15 Slow Cooker Dinner Recipes For Busy Days

We have the best intentions to cook a fresh and delicious meal in the comfort of our own home, but too often we can convince ourselves not to bother.

We find it hard to believe that cooking dinner can be easy when there are so many other things on our mind at once like work, school and family obligations.

It can feel easier to pick up something from the grocery store, get takeout or even go to a restuarant. At least with these options all you have to think about is what you are going to eat, someone else does all the prep, cooking and clearing away!

But a home cooked meal is tastier, healthier and it’s so much cheaper than having it prepared for you.

For those days when I have no energy or inclination to cook even a basic meal I have go-to recipes that keeps me on budget. And they are all slow cooker recipes, because using a slow cooker is just so easy!

Collage of slow cooker dinners for busy nights.

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Your slow cooker is your secret weapon

Slow cookers are my secret weapon for easy dinner prep! They make it possible to prepare a healthy, home-cooked meal with minimal effort.

The best part is that you prep a meal in the morning when your energy levels are high, leave the slow cooker to do it’s work while you’re at work all day or running around after kids and other errands.

You come back to find perfectly cooked cheap dinners waiting right there ready for you exactly when you want them.

Slow cookers have become one of my favorite kitchen tools over the years; not only do they allow me to save so much time preparing our meals before going off into work every morning but also create excellent meals with minimum effort.

I have this large slow cooker even though there are now only 2 of us at home. It’s perfect for batch cooking meals and freezing extra portions.

You don’t need a large slow cooker like mine but believe me, you can do so much more with a large one. I cook whole chickens in mine and make stock with the bones straight after.

Best Slow Cookers/Crock Pots For One Pot Meals

Slow Cookers (or Crock Pots) are the perfect tool for many of the tastiest one pot meals. Dump your ingredients in, go to work and come back to a tasty dinner.

These are some of the best slow cookers you can get. Choose the one that suits your family best.

If you are hankering after soup right now, check out my post on the tastiest and easy slow cooker soup recipes, you’ll be glad you did!

Quick Money saving tip

Scan Your Receipt Through fetch

When you’ve bought your ingredients for your meals, take 2 minutes to scan your receipt.

Fetch Rewards is a free grocery savings app that rewards you just for snapping pictures of your receipts. That’s really it.

It won’t reduce your grocery bill but you get free rewards on groceries on thousands of products every day, no matter where you get your groceries. Just scan your receipts to receive rewards.

Use code “APREWARDS” to redeem 3K points!

Cook once eat twice

Every recipe can be doubled or tripled depending on how many people you are feeding. But the size of your recipe can also be increased in order for you to make more than one meal.

The term batch cooking makes it sound like you are cooking great vats of each recipe, but really, you decide on the bulk. I often cook a double batch of a recipe so we can eat it that day and have it again another day.

Most meals can be frozen, if not then it will last in the fridge for a few days, perfect for getting a meal on the table within 15 minutes of arriving home late.

Collage of 4 slow cooker dinner recipes

15 tasty slow cooker dinner recipes

These slow cooker dinner recipes are perfect for those busy days when you just need to throw a bunch of stuff in the crockpot and not think about it until dinner! Slow cooker dinners are taste just as delicious as any other dinner but with half the work.

The whole family will love these yummy and tasty meals. Plus, you will love how easy and fast prepping and cleaning up is! 

4 Slow cooker chicken recipes

Crockpot Shredded Chicken Tacos – Crockpot shredded chicken tacos is an easy family meal for any weeknight. This tender, juicy and flavorful chicken is perfectly seasoned and delicious every time. All you need to do is layer the ingredients, cook for hours then shred the chicken. Super easy!

Crockpot Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken – Creamy Tuscan garlic chicken in the slow cooker makes an easy low carb dinner the family will love. Just 15 minutes prep for this Crock Pot Tuscan chicken recipe! Serve with your favorite pasta, rice or a green salad.

Crockpot Chicken Tinga – This crockpot chicken tinga is so easy to make. This recipe is loaded with smoky and savory flavors. If spice is your thing then add more. Serve on tortillas or with a green salad for a low carb option.

Crockpot Smothered Chicken Thighs – These crockpot smothered chicken thighs are such an easy and delicious way to get dinner on the table. A dump and go recipe, serve with buttery mashed potatoes for the ultimate old fashioned comfort food, made easy.

For more cheap chicken recipes check out my post on the best cheap chicken dinners on a budget.

Collage of crock pot dinners for planning ahead.

6 Beef recipes for your slow cooker

Crock Pot Beefy Potato Taco Casserole
Crockpot Cheesy Beefy Taco Casserole is an easy dinner the whole family will enjoy! This all in one recipe includes the meat and potatoes making it perfect for a quick dinner opinion. I use diced homegrown potatoes, replace the Velveeta with extra home shredded cheese and up the spices, just because!

Slow Cooker Beef Stew
This traditional beef stew is the best slow cooker recipe for fall and winter. It’s loaded with tender bites of juicy beef, golden potatoes, carrots, peas, red wine, onions, garlic, and a hearty beef broth. Serve it with jacket or mashed potatoes for a hearty meal.

Slow Cooker Beef Broccoli
This tasty beef broccoli recipe can be pulled together quickly for a fast and easy weeknight meal! I love that you use frozen broccolli – another timesaver. Serve with brown rice (or white) or go low carb with cauliflower rice.

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes
Skip the canned sloppy joe mix and make homemade slow cooker sloppy joes for dinner tonight. This simple recipe will quickly become a family favorite. Go traditional with buns or serve with nachos and a salad.

Spicy Sausage Slow Cooker Cheesy Tortellini
This easy spicy sausage slow cooker cheesy tortellini is a busy weeknight’s hero. It’s so easy to throw together and the hearty, meaty, cheesy tortellini goodness will have you making this again and again. For perfect results the creator suggests prepping the meat the night before. You can also adapt this to a vegetarian recipe by leaving the spicy sausage out.

Crockpot Mississippi Roast
This crockpot mississippi roast recipe with potatoes and fresh vegetables is sure to become a family favorite! You’ll have this pot roast in the slow cooker within 10 minutes! Throw in any vegetables you have or serve spearately, whatever makes life easy for you.

If your budget is tight, you’ll love my cheap ground beef recipes, budget friendly and scrummy!

collage of 2 slow cooker recipes.

5 gorgeous meat crockpot recipes

Slow Cooker Lamb Ragu
This warming slow cooker lamb ragu is the perfect comfort food. Throw it all in the crock pot in the morning for a delicious effortless meal at dinner time. Goes so well with big pasta (think pappardelle pasta or oversized shells), gnocci or garlic bread.

Crockpot Kielbasa and BBQ Baked Beans
This crock pot kielbasa and BBQ baked beans slow cooker ecipe is easy and delicious, an extremely flavorful dish the whole family will love – sweet, smokey and a touch of spice. More ingredients than you think but you cannot beat a homemade BBQ sauce, trust me!

Crockpot Sausage and Peppers
This slow cooker Italian sausage and peppers recipe is the perfect pairing of sausage, peppers and onions in a delicious sauce. Just a few minutes prep and seven simple ingredients needed. It’s healthy, tasty and a meal in itself, no sides required.

Pulled Pork Burger with Special Sauce
Here’s an amazing recipe for slow cooker pulled pork with a special sauce that packs a punch! The pork is super easy to cook but heads up the sauce takes a little longer, maybe keep this gorgeous recipe for the weekend when you have the time to make and savor the flavors.

Filipino Pork Belly Adobo
Low carb Filipino Pork Belly Adobo is a simple and flavorful pork recipe that’s inspired by the iconic Filipino Adobo. This easy and fuss free version is done using a slow cooker. Marinate the meat overnight in the fridge to amplify the deep flavors – scrummy!

Fancy a meatless meal? Check out these posts:

21 budget meatless meals to save money

20 Easy Cheap Vegan Recipes Everyone Will Devour

collage of 2 slow cooker recipes.

Tasty slow cooker meals you’ll make time and again

Slow cooker dinners are a great way to save time and money. You choose the ingredients and recipes instead of paying someone else to buy and make the dinner for you.

Plus, not only is it easy on your wallet but also on your mind – with minimal prep work needed before heading out for the day or evening! So what’s stopping you from trying these slow cooker recipes?

Want more slow cooker recipes? Check these posts out:

17 Dump and Go Crockpot Meals: budget-friendly and Super Easy

20 Super Easy Slow Cooker Soup Recipes

20 Easy Slow Cooker Dessert Recipes

For help in reducing how much you spend on food join the grocery budget challenge

Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

Pinterest image for slow cooker dinners.
Pinterest image for slow cooker dinners.

Last Updated on 3rd April 2023 by Emma

About Emma

I'm here to help you become confident in making the best money decisions for you and your family. Frugal living has changed my life, let me help you change yours.

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