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Kid-Friendly Slow Cooker Recipes


Marissa is the writer of ThePracticalMommy and the blog Mommy Knows What's Best. She is a stay-at-home mom to four and was a teacher.

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!

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.

Slow Cooker

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 timeCook timeReady inYields

5 min

4 hours 30 min

4 hours 35 min

Serves a family of four, with plenty of leftovers

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

Crock Pot Chicken Chili

Crock Pot Chicken Chili

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

Rate These Easy 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

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

Stuffed Peppers with Leftover Chili

Meatloaf Made in a Crock Pot

Finished product: Delicious and Moist Crock Pot Meatloaf

Finished product: Delicious and Moist Crock Pot Meatloaf

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


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


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.

Easy Side for Meatloaf

Broccoli and Corn in Buttered Noodles


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


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.

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!



LaRue from Maryland on November 06, 2019:

I just ate lunch and now I am hungry again! That looks great!

Sally on May 24, 2015:

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

Rachel L Alba from Every Day Cooking and Baking on March 01, 2015:

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 on September 29, 2014:

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

sibabe64 at ptd dot net

America S. on July 14, 2014:

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 on July 02, 2014:

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 on June 27, 2014:

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

Rita Spratlen on May 31, 2014:

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 on May 30, 2014:


Susan Broughton on February 26, 2014:

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 on February 24, 2014:

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

Barbara Mc / Whenihave Time on February 21, 2014:

This looks simple enough and very good!

Marissa (author) from United States on February 19, 2014:

Awesome, Laura! Hope you liked it!

Laura Brewer on February 18, 2014:

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 on February 17, 2014:

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 on February 15, 2014:

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 on February 12, 2014:

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 on February 10, 2014:

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 on February 10, 2014:

Looks soo good! Gonna have to try this!

Marissa (author) from United States on February 10, 2014:

Lisa, it's much more moist.

Lisa Woodward on February 09, 2014:

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 on February 09, 2014:

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

Lisa Kerr from Edgewater, MD USA on February 09, 2014:

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 on February 09, 2014:

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 on February 08, 2014:

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

Dorothy Boucher on February 08, 2014:

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 on February 08, 2014:

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

Marcia Lee on February 07, 2014:

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 on February 07, 2014:

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!

Marissa (author) from United States on February 06, 2014:

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 on February 06, 2014:


Amy Adams on February 04, 2014:

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 on February 03, 2014:

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 on February 02, 2014:

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

rochelle haynes on February 02, 2014:

This sounds good i will have to try this one day

Dorothy Boucher on February 02, 2014:

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 on February 01, 2014:

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 on February 01, 2014:

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

Rose M on February 01, 2014:

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.

Victoria Van Ness from Fountain, CO on February 01, 2014:

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

nikki c on February 01, 2014:

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 on January 17, 2014:

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

Wendy Lindsey on January 05, 2014:

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 on December 25, 2013:

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

Gina Blomgren on December 06, 2013:

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

Rosie on November 04, 2013:

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 from Selkirk, Manitoba on November 01, 2013:

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 on October 22, 2013:

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 on October 21, 2013:

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

HomemadeExperience on October 21, 2013:

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

Nena Sinclair on October 20, 2013:

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

Marissa (author) from United States on August 16, 2013:

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

tia albright on August 16, 2013:

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

Brenda from Springfield, MO on June 22, 2013:

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

Marissa (author) from United States on January 06, 2013:

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 from Michigan on January 05, 2013:

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!

Marissa (author) from United States on January 04, 2013:

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!

Faythe Payne from USA on January 04, 2013:

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..

Marissa (author) from United States on January 04, 2013:

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

FullOfLoveSites from United States on January 03, 2013:

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

Marissa (author) from United States on January 03, 2013:

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 on January 03, 2013:

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.

Marissa (author) from United States on January 02, 2013:

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 on January 02, 2013:

How much ground beef for the meatloaf is needed?

Marissa (author) from United States on October 21, 2012:

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 from Sussex by the Sea on October 21, 2012:

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.

Marissa (author) from United States on June 22, 2012:

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

Dianna Mendez on June 22, 2012:

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.

Marissa (author) from United States on June 22, 2012:

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

Liv Carradine from Los Angeles, CA on June 22, 2012:

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.

Marissa (author) from United States on June 22, 2012:

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!

Marissa (author) from United States on June 22, 2012:

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

Marissa (author) from United States on June 22, 2012:

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

Angela Kane from Las Vegas, Nevada on June 21, 2012:

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.

Susan Keeping from Kitchener, Ontario on June 21, 2012:

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

Mary from Cronulla NSW on June 21, 2012:

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

Marissa (author) from United States on June 21, 2012:

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 from Arkansas, USA on June 21, 2012:

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!

Marissa (author) from United States on June 21, 2012:

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

Comfort Babatola from Bonaire, GA, USA on June 21, 2012:

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.

Marissa (author) from United States on June 21, 2012:

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

kelleyward on June 21, 2012:

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

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