10 Easy Slow Cooker Recipes for Busy Weeknights

In this post, I’ll be sharing 10 easy slow cooker recipes that are perfect for busy weeknights, so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying the company of your loved ones.

When it comes to preparing meals for your family and friends on busy weeknights, it can be challenging to find the time and energy to cook a delicious and satisfying meal. As someone who has hosted many gatherings over the years, I can attest that one of the best ways to simplify the process is to use a slow cooker.

Slow cookers not only save time but also produce flavorful and nutritious meals with minimal effort. Whether you’re a busy parent, a working professional, or just someone who wants to simplify mealtime, these recipes are sure to become staples in your weeknight rotation. So, grab your slow cooker and get ready to cook up some delicious and stress-free meals!

Recipe 1: Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice

This Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice recipe is a flavorful and comforting dish that is perfect for busy weeknights.

Made with tender chicken breasts, fragrant rice, and an assortment of vegetables and spices, this dish is easy to prepare and delicious to eat.

Simply add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and let it cook low and slow for several hours to allow the flavors to meld together.

The end result is a warm and comforting dish that is perfect for serving with a side salad or some steamed vegetables.

This recipe is a great option for meal prep or for feeding a crowd, and can be easily customized to include additional vegetables or spices to suit your tastes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth

Instructions:

  1. Add the chicken breasts to the slow cooker.
  2. Add the rice, onion, green bell pepper, garlic, paprika, thyme, oregano, salt, and black pepper on top of the chicken.
  3. Pour the chicken broth over everything in the slow cooker.
  4. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.
  5. After the cooking time is up, use two forks to shred the chicken in the slow cooker.
  6. Stir the chicken and rice together until well combined.
  7. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes to allow the rice to absorb any remaining liquid.
  8. Serve hot and enjoy!

Note: You can also add in additional vegetables like carrots or celery if desired.

Recipe 2: Slow Cooker Beef Stew

This Slow Cooker Beef Stew recipe is a delicious and hearty meal that is perfect for a cozy night in or for feeding a crowd.

Made with tender beef stew meat, chopped vegetables, and an assortment of herbs and spices, this stew is both flavorful and comforting.

Simply add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and let it cook low and slow for several hours to allow the flavors to meld together.

The end result is a rich and satisfying stew that is perfect for serving with crusty bread or over a bed of mashed potatoes.

This recipe is a great choice for meal prep or for freezing for later meals.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 cups chopped potatoes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Instructions:

  1. Add the beef stew meat to the slow cooker.
  2. Add the beef broth, chopped carrots, chopped potatoes, chopped onion, minced garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt, and black pepper on top of the beef.
  3. Stir everything together until well combined.
  4. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and water until smooth.
  6. Stir the flour mixture into the slow cooker.
  7. Add in the frozen peas.
  8. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for an additional 30 minutes or until the stew has thickened.
  9. Serve hot and enjoy!

Note: You can also add in additional vegetables like celery or mushrooms if desired.

Recipe 3: Slow Cooker Chili

Chili in Slow CookerThis Slow Cooker Chili recipe is a classic and hearty dish that is perfect for cold days or when you’re craving comfort food.

Made with ground beef, a variety of beans, and an assortment of spices, this chili is both flavorful and satisfying.

Simply brown the beef and vegetables on the stove, then add them to the slow cooker with the remaining ingredients.

Let it cook low and slow for a few hours to allow the flavors to meld together, then serve hot with your favorite toppings like shredded cheese, sour cream, or diced onions.

This chili is a great meal for feeding a crowd or for leftovers throughout the week.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
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Instructions:

  1. In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium-high heat until browned.
  2. Add the onion, green bell pepper, and garlic to the skillet with the ground beef and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Drain any excess grease from the skillet.
  4. Add the cooked beef mixture to the slow cooker.
  5. Add the diced tomatoes, kidney beans, black beans, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and black pepper to the slow cooker with the beef mixture.
  6. Stir everything together until well combined.
  7. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.
  8. Serve hot and enjoy!

Note: You can also add in additional vegetables like corn or jalapeƱos if desired.

Recipe 4: Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken

This Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken recipe is a flavorful and easy-to-make dish that is perfect for busy weeknights.

Made with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, a homemade teriyaki sauce, and a few simple ingredients, this dish is both healthy and delicious.

Simply add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and let it cook low and slow for several hours to allow the flavors to meld together.

The end result is a tender and juicy chicken that is coated in a rich and savory sauce.

This recipe is versatile and can be easily customized to include additional vegetables or spices to suit your tastes.

Serve this Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken over a bed of rice or with a side of steamed vegetables for a complete and satisfying meal.

Ingredients:
– 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
– 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
– 1/4 cup honey
– 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
– 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
– 1 tablespoon cornstarch
– 1 tablespoon water
– Green onions, sliced (optional, for garnish)

Instructions:

1. Add the chicken breasts to the slow cooker.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, and black pepper.

3. Pour the soy sauce mixture over the chicken in the slow cooker.

4. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.

5. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water.

6. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and place it on a plate.

7. Pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a saucepan and bring it to a boil.

8. Add the cornstarch mixture to the saucepan and whisk it in.

9. Cook the sauce for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until it thickens.

10. Pour the sauce over the chicken and garnish with sliced green onions (if desired).

11. Serve hot and enjoy!

Note: You can also add in additional vegetables like bell peppers or broccoli if desired.

Recipe 5: Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

This Slow Cooker Pulled Pork recipe is a classic and flavorful dish that is perfect for feeding a crowd or for meal prep. Made with tender pork shoulder or butt, a homemade spice rub, and a few simple ingredients, this dish is both easy to make and delicious.

Simply add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and let it cook low and slow for several hours to allow the flavors to meld together.

The end result is tender and juicy pulled pork that is perfect for serving on buns with your favorite barbecue sauce.

This recipe is versatile and can be easily customized to include additional spices or flavors to suit your tastes.

Serve this Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with coleslaw, baked beans, or your favorite sides for a complete and satisfying meal.

Ingredients:
– 4 pounds pork shoulder or butt
– 1 onion, chopped
– 4 cloves garlic, minced
– 1/4 cup brown sugar
– 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
– 1 tablespoon chili powder
– 1 tablespoon cumin
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
– 1 cup barbecue sauce
– 1/2 cup chicken broth

Instructions:

1. Add the pork shoulder or butt to the slow cooker.

2. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, brown sugar, smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper on top of the pork.

3. Pour the barbecue sauce and chicken broth over everything in the slow cooker.

4. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours, or until the pork is tender and easily pulls apart with a fork.

5. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board.

6. Use two forks to shred the pork into small pieces.

7. Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker and stir it in with the sauce.

8. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for an additional 30 minutes.

9. Serve the pulled pork hot on buns or with your favorite sides.

Recipe 6: Slow Cooker Potato Soup

This Slow Cooker Potato Soup recipe is a delicious and comforting dish that is perfect for cold days or when you’re craving a warm and hearty meal.

Made with diced potatoes, onions, chicken broth, and a few simple ingredients, this soup is both flavorful and easy to prepare.

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Simply add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and let it cook low and slow for several hours to allow the flavors to meld together.

The end result is a creamy and velvety soup that is perfect for serving with a side of crusty bread or crackers.

This recipe is versatile and can be easily customized to include additional ingredients like bacon or vegetables to suit your tastes.

Serve this Slow Cooker Potato Soup as a main course or as a side dish for a comforting and satisfying meal.

Ingredients:
– 6 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
– 1 onion, chopped
– 4 cups chicken broth
– 1 cup milk
– 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
– 1/4 cup butter
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 teaspoon dried thyme
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
– 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
– Green onions, sliced (optional, for garnish)
– Bacon bits (optional, for garnish)

Instructions:

1. Add the diced potatoes, chopped onion, chicken broth, milk, flour, butter, minced garlic, thyme, salt, and black pepper to the slow cooker.

2. Stir everything together until well combined.

3. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours, or until the potatoes are tender and easily mashed with a fork.

4. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth and creamy. Alternatively, transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth, then return it to the slow cooker.

5. Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until melted and well combined.

6. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the soup is hot.

7. Serve the potato soup hot and garnish with sliced green onions and bacon bits, if desired.

Recipe 7: Slow Cooker Meatball Subs

This Slow Cooker Meatball Subs recipe is a delicious and hearty meal that is perfect for game day or for feeding a crowd.

Made with homemade meatballs, marinara sauce, and a few simple ingredients, this recipe is both easy to prepare and delicious to eat.

Simply add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and let it cook low and slow for several hours to allow the flavors to meld together.

The end result is juicy and flavorful meatballs that are perfect for stuffing into hoagie rolls and topped with melted mozzarella cheese.

This recipe is versatile and can be easily customized to include additional ingredients like vegetables or spices to suit your tastes.

Serve these Slow Cooker Meatball Subs with a side salad or some crispy fries for a complete and satisfying meal.

Ingredients:
– 1 pound ground beef
– 1/2 cup bread crumbs
– 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
– 1/4 cup milk
– 1 egg
– 1 teaspoon dried parsley
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
– 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1 jar (24 oz) marinara sauce
– 1/2 cup beef broth
– 6 hoagie rolls
– 6 slices mozzarella cheese

Instructions:

1. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, milk, egg, dried parsley, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder until well combined.

2. Roll the mixture into 1 1/2 inch meatballs.

3. Add the meatballs to the slow cooker.

4. Pour the marinara sauce and beef broth over the meatballs.

5. Stir everything together until well combined.

6. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, or until the meatballs are cooked through.

7. Preheat the broiler.

8. Cut the hoagie rolls in half and place them on a baking sheet.

9. Spoon some of the meatballs and sauce onto each roll.

10. Top each roll with a slice of mozzarella cheese.

11. Broil the meatball subs for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

12. Serve the meatball subs hot and enjoy!

Note: You can also add in additional vegetables like onions or peppers to the slow cooker with the meatballs if desired.

Recipe 8: Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

This Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese recipe is a crowd-pleasing and comforting dish that is perfect for any occasion.

Made with elbow macaroni, a creamy and flavorful cheese sauce, and a few simple ingredients, this recipe is both easy to prepare and delicious to eat.

Simply add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and let it cook low and slow for several hours to allow the flavors to meld together.

The end result is a creamy and velvety mac and cheese that is perfect for serving as a main course or as a side dish.

This recipe is versatile and can be easily customized to include additional ingredients like bacon or vegetables to suit your tastes.

Serve this Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese with a side salad or some crispy bread crumbs for a complete and satisfying meal.

Ingredients:
– 16 oz elbow macaroni
– 4 cups milk
– 1/4 cup butter
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
– 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1/4 teaspoon paprika
– 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
– 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
– 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

1. Cook the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions until al dente.

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2. Drain the macaroni and add it to the slow cooker.

3. Add the milk, butter, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika to the slow cooker.

4. Stir everything together until well combined.

5. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 2-3 hours or high for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.

6. Once the macaroni is cooked and the mixture is hot, stir in the shredded cheddar cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, and grated Parmesan cheese until melted and well combined.

7. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the mac and cheese is hot and bubbly.

8. Serve the mac and cheese hot and enjoy!

Recipe 9: Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry

This Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry recipe is a delicious and healthy dish that is perfect for vegetarians or anyone looking for a flavorful and satisfying meal.

Made with a variety of chopped vegetables, chickpeas, and a blend of flavorful spices, this curry is both hearty and delicious.

Simply add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and let it cook low and slow for several hours to allow the flavors to meld together.

The end result is a fragrant and flavorful vegetable curry that is perfect for serving over cooked rice or with naan bread.

This recipe is versatile and can be easily customized to include additional vegetables or spices to suit your tastes.

Serve this Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry as a main course or as a side dish for a comforting and satisfying meal.

Ingredients:
– 1 onion, chopped
– 4 cloves garlic, minced
– 2 tablespoons curry powder
– 1 teaspoon ground ginger
– 1 teaspoon ground cumin
– 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
– 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
– 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
– 1 can (14 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
– 2 cups chopped vegetables (such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and bell peppers)
– 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
– 1/2 cup vegetable broth
– 2 cups cooked rice

Instructions:

1. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, curry powder, ground ginger, ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, salt, and black pepper to the slow cooker.

2. Stir everything together until well combined.

3. Add the diced tomatoes, chickpeas, chopped vegetables, coconut milk, and vegetable broth to the slow cooker.

4. Stir everything together until well combined.

5. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, or until the vegetables are tender.

6. Serve the vegetable curry over cooked rice and enjoy!

Recipe 10: Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

This Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken recipe is a delicious and easy way to enjoy the classic flavors of BBQ chicken with minimal effort.

Made with boneless, skinless chicken breasts and a sweet and tangy BBQ sauce, this recipe is both flavorful and satisfying.

Simply add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and let it cook low and slow for several hours to allow the flavors to meld together.

The end result is tender and juicy shredded chicken that is perfect for serving on a bun or with a side of coleslaw.

This recipe is versatile and can be easily customized to include additional spices or sauces to suit your tastes.

Serve this Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken as a main course for a delicious and effortless meal that is sure to please the whole family.

Ingredients:
– 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
– 1 cup BBQ sauce
– 1/4 cup brown sugar
– 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
– 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
– 1 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
– 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
– 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
– Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

1. Add the chicken breasts to the slow cooker.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the BBQ sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper until well combined.

3. Pour the sauce over the chicken breasts in the slow cooker.

4. Stir everything together until the chicken is coated in the sauce.

5. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.

6. Shred the chicken with two forks and stir it into the sauce.

7. Serve the BBQ chicken hot and enjoy!

Conclusion

In conclusion, slow cookers are a busy home cook’s best friend, allowing you to prepare delicious and flavorful meals with minimal effort.

With these 10 easy slow cooker recipes for busy weeknights, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from when planning your meals for the week.

From comforting classics like beef stew and mac and cheese to more exotic dishes like vegetable curry and teriyaki chicken, there is something for every taste and preference.

And the best part? You can simply set it and forget it, allowing the slow cooker to do all the work while you go about your day. So dust off your slow cooker and get cooking with these easy and delicious recipes!

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