Some nights, all you have the energy for is boiling a pot of water and tossing in a handful of pasta. We get it. After answering emails all day, commuting home from work, and sorting through your mail, cooking an elaborate meal is the last thing we want to do on a busy weeknight. Enter crockpot recipes. Requiring just 30 minutes of prep time (or less!), these recipes are so easy you'll think you ordered in.
To ease into life post-emergency pasta, we sourced simple, Italian-inspired slow cooker recipes from some of our favorite foodies. Yes, they require a bit more prep work than the aforementioned emergency pasta, but, trust us, they're worth the extra (minimal) effort. Simply set aside half an hour in the morning and you'll be coming home to a delicious meal (not to mention, a delicious-smelling home) at the end of the day. Intrigued? Take it from someone who doesn't love to cook, these recipes are so simple even the most kitchen-averse can successfully whip them up.
Ahead are seven easy Italian crockpot recipes for anyone who ever said they can't cook, including a crazy-delicious spaghetti squash lasagna bolognese that's sure to become a go-to.
Crockpot Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Bolognese
The Recipe: This crockpot spaghetti squash lasagna bolognese is a relatively healthy option, swapping traditional spaghetti noodles for spaghetti squash. The recipe makes enough for six servings.
The Prep Time: Set aside 15 minutes to prepare this dish. The leftovers can be refrigerated for up to three days (but we doubt they'll last that long).
Crockpot Tuscan White Bean and Lemon Soup
The Recipe: Brimming with flavor from pesto, cannelloni beans, and parmesan, this crockpot Tuscan white bean and lemon soup will transport your taste buds to Italy. Just stir in some kale before serving and dinner is on.
The Prep Time: This dish takes 10 minutes to prep and four hours to cook, making it a perfect meal to put on in the morning for a nourishing dinner.
Crockpot Sundried Tomato Penne Alla Vodka
The Recipe: Made with San Marzano tomatoes, heavy cream, crushed red pepper flakes, and vodka, this creamy, boozy crockpot sun-dried tomato penne alla vodka is about to become a busy weeknight go-to.
The Prep Time: This dish takes just 15 minutes to prep. As recipe creator Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest notes, it's "perfect for those nights when all you can muster up the energy to do is boil some pasta and call it a day."
Crockpot Turkey Spinach Stuffed Shells
The Recipe: Loaded with spinach, marinara, Italian spices, and cheese, these crockpot turkey spinach stuffed shells make for a crave-worthy dinner.
The Prep Time: Set aside 30 minutes to prep this recipe. You'll need to grab a skillet to cook up the onions and ground turkey before assembling the shells in your crockpot.
Slow Cooker Parmesan Herb Chicken and Orzo
The Recipe: Hearty Italian herbs, buttery orzo, and melty parmesan cheese come together in this slow cooker parmesan herb chicken and orzo recipe.
The Prep Time: You only need 10 minutes to prep this recipe and four hours to cook it. Top with fresh herbs and freshly cracked black pepper before serving.
Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
The Recipe: Between the kalamata olives, capers, and Italian herbs and spices, this slow cooker chicken cacciatore is filled with Italian-inspired flavors.
The Prep Time: You can prep this dish in just 15 minutes before you "set it and forget it" for six hours.
Slow Cooker Lasagna
The Recipe: Rather than breaking out a baking dish, reach for your crockpot to make this slow cooker lasagna. Loaded with Italian sausage, leafy spinach, and melty cheese, it's a comfort food recipe to make on repeat.
The Prep Time: You'll need 25 minutes to prep and four hours to cook this recipe. It's the ideal meal to make on a Sunday to feed you all week long.
This story was originally published on November 14, 2018, and has since been updated.