25 Slow Cooker Recipes to Make Winter More Enjoyable

Barbecue Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
Photo: Andy Lyons

Beat the blustery chill of the season with our collection of great winter slow-cooker recipes. Each hearty dish helps you tap into the cozy side of the season. Our slow-cooker winter soups and stews plus other entrées will keep everyone warm all winter.

01 of 25

Lamb, Bean, and Sweet Potato Chili

Lamb, Bean, and Sweet Potato Chili
Blaine Moats

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.

02 of 25

Slow-Cooker Indian Chicken Stew

Slow Cooker Indian Chicken Stew
Blaine Moats

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).

03 of 25

Herbed Chicken and Mushrooms

Herbed Chicken Mushrooms
Blaine Moats

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.

04 of 25

Chorizo and Black Bean Pizza Pie

Chorizo and Black Bean Pizza Pie
Jason Donnelly

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?

05 of 25

Tomatillo Turkey Chili with Spelt

Tomatillo Turkey Chili with Spelt
Karla Conrad

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.

06 of 25

Slow-Cooker Chocolate Chili with Three Beans

Slow-Cooker Chocolate Chili with Three Beans
Karla Conrad

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.

07 of 25

Slow-Cooker Chicken Pot Pie

Slow-Cooker Chicken Pot Pie
Andy Lyons

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.

08 of 25

Honey-Rosemary Roast Lamb with Potatoes and Green Beans

Honey-Rosemary Roast Lamb Potatoes Green Beans
Jacob Fox

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.

09 of 25

Spicy Turkey Lasagna

Spicy Turkey Lasagna
Andy Lyons

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.

10 of 25

Squash Enchilada Casserole

Squash Enchilada Casserole
Andy Lyons

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.

11 of 25

Creamed Chicken and Corn Soup

Creamed Chicken and Corn Soup
Blaine Moats

Who doesn't appreciate slow-cooker soups for winter that are ultra-easy? Here's one for the books! This veggie-filled corn soup takes just 20 minutes to prep. Serve it with crumbled bacon on top and hot-from-the-oven drop biscuits to soak up every bite.

12 of 25

Italian-Style Slow-Cooker Meat Loaf

Italian-Style Slow-Cooker Meat Loaf
Jacob Fox

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.

13 of 25

Pork, Portobello, and Mashed Roots Shepherd's Pie

Pork, Portobello, and Mashed Roots Shepherd's Pie
Karla Conrad

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.

14 of 25

Chipotle-Coffee Pot Roast

Chipotle-Coffee Pot Roast
Karla Conrad

Ground chipotle pepper and coffee powder combine for a deeply spiced rub on a classic roast. Brussels sprouts and parsnips bring added seasonal flavor to the dish, and a creamy polenta brings comfort-food satisfaction.

15 of 25

Mediterranean Kale & Cannellini Stew with Farro

Mediterranean Kale & Cannellini Stew with Farro
Blaine Moats

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.

16 of 25

Peppermint Pretzel Candies

Peppermint Pretzel Candies
Blaine Moats

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.

17 of 25

Balsamic Vinegar and Honey Pulled-Pork Sliders

Balsamic Vinegar and Honey Pulled-Pork Sliders
Scott Little

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.

18 of 25

Tinga Poblana

Tinga Poblana
Scott Little

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.

19 of 25

Cheesy Noodle Casserole

Cheesy Noodle Casserole
Peter Krumhardt

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.

20 of 25

BBQ Beef Roast with Corn and Pepper Couscous

BBQ Beef Roast Corn Pepper Couscous
Andy Lyons

Chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, and a splash of Worcestershire sauce make this winter stew for the slow cooker a spicy-sweet delight. Serve the fork-tender meat on a layer of colorful corn-and-pepper couscous that takes just minutes to prepare.

21 of 25

Lamb Shanks with Barley

Lamb Shanks with Barley
Blaine Moats

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.)

22 of 25

Pasta with Eggplant Sauce

Pasta with Eggplant Sauce
Peter Krumhardt

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.

23 of 25

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
Peter Krumhardt

Whenever we think of slow-cooker soups for winter, this hearty chicken-noodle recipe comes to mind. It brings all the comfort of the classic soup, plus mushrooms for added heartiness and cream cheese for extra creamy richness.

24 of 25

Slow-Cooker Coq au Vin

Slow Cooker Coq au Vin
Blaine Moats

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!

25 of 25

Vegetable Casserole

Vegetable Casserole
Andy Lyons

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.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles