When you’re busy running from one activity to the next, cooking a homemade dinner is the last thing you think about, right? Don’t let busyness break your budget! Get prepared with this arsenal of easy slow cooker recipes, and let the it do the work for you. You deserve the break, girl!

slow cooker full of beef stew on a counter with garlic from Shelf Cooking

We know this feeling all too well… The kids get home from school, and you start your afternoon shift of shuttling to soccer practice and piano lessons. By the time you get home again, everyone is STARVING…. but dinner is not even started. Save your cash and your sanity by pulling out this list of easy weeknight slow cooker recipes! 

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With these recipes, you can plan your meals around YOUR busy schedule and use what you have on hand in the kitchen. Go ahead and dump the ingredients in the slow cooker after breakfast, and you’ll come home in the evening looking like a dinner diva. Don’t worry. We won’t tell your family how easy the meal was (it’s our little secret). 


close up of pulled pork sandwich on a platter from Shelf Cooking

Got meat in the freezer? Thaw it out and cook up one of these easy recipes that the whole family will absolutely adore. The best part? Each makes enough for leftovers that can be served up in SOOOO many ways. It’s truly the simplest, most versatile way to use up what you have on hand. 

  • Dr Pepper Pulled Pork Sandwiches – If you love the sweet drink as much as we do, you’ll love this pulled pork starring Dr Pepper as the star ingredient. 
  • Cafe Rio Sweet Pork – This copycat Cafe Rio sweet pork is delicious however you serve it up. Use it for tacos, sandwiches, burritos, and salads.
  • Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich – Serve up these sandwiches from Bake Eat Repeat warm and comforting sandwiches with a delicious au jus on a cold afternoon. 
  • Crockpot Chicken Tacos – These are hands-down the easiest chicken tacos you’ll ever make. They’ll also have your family cheering for more. 

These are all GREAT options if you have some rolls stored away in the freezer that you can use up. Put those buns to work!


italian cream cheese chicken on rice on a white marble counter from Shelf Cooking

All you need is a bag of rice (or rice substitute) and a few simple ingredients to serve up a winner of a dinner. Rice is something we ALWAYS have on-hand in the pantry. We suggest cooking up a big batch of rice on the weekend for use throughout the week for meals.

Pick your fancy — be it Italian, Mexican, or more — and let the slow cooker do all the heavy lifting. 


brown sugar ham on a platter on a white marble counter from Shelf Cooking

Are you looking for a simple, easy dinner recipe that will serve the whole family plus guests on a busy Sunday afternoon? These options are PERFECT for a hearty and delicious dinner. Add a simple salad or vegetable side and you’re all set. No hostess should have to be stuck to the stove when company is coming!

  • Brown Sugar Ham – Is there anything more succulent than a slice of sugared ham? We think not, and this is the simplest way to make it. 
  • Easiest Slow Cooker Pot Roast – Need some slow cooker help for a Sunday supper? Here’s the winner for the easiest pot roast ever. 
  • Lemon Garlic Chicken – If you find a great price for a whole chicken, add it to the cart and then throw in some lemon and garlic for a fool-proof dinner from Number 2 Pencil
  • Crockpot Baked Potatoes – Potatoes can make for a hearty, filling meal when you add whatever toppings you have available in the kitchen. 

A spiral ham, beef roast, or whole chicken provide so much meat that you will have leftovers for days. Don't let it go to waste! Cut up leftover meat and put it in a freezer-safe bag in the freezer for another week. Look at you! You're so resourceful.


bowl of chili with cheddar cheese, from Shelf Cooking

After a cold evening at the soccer or football field, there is nothing better than coming home to a steaming bowl of soup, stew, or chili. Throw a few ingredients together early in the day and your kitchen will smell UH-MAZING when you come home to serve up a warm bowl of comfort. 

  • Crockpot Chili – You can dump a can of this and a jar of that together to create this simple crockpot chili masterpiece. 
  • Creamy Tomato Basil Soup – This creamy, delicious tomato soup reminds us of youth. Add a simple grilled cheese sandwich and you’ve got a meal! 
  • Easy Taco Soup – Feeling like Mexican on a cold, fall evening? This easy taco soup will scratch the itch for Tex-Mex. 
  • Honey Balsamic Beef Stew – Simple beef stew is taken to a whole new level with this amazing honey balsamic broth from the Recipe Rebel

Pro Tip: Soups and chilis are great options for batch cooking. Buy enough to make two or more meals and prep all the meals at the same time. Simply freeze the extras for later. Seriously, could dinner prep be more simple?


If you’ve been invited to a potluck with friends and need to fix up a quick appetizer or dessert to bring along, these recipes will be your best friend on a busy night. Add the ingredients to your trusty slow cooker and sit back and relax. Any of these choices make a perfect plus one to any potluck! 

You'll be the talk of the party when you walk in with one of these beauties in hand. You're welcome — in advance.


If these 20 recipes just aren't enough, then why not check out our ebook of Slow Cooker recipes? It's chock full of 81 slow cooker recipes that are ready for you to enjoy. Get your downloadable copy here! 

Alright, well there you have it! The biggest question will be, what will you make first? Let us know in the comments below!

Various easy slow cooker recipes from Shelf Cooking

Still can't get enough of our easy recipes and kitchen hacks? 

Take it slow, yo!