30 Easy Crock Pot Recipes That'll Make Meal Prep a Cinch

All you need is a few minutes in the morning and a few ingredients to make a delicious dinner happen.



The crock pot may just be the best kitchen appliance in the world. You throw in a few ingredients in the morning, go about your day, and you come home to a meal ready to go. That's why easy crock pot recipes are such a mainstay for busy meal planners—low effort, delicious rewards!

And the good news: You aren't just stuck with slow-cooked meats as meal options when it comes to easy crock pot recipes. You'd be surprised what dishes you can make in a slow cooker—everything from deep-dish pizza to (yes!) dessert.

Check out some of our favorite easy crock pot recipes to help make your busiest days easier to manage—and keep you from reaching for the takeout menus.

01 of 30

Crock Pot Pulled Pork Tacos

Slow-Cooker Pulled-Pork Tacos
Kan Kanbayashi

Make any day Taco Tuesday with a delicious crock pot pulled pork that comes together in minutes. Everyone can add their own favorite toppings for a customized taco experience.

02 of 30

Slow Cooker Deep Dish Pizza

SLow Cooker Deep Dish Pizza
Victor Protasio

Using store-bought pizza dough and sauce helps make any night a pizza night. The sky's the limit for pizza toppings—and don't forget that you can opt to do half with grownup ingredients and half with simple tomato and cheese if you have fussy eaters.

03 of 30

Crock Pot Vegetarian Chili With Sweet Potatoes

Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili With Sweet Potatoes, Beans, and Tomatoes Topped With Corn Chips in a Bowl
Con Poulos

The secret ingredient in this tasty slow-cooker chili—a little unsweetened cocoa powder, which gives the sauce a mole-like flavor profile.

04 of 30

Chicken Pasta Soup

Slow-Cooker Chicken Soup Recipe with Pasta
Romulo Yanes

The comfort food classic is a crock pot recipe you'll want to keep in regular rotation. (The ingredients transform plain water into tasty chicken broth as they cook low and slow.)

05 of 30

Crock Pot Mexican Beef Sliders

Caitlin Bensel

A handful of spices and some chipotle chiles bring the heat for this flavorful crock pot beef recipe that's perfect for picnics or a quick on-the-go meal.

06 of 30

Crock Pot Angel Food Cake

Slow-Cooker Angel Food Cake
Victor Protasio

Yes, you can make cake in a crock pot! Mix together the ingredients, pop the pan into the crock pot, and you'll have a delicious dessert a few hours later.

07 of 30

Big Batch Black Beans

Big-Batch Slow Cooker Black Beans
Jennifer Causey

If you're looking to up your meal planning game, making big batches of base ingredients can help you easily get meals on the table for the week. Use the crock pot to put together this bean recipe, and use them all week in tacos or burritos, a fast chili, or to top salads or baked potatoes.

08 of 30

Sweet and Spicy Pork Tenderloin

Sweet and Spicy Pork Tenderloin
Greg DuPree

Slow cooking puts the "tender" in this pork tenderloin dish, which can be delicious as is, but great for tacos, chili, sandwiches, and other uses later in the week.

09 of 30

Crock Pot Puttanesca with Roasted Broccolini

Slow-Cooker Puttanesca With Roasted Broccolini
Jennifer Causey

Get that rich, cooked-for-hours pasta sauce without having to keep tabs on it with this easy crock pot recipe.

10 of 30

Slow Cooker Curried Chicken With Ginger and Yogurt

Slow-Cooker Curried Chicken With Ginger and Yogurt
José Picayo

Get curry started in a hurry—then let the crock pot give it a low, slow simmer so the spices have time to meld for a flavorful addition to your weekly meal rotation.

11 of 30

Crock Pot Chocolate Pudding Cake

Slow-Cooker Chocolate Pudding Cake served with ice cream on a plate.
Victor Protasio

This easy-to-whip-up crock pot cake has the decadent, fudgy texture that's perfect with a scoop of ice cream.

12 of 30

Chicken Mushroom Pot Pie

Slow-Cooker Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Potpie
Marcus Nilsson

You have to bake the puff pastry (or biscuit, if you prefer) topper separately, but using the slow cooker makes the creamy filling a cinch.

13 of 30

Crock Pot Chicken Congee

Slow cooker chicken congee
Jennifer Causey

This Chinese comfort food staple features a soft chicken, coconut milk, and rice base that can be kicked up with whatever you have on hand—scallions, peanuts, coconut, cilantro—and a touch of chili crunch or other spicy sauce.

14 of 30

Slow Cooker Gingerbread Hot Chocolate

Slow-Cooker Gingerbread Hot Chocolate
Greg DuPree

Wintertime hot beverages can simmer in the slow cooker—a perfect addition to your holiday parties. (Who wouldn't love a mulled cider or wine?) This holiday hot chocolate tweak features the warming spices from gingerbread.

15 of 30

Slow Cooker Black Bean Posole

Slow Cooker Black Bean Posole
Victor Protasio

This traditional Mexican soup is one of those "dump and serve" easy crock pot recipes. The hardest part is chopping the onion, garlic, and chiles that add a little heat to the dish.

16 of 30

Slow Cooker Shepherd's Pie

Slow-Cooker Shepherd’s Pie
Con Poulos

This very British comfort food classic features a touch of stout to add to the hearty flavor profile.

17 of 30

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Soup

EXTRA SHARP: Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

If your family's a little spice-phobic, serve jalapeños on the side instead of cooking them with this tasty soup with plenty of kick.

18 of 30

Slow Cooker Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna

Slow-Cooker Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna With Romaine Salad
José Picayo

This lasagna's so easy to put together! Layer jarred sauce, uncooked lasagna noodles and plenty of cheese and spinach in your slow cooker, and push play.

19 of 30

Coffee-Braised Brisket With Potatoes and Carrots

Slow-Cooker Coffee-Braised Brisket With Potatoes and Carrots
Sang An

Brisket becomes super tender when cooked in the crock pot. Add in potatoes and carrots for a hearty one-pot meal.

20 of 30

Pork Ditalini Stew

Ditalini and Stewed Pork Soup
Gentl & Hyers

Tomatoes, spinach, and tiny noodles give this pork-based soup a lighter touch. (Can't find ditalini? Any tiny pasta will do!)

21 of 30

Crock Pot Cinnamon Pecan Monkey Bread

Slow-Cooker Cinnamon Monkey Bread on a serving platter
Heather Meldrom

Slow cookers are underrated for baking. They make this monkey bread an easy, hands-off brunch dish while you prep the rest of the meal.

22 of 30

Crock Pot Coca Cola Carnitas

Coca-Cola Carnitas
Jennifer Causey

Coca Cola gives carnitas a sweet, yet a little smoky, flavor—perfect for topping tacos, nachos, or an epic pulled pork sandwich.

23 of 30

Slow Cooker Asian Short Ribs

Slow-Cooker Asian Short Ribs
Marcus Nilsson

A sweet-savory combo of brown sugar, rice vinegar, and soy sauce serves as the marinade for this easy crockpot recipe that's dinner party worthy.

24 of 30

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala
Roland Bello

Turn to the crock pot for this beloved Indian dish, so you can have it waiting when you get home from a busy day.

25 of 30

Slow Cooker Tuscan Pot Roast

Slow-Cooker Tuscan Pot Roast
Susie Cushner

You have to do a little precook for this one—browning the roast and sauteeing the veggies—but it's worth it for a Sunday-dinner feast like this.

26 of 30

Crock Pot Cuban Sandwiches

Slow-Cooker Cuban Sandwiches
Greg DuPree

Orange zest adds a fresh flavor note to slow cooked pork. Hit the finished sandwiches under the broiler for a minute or two to let the cheese get perfectly gooey.

27 of 30

Slow Cooker Lasagna

Slow-Cooker Lasagna
Anson Smart

Adding kale to the mix helps transform this slow cooker lasagna to a tasty one-pan meal.

28 of 30

Slow-Cooker Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Slow-Cooker Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Victor Protasio

It's time for this vintage dessert to make a comeback—and the slow cooker makes it easy to make and keep the cake moist with its caramel-pineapple top.

29 of 30

Chicken Adobo With Bok Choy

Slow-Cooker Soy-Braised Chicken
Con Poulos

This classic Filipino dish features a soy-vinegar braising liquid and a ton of great flavor packed into a very easy crock pot recipe.

30 of 30

Crock Pot Creamy Chicken With Biscuits

Easy chicken recipes - Slow-Cooker Crockpot Creamy Chicken With Biscuits
José Picayo

Make this super-easy crock pot recipe even easier by subbing in refrigerated biscuit dough, rather than making your own.

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