Slow Cooker Italian Recipes for Low-Key Weeknight Dinners
Spicy Turkey Lasagna
Give lightened lasagna complex flavor with dried oregano and crushed red pepper. They flavor the layered pasta's lean ground turkey and rich cheesy filling. Serve the Italian slow cooker recipe with a fresh salad (and a bottle of Italian red wine, if you like) to complete the cozy feast.
Related: 35 Healthy Dinners Under $3
Pasta with Beef-Fennel Ragu
This two-part recipe might be one of the easiest pasta party entrées you’ll ever whip up. Start the slow cooker Italian beef, fennel, and tomato ragu first, and allow it to simmer low and slow from breakfast until about dinnertime. For the final 20 minutes, stir in a box of no-boil penne and allow it to cook until al dente. That’s it!
Pesto Chicken Sandwiches
Transform a humble loaf of ciabatta bread into a memorable meal with this slow cooker Italian chicken masterpiece. The secret lies in the combination of Mediterranean ingredients in the sandwich filling. Chicken breasts simmered with tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchini, and bell peppers make for a brilliant display of color, texture, and flavor.
Mushroom Risotto with Peas
Silky risotto is hard to resist, but it can be a hassle to make on the stove top. Here, the slow cooker does all the “stirring” for you. Arborio rice is short and plump so develops a creamy texture as it soaks up the chicken broth. Pair the grain with fresh mushrooms, peas, and garlic in a white wine broth for an elegant slow cooker Italian rice dinner that is irresistibly smooth.
Creamy Chicken Alfredo Tortellini Soup
Italian-Style Slow Cooker Meatloaf
We’re giving the classic American comfort food a complete Mediterranean makeover. This slow cooker Italian beef meatloaf recipe features parsley, garlic, and balsamic vinegar for a taste of Italy in a picky-eater-friendly package. (Psst...try leftover slices between two slices of toasted bread.)
Eggs in Spicy Cherry Tomato Marinara
Start your day with a slow cooker Italian brunch—or enjoy a veggie-filled breakfast for dinner. There’s no wrong time to share this simple meatless meal. Start with the crushed red pepper-scented tomato sauce (cook on low overnight or high if you’re starting after you wake up). Then get cracking and add the eggs for the final half hour or until they’re cooked to your desired doneness.
Penne with Tomato-Eggplant Sauce
Similar to an eggplant-base ratatouille, caponata is the inspiration for this easy pasta dish. Chunks of eggplant and mushrooms simmer in a traditional spaghetti sauce to make the tasty topper for whole grain penne pasta. Give the weeknight dinner extra oomph by garnishing the Italian slow cooker recipe with a sprinkle of kalamata olives and shredded Parmesan cheese. If you’re gluten-free or aiming to eat fewer carbs, try serving the vegetable blend piled on grilled chicken or white fish instead of pasta.
Italian Wedding Soup
Italian wedding soup derives its name from the marriage of meat and greens. For this slow cooker Italian wedding soup, meatballs, vegetables, and chicken broth combine to make a soup hearty enough to be a main dish. Crusty bread and a side-dish salad round out the meal.
Beef and Carrot Ragu
Wide, ridged noodles are the perfect accompaniment to this chunky slow cooker pasta sauce featuring carrots and roma tomatoes. The thick ragu clings to the pasta and tender slow cooker Italian beef short ribs. The ragu calls for a half cup of red wine: Crack open a canned wine and you’ll have enough left over for two small glasses to savor with dinner.
Warm Eggplant and Kale Panzanella
Salads might seem surprising from the slow cooker, but the fresh eggplant and bell peppers in this panzanella benefit from its hassle-free heat. Combined with tender kale and toasted bread crumbs, the Italian slow cooker recipe makes a low-calorie—yet surprisingly filling—entrée. To please those with heartier appetites, top each serving with grilled steak, shrimp, or salmon.
Slow Cooker Supreme Pizza Fondue
This Italian slow cooker recipe is designed for game day ... or any potluck attended by pizza fans. Complete with beef, pork, pepperoni, mushrooms, peppers, and olives, the easy slow cooker dip tastes remarkably similar to a supreme pizza. Offer the bubbling fondue with breadsticks for a slam dunk snack.
Italian Pork with Sweet Potatoes
Dig into fork-tender pork shoulder roast, no smoker required. A fennel seed rub coats this pork with extraordinary licoricelike flavor; golden orange potatoes add the right amount of sweetness to the Italian slow cooker recipe.
Test Kitchen Tip: Shred any leftover meat and fold it into frittata batter for brunch the next day or stuff into rolls for sandwiches for lunch or dinner.
Stuffed Artichokes with Spicy Italian Sausage and Sweet Red Pepper
Steamed artichokes are easier than ever when you employ this handy countertop appliance. Filling enough to be an entrée but ideal as a showy dinner party side, these artichokes stuffed with slow cooker Italian sausage will have everyone begging for the recipe.
Related: How to Cook Artichokes
Italian Sausage Heros
With sausage, ground beef, mushrooms, and olives, this zesty slow cooker Italian sausage filling makes scrumptious sandwiches, especially once you consider the kid-friendly tomato sauce (it starts with ketchup) coating every single ounce. Pile the saucy meat onto hoagie buns and finish with mozzarella cheese.
Saucy Ravioli with Meatballs
Score three affordable supermarket items—spaghetti sauce, frozen ravioli, and frozen Italian meatballs—to get a head start on this easy supper. The only other things you’ll need to complete the slow cooker Italian meatball and pasta entrée are a few hours of cook time and two types of cheese.
Italian Braised Chicken with Fennel and Cannellini
Gluten-free Italian dinners do exist! And you won’t miss the pasta or pizza crust here. Fennel provides subtle sweetness to the simmered sauce that blankets this slow cooker Italian chicken recipe. Versatile cannellini beans and yellow bell peppers keep the meal hearty and healthy.