5 easy, lazy crockpot recipes that will satisfy family

5 easy, lazy crockpot recipes that will satisfy family

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Okinawa

Sometimes slaving over the stove for hours just doesn’t sound like much fun. Bust out the crockpot and have dinner ready to go when the family comes bursting through the door with cries of “I’m hungry!” Check out these recipes to get started. 

Sausage and Potato Casserole

Start to finish: 7 hours 5 minutes

Servings: 6


  • 1 - 32 ounce bag of hash browns or may substitute fresh diced potatoes
  • 14 ounces kielbasa cut into small pieces
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 10.5 ounce can cream of chicken or mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste


Combine hash browns, kielbasa, onion, and 2 cups of the cheese in a greased slow cooker. In a separate bowl, combine cream of chicken, milk, sour cream, salt and pepper. Pour over hash brown mix. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. It is done when your potatoes and onions have cooked through. Be careful not to overcook the potatoes. Enjoy!


Stuffed Peppers

Start to finish: 3 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 6


  • 6 bell peppers
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, browned
  • 1/2 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1 diced onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic or use garlic salt
  • 10 ounce can tomatoes with green chilies (like Rotel)
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


Mix everything together and place your mixture inside the peppers. Place the stuffed peppers into the crock pot. In just a few hours you have a delicious dinner!


Hawaiian BBQ Chicken

Start to finish: 8 hours 5 minutes

Servings: 6


  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic minced
  • 1-2 cans pineapple chunks - I like to use a full can in the crockpot and another can for serving
  • Rice for serving, optional


Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of your slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. In a small bowl, whisk together the bbq sauce, soy sauce, and garlic. Pour sauce over chicken.  Pour one can of pineapple chunks over the chicken. Cover the crockpot and cook the chicken on low for 6 - 8 hours or high for 4 - 6 hours. When chicken is done cooking, shred and serve over rice and topped with more pineapple and green onion if desired.


Pumpkin, Chickpea and Red Lentil Curry

Start to finish: 8 hours 10 minutes

Servings: 4 - 6


  • 2 - 15 ounce cans chickpeas, drained
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup split red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder*
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt and more to taste
  • 1 - 15 ounce can coconut milk (I use full-fat for this recipe; lite will probably still taste great but might result in a thinner curry)

Ingredients for serving: 

  • White rice, brown rice or cauliflower rice
  • Fresh lime wedges
  • Cilantro leaves


Add all ingredients except the coconut milk to a 3 - quart or larger slow cooker. Cook on low 8 - 10 hours or in high 5 - 6 hours. Stir in the coconut milk and cook on low for another 30 minutes.

The curry will be a bit thin at first; it thickens up as it sits. Scoop over rice and serve with cilantro and fresh lime wedges to squeeze over the top.

*Curry powder brands can vary greatly, but I’ve tried several in this recipe and it always turns out great. So just use your favorite brand/blend and you should be good to go.


Pork Carnitas

Start to finish: 9 hours

Servings: 8


  • 4 - 7 pound pork roast (excess fat removed)
  • 1 head of garlic (cloves removed and minced)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons green chile (minced, can substitute with chipotle in adobo or jalapeno)
  • 1 large onion (sliced)
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 lime


Rinse pork roast and remove any excess fat. Combine garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and chile in small bowl. Rub over entire roast. Place the roast in a large slow cooker. Top with the sliced onion. Slice the oranges and lime in half and squeeze all of the juices onto the pork. When you're done, throw the remaining orange and lime halves in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Remove the pork and once cool enough to handle, shred the meat. Strain and reserve the liquid from the slow cooker and discard the solids. At this point, you can store the meat and the liquid for dinner the next night or you can proceed.

To serve the carnitas, set the oven to a low broil and spread the shredded meat in a thin layer of a large foil covered baking sheet. Pour the reserved liquid over the meat and broil until all of the meat is nice and hot and is starting to get crispy.


Whether you’re in the mood for pork, chicken, beef or feeling like it’s a vegetarian night, these crockpot dinners are sure to satisfy your hunger! Make these recipes ahead of time so that at the end of the day you only have to worry about the dishes and not all of the cooking. Enjoy!


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