tangle of jicama and orange salad and a pitcher of agua de Jamaica or beer. Get our Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Enchiladas recipe.
Made with chicken thighs, canned cannellini beans, and a handful of other ingredients, this Crock-Pot chili tastes way more complicated than it is. It’s a a rich, smoky-tasting one-bowl dinner, perfect for laid-back Sundays. Get our Slow Cooker Chipotle Chili recipe.
With an entire can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, along with ancho chiles and almonds, this mole is nicely spicy without being overbearing. Prep is a breeze: Just blend everything up, put it in the slow cooker with some chicken, and forget about it for 4 to 8 hours. The recipe yields lots of extra sauce, so put some out with tortilla chips before serving it for dinner. Get our Slow Cooker Chicken Mole recipe.
When slowly cooked, root vegetables morph into sweet deliciousness. Use vegetable (or mushroom) broth here, and you’ve got a hearty, vegan, and gluten-free dinner. Yukon Gold potatoes, carrots, parsnips, pumpkin, sweet potatoes—they’re delicious, and healthy. Get our Slow Cooker Root Vegetable Stew recipe.
Skinless, bone-in chicken thighs pick up tenderness and deep flavor in this pretty much effortless slow cooker recipe with French flavors. Fresh fennel bulbs, orange zest and juice, black olives, and whole-grain mustard simmer with the chicken, in a one-crock dish that needs only buttered noodles or rice pilaf. Get our Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs with Olives and Fennel recipe.
Don’t expect this slow cooker version of Bolognese, which calls for atypical ingredients like porcini mushrooms and ground cinnamon, to be traditional, but do expect your family to go back for seconds anyway. Get our Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese recipe.
Spicy andouille sausage is traditional to jambalaya, but if the kids don’t have a high tolerance for heat, substitute regular smoked sausage and pass around Cajun seasoning and Tabasco for the adults at the table. Get Alaska From Scratch’s Slow Cooker Jambalaya recipe.
The andouille advice applies to this easy shrimp gumbo too, which includes a nifty trick for easy roux. The shrimp aren’t added until the very end, so they won’t overcook. Get our Slow Cooker Shrimp Gumbo recipe.
There’s a reason beef Stroganoff is a classic not just in Russia but all around the world: The dish exudes a sense of luxuriousness while still managing to be one of the most affordable entrées on the block. Get Fresh Slowcooking’s Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff recipe (or if you didn’t plan ahead, get our Easy One-Pot Beef Stroganoff recipe.)
For a similar Eastern European style dish that ditches the mushrooms and adds carrots, caraway, and sweet paprika to the tender beef and rich egg noodles, goulash is the name of the game. Dollop with tangy sour cream to serve (and shower it with any fresh herbs you have). Get our Slow Cooker Beef Goulash recipe.
This veggie lasagna is a win all around. Your spouse will be excited the kids are eating vegetables; the kids’ll be excited they’re eating pasta and melted cheese; you’ll be excited you’re coming home to a ready-made dinner. Get Weelicious’s Crock-Pot Vegetable Lasagna recipe.
Another vegetarian dish, these quinoa-stuffed peppers are healthy but have a natural sweetness that appeals to kids, plus creamy, salty feta for punch. Serve as a meal or as a side. Get our Slow Cooker Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers recipe.
Related Reading: 11 Stuffed Pepper Recipes to Make All Fall
Because it’s not too pungent, Japanese-style curry makes a lovely candidate for a family dinner, even if you have spice-averse eaters to please. Opt for a mild curry mix to keep everyone happy. Get Filing Away Cupcakes’ Easy Crock-Pot Japanese Curry recipe.
Here’s a great spin on a classic Chinese takeout kung pao chicken for the slow cooker. The convenience and ease of a slow cooker enhances the aromatic flavors of Sichuan cooking by allowing the chicken to braise in a complex sweet and spicy sauce. Get our Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken recipe. (It goes great with our Crock-Pot Fried Rice recipe if you have some left over—or have two slow cookers and want to put them both to work at once.)
Chicken broth, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce form the base of a great glaze (or sauce, if you don’t want to reduce the liquid) for tender slow cooker pork loin (just don’t confuse it for tenderloin). Get our Crock-Pot Balsamic Pork Loin Roast recipe.
Sometimes soup just hits the spot; this one is healthy and hearty, made from butternut squash and red bell peppers plus carrots and onions. Garnished with garlicky toast, savory granola, or crisp roasted chickpeas, it’s a nice light meal, but it’s also a great grilled cheese partner when you want a change from tomato soup. Get our Slow Cooker Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Soup recipe.
Related Reading: 21 Easy, Cozy Slow Cooker Soups & Stews
Shredded chicken from the slow cooker turns into fantastic tacos, and this version is seasoned with orange juice, cumin, poblano peppers, and apple cider vinegar. Leave out the hanabero if anyone’s sensitive to spice. Get our Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos recipe. (In a pinch, a rotisserie chicken also works.)
This Crock-Pot take on Chicken Cacciatore is full of deep, rich, robust flavor and plenty of sauce that calls for a mild, creamy bed of something to soak it all up (think polenta, mashed potatoes, or cauliflower puree). Get our Slow Cooker Italian Chicken recipe.
Eggplant parmesan usually calls for frying slices of breaded eggplant before topping them with cheese, then serving with a generous heap of spaghetti in red sauce. This lightened-up rendition—a deconstructed version with eggplant, melted mozzarella, and homemade breadcrumbs—cuts out all the oil without making any flavor concessions. Get A Sunshiny Day’s Healthier Eggplant Parmesan recipe.
Related Video: Slow Cooker Beef Chili
Visit our Slow Cooker Week headquarters for everything else you need to know (and cook).
Header image by Chowhound.