Best Slow Cooker Recipes

by Kelly - Budget Bytes
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Want to maximize your time AND money? Slow cookers and Crockpots are your friends. They will help you make big batches of soups, stews, and meats to stash in your freezer or eat all week. These slow cooker recipes will keep your fridge stocked with little effort. Get chopping and put those ingredients in your slow cooker and walk away! It is that simple.

Collage of six recipe photos highlighting best slow cooker recipes

easy slow cooker recipes

Using a slow cooker is a great place to start for beginners. These recipes are easy but not short on flavor.  Let the slow cooker do all the work so you can take all the credit!

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

Pasta sauce in a slow cooker garnished with parsley
Let the slow cooker do all the work for you when you make this big batch of freezer-friendly homemade spaghetti sauce.
4.89 from 52 votes
$4.40 recipe / $0.63 per cup Get the Recipe

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce – What more could you ask for than throwing some ingredients in the slow cooker, forgetting about it for 8 hours, and returning to a rich, delicious homemade sauce? This marinara sauce can be divided into portions, frozen, and you’ll have delicious homemade pasta sauce on hand for quick busy weeknight dinners.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Three pulled pork sandwiches with pickles on a wooden cutting board.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is an easy way to cook the most tender and juicy pork ever. It's great on tacos, sandwiches, burritos and more.
4.45 from 9 votes
$9.48 recipe / $1.19 serving Get the Recipe

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork – Something magical happens when you cook pork slowly. It turns into the most mouth-watering tender and juicy meat you’ve ever had. And meat this tender is good with everything, so if you make this Slow Cooker Pulled Pork on Sunday, you’ll have meat to last you all week.

Slow Cooker Cabbage and Sausage

Close up overhead view of cabbage and sausage in the slow cooker
Slow cooker cabbage and sausage is an easy, hands-free way to make a delicious, filling, and cozy meal. Perfect for meal prep!
4.34 from 24 votes
$7.80 recipe / $1.30 serving Get the Recipe

Slow Cooker Cabbage and Sausage – Cabbage and sausage cooked together in a slow cooker turns out tender and brothy (almost like a cabbage and sausage soup) and is delicious.

Slow Cooker Sesame Beef

This tender, rich, and flavorful Slow Cooker Sesame Beef is extremely versatile and only requires a few ingredients that can be found at most grocery stores. BudgetBytes.com
This tender, rich, and flavorful Slow Cooker Sesame Beef is extremely versatile and only requires a few ingredients that can be found at most grocery stores. 
4.73 from 44 votes
$10.27 recipe / $1.71 serving Get the Recipe

Slow Cooker Sesame Beef This Slow Cooker Sesame Beef uses only a few ingredients. This beef is ultra flavorful, so use it sparingly and combine it with other less expensive filling ingredients for delicious, budget-friendly meals.

Slow Cooker Hot Buttered Apples

Slow Cooker Hot Buttered Apples are an easy and versatile dessert that is perfect for using up your glut of autumn apples! BudgetBytes.com
Slow Cooker Hot Buttered Apples are an easy and versatile dessert that is perfect for using up your glut of autumn apples! 
4.91 from 20 votes
$5.10 recipe / $0.85 serving Get the Recipe

Slow Cooker Hot Buttered Apples – These slow-cooked apples are a lot like the filling for an apple pie and are very versatile. Serve them a la mode, spoon them over your pancakes, waffles, or oats, use them as a filling for a dessert “quesadilla,” or even serve them alongside pork chops.

SLOW COOKER BEEF RECIPES

Forget about that chewy and dry pot roast from your childhood. These slow-cooked beef recipes will get your tastebuds dancing! Plus, these big-batch recipes allow you to cook once and eat great all week.

Giant Slow Cooker Meatballs

A plate with spaghetti, marinara, and a giant slow cooker meatball.
As easy as 1-2-3, these Giant Slow Cooker Meatballs are a fun, easy, and effortless answer to weeknight dinner. 
4.92 from 12 votes
$8.00 recipe / $2.00 serving Get the Recipe

Giant Slow Cooker Meatballs – These meatballs are a fun way to change up a simple spaghetti dinner. They simmer away in marinara, the flavors blending into each other, creating a luxe-rich sauce for the spaghetti.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Close up overhead view of beef stew in a bowl.
This Slow Cooker Beef Stew is the perfect cozy meal for a cold winter day with tender pieces of beef, vegetables, and a flavorful gravy.
4.82 from 174 votes
$14.08 recipe / $1.41 per cup Get the Recipe

Slow Cooker Beef Stew – This slow cooker beef stew is indulgent in all the best ways. Browning the meat before it goes into the slow cooker caramelizes the proteins and adds depth to the flavor you can’t get just by letting it boil away in the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Meatball Subs

Side view of a meatball sub on a plate with the baking dish in the background.
These Slow Cooker Meatball Subs are extra tender and flavorful thanks to a low and slow simmer in marinara sauce.
5 from 14 votes
$19.43 recipe / $2.43 each Get the Recipe

Slow Cooker Meatball Subs – These slow cooker meatball subs are incredibly tender, flavorful, and just all-around decadent, thanks to that low and slow simmer in marinara sauce. It’s magical!

Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew

Overhead view of a bowl full of slow cooker hamburger stew with bread and a spoon on the side
This super easy Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew is simple, comforting food at its best. And the leftovers are even better the next day!
4.48 from 34 votes
$9.88 recipe / $1.65 serving Get the Recipe

Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew – This hamburger stew is similar to traditional beef stew but made with ground beef instead of stew meat. Using ground beef is less expensive than stew meat, and you get a little beef in every bite!

SLOW COOKER SOUP RECIPES

Let the slow cooker create the slow simmer that gives soups depth and deliciousness. Unlike their stovetop counterparts, these classic soup recipes are entirely hands-off.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

This Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup offers a deep, comforting, smoky flavor with simple ingredients and minimal effort. BudgetBytes.com
This Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup offers a deep, comforting, smoky flavor with simple ingredients and minimal effort. 
4.91 from 52 votes
$9.79 recipe / $1.63 serving Get the Recipe

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup – Like most slow cooker recipes, this Chicken Tortilla Soup is ridiculously easy and very forgiving. It’s a great meal to prepare when you know you can’t give your full attention to the stove.

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

Overhead view of a ladle lifting chicken noodle soup out of the slow cooker
Slow cooker chicken noodle soup is an incredibly easy and soothing winter recipe that will fill you up and warm you from the inside out!
4.46 from 24 votes
$9.22 recipe / $1.15 serving Get the Recipe

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup – Homemade chicken noodle soup from scratch is one of our absolute favorite comfort foods. Not only is it effortless, but even the smell of it simmering away is soothing and gives hygge vibes.

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

Packed with vegetables, flavor, protein, and fiber, this ultra-flavorful and low-calorie Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup is an all around winner! BudgetBytes.com
Packed with vegetables, flavor, protein, and fiber, this ultra-flavorful and low-calorie Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup is an all around winner!
4.69 from 130 votes
$4.81 recipe / $0.79 serving Get the Recipe

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup – This awesomely flavorful and easy slow cooker black bean soup practically makes itself. It’s vegan, super filling, high in fiber, protein, full of veggies, and costs nothing. Need we say more?

Easy Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

Close up overhead view of a bowl full of slow cooker white chicken chili
The slow cooker does all the work with this easy, flavorful, and healthy white chicken chili. This "dump and go" dinner will become a family favorite!
4.78 from 141 votes
$10.23 recipe / $1.71 serving Get the Recipe

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili – This is the perfect example of why people love slow cookers. You dump everything in the slow cooker, stir it, turn it on, and walk away. When you return, you have this hearty white bean chicken chili ready for topping with cheese and diving in with tortilla chips.

VEGETARIAN slow cooker RECIPES

Are you looking for more options for your meatless meals? These vegetarian slow cooker recipes will gather all the vegetable goodness in one pot!

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lentil Chili

This Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lentil Chili makes a huge batch, is packed with flavor and nutrients, and can be made for only about 5 dollars! Budgetbytes.com
This Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lentil Chili makes a huge batch, is packed with flavor and nutrients, and can be made for only about 5 dollars! 
4.91 from 94 votes
$4.64 recipe / $0.77 serving Get the Recipe

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lentil Chili – Make this chili your own with various toppings, and take advantage of this opportunity to use up some leftover vegetables from your fridge!

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils are an easy, hands-off, fiber filled, freezer friendly vegan dinner. 
4.75 from 133 votes
$9.86 recipe / $0.99 serving Get the Recipe

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils – Slow cookers are fantastic because they’re primarily hands-off, contain their heat well, and don’t cause dreaded ambient heat rise in the kitchen. So, while you can make these Coconut Curry Lentils on the stove top, save yourself some steam and sweat by cooking them in the slow cooker.

(Not) Refried Beans

Use your slow cooker to make these incredibly flavorful (not) refried beans with next to no effort. They’re versatile, delicious, and freezer friendly. 
4.78 from 68 votes
$2.51 recipe / $0.28 serving Get the Recipe

Not Refried Beans – These (not) refried beans have an incredibly complex flavor thanks to the jalapeño, chili, and other spices. The beans are so good and flavorful that you’ll be tempted to serve them as your main dish. Dress them up with roasted corn, crumbly cheese, and maybe some grilled zucchini, and you can make a bowl out of them!

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Close up of mashed potatoes in the slow cooker with melted butter and a wooden spoon
Slow cooker mashed potatoes are the perfect hands-off method for making rich and creamy mashed potatoes for the Holidays!
4.41 from 32 votes
$2.99 recipe / $0.50 serving Get the Recipe

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes – Using the slow cooker cuts out the “babysitting the boiling pot” step in making mashed potatoes, freeing you up to concentrate on the rest of your meal. It also eliminates boil overs, draining the potatoes, checking them with a fork to see if they’re tender, using multiple pots and dishes, and gives you another free burner on your stovetop.

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN RECIPES

Don’t let that extra uncooked chicken go to waste, and make one of these savory slow cooker chicken recipes. We’ve found that using chicken thighs is better for your budget, and the flavors, especially in the slow cooker, are better!

Taco Chicken Bowls

Slow Cooker Taco Chicken Bowls are the ultimate “set it and forget it” easy weeknight meal that the whole family will love.
4.87 from 192 votes
$10.31 recipe / $1.72 serving Get the Recipe

Taco Chicken Bowls – This taco chicken bowls recipe is definitely “slow-cooker 101”. The combination of tender pulled chicken, salsa, spices, and beans just can’t be beaten! Plus, it can be served in several ways so the leftovers will go far.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

Close up side view of shredded buffalo chicken in the slow cooker with tongs
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken is tender, juicy, tangy, and rich all at the same time! Perfect for sandwiches, nachos, salads, pizza, and more.
4.91 from 22 votes
$12.65 recipe / $1.58 serving Get the Recipe

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken – The slow-cooked chicken is tender, spicy, tangy, and rich all at the same time, and there are a hundred different ways you can use it! Sandwiches, dips, salads, pizza, and more.

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

Side view of Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken in the slow cooker with tongs.
Seasoned chicken breast and tangy BBQ sauce are slow cooked until tender and delicious. Perfect for sandwiches, nachos, pizza, and more.
4.82 from 11 votes
$8.34 recipe / $2.09 serving Get the Recipe

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken – You can have this tasty chicken in the slow cooker doing its own thing while enjoying a lazy summer day or any time of year! Plus, unlike a hot oven, the slow cooker won’t make your AC work overtime.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

This Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala boasts a rich and aromatic sauce, and tender juicy chicken. Make four servings for the price of one take out! Budgetbytes.com
This Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala boasts a rich and aromatic sauce, and tender juicy chicken. Make four servings for the price of one take out!
4.47 from 140 votes
$8.82 recipe / $2.21 serving Get the Recipe

Slow Cooker Tikka Masala – Tender chicken drenched in a rich tomato sauce full of aromatic spices makes this one of our all-time favorite slow cooker recipes! You don’t want to miss it!

Let us know which recipe you will try first, how you it turned out, and which was your favorite!

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  1. Slow cookers are great but with commute times in the mornings and evenings doubled in the winter, they’re not always easier.
    Please consider adding multicooker (insta pot) recipes to budget bytes.
    I love your recipes!