Kid-Friendly Slow Cooker Recipes

Meatloaf in a Slow Cooker

Can you believe this meatloaf came from the slow cooker? Find the recipe below!
Can you believe this meatloaf came from the slow cooker? Find the recipe below! | Source

Crock Pot Cooking

I am a firm believer that there should be a crock pot in every household. You gather food, perhaps chop it up or mix it together, and throw it in the crock pot for a few hours, forgetting it's even there until it is time to eat.

Now THAT is my kind of cooking!

Slow cooking has been used since the discovery of fire, but it came back into practice in the early 1970s, during a time when more and more women were headed out to the workforce and needed the convenience of an easy to make home cooked meal. Early units were developed from an appliance that cooked beans on the countertop, but as it became more and more popular, the crock pots, as they are commonly known, were well made to only use a little bit of electricity yet cook fantastic meals. Today, they still take up very little counter space, use less electricity than other appliances, can be programmed ahead of time, and some come with carrying cases for traveling.

Slow cooked foods are often very tasty and moist as a liquid is used in many cases to help cook the food, plus evaporation doesn't occur because of the lid. In fact, making a soup in a crock pot is easy because of the liquid and moisture kept inside while cooking.

When I received my crock pot, made by Rival (the original company to produce crock pots), I didn't know what to do with it. Once I did learn more about it, I was amazed how easy it was to use! You really do gather the ingredients, clean them up, and throw them in the crock pot for a few hours.

Voila! Your meal is ready.

How to Use a Slow Cooker

Crock Pot Meals

Two of my favorite crock pot meals to make that are kid-friendly are chicken chili and meatloaf. They are delicious and take very, very little time to prepare. There's always enough left-overs for other meals or snacks for the next few days.

The chicken chili actually happened by mistake. Knowing how easy it was to throw things together in the crock pot, I gathered what ingredients I could find for that day that I thought would work well together as a potential pasta-like meal: chicken breast, tomato soup, and salsa. My thought was to cook all of this up and serve it over pasta. The result, however, was more of a delicious chicken chili, with shredded chicken and a savory yet spicy sauce. Yum!

The meatloaf is an adaptation of a crock pot meatloaf recipe I had. I didn't want to have just plain meatloaf; changing the sauce a bit really made a difference! The meat was so moist, compared to the sometimes dry texture you would get from an oven baked meatloaf.

Below are my two easy recipes that are kid-friendly. They can be adapted as necessary for your family's needs or tastes.

Chicken Chili Crock Pot Recipe

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 4 hours 30 min
Ready in: 4 hours 35 min
Yields: Serves a family of four, with plenty of leftovers

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

Crock Pot Chicken Chili
Crock Pot Chicken Chili | Source

Easy Chicken Chili Crock Pot Recipe

  • 1 can tomato soup, condensed
  • 2-3 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
  • 1 small jar mild salsa, (or 2 cups/homemade)
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • sour cream, optional, topping
  • shredded cheese, optional, topping

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Place chicken in the crock pot and cover with tomato soup and salsa. Cover chicken chili and cook in crock pot for four hours on high (a little longer for frozen chicken).
Place chicken in the crock pot and cover with tomato soup and salsa.
Place chicken in the crock pot and cover with tomato soup and salsa. | Source
Cover chicken chili and cook in crock pot for four hours on high (a little longer for frozen chicken).
Cover chicken chili and cook in crock pot for four hours on high (a little longer for frozen chicken). | Source

Rate These Easy Crock Pot Recipes!

4.3 stars from 4 ratings of Easy Kid-Friendly Crock Pot Recipes

Instructions for Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

  1. Peel and slice onion. Place slices on the bottom of the crock pot.
  2. Place 2-3 chicken breasts on top of the onions. (I used frozen chicken breasts.)
  3. Top the chicken with the tomato soup and the salsa. Cover and set the heat on high.
  4. Forget about it for four hours and thirty minutes (eight on low). Come back, pull apart the chicken gently with a fork, top with some sour cream and cheese, and enjoy a delicious chicken chili!

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

This recipe is kid-friendly because initially it isn't that spicy and from the looks of it, does not contain a lot of vegetables. Oh, but it does contain a lot of vegetables! There are the onions, which can be left off of a child's plate, but the salsa has a few kinds of peppers, tomatoes, and onions. Shh! Don't tell them!

Additional ingredients:

  • red kidney beans
  • hot sauce
  • garlic

Nutrition for Crock Pot Chicken Chili (Approx)

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 cup
Calories 320
Calories from Fat153
% Daily Value *
Fat 17 g26%
Protein 34 g68%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

What to Do with the Leftovers from Crock Pot Chicken Chili

  • Serve with some tortilla chips
  • Serve on a roll with a bit of BBQ sauce for a sloppy sandwich
  • Top a nacho and cheese pile, and add shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sour cream
  • Stuff a pepper with chili, top with crushed crackers and butter mixture, and bake

Meatloaf Made in a Crock Pot

Finished product: Delicious and Moist Crock Pot Meatloaf
Finished product: Delicious and Moist Crock Pot Meatloaf | Source

Meatloaf for Kids

Meatloaf always gets such a bad rap, I think because of how dry or sometimes tasteless it can be when it is made in the oven. I have never had such an experience since my mother is an excellent cook, nor do I want my kids to feel that way about such an easy to make, delicious home cooked meal.

This meatloaf is simple and tasty. The BBQ sauce, Jack Daniels in my case, gives it an extra kick that is fabulous for the taste buds. Because it is made in the crock pot, it is so moist, making it oh-so-extra good. Your kids will keep coming back for more!

Sides for Meatloaf

  • mashed potato
  • baked potato
  • green beans or green bean casserole
  • corn on the cob
  • salad
  • anything you'd pair with beef!

Slow Cooker Meatloaf

Time: 10 minutes prep, 8 hours in crock pot on low

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • milk
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • ketchup
  • BBQ sauce
  • salt
  • pepper
  • onion powder

Instructions:

1. Beat eggs in large bowl. Add breadcrumbs and mix. Add enough milk to make moist.

2. Add salt, pepper, and onion powder.

3. Mix in meat by hand.

4. Put mixture in crock pot and form into a 'loaf' as best as possible.

5. Cover the loaf with a mixture of ketchup and BBQ sauce. Cook on low heat for 8 hours.

Crock Pot Meatloaf

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Most of the ingredients for slow cooked meatloafStep 1: Beat the eggs.Add in breadcrumbs and milk. Mix meat in by hand. Place the meat mixture into the Crock Pot, shaping it into a loaf as best as possible. Cover the meatloaf in the BBQ sauce and cook for 8 hours.
Most of the ingredients for slow cooked meatloaf
Most of the ingredients for slow cooked meatloaf | Source
Step 1: Beat the eggs.
Step 1: Beat the eggs. | Source
Add in breadcrumbs and milk.
Add in breadcrumbs and milk. | Source
Mix meat in by hand.
Mix meat in by hand. | Source
Place the meat mixture into the Crock Pot, shaping it into a loaf as best as possible.
Place the meat mixture into the Crock Pot, shaping it into a loaf as best as possible. | Source
Cover the meatloaf in the BBQ sauce and cook for 8 hours.
Cover the meatloaf in the BBQ sauce and cook for 8 hours. | Source

Easy Side for Meatloaf

Broccoli and Corn in Buttered Noodles

Ingredients:

  • 1 head fresh broccoli
  • 1 can corn
  • 1/2 box noodles
  • 1 stick butter
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • parsley

Instructions:

1. Cook noodles. Drain. Add 1/2 stick butter, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, salt and pepper to taste.

2. Sauté broccoli in butter until tender. Add corn and cook until corn is heated.

3. Mix broccoli and corn into the noodles.

Broccoli and Corn in Buttered Noodles

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Broccoli and corn in buttered noodlesIngredients for side (note: olive oil can be used to replace some of the butter!)Buttered noodles
Broccoli and corn in buttered noodles
Broccoli and corn in buttered noodles | Source
Ingredients for side (note: olive oil can be used to replace some of the butter!)
Ingredients for side (note: olive oil can be used to replace some of the butter!) | Source
Buttered noodles
Buttered noodles | Source

Too Much Butter? Try This!

A stick of butter may be a lot in this recipe. If you'd rather, (I do this very often) substitute olive oil in for the butter. Yum!

©ThePracticalMommy

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Comments 81 comments

Sally 18 months ago

Both of these recipes sound so great thanks for sharing!!


Rachel L Alba profile image

Rachel L Alba 21 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

I love the idea of meatloaf in the crockpot. I never even thought of doing that before. Now I will. Thanks for the idea. I voted up and useful.


Lisa R 2 years ago

I love these recipes, I never thought of meatloaf in a crockpot, wow

sibabe64 at ptd dot net


America S. 2 years ago

I love the side dish recipe. My daughter will eat just about anything if noodles are involved and this is much different than the normal spaghetti or mac and cheese. Thanks!


Birdiebee 2 years ago

You have some great recipes here that I will be trying out on my grandkids. I love using a slow cooker whenever possible to save time and have dinner ready when I get home.


Emily 2 years ago

I love CrockPot meals -- they're so easy! I've never thought to make meat loaf in the slow cooker.


Rita Spratlen 2 years ago

Heck with the kids my husband would love these 2 dishes. He is crazy about chili and hamburger. I have not made them in a crock pot but you have inspired me. Thanks for the great recipes!!


Anne Stewart 2 years ago

Yummm!


Susan Broughton 2 years ago

I love the idea to make meals in the crock pot. Especially ones that kids will eat. The ones that are posted above sound really tasty! I like the idea to fix one meal and then have leftover recipes from it. Thanks for the information!


Lauren Watson 2 years ago

The crock pot meat loaf looks interesting, I might just have to try that one!


Barbara Mc / Whenihave Time 2 years ago

This looks simple enough and very good!


ThePracticalMommy profile image

ThePracticalMommy 2 years ago from United States Author

Awesome, Laura! Hope you liked it!


Laura Brewer 2 years ago

Just so you know! I DID make this tonight lol. It is still cooking but smells so good, I can't wait for it to finish lol


Laura Brewer 2 years ago

WOW I have been so hungry for Meatloaf and my oven doesn't work. :( So glad you posted this, ccause I never thought about it lol. AND I have everythinging for this so I know what we are having for supper tomorrow cause I will pit it on to cook before I leave for work WOOOWHOOO.....


Jo-Ann Brightman 2 years ago

After looking at the meatloaf recipe I went to the chicken chili recipe and I think I like that even more. I would definitely use both the sour cream and cheese as toppings. It is amazing how many things are made easier to cook by using the crockpot.


Jo-Ann Brightman 2 years ago

This meatloaf appears to be an easy simple recipe and delicious too. I also like the Broccoli and corn in buttered noodles side dish


rosa rogers 2 years ago

this meatloaf looks so moist and yummy...i have to invest in a crockpot..i've been seeing so many recipe for the crockpot and they all look so good.


Noelle Marie Huhs 2 years ago

Looks soo good! Gonna have to try this!


ThePracticalMommy profile image

ThePracticalMommy 2 years ago from United States Author

Lisa, it's much more moist.


Lisa Woodward 2 years ago

I had no idea you could make meatloaf in a crock pot! That is awesome. Does it have a different texture on the outside than oven-cooked meatloaf or is it about the same all around?


Alison Gibb 2 years ago

I agree that everyone should have a crock pot. I use mine all the time. I will try this meatloaf recipe. Thank you!


lisasa1reviews 2 years ago from Edgewater, MD USA

I love cooking in the crock-pot! I have cooked in the crock pot for years, but I have never made meat loaf in it before. I can't wait to try this recipe this week for my family for dinner, thank you for sharing this awesome recipe!!


Robin Abrams 2 years ago

The crockpot meat loaf looks good. I have it on now for dinner Thank you. My kids love meatloaf so I am sure they will love this one it smells so good.


Alissa Farias 2 years ago

I had no idea you could cook meatloaf in a crock pot! That brings crock pot cooking to the next level.


Dorothy Boucher 2 years ago

I love reading your recipes, and this one is absolutely delicious, This is my first time every to hear of someone making meatloaf in a crockpot, I usually make meatloaf every other thursday, so I will have to give this recipe a try.. thanks for share and hopefully i don't forget i'll let you know how mine came out ;) @tisonlyme143


virginia weaver 2 years ago

I have been looking foir a new mewatloaf recipe. Thank you


Marcia Lee 2 years ago

I like your Easy Chicken Chili Crock Pot Recipe. It does sound easy and I like easy. Also, I think I would like chicken chili, especially because you use mild salsa.


Jean Cox 2 years ago

I love the crockpot meatloaf idea! Finally, a recipe I have all of the ingredients for AND I can make it in a crockpot. Win/win!


ThePracticalMommy profile image

ThePracticalMommy 2 years ago from United States Author

Karen Albert Winslow, just like a meatloaf made in the oven, you can spoon off the grease as it appears. You can also remove the meatloaf as best you can from the crock pot and plate it. The grease should remain in the crock pot. :)


Karen Albert Winslow 2 years ago

THE CROCK POT MEAT LOAF IS GREAT SIMILAR TO OVEN BAKED BUT IM WORRIED THAT IT SITS IN ALL THE GREASE FROM THE MEAT. IM NOT A BIG FAN OF MEAT LOAF I ALWAYS WOULD CUT OFF A HUNK & PUT CHEESE ON IT LOL. BUT I STILL WORRY ABOUT ALL THE GREASE. THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS THAT CAN BE COOKED IN A CROCK ITS GREAT. THANKS


Amy Adams 2 years ago

I had no idea you could make meatloaf in a crockpot without browning the meat first. I am definitely going to try this recipe as I love meatloaf!!


Carrie Demas 2 years ago

I LOVE meatloaf and never would have thought to try it in the crockpot! This looks super easy and really yummy! I've never tried the combo of ketchup and bbq sauce before either! Looking forward to trying this recipe out!


Krista Harrison 2 years ago

I love meatloaf and never seem to plan ahead for it. I can't wait to throw this in my crock pot.


rochelle haynes 2 years ago

This sounds good i will have to try this one day


Dorothy Boucher 2 years ago

these are some wonderful recipes and i also believe that every house should own at least one crockpot, to me this was the best invention they came up with in the kitchen hehe I love how you can just put a few things in and let the crock do its job.. love it and thanks for sharing @tisonlyme143


Sandra Beeman 2 years ago

I really do like meat loaf. I've never made it in a crock pot before. Judging by the 8-hour cooking time, I would say this recipe will turn out moist and delicious.


Stephanie Mago-Eagle 2 years ago

Looks good I will have to try to make this my little girl loves meatloaf.


Rose M 2 years ago

These look great, and you can't beat how easy things turn out in a crock pot! Can't wait to try these recipes, especially the meat loaf.


VVanNess profile image

VVanNess 2 years ago from Prescott Valley

This is such a great idea and I LOVE meatloaf! Great job!!


nikki c 2 years ago

I have a slow cooker and always think I can use it for something and never do. never occurred to me try to make a meat loaf in a slow cooker.


Janette Polivka 2 years ago

I love cooking in the slow cooker. This is my first time ever seeing chicken chili..must try! Thank you for sharing!!


Wendy Lindsey 2 years ago

Love this post! My kids would likely have a blast making the crock pot meatloaf. Maybe I'll let them make dinner tomorrow evening! Thanks for the recipes. :D


Stephanie 2 years ago

My daughter loves meatloaf, I will have to try crockpot meatloaf for her!


Gina Blomgren 2 years ago

These are great! We just got a crock pot and I'm always looking for new things to try out! Thanks.


Rosie 3 years ago

I'd love to try both the chicken chili and the meatloaf. I try to make these without recipes, but with mixed results! I need a couple of sure-fire recipes that I don't have to be wondering who it will come out!!!


Nena Sinclair profile image

Nena Sinclair 3 years ago from Selkirk, Manitoba

I love my crockpot! It's one of the most used appliances in my household! Your Slow Cooker Chicken Chili recipe sounds delicious, I'm going to make it for supper tomorrow, I've got all the ingredients on hand. Thanks for sharing! :)


Hannah Chase 3 years ago

These all look so delicious! Moving out soon and planning on buying a slow cooker so I'll have to bookmark these recipes. Thanks :)


Tessa Shull @ HomemadeExperience 3 years ago

Also, really easy to make, which is much needed in this busy family! Thanks for the post and dinner recipe.


HomemadeExperience 3 years ago

I'm making the meatloaf this week! Sounds delicious.


Nena Sinclair 3 years ago

These recipes sound great for the entire family! I love your suggestions for leftovers, too!


ThePracticalMommy profile image

ThePracticalMommy 3 years ago from United States Author

Tia, thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you like the recipes. :)


tia albright 3 years ago

my kids would eat this meatloaf and the chicken chili.. thanks for the recipes. Cooking in the crockpot is so good and easy!


WhatToCook profile image

WhatToCook 3 years ago from Springfield, MO

The meatloaf looks yummy, I hope to try it soon. voted up


ThePracticalMommy profile image

ThePracticalMommy 3 years ago from United States Author

cardelean, oh, what a fabulous Christmas gift! I hope you love it as much as I love mine! Enjoy the recipe, and thanks for reading. :)


cardelean profile image

cardelean 3 years ago from Michigan

I got a new crockpot for Christmas and was just searching for some recipes for my menu this month and your hub popped up. The meatloaf recipe is a MUST try for us. I think that we will be having it this week. Thanks for the great recipes and I'm pinning this one so I can find it again later!


ThePracticalMommy profile image

ThePracticalMommy 3 years ago from United States Author

faythef, the crockpot is great for the summer when it's too hot for the oven. Let me know what you think of the meatloaf! Thanks for reading!


faythef profile image

faythef 3 years ago from USA

I am going to try meatloaf in the crockpot....This will be great in the summer when I don't want to heat up the house with the oven..


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ThePracticalMommy 3 years ago from United States Author

FullOfLoveSites , it certainly was really good. Hope you enjoy it! Thanks for reading, :)


FullOfLoveSites profile image

FullOfLoveSites 3 years ago from United States

The meatloaf looks so good, juicy and tasty. I think I'll go do meatloaf your style. Voted up and shared. :)


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ThePracticalMommy 3 years ago from United States Author

twig22bend, it's amazing what you can make in a crock pot! The meatloaf was so moist and delicious; definitely better than when I made it in the oven.

Thanks for reading and commenting!


twig22bend profile image

twig22bend 3 years ago

Meatloaf in a crock pot? You live and learn. I am learning what and how to cook in my new crock pot. Thanks for sharing.


ThePracticalMommy profile image

ThePracticalMommy 3 years ago from United States Author

brandy, great question! Never realized that I didn't have it listed. I used a little over a pound of ground beef for this recipe. Thanks for asking!


brandy 3 years ago

How much ground beef for the meatloaf is needed?


ThePracticalMommy profile image

ThePracticalMommy 4 years ago from United States Author

2patricias, I love my crock pot, and I'm sure you'd love having one too! I'm glad you liked the recipes. Thanks for reading! :)


2patricias profile image

2patricias 4 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

These look great recipes for kids - and would be enjoyed by adults.

I've been looking at crock pot recipes and now think I need to get one.

I am including this in my Recipe Index for HubPages.


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ThePracticalMommy 4 years ago from United States Author

teaches12345, if you serve it to your grandkids, let me know what they think! Thanks for reading! :)


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

The meatloaf looks so good. I didn't know that you could make this recipe in the crockpot. With my grandkids coming to visit, I will have to try this and I'm sure they will love it.


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ThePracticalMommy 4 years ago from United States Author

Motherbynature, isn't summertime a great time for cooking with the crock pot? I'm glad you do the same thing. :) Thanks for reading!


Motherbynature profile image

Motherbynature 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

I love my crock pot. I have the large one so every summer my oven goes on vacation. Great hub to get people thinking of letting dinner cook itself.


ThePracticalMommy profile image

ThePracticalMommy 4 years ago from United States Author

Angela Kane, I try to do the same, making one crock pot meal a week. It's a nice break from the oven or stovetop! Thanks for reading and commenting!


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ThePracticalMommy 4 years ago from United States Author

Uninvited Writer, I'll have to try making meatloaf with turkey. I bet it was great! Thanks for reading and commenting!


ThePracticalMommy profile image

ThePracticalMommy 4 years ago from United States Author

Carter06, thank you very much for reading and commenting! :)


Angela Kane profile image

Angela Kane 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

I make a crock pot dish once a week and I am always searching for new ideas. Your kid-friendly recipes are very good, thank you.


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 4 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

I love my crockpot. I have made turkey meatloaf in it. Turned out great.


carter06 profile image

carter06 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW

Love these recipes...as a busy mum finding recipes that kids enjoy is the key...well done...got to try that meat loaf...up awesome & shared...cheers


ThePracticalMommy profile image

ThePracticalMommy 4 years ago from United States Author

Victoria Lynn, the meatloaf is very tender. I like meatloaf in the crock pot much more than I like it in the oven because of that.

Thank you very much for the many votes and sharing! :D


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Who would have thought of meatloaf in a crockpot! Awesome. I bet it's so tender. I like the look of the brocooli and corn dish, too. I'm always looking for new things to do with veggies. Great hub. Nice layout. Many votes and sharing!


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ThePracticalMommy 4 years ago from United States Author

ComfortB, yep, three recipes. I was feeling ambitious! ;) Thanks so much for reading and commenting!


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

Wow, got to get my crock pot out!

Three recipes in one hub? Doesn't get any better than that.

Thanks for sharing. Will definitely share this.

Voted up and useful.


ThePracticalMommy profile image

ThePracticalMommy 4 years ago from United States Author

Thanks, kelleyward! Trust me; I'm all about simple recipes for dinner! ;)


kelleyward 4 years ago

This looks like a great way to simplify dinner. Voted up !

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