Whether you’re cooking with your kids or for your kids, two things are most important: Flavor and ease. In most families, the crock pot has become an underused and under appreciated tool. Why let something sit for six hours when you can use the Instant Pot and get it down in six minutes? Faster cook time doesn’t necessarily mean a shorter prep time, though. If you’re spending an hour dicing up veggies to pressure cook, are you saving any time? Behold the classic Crock-Pot. And with all that extra at-home time we all have because of the coronavirus quarantine, cooking time is no longer an excuse.
Plus, your mama used a Crock-Pot. She might even still use it. There was probably a time when you did, too. But, have you lately? A little prep at bed time or in the morning leads to a meal that’s ready-to-go when you walk in the door at night. And all of these Crock-Pot recipes for kids are created with the whole family’s tastes and schedules in mind. So try one… or all.
1. Hearty Beef Stew
Beef stew is such a yummy, cold-weather classic. We make gigantic double/triple batches, freeze it and then reheat it any time we don’t feel like cooking. It also travels well in a thermos for lunches.
2. Slow Cooker Cincy Chili
Be forewarned: Cincinnati chili is not the same thing as Texas chili. It’s much more meaty and probably closer to a sloppy joe thickness than to the chili you’re used to. Cincinnati thrives on arguments over who has the best chili — and there are dozens of family-owned parlors to choose from. The two biggest names are Skyline and Gold Star, each with their own special recipes and secret ingredients. (Some say one of them uses chocolate!)
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The sun on the "skyline" sure feels refreshing today. It seems to be almost as bright as a "gold star" shining upon tonight's special. If ya know, ya know. Got a little back home sweetness, Cincinnati Chili Four-way: Spaghetti Noodles/Chili/Shredded Cheese/Diced Onion w/Oyster Shell Crackers on the side. #cincychili #peterose #jerryspringer #carmenelectra
3. Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce
What little kid doesn’t love spaghetti? This recipe is practically a “dump” recipe, with very little measuring required. That means your kids will not only love to eat it, but they can probably help make it. Of all the crock pot recipes for kids, this one will certainly get the most use.
4. Slow Cooker Meatballs
5. Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
Expand your kids’ pallet with orange chicken that tastes almost as good as when you get it from the mall. As an added bonus, this orange chicken recipe uses wings, which are a close second to drumsticks in the hierarchy of chicken cuts kids love.
6. Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Bread
If you have a mini-baker in your midst, this peanut butter bread recipe might be their jam. You can think of it as an upgrade to a PB&J sandwich, or just eat slices with butter or jelly on top.
7. Crock Pot Vegetarian Chili
We know not everyone is as gung-ho about meat as I am and that’s totally okay! If your family likes soup and stew, but you’re looking for a meatless option, a vegetarian chili is the way to go. Chili hardly ever seems healthy, but with this veggie-filled recipe, you’ll feel no guilt about diving in.
8. Slow Cooker Philly Steak Sammies
Sometimes you just need an easy dinner night and these Philly cheesesteak sandwiches are exactly that. You or your child will enjoy how quick and easy it is to toss the ingredients for this crock pot recipe into your slow cooker. When it’s ready, serve with chips and watch as your kids gobble it all up.
9. Crock Pot Pizza Casserole
Looking for a homemade spin on pizza night? A crock pot pizza casserole offers up all the familiar and fun flavors of a pizza but with a bit of a unique touch. Start it in the morning and you’ll come home to a house that smells more like a hut. (Get it? Pizza Hut?)
10. Crock Pot Tater Tot Casserole
Tater tots! In a casserole! Need we say more?
11. Slow Cooker Root Beer Brats
Root Beer is the nectar of the Gods. So, why not use it in a creative way and include it with dinner? These brats are the absolute perfect summer treat.
12. Slow Cooker 5-Ingredient White Chicken Chili
Is it just us or is one of the most frustrating things about letting your kids (or even your husband) cook got to be that they “can’t find” anything? With only five ingredients, this freakin’ delicious white chicken chili will cut down on how many times you get asked to find something in the pantry.
13. Crock Pot Banana Bread
Another wonderfully simple and satisfying crock pot recipe is this 5-ingredient banana bread. This loaf is perfect for warming up and schmearing with butter and it’ll make your house smell absolutely amazing.
14. CrockPot Banana Nut Cake
The magic of a slow cooker is that it doesn’t rush the flavors in the food, which is perfect for this banana nut cake. This may be the moistest cake you’ve ever had! This recipe from The Magical Slow Cooker uses boxed yellow cake and two ripe bananas, along with pantry staples like vanilla extract, chopped walnuts, and butter.
15. CrockPot Chocolate Lava Cake
Got a chocolate cake? Got 15 minutes to prep? Cool, that’s all you need to get started on this super easy and decadent molten chocolate cake from Jaimie Cooks It Up. Combine your favorite boxed chocolate cake, some chocolate pudding, and other staples like oil, butter, milk, and milk chocolate chips in a parchment lined CrockPot and set it for 2 1/2 hours. The bottom of the pot will be ooey, gooey, and so rich. Top with a scoop of really good vanilla ice cream and watch the kids come running out of their rooms.
16. Hearty Irish Beef Stew
The Irish are known for their hearty and filling stews, and for good reason. This beer stew from The Taste Place is not only delicious but sounds super easy to throw together in the CrockPot for a perfect meal kids will enjoy. When served with toasted crusty bread it’s bound to be a hit with everyone.
17. CrockPot Baked Beans and Toast
This classic U.K. dish from Brit & Co. with an American twist can be sitting pretty on your plate with minimal prep and 8 to 10 hours in the CrockPot. Serve with toasted crusty bread for extra oomph.
18. Sloppy Joes
What could be better than a hearty Sloppy Joes sandwich at the end of the day? Literally nothing. And in a CrockPot, you can throw all the ingredients in during the morning rush and have the house smelling like heaven by supper.
19. Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya
What is more hearty than a plate full of piping hot jambalaya? This simple recipe from Just Jessie B takes a more low-carb approach with cauliflower rice but you can swap it out for the real thing if you want a bit more substance to your jambalaya. Add some andouille sausage, shrimp, and cajun spices for a mouthwatering concoction in a few hours.
20. Garlic Mashed Potatoes
What could be easier for a child to prep and cook in the CrockPot than creamy, garlic-ey, delicious mashed potatoes? Literally nothing. This recipe from Creme De La Crumb breaks it all down and makes it easy for kids to help out with this yummy dish.