10 Slow-Cooker Recipes That Make Cooking Dinner Suspiciously Easy

Crockpots, slow cookers, and instant pots aren't going out of style anytime soon. The once cliché wedding offering is now trendier than ever, and it's easy to see why. With the help of this smart kitchen technology, you can have a warm, filling meal on the table with minimal time spent in the kitchen—but surely you already know that. The real treat is the variety of seriously easy (and delicious) meals that you can whip up with this kitchen gadget.

If you're a fan of slow cooking, you know that the possibilities of what these nifty machines can do are seemingly endless. Perhaps you grew up watching your parents prepare basics like pulled pork in the strange device, but now home chefs are using crockpots to create whatever their hearts desire. Creamy soup? Of course. Chicken carnitas? Absolutely. Spaghetti and meatballs? Why not? It seems as though anything you could ever want to eat for dinner can be prepared and cooked in a crockpot, freeing up your time to be spent however you like. 

Instead of manning multiple pans over a hot stove while the main course bakes in the oven, toss your ingredients in the slow cooker and relax. Pick up a book, take a bath, or go about your daily errands while dinner all but cooks itself. To get you started, here are 10 slow cooker dinners that make cooking almost too easy.

Creamy Wild Rice Soup with Butter Roasted Mushrooms

Slow Cooker Wild Rice Soup
Half Baked Harvest

The Recipe: This simple creamy wild rice soup is so much more satisfying than your typical premade fare. Toss rice, broth, white wine, and veggies in the crockpot along with seasoning to cook. Then add a bit of parmesan cheese and milk to the mixture during the last 30 minutes of cooking. Top your dish with roasted mushrooms from the oven and dinner is served.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Balsamic Chicken

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken
Foodie Crush

The Recipe: This slow cooker balsamic chicken makes for a weeknight dinner treat, but it's also gourmet enough to serve for a special occasion. Start by lightly pan frying chicken thighs on the stove before layering them in the bowl of a crockpot with onions, mushrooms, seasoning, and ingredients for the balsamic sauce. Serve with rice or a side of your choice to finish the meal.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Korean Beef Stew

Slow Cooker Korean Beef Stew
Food Faith Fitness

The Recipe: Mix things up with this easy gluten- and sugar-free Korean beef stew (oh, and it's also Whole30- and Paleo-friendly). Traditional Asian flavors like ginger, garlic, and sesame oil combine in this dish to create a seriously yummy slow cooker dinner. Aside from browning the beef and preparing hard-boiled eggs, the entire meal is made right in your crock-pot.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Crispy Chicken Carnitas

Slow Cooker Chicken Carnitas
Gimme Some Oven

The Recipe: A play on traditional carnitas, this slow cooker dinner recipe calls for chicken instead of pork. All you have to do is add ingredients like chicken breast, beer (or chicken stock), onion, garlic, and cumin to the crockpot and wait. Once the meat is tender, shred it up and broil in the oven to get that perfect crispy texture and add to tacos, burritos, or salads.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

Tuscan White Bean and Sausage Soup

Slow Cooker White Bean and Sausage Soup
Foodie Crush

The Recipe: This Tuscan white bean and sausage soup is made entirely in the crockpot for easy cleanup and prep (in other words, it's the perfect weeknight dinner). The Italian dish calls for Great Northern beans, chicken broth, carrots, celery, Italian sausage, baby kale leaves, tomato paste, and more veggies and seasoning. Just toss the fresh ingredients in a slow cooker and wait, adding the sausage meatballs just before the soup is finished cooking.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours 20 minutes

Potato and Cauliflower Curry

Slow Cooker Potato and Cauliflower Curry
Half Baked Harvest

The Recipe: If you're looking for an easy, healthy slow cooker dinner recipe, this potato and cauliflower curry is for you. It's a sweet and spicy dish full of yummy vegetables and tasty ingredients like pomegranate molasses, cinnamon, and Thai red curry. Serve it up with fresh naan to complete the meal.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs
Creme de la Crumb

The Recipe: While Italian nonna may not approve of making such a traditional dish in the crockpot, this spaghetti and meatball recipe makes preparing dinner so much easier. Simply spend a few minutes forming the meatballs then combine with marinara sauce and seasonings in the slow cooker. When the meatballs are cooked to perfection, add in the noodles and cook until they're perfectly al dente. 

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Pineapple Pulled Pork Sandwich

Slow Cooker Pineapple Pulled Pork Sandwich
The Modern Proper

The Recipe: This pineapple pulled pork sandwich will quickly become a weeknight go-to. It's a super-easy dish that's bursting with flavors. Prepare the pork, pineapple, and seasonings in the slow cooker then shred when the meat is tender. Whip up some caramelized pineapples on the stove to top the meat and serve on a sweet Hawaiian bun.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours 

Four Cheese Macaroni

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
Creme de la Crumb

The Recipe: No easy dinner repertoire would be complete without a savory macaroni and cheese recipe. This creation calls for four different kinds of cheeses. Think sharp, cheddar, creamy Havarti, gruyere, and cream cheese. Add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker and wait.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Swimming Rama

Slow Cooker Swimming Rama
The Modern Proper

The Recipe: Why order Thai takeout when you can make this slow cooker Swimming Rama at home. It's a dish commonly found in American Thai restaurants that includes chicken or tofu topped in a flavorful peanut sauce and served over spinach. Prepare this recipe by whisking together a peanut, coconut, red curry sauce and combining with chicken in a slow cooker. Either add spinach to the mixture when it's almost done cooking or serve with raw leaves for a different taste.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

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