If you’re looking for easy, healthy back to school slow cooker recipes perfect for busy weeks – you’re in the right place!
From healthy soups, chowders, chilis, main dishes & more – the recipes in this collection are all simple to prepare and perfect low-effort weeknight dinner wins!
When it comes to transitions, I’m all about finding ways to simplify things.
Including the answer to the daily question, “what’s for dinner?”
Less decisions = less stress.
That’s why on busy weeks – like when it’s time for Elle to head back to school – my family & I love to lean on easy slow cooker recipes for dinner.
To get you inspired, I’m sharing a collection of my favorite back to school dinner ideas that’ll help simplify your dinner decisions.
reasons you’ll love these back to school slow cooker recipes
- Each recipe only needs a few hands-on minutes of prep time – then simply add your real food ingredients to the pot, set to cook, and let it do the work for you!
- The ingredients are easy to find & will help you transition easily between summer and fall meals
- These weeknight meals are great for anyone with a busy life, so even if you don’t have kids you can lean on these easy nourishing meals to get dinner done with minimal effort
Every one of these weeknight slow cooker recipes makes for great (freezable) leftovers. This post has all my best tips for how to freeze anything in a mason jar.
these recipes are all…
I’ve also included some paleo, whole30, vegetarian and vegan options too – so there’s something for everyone to enjoy!
I hope you’ll make these Easy Back to School Slow Cooker recipes soon.
If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!
20+ easy back to school slow cooker recipes
Ingredients: Butternut squash, apples, onion, carrot, turmeric, coconut milk, vegetable stock, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon and other spices.
Ingredients: chicken breasts (or thighs), baby potatoes, celery, cauliflower, onion, chicken stock, coconut milk, lemon juice, turmeric and other seasonings
Ingredients: sweet potatoes, black beans, salsa, vegetable stock, cumin, smoked paprika and salt
Ingredients: chicken, tomato sauce, chili beans, chunky salsa, cumin, garlic and salt
Looking for another meal you can make with a simple jar of salsa? This slow cooker fajita salsa chicken is a must-try (with only 5 ingredients).
Ingredients: ground turkey (or ground beef), onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, tomatoes, stock, spinach, Italian seasoning and other spices
Here's another super simple chicken recipe! If you haven't made this instant pot peach chicken with basil yet, I highly suggest adding it to your list this season.
Ingredients: pork loin roast (or pork shoulder), orange juice, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and other seasonings
Ingredients: chicken, broccoli, bell peppers, peanut butter, garlic, maple syrup, vinegar and other spices
Ingredients: chicken, lemon juice, dijon mustard, Italian seasoning, garlic
Ingredients: sweet potato, apple, potatoes, stock, coconut milk, onion, garlic, apple cider vinegar, turmeric and other seasonings
Rather cook a whole chicken? I'll show you how to make it happen in this recipe for slow cooker garlic balsamic whole chicken. It's easier than you'd think!
Looking for more recipes that use chickpeas? These 5-ingredient smokey maple roasted chickpeas are the perfect sweet-salty-crunchy combo to snack on.
Ingredients: chicken, onion, bell pepper, salsa, lime juice and salt
Ingredients: sweet potato, black beans, kidney beans, tomato sauce, onion, stock, apple cider, chili powder, and other spices
Ingredients: chicken breast (or thigh), stock, quinoa, zucchini, corn, garlic, onion, carrots, chickpeas, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning and other spices
If you want to fire up your grill instead, try this recipe for grilled bbq chicken with naturally sweetened sauce!
I love pairing fresh fruit with chicken. If you're looking for another great combo, you can't go wrong with this smokey lime grilled chicken with 5-ingredient strawberry salsa!
Ingredients: chicken breast, onion, garlic powder, cumin, lime juice, tomato sauce, chili powder and salt
20+ easy back to school slow cooker recipes: fajita salsa chicken
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1-2 medium yellow onions thinly sliced
- 1-2 medium bell pepper red, yellow, orange or green, thinly sliced
- 1 16- oz jar or container salsa divided (any brand you like, avoid those with added sugar or ingredients you can’t pronounce)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Juice of 1 lime about 2 tablespoons
- Add the chicken, onions, peppers, about ⅔ of the salsa, and salt to a 6-quart slow cooker, stirring to combine.
- Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6, or until the chicken and vegetables are very tender.
- Uncover and remove the chicken to a cutting board. Shred with two forks or cut into pieces.
- If there is a lot of liquid in the slow cooker you can drain some off or leave it all in, depending on whether you want a drier or saucier consistency.
- Add back the chicken, the remaining salsa, and lime juice, stirring everything together. Taste and add additional salt, lime juice or salsa if you like.
- Vegetable Side Suggestion: 5-Ingredient Everyday Creamy Slaw
- Set aside some of the cooked, shredded chicken for resistant eaters. Serve with a veggie of choice.
- Use whatever salsa you like, just be sure to check the ingredient list and try to avoid brands with added sugar or with ingredients you can’t pronounce.
- This chicken and veggie mixture is extremely versatile, so serve it however you like. Stuffed into tacos, wrapped in lettuce leaves, over brown rice, or just as it is.
- Feel free to pile on the toppings. Think sliced avocado, sour cream, grated cheese, chopped cilantro, green onions, or hot sauce.
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