15 Easy Semi-Homemade Crockpot Recipes
Relying on your slow cooker to make your meals can shave hours off your time spent in the kitchen. Unfortunately, you typically still have to spend some time prepping meals before they’re ready for your slow cooker, and on busy days, spending even a few minutes in the kitchen just won’t do. For those days, we suggest reaching for these semi-homemade slow cooker recipes. Toss in your ready-made, store-bought ingredients, and let your slow cooker take it from there. From sweet caramel rolls to honey barbecue drumsticks, it doesn’t get any easier (or more delicious) than these semi-homemade crockpot recipes.
1. Semi-Homemade Caramel Rolls
Using store-bought biscuits, brown sugar, and butter, you can whip up Table For Seven’s semi-homemade caramel rolls. Lay the biscuits flat on the bottom of your slow cooker — spraying with nonstick cooking spray first — and melt the butter and brown sugar. Pour the mixture over the biscuits, cover, and cook. The end result will be a sweet breakfast or brunch dish that requires minimal effort but garners delicious results. Feel free to top your rolls with your favorite nuts.
- Refrigerator biscuits, 6 to 8 count
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter
- Nuts (optional)
Head to Table For Seven for the full recipe.
2. Semi-Homemade Slow Cooker Chicken Posole
Canned goods, veggies, seasonings, and chicken are all you need to make Just A Pinch’s semi-homemade slow cooker chicken posole. Hominy, one of the superstars of the posole, adds a nice, chewy texture to the popular Mexican stew.
Start by combining the hominy, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, carrots, onion, garlic, cumin, and chicken to the crockpot, cooking until the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are tender. Stir in a touch of cilantro, and serve with lime wedges and tortilla chips.
- 1 (15-ounce) can yellow or white hominy, drained
- 1 (14.5-ounce) Mexican-style diced tomatoes
- 1 (10-ounce) green enchilada sauce, mild
- 2 carrot sticks, diced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1½ pounds chicken, skinless, boneless, cubed
- 1 bunch cilantro, optional
- 2 medium lime wedges, optional
- 1 large bag tortilla chips, optional
Head to Just A Pinch for the full recipe.
3. Slow Cooker Honey BBQ Drumsticks
Three ingredients are all you need to make Chef in Training’s super semi-homemade slow cooker honey BBQ drumsticks. This recipe might be simple, but it packs plenty of flavor. Honey marries well with barbecue sauce and acts as a great foundation for any other add-ins you’d like to include, such as garlic, salt, and onion. Perfect for every occasion, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself making these drumsticks quite often.
- 8 drumsticks, skin removed if desired
- 1 (18-ounce) bottle barbecue sauce
- ¼ cup honey
Head to Chef in Training for the full recipe.
4. Meatball Subs
In Penney Lane’s recipe, frozen meatballs, spaghetti sauce, and spices are slow cooked to perfection, placed in a sub roll, and sprinkled with cheese.
- 1 bag frozen meatballs
- 2 jars spaghetti sauce
- 1 dash Italian seasoning
- 1 dash crushed red pepper flakes
- Shredded mozzarella and sub rolls, for serving
Head to Penney Lane for the full recipe.
5. Semi-Homemade Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce
Looking for an easy way to make your noodles shine? Prepare Food.com’s spaghetti sauce, which dresses up a jar of store-bought sauce using ground chuck, veggies, cheese, and seasonings.
- 1 pound ground chuck
- 26 ounces garlic tomato and basil pasta sauce
- 1 small onion
- ½ green bell pepper
- ½ yellow bell pepper
- ½ red bell pepper
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic clove, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Head to Food.com for the full recipe.
6. Pear and Cherry Buckle
Sandra Lee’s recipe, featured on Food Network, relies on an assortment of pre-made ingredients, including pie filling, canned pears, and boxed cake mix. This is an unbelievably easy dessert.
- 1 (26-ounce) can cherry pie filling
- 2 (15-ounce) cans diced pears in syrup
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix
- 1 stick butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 (1.19-ounce) packet maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- Whipped topping, for serving
Head to Food Network for the full recipe.
7. Mississippi Roast
The internet can’t get enough of this super-easy Mississippi roast recipe, which calls for just a handful of ingredients, including pantry basics, such as ranch dressing mix. You can throw it together in minutes in your slow cooker, and the result is purely satisfying comfort food. This version of the classic-in-the-making comes from The Hungry Housewife.
- 3 pound chuck roast
- 1 package of ranch salad dressing and seasoning mix
- 1 package of au jus gravy mix
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 6 pepperoncini peppers, whole
- ¼ cup water
Head to The Hungry Housewife for the full recipe.
8. Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings
Don’t turn up your nose at the condensed soup in this recipe for semi-homemade chicken and dumplings. You’ll want to use the cream of chicken and cream of celery in this dish because it won’t separate or curdle in the slow cooker like cream might, according to Spend With Pennies, which shared the recipe. To further simplify the prep, use frozen peas and carrots to add color and refrigerator biscuits to make the dumplings.
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 (10½-ounce) can cream of celery soup
- 1 (10½-ounce) can cream of chicken soup
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- Black pepper to taste
- 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups frozen vegetables or peas and carrots, defrosted
- 1 can (8 pieces) refrigerated biscuits
Head to Spend with Pennies for the full recipe.
9. Waffle and Sausage Casserole
Who wants to get up early to make breakfast? You don’t have to when you prepare this simple waffle and sausage casserole in your slow cooker the night before. You only need a few minutes to assemble this five-ingredient dish from Crock Pot Ladies, which will definitely have your family running to the table in the morning.
- 10 whole frozen waffles
- 1 pound pork breakfast sausage
- 8 whole eggs
- 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
- ½ cup maple syrup (for serving)
Head to Crock Pot Ladies for the full recipe.
10. Veggie Crockpot Lasagna
Getting an extra dose of veggies is easy with this recipe for vegetarian crockpot lasagna from Pinch of Yum. Using jarred tomato sauce cuts down on the prep time considerably. For the vegetables, use whatever you have on hand, though the original version calls for kale.
- 36 ounces of jarred or canned Italian tomato sauce
- 9 thick lasagna noodles with wavy edges
- 24 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
- 3 to 4 cups chopped vegetables, such as kale
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella or provolone cheese
- Parmesan cheese for topping
- Fresh parsley for topping
Head to Pinch of Yum for the full recipe.
11. Crockpot Chicken Curry
You won’t have to mess with any annoying extra steps when you make this crockpot chicken curry recipe from Fannetastic Food. Even better, it uses common pantry ingredients, such as chickpeas and coconut milk, and shortcuts, such as pre-cut butternut squash, to further cut down on the time you have to spend in the kitchen. The result is an easy yet delicious curry dish.
- 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
- 1 (1-pound) package fresh pre-cut butternut squash (or substitute an equivalent amount of sweet potato)
- 4 boneless chicken breasts
Head to Fannetastic Food for the full recipe.
12. Slow Cooker Pork Ramen Soup
Making authentic ramen is a lot more complicated than just tossing a few ingredients in the slow cooker. But if you’re craving this Japanese soup and don’t have the time or know-how to make your own, this simplified version from Betsy Life will do nicely. Instead of a complex homemade broth, this recipe calls for pre-made chicken broth. Combine it with a few packages of ramen noodles and ingredients, such as fresh ginger, chili paste, and mushrooms, and you have the makings satisfying meal.
- 2 to 3 pounds pork shoulder
- 32-ounce container low-sodium chicken broth
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon chili paste
- Juice of 1 lime
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 2 packages of ramen noodles, seasoning packets discarded.
- 4 soft boiled eggs
- Cilantro, sliced carrots, sriracha, green onions, jalapeños, lime wedges, optional for garnish
Head to Betsy Life for the full recipe.
13. Crockpot Chicken Salsa Verde
Chicken tenders slowly cooked with a jar of salsa verde produces an amazingly tasty (and amazingly easy) filling for tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, and other Mexican dishes. The recipe comes from Skinny Taste and has a scant 145 calories per serving, so you can enjoy it without the guilt.
- ½ pound skinless chicken tenders
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon oregano
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt, to taste
- 16-ounce jar roasted salsa verde
Head to Skinny Taste for the full recipe.
14. Cheesy Spinach and Tomato Tortellini
For lazy weekends when you don’t feel like cooking, turn to this cheesy spinach and tomato tortellini recipe from Funny Is Family. It’s ready in just three hours, so it’s perfect for days when you’re just hanging around the house. Store-bought tortellini is cooked in a simple mix of canned tomatoes and cream cheese, while fresh spinach is added at the last minute, which gives this meal an extra boost of nutrients.
Serves: 4 to 6
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 (14-ounce) cans Italian-style diced tomatoes
- 1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, chunked into pieces
- 2 (9-ounce) packages fresh cheese tortellini
- 1 (5-ounce) bag fresh spinach
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese
Head to Funny Is Family for the full recipe.
15. Crockpot Chicken and Stuffing Recipe
A Thanksgiving dinner favorite is reimagined as a simple weeknight meal in this recipe from I Save A to Z. A couple of boxes of stuffing mix are combined with cream of chicken soup and boneless chicken breast for a stick-to-your-ribs meal. Tossing in some frozen green beans adds color and some much-needed veggies. You’ll only need 10 minutes to put together the entire dish, which cooks in about four hours.
Serves: 6 to 8
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 large can or cream of chicken soup (or 2 small cans)
- 2 boxes of stuffing mix
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 small package of frozen green beans
Head to I Save A to Z for the full recipe.
Kirsten Yovino also contributed to this article.