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This meal plan for those midweek family dinners are all about making the most of our trusty slow cookers through this cold and busy time of year. Five easy but delicious recipes to ease the pressure of ‘what’s for dinner?’

Collage of 5 slow cooker recipes included in a meal plan.

Where would we be without our slow cookers at this time of year?! 

You can’t beat a hearty home-cooked dinner during the cold and dark months, and our slow cookers are perfect for cooking this kind of dish up. 

This meal plan features 5 slow cooker saviours, which are all fantastic for filling your freezer with for when life gets busy and chaotic over the Christmas season. 

Prepare now, thank yourself later! 

How to make the most out of this meal plan 

➡️ Cook up a double batch (if your slow cooker is big enough) – one for this week, freeze the other half for another night.

➡️ Use these recipes to create ‘dump bags’ (freeze the raw ingredients together to throw in your slow cookers another day). Read more about Dump Bags here.

➡️ Make some of these alongside your regular dinners this week and then freeze them ready for busy nights ahead!

See more slow cooker recipes here.

I’ll be sharing this meal plan on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok, so watch out for the videos so you can cook along.

For reference, I shopped for this Meal Plan in November 2023 at Aldi and it cost £42.56. (£1.57 per portion)

How to freeze these slow cooker meals?

I like to have some portions of these meals READY COOKED in the freezer.

Allow to cool completely and then put into bags. I like these ones which I reuse.

➡️ Premium Zip Lock Freezer Bags (30)

  • They lay neatly in the freezer
  • They freeze quickly
  • Most importantly, they defrost quickly

Which slow cooker do you recommend?

➡️ Morphy Richards Sear and Stew 3.5l Slow Cooker

This is the slow cooker I always use and I cannot recommend enough.

It’s so light and easy to handle, the pot can also be used on the hob AND it’s great value. 

Why use a family meal plan?

⭐️ Knowing exactly what food to buy for avoids food waste, saving you money.

⭐️ Having a plan for dinner avoids the mental load of “what’s for dinner?” question every night.

The printable shopping list can be found here.

You can find more Meal Plans here:

Meal Plan 25 – Easy midweek dinners

Meal Plan 24 – 5 brand new recipes to try

Meal Plan 23 – 5 dinners for under £30

Top tips

➡️ Check for any items on the shopping list that you already have in your cupboard.

➡️ Remove ingredients for any meals that you don’t want to cook.

➡️ We usually include the cheapest version of each ingredient on the shopping list. (Obviously if you want to buy lower fat mince or free range etc, that’s personal choice.) This is slightly different, as you need low fat mince when cooking in a slow cooker with no browning!

➡️ The number of servings per recipe varies on this list, so check beforehand.

Weekly meal ideas: Family slow cooker recipes

Dinner 1

⭐️ A hearty classic that’s packed with flavour, chunky vegetables and rich gravy.

⭐️ If you are using the shopping list, we have included a 700g pack of beef plus a 400g pack as these are the sizes Aldi sells. You will almost certainly end up with one extra portion here to freeze, making 7 portions.

A slow cooker pan filled with cooked beef stew with a rick gravy and vegetables.
5 from 162 votes

Slow Cooker Beef Stew {with Rich Gravy}

Slow Cooker Beef Stew or Slow Cooker Beef Casserole? Whatever you call it, it’s comfort food at its very best. A hearty meal packed with flavour, vegetables and rich gravy for the whole family.
View Recipe

Dinner 2

⭐️ A comforting, creamy vegan stew.

⭐️ Serve with added wraps, or flatbreads for a complete meal.

Sweet potato and peanut butter vegan stew in a slow cooker, garnished with peanuts and parsley.
4.99 from 135 votes

Sweet Potato & Peanut Butter Vegan Stew {Slow Cooker Recipe}

This Sweet Potato & Peanut Butter Vegan Stew is comforting, creamy and totally delicious. Perfect for vegetarians, vegans or if you just want to reduce your meat intake.
View Recipe

Dinner 3

⭐️ A tried-and-tested easy recipe – with no browning necessary! 

⭐️ Serve with pasta or in baked potatoes for a complete meal.

Bolognese with spaghetti in the slow cooker.
5 from 222 votes

Slow Cooker Bolognese {No Browning Recipe!}

This Slow Cooker Bolognese recipe is so easy – no browning needed. Just leave it to cook all day and come home to a thick, rich beef ragu. Perfect to top spaghetti or use in lasagne.
View Recipe

Dinner 4

⭐️ Cosiness in a bowl, the classic but better!

⭐️ If you are using the shopping list, we have included 900g of chicken thighs rather than 1kg as stated in the recipe as this is the size Aldi sells.

A chicken casserole in a slow cooker, ready to be served. With carrots, chicken, bacon bits in a creamy sauce, garnished with parsley.
4.95 from 379 votes

Slow Cooker Chicken Casserole {with Crispy Bacon}

This Slow Cooker Chicken Casserole recipe is so quick to prepare. The stew is packed with vegetables and in a delicious creamy sauce with crispy bacon bits. Cosiness in a bowl!
View Recipe

Dinner 5

⭐️ An easy crowd-pleaser that can be served in loads of different ways.

⭐️ Serve over nachos, over potato wedges or over a baked potato.

Slow cooker Chilli Con Carne topped with cheese and chillis, without the lid on.
5 from 164 votes

Slow Cooker Chilli Con Carne {Easiest EVER Recipe!}

Chilli Con Carne is a classic dish that so many of us turn to time and time again, but have you tried the slow cooker version?! So good, so easy.
View Recipe

If you’ve found this useful, let’s be friends on Instagram @tamingtwins

new cookbook!

Featuring 100 delicious recipes that can be cooked in one pot, you can open any page in this book and find something that will give you not only a meal that the whole family will eat and enjoy, but also one that makes your life a little simpler in the process.

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Sarah Rossi founder of and author of 'What's for Dinner?' books.


Hi, I'm Sarah. I help busy people decide 'What's for Dinner?' Find hundreds of recipes here, and also in my bestselling recipe book. Hope my recipes make your life easier ❤️

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