Find go-to slow cooker recipes for kids (and parents!) with this master list of almost 40 easy recipes. Included you’ll find kid-friendly chicken dishes, soups and stews, crockpot chili, easy vegetarian recipes for the slow cooker and much more…chosen with your picky eaters in mind!

6 slow cooker recipes for kids in grid

Slow Cooker Recipes for Kids

The crock pot can be such a lifesaver when trying to feed a busy family with its whole set-it-and-forget-it capabilities. It’s such an amazing feeling to have dinner ready and waiting at the end of the day!

But, and this is often a big but, so many little kids don’t like foods all mixed together so cooking family meals in a slow cooker can feel impossible.

Which is where this list comes in! I can’t guarantee that your kids will eat everything on this list (I wish!), but I do hope that some of these meals will fly with your little people. I tried to cover a range of recipes to please your family, regardless of their preferences.

Here’s to easy cooking!

chicken and bean tacos on blue kids plate

Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes

Cooking chicken in the crockpot is one of the easiest ways to make tender, easy to chew chicken that kids and adults love. These are some of our go-to recipes for chicken in the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Bean Tacos
The combination of vegetables listed below delivers really nice flavor and consistency to the sauce, but if you want to simplify, you can just use 2 of the options. This recipe was updated in September 2019 to add an Instant Pot option.
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family style slow cooker chicken tacos
Easy Instant Pot Butter Chicken
Forget takeout—deliver this popular Indian dish to your table instead. Shredded chicken thighs are coated in a rich, buttery sauce with hints of tomatoes, ginger, and garam masala—a messy but very flavorful finger food. Posted with Permission from The Multi-Cooker Baby Food Cookbook
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instant-pot-butter-chicken
Easiest Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
You can double this recipe and use 2 pounds of chicken if desired. Just do your best to spread it into an even layer in the instant pot. (Note: The nutrition facts will vary based on the bbq sauce that you use.)
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Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken | Easy, Healthy Crockpot Recipe
Healthy Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken. Easy recipe with 8 simple ingredients! Juicy chicken thighs or breasts in a sticky honey garlic sauce. Via Well Plated
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Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken | Easy, Healthy Crockpot Recipe
Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
This is a curry dish that benefits from a nice, long simmer anyway, so why not let that happen while you’re off doing other things? Via The Kitchn
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Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Crockpot Whole Chicken – The Little Kitchen
This recipe for crockpot whole chicken is a wonderful recipe to make during the week or a weekend meal. It’s really easy to put together with spices along with vegetables. We have made this recipe over and over again! Better than roasting a chicken, this slow cooker whole chicken recipe is way easie…
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Crockpot Whole Chicken - The Little Kitchen
Recipe: Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
Fresh, crispy, and saucy to boot! Serve with rice. Via The Kitchn
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Recipe: Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
Crockpot Chicken and Mushrooms
This Crockpot Chicken and Mushrooms is a delicious and healthy slow cooker meal. One of our best crock pot recipes for an easy weeknight dinner! Via Kristine’s Kitchen.
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Crockpot Chicken and Mushrooms
Slow Cooker Chicken Breasts
A little trick that changed my meal-prep game forever. Via Food52
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Slow Cooker Chicken Breasts

vegetarian bean chili in bowls

Crockpot Chili

Whether for game day, a hearty meal on a chilly weekend, or just an easy weeknight supper, these slow cooker chili recipes are easy to make and serve up. I love to put out bowls of toppings so the kids can choose which ones they want.

Things like shredded cheese, diced avocado, sour cream, and diced tomatoes are great chili toppings.

Big Batch Vegetarian Chili
When serving this to a little one, I like to drain off much of the broth. This makes it a little easier (and less messy) for them to eat. If your family likes spice, add in a dash or two of cayenne pepper.
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vegetarian chili
Creamy Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
The best creamy slow cooker white chicken chili on the block. This recipe is super easy to make, cooks by itself, and is a chili cook-off winner! Via Bless This Mess
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Creamy Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili
Let the slow cooker take care of dinner with this Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili recipe! Via One Lovely Life
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Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili

TIP: You can make any chunky soup easier for kids to eat by draining off some of the liquid.

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

Slow Cooker Soups and Stews

I love using a slow cooker to make soups and stews since you don’t need to stand by the pot while the soup simmers and the flavors have plenty of time to meld and mix. These are some of the ones that my family loves, and hopefully yours will too.

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup (with Instant Pot Option)
The addition of grains helps to thicken the soup to a nice consistency for little eaters, so don't be worried if it's pretty thin before you add them in before serving.
(This post was updated and the recipe was streamlined November 2020. You can get the
original recipe here.)
 
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slow-cooker-black-bean-soup
Slow-Cooker Vegan Lentil Chili
Yes, it’s the easiest chili you’ll ever make, thanks to the power of lentils and a grocery-store shortcut — and the slow cooker, naturally. Via The Kitchn
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Slow-Cooker Vegan Lentil Chili
Slow Cooker Vegetable Bean Soup
Sometimes the easiest recipes are the best! This simple soup has the perfect blend of flavors. Via One Lovely Life
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Slow Cooker Vegetable Bean Soup
Easy Red Lentil Soup (with Sweet Potato and Coconut)
Serve small portions by the spoonful or in a reusable pouch to babies and toddlers.
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red lentil soup for parent and baby
Favorite Lentil Soup with Veggies
I like our lentil soup with the veggies pretty blended in, which is why I chop them finely in a blender or food processor. You can also just chop them with a knife. (Recipe updated August 2020 to saute the veggies before simmering to ensure that there’s no raw onion flavor.)
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lentil soup with veggies

TIP: Add a simple side of crackers, toast, or a muffin to round out the meal.

easy tacos with refried beans

Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes for Kids

Transform inexpensive pantry staples like beans, pasta, and grains into simple family meals that will hit the spot come dinner time. I’ve also included a few sides here to help round things out!

So Easy Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes
With an almost fool proof method, these Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes mash up into silky smooth baby food or a side. You can also skip the mashing and serve them as you would baked potatoes if preferred.
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sweet-potato-puree-in-white-bowl
Easiest Homemade Refried Beans
This recipe makes enough for 2-3 meals depending on the size and appetites of your family. See below for storage information!
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slow cooker refried beans
Easy Crockpot Applesauce
With just a few basic ingredients and fresh apples, your crock pot can do the rest of the work of making applesauce!
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crockpot applesauce in jar on towel
Slow Cooker Black Beans (with Instant Pot Option)
This recipe makes enough for 4-5 meals depending on the size and appetites of your family. I make one batch about every 4-6 weeks and freeze the beans in meal-size portions until we’re ready to enjoy them. You can also use just 1 pound of beans if desired and cook them as directed—just cut the seasoning in half as well.
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slow-cooker-black-beans-in-white-bowl.
Easy Tomato Sauce from Fresh Tomatoes
This slow cooker tomato sauce method is the easiest way to transform fresh tomatoes into delicious sauce. Scale the recipe up or down for a smaller or larger slow cooker. You don't have to be precise! And the chopped tomatoes can be very roughly chopped.
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slow-cooker-spaghetti-sauce-in-freezer-containers in storage containers
How To Make Slow Cooker Veggie Burrito Bowls
A burrito bowl that pinch hits for Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, or, to be honest, any day. Via The Kitchn
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How To Make Slow Cooker Veggie Burrito Bowls
Butternut Squash Curry
This easy dump dinner is so easy. Try it with rice or naan. Via The Kitchn
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Butternut Squash Curry
Instant Pot Channa Masala with Rice
If you can’t find garam masala, you can leave it out, though it adds authentic flavor that you’d expect if you’ve eaten Chana Masala in a restaurant. This will likely make enough for two meals—I like to freeze the second half for a future week.
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chana-masala-for-family with three plates

TIP: I like to use the refried beans in easy taco roll ups for a quick lunch or dinner.

Slow Cooker Pasta Recipes for Kids

There’s nothing too inherently difficult about boiling water and making pasta…except if you have little kids running around underfoot and demanding your attention! These crock pot meals deliver on flavor, texture and ease of preparation.

Slow Cooker Chicken Pesto Pasta
This is dreamy and easy to make too. Via The Kitchn
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Slow Cooker Chicken Pesto Pasta
How To Make Mac and Cheese in the Slow Cooker
The answer to your weeknight dinner woes. Via The Kitchn
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How To Make Mac and Cheese in the Slow Cooker
Slow Cooker Ravioli Lasagna
Layered with sauce, these pockets of pasta and cheese cook while you work. Via The Kitchn
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Slow Cooker Ravioli Lasagna
Instant Pot Minestrone Soup
This recipe is sponsored by DeLallo I don’t mean to sound so happy about this, but how about this chilling-down-of-the-weather situation? Haaappy dance! Via Pinch of Yum
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Instant Pot Minestrone Soup
Slow Cooker Baked Ziti Recipe
This Slow Cooker Baked Ziti is actually made completely in the crockpot u002du002d even the pasta! It is so much easier than the traditional version! Via The Recipe Rebel
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Slow Cooker Baked Ziti Recipe

easy beef burritos on plate

Slow Cooker Turkey, Pork and Beef

Transform turkey, pork, and beef into the base of dinner with this super easy ideas. Each can be served with simple sides so you can customize them for the eaters at your table.

Slow Cooker Beef Burrito Recipe with Veggies
If you want to make these vegetarian, try using 2 cups rinsed and drained black beans or pinto beans instead of the ground beef.
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easy beef burritos on plate
Asian Pulled Pork Tacos {Made in the Slow Cooker!}
Melt-in-your-mouth Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork Tacos. EASY, delicious pork tenderloin tacos that are perfect for a crowd and great leftover too! Via Well Plated
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Asian Pulled Pork Tacos {Made in the Slow Cooker!}
Slow Cooker Steak Fajitas
This slow cooker fajitas recipe is a busy parent’s best friend. Via Produce For Kids
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Slow Cooker Steak Fajitas
Easy Crockpot Carnitas
These are the easiest crockpot carnitas and simple enough for anyone to make! Juicy, flavorful, and perfectly browned with a crispy crust. Via Pinch of Yum
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Easy Crockpot Carnitas
Honey Garlic Pork Chops
Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Pork Chops come together super fast and with minimal ingredients. Via Bless this Mess
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Honey Garlic Pork Chops
Slow-Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes
Once you nail the classic recipe for sloppy joes, you can continue to customize it by adding flavor and swapping ingredients to make this weeknight staple just what your family wants. In this rendition of the sloppy joe, we used light and lean ground turkey in place of ground beef, and made a few in…
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Slow-Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes
Slow Cooker Meatballs
In a large bowl add ground turkey, garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning; mix well by hand. Via Super Healthy Kids
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Slow Cooker Meatballs
Crockpot Braised Beef Ragu with Polenta
You guys, I’m totally in love. With this yummy tomato-saucy braised BEEF ragu. As in beautifully browned and slow cooked meat. Via Pinch of Yum
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Crockpot Braised Beef Ragu with Polenta
Easy Slow Cooker Pork Roast
This recipe takes pork and transforms it into a tender and flavorful roast that is perfect for Sunday dinners or an easy weeknight meal. Via My Diary of Us
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Easy Slow Cooker Pork Roast

Best Slow Cooker for Families

For years, I relied on my basic Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Slow Cooker. It was reliable and consistent and I totally recommend it—especially since it’s less than $40! Lately though, as I’ve been using my Instant Pot more, I’ve been using its slow cooker function which is just as great. I recommend both options!

You May Also Like

Do you have a favorite slow cooker for kids recipe that you love and I missed? Please add it in the comments—I’d love to know!

This post was first published October 2019.

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