Ah, the slow cooker. It’s my best friend on my laziest days. Just toss a bunch of ingredients in that big, ol’ magical pot and let it go to work. There’s nothing easier.
BUT… I have to admit, some slow cooker recipes I’ve come across take more than a bit of effort when it comes to the prep work. I mean, what’s the point of using your slow cooker for easy weeknight meals when you have to spend what feels like an eternity chopping, dicing and prepping all of your ingredients. Seems to take away the “magic,” if you will… doesn’t it?
Well, since I’m a huge fan of my slow cooker and have no plans to give up my slow cooking ways anytime soon, I decided to go on a hunt for some great slow cooker dishes that require minimal prep work. And guess what? They exist! Check out some of my favorite fast-prep, slow-cooked meal ideas below and then let me know which is YOUR favorite in the comments section below. Enjoy!
Fast Prep Slow Cooker Recipes:
1) Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry – Asian dishes are some of the fastest meals you can make… especially in your slow cooker! Frozen veggies and a pre-made sauce make this yummy meal that much quicker to prepare.
2) Slow Cooker Fall Harvest Pork Stew – Just in time for the cooler weather I discovered this great, hearty pork stew recipe. Nothing warms me up better than a nice bowl of stew, and I love how this dish takes just 20 minutes to prep!
3) Slow Cooker Lazy Cabbage Rolls, via Simple Bites – If you have a fondness in your heart for the comforting flavors of your mom’s cabbage rolls (like I do), you’ll love this easy-prep version of the nostalgic dish. Layering all of the ingredients in your slow cooker takes mere minutes, and the end result is incredibly yummy.
4) Lazy Sunday Slow Cooker Lasagna – After a hectic week, there’s nothing better than a home-cooked meal. Lasagna is one of my all-time favorites, but it takes a lot of time to prepare. But not this version! In just 15 quick minutes you’ll have all your prep work done and all you’ll have to do is lie around and wait while your Italian feast cooks itself!
5) Fast-Prep Beef Stew, via Bread and Putter – Mmmm, beef stew. Jennifer challenged herself to see if she could whip up a delicious beef stew in 15 minutes or less before she headed off to work. And guess what? She did it! Which means you can too! Try this amazingly fast-prep beef stew recipe for a quick and incredibly easy weeknight dish.
6) Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos, via Pass the Sushi – I know, I know… tacos don’t necessarily seem like they’d be a lot of work to make in the first place, but let me tell you: using your slow cooker makes it SO much easier, and taste so much better! There’s basically zero prep work involved in this recipe… just toss everything into that magical pot of yours and get ready for some tasty Mexican food!
7) Peach and Berry Cake Mix Cobbler -You didn’t think I’d forget about dessert, did you? It’s my favorite part of any meal, so of course I didn’t! With a five minute prep time and cake mix as one of the major ingredients, this cobbler recipe couldn’t get much easier. Enjoy a delicious cobbler this fall without barely having to lift a finger… doesn’t that sound nice?
Now tell me…
Which of these fast-prepped, slow-cooked sensations is YOUR favorite?