Winter Slow Cooker Recipes to Survive the Season
Lamb, Bean, and Sweet Potato Chili
It’s no surprise that a great chili made its way onto our list of winter slow-cooker recipes. What is surprising is the uniqueness of this version of chili. We’ve replaced ground beef with juicy lamb shoulder and added a full pound of sweet potatoes for a super hearty winter meal. Add the ingredients of this slow-cooker winter soup to your grocery list now, then thank us later.
Slow-Cooker Indian Chicken Stew
Here’s one of our favorite winter chicken slow-cooker recipes. Curry adds a wonderful warmth that helps chase the chill away, while garbanzo beans bring nutritious fiber to the meal (remember to rinse beans first to eliminate extra sodium).
Herbed Chicken and Mushrooms
When cooking winter chicken slow-cooker recipes, we love the enticingly brown results gained when you sear the chicken before adding it to the cooker. However, if you’re in a hurry, you can skip that step. Either way, with its medley of fresh vegetables and savory white wine sauce, this dish will hit the spot at the end of a busy day.
Indian Chickpea and Vegetable Curry
Chorizo and Black Bean Pizza Pie
This is one of our best slow-cooker winter recipes for a busy weekend supper. Toss the dough and toppings in the cooker, then go about your errands for the afternoon. Come home to a great Tex-Mex-inspired pizza supper. Margaritas, anyone?
Barbecue Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
Mac-and-cheese is a favorite any time of year, but coming home to a warm, comforting bowl of melty noodles and cheese is especially welcome in winter months. With the addition of chicken and barbecue sauce, this version is one of those hearty winter slow-cooker meals you’ll turn to again and again.
Mexican Meatball Soup
Some of the best slow-cooker winter meals call on a little spice for extra warmth. In this Mexican-inspired recipe, the spice comes by way of a jar of your favorite salsa, adding extra ease to the meal. Using ground turkey instead of beef helps keep the recipe on the lighter side.
Eggs in Spicy Cherry Tomato Marinara
Eggs aren’t the first ingredient that come to mind when you’re thinking about winter slow-cooker recipes. But you’ll find they cook up wonderfully in the appliance. This recipe makes for an inexpensive yet filling supper when served with a loaf of crusty bread. P.S.: Omit the optional bacon, and you can add this to your roster of recipes for meatless Mondays.
Tomatillo Turkey Chili with Spelt
If you’re looking for easy slow-cooker winter recipes that are also on the healthy side, you’ve found a winner. Here, spelt—a protein-rich ancient grain—offers a mild, nutty flavor that complements the turkey, beans, and salsa verde. The grain also adds extra heartiness to the stew.
Fireside Beef Stew with Squash
When cold winds blow, it’s hard to beat coming home to a winter stew in the slow cooker. With mustard, allspice, and Worcestershire sauce, this one offers warming flavors through and through—not to mention savory aromas that will entice everyone to the table.
Slow-Cooker Chocolate Chili with Three Beans
What's better than slow cooker soup recipes? Slow cooker chili recipes, of course! Bittersweet chocolate, a dash of cocoa powder, and chipotle peppers add rich, complex flavor to this south-of-the-border chili. Balance this dish's spice with a dollop of sour cream.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Pot Pie
You already know that chicken pot pie tops the list of great winter meals, but did you know that it’s one of the best slow-cooker meals for winter, too? Indeed—you can serve your family a piping bowl of the comforting classic straight from the crock. Refrigerated piecrust serves as a delightfully flaky (and super-easy) topper for this easy dish.
Honey-Rosemary Roast Lamb with Potatoes and Green Beans
For fork-tender meat with full-bodied flavor, simmer lamb with honey, lemon juice, rosemary, and minced garlic. And, by the way, if you prefer winter slow-cooker recipes that call for cooking every part of the meal in the slow cooker, you’re going to love the way this dinner comes complete with a side of Yukon gold potatoes, red onion, and green beans for an all-in-one meal.
Caramel-Pear Pudding Cake
Spicy Turkey Lasagna
Layer upon layer of spiced ground turkey, creamy ricotta cheese, and chunky pasta sauce create one of our easiest and best slow-cooker meals for winter. Turkey (instead of beef) and frozen spinach help keep the recipe lower in fat and calories and higher in nutrients than classic lasagna. Plus, it takes only 20 minutes of prep time.
Squash Enchilada Casserole
Winter squash slow-cooker recipes can really hit the spot for vegetarians and anyone seeking plant-based meals. Here’s a hearty example: Black beans and hominy team up with the squash for heartiness, while enchilada sauce, salsa, and chile peppers add plenty of enticing spice. Top with cheesy cornmeal dumplings, and you’ve got a winner of a winter dish.
Chipotle Butternut Squash with Crunchy Topper
If you’re looking for winter squash slow-cooker recipes for holiday entertaining and potlucks throughout the season, check this one out. With apples, cranberries, bacon, and chipotle peppers, it pushes all kinds of sweet, tart, salty, and spicy flavor buttons. Be prepared to get requests to share the recipe!
Creamed Chicken and Corn Soup
Italian-Style Slow-Cooker Meat Loaf
For individuals watching fat and calorie intake, it can be challenging to snag great winter recipes for the slow cooker that are both filling and healthy. We are here to help! Lean meats and low-sodium ingredients help keep this Mediterranean-inspired meat loaf in line with your aim to eat well.
Pork, Portobello, and Mashed Roots Shepherd's Pie
Shepherd’s pie is one of those winter slow-cooker recipes that always satisfies. We swapped ground beef for lean ground pork, plus mixed rutabaga, carrots, and parsnips into the dish’s iconic potato mash to load it with flavors of the season.
Chipotle-Coffee Pot Roast
Mediterranean Kale & Cannellini Stew with Farro
This is the perfect winter vegetable soup for slow cooker fans on meatless Mondays. It combines fiber-rich beans and vitamin-rich kale with carrots, celery, onions, and some seasonings for an easy one-pot meal. Farro imparts a delightfully chewy and nutty texture while adding whole grains to your diet.
Peppermint Pretzel Candies
There is just something about peppermint that feels like winter. Seasonal peppermint mochas and Christmas candy canes are probably part of the reason. Use up leftover candy canes or peppermint candies to top this slow cooker dessert recipe. It makes enough to serve everyone at your holiday party.
Balsamic Vinegar and Honey Pulled-Pork Sliders
Consider this winter slow cooker recipe for parties and potlucks. Sweet and savory, the pork sliders can be made en masse whenever you have a hungry crowd to feed. Coleslaw and pickles give the saucy sandwiches a crunchy finish.
Flag this recipe for those times when you’re in the mood for winter slow cooker recipes with Tex-Mex flair. Chipotle peppers fire up the spicy sausage-pork taco filling, while red potatoes tone things down for a balanced heat. Wrap it all in warm tortillas and top with diced creamy avocado for the final touch.
Cheesy Noodle Casserole
When it comes to slow-cooker meals, noodle casseroles can be tricky. That’s because noodles need to be timed just right or they’ll get mushy. Fortunately, our Test Kitchen pros tested this recipe to determine exactly when to add the pasta for an al dente finish.
Fragrant Garam Masala Chicken Stew with Peas and Potatoes
Cook up this winter stew in your slow cooker for a dish that gets extra warmth and intrigue from garam masala, a rich, sweet-and-savory blend of spices anchored by cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves. You can usually find the blend at specialty spice shops or you can always make your own garam masala.
BBQ Beef Roast with Corn and Pepper Couscous
Sugar-Spiced Pork with Squash and Potatoes
Of all our best slow cooker winter recipes, this one will definitely get your family to eat their veggies—peppers, onions, and squash—to be specific. Brown sugar and cinnamon add irresistible sweetness to the warm glaze, while cumin and ginger give a bit of Asian flair to the meat and veggie stew.
Lamb Shanks with Barley
Consider this pick when you’re seeking winter slow cooker recipes to serve at a dinner party. Starring lamb shanks and flavored with balsamic vinegar, it’s the kind of rustic yet refined dish that you’d pay top dollar for at a high-end restaurant. Invite everyone into your home for a fraction of the price of going out (and spend a little of the savings on some great bottles of red wine.)
Pasta with Eggplant Sauce
When you’re on the hunt for meatless winter recipes for the slow cooker, eggplant and mushrooms are great additions. These meaty ingredients are the base of the chunky sauce on top of this pasta dinner.
Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
Slow-Cooker Coq au Vin
How about slow-cooker winter meals with a French twist? Many classic French stews and braises translate well to the slow cooker thanks to similar moist-heat cooking. Try this easy recipe for wine-stewed chicken to taste what we mean!
Two kinds of beans and a rainbow of vegetables simmer with garlic and basil pesto to create one of our best vegetarian winter slow cooker recipes ever! Adding the spinach and radicchio (which is at its prime in the winter) just before serving helps bring last-minute freshness to the dish.