Food

Set it and forget it! These 27 slow-cooker recipes will warm you right up

Winter is the perfect time to break out your slow cooker and try one of the TODAY-approved recipes below. All you have to do is pop the ingredients into the Crock-pot before you leave the house, binge-watch your favorite show or start shoveling snow. Come back a few hours later and your hearty soup, fall-off-the-bone short ribs or even dessert will be hot and ready.

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Slow-cooker lasagna is incredibly indulgent (and surprisingly light)

Play Video - 3:52

Slow-cooker lasagna is incredibly indulgent (and surprisingly light)

Play Video - 3:52

PASTAS

Luscious Lazy Slow-Cooker Lasagna
Wendy Bazilian makes her Luscious Lazy Slow-Cooker Lasagna
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
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8
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While this lasagna is delicious fresh out of the slow cooker, many think it's even better the next day!

RELATED: 11 slow cooker tips and tricks every home cook needs to know

One-Pot Slow-Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs
Slow-cooker spaghetti and meatballs
Andrea Lynn / TODAY
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4-6
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You may have extra meatballs leftover to utilize into a meatball sub sandwich or two for lunch.

Slow-Cooker Spinach Lasagna
Slow-Cooker Spinach Lasagna recipe
Maggie Shi
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6
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Cooking pasta in the slow cooker can be tricky — you can end up with mushy noodles or a dried-out mess. But this recipe works wonderfully; start with uncooked regular lasagna noodles, which will hold their shape well, and cook on low for less than 4 hours to prevent overcooking. Adding a little water to the marinara helps prevent the sauce from drying out, and plenty of spinach and fresh basil cut through the rich cheese. Plus, it's simple (and fun) to assemble, too.

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Make classic mac and cheese even easier with your slow-cooker — and even tastier with the addition of bacon

RELATED: Mac and cheese recipes: Slow-cooker, stovetop and baked

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Make TODAY’s slow-cooker chicken and biscuit pot pie

Play Video - 3:51

Make TODAY’s slow-cooker chicken and biscuit pot pie

Play Video - 3:51

CHICKEN

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10
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This hearty and delicious chicken and white bean chili is a cinch to prepare. Just toss all the ingredients into a slow cooker and let it simmer away!

RELATED: 31 slow-cooker chicken recipes that are sure to win the dinner game

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6 to 8
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Many slow cookers come with oven–proof ceramic inserts which are safe up to 400°F—just right for baking this luscious chicken stew topped with fluffy, tender biscuits.

Chicken Chili Tacos
Slow-cooker chicken chili tacos
Maya Visnyei
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4
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Fill up tacos with slow-cooked chicken breasts, pico de gallo or salsa, lime juice, cumin seeds and garlic. YUM!

Low-Calorie Chicken Pot Pie
potpie-today-160118
TODAY
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Calories:
100
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Actor Anson WIlliams, best known for playing Potsie on "Happy Days," shares his favorite 100-calorie recipes in his cookbook, "The Perfect Portion Cookbook." Here, his recipe for chicken pot pie. A 1/3 cup serving with one crouton is 100 calories.

Easy Slow-Cooker Curry
katie-quinn-curry-today-160118
TODAY
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A dollop of creamy and cooling raita is the perfect finishing touch to this simple and super flavorful one-pot chicken and vegetable curry.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Chili
Slow-Cooker Chicken Chili
Grace Parisi / TODAY
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8
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Anchos and chipotles give this yummy dish a double dose of chile flavor.

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8
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You can't go wrong with this classic — It's pure comfort!

RELATED: 10 tips for using your slow cooker to get the best results

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At Home with Natalie Morales: Her slow-cooker chicken and dumplings is pure comfort

Play Video - 4:07

At Home with Natalie Morales: Her slow-cooker chicken and dumplings is pure comfort

Play Video - 4:07

CASSEROLES

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8-10
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It's so delicious that's you're going to want it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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6 to 8
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Combine layers of shredded potatoes, sausage, cheese, onions, peppers...etc and eggs, set it on low before bedtime and by 7:00, breakfast is ready!

RELATED: 21 casserole recipes that'll keep the whole family full and happy

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Make slow-cooker lamb and couscous: Al Roker shows you how

Play Video - 3:14

Make slow-cooker lamb and couscous: Al Roker shows you how

Play Video - 3:14

RIBS AND ROASTS

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This juicy roast is simple, but amazing! And the slow-cooker not only makes it really easy to do, but also gives it a fall-apart tender texture.

Al Roker's Slow-Cooker Lamb Shank and Couscous
Al Roker makes slow-cooker lamb shank with herbed couscous
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
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"This slow-cooker meal is one I make for my family on Sundays," says TODAY's Al Roker. 'It's perfect because you can prep in the morning, spend time with the family and then have a finished meal waiting for you eight hours later."

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4
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You only need 5 ingredients to make this tasty dish!

Crock-Pot Beef Bourguignon
TODAY Show: Busy parents Siri Pinter and Carson Daly cook up a Valentine's Day dinner in Studio 1A -- February 10, 2015.
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
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Siri Daly's French beef and vegetable slow-cooker stew is irresistible, especially when it's served over buttery egg noodles.

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8 to 10
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This hearty dish is spectacular in fall or winter for a cozy family dinner at home and is elegant enough for entertaining.

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"Ropa Vieja is really a classic Latin American dish," says NBC's Natalie Morales. "I love to cook Latin foods, because that's what I grew up watching my mom and grandmother doing. It's one of those dishes you just throw into one pot — it's a one pot wonder!"

RELATED: The best slow cookers to buy this season

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Slow-cooker turkey chili: How to make this easy, full-flavor meal

Play Video - 4:20

Slow-cooker turkey chili: How to make this easy, full-flavor meal

Play Video - 4:20

SOUPS AND STEWS

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6
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Slow cooker beef stew with kabocha squash gets an Italian spin with the addition of Marsala wine and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

Slow-Cooker Farro Soup
Slow-Cooker Farro Soup
Courtesy of Page Street Publishing Co.
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4
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This soup is as delicious as it is filling, and the slow cooker will also bring out the rich flavors this recipe has to offer.

Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili
Rui Correia cooks up a delicious slow cooker chili with ground turkey and chorizo
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
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Whether you need a game-day meal for a crowd or just want something warm and cozy on a cold day, this slow-cooker turkey chili is sure to please!

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6-8
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The gentle heat of a slow-cooker is perfect for creating this creamy, satisfying bowl of Italian comfort food.

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6
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This slow cooker chili couldn't be easier — there's very little prep work, and it's truly a set-it-and-forget-it recipe. A chopped chipotle pepper adds a subtle, smoky heat that's mellowed by the lager beer that simmers along with the rest of the ingredients. Soy sauce may seem like a surprising addition to chili, but it gives the dish a rounder, meatier flavor.

RELATED: How to bake in a slow-cooker—12 tips for tasty treats

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Slow-cooker triple chocolate brownies are an easy summer treat

Play Video - 2:48

Slow-cooker triple chocolate brownies are an easy summer treat

Play Video - 2:48

SWEETS

Slow-Cooker Triple Chocolate Brownies
Triple chocolate brownies and cherry delight dump desserts
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
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6
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This chocolate dessert is always a crowd-pleasing dish.

Crock-Pot Coconut Cinnamon Oatmeal with Dates
Melissa Clark cooks up slow cooker coconut cinnamon oatmeal with dates and chicken and white bean chili with lemon and baby kale
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
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Servings:
8
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Whether you're looking to feed a big crowd or need delicious breakfast before work, this overnight oatmeal will make mornings so much easier.

Slow-Cooker Cherry Delight
Cherry Delight Slow Cooker Dump Dessert
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
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8
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It doesn't get any easier than this. Consider this your new go-to 4-ingredient dessert recipe.

For more ideas, check out our slow-cooker Pinterest board!

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