If you're wondering what a dump dinner is, let me enlighten you. It's a slow cooker or Crock-Pot recipe that only has one main step: dumping all of the ingredients in. These fuss-free dinners are perfect for hectic weeknights where the last thing you want to do is spend an hour cooking. You simply prep all of your ingredients, toss them into the slow cooker, and let the appliance do the work. While some dump dinners require an additional step or two (such as garnishing with fresh herbs or cheese at the end), the bulk of the work is done in the first step — so you can sit back and relax.
Oh, and the best part about dump dinners? For many recipes, you can get them started in the morning, go about your day, and come home to a hot dinner. You can also prep all of the ingredients and stash them in storage containers or zip-top bags until you're ready to get cooking. So go ahead, bookmark a few of these recipes and save them for a busy weeknight. Your future self will thank you.
This dinner only requires two ingredients: chicken and your favorite store-bought tikka masala sauce. Serve it over rice, scooped into a pita or with naan to soak up extra sauce, or on its own.
2. Creamy Broccoli Mac and Cheese from Damn Delicious
This recipe cooks the pasta directly in the slow cooker — no boiling necessary — but it does require adding the ingredients in a few different steps. The broccoli is added towards the end of cooking so it doesn't overcook, and the cheese is added right at the last minute too, so make sure to plan accordingly.
Although it looks impressive, this lavish pork loin is actually a dump dinner. You simply throw some veggies into a slow cooker, place a pork loin on top, pour in some sauce, and walk away. After about three hours, the pork is cooked through and the veggies are tender.
4. Vegetarian Pea Soup from Yummy Mummy Kitchen
This simple, nine-ingredient soup is the perfect hearty dinner to serve alongside crusty bread, dressed greens, or a melty grilled cheese.
5. Slow Cooker Orange Chicken from Averie Cooks
This slow cooker version of the takeout classic ditches the breading to make it lighter and easier. Serve it over rice, quinoa, or noodles and you have yourself a crowd-pleasing dinner that'll make everyone happy.
6. Chicken Tortellini Soup from Carlsbad Cravings
Using store-bought tortellini makes this recipe a cinch to throw together. Just throw all the veggies and spices in your slow cooker, shred the chicken when it gets tender, then add the tortellini.
7. Slow Cooker Pepper Steak from Jo Cooks
This simple vegetarian soup gets finished with two teaspoons of red wine vinegar right before serving — but you could use apple cider or white vinegar if that's all you have. This helps brighten the whole thing up and make the flavors pop, so don't skip it.
9. Thai Chicken Curry from The Endless Meal
10. Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli from My Incredible Recipes
This recipe adds a slurry of cornstarch and water towards the end of cooking to thicken it up and give the sauce a silky shine. It's everything you love about your favorite takeout dish, made completely in the slow cooker and without the delivery charge.
11. Pizza Chickpeas
12. Hearty Chicken Soup from Half Baked Harvest
This slow cooker chicken soup is finished with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to brighten the whole thing up. While you can easily skip this step, the pop of acid really elevates the whole dish.