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27 Cozy Winter Meals That Come Together In A Slow Cooker (And Leave Practically Nothing To Clean)

Hot take: Slow Cooker > Instant Pot. Period.

Slow cookers are the true kitchen GOAT — especially in the colder months.

Throw some ingredients in at the beginning of the day, and you'll be rewarded with something absolutely delicious (that's made with basically zero effort). And the smells!!! We don't talk enough about how slow cooker or Crock Pot recipes make your house smell incredible for hours. Whether it's cobbler or pot roast, you're in for the full olfactory experience.

Just to say it: If you have an Instant Pot in lieu of a regular slow cooker, all of these dishes can be made in your IP using the "Slow Cook" setting.

1. Slow Cooker Honey Teriyaki Chicken

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The sauce for this chicken is super flavorful — and super customizable. If you like things a little sweeter, up the honey. A little more savory? More soy sauce. Spicier? More red pepper flakes! You can adjust it until it's totally perfect for you.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Honey Teriyaki Chicken | Shop This Recipe 

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2. Apple Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oatmeal

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Slow cooker breakfasts are the wave of the future — throw some stuff in at night, go to sleep, and wake up to a breakfast that's ready when you are. Just be sure to use steel-cut oats here, since the quick-cooking kind would get way too mushy.

Recipe: Apple Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oatmeal | Shop This Recipe 

3. Slow Cooker Loaded Potato Soup

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Potato soup is basically what would happen if a hug got transformed into a food — and this easy slow cooker version is the longest, warmest bear hug imaginable. Get ready to be enveloped.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Loaded Potato Soup | Shop This Recipe 

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4. Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

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Imagine coming home after a long day to a house that's gorgeously fragrant with all the spices from this recipe. You'll be able to kick your shoes off and dig right in to a big bowl of deliciousness. What could possibly be better?

Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala | Shop This Recipe 

5. Peppermint Slow Cooker Eggnog

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Don't overlook your slow cooker when it comes to parties! Not only will it doctor up store-bought eggnog deliciously, but it'll also keep it warm no matter how long your event goes.

Recipe: Peppermint Slow Cooker Eggnog | Shop This Recipe  

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6. Slow Cooker Coconut Curry

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Vegans and non-vegans alike will delight in this warming, comforting curry. It's super flexible, too, so don't feel the need to use only the vegetables called for in the recipe — any sad, forgotten-about veggies left in your fridge will work here.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Coconut Curry | Shop This Recipe 

7. Slow Cooker Chicken & Biscuits

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The effort-to-yum ratio here is absolutely off the charts. Chicken breasts, veggies (you could totally use frozen!), condensed soup, and biscuit dough come together to make a meal that is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken & Biscuits | Shop This Recipe 

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8. The Best Ever Slow Cooker Pot Roast

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I don't know what kind of magic they put in those packets of onion soup mix, but whatever it is, I'm glad they use it. It adds incredible flavor and depth to this six-ingredient recipe — get ready for people to ask what your secret is.

Recipe: The Best Ever Slow Cooker Pot Roast | Shop This Recipe 

9. Slow Cooker Chocolate Fondue

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I've only ever been to one fondue party, but the memory lives fondly in my mind. With a slow cooker, you can recreate it even if you don't have those fiddly little pots. Just keep the chocolate warm, and dip to your heart's content.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Chocolate Fondue | Shop This Recipe 

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10. Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup

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The warm spices and coconut milk in this soup balance nicely with the squash and add a bit of ~flair~ to a classic cold weather favorite. A bowl of this and a piece of crusty bread are the perfect cure for the winter blues.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup | Shop This Recipe 

11. Slow Cooker Applesauce and Apple Butter

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If you're still on the lookout for holiday gifts, might I recommend this? Whether you give people the applesauce or the apple butter, they'll be able to enjoy the *fruits* of your labor for weeks.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Applesauce and Apple Butter | Shop This Recipe 

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12. Slow Cooker Collard Greens and Ham Hocks

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If you're not in the South, you may have to hunt for a ham hock, but the results are well worth it: tender, melting greens, and a little sharpness from the added apple cider vinegar.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Collard Greens and Ham Hocks | Shop This Recipe 

13. Slow Cooker Mixed Berry Cobbler

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Fresh berries can get pricey in the winter, but a bag of frozen mixed berries would work just as well. Just toss 'em in with the cake mix and butter, and let your slow cooker do the rest. You'll be well on your way to dessert heaven.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Mixed Berry Cobbler | Shop This Recipe 

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14. Slow Cooker Turkey Chili With Cornbread Dumplings

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Chili and cornbread is a time-honored combination, but why dirty another dish? Just drop these dumplings on top, and you'll have a meal and a side — all in one.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Turkey Chili With Cornbread Dumplings | Shop This Recipe 

15. Slow Cooker Tuscan White Bean Soup

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This soup is perfectly hearty and filling on its own, but if you really want to bulk it up, commenters suggest adding Italian sausage or ground turkey for that extra protein hit.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Tuscan White Bean Soup | Shop This Recipe 

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16. Slow Cooker Vegan Butternut Squash Mac

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Nutritional yeast and cashews are the real stars here, adding cheesiness and creaminess that make this sauce a total showstopper. And no, the noodles don't cook for all eight hours — you are safe from mushy slow cooker pasta here!

Recipe: Slow Cooker Vegan Butternut Squash Mac | Shop This Recipe 

17. Slow Cooker Thai Green Curry

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Slow cookers and curries might not seem like an obvious pair, but they're really a match made in heaven. The flavor from the curry paste really shines after all that time spent marrying with the chicken, coconut milk, and veggies.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Thai Green Curry | Shop This Recipe 

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18. Slow Cooker Ribs

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If you don't have a smoker, this is the next best way to make ribs. That slow-cooking time breaks down the meat fibers, leaving juicy, fall-off-the-bone meat. And if you want a little char, throw them under the broiler for a few minutes before serving.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Ribs | Shop This Recipe 

19. Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

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Can you make mashed potatoes faster than this? Sure. But those recipes require way more effort and attention. Using your slow cooker means you don't even have to drain the potatoes before you mash them, let alone use up another burner during a time when stovetop real estate can be at a premium.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes | Shop This Recipe 

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20. Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken

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Honey and garlic are already top-tier flavors, and this recipe combines them gorgeously. Commenters recommend this recipe for meal prepping, if that's something you're into — but you may want to add the veggies in a little later (so they don't get mushy when you reheat it later).

Recipe: Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken | Shop This Recipe 

21. Veggie Breakfast Casserole

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This recipe is great to make-ahead when entertaining — brunch, anyone? That said, it's also excellent if you, like me, believe that breakfast is an any-time-of-day food.

Recipe: Veggie Breakfast Casserole | Shop This Recipe 

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22. Lemon Garlic Slow Cooker Chicken

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Whole chickens are amazing to cook once and eat for the rest of the week, but roasting them can sometimes leave them dry...or conversely, terribly underdone. Cooking it in the slow cooker (with a quick broil at the end to crisp the skin) leaves the meat perfectly tender and juicy.

Recipe: Lemon Garlic Slow Cooker Chicken | Shop This Recipe 

23. Slow Cooker Jackfruit Carnitas

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It's truly incredible how much a fruit can mimic pulled pork. After this wonder plant has spent some time cooking down with orange juice and spices, it'll be the star of all your burrito bowls — and you may even fool some meat-eaters.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Jackfruit Carnitas | Shop This Recipe 

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24. Slow Cooker Matzo Ball Soup

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This might be a hot take, but I stand by it: On a chilly day, matzo ball soup > chicken noodle. Yes, there's a little bit of effort required to make the homemade matzo balls, but they still come together super quickly. Trust me, the fluffy, light-as-air results are more than worth it.

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Matzo Ball Soup | Shop This Recipe 

25. Slow Cooker Creamed Corn

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This is a great one to keep in your back pocket for holidays, but it's also great for any random weekday. I mean, what Thursday wouldn't be improved by a huge batch of creamed corn?

Recipe: Slow Cooker Creamed Corn | Shop This Recipe 

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26. Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers

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Stuffed peppers are great for the slow cooker — they soften evenly, instead of being a mix of soft and crunchy (which is exactly what tends to happen when you bake 'em). Plenty of commenters also added meat to this: Either taco-seasoned ground beef or shredded chicken will work great here.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers | Shop This Recipe 

27. Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli

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Takeout who? All you need is some beef, broccoli, and a few pantry sauces to recreate this tried-and-true favorite.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli | Shop This Recipe 

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