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21 Delicious Slow-Cooker Meals for School Nights

Here’s the scoop: the school year is approaching, your kids are gearing up for long days, and you are gearing up for the school-year cooking routine. What to do to make life easier? My answer is the slow-cooker. I get that baby fired up the minute the school days begin and focus on making the kids’ favorites a few days a week. The slow-cooker can be your answer to so many school night cooking conundrums. It is also possible to flip the switch early in the day, leave the house, and return to a nearly complete dinner that both the kids AND parents will love. It makes the school nights so much more manageable and delicious for everyone. Here are a few of our personal favorites to start you off on the right foot!

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  • 21 Awesome & Easy Slow-Cooker Dinners for School Nights 1 of 22
    21 Awesome & Easy Slow-Cooker Dinners for School Nights

    Make dinner on busy school nights easy on you and your family by using your slow-cooker! Here are 21 delicious recipes that are a snap to make and taste amazing any night of the week!

  • Slow Cooker Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili 2 of 22
    Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili

    This amazing chili is chock-full of protein with three different types of beans and pumpkin. It is a terrific weeknight meal for fall and freezes well if you have leftovers.
    Make vegetarian pumpkin chili

    Photo: Aggie Goodman

     

  • Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese 3 of 22
    Slow-Cooker Mac & Cheese

    Rejoice! It actually is possible to make macaroni and cheese in the slow-cooker. Watch this awesome video and see just how easy it is to make this family favorite in advance!
    Make Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

    Photo: Average Betty

     

  • Slow Cooker Giant Chicken Meatballs 4 of 22
    Giant Chicken Meatballs

    Most children, including mine, adore classic spaghetti and meatball supper. Save time in the evening by making the meatballs and sauce in advance in the slow cooker. You can even double the recipe and freeze half for a night when there is no time to cook!
    Make giant chicken meatballs

    Photo: Macki Cayloma

  • Slow Cooker Classic Pulled Pork 5 of 22
    Classic Pulled Pork

    Classic pulled pork can be a fun deviation from barbecue chicken. Make it in the slow cooker and then decide weather to use it on a sandwich or wrap it up in tortillas!
    Make classic pulled pork

    Photo: Angie McGowan

  • Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup 6 of 22
    Chicken Noodle Soup

    A healthy bowl of chicken noodle soup can really hit the spot when the weather gets cooler. Here are a few great variations on chicken noodle soup that are all family friendly and perfect for hungry tummies after long days at school.
    Try one of these 6 ways to make slow cooker chicken noodle soup

    Photo: Steamy Kitchen

     

  • Slow Cooker Island Barbecue Chicken 7 of 22
    Island Barbecue Chicken

    Pep up regular barbecue chicken with some island spices. Cook this chicken in advance and enjoy pair it with an easy salad or green vegetable for dinner!
    Make island barbecue chicken

    Photo: Aggie Goodman

     

  • Slow Cooker Beef Bourgoignon 8 of 22
    Beef Bourgoignon

    While this may seem a little fancy for school night I can assure you it is not. In fact, the mixture of beef and vegetables makes it the perfect satisfying meal that can be put on the table with very little effort any night of the week!
    Make beef bourgoignon

    Photo: Aggie Goodman

  • Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce 9 of 22
    Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

    A classic spaghetti sauce is always a great idea for weeknights. You can use it for noodles, subs, or even for dipping calzones!

    Photo: Angie McGowan

  • Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup 10 of 22
    Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup

    A Tex-Mex night is always fun on a weeknight. Make this awesome Tortilla Soup in the slow cooker all day and serve it piping hot when everyone walks in the door.

    Photo: Kelsey Banfield

  • Slow Cooker Lentil Chili 11 of 22
    Lentil Chili

    For an amazing vegetarian dinner make this hearty slow cooker lentil chili. Serve it up with crusty bread on the side an a great weeknight meal is served.

    Photo: Angie McGowan

  • Slow Cooker Ham & Black Bean Soup 12 of 22
    Ham and Black Bean Soup

    A gorgeous soup for fall is the ham and black bean soup that is studded with vegetables. Start the cooking when you leave the house and it is all ready for dinner when you get home!

    Photo: Julie VR

  • Slow Cooker Lasagna 13 of 22
    Slow Cooker Lasagna

    If your family loves lasagna they won't have to give it up just because you are using your slow-cooker. Make this easy dish in the slow cooker and let it simmer all day long until you are ready to eat!

    Photo: iStock

  • Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes 14 of 22
    Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes

    You wouldn't suspect that you can make baked potatoes in the slow-cooker, but it is actually quite easy! Bake your potatoes for as long as you like and set up a toppings bar with all the fixings for dinner!

    Photo: iStock

  • Slow Cooker Spicy Peanut Chicken Curry 15 of 22
    Slow Cooker Spicy Peanut Chicken Curry

    Just because it is a weeknight doesn't mean you can't fake-out take-out. Make this delicate and delicious spicy Indian curry in the slow-cooker while you are out all day. Then serve it over rice for dinner!

    Photo: Julie VR

  • Slow Cooker Pork Chop 16 of 22
    Slow Cooker Pork Chop

    Slow cookers aren't just for soups. Make a simple pork chop dinner for the family on a weeknight. It is so easy and there is no stove top needed once you run in the door. Simply serve it straight out of the pot!

    Photo: Macki Cayloma

  • Slow Cooker Bolognese 17 of 22
    Slow Cooker Bolognese

    This recipe for slow cooker bolognese could absolutely not be any easier. It is meaty and tender and rich with tomato flavor. Serve it over spaghetti, vegetables, or even in some cooked squash. It will be piping hot the minute you walk in the door!

    Photo: stock.xchng

  • Slow Cooker Root Beer Brisket 18 of 22
    Slow Cooker Root Beer Briskey

    A long slow braise it was makes a brisket amazing. Make this super simple brisket with root beer as the main braising ingredient! The family will love the flavor and you will love how easy it is to make!

    Photo: Jaime Richardson

  • Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup 19 of 22
    slow cooker black bean soup

    This delicious soup is completely vegan! It is also very inexpensive and very easy to make. Let it simmer away all day while you are out and you'll enjoy a healthy dinner when you get home!

    Photo: Julie VR

  • Slow Cooker Leg of Lamb 20 of 22
    Leg of Lamb Slow Cooker

    Leg of lamb may be a little fancy for a weeknight, but you can make it so easily with this simple recipe. Even the potatoes are included in the pot making it one of the easiest recipes ever!

    Photo: Julie VR

  • Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Thighs 21 of 22
    Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Thighs

    Your slow cooker can be used to make so many different cuisines! Take your family to Thailand with this easy chicken thighs recipe. It is so simple and the flavors will blow your mind!

    Photo: Julie VR

  • Slow Cooker Vegetable Leek Beef and Barley Soup 22 of 22
    vegetable leek beef barley soup

    A hearty soup is great for fall weeknights. This vegetable packed beef soup will be ideal for hungry nights when you don't have time to cook. You can just let it simmer in the slow cooker all day!

    Photo: Laura Levy

Some more interesting posts:

6 Adorable More Food Animals

5 Foods You Can Cook in the Sun

Read more from Kelsey on Kelsey’s blog!

Follow Kelsey on Facebook and Twitter for updates

 

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