I don’t know about you, but some weekdays I just don’t have it in me to whip up a delicious dinner. Blame it on work or the daily stresses of life—either way, spending my precious evening hours in the kitchen cooking dinner often sounds like more effort than it’s worth. But enlisting the help of a trusted crockpot can change that. In truth, slow cooker meals are perfect for those days when you just don’t feel like cooking. Not only do they simplify meal prep tenfold, but they also give you the satisfaction and comfort of a delicious and healthy home-cooked meal. So today, we’re sharing 24 easy weeknight crockpot meals you can whip up with minimal effort. Keep scrolling to learn more.
24 Easy Weeknight Crockpot Meals
Chicken Crockpot Meals
Look up any crockpot recipes, and you’re guaranteed to come across tons that are made with chicken. After all, chicken crockpot meals are versatile, easy to make, and full of flavor. Whether you prefer chicken thighs, breasts, or shredded chicken, treat yourself to a well-rounded weeknight dinner with one of these recipes.
Add some spice to your life with this slow-cooker chicken recipe. With just five minutes of prep time needed to sear the chicken, you can easily whip up and dump the ingredients in your crockpot around lunchtime. About five hours later, you’ll be rewarded with the fragrant scents of garlic, onion, chipotle peppers, and tomatoes. Serve the cooked chicken over rice or black beans for a hearty, Mexican-inspired meal.
Pineapple may be the last food you’d think of pairing with chicken, but this recipe works. The sauce is sweet, spicy, and savory, and the pineapple adds a tropical twist. Plus, this easy dinner recipe requires minimal effort—everything goes into the crockpot to slow cook on low heat for 6-8 hours before you’ll have to whisk together a couple ingredients and cut your chicken into cubes.
If you’re a fan of buffalo chicken wings, you’ll love these slow cooker buffalo chicken meatballs. Despite the fact that this is a slow cooker recipe, it’s ready to eat in just two hours, so you don’t have to worry about prepping everything first thing in the morning. Likewise, the fact that it calls for common kitchen staples such as paprika and garlic and onion powder won’t have you running to the market to gather the necessary ingredients.
Beef Crockpot Meals
While beef crockpot meals are often associated with stews and chili, there’s a plethora of recipes out there everyone can get behind. Whether you’re looking for a hearty soup or an easy weeknight dinner, these beef crockpot meals have you covered.
In the market for a family-friendly meal everyone will love? Look no further. This recipe requires only seven ingredients and yields up to 10 servings, so there will be plenty of leftovers that can be used for seconds or stored in the fridge for another night. You’ll need to allow a little over eight hours for everything to cook fully, so be sure to throw everything in the slow cooker early in the morning. This will help ensure the meat is completely tenderized and flavored.
Let’s be real: Tortellini might just be one of the best dishes to come home to after a long day. Prep your ground beef in the morning before throwing it in the slow cooker along with diced tomatoes and green chiles, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. From there, cook for 7-8 hours on low or high for 3-4 hours, stir in three-cheese tortellini, cook until tender (about 15-30 minutes), and voilà! You have a delicious, comforting meal right at your fingertips.
A copycat version of Olive Garden’s Pasta e Fagioli Soup, this easy slow cooker recipe is everything you need on days when you’re pressed for time. Made with ground beef, vegetables, spices, and pasta, this recipe is bold, fragrant, and the ultimate comfort food. Also, since it takes 15 minutes to prep and four hours to cook, you can start this one late morning or early afternoon if need be.
Pork Crockpot Meals
Pork is one of those things that’s easy to overcook, but letting it simmer in the slow cooker for hours can prevent that from happening. Treat yourself to a tender and flavorful pork meal with one of these recipes.
Slow-cooker pulled pork is jam-packed with flavor and can be served in a variety of ways, which makes it perfect for busy weekdays. Start this one bright and early and throw everything in the crockpot ASAP so you can let the ingredients simmer on low for nine hours. Once the pork is fully cooked through and can easily be pulled apart with a fork, serve it in a sandwich, tacos, or burritos for dinner, or on top of nachos for a late-night snack.
This super easy chile verde pork recipe brings the classic Mexican dish right to your kitchen. You’ll need some common household spices and herbs for this one, as well as pork loin and your favorite Tex-Mex toppings. It also requires about 20 minutes of prep time and three to four hours of cook time, so be sure to start this one by early afternoon so it’s ready in time for supper. Serve with taco shells, wrapped in burritos, or over rice.
Nothing’s worse than eating dried-out, overcooked pork tenderloin or undercooked, mushy potatoes, but this recipe keeps the pork moist and flavorful and the potatoes crisp. While this recipe may look fancy, you really only need some seasonings, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce to make it. Furthermore, you don’t need to worry about starting this one immediately after you wake up since it only takes about four hours to cook, so you can proceed with your morning routine as usual.
Seafood Crockpot Meals
Regardless of whether you’re a hardcore seafood lover or only eat it here and there, these recipes are rich, flavorful, and satisfying. Set yourself up for success with one of these healthy crockpot seafood meals.
This seafood recipe is loaded with nutrient-dense ingredients like quinoa, shrimp, and spinach that both taste good and are good for you. What’s more, it’s insanely easy to make. All you have to do is throw everything in the crockpot on low for 3-4 hours, which makes it ideal for days you don’t have the extra time to spend meal prepping in the kitchen.
Who doesn’t love a good shrimp taco? This recipe brings you the flavors you love without the fuss. In just two hours, you can have restaurant-worthy shrimp tacos with minimal effort. Everything goes directly into the slow cooker for this one and involves little-to-no prep. To make your life easier, be sure to peel, de-vein, and thaw your shrimp beforehand to save time.
Jambalaya is so delicous when made right, and using a slow cooker ensures all your ingredients stay fresh and flavorful. While fairly simple and straightforward, this meal takes a total of six hours and 20 minutes in total to prepare and cook, so be sure to place everything in the crockpot first thing.
Keto and Low-Carb Crockpot Meals
If you think keto or low-carb meals can’t be made in a slow cooker, think again. Allow us to introduce to you the easy weeknight crockpot recipes that will rock your world and meet your dietary needs.
If you love cooking but can’t set aside extra time to practice your culinary skills, you’ll love this recipe. Inspired by Asian cuisine, this meal combines shredded Asian beef, peppers, and broccoli over cauliflower fried rice, making this perfect for anyone eating low-carb. That said, you’ll need to set aside 30 minutes to prep accordingly and four hours to simmer the beef in the slow cooker.
14. Easy Keto Chili
This chili recipe removes the typical addition of beans to create a delicious keto meal courtesy of your slow cooker. With 12 rich and flavorful ingredients, you can have a hearty, savory bowl of chili in eight hours or less. What’s more, this recipe also yields six servings, so there will be plenty to go around or store as leftovers to be used for another busy weekday.
This low-maintenance carnitas recipe is everything you need to make it through a hectic workday. Not only can this recipe be gluten- and dairy-free, keto, or low-carb, but it’s also tender, juicy, and tasty AF. Since you’ll need a minimum of four hours and 15 minutes to make, be sure to start this one by early afternoon so it’ll be ready in time for dinner.
Low-Calorie Crockpot Meals
Similar to keto and low-carb crockpot meals, these low-calorie recipes are ideal for making sure you’re sticking to your health and fitness goals. They’ll remove the fuss and extra focus and effort and help you stay on track (or leave room for dessert if you’re tracking calories!).
This slow cooker garlic, honey, and chicken recipe is ideal for the days you just can’t be bothered. To make, all you need is boneless skinless chicken breasts, minced garlic, honey, soy sauce, and chili garlic sauce. Plus, this cooks faster than other slow cooker recipes and can be cooked on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-5 hours. Whatever you decide, serve with your favorite grain and veggie and call it a day.
Warm yourself up from the inside out with this sausage and kale soup that’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo. Ideal for cooler weather and cozy nights, this recipe is jam-packed with flavors, veggies, and nutrients. What’s more, you only need four or five minutes to prep before throwing everything in the slow cooker on low for six hours. Be sure to start this in the morning so it’ll be rich and ready to eat by the time dinner rolls around.
Chickpeas are seriously underrated; they’re a great source of protein, fiber, iron, folate, phosphorous, and polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. And this recipe uses them to create a divine curry that’s vegan, gluten-free, and just 181 calories per serving. Plus, it’s super easy to make—give yourself 15 minutes to prepare the curry paste in the morning before throwing everything in the crockpot on high for six hours.
Freezer Crockpot Meals
Some of the best crockpot meal prep recipes are the ones that can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer. It saves tons of time and energy throughout the week and preserves freshness and flavor. So give yourself a much-deserved break with one of these freezer crockpot recipes.
Pulled beef is tasty, super versatile, and ideal for a woman on the move. And with only five ingredients, this recipe delivers. Cook in the crockpot on low for 7-8 hours ahead of time before placing the finished product in a freezer bag and laying it flat in the freezer. When you’re ready to thaw the pulled beef for dinner, remove from the freezer and reheat in your slow cooker on low for 2-3 hours.
This cilantro lime chicken takes simplicity to a whole new level. To prep, combine chicken, beans, tomatoes, corn, salsa, cilantro, onion, jalapeno, cumin, chili powder, and garlic in a large freezer-safe bag and store in the freezer for up to a month. Then, remove from the freezer and thaw 24-48 hours before an upcoming hectic day and place in a slow cooker on low heat for 7-8 hours. Enjoy with your favorite toppings in a rice bowl, burrito, or on top of a salad.
Similar to the recipe above, this vegan peanut stew can be assembled raw beforehand and stored flat in the freezer for up to three months. When it comes time to enjoy, be sure to thaw it completely to preserve quality, freshness, and flavor, and slow cook over low heat for six hours.
Vegetarian Crockpot Meals
No meat? No problem. Treat yourself to one of these delicious vegetarian meals straight from your slow cooker. Spoiler alert: you won’t be disappointed.
There’s nothing better than curling up with a bowl of veggie soup on a cold day, and this recipe pulls out all the stops. Made with kitchen staples such as onions, celery, beans, carrots, and garlic, this soup is delicious and filling. That said, you have to soak the beans overnight before placing them in the slow cooker, and you’ll want to start simmering the soup first thing since it’ll take eight hours to cook. The longer you cook, the creamier the soup will be.
Green bean casserole shouldn’t be reserved just for the holidays. And this recipe is even easier to make when you use your crockpot. The best part is that this requires almost no effort whatsoever; you only need five ingredients and can let the crockpot do the rest. Just be sure to set aside plenty of time for this one to simmer since it can take anywhere from 4-6 hours to cook completely.
In case you needed another reason to add pasta to your dinner menu, making spaghetti just got even easier. By placing tons of veggies, gluten-free spaghetti, and tomato puree in a slow cooker, you can have an enviable pasta dish in two and a half hours or less. And if you want to live la dolce vita, pair the meal with a nice merlot or shiraz.