Crock pot Dinner Ideas

Whether you are looking to keep the kitchen cool by not using the oven, or you need an easy meal for a busy night, these crockpot dinner ideas are for you!

More Collections: Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes, Summer Slow Cooker Recipes, Crock Pot Appetizers

A collage of crockpot dinner ideas

Making dinner a breeze!

Soups and stews are easy and well-known crockpot dinner ideas, but you can do so much more with a slow cooker!!

I’m talking enchiladas, spaghetti, and orange chicken. Really, the possibilities are endless. These easy main dishes can be prepped in the morning for a grab-and-go style dinner that night!

Needless to say I’ve gathered up a few of our best-loved and frequently used crockpot dinner ideas/main dishes to help make your weeknights a breeze.

Mongolian beef and vegetables cooking in the crock pot.

Prepping for the Crockpot

One of the main appeals to crockpot dinners is that you can toss everything in the pot in the morning and then come home to a delicious hot meal. To save time in the morning make sure 

  • Frozen meat is in the fridge to thaw. 
  • Pull out any spices so you’re not digging for them in the morning. 
  • Chop any veggies and keep them in a separate container in the fridge. 

Set and Go: Unless otherwise directed in the recipe leave the crockpot alone. Removing the lid may allow needed liquid to evaporate. It also lets heat escape and it can take up to 20 minutes to return back to the set temperature.

  • Exception: If a recipe calls for adding any dairy, tender vegetables, fresh herbs, cooked rice or pasta, then you will be instructed to remove the lid and add it during the last 20-30 minutes of cooking time.  
Ranch chicken and carrots cooking in a slow cooker

Additional Crock pot Tips

  • Trim off extra fat from the cuts. 
  • Cheaper cuts do better in the crock pot than more expensive cuts. 
  • For the most even cook, be sure the amount of food will fill your pot ½ way to ⅔ full. Most recipes are adapted for a 5–6 qt pot.
  • For easy clean up use a crock pot liner. 
  • Despite the appeal about a “forget and go” meal you do have to remember not to allow the recipe to over cook. 
  • Except for ground beef you can skip the browning of red meats. Browning can help give an extra layer of texture and flavor, but the dish can be made with it. 

Soups are a classic recipe made in the crockpot. We have several tried and true recipes on the site. If you are trying to adapt a soup recipe for the crockpot, then reduce the amount of liquid by ¼-⅓ because there is little to no evaporation that happens. 

Low Vs High Setting: The appeal of the crockpot is to be able to set it and forget about it, usually for several hours. This is where the LOW setting comes in handy. I have also found that the LOW setting generally just cooks the food better than the HIGH Setting. Most recipes will list both settings as an option with the LOW setting taking about twice as long as the HIGH setting.  

Are Crock Pots and Slow Cookers the same thing? Though they look the same and are used to cook foods for an extended period of time there is a key difference between the two: A crockpot has a ceramic pot insert that is heated from all sides, whereas slow cookers have a metal pot that is heated on the bottom.

HOWEVER, most people, including me, use the term slow cooker even though they are talking about a ceramic crockpot.


A whole chicken cooking in a crockpot for dinner

Best Crockpot Dinner RECIPES

This list has everything including soups, meats, pastas, and more!

crockpot cashew chicken over rice on plate
Main Course Crock Pot Cashew Chicken Recipe
Crock Pot Cashew Chicken is an easy and delicious dinner that takes little time to prep and has a delicious sauce!
Total Time: 3 hours 6 minutes
5 from 7 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Slow Cooker Creamy Fiesta Chicken Recipe
Slow Cooker Creamy Fiesta Chicken is such a simple, flavorful crock pot recipe! It is a tasty crock pot meal made with pantry staples!
Total Time: 4 hours 35 minutes
5 from 3 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken Recipe
Make this super easy crock pot teriyaki chicken in your slow cooker, and serve over warm white rice for a delicious teriyaki bowl!
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
4.77 from 21 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Crockpot Orange Chicken Recipe
This Crockpot Orange Chicken is simple, and tastes even better than takeout. With breaded chicken pieces covered in a phenomenal orange sauce and cooked to perfection in a slow cooker, it’s a recipe the whole family loves!
Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes
3.13 from 8 votes
Check out this recipe
Soup Slow Cooker Turkey Chili Recipe
Homemade slow cooker turkey chili is hearty and packed with flavor. It is loaded with beans, ground or chopped turkey, and spices!
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
5 from 6 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Crockpot Ranch Chicken Recipe
You’ll love how simple, yet flavorful, this delicious chicken is. Made entirely in the crockpot, creamy ranch chicken is perfect on its own or served over rice.
Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
4.72 from 7 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Crockpot Roast Chicken Recipe
Juicy and flavorful roasted chicken made in the slow cooker! So simple to make an entire chicken with the help of your crock pot.
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
5 from 3 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas Recipe
Hot and cheesy Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas to feed your family any day of the week! So easy to throw all the ingredients in and let the crock pot do the work for you.
Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
5 from 13 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course, Side Dish Crock Pot Lo Mein Recipe
Deliciously saucy Crock Pot Chicken Lo Mein is filled with edamame, snow peas making it an easy favorite dinner recipe.
Total Time: 3 hours
5 from 6 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course, Soup Chicken Enchilada Soup Recipe
Crock Pot Green Chile Enchilada Soup is a new favorite soup packed with chicken, green chiles, corn, rice, and mixed with lots of spices and cheeses. 
Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
4.87 from 67 votes
Check out this recipe
Soup Crockpot Potato Soup Recipe
Creamy and delicious Crockpot Baked Potato Soup is so full of flavor and EASY too! This crockpot potato soup recipe is a real winner!
Total Time: 4 hours 25 minutes
4.86 from 7 votes
Check out this recipe
Soup Chicken Florentine Soup Recipe
With a combination of chicken, potato, white beans, carrots, spinach and more, this chicken florentine soup is hearty and absolutely delicious. It tastes similar to Olive Garden's recipe, but it's made in the slow cooker!
Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes
5 from 6 votes
Check out this recipe
Soup Chicken Taco Soup Recipe
A warm tasty soup full of chicken, beans, corn, spices, and of course – tortilla strips on top! You’re going to love this hearty, delicious soup that can be enjoyed all year long – especially in the fall!
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
4.91 from 10 votes
Check out this recipe
Soup Hamburger Soup Recipe
Hearty and delicious Hamburger Soup is filled with corn, carrots, potatoes, cheese and more! Best of all, it's made in the slow cooker with minimal effort.
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
5 from 1 vote
Check out this recipe
Main Course, Soup Crock Pot Tortellini Spinach Soup Recipe
Easy Crock Pot Tortellini and Spinach Soup is a hearty soup filled with cheese tortellini, spinach, tomatoes, and lots of spices!!
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
4.85 from 45 votes
Check out this recipe
Soup Creamy Chicken Stew Recipe
A simple, convenient, and TASTY stew recipe made in the crock pot! Made with chicken, potatoes, carrots, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, ranch dressing mix and more, this Slow Cooker Chicken Stew recipe is BURSTING with flavor!!
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
4.91 from 20 votes
Check out this recipe
Soup Taco Soup Crockpot Recipe
This Crockpot Taco Soup Recipe includes all the most flavorful ingredients. Just dump all the ingredients in your slow cooker, and 4 hours later you'll have a creamy and delicious taco soup!
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
5 from 5 votes
Check out this recipe
Soup Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe
DELICIOUS Slow Cooker Beef Stew filled with chunks of beef, potatoes and carrots – a family favorite that is hearty, simple and great for fall.
Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes
5 from 16 votes
Check out this recipe
Soup Cheeseburger Soup Recipe
Filled with hamburger meat, carrots, potatoes, Velveeta, delicious spices, and BACON, this Crockpot Cheeseburger Soup is the perfect recipe for a cold day!
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
4.67 from 6 votes
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Main Course Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos Recipe
We love this slow cooker version which involves salsa, taco seasoning, cilantro and more. You'll never find an easier way to enjoy chicken tacos!
Total Time: 7 hours 5 minutes
5 from 8 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Cafe Rio Chicken Recipe
Copycat Cafe Rio Shredded Chicken – a simple and delicious chicken recipe that is perfect for salads, burritos, quesadillas and tacos!
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
5 from 30 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Crock Pot Mongolian Beef Recipe
Delicious Crock Pot Mongolian Beef loaded with carrots and asparagus is SO simple to make. Your crock pot does all the work!!
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
5 from 7 votes
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Main Course Crockpot Lasagna Recipe
Classic Lasagna made in the slow cooker! This delicious crock pot recipe has all the layers of noodles, cheese, sauce and meat that everyone loves but made more simply.
4.92 from 12 votes
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Main Course Pot Roast Recipe
This Crock Pot Roast Recipe is one of our favorite Sunday dinners. It takes only 3 minutes of prep time and then the slow cooker does the rest! The chuck roast ends up being SO tender and full of flavor from the brown gravy, Italian, and ranch dressing mix! 
Total Time: 7 hours 5 minutes
4.88 from 24 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Crock Pot Spaghetti Recipe
We make this yummy crock pot spaghetti all the time! Buttery noodles topped with a flavorful meaty sauce—DELISH!
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
5 from 7 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course How to Cook Hot Dogs in Crock Pot
The easiest way to make hot dogs for a crowd! Cook hot dogs in the crock pot for all of your summer potluck needs.
Total Time: 2 hours 2 minutes
5 from 2 votes
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Appetizer Asian Meatballs recipe
Easy and delicious Crock Pot Asian meatballs take minutes to prep, are perfect for parties and have that Asian flavor we all know and love. 
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
5 from 3 votes
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Main Course Beef Stroganoff Recipe
This Easy Beef Stroganoff recipe is simple and flavorful. Served with egg noodles, this creamy stroganoff made in the slow cooker is a classic Sunday dinner recipe and is perfect to enjoy any night of the week.
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
5 from 8 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Sweet Pork Barbacoa Recipe
Sweet Pork Barbacoa is the best slow cooker pulled pork recipe you will ever try. Better than Cafe Rio—you better make a double batch!
Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes
5 from 16 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Carnitas Recipe
Carnitas AKA Mexican Slow Cooker Pulled Pork takes minutes to prep and is great in tacos, bean burritos, quesadillas, chimichangas and more!
5 from 7 votes
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Main Course Best Slow Cooker Pork Chops
These Simple and delicious Slow Cooker Pork Chops are sure to become a family favorite. They are so tender and juicy and are topped with an amazing gravy that we love to serve over the chops and mashed potatoes!
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
5 from 3 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Brown Sugar Ham Recipe
This crock pot ham is made entirely in the slow cooker, which makes for quick prep time and minimal effort. With a deliciously sweet brown sugar glaze, it’s our favorite way to make a holiday ham!
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
5 from 15 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Crock Pot Pork Roast Recipe
Prepare to be amazed by this ultra tender, fall off the bone crock pot pork roast. It only takes a handful of ingredients to make, including the complimentary gravy.
Total Time: 8 hours 5 minutes
5 from 12 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Kalua Pork Recipe
This Slow Cooker Kalua Pork is a classic Hawaiian favorite made easily in your slow cooker with just a few ingredients. Eat it on it’s own, or in tacos or sliders.
Total Time: 9 hours 5 minutes
5 from 18 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Crock Pot Ribs Recipe
Juicy BBQ ribs cooked in the crock pot is the best and easiest dinner idea! Great for a small family, big family, or cooking for a crowd!
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
5 from 9 votes
Check out this recipe

Be sure to check out all of our Crock Pot Recipes!

More Collections: Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes, Crockpot Dinner Ideas, Easy Slow Cooker Recipes

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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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