There’s no better — or easier — way to make some old-fashioned, hearty comfort food than with a slow cooker. You can take care of the prep work before you leave the house in the morning, or over the weekend, and come home from a long, hard day at the office to a hot, ready-to-eat meal. Now that the temperature’s dropping outside, it’s time to dig up the old Crock-Pot that’s been hiding in your cabinet all summer and try some new and healthy recipes.
Slow cooker cilantro-lime chicken
This recipe from Life As We Know It perfectly exemplifies our reason for loving the Crock-Pot: It almost seems too good to be true that a meal can require so little work and still taste so ridiculously good — but it isn’t. All it takes is five ingredients; throw them in the slow cooker on Monday morning, mix and let it cook for six hours. It’s basically five minutes of actual work for a mouth-watering meal.
Crock-Pot Asian pork with mushrooms
Skinnytaste understands that using the right seasoning at the right time on Crock-Pot dishes is essential — and this recipe nails it. Mix up your usual meal routine with this flavorful Asian recipe that has only 224 calories and 8.5 grams of fat per serving.
Slow cooker barbecue ribs
Craving some finger-licking good Southern cuisine? These barbecue ribs from AllRecipes.com only require a few steps and barely any prep work. After simmering for six to eight hours, the meat will just fall right off the bone. Who says you can’t have a barbecue in the dead of winter?
Slow cooker taco soup
Don’t give in to Mexican takeout. This taco soup recipe from AllRecipes.com has less fat than those enchiladas you always order — plus, it’ll be ready right when you get home from work. We recommend cutting back on the fat by using either very lean ground beef or ground turkey. Besides quickly browning the ground meat in a skillet, all it takes is mixing the ingredients in the slow cooker and setting it on low heat for eight hours.
Southeast Asian slow cooked winter vegetables
What do we love more than finding new ways to cook butternut squash? Finding new, insanely easy ways to cook butternut squash. This recipe from the Food Network combines squash, sweet potatoes, shiitake mushrooms and scallions with coconut milk and some other yummy Asian ingredients, and throws it in the slow cooker for four hours. Best part: It’s topped with peanuts.
Blockbuster vegetarian Crock-Pot black bean soup
We’ll be honest with you: This recipe for vegetarian black bean soup requires more work than our usual go-to Crock-Pot recipes — yes, we’re lazy — but the dish is guaranteed to blow your mind. It calls for the perfect amount of the perfect ingredients for a mouthful of flavor in every spoonful. In case you’re not sold yet: It’s only 246 calories per serving with 2 grams of fat.