Back-to-School Slow Cooker Recipes

Slow and steady wins the race, so the saying goes, and after you taste what your slow-cooker can do, you just might make that fabled saying your daily mantra. Get in the back-to-school swing with these simple suppers that are sure to please the whole family.

  • Turkey Sloppy Joes
    Photo: Kate Mathis; Styling: Paul Grimes

    Turkey Sloppy Joes

    Lighten up a family favorite with lean ground turkey. Slow cooking the meat allows fantastic flavor to develop, so all you have to do is pile it on whole-wheat hamburgers buns and dig in!
  • Loaded Twice-Baked Potatoes
    Oxmoor House

    Loaded Twice-Baked Potatoes

    For a main dish, split the potatoes from the top, and open slightly; pile on more toppings, and enjoy the entire potato. You could also serve the potatoes topped with chili for a heartier meal.
  • King Ranch Chicken
    Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lydia Pursell

    King Ranch Chicken

    You can never go wrong with comfort food! This slow-cooker version of the fan favorite King Ranch Chicken Casserole is sure to please the whole family.
  • <p>Slow-Cooker Creamy Tomato Soup</p>

    Creamy Tomato Soup

    Canned tomatoes mean you can enjoy Creamy Tomato Soup all year long. Serve this slow-cooker soup on its own or alongside gooey grilled cheese for a go-to weeknight meal.
  • Chicken and Cornbread Dumplings
    Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Heather Chadduck

    Chicken and Cornbread Dumplings

    The way to the family's heart is, well, through its stomach! Make a classic chicken and dumplings recipe even more Southern by topping the vegetable-and-chicken-packed stew with cornbread dumplings.
  • Tangy Asian Meatballs

    Tangy Asian Meatballs

    With a different and delicious Asian-style glaze, these meatballs are a tangy addition to your family table. Serve these kid-sized meatballs with steamed rice and sautéed snow peas.
  • Chicken Enchilada Stack
    Oxmoor House

    Chicken Enchilada Stack

    Think outside the "dish." You can enjoy the flavor and texture of enchiladas in a slow cooker; just stack the tortillas instead of rolling them. We suggest lining your slow cooker with a slow-cooker bag so you can easily remove the stack from the cooker.
  • Slow-Cooker Baked Ziti
    Photo: Kana Okada; Styling: Susan Vajaranant

    Baked Ziti

    You only need 6 ingredients for this slow-cooker vegetarian pasta recipe that's perfect for weeknight dinners. Two jars of marinara sauce and three kinds of cheese provide satisfying flavor in this version of the classic dish.
  • Slow-Cooker Shepherd's Pie

    Shepherd's Pie

    Use your slow cooker to make a traditional shepherd's pie that's filled with lean ground beef and vegetables and topped with creamy mashed potatoes.
  • Cincinnati Chili
    Photo: Kana Okada; Styling: Susan Vajaranant

    Cincinnati Chili

    This regional favorite is characterized by its unique combination of seasonings. Chili powder, cinnamon, allspice, cayenne, and cocoa powder add tremendous flavor to lean ground beef. Serve topped with cheese over thick spaghetti for an authentic Cincy experience.
  • Sesame-Ginger Chicken
    Oxmoor House

    Sesame-Ginger Chicken

    Serve the chicken over steamed rice to savor every bit of the sweet Asian glaze. This classic dish is a slow-cooker must-have on your weeknight meal planner.
  • Potato Soup
    Oxmoor House

    Potato Soup

    This classic soup gets a double hit of cheese--stirred into the soup and sprinkled over the top. Weighing in at less than 300 calories, you can feel good about serving your family a healthier option tonight.
  • Simple Grits with Toppings

    Simple Grits with Toppings

    Nothing says "Southern hospitality" quite like a hearty bowl of grits. This 20-minute recipe is perfect for busy families that eat dinner at different times, as your slow cooker is used to keep the grits warm. Set out a toppings bar so each family member can customize his or her bowl.
  • Slow-Cooker Turkey Tacos
    Photo: Ryan Benyi; Styling: Andrea Steinberg

    Turkey Tacos

    Step aside, ground beef, because turkey is taking over this taco night. Serve the shredded meat in taco shells with your favorite toppings or try it as a taco salad.
  • Spiced Apple Pork Chops
    Oxmoor House

    Spiced Apple Pork Chops

    Essential to this recipe, the thickness of the pork chops ensures that the chops stay tender and juicy throughout the long cook time. Mashed sweet potatoes and sautéed Brussels sprouts complete this comforting meal.
  • Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
    Oxmoor House

    Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

    You already love pulled chicken, so why not try it in a slow cooker? Savor this tender, melt-in-your-mouth chicken sandwich with homemade ketchup-based sauce for lunch or dinner.
  • Vegetable Pot Pie with Parmesan-Black Pepper Biscuits
    Oxmoor House

    Vegetable Pot Pie with Parmesan-Black Pepper Biscuits

    Leaving out the chicken doesn’t make this dish any less filling or tasty. The medley of vegetables topped with a fluffy and savory biscuit create phenomenal flavors and will appease every one in your family.
  • Slow-Cooker Bratwurst with Sauerkraut and Apples
    Photo: Ryan Benyi: Styling: A.J. Battifarano

    Bratwurst with Sauerkraut and Apples

    Simmer bratwurst in the slow cooker along with sauerkraut, apple, mustard and brown sugar to add rich, deep flavor to the sausages. Serve on buns for a hearty main dish.
  • Slow-Cooker BBQ Turkey Meatballs
    Photo: Ryan Benyi; Styling: Andrea Steinberg

    BBQ Turkey Meatballs

    These easy slow-cooker turkey meatballs are the perfect choice for busy weeknights. Serve over mashed potatoes with a side of corn.
  • Extra-Cheesy Macaroni and Cheese
    Photo: Oxmoor House

    Extra-Cheesy Macaroni and Cheese

    Using Italian and Cheddar cheeses updates this mac and cheese dish that is sure to please kids as well as impress adults.
  • Slow-Cooker Salsa Chicken
    Photo: Ryan Benyi; Styling: Gerri Williams for James Reps  

    Salsa Chicken

    Who wouldn't like to come home to falling-apart tender chicken simmering in salsa and spices? Serve this saucy dish over rice or stuffed into tortillas with your favorite taco toppings.
  • Turkey Chili Cheese Pie with Cornmeal Crust
    Photo: Kate Sears

    Turkey Chili Cheese Pie with Cornmeal Crust

    Lean ground turkey is bulked up with onion, crushed tomatoes, low-sodium beef broth, and kidney beans. Topped with a super simple cornmeal crust, this is one meal your family won't soon forget.
  • Slow-Cooker Eggplant Parmesan
    Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Styling: Gerri Williams for James Reps  

    Eggplant Parmesan

    This 5-ingredient vegetarian meal bubbles away in the slow cooker for hours, resulting in a delightfully cheesy, layered weeknight dish. A simple green salad rounds out the meal.
  • White Bean and Chicken Chili

    White Bean and Chicken Chili

    One of those “killer” recipes that will wow any crowd, this 9-ingredient chili relies on pantry staples including canned white beans, broth, and roasted chilies. To build rich flavor, the chicken and onions are browned first in a skillet with garlic and cumin.
  • Turkey Meat Loaf with Cranberry Glaze
    Photo: Andrew McCaul; Styling: Gerri Williams for James Reps  

    Turkey Meat Loaf with Cranberry Glaze

    Turkey Meat Loaf with Cranberry Glaze delivers those favorite Thanksgiving flavors, even when November is months away. Continue the theme by serving the meat loaf with mashed potatoes and gravy.
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