Crockpot recipes can be a welcome relief for tired cooks overwhelmed by picky appetites. From familiar flavors like peanut butter with chicken to surprising additions like root beer to sweeten slow-cooker barbeque, these crockpot recipes are meant to inspire picky palates while also satisfying grown-up taste buds.
Mess and a savory sweet sauce are hardly a difficult sell for kids. Sloppy Joes get made over into a crockpot recipe — which is easy for the cook of the household — that young kids will enjoy. Consider using mini rolls for Sloppy Joe sliders, which can fit better in tiny mouths. Chips or oven-baked sweet potato fries can finish the meal.
Learn how to make this crockpot recipe via A Farm Girl’s Dabbles.
Tacos allow lots of choice and customization, making them ideal for older, pickier eaters. A packet of taco seasoning flavors chicken breasts, which are then shredded and served with cheese and salsa. Add a little zesty cabbage slaw for a few more veggies.
Eat Drink Love shares this free crockpot recipe for kids.
Take advantage of peanut butter’s familiarity by making it into a sauce for slow cooker chicken. Honey and orange juice add sweetness while curry lends a little sophistication. If the curry isn’t a success, consider chili powder or leave the blend out all together. In case of a peanut allergy, substitute another nut butter like cashew or almond.
Meal Planning 101 shares this simple but kid-friendly crockpot recipe.
Ribs are hands-on foods that demand mess. And it’s that mess that will attract the youngest of eaters, particularly if mom, dad or guardian plays up the mess. The crockpot makes this barbecue rib recipe easy and fuss-free to make, though we can’t promise the same for post-consumption cleaning.
Learn how to make this crockpot recipe from My Life as a Mrs.
For those who are fans of pulling fast ones on kids, this healthy crockpot recipe for meatballs uses a lower-fat meat — turkey — and veggie-rich sauce that hides sinister spinach. Noodles could complete the meal, but you could even attempt raw zucchini noodles or even spaghetti squash. We can’t guarantee kids will be completely fooled, though.
Make this free crockpot recipe with Overtime Cook.
Macaroni and cheese is another kid standby, but this crockpot recipe adds a little adult flair by mixing in buffalo chicken. Consider other possible add-ins — blue cheese, celery or even a few buffalo-seasoned bread crumbs.
Make this free crockpot recipe via Snappy Gourmet.
Barbecue is a common staple of the crockpot regimen, but this recipe uses root beer to add variety and kid-palate appeal. The sweetness will appeal to their sensitive tongues while the ease of making this dinner will speak to the cook. For an added kid-friendly craft, consider making your own root beer.
Make this meal with Snappy Gourmet’s free recipe.
Meatballs are another whippersnapper winner for tasty crockpot recipes. An Asian gravy derived from hoisin and plum sauces appeals to adults while the slightly sweet meatball will attract kids. Serve with rice noodles and stir fry veggies.
Taste and Tell offers this free crockpot recipe for Asian meatballs.
Image credits (from top): Snappy Gourmet, A Farm Girl's Dabbles, Eat Drink Love, Meal Planning 101, My Life as a Mrs., Overtime Cook, Snappy Gourmet, Snappy Gourmet and Taste and Tell