20 Simple Four-Ingredient Crockpot Recipes

Dinner doesn't get easier than this

Crockpot Spaghetti and Meatballs

 The Spruce

If you've got a few standards in the fridge and the pantry and a slow cooker, you're on your way to a whole dish with this selection of four-ingredient crockpot recipes. We assume you have salt and pepper and a few other pantry staples on hand, so all you have to do is grab less than a handful of others. For easy time-savers, look no further than these favorites.

  • 01 of 20

    Crock Pot Roast with Onion Soup Mix

    Pot roast and vegetables in a crock pot

     The Spruce

    The next time you're at the grocery store, pick up a few packets of onion soup mix. They'll come in handy when you're ready to make this easy and versatile pot roast recipe. Adding extra vegetables and potatoes will round it out to a full meal if you want to add a few additions.

  • 02 of 20

    Slow-Cooker Enchilada Dip

    Crockpot Enchilada Dip
    Camilo Morales/Getty Images

    In this easy-peasy chicken enchilada dip, the chips you'll need for dipping count toward the four ingredients. Just grab two packages of cream cheese, a can of enchilada sauce, and two pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs and you're in business. You can also use chicken breasts, which will cook in just about six hours. If you like spicy food, try adding a can of chopped green chiles or sliced jalapeños to the mix.

  • 03 of 20

    Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Barbecue

    Pulled Pork Barbecue Slow Cooker
    Diana Rattray

    If you've got salt, pepper, and a bottle of barbecue sauce, you're almost ready to make this easy shredded pork. Pulled pork makes a satisfying, succulent meal with some sliced rolls and a little extra sauce on the side. Add liquid smoke, some red chili flakes, or a little extra garlic for an even more assertive flavor.

  • 04 of 20

    Easy Applesauce Kielbasa

    Applesauce Kielbasa

    Juanmonino-E+-Getty Images

    You probably have several of the ingredients for this hearty, sweet and zesty applesauce kielbasa in your cabinet already. If you don't care for kielbasa, any other fully-cooked sausage will do. Mix it up by using whole-grain mustard instead of smooth dijon or another specialty mustard for a fun twist. Enjoy it as a main dish over pasta or rice, if you're looking for a delicious and filling meal.

    Continue to 5 of 20 below.
  • 05 of 20

    Italian Chicken and Potatoes

    Crockpot Italian Chicken and Potatoes Recipe
    Cultura/BRETT STEVENS/Riser/Getty Images

    We all have those days when we just can't figure out what to make for dinner. As long as you've got a few basic spices, potatoes, some Italian dressing, and a package of chicken breasts on hand, you can turn to this easy chicken recipe. It's also versatile, lending itself to added veggies, using different cuts, or mixing up the spices to taste. A quick tossed salad would be a great side for this simple weeknight meal.

  • 06 of 20

    Crockpot Spaghetti and Meatballs

    Crockpot Spaghetti and Meatballs

     The Spruce

    Yes, you really can make your favorite Italian meal in the slow cooker. Make sure the spaghetti is fully submerged in the water before you start the dish, but you can vary the amount of pasta and sauce to taste. If you'd like to make your own meatballs instead of buying them pre-made, toss them in while frozen so they don't overcook. Add some chopped vegetables for an extra hit of nutrition and serve with garlic bread or breadsticks.

  • 07 of 20

    Slow-Cooker Meatball Soup

    Easy Crockpot Meatball Soup
    Images of Africa/Getty Images

    Toss a bag of frozen meatballs and another one of frozen mixed veggies into your crockpot with a few standard spices and a can of diced tomatoes before you leave for work and your house will smell delightful by the time you get home. Better yet, dinner will be all ready! This meatball soup lends itself well to experimentation. Use chicken or flavored meatballs, change up the vegetables, or toss in a chopped onion, some potatoes, or even dried pasta. Some dinner rolls and a nice salad would go beautifully on the side.

  • 08 of 20

    Crockpot Apricot Chicken

    Crockpot Apricot Chicken

     Eising-Photodisc-Getty Images

    Juicy chicken, fruity apricot preserves, and dried thyme or basil cook up into a flavorful dinner that you'll be excited to come home to. Serve it over rice or couscous to soak up the wonderful sauce or with a side of potatoes and a steamed vegetable for a well-rounded meal. You can also use thawed chicken breasts, but check for doneness after four hours.

    Continue to 9 of 20 below.
  • 09 of 20

    Cheesy Crockpot Potatoes

    Crockpot Cheesy Potatoes
    Linda Larsen

    Rich, warm, and comforting, these cheesy hash brown potatoes are the perfect side for a holiday brunch or any time you want a simple side that's satisfying for the entire family. If you can't find cojack cheese, try cheddar, a Mexican blend, pepper jack, or your favorite blend. Serve with a little extra on the side for sprinkling.

  • 10 of 20

    Crockpot Barbecued Pinto Beans

    Crockpot BBQ Pinto Beans
    Steve Cohen/Photolibrary/Getty Images

    You'll never buy another can of baked beans after you try these barbecued pinto beans. Sweet, savory, and saucy, these have just enough bite to hold up to a classic steak, hamburger, or any grilled protein. Note that the beans do need to soak overnight, so plan ahead accordingly.

  • 11 of 20

    Slow-Cooker Cola Ham

    slow cooker cola ham
    The Spruce

    Don't think a ham has to be complicated. A can of cola, brown sugar, and mustard combine to make a wonderful glaze for a simple ham that could be the centerpiece of your next meal. If you don't use a fully-cooked ham, make sure it comes to temperature completely before eating. Serve it with your favorite vegetable and some potatoes for a complete and hearty meal.

  • 12 of 20

    Crockpot Pork and Beans

    Crockpot Pork and Beans
    Rita Maas/Photolibrary/Getty Images

    Yes, you can make this whole pork and beans meal using ingredients you probably have in your fridge. Just pick up an onion, a can of pork and beans, and some trimmed pork chops, grab the ketchup and mustard from the fridge, and you're off to the races. You might want to trim the pork and sauté it a bit for a little more flavor and color. Just make sure you drain them for a few minutes before adding, so the dish doesn't get greasy.

    Continue to 13 of 20 below.
  • 13 of 20

    BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

    BBQ Chicken Drummies
    Image Source/Image Source/Getty Images

    We assume you've already got honey and garlic on hand, which makes these sweet and spicy chicken drumsticks one for under four ingredients. If you've got a signature barbecue sauce, don't let us hold you back! Use that instead of the jarred variety for a signature dish you can set and forget before your next get-together.

  • 14 of 20

    Crockpot Reuben Dip

    Reuben Dip

     

    Reuben Dip / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

    If you love a good reuben, let us introduce you to your new favorite dip. Packaged sauerkraut, cream cheese, cubed corned beef, and shredded Swiss or Havarti cheeses all combine for a warm, meaty appetizer. It tastes great with wedges of bread, hot pretzel sticks, or sturdy chips. Or just grab a spoon—nobody will blame you.

  • 15 of 20

    Creamy Crockpot Chicken

    Cheesy Crockpot Chicken
    Brian Macdonald/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Two kinds of creamy canned soup give this delicious chicken its thick, rich sauce. Use mushroom, cheddar, celery, or whatever flavor you prefer. You can also add frozen vegetables for a real one-pot wonder. Small red potatoes would also make a tasty addition. Serve it with a side of veggies if you don't add any and some starch to soak up the sauce.

  • 16 of 20

    Thanksgiving-Flavored Turkey in the Crockpot

    Three Ingredient Crockpot Turkey
    nicolebranan/E+/Getty Images

    Got a hankering for Thanksgiving flavor, but don't want to make a whole spread? Have we got the recipe for you. Just toss a turkey breast, some cranberry sauce, and onion soup mix in the slow cooker and you can satisfy those cravings with so little effort, you can take care of it before work. Mashed potatoes, green beans, and a nice, soft roll would really complete the package.

    Continue to 17 of 20 below.
  • 17 of 20

    Sweet BBQ Crockpot Ribs

    Sweet and Sour Ribs
    Bruno Crescia Photography Inc./First Light/Getty Images

    You won't believe the flavor a can of cola and prepared barbecue sauce gives to these succulent crockpot ribs. The acidic soda helps tenderize the meat, making it fall-off-the-bone good. Pork loin ribs or "baby back" ribs are already very lean and tender. Ask your butcher to cut the rack in half, if they won't fit in your slow-cooker. Don't forget to grab some napkins while they cook!

  • 18 of 20

    Macaroni and Cheese in the Slow Cooker

    Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
    Photo: Diana Rattray

    We assume you've got a few standards on hand to make this easy macaroni and cheese recipe. A blend of evaporated and regular milks make it extra creamy, and you can add more cheese to make it super-loaded. If you really want to level it up, spoon it into a baking dish, sprinkle some cheese on top and broil it to get a nice and melty crust on top before serving.

  • 19 of 20

    Simplest Crockpot Meatloaf

    Slow Cooker Meatloaf

    Lauri Patterson-Getty Images

    You already have eggs in the fridge, right? Then you're partway to this crockpot meatloaf! Just add ground beef, onion soup mix, rolled oats, and ketchup or barbecue sauce and dinner is just about ready. Barbecue sauce will give this meatloaf a more southwest flavor, and you can also mix the two together to just split the difference. Serve with potatoes and a steamed veggie for a simple supper.

  • 20 of 20

    Creamy Broccoli Chicken Recipe

    Creamy Broccoli Chicken

    Joff Lee-Photolibrary-Getty Images

     

    Cream of broccoli soup, frozen broccoli florets, chicken breasts, and milk make a creamy, comforting dinner that you can have together in a flash. Serve it over pasta for a stick-to-your-ribs dinner that helps you get your veggies in, too. Best of all, you can have the ingredients in your pantry and freezer to put together at the last minute.