Not too long ago, I published a round-up of cheap and easy recipes. It contained all kinds of frugal meals—from super easy slow cooker recipes to healthy and even some vegetarian recipes.
Today, I am back with a list of cheap and easy-to-make Crock-Pot meals.
In our family, we’re huge fans of cheap crock pot meals. If you are one of those people who love to try different types of food, you know that there is nothing cozier (especially in cold weather) than having a delicious Crock-Pot meal served on a plate.
My husband and I love cooking different types of budget-friendly recipes in our favorite Crock-Pot. And after trying and tweaking so many recipes, I can finally say that we have a little arsenal of easy and cheap Crock-Pot recipes to try any time.
We have been using our trusty slow cooker for many years, and it’s still going strong! This is the model I own, and after using it for a long time, I can only say that it is the best kitchen appliance investment I’ve ever made.
Cooking in a Crock-Pot is super easy and very convenient, but the biggest benefit is that it will save you time and money!
- 11 Ways to Save Money on Groceries Without Using Coupons
- How to Meal Plan on a Tight Budget
- 75 Amazing Ways to Save Hundreds Every Month
Is a Crock-Pot the Same as a Slow Cooker?
True be told, in our family (and probably in yours too), we called our Crock-Pot a slow cooker and vice-versa. But is there any difference between the two?
After doing a little bit of research, I’ve found out that both names are used interchangeably, and that a Crock-Pot is a type of slow cooker. According to CNET, the name “Crock-Pot” was given to rebrand the first type of slow-cooker appliance.
The main takeaway is that both appliances use the same type of technology to cook food: moist heat. Here is an article with more in-depth information about the difference between a Crock-Pot and a slow cooker.
Regardless of the name you would like to use, there’s no doubt that owning a slow cooker or a Crock-Pot has become a staple in the majority of households.
As mentioned above, I truly believe that a Crock-Pot or slow cooker is a lifesaver for busy people and a money-saving appliance that your budget will thank you for!
35 Cheap and Easy Crock Pot Meals
Below you will find different types of cheap, quick, and easy Crock-Pot meals. I have the list separated by meal type, such as soups, chicken, pork, pasta, and many other main ingredients. So without further ado, let’s begin!
My Family’s Favorites
I have decided to start this list with my family’s two favorite cheap and easy Crock-Pot recipes. These are a staple in my house.
1. Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chicken tortilla soup is one of my family’s favorite cheap Crock-Pot meals for those rainy or cold days, but you don’t need to wait for fall or winter to cook this delicious recipe. You can certainly try it at any time of the year!
This Crock-Pot chicken tortilla soup takes only eight to ten minutes to prep, and it will make six to eight servings. The best part is that you can freeze any leftovers and eat them later during the week.
- 4 chicken breast halves
- 2 15oz. cans of black beans (undrained)
- 2 15 oz. cans stewed tomatoes (I use Rotel tomatoes)
- 1 14 oz. can of tomato sauce
- 1 cup of salsa (choose your preferred heat)
- 2 cups of shredded cheese
- Tortilla chips ( I prefer Tostito’s Scoops)
- Place all ingredients except the chips and cheese in the Crock-Pot and stir to combine gently.
- Cover the Crock-Pot and cook on low for eight hours.
- Remove the chicken breasts, shred or slice them into bite-sized portions, put them back into soup, and stir.
- Serve soup topped with tortilla chips and cheese. I prefer to serve only the soup with cheese on top and a handful of Tostito’s Scoop on the side.
2. Easy Crockpot Chili
Cooking chili may sound a little complicated because of all of the ingredients needed to prepare the meal. But with time and some tweaking, I have come up with a super easy and cheap Crock-Pot meal.
This slow cooker chili recipe makes about six servings, but you’re welcome to add more of some ingredients, such as the meat and beans, to double the recipe.
- 1 lb. uncooked ground beef ( you can use turkey too)
- 1 envelope of dry chili seasoning
- 16 oz. can chili beans in chili sauce
- 2 28 oz cans of crushed or diced tomatoes (preferably seasoned with garlic and onion)
- Crumble the ground beef or turkey into the Crock-Pot.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and stir gently to combine.
- Cover the Crock-Pot and cook for six to eight hours on high or four to six hours on low. Stir halfway through cooking time if possible.
- Serve chili over warm, cooked white rice.
Optional: Garnish with shredded cheese on top and crackers on the side.
Chicken is almost always a cheap alternative to feed your family on a budget. I’ve been lucky enough to find a pound of chicken for only $0.49 sometimes. It is not usual for stores to lower the price this much, but when you find a good deal like this, try to stock up. You can always freeze it to use later.
Also, remember to thaw your frozen meat before cooking it in the slow cooker. Thawing it will make the whole cooking process easier, and according to USDA, by properly defrosting meat before cooking it, you can prevent any potential foodborne illnesses.
Let’s check out the best cheap slow cooker chicken recipes from around the web!
3. 3-Ingredient Pineapple Salsa Chicken (Slow Cooker Recipe) via Dash of Jazz
4. Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks via Low Carb Yum
5. Balsamic Rosemary Chicken via Diane Rambles
6. Slow Cooker Whole Chicken via Dinner at the Zoo
7. Slow Cooker Mississippi Chicken via Moore or Less Cooking
8. Slow Cooker Garlic Chipotle Lime Chicken via Beauty and the Foodie
9. Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken via Dancing Through the Rain
10. Whole Chicken Cranberry Bake–Slow Cooker Recipe via Super Mom-No Cape
11. Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken for Tacos via My Gluten-Free Kitchen
Pork is another slow cooker alternative to cook when you are on a tight budget. There are so many cheap dinners that you can make with pork. Here I have gathered the best low-cost pork-based recipes you can try this month.
12. Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder (For Pulled Pork & Carnitas) via The Rising Spoon
13. Crock-Pot BBQ Ribs via The Rising Spoon
14. BBQ Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker via The Anthony Kitchen
15. Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe via Family Life Blog
16. Gluten-Free Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork – 4 Ingredients! via My Gluten-Free Kitchen
17. Slow Cooker Cuban Mojo Pork via Lemon Blossoms
Soups, Stews and More
I love to cook all types of soups in my Crock-Pot because I consider them to be delicious and super cheap meals. My favorite is chicken tortilla soup (recipe above), which I think is perfect for a cold or rainy day.
Below you will find a list of cheap Crock-Pot soup recipes and also some alternatives, such as slow cooker stew or chowder to feed your whole family.
18. Slow Cooker Tuscan Soup via Spaceships and Laser Beams
19. Chicken Salsa Queso Soup via Beauty and The Foodie
20. Cheeseburger Soup via Dancing Through the Rain
21. Crockpot Taco Soup Recipe via Eat, Drink, and Save Money
22. Slow Cooker Potato Corn Chowder via Lemon Blossoms
23. Crockpot Vegetarian Pasta e Fagioli Soup via Salt & Lavander
24. Mom’s Slow Cooker Rainy Day Navy Bean Soup via Monday is Meatloaf
25. Slow Cooker Chicken Chickpea Stew via Mashup Mom
Cooking chili in a Crock-Pot is a great way to prepare an easy and frugal meal for small or large families. There are so many chili varieties—with beans, without beans, with ground beef, turkey, mixed meats, and so on. Regardless of your preferred chili version, I have gathered some cheap and easy slow cooker chili recipes here.
26. Keto Low Carb Chili Recipe–Crock Pot or Instant Pot Paleo via Wholesome Yum
27. 5-Ingredient Crockpot Chili Recipe via The Typical Mom
28. Crockpot Chili via Savings Lifestyle
29. 3 Bean Chicken Chili via We’re Parents
30. Easy Homemade Chili via The Welcoming Table
Pasta, Sloppy Joes and More
Can you cook pasta in a Crock-Pot? Absolutely! I was able to find a couple of cheap pasta recipes that are perfect for cooking in a Crock-Pot. Also, check out the slow cooker versions of sloppy joes and tater tot casserole!
31. Crockpot Lasagna Recipe via Utensi
32. Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes via Dinner at The Zoo
33. Tater Tot Casserole in the Slow Cooker #Recipe via Trisha Dishes
34. Crockpot Spaghetti Casserole via Recipes from a Pantry
35. Slow Cooker Philly Sloppy Joes via Spaceships and Laser Beams
There you go! Now you have a variety of cheap and easy Crock-Pot meals to prepare at any time.
Do you have any favorite Crock-Pot recipe? Share it below in the comments. I’d love to know!