Bundle up, because January is one of the coldest months. Winter is in full force, so apart from bundling up in your coziest sweaters with a hot cup of tea (or cocoa), it’s time to bust out the slow cooker for hearty, comforting soups, stews, and chilis. January also happens to be National Slow Cooker Month — just in time because it is getting cold out there. If you feel like you spend your life running from one thing to another, a slow cooker will be your best friend. Rather than spend your time fussing over a hot stove you can throw all your ingredients in one pot in the morning and run your errands without having to worry about firing up the stove when you get home. Even if you’re not busy, it is a pretty satisfying feeling to kick back and relax until dinnertime. Slow cookers can also do more than just make soups and stews — you can make breakfast, like this Slow Cooker Coconut Banana Pecan Oatmeal or savory dinners like this Slow Cooker Tempeh Braised With Figs and Port Wine.
To see what we did last year, check out Take It Easy All Month With These 20 Slow Cooker Recipes and then dust off your slow cooker because we have 15 recipes for you to try.
1. Slow Cooker Lentil Miso Soup
Do you always order miso soup to start off your sushi outings? If so, you should definitely try this Slow Cooker Lentil Miso Soup that has the same umami flavor but can stand as a meal on its own. In addition to miso, this flavorful broth contains ginger, soy sauce, onion, and rice vinegar. Toss all the ingredients in a slow-cooker in the morning and check dinner off your list for the day!
2. Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes
These Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes are the exact kind of recipe you need on hand for those nights that you want a delicious meal, but don’t have any time to spend in the kitchen. The mixture, which is composed primarily of tomato paste, garlic, Medjool dates, and onion, simply needs to be blended before left in the slow-cooker. So, go on! Go about your day and look forward to the scrumptious sloppy joes you’ll enjoy later!
3. Japanese-Style Slow Cooker Tofu
This Japanese-Style Slow Cooker Tofu is a recipe that everyone will love. It will take about 5 minutes to prepare and then your slow cooker will do the rest. Delicious and simple? There’s a whole lot to love in this dish!
Winter is the perfect time to cozy up with a big bowl of stew. Hearty, warm, and flavorful, this Mediterranean-inspired Eggplant Chickpea Stew With Polenta is made in the slow-cooker and provides plant-based comfort food for those cold fall and winter nights. Plus, this recipe has a bonus boost of Vitamin C, is high in dietary fiber, and low in fat!
5. Slow Cooker Lentil Bolognese With Eggplant and Cauliflower
Need an easy comfort food to keep you warm? This Slow Cooker Lentil Bolognese With Eggplant and Cauliflower is a simple, hearty dinner for the whole family. Red lentils, cauliflower, and eggplant are slow cooked in a savory tomato sauce with savory Italian herbs like oregano and parsley. This makes a big batch, so if you’re making it for just yourself you can freeze it and save the rest for another day!
6. BBQ Jackfruit
Open a can of jackfruit or two and you can have a delicious meal with minimal effort. This BBQ Jackfruit couldn’t be simpler. It’s made in a slow cooker, so all you have to do is add the ingredients, turn it on, and come home to a meal that’s both healthy and yummy.
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7. Slow Cooker North African Couscous
Root vegetables are dominant in African cuisine. Add that to the spicy laden flavors of North Africa and you get some really good food. This Slow Cooker North African Couscous is rich in flavors and so easy to prepare. Vegetables and spices go in the crock pot. At dinner, serve over infused couscous.
8. Seitan Pot Roast
This isn’t exactly like a traditional meat pot roast your mom would have prepared for dinner, but if you make this Seitan Pot Roast for her, she’ll probably beg you for the recipe! Who wouldn’t want to know all the secrets to preparing tender homemade seitan in a lip-smacking vegetable stew? Plus, the pot roast is made in a slow cooker, so you can just throw everything in, go about your day, and come home to a warm, comforting meal.
9. Slow-Cooked Split Pea Soup With Homemade Croutons and Coconut Bacon
In this Slow-Cooked Split Pea Soup With Homemade Croutons and Coconut Bacon, split peas and potatoes are cooked in a savory broth, then served with crunchy homemade croutons and smoky coconut bacon. This soup is filling, stick-to-your-ribs, chock full of protein, fiber, and full of flavor. What could be better than throwing a bunch of ingredients into one pot and returning to a perfectly cooked soup?
10. Smoky Slow Cooker Pulled Jackfruit Chili
If winter has you wishing you could migrate to a tropical paradise for the season, then this comforting Smoky Slow Cooker Pulled Jackfruit Chili may be just what you need. Pulled jackfruit brings the essence of comfort food to this smoky belly-warming chili. It’s also packed with three kinds of beans and seasoned with a homemade smoky spice blend that you will definitely find other uses for in your kitchen.
11. Simple Slow Cooked Black-Eyed Beans
Nothing compares to these Simple Slow Cooked Black-Eyed Beans — the canned stuff is an apology for the real deal, and with a slow cooker all that is needed is a little planning. This recipe is an unusual take on black-eyed beans, but it is delicious. The beans are cooked with fresh dill, spicy chili peppers, tomatoes, and coconut milk, infusing it with just enough flavor so they can stand alone as your protein for a meal.
12. Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Chili
If you’re on the fence about cooking with pumpkin, this Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Chili will definitely have you joining the fan club. It’s perfect for those of us with busy lives and for those of us with limited kitchen skills. Plus, it’s rich, delicious and oh, so satisfying. You’ll be a pumpkin lover with just one bite.
13. Easy-Peasy ‘Hamburger’ Soup
This Easy-Peasy ‘Hamburger’ Soup has all the hearty, savory, “meaty” goodness of a burger, but there’s no meat involved here! And it’s a great recipe if you want a filling dinner but are short on time – you can just throw all the ingredients in a crock pot and you’re good to go!
14. Classic Vegetable Soup
This Classic Vegetable Soup is just like the classic you grew up with – hot, soothing, and familiar. It is savory from the broth, crunchy from the corn, and just delicious from the rest of the brew. This one is as classic as it gets!
15. Slow-Cooker Tomato Preserve
Are you the type of person that wants to bottle all of the wonderful scents and flavors of fresh produce? Well, with this Slow-Cooker Tomato Preserve, you can! Simply slow cook onion, green, pepper, garlic, and plum tomatoes, and then jar the mixture for a savory to all of your fall and winter meals.
Need more recipes to get you through the winter? Then, check out our vegan slow cooker recipes!
Lead image source: Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes