Crock-Pots may be a cliché wedding gift, but that doesn’t mean they’re not one of the most useful items in your kitchen-gadget arsenal. Once you unleash the power of your slow cooker, you’ll be singing its praises to everyone you meet—trust. At its core, this must-have cooking electronic is one that will make your life incredibly easy. Just toss a few ingredients into the mean machine in the morning before work, and come home to a delicious meal that’s ready for devouring and a house that smells heavenly. Read on for a few of our favorite slow-cooker recipes.
With no refined sugars, this high-protein, low-carb recipe from Skinny Taste is made with raw honey and tomato paste. Paired with sesame oil sautéed rice and broccoli, and topped with green onions and toasted sesame seeds, it makes a healthy and fulfilling meal.
Cooking time: 3–4 hours
Made with a fragrant blend of spices (turmeric, cumin, and coriander) and aromatics (ginger and garlic), this creamy chicken and vegetable stew is mellowed out by rich coconut milk and given a little extra crunch thanks to a sprinkling of chopped scallions. Better yet, shopping for this Thai-influenced dish is made easy if you toss in a frozen bag of stir fry vegetables.
Cooking time: 4.5 hours
An easy lunch or dinner option, this mild turkey, pumpkin, quinoa soup is full of yummy fall and winter flavors. You can easily substitute chicken for turkey breast, or winter or butternut squash for pumpkin, depending on what you have on-hand and what’s in season. If you want a little extra heat, swap in chili powder for paprika.
Cooking time: 3–4 hours
Flavorful and tender, with just the right amount of sweetness, this sweet pork barbacoa recipe requires only 10 minutes of prep time and cooks all day; it’s the perfect thing to throw together before work. You can add the pork to tacos or enchiladas, or you can even make sandwiches. Top with lettuce, cotija cheese, pico de gallo, green onions, hot sauce or whatever favorite ingredients you have on hand.
Cooking time: 8 hours
A warm chowder is always a smart antidote to chilly weather, and if you’re a little sniffly, a bit of spice is just the thing to clear you up. This easy Cajun chowder looks absolutely irresistible—made with sweet corn, red baby potatoes, chicken broth, shrimp, and heavy cream, we’re positive it’s nothing short of heavenly.
Cooking time: 5–7 hours
A recipe from northern France influenced by German cuisine, this choucroute three-fish dish is composed of cod, halibut, and salmon, and served over sauerkraut with a creamy white wine sauce. If you’re new to Alsatian cuisine, this tasty and unique recipe is a wonderful place to start.
Cooking time: 6–8 hours
The flavors of your favorite Sunday brunch beverage—garlic, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay seasoning, horseradish, kosher salt, and vodka—come together beautifully in this Bloody Mary soup made with slow-roasted or whole tomatoes. The best party? A Bloody Mary topping bar makes serving this soup all the more fun.
Cooking time: 4 hours
>Super Bowl Sunday is just a few weeks away, so what better time to master a delectable hot wing recipe? This one is made with hot sauce, butter, salt, pepper, and garlic powder and cooks for several hours, leaving you plenty of time to get in the game. Pair with ranch or blue cheese dressing, naturally.
>Cooking time: 4 hours
There’s something so celebratory about a pork roast. It’s not something we make every day, so it’s always an exciting addition to the dinner table. This boneless New York pork roast has an Asian-inspired five-spice rub and is brush with a spicy, tangy, and sweet glaze; it’s quite decadent. Definitely worthy of your next dinner party.
Cooking time: 4 or 8 hours
You know that expression, “It’s five o'clock somewhere.” Well, it’s summer somewhere, so why not give your taste buds a vacation with some Hawaiian-inspired pork fajitas with pineapple slaw and coconut rice. The pork sauce is made with pineapple juice, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, rice vinegar, and sriracha—YUM. This meal is so exciting, we might just have to throw a dinner party for the occasion.
Cooking time: 4–6 or 7–8 hours
The next time you think about going out for Mexican, pause and revisit this recipe. Made with all the proper fixings of a proper Mexican meal (hot enchilada sauce, chili powder, homemade pico, and lime, to name a few), this homemade chicken and pinto bean burrito will knock your socks off. Make this once and your family will be begging for “burrito night” again stat.
Cooking time: 4–6 hours
Convinced you need to own a slow cooker? Shop a few at varying prices and sizes below.
Do you have a slow cooker? What are some of your favorite things to make with it? Share with us below.