The best slow cooker recipes are those that use inexpensive cuts of meat, like chuck roast and chicken thighs, that transform into tender, flavorful meals when slow simmered. Super-affordable lentils, split peas and dried beans are also perfect for the slow cooker, melding into tenderness as they soak up the flavor of spices and seasonings.
Slow cooking is actually faster than you think, since it only requires a few minutes of prep, then it’s hands-off until you’re ready to eat. Meats, vegetables and spices do take on more flavor if you quickly cook them in a skillet before simmering in the slow cooker. Though this adds an extra step, it’s worth the few minutes it takes for the reward you’ll get with deep rich flavor!
Another plus to the slow cooker? Many recipes make enough for a crowd or for planned leftovers. Since most slow cooker dishes taste even better after the flavors have had a chance to blend overnight in the refrigerator, you might like the dish even better the next day!
On a fall morning, prep one of these recipes, and come home to a comforting dinner that’s comfortable on your budget, too.