woman cooking beans in crock pot

Slow cookers are the ultimate time saver. In the morning, just prep the dish, program your slow cooker and come home to a hearty, warm and flavorful meal. Whether you’re cooking for a warm weeknight meal or slow cooking on a weekend after your morning coffee, these crowd-pleasing dishes are as simple as set it and forget it!

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This slow-cooker lasagna is kind of a game changer. We’re talking melt-in-your-mouth lasagna goodness, filled with vegetables and cheese. It’s a hearty classic with a twist. Cooking pasta in a slow cooker can sometimes be tricky. But with this recipe, the whole wheat noodles help the lasagna keep its shape (and not become pasty) while it cooks. Serve with a mixed green salad to round out this vegetarian meal for your best meatless Monday ever.

 Get the recipe: Slow-Cooker Vegetable Lasagna 

Tortilla soup is comfort in a bowl. Easily customized for the whole family with their favorite fresh toppings, it’s a crowd-pleasing dinner soup that anyone would be proud to ladle up. This slow cooker version uses a pantry staple—canned tomatoes—as its base. Plus, it’s easily assembled in the morning and served that night, with just a few minutes of prep time for the toppings.

Get the recipe: Slow-Cooker Tortilla Soup

These aren’t your childhood sloppy joes. But they do have that tangy and slightly sweet flavor that you loved as a kid. Adding chopped (frozen) cherries to the ground beef mixture gives this classic dish a modern upgrade that the whole family will love. Spice-loving family? Add some heat with a finely chopped jalapeno pepper or a tablespoon of sriracha.

Get the recipe: Cherry Sloppy Joes

Loaded with vegetables like zucchini, bell pepper and tomato, this ziti offers more than meets the eye. While baked ziti is easy to prepare, slow-cooker ziti is even easier. Just combine the ingredients, top with mozzarella cheese and let it cook. This recipe makes amazing leftovers, and it might even be better the next day, once the flavors have had more time to combine. Serve as a vegetarian main course or as a side to a store-bought rotisserie chicken for an easy weeknight meal.

Get the recipe: Crock Pot Vegetable Ziti

Beautiful things can happen when two food cultures blend into one slow-cooked dish. This chili combines the spicy smokiness of Mexican chorizo with the smooth yet complex flavors of an Irish pub favorite: stout beer. Pull out this recipe for a lazy game day on the couch. While this chili is certainly flavorful enough on its own, it also plays well with toppings like chopped cilantro, scallions or a squeeze of lime.

Get the recipe: Smokey Slow-Cooker Chorizo-n-Beer Chili

Can you imagine how happy you’d be if you walked in the door after raking four huge bags of leaves and were greeted by the smell of savory beef pot roast that you did almost nothing to prepare? Your slow cooker can make this dream into a delicious reality. Make this recipe for Sunday supper and everyone will be thinking you’ve been in the kitchen all day… and wondering who raked the leaves.

Get the recipe: Slow-Cooker Pot Roast

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