5 Time-Saving Crockpot Recipes That Take 15 Minutes to Make

For a crockpot meal to earn a spot on my coveted list of go-to recipes, it has to be easy to prepare. To be frank, I don't have time to essentially make an entire meal and then wait another six hours for it to cook. Which is why I'm always conscious of preparation time when scouring the internet for easy, time-saving crockpot or Instant Pot recipes.

I had a sneaking suspicion that others felt the same, so I scanned one of my favorite food blogs, Half Baked Harvest, for quick and easy crockpot recipes with 15 minutes or less of prep time listed. Though creator Teighan Gerard's impressive recipe archive contains far more than five simple crockpot recipes, the below meals are simple, versatile, time-conscious, and above all else, delicious. Try the following crockpot meals if you're short on time this season:

Crockpot Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Easy Crockpot Recipes

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 6 hours


Sweet onion, diced
Jalapeños, seeded and chopped
Garlic cloves, minced or grated
Boneless, skinless chicken breast
Kosher salt and pepper
Homemade or store-bought red enchilada sauce
Low-sodium chicken broth
White or brown rice
Juice of 1 lime
Fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for serving
Tortilla chips, diced mango, sliced avocado, limes, shredded cheddar, and yogurt, for serving


In the bottom your crockpot, layer the onion, jalapeños, and garlic. Add the chicken, cumin, salt, and pepper. Pour over the enchilada sauce and three cups broth. 

Cover and cook on low for six to seven hours or on high for four to six hours. Shred the chicken using two forks. Stir in the rice, lime juice, and cilantro. Taste and add salt if needed. 

Ladle the soup into bowls and top with tortilla chips, mango, avocado, cheese, and yogurt. Garnish with cilantro and limes. Enjoy!

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Crockpot Sun-Dried Tomato Penne alla Vodka

Found: Easy Crockpot Recipes

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 6 hours


Olive oil
Sweet onion diced
Garlic cloves, minced or grated
Crushed red pepper flakes
Dried oregano
Whole tomatoes
Sun-dried tomatoes, drained
Kosher salt and pepper
Heavy cream
Grated parmesan cheese
Penne pasta
Chopped fresh oregano


Heat the olive oil, onion, garlic, crushed red pepper, and dried oregano in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring often until the onion is soft and the garlic fragrant, about 10 minutes. Add the vodka, raise the heat, and bring the mixture to a boil, boil 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and add to the bowl of your crockpot along with the tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, and large pinch of salt + pepper. Cover and cook on low for six to eight hours or on high for four to five hours. Transfer the sauce to a blender and purée until smooth. Return to the crockpot and stir in the cream and the parmesan. Cook uncovered on high for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and boil the pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain.

Divide the pasta among plates and top with the sauce, fresh oregano and grated parmesan. Eat!

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Crockpot Tuscan White Bean and Lemon Soup

Time-Saving Crockpot Recipes

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 4 hours


Low-sodium chicken or veggie stock
Uncooked quinoa
Sweet onion, chopped
Carrots, chopped
Basil pesto
Crushed red pepper flakes
Sage leaves
Kosher salt and pepper
Parmesan rind
Lemon juice + lemon zest
Tuscan kale, torn
Cannelloni beans, drained
Grated parmesan, for serving


In the bowl of your crockpot, combine the chicken stock, quinoa, onion, carrots, pesto, red pepper flakes, sage, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Add the parmesan rind. Cover and cook on low for four to five hours or high for two to three hours. 

About 30 minutes before serving, stir in the lemon juice and zest, kale, and beans. 

Divide the soup among bowls and top with parmesan. Serve with a hunk of bread.

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Crockpot Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Bolognese

Quick Crockpot Recipes

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 6 hours


Spicy Italian sausage or ground beef
Lean ground beef (or spicy Italian sausage)
Sweet onion, diced
Garlic cloves, minced or grated
Kosher salt and pepper
Peeled tomatoes
Tomato paste
Bay leaf
Whole milk
Spaghetti squash, rinsed
Burrata or mozzarella cheese
Grated parmesan cheese for serving


Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, ground beef, and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned all over and the onion soft, about five to eight minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the meat to your crockpot. Add the garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, bay leaves, and milk. Stir to combine.

Add the spaghetti squash to the center. Cover and cook on low for six to eight hours.

Carefully remove the squash from the crockpot and transfer to a cutting board. Wipe away any grease and then carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds, then using a fork, scrape the squash into strands. If the sauce is soupy, crank the heat up to high and let it cook for 30 minutes or until thickened. If the sauce is thick add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup water.

To serve, divide the spaghetti squash among bowls and ladle the bolognese over top. Add the cheese and sprinkle of basil or parsley. Enjoy!

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Crockpot Creamy Cashew Chicken

Quick & Easy Crockpot Recipes

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 4 hours


Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
Potatoes, peeled and cut into one-inch cubes
Red bell pepper, sliced
Roasted cashews
Sweet onion
Garlic cloves
Fresh ginger, peeled
Thai red curry paste
Chili powder
Cayenne pepper
Kosher salt
Fresh lemon juice
Almond Breeze cashew milk blend, original unsweetened
Fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for serving
Steamed rice + fresh naan, for serving


Combine the chicken, potatoes and red pepper in the bowl of your crockpot.

To a blender or food processor, add the cashews, onion, garlic, ginger, Thai red curry paste, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, a good pinch of salt and lemon juice. Puree the mixture until completely smooth. If needed, add 1/2 cup of Almondmilk Cashewmilk to help the mixture blend. Pour the paste over the chicken. Add the remaining Almondmilk Cashewmilk. Cover and cook on low for four to five hours or on high for three to four hours.

If the sauce is too thick, add more Almondmilk Cashewmilk to thin it, if the sauce is too thin, crank the heat to high on the crockpot and let cook, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes. This will thicken the sauce.

When ready to eat, stir in the fresh cilantro. Serve with steamed rice and fresh cilantro and basil…and of course, naan.

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