18 Cheap and Easy Crockpot Dinners

18 Cheap and Easy Crockpot Dinners

I love a good crockpot meal. Anything that does all the work for me is A-OK in my book. Just prep your crockpot in the morning, and let it simmer away all day to develop those lovely complex flavors for a meal that seems extravagant but is surprisingly simple.

1. French Dip Sandwiches

slow cooker french dip sandwiches

Decadent and juicy beef pot roast topped with melty provolone and sandwiched by an onion roll makes for a restaurant-worthy, flavor-packed sandwich that’s a cinch to make at home. The trick? Sear the roast on high heat before placing it in the crockpot to develop the most flavor.

2. Lasagna

slow cooker lasagna

Lasagna is one of those dishes that’s notoriously time-consuming…unless you make it in a crockpot. The noodles come out tender, the sauce isn’t too runny. The cheese doesn’t get all bubbly on top, but I’d call that a fair trade off for all the time it saves. This recipe is easily adaptable for however you want to make your lasagna – meat heavy or vegetarian, it’s up to you!

3. Sesame Beef

slow cooker sesame beef

This Asian-inspired slow cooker beef gets infused with so much flavor from the ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, and garlic that you only need a small serving to jazz up budget-friendly rice bowls, tacos, curries, or salads. It freezes well, so you can make a large pot and portion it out over a few weeks.

4. BBQ Ribs

crock-pot BBQ ribs

No smoker? No problem! This recipe makes it easy to get finger-licking, fall-off-the-bone ribs in your crockpot in as little as 4 hours.

5. Tuscan Garlic Chicken

crockpot tuscan garlic chicken

For the flavors of Northern Italy without the cost of a plane ticket, try this creamy Tuscan garlic chicken with sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and plenty of parmesan. I love it served over angel hair pasta or zucchini noodles, if you’re keeping it Keto. Bellissima!

6. Classic Pot Roast

classic crock pot roast

Few things are as comforting, or as easy, as a classic pot roast with meat, carrots, onions, and potatoes. This recipe shows you how to make your own cream of mushroom soup and dry onion soup mix, for even more umami flavor.

7. Cuban Mojo Pork

slow cooker cuban mojo pork

A spicy, zesty, succulent pork dish perfect for a summer dinner party, this recipe requires minimal effort, though I would recommend the optional oven roasting step for that gorgeous crispy crust. I love it with plantains and black beans, but it pairs well with all kinds of sides, from polenta to coleslaw.

8. Barbacoa Beef

slow cooker barbacoa beef

Ditch the ground beef and level-up taco night with this spicy barbacoa beef recipe full of chili, lime, and cilantro flavors. Top with your favorite salsa and some fresh avocado for an authentic summertime dinner that will have you dreaming of Cabo.

9. Cheesy Chicken Penne

slow cooker chicken penne

This creamy, cheesy, chicken pasta is like a deluxe mac and cheese that adults will love, too! The pasta goes in the slow cooker with everything else, so it absorbs all that yummy chicken flavor. With a side of broccoli or any other vegetable, it’s a great weeknight meal.

10. Keto Low-Carb Chili

keto low carb chili made in crock pot

All the comfort of a pot of chili without carb-loaded beans, this recipe is heavy on the beef and heavy on the spices. It freezes beautifully and goes well with a variety of sides – top it with avocado, serve it over cauliflower rice, or enjoy on its own with a little sour cream.

11. Chicken Mushroom Stroganoff

slow cooker chicken mushroom stroganoff

Chicken, mushrooms, and homemade cream sauce come together beautifully in the crockpot. This recipe has very few ingredients and takes no time to prepare, so it’s great for a busy week. Serve over pasta for a filling meal that’s an easy go-to again and again.

12. Creamy Ranch Pork Chops and Potatoes

slow cooker ranch pork chops

Pork chops in the slow cooker? Why not! This recipe combines the main with the sides and puts the pork chops, potatoes, and green beans all in the slow cooker together with a creamy ranch sauce.

13. Broccoli Beef

slow cooker broccoli beef

Take an Asian classic to the next level with this low-and-slow broccoli and beef cooked in a sweet and spicy soy-based sauce. This recipe is so simple, cheap, and delicious, you’ll be breaking up with your favorite take out place.

14. Indian Butter Chicken

slow cooker butter chicken

Recreate a restaurant favorite at home without having to go to a special grocery for all the rare spices. This recipe, concocted by a trained private chef, pares the spice list down to the essentials that you likely already have at home, without sacrificing that classic butter chicken flavor.

15. Honey Garlic Chicken

slow cooker honey garlic chicken

You’ll be dreaming about this honey garlic sauce long after you’ve licked the bowl clean. Thanks to the soy sauce, garlic, hoisin, and sriracha, it’s kinda the best sauce ever – sweet and sour and spicy and savory all in one.

16. Chicken and Dumplings

crock pot chicken and dumplings

If you’re craving some serious comfort food, this creamy, savory chicken and dumplings recipe is sure to hit the spot (plus it’s only $4 for six servings). The dumplings are made of canned biscuit dough, so they puff up beautifully and take on lots of yummy chicken-y flavor.

17. Taco Soup

crock pot taco soup

This delicious and comforting taco soup is similar to a Tex-Mex chili. Simmer the beans, corn, tomatoes, and sauce all day on low, and when you get home, cook up the ground beef and top it all with sour cream, cheese, cilantro, or whatever else you like.

18. Chili Mac

slow cooker chili mac

For an easy and fun weeknight meal, make a batch of this easy, beefy chili mac and let everyone customize their bowl with a toppings bar. Some suggestions: red onions, green onions, shredded cheddar, sour cream, corn chips, avocado, parsley, pico de gallo, the options are endless!

To Sum Up

A slow cooker is a great way to make a quick, affordable meal a lot more flavorful and special. I hope these recipes have inspired you to introduce something new to your weeknight meals and get creative with your crockpot. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some chicken and dumplings to make!


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