15+ Satisfying and Easy Slow-Cooker Dinners
The humble slow cooker is the closest appliance we have to magic. And when you lack the time, energy, or motivation for more involved methods of cooking, the slow cooker is a true blessing. We've rounded up our easiest slow cooker dinners of all time, because ending the day with a delicious meal shouldn't — and doesn't — have to drain you. These slow cooker dinner recipes require minimal prep so you can put mealtime in motion right off the bat.
Slow Cooker Chicken Posole
Slow Cooker Chicken Posole Recipe
Think of posole as chili's brothier, lighter cousin, a Mexican version of chicken soup. Posole is also a name for the hominy, or rehydrated dried corn, that goes in the dish.
Slow Cooker Tex-Mex Chicken and Black Bean Soup
Slow Cooker Tex-Mex Chicken and Black Bean Soup Recipe
This filling and flavorful soup is ideal for a chilly evening. Freeze leftover chipotle chiles and adobe sauce in a flattened Ziploc bag for future use. Want to make it in your Instant Pot? Click here for the recipe.
Slow Cooker Shrimp Boil
Slow Cooker Shrimp Boil Recipe
For a classic summery meal without a fuss, look no further than this slow cooker shrimp boil. With a simple ingredient list and a largely hands-off cooking method, this easy seafood boil is a perfect recipe to plan on for casual warm weather entertaining or even as a low-effort meal to make at the rental house during a beach vacation. We opted to pull the corn out after 30 minutes of cooking as we preferred it on the crisp side, but as long as your slow cooker is large enough, feel free to leave it in the pot as the shrimp and sausage cook.
Soulful Chicken Soup
No dish is quite as soothing as a hearty bowl of chicken noodle soup. Slow cookers couldn't have made the road to comfort any easier: Simply toss in the ingredients, switch on, and then walk away. We love old-fashioned, wide egg noodles for this recipe. To make sure they aren't mushy and overcooked, don't leave them in the slow cooker any longer than 10 minutes.
Slow Cooker Beef and Cabbage with Potatoes and Carrots
Slow Cooker Beef and Cabbage with Potatoes and Carrots Recipe
There's no better way to celebrate St. Paddy than with a showstopping feast of beef, cabbage, carrots, and potatoes. To create the traditional flavor profile of corned beef and cabbage without the traditionally massive sodium spike, we simmer brisket in a strong aromatic spice blend at low and slow heat rather than starting with brined beef.
Slow Cooker Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
Slow Cooker Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic Recipe
White meat can dry out after a long haul in the slow cooker, so we opt for bone-in thighs to guarantee optimal flavor and succulence. Make prep easier with prepeeled garlic, and pretty-up the platter with lemon slices and thyme sprigs.
Slow Cooker Ramen Bowls
Slow Cooker Ramen Bowls Recipe
Any ramen lover will tell you--it's all about the broth. We build layers of rich umami flavor with the help of mushroom stems, fresh ginger, kombu (a type of edible kelp), sesame oil, and, of course, low and slow heat.
Slow Cooker Creamy Lentil Soup
Slow Cooker Creamy Lentil Soup Recipe
Simple flavors and a rustic touch will make this soup an instant home-cooked favorite, especially on chilly, wintry days. Inexpensive dried lentils make up the bulk of the soup, helping fill in your fiber gaps and keep you full longer. Chickpeas are the secret ingredient to achieve supreme creaminess, which become delightfully smooth when blended, and sneak in an extra 3g fiber per serving.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe
We love the heat level in this slow cooker take on tikka masala to fend off winter chill. If the spice kick is too much for your family, you can cut the red pepper down by half without losing any of the dynamic flavor layers.
Slow Cooker Barbacoa Brisket
Slow Cooker Barbacoa Brisket Recipe
Slow cooking tougher cuts of meat, such as beef brisket, gives you a meltingly tender texture. For tacos, serve the saucy barbacoa in tortillas with green and red onion, cilantro leaves, jalapeño slices, and fresh lime wedges.
Slow Cooker Mississippi Pork Roast
Slow Cooker Mississippi Pork Roast Recipe
Try classic Mississippi pot roast with pork for a juicier, less expensive twist. It's comforting, super savory, rich, and delicious, and the juicy, tender meat falls apart just like a good pot roast should. It makes a great dinner, especially paired with dinner rolls, mashed potatoes or rice. This recipe will also work with a bone-in pork butt. Best of all, the opportunities to utilize the leftovers are endless—try them in tacos, barbecue sandwiches, stews, and more.
Slow Cooker Lazy Lasagna Soup
Slow Cooker Lazy Lasagna Soup Recipe
Your family will love this fun departure from the Italian classic—and you'll love its ease and simplicity. Want to make it in an Instant Pot? Get the recipe here.
Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs
Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs Recipe
Barbecue season is here, but we'll let you in on a secret: All you really need for crowd-pleasing ribs is the right recipe and a slow cooker. Savory, tender, juicy, and slow-cooked to perfection, this recipe for Easy BBQ Ribs is our newest and best. And just because it's easy doesn't mean this recipe lacks character. Add our homemade Rib Rub and Fancy Barbecue Sauce for a foolproof meal that's truly special.
Simple Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
Simple Slow Cooker Whole Chicken Recipe
This simple whole chicken recipe is great served as is with crusty bread or over rice, but it's also a great way to cook chicken ahead of time to use in a variety of dishes, such as chicken salad, soups, and casseroles.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore with Spaghetti
Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore with Spaghetti Recipe
Spend 20 minutes in the kitchen prepping this gorgeous, hearty sauce. Once the sauce simmers in the cooker, all that's left to do is cook a pound of pasta, and serve.
Easy Brunswick Stew
The best part about this scrumptious dish is right in the name of the recipe–it's exceptionally easy to make. Just combine all of the ingredients, set your slow cooker for 8 hours, and serve this classic stew with a hunk crusty bread. This cook-out favorite can be made a day or so in advance of serving--the flavors grow more richly intense with time. If you refrigerate before serving, you can return the stew to your slow cooker and reheat, uncovered, over low heat--giving it an occasional stir--until warmed through.
Slow Cooker Sweet-and-Sour Chicken
Slow Cooker Sweet-and-Sour Chicken Recipe
This may be our easiest slow cooker recipe yet. There's no browning in the skillet, no last-minute stovetop sauce—all the magic happens right in the slow cooker. Craving crunch? Serve it as a wrap in the cabbage of your choice.