30 Crockpot Recipes (Dump & Go!)

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Our Favorite Crockpot Recipes!

We’ve got 30 of the BEST “Dump and Go” Crockpot Recipes for you today! Recipes called “dump and go” may not sound very glamorous, but if you’re a busy cook and/or parent, it’s like music to your ears! When the day is busy and time is short, there’s nothing better than adding ingredients to a slow cooker and walking away to take care of the day.

Letting the meal simmer away while you’re busy helps you focus on other priorities, knowing that dinner is already taken care of. We have 30 amazing recipes for you, including chicken, chili, dinner, and quinoa specialties. Read on!


Crock-Pot is a registered trademark of the Sunbeam Corporation but is widely used to refer to any variety of slow cooker appliances. We respect Sunbeam’s trademark and make every effort to refer to slow cookers appropriately. Once in a while, though, we use Crock-Pot in its generic sense.

Our Most Popular Slow Cooker Recipes

Collage of Dump and Go recipes

It’s hard for us to name our favorite slow cooker recipes–they all speak to us in different ways. But when we take a look at the five-star reviews on our site, these are the ones that rise to the top with our readers! All of these choices are warm, comforting, and super easy to get started cooking earlier in the day, ready to serve in the evening. They’re win-win recipes, offering great flavors with minimal effort.

1. Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup

With over 200 rave reviews, this Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup is insanely popular– for good reason! It is hearty, creamy, and flavor-packed!

One reader said: “Oh my gosh this is the best Mexican soup I’ve ever made or tasted! I described it to my friend as “award winning”! 🙂 thank you SO much for this awesome recipe. Delicious!!”

2. Crockpot Cowboy Casserole

This viral Crockpot Cowboy Casserole is always a show-stopper. Serve it for game day as an appetizer or eat it as a meal! However you serve it, everyone will be sure to love it!

One reader said: “I love this recipe!! So easy and yummy, my husband was raving about how tasty it was! Thank you for a delicious and easy crockpot recipe! ”

3. Beef Ragu

Beef Ragu made in the slow cooker and served over pappardelle pasta is the ultimate comfort food! It’s crazy popular for a reason- it’s delicious and simple!

One reader said: “I made this for my family when both grown children & their others visited us at the same time in February. HUGE SUCCESS! Thank you! Love your recipes. ”

4. Tex Mex Quinoa

Tex Mex Quinoa is crazy popular for how simple and delicious it is! Just dump everything in a crockpot and in a few hours enjoy the most delicious meal!

One reader said: “Nothing like throwing a bunch of delicious things into a slow cooker, to see it magically transform into something delicious without slaving over a stove. 😀 Love the flavors in this, and your use of quinoa! A comfort meal that’s healthy! Love the cilantro and lime juice! I bet a nice chunk of avocado would be perfect to garnish, too!”

5. Sweet Potato Stew

Delicious, hearty, and healthy Sweet Potato Stew made in the slow cooker is enormously popular and delicious! You’ll love how healthy and easy this dish is!

One reader said: “I put this together this morning because we had an INCREDIBLY busy day ahead. When everybody got home, a fabulous hearty stew awaited. Great recipe! Thanks!”

Crockpot Recipes With Chicken

Collage of slow cooker chicken recipes

Dump-and-go chicken recipes are the solution when you want a delicious dinner but don’t have time to spend with lots of prep and cooking steps. Cajun Chicken, Chicken Quinoa Soup, Chicken and Wild Rice, Chicken Sweet Potato Soup and Chicken Wild Rice Soup–it doesn’t get much better than these suppertime solutions!

6. Crockpot Cajun Chicken

This simple Crockpot Cajun Chicken is chock full of delicious ingredients! Spoon it all over rice for a hearty and filling meal!

One reader said: “This was delicious. Really good. This was really good. I will be making this again … very soon.”

7. Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Soup

Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Soup is nutritious, protein-packed, and filling! This high-protein, thrown-in-the-crockpot meal is always a hit!

One reader said: “This was my first time trying one of your recipes and after making this soup….I’m a fan of yours!!! This soup was delicious!!! Both my husband and I loved it!! So yummy!!! Thanks for the great recipe! I look forward to making many more that you suggest!!”

8. Crockpot Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Slow-cooked creamy chicken and wild rice casserole is seriously easy and delicious! Serve it as a side for Thanksgiving–or all year round!

One reader said: “Just made this in my crockpot today. It was a hit with my husband. Thanks for a great recipe! Looking at your Christmas Treat Mason Jars now. You have such great recipes.”

9. Chicken Sweet Potato Soup

With almost 300 rave reviews you won’t believe how easily this Chicken Sweet Potato Soup comes together. Throw everything into a slow cooker and have a nutritious, delicious meal ready in just a few short hours!

One reader said: “Made this tonight and it was very, very good. I didn’t change a thing. It is definitely a keeper.”

10. Crockpot Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Crockpot Chicken Wild Rice Soup is as simple as it comes for such a fancy-looking meal. It’s so delicious and full of filling, good ingredients!

One reader said: “Made this last night and my husband and I loved it! Delicious, nutritious, and pretty much fail-proof. Thanks for a great recipe!”

Crockpot Recipes: Chili

Collage of slow cooker chili recipes

We feature a lot of chili recipes on Chelsea’s Messy Apron. There’s a reason for that, though: chili is delicious, easy, and super popular with our readers! When we look at our recipe rankings, we always see chili recipes up near the top, so we take that as a vote of confidence for these recipes. Standard chili uses ground beef, and that’s the first one we show on our list. But don’t stop there! Try chili with ground turkey, taco seasonings, quinoa, or make a spicy white chicken chili!

11. Crockpot Chili

With over 450 rave reviews on this recipe, this might just be one of the most popular recipes on the site. Hundreds of people have won their chili cook-offs with this recipe and there is no question why: it’s delicious!

One reader said: “I made this for my husband who is a total foodie snob– and he loved it! He said this is THE chili recipe of all time. Thank you ”

12. Taco Chili (Stovetop, Instant Pot, Crockpot!)

We give all the options on how to cook this Taco Chili, but truthfully it’s so simple in the crockpot! You’ll love this crowd-pleasing Taco Chili!

One reader said: “Super delicious chili. The whole family loved it. Super easy to make. Thanks for the recipe. Yum!!!!”

13. Chicken Chili

Easy Chicken Chili is assembled in minutes and slow cooked to perfection. If I don’t have you convinced read a few of the rave reviews on this dish!

One reader said: “Oh my goodness, this was such a hit! I made it for myself and the boyfriend last night, and he just texted me and told me he wishes he’d brought more with him for lunch 🙂 It was truly one of those “set it and forget it” recipes – I put it together before leaving for work, set it at 8 hours on low, and came back to chicken so tender I shredded it using a spoon. What an awesome chili – I definitely plan on making it again!”

14. Crockpot Quinoa Chili

This ridiculously clean and healthy Crockpot Quinoa Chili is all the rave on the site these days! It makes for a perfectly balanced and delicious meal!

One reader said: “I absolutely love this recipe. I’ve prepared it multiple times. It’s healthy, delicious and filling. As a student, I love how quick and easy it is to make.”

15. Crockpot White Chicken Chili

We’re crazy about this Crockpot White Chicken Chili! It’s an easy “dump it all in the slow cooker and forget about it” kind of meal! 

One reader said: “Made this for a work chili-cook off and I won!! It was fantastic!”

Easy Crockpot Recipes

Collage of easy crock pot recipes

Our easy slow cooker meals make dinner delicious and simple–what could be better? These easy dump-and-go recipes aren’t lacking in flavor and variety! Look what we are highlighting: pulled pork, cheesy potatoes, meatball sliders, pinto beans, and pork taquitos–there’s a work week of great dinners ready to enjoy!

16. Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork

This is the perfect summer BBQ dish! Summers are always busy and with this quick and easy crockpot recipe, you can have your main dish ready with little effort!

One reader said: “The pulled pork is delicious. The bbq sauce has the perfect amount of sweetness and slight kick from the chipotle. I’m sure I’ll be making this again…and sharing it!”

17. Crockpot Cheesy Potatoes

Crockpot Cheesy Potatoes are the perfect comfort food! The potatoes are cooked in the slow cooker until tender and flavorful– and then covered in plenty of cheese.

One reader said: “My husband adapted this to the Instapot and it was delish! It is a keeper! Thanks for a great recipe!”

18. Meatball Sliders

These Meatball Sliders made in the crockpot are one of our favorite appetizers or hearty meal! It’s a hit wherever you bring it!

One reader said: “We had these at a party last weekend and they were SUCH A HIT!!! couldn’t believe how easy they were! Thanks for such a great recipe!”

19. Pinto Beans (Crockpot or Instant Pot)

Restaurant-style Pinto Beans with close to no prep. They couldn’t be easier and have the best creamy texture!

One reader said: “The flavor is amazing!! This recipe makes quite a lot!”

20. Pork Taquitos

Amazing Pork Taquitos, loaded with slow-cooked pulled pork, smothered in a sweet honey-chipotle BBQ sauce. 

One reader said: “I made these tonight and they are amazing!! My husband and I really enjoyed them as is!! Thanks for the recipe!!! This will be made often in my house!!”

Crockpot Recipes For Dinner

Collage of dump-and-go dinner recipes

Dinner is the perfect time to serve a slow cooker meal, and we have plenty of options for you to choose from.  These are substantial meals that require little else to make them a full dinner that everyone will enjoy. Whether it’s gyros, porcupine meatball, sloppy Joes, pot roast or turkey breast, you can keep everyone smiling without a lot of fuss in the kitchen. In my book, that’s a winner all around!

21. Beef Gyros

The absolute best Beef Gyros made in the slow cooker and everything topped with the best tzatziki sauce and wrapped in a pita! 

One reader said: “DELICIOUS dinner tonight, thank you!”

22. Porcupine Meatballs

Delicious and easy Porcupine Meatballs take mere minutes to whip together and then slow cook until they’re fall-apart tender! Such little prep for an impressive dish!

One reader said: “I made your meatballs last night, they turned out soooo good. Thank you for sharing your recipe keep up those good recipes.”

23. Crockpot Sloppy Joes

Our favorite Crockpot Sloppy Joes! These sandwiches are great to serve to a crowd and perfect for summer BBQs or game-day eating.

One reader said: “Super flavorful, easy and delicious! Def crowd pleaser! I know sloppy joe’s aren’t rocket science…but the balance of flavors here was great and so is the ease of the crockpot method! Thank you!”

24. Crock Pot Roast

This incredibly Crock Pot Roast is insanely flavorful and tender! It’s a mind blowing dinner that everyone will be raving about!

One reader said: “Company just left and I could not wait to let you know what a hit your pot roast was. We had two couples joining us for dinner and they both said that it was the best pot roast they had ever had! Thank you so much for sharing! The best!”

25. Crockpot Turkey Breast

Crockpot Turkey Breast is the perfect holiday recipe! It comes out tender and perfect every time. Don’t overcomplicate the holidays and have this recipe in your back pocket!.

One reader said: “That was the most amazing, moist turkey breast I have ever eaten. The crockpot makes all the difference it was sooooo good. ”

Crockpot Quinoa Recipes

Collage of quinoa dump-and-go recipes

If you’ve never tried quinoa, here’s a great way to get started! And if quinoa is on your regular dinner menu rotation, here are a few more to add to your collection. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a grain that is also a complete protein. It adds substantial nutrition to any recipe, which is good news for parents.

26. Butternut Squash Chili

This nutritious Butternut Squash Chili is filled to the brim with good-for-you ingredients, including loads of veggies, tender shredded chicken, and a superfood — quinoa! 

One reader said: “This is officially my most favorite crockpot soup. Amazing!”

27. Quinoa Fajitas

These Quinoa Fajitas are probably unlike any fajitas you’ve ever tried! Dump everything into a slow cooker and forget about it until dinner time. 

One reader said: “Oh my goodness, I’ve just made these…delicious! Feels like comfort food, without any of the bad stuff!”

28. Quinoa Tacos

These flavor-packed, meatless Quinoa Tacos couldn’t be easier; we dump everything into the slow cooker (no chopping or sautéing beforehand) and let the appliance work its magic! 

One reader said: “Oh my goodness, this recipe is so good. I’m not a big fan of quinoa, but I had some in the pantry so I thought I would give this a try. I wasn’t expecting much. We have had it two nights in a row now. Leftovers were just as good as the first day. This will definitely become one of our go so dinners. Thank You!”

29. Crockpot Quinoa (Southwestern Fajita)

Fajita-inspired flavors make this Crockpot Quinoa irresistible. It makes the perfect weeknight dinner that everyone loves!

One reader said: “I love how easy and healthy this is Chelsea!!”

30. Mexican Quinoa

Mexican Quinoa is a  tasty, nutritious, and satiating meal! Top your bowl with your favorite toppings!

One reader said: “Had this for dinner last night and it was hands-down the best thing I think I’ve ever eaten, by far the best quinoa dish.”

Dump and Go Recipes FAQs

1What is a Dump and Go meal?

You just literally ‘dump’ the ingredients into the slow cooker! Most of the time, you won’t need to brown the meat in advance or mix complicated sauces together. Dump and Go recipes are perfect for weeknight dinners when you’re running a mile a minute all day long. Anyone who is busy and also is responsible for dinner will love Dump and Go meals!

This recipe roundup focuses on slow cooker meals, but you can also dump and go with sheet pan recipes, Instant Pot, and a Dutch oven.


2What are some of the benefits of Dump and Go recipes?

Besides saving lots of time and energy, Dump and Go recipes often require very few pans.  Just add your ingredients to the slow cooker, and turn it on.

Many Dump and Go recipes can use leftover veggies and meats and inexpensive cuts of meat.


3Do you need to brown meat before adding it to the slow cooker?

For the most part, no, you do not. There are times you may want to sear the meat first to build flavor, but it’s a step you can skip most times if you want.

When foods are seared or browned, a process called the Maillard reaction takes place. It creates that crusty, delicious, umami-filled savory flavor that really makes a difference in how the meal turns out.

Scientifically, the Maillard reaction is a form of nonenzymatic browning. It results from a chemical reaction between an amino acid and a reducing sugar, usually requiring heat.

4What are teh best things to cook in a slow cooker?

Slow cookers offer long, slow cooking times, and that makes them perfect for tough cuts of meat, dense foods, and foods with a lot of liquid.

These are the types of recipes you can start early in the day and let them cook for a long time without sacrificing flavor or texture.

5Can you put raw meat in the slow cooker?

Yes, you can put raw meat in a slow cooker. That’s the way the majority of main course slow cooker meals are structured.

One of the biggest exceptions is ground meat, which sometimes needs to be cooked in advance for the recipe to come out best. Check the individual recipe for instructions.

6Can you do advance prep for Dump and Go meals?

If you are short on time in the morning, you can do some of the chopping of the vegetables the night before. Just refrigerate them until you need them.  If you want to cut potatoes ahead of time, I suggest putting them in a container with water to cover so they won’t brown. Drain the water off in the morning.

While it’s fine to chill the veggies overnight, don’t store them in the slow cooker crock. The crock needs to be at room temperature when it’s put in the cooker, to avoid cracking from temperature changes.

7Do you have any tips for Dump and Go Meals?

Tips to remember:

  • Always start with fully chilled meats and vegetables.
  • Thaw frozen ingredients in the refrigerator before you begin.
  • If you’ve never used the slow cooker or instant pot before, take some time to read the user manual. You need to understand its timing and heat before you use these recipes.
  • Read recipes carefully; some might use more fragile ingredients that shouldn’t be added until the last 20 to 30 minutes of cooking time. Recipes on Chelsea’s Messy Apron are written in sequence, but some others list the ingredients in a random order that doesn’t follow the steps of cooking.
  • If you’re at home, many of these recipes can be cooked on the high setting in far less time. If the recipe doesn’t give a specific time for the high setting, subtract about 3 to 4 hours.

8Can I leave the slow cooker on when I'm at work?

Slow cookers are designed to be left unattended, but keep safety in mind at all times. Follow these simple guidelines:

  • Keep the slow cooker on a heat-safe surface. (Most kitchen counters should be fine.)
  • Be sure to use some liquid.
  • If you’ll be gone for 8-10 hours, always use the low setting.
  • Keep the lid on.

More Crockpot Recipes:



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