No time to cook? No problem. Easy crockpot recipes are the solution to your weeknight dinner dilemma. Just toss a handful of ingredients in your slow cooker in the morning, then come home to a home-cooked meal that evening. Each of these six slow cooker recipes require just a handful of ingredients and minimal prep time, so you can spend less time preparing dinner and more time eating it.
1. Crockpot Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
Preparing this creamy chicken broccoli alfredo recipe from Funny Is Family is easy as pie. Using jarred alfredo sauce rather than making your own saves time, as does relying on frozen, precut broccoli rather than fresh. You don’t even have to remember to defrost the chicken to make this dish. Just toss the frozen breasts in the slow cooker with the other ingredients and you’re good to go.
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 jars Alfredo sauce
- 1 (12-ounce) bag frozen broccoli cuts
- ½ pound bowtie pasta, cooked
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, for garnish
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan, for garnish (optional)
Directions: Add the chicken to the slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper. Pour alfredo sauce over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
Add the broccoli to the slow cooker, cover, and cook for 1 hour more.
Prepare the pasta according to package directions while the broccoli cooks. Toss chicken and sauce with the pasta, then top with fresh parsley and parmesan. Serve.
2. Crockpot Meatloaf
Hearty homemade meatloaf will put a smile on your family’s faces when you put it on the dinner table. This versatile recipe from Wellness Mama is simple to prepare and easily adaptable. You can make it as directed below, add a little chili powder and cumin for a Mexican-flavored meal, top it with barbecue sauce and bacon, or add in your own favorite seasonings.
- 2 pounds of ground beef, bison, or turkey (or a combination)
- 1 medium onion, preferably pureed in blender, or very finely diced
- 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- Salt, pepper and any other spices to taste (roughly 1 to 2 teaspoons of each)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
Directions: Combine the meat, onion, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, salt, pepper, other spices, and eggs in a medium bowl. Mix well to combine.
If your slow cooker is large, transfer the meat mixture to a metal loaf pan, then place the loaf pan in the slow cooker. If your loaf pan won’t fit in the slow cooker, shape the meat into a loaf and transfer to the crock.
Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. The meat will cook faster if you’re not using a loaf pan, so check for doneness after 3 to 4 hours of cooking on low or 2 to 3 hours of cooking on high.
Remove lid from slow cooker and let meat rest for 15 to 30 minutes. Transfer meatloaf to a serving platter, slice, then serve.
3. 5-Ingredient Crockpot Chicken Teriyaki
This kid-friendly chicken teriyaki recipe from 24/7 Moms is sure to please pint-size diners. The meat is cooked with a simple mix of teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, and garlic. Serve the meat over rice and with stir-fried or steamed vegetables for a simple yet wholesome meal.
- 1 pound chicken, sliced or cubed
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ½ cup teriyaki or soy sauce (with or without sesame seeds)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- Cornstarch (optional)
Directions: Place chicken in the crockpot. Whisk together the chicken broth, teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, and garlic cloves in a small bowl. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours. If sauce is runny at the end of the cooking time, whisk together 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water and pour into the sauce. Stir, then let cook for a few minutes until thickened.
4. Slow Cooker Lemon Pepper Chicken with Asparagus
If you’re trying to cut carbs, you’ll love this healthy one-pot chicken and asparagus dish from the Slow Cooker Gourmet. Rather than roasting or grilling the asparagus (and dirtying another pan in the process), you just cook the vegetables with the chicken in this super-simple meal. Make sure you use chicken thighs, not breasts, in this recipe, since they are less likely to dry out over the long cooking time.
- ½ to 1 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 lemon, sliced into rounds
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
- ½ teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon thyme
Directions: Place the chicken thighs in the slow cooker and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with thyme and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Place the lemon slices on the chicken, then top with the asparagus spears. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon of salt and the lemon pepper seasoning. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, then serve.
5. Slow Cooker Spicy Sausage and Peppers
Short on time and money? This sausage and pepper recipe is a lifesaver. Preparing this spicy dish takes just five minutes, and all the ingredients should run you about $5. Recipe from $5 Dinners.
- 1 pound Italian sausage links, sliced
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (10-ounce) can tomatoes with green chilies
- 2 (10-ounce) bags frozen pepper and onion blend (or substitute 2 peppers, seeded and diced, plus 1 onion, sliced)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Whole wheat bread slices, sliced french baguette, dinner rolls, or cooked rice
Directions: Slice the sausage and place in the slow cooker. Pour both cans of tomatoes over the sausage, then add the peppers and onions. Stir once to combine.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve over bread or rice.
6. Slow Cooker Chicken Nachos
You could serve these filling nachos as a party appetizer or at a potluck, but they’re so hearty they’re also perfect for a no-fuss weeknight dinner. Or, serve the cooked chicken in a quesadilla or taco for an equally easy meal. This recipe from the Seasoned Mom serves eight.
- 1 envelope taco seasoning
- 5 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 (16-ounce) jar of salsa
- 1 bag tortilla chips
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Topping for nachos: Sliced black olives, sliced green onions, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, jalapeño peppers
Directions: Coat the inside of the slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Place chicken breasts in the slow cooker, then pour the salsa over. Sprinkle with the taco seasoning. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 6 hours. Shred chicken with two forks and return to slow cooker. Keep warm until ready to serve the nachos.
To make the nachos, place chips on a large serving dish or platter. Spoon the chicken onto the chips, then top with shredded cheese. (The chicken should be hot enough to melt the cheese). Add olives, green onions, sour cream, and other toppings of your choice, then serve.
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