15 Slow-Cooker Recipes for Kids (Even the Picky Ones)
For busy parents, the slow cooker is a bit of a miracle worker. You know the drill: Set it up before work/school/soccer practice/unicorn camp and come home to the magic of dinner ready to go on the table. But the one thing this little lifesaver can’t do? Make sure your kids will actually like what you cook in it. That part is up to you, but we’re here to help. Here are 15 totally kid-friendly recipes you can set and forget.
Slow-Cooker Mac and Cheese
It’s Kid Food 101—this version has only 15 minutes of prep work and tastes so much better than that stuff in the box.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
Is there anything more comforting for a sick kid than a bowl of homemade chicken soup? This hands-off version lets you be supermom without taking up the whole day.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Teriyaki
The whole family will love this salty-and-sweet classic. Serve over steamed rice (with some broccoli on the side, if you’re feeling virtuous).
Slow-Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs
We’d never thought of cooking pasta in a slow-cooker, but it’s actually totally doable. Let the sauce simmer all day and add the dried spaghetti 30 to 40 minutes before dinnertime. Voilà: Everyone’s favorite meal is served.
This won’t solve your dinner problems, but it’s perfect for your kid’s lunchbox or as a healthy after-school snack. There’s no sugar added, but it has plenty of great cinnamon flavor.
Slow-Cooker Pulled Chicken
This is ideal summer cookout fare, but it’s equally great (and easy) for a busy Wednesday night dinner. Top with slaw if you’re feeling fancy, but it’s also pretty fantastic served plain on a sandwich roll. (Veggie-phobic kids, we see you.)
Slow-Cooker Chicken Parmesan
We don’t know anyone who doesn’t like a good chicken Parm. Plus, cooking it in the Crock-Pot makes it melt-in-your-mouth tender.
SLOW-COOKER DEEP-DISH PIZZA
Pizza night is sacred in our house, but sometimes, we like to switch things up and make our own. This Chicago-style deep-dish version takes a little bit of patience but comes out gooey and delicious every time.
Slow-Cooker Overnight Banana Oatmeal
Getting kids to eat a healthy breakfast can be a bit of a chore. But if they wake up to the house smelling like warm banana bread, we’re willing to bet that they’ll give this oatmeal a try.
Slow-Cooker Stuffed Shells
Carbs and cheese are the two basic food groups for most kids (and us, TBH). This recipe has both, plus a little spinach snuck in there for good measure.
Slow-Cooker Potato Soup
This belly-warming soup has everything we love about a loaded baked potato (especially the crispy bacon bits on top). It’s not spa food, but with 2 percent milk and Greek yogurt subbing in for heavy cream, it definitely passes for a nutritious dinner.
Slow-Cooker French Toast Casserole
This is a great way to have a special family breakfast and still get to sleep in. (Plus, the house will smell amazing in the morning.)
Decadent Slow-Cooker Hot Chocolate
Surprise the kids with a mug of this creamy chocolate when they come in from playing in the snow. You might spoil the packaged stuff for them for the rest of their lives, but it’s worth it.