After answering emails all day and commuting home from work, 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.
So we've sourced simple, Italian-inspired slow cooker recipes from some of our favorite foodies. 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? These recipes are so simple even the most kitchen-averse can successfully whip them up.
Ahead are 20 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 from Half Baked Harvest 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 Turkey Spinach Stuffed Shells
The Recipe: Loaded with spinach, marinara, Italian spices, and cheese, these crockpot turkey spinach stuffed shells by Joyful Healthy Eats 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 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.
Crockpot Chicken Gnocchi Soup
The Recipe: Pinch of Yum shares a simple recipe for crockpot chicken gnocchi soup that is sure to warm your belly. The fluffy, doughy dumplings are perfectly paired with carrots, celery, sautéed garlic spinach, bacon, and Italian seasonings.
The Prep Time: Just 10 minutes of prep time and 6 hours in the cooker yields this creamy, dreamy dish in a pinch.
Crockpot Tuscan White Bean and Lemon Soup
The Recipe: Brimming with flavor from pesto, cannellini beans, and parmesan, this Half Baked Harvest 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.
Instant Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches
The Recipe: These mouthwatering Italian Beef Sandwiches from Pinch of Yum combine tender shredded beef with a generous helping of garlic, onion, and tangy giardiniera on crunchy, buttery bread with melted Provolone. As if that's not enough, you get to dunk the whole thing in a juicy, flavorful broth.
The Prep Time: This is truly a quick and easy option, requiring only 15 minutes of prep time and 90 minutes in the cooker.
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 from Half Baked Harvest is about to become a busy weeknight go-to.
The Prep Time: This dish takes just 15 minutes to prep. As recipe creator Tieghan Gerard 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."
Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
The Prep Time: You can prep this dish in just 15 minutes before you "set it and forget it" for six hours.
Slow Cooker Italian Chicken with Zucchini Noodles
The Recipe: A delicious Italian dish that's simple, gluten-free, and low-carb sounds virtually impossible, but Food Faith Fitness is sharing their secret–a juicy slow cooker Italian chicken dish served over zoodles. Paired with fresh and light broccoli, snap peas, and asparagus, this dish is loaded with healthy veggies and only 350 calories per serving.
The Prep Time: On top of all the health benefits, this meal is a cinch to prep in just ten minutes. Let it sit for 6 hours in the cooker while you go about your life, and come back to a ready-made meal.
Slow Cooker Beef Ragu with Pappardelle
The Recipe: Chances are if you're in the mood for Italian, you're craving some comfort food. Pinch of Yum shares this recipe for a heavenly beef ragu with pappardelle that's the ultimate in comfort food. Tender shredded beef is packed with juicy tomato and garlic, swimming in tomato gravy. Be sure to have crusty bread on hand to dip.
The Prep Time: Just 10 minutes of prep and 8 hours of cooking time are required for this dreamy dish.
Slow Cooker Healthy Italian Wedding Soup
The Recipe: Half Baked Harvest shares this recipe for a healthier version of a cozy Italian Wedding Soup. This recipe features herby chicken parmesan meatballs in place of heavier pork or sausage. Simmer in chicken broth with plenty of lemon and garlic, then stir in some pasta and spinach with grated parmesan on top. Easy does it.
The Prep Time: The perfect option for a busy weeknight, you'll only need 15 minutes to prep and 4-6 hours to cook this light and hearty dish.
Crockpot Vegetable Lasagna
The Recipe: The Modern Proper shares this delectable recipe for a lighter veggie lasagna that's also super simple to make in a crockpot using no-boil noodles. This version is loaded with vegetables, fresh basil, and three cheeses to give it that rich flavor you crave.
The Prep Time: This meal takes only 15 minutes to prep and three hours in the cooker to complete so you'll be ready to savor it in no time.
Instant Pot Pesto Zuppa Toscana
The Recipe: If you want something that feels cozy and filling, this recipe for Instant Pot Pesto Zuppa Toscana from Half Baked Harvest will do the trick. The hero ingredient is spicy Italian chicken sausage simmered in creamy basil pesto broth. Add kale, bacon, potatoes, and a splash of lemon. Then finish with a sprinkle of cheese and some toasty bread for dipping.
The Prep Time: This will be your new weeknight go-to with a total cooking time of 30 minutes–15 to prep and 15 to cook in the Instant Pot.
Vegan Instant Pot Mushroom Risotto
The Recipe: The First Mess shares this droolworthy recipe for a vegan mushroom risotto with spinach and miso. It's creamy, delicious, and finished with a sprinkle of vegan parm on top. Super healthy, super fast, and super easy–just how we like it.
The Prep Time: While it typically takes quite a bit of time and stirring to make risotto, this version can be done in just under 30 minutes.
Pizza Crockpot Pasta
The Recipe: Food Faith Fitness has found a way to combine our favorite Italian meals–pizza and pasta. Even better, you can cook it all–including the pasta–using a quick and easy crockpot. This has all the flavors of a meat-lovers pizza without any of the gluten. Just pure, ooey gooey deliciousness.
The Prep Time: Set aside just ten minutes to prep, relax for three hours while it's in the cooker, and you're good to go.
Instant Pot Pasta e Fagioli
The Recipe: If you're craving something warm and hearty, this Instant Pot Pasta e Fagioli from Half Baked Harvest is just the thing. It's flavored with bacon, onions, carrots, tomatoes, garlic, and lots of winter greens, herbs, and spices. Add a parmesan rind and a little broth, then seal the pot, and your meal will be ready in no time.
The Prep Time: All you need to make this easy dish is 15 minutes of prep time and 25 minutes to cook in the Instant Pot.
Crockpot Tomato Sauce
The Recipe: How Sweet Eats shares her favorite crockpot tomato sauce that will quickly become your favorite, too. This version is fresh and light without being too heavy or overly acidic. Best of all, it can be made in the crockpot, so you can pour it over your favorite pasta and call it a day.
The Prep Time: This simple recipe asks for just ten minutes of prep and 6-8 hours in the cooker.
Instant Pot Minestrone Soup
The Recipe: You just can't go wrong with a classic Italian minestrone soup. It's chock full of veggies, hearty tomato sauce, beans, herbs, and rich parmesan on top. Pinch of Yum adds a healthy, delicious twist with bulgur.
The Prep Time: This entire meal can be ready in under an hour with just 20 minutes of prep time and 30 minutes to cook.
Slow Cooker Vodka Bolognese Pasta
The Recipe: This family-friendly recipe from Half Baked Harvest for a sublime vodka bolognese pasta features slow cooked Italian style Bolognese sauce. It combines tender beef, sweet tomatoes, herbs, vegetables, and vodka. Top it off with a generous sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a side of crusty bread.
The Prep Time: Allow 20 minutes to prep and 6 hours to cook, and this droolworthy dish is ready to enjoy.
Instant Pot Short Rib Ragu
The Recipe: Pinch of Yum shares this shortcut recipe for a juicy, tender short rib ragu that can be paired with anything from gnocchi and pappardelle, to potatoes or polenta. So make it your own and devour however you like.
The Prep Time: This is yet another winning dish that can be prepared in less than an hour with 20 minutes to prep and 35 minutes to cook.