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10 healthy Crockpot recipes busy families will love

Crockpots have been dishing out dinners in kitchens around the globe for more than 80 years. This popular cooking method is a time-saver for busy families who are on the go. Putting together a Crockpot meal for the family is a lot healthier than grabbing takeout for dinner on those hectic evenings with multiple after-school activities.

The question for many parents is whether or not the kids will actually eat a home-cooked meal from the Crockpot, especially if your family has one or two picky eaters. Thankfully, there are quite a few healthy Crockpot recipes that are simply delicious and kid-friendly. Here are some easy Crockpot recipes to get cooking in your kitchen this winter or any time of the year.

Healthy Crockpot recipes your family will flip for

Mexican shredded beef

Make Taco Tuesdays even easier by having the beef ready in time for dinner. Amy Flory has a simple recipe that can be made in a crockpot or Instant Pot. The result is a versatile tasty meat filling. Spoon it into tacos or add it to a burrito bowl. All you have to do for a healthy dinner is put out the lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and any additional family taco topping favorites.

bowl of delicious crockpot mac and cheese
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Creamy mac and cheese

Mac and cheese is a staple for many families, but let’s face it: the boxed brands aren’t the healthiest. Amanda’s Cooking has a simple mac and cheese Crockpot recipe the kiddos will love. The cooking time isn’t long for this recipe either. It’s ready in about two hours, which gives you plenty of time to have dinner ready after practice pickup.

yummy crockpot sloppy joe sandwich
Marie C Fields/Shutterstock

Sloppy Joes

The Country Cook has the perfect Crockpot recipe for those days when you have a particularly busy afternoon. It cooks in around six hours and can be served with or without the buns. Pair it with a salad or cut-up veggies for the picky ones who don’t like their foods mixed for a healthy, quick dinner.

Crockpot shredded chicken

Change up Taco Tuesdays with this delicious Crockpot recipe for shredded chicken from Countryside Cravings. This dish can easily be used as a base for soft or hard tacos, burritos, nachos, or solo. It tastes great on top of rice or even a salad. Kids will most likely prefer this dish with tacos or nachos.

Tater tot casserole

While admittedly not the healthiest, tater tots are a kid staple and this dish makes for a fun meal everyone at the table is sure to enjoy. All you need are six ingredients to whip up Tammilee Tips’ Crockpot tater tot casserole. This easy crockpot recipe cooks in 2 to 3 hours and is a standalone dish, but serve with veggies on the side to balance out the tater tots.

Chicken parmesan

Put marinara sauce and cheese on something and the kids are sure to dig in. A Taste of Home has a flavorful Crockpot recipe for chicken Parmesan. This is another great dish to make on a busy day since it takes around 4 to 6 hours to cook. Add cheese in the final 10 to 15 minutes of cooking. Make a quick pot of spaghetti for a complete meal that is sure to become a family favorite.


Chili is an ideal Crockpot dish. This recipe from A Taste of Home only takes about 25 minutes to prep and cooks in six hours. Tweens and teens will probably be easily pleased by chili, but you can make this dish more inviting for younger children by dialing back the spices and topping with cheese. Crumbled crackers or tortillas make for a kid-friendly topping too. The wonderful thing about chili is that it is a healthy, hearty standalone dish. Making it in the crockpot is super easy and lets busy parents spend less time in the kitchen.

tasty meatballs made in a crockpot
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Crockpot meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs are a definite kid fave, but who has time to make those meatballs after work and school? With Spend With Pennies’ Crockpot meatball recipe, all you’ll have to do when you get home is make the spaghetti and heat up the sauce.

Crockpot pizza casserole

Most kiddos would eat pizza for dinner every night if they could, which is what makes this Crockpot pizza casserole recipe from The Cards We Drew such a no-brainer. The kids can have their pizza and the crockpot does the majority of the work. It’s quick too and can easily be cooking in the Crockpot while busy moms and dads are doing other things like helping with homework. Cook time is around 1 to 2 hours. You can also play with the ingredients and sneak some veggies in there to give the pizza casserole a healthier twist. Under the cheese and marinara, the kids won’t even realize the veggies are in there.

Bacon mac and cheese

Mac and cheese is a popular kid-friendly dish. With this Crockpot recipe from Just a Pinch, you can change up the plain mac and cheese by adding in another favorite: bacon. Prep time is only 15 minutes and the dish takes two hours in the crockpot.

Healthy doesn’t have to be hard

Pulling together a homemade dinner after a long day of work and after-school activities is tough for busy parents. Crockpot cooking makes dinner prep a whole lot simpler and quicker. If you haven’t tried crockpot cooking, give it a go. It’s a definite time-saver, especially during the week. These 10 healthy Crockpot recipes are so tasty even the kids will enjoy them.

Dawn Miller
Dawn Miller began her professional life as an elementary school teacher before returning to her first love, writing. In…
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