26 Zero-Prep Slow Cooker Dinners
Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
This slow cooker pork carnitas recipe is a perfectly simple and inexpensive way to feed a crowd. Set out a stack of warm corn tortillas along, with a few simple toppings, and allow everyone to pile on the unbelievably rich and tender pork as they please.
Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Corn Slow-Cooker Chowder
Great for a game-day get-together, this hearty and creamy soup feeds a crowd with little hands-on time required.
Slow Cooker Shrimp Boil
For a classic summery meal without a fuss, look no further than this slow cooker shrimp boil. With a simple ingredient list and a largely hands-off cooking method, this easy seafood boil is a perfect recipe to plan on for casual warm weather entertaining or even as a low-effort meal to make at the rental house during a beach vacation. We opted to pull the corn out after 30 minutes of cooking as we preferred it on the crisp side, but as long as your slow cooker is large enough, feel free to leave it in the pot as the shrimp and sausage cook.
Creamy Potato-and-Ham Hock Slow-Cooker Soup
The potatoes absorb the rich, smoky flavor of the ham hocks in this one-pot soup. Serve with crusty bread, a salad, and hot sauce on the side for an easy meal both kids and adults will love.
5-Ingredient Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork
Three family dinners start with this one recipe for succulent and tender 5-Ingredient Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork.
Slow-Cooker Macaroni and Beef
Slow-Cooker Sweet Potatoes with Bacon
Make Ahead: Pop this sweet potato mixture into your slow cooker on Thanksgiving morning. It will be ready to serve as soon as everyone sits down to dinner.
Slow Cooker Tuscan White Bean Soup
Creamy white beans are the perfect match for a hearty leafy green like kale. Sausage adds a meaty bite, and a touch of Parmesan finishes it off beautifully.
Vegetarian Slow-Cooker Collard Greens
This vegetarian collards recipe brings all the flavor without any meat. We call for fire-roasted tomatoes, smoked paprika, and apple cider vinegar for the ultimate meat-free flavor.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore with Spaghetti
Spend 20 minutes in the kitchen prepping this gorgeous, hearty sauce. Once the sauce simmers in the cooker, all that's left to do is cook a pound of pasta, and serve.
Slow Cooker Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
White meat can dry out after a long haul in the slow cooker, so we opt for bone-in thighs to guarantee optimal flavor and succulence. Make prep easier with prepeeled garlic, and pretty-up the platter with lemon slices and thyme sprigs.
After a hectic day at work, hearty bowlfuls of Vegetable-Lentil Soup await you in the slow cooker.
Tacos are always a great meal you can eat with your hands. In this recipe, your pork gets perfectly tender and shreddable in the slow cooker.
Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
While the chicken becomes fall-apart tender, briny capers, crushed red pepper, and garlic infuse the tomatoes for a robust marinara sauce.
Soulful Chicken Soup
No dish is quite as soothing as a hearty bowl of chicken noodle soup. Slow cookers couldn't have made the road to comfort any easier: Simply toss in the ingredients, switch on, and then walk away. We love old-fashioned, wide egg noodles for this recipe. To make sure they aren't mushy and overcooked, don't leave them in the slow cooker any longer than 10 minutes.
Slow Cooker Chicken Congee
The slow cooker does all the work in this comforting rice porridge, breaking down the rice with fragrant ginger and star anise and poaching the chicken until silky. A bit of chili oil is the vibrant kick this dish needs. You can also use Sriracha or a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Cilantro or baby spinach leaves can work in place of the watercress.
Slow Cooker Barbacoa Brisket
Slow cooking tougher cuts of meat, such as beef brisket, gives you a meltingly tender texture. For tacos, serve the saucy barbacoa in tortillas with green and red onion, cilantro leaves, jalapeño slices, and fresh lime wedges.
Slow-Cooker Collard Greens with Ham Hocks
When cooked low and slow, the tender ham hocks completely fall apart and infuse the collard greens with a savory, smoky flavor. Carefully remove the hocks before serving to make sure no bones remain.
Slow-Cooker Split Pea Soup with Smoked Turkey
If your Thanksgiving tradition includes a smoked turkey, save one of the legs for this easy, soul-satisfying soup. Otherwise, look for smoked turkey legs near the bacon at your grocery store (or use a ham hock).
Slow Cooker Beef and Cabbage with Potatoes and Carrots
There's no better way to celebrate St. Paddy than with a showstopping feast of beef, cabbage, carrots, and potatoes. To create the traditional flavor profile of corned beef and cabbage without the traditionally massive sodium spike, we simmer brisket in a strong aromatic spice blend at low and slow heat rather than starting with brined beef.
Three-Bean Vegetarian Chili
This soup has a mild chile flavor. If you want more heat, increase the amount of chili powder and don't seed the jalapeños.
Smoked Turkey-Lentil Soup
Throw smoked turkey, dried lentils, and a handful of other ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning, and you'll come home to a hearty and comforting meal. If you prefer to use dried oregano instead of the fresh, reduce the amount to 1/2 teaspoon. Dried herbs are very potent; a little goes a long way.
Slow Cooker Creamy Lentil Soup
Simple flavors and a rustic touch will make this soup an instant home-cooked favorite, especially on chilly, wintry days. Inexpensive dried lentils make up the bulk of the soup, helping fill in your fiber gaps and keep you full longer. Chickpeas are the secret ingredient to achieve supreme creaminess, which become delightfully smooth when blended, and sneak in an extra 3g fiber per serving.
Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork
This slow-cooker pulled pork recipe makes budget-friendly homemade barbecue a breeze! 7 ingredients and 10 minutes of prep time are all you need to get this dish cooking for dinnertime. For delicious barbecue sandwiches, add honey, barbecue sauce, mustard, and soy sauce to the slow cooker when the meat is done and cook for an additional hour on low. Serve on hamburger buns with a side of baked beans, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, and cornbread for the ultimate Southern plate.
Easy Brunswick Stew
The best part about this scrumptious dish is right in the name of the recipe–it's exceptionally easy to make. Just combine all of the ingredients, set your slow cooker for 8 hours, and serve this classic stew with a hunk crusty bread. This cook-out favorite can be made a day or so in advance of serving--the flavors grow more richly intense with time. If you refrigerate before serving, you can return the stew to your slow cooker and reheat, uncovered, over low heat--giving it an occasional stir--until warmed through.
Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Sriracha BBQ Sauce
Rub pork with a sweet and spicy mixture, then let it cook down in a sweet and vinegary sauce.