With the hustle and bustle of school back in session, slow cooker recipes make getting dinner on the table super simple. These slow cooker crockpot dinners aren’t just easy, they are delicious too!
Easy Family Crockpot Meals your kids will love!
Kids Activities Blog asked real moms which slow cooker recipes their kids love. We’ve put together enough tasty kid-friendly recipes for every weeknight for a month!
If you’re not home during the day to watch over your meal, set it and forget it slow cooker will turn the heat down for you once your food is cooked! So handy!
You’ll Love These Friendly Family Crockpot Meals
Each one of these slow cooker dinners was chosen with two things in mind:
1. It has to be an easy crock pot meal
2. It has to be something that kids like
We know that you are busy and one of the worst feelings in the world is to finally get dinner on the table and then your kids not eat it!
Kid Friendly Crock Pot Meals: Italian
1. Creamy Crockpot Chicken Alfredo Recipe
Creamy Crockpot Chicken Alfredo from Smashed Peas and Carrots is sure to be a big hit. It is best served with garlic bread and or salad.
2. Crockpot Spaghetti with Meatballs Recipe
What kid doesn’t love spaghetti? Crockpot Spaghetti with Meatballs from The Country Cook is so tasty!
3. Butternut Squash Coconut Risotto Recipe
Butternut Squash Coconut Risotto from The Crafty Kitty (unavailable) is healthy and delicious!
4. Cozy Crockpot Minestrone Recipe
Packed full of veggies, Cozy Crockpot Minestrone from Smashed Peas and Carrots makes a healthy family dinner.
5. Crockpot Pizza Casserole Recipe
Pizza meets the slow cooker with this Crockpot Pizza Casserole from The Chaos and the Clutter.
Tex Mex Crockpot Meals for Kids
6. Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tex Mex Recipe
Shredded Chicken Tex Mex from Foodlets is kid-tested and mother-approved!
7. Quinoa Tex Mex Slow Cooker Casserole Recip
Quinoa Tex Mex Casserole from Chelsea’s Messy Apron sounds so yummy and is full of good-for-you ingredients!
8. Slow Cooker Mississippi Pot Roast Recipe
Today’s Creative Life’s Slow Cooker Mississippi Pot Roast isn’t exactly Tex Mex, but it has a little kick to it!
9. Slow Cooker Chicken Dinner Recipe
Easiest Slow Cooker Dinner by Kids Activities Blog leaves you with options for their different Tex Mex dinners.
10. Slow Cooker Chili Recipe
Slow Cooker Chili that kids love is a no-brainer from Foodlets.
11. Crockpot Shredded Beef Tacos Recipe
Crockpot Shredded Beef Tacos by Kids Activities Blog are total crowd-pleasers.
12. Slow Cooker Mexican Corn and Bean Soup Recipe
Mexican Corn and Bean Soup from Weelicious is a great way to pack more veggies into your kids’ diet.
Easy Family Slow Cooker Meals: American
13. Slow Cooker Pork Roast Recipe
Slow Cooker Pork Roast from Mess for Less is nothing short of a weeknight feast!
14. Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe
Foodlets’ Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is sure to be a family favorite.
15. Slow Cooker Chicken Soup with Wild Rice Recipe
Sipping once, sipping twice, your kids will love this Slow Cooker Chicken Soup with Wild Rice from Two Peas and Their Pod.
16. Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Pot Pie Recipe
Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Pot Pie from Foodlets is perfect after a long day at school.
17. Slow Cooker Chicken and Biscuits Recipe
Chicken and Biscuits is perfect fall fare from Mostly Food and Crafts (unavailable).
18. Thanksgiving Dinner in a Crockpot Recipe
Why wait until November? Try Thanksgiving Dinner in a Crockpot from Smashed Peas and Carrots.
19. Slow Cooker Spare Ribs Recipe
Kids Activities Blog’s Slow Cooker Spare Ribs are the perfect weeknight meal.
Kid Friendly Slow Cooker Recipes: Asian
20.Slow Cooker Broccoli and Beef Recipe
Slow Cooker Broccoli and Beef from Cooking Classy is even easier than ordering take-out!
21. Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken Recipe
Kids will love Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken from Gimme Some Oven.
22. Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps Recipe
Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps from The Comfort of Cooking is easy to make and fun to eat!
I hope these slow cooker recipes make getting dinner on the table a little easier!
What are your top 5 slow cooker recipes to try for this week’s supper?
Easy Family Slow Cooker Meals FAQs
A crock pot with a capacity of 6 to 8 quarts (5.7 – 7.6 liters) is recommended if you are feeding a family of 6.
Yes, you can cook small meals in a large slow cooker, but keep these things in mind:
Fill level: When cooking a small meal in a larger slow cooker, the crock pot may not be filled to its optimal level which is generally 1/2 to 3/4th full. Because it isn’t at least 1/2 way full, your food can cook faster than expected because there is less food volume for the heat to distribute through. You can reduce cooking time or reduce heat level to avoid overcooking.
Dryness: Consider adding a little more liquid like broth, water or sauce to avoid your dinner drying out in the large slow cooker.
Temperature distribution: Since your meal is not filling the slow cooker to desired level, it may cook unevenly. Check your meal for doneness occasionally.
Energy efficiency: You may end up using more energy to cook a small meal in a large slow cooker than needed.
Our top 10 favorite things to cook in a slow cooker are:
Shredded pork or chicken
There are some foods that are not ideal for cooking in your crock pot due to texture, cooking requirements or safety. Here is a list of items we don’t recommend cooking in the slow cooker:
-Delicate veggies like spinach, zucchini or asparagus
-Dairy products like milk, and cream can curdle if cooked all day – they are often added for the last hour of cooking
-Delicate seafood like fish and shellfish
-Rice and pasta can become a pasty, mushy mixture when overcooked
-Lean meats are easily overcooked resulting in tough, dry meat
-Crispy & crunchy dishes don’t keep their crispy and crunch nature inside the damp heat of a slow cooker
Yes, you can add raw meat directly into a slow cooker, and many slow cooker recipes call for doing so! However, searing or browning is often recommended. When you sear or brown meat before adding to your crockpot, it can enhance the flavor and appearance of the dish. This process creates a Maillard reaction(chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that occurs when food is cooked), which adds depth to the taste.
In a slow cooker, the most tender meat typically comes from tougher cuts with higher amounts of connective tissue and fat. As the meat cooks slowly at a low temperature, the collagen in the connective tissue breaks down turning into gelatin resulting in a moist, tender texture. Some of the best cuts of meat for slow cooking include:
Beef: chuck roast, brisket, short ribs and stew meat
Pork: pork shoulder (pork butt or Boston butt) and pork ribs
Lamb: lamb shanks, shoulder and stew meat
Chicken: chicken thighs, legs or whole chicken