Less than 20% of people have time to cook dinner every night. That must be why 60% of people order takeout at least once a week.
While ordering delivery is convenient, it can get expensive and the food options aren’t always the healthiest.
What if we told you that you could come home to a hot, delicious meal after a long day with minimal effort on your part?
Introducing: the crockpot!
This ingenious kitchen appliance has been around since the 40s, creating mouthwatering meals and simplifying lives around the world.
Stop slaving over a hot stove and check out these easy crockpot meal recipes that will change your dinner game forever!
BBQ Pulled Pork
This classic and savory recipe is perfect for the crockpot since the longer the pork cooks, the more tender it is.
The best part about this delicious and easy crockpot recipe is that it only calls for a handful of ingredients, some of which you may already have on hand.
- 1 pork butt/shoulder (about 4-5 lbs.)
- Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
- 1 onion sliced (optional)
- 3/4 to 1 cup of BBQ sauce
- 1 can Dr. Pepper
Start by slicing the onion and placing it at the bottom of your crockpot. Rub the salt, pepper, and garlic powder on the outside of the pork before placing it on top of the onion.
Now, pour the can of Dr. Pepper over the pork, cover, and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.
Once done, use two forks to shred the tender meat and place it back in the crockpot. Cover with BBQ sauce and let it cook on low for another 30 to 60 minutes to seal in the flavor.
Serve this meal with quick and easy coleslaw and slider buns. Pro tip: try swapping Dr. Pepper with a can of root beer for a smokier flavor.
Nothing says ‘comfort food’ quite like pasta! This cheese ravioli crockpot meal is made easy thanks to the premade ingredients.
While this may not be your grandma’s homemade spaghetti sauce (or is it gravy?), it’s still simple, delicious, and budget-friendly.
All you need is:
- 1 bag of frozen cheese ravioli (or meat)
- 1 jar tomato sauce (try one with added flavor like basil, garlic, or oregano)
- 4 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons dried basil leaves or fresh basil
Spray the bottom of a crockpot using non-stick cooking spray. Pour half the jar of sauce into the bottom and spread half of the ravioli over top in an even layer.
Sprinkle the garlic powder over the ravioli and cover with 2 cups of mozzarella. Now, pour the remaining sauce over the cheese and add another layer of ravioli evenly over the sauce.
Spread the remaining 2 cups of mozzarella cheese over the ravioli and top with basil leaves. Cook on high for 1 hour and 45 minutes or on low for 3 and a half hours.
This is one of the best easy crockpot recipes thanks to its short cook time. Done in less than 2 hours (on high), you can throw this meal together when you get home from work.
Beef and Broccoli
If you’re in the mood for Chinese cuisine, there are plenty of Asian-inspired meals to cook in a crockpot. This four-ingredient crockpot meal is savory and pairs perfectly with white rice.
- 1/4 cup of water
- 1.5 lbs of flank steak (trimmed)
- 14 oz. frozen broccoli florets
- 8 oz. packet of Lee Kum Kee beef sauce
This crockpot meal recipe takes a little prep time to trim the meat but is still simple and one of the healthier meals on the list.
Cut the steak into 1/2-inch strips against the grain. Then, cut those strips into 2 to 3-inch pieces. Spread the meat evenly across the bottom of the crockpot and top with a 1/4 cup of water.
Let the steak cook on low for 2 hours. After this, drain the liquid, pour the Lee Kum Kee sauce packet over the meat and mix gently. Now, let this cook for another 20 minutes on low.
Just before the steak is done, cook the frozen broccoli according to the package’s instructions and add it to the crockpot. Stir and enjoy!
Pro tip: Prepare this crockpot meal after getting home from work to ensure the meat isn’t overcooked and you can add the flavor packet after the initial 2 hour cook time.
Poultry is one of the easiest and most versatile foods to cook in a crockpot. When done right, the chicken is tender, flavorful, and moist.
This traditional Mexican dish will fill your apartment with a delicious aroma and your belly with a mouthwatering meal.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 3 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breast
- 10 oz. mild red enchilada sauce
- 2 teaspoons garlic salt
- 1 cup Kraft Mexican shredded cheese
- 1 cup mild green chiles (drained)
Place the chicken in the bottom of the crockpot and sprinkle it with garlic salt. Cook the chicken on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours. After this, drain any liquid from the bottom of the crockpot.
In a separate bowl, mix together the green chiles and enchilada sauce. Then, pour the mixture over the chicken. Sprinkle with Mexican cheese, cover, and cook on high for another 30 minutes.
Serve this tasty dish over rice or cilantro lime rice for an added blast of flavor.
Save Time (and Money) With These Delicious Crockpot Meal Recipes
At the end of a hectic day, the last thing you want to do is spend hours in the kitchen. With these easy crockpot meal recipes, you can have a quality, home cooked meal in a fraction of the time.
Prepare the ingredients before heading to work and come home to a hot restaurant-style meal or choose a recipe that cooks in 2 hours for a fresh dinner on the fly.
Before you can fill your home with sweet and savory smells, you need to find the perfect apartment. And we can help.
Click here to explore the best apartments DC has to offer.