Set it and forget it. Perfect for busy weeknights, these one-pot superstars make getting dinner on the table a fuss-free affair.

By Real Simple
August 30, 2017
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Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Soup
Credit: Jennifer Causey
Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Soup
Credit: Jennifer Causey

Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

For this intensely flavorful soup, all you have to do is combine the main ingredients, turn it on, and—voila!—taco soup. Tongs will give extra stability when you pull the hot chicken out of the soup. Once they’re on the cutting board, switch to two forks to shred into bite-sized pieces. If you don’t have black beans on hand, pinto works well, too. When you’re ready to serve, top each bowl with cheese, sour cream, cilantro, and—if you really want to go wild—tortilla chips.

Get the recipe: Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

Slow-Cooker Cuban Sandwiches
Credit: Greg DuPree

Slow-Cooker Cuban Sandwiches

This decadent combo of citrusy pork, salty ham, melted cheese, tangy pickles, and mustard couldn’t be easier: all you have to do is rub a big boneless pork shoulder roast with garlic and salt, and put it into the slow cooker with orange zest, orange juice, and stock. Then it's hands off for about seven hours. We love the idea of serving these sandwiches with beer, extra pickles, and some of the juice from the slow-cooked pork on the side for dipping.

Get the recipe: Slow-Cooker Cuban Sandwiches

Ditalini and Stewed Pork Soup
Credit: Gentl & Hyers

Slow-Cooker Pork Ditalini Stew

Served with crusty French bread and a leafy green salad, this stew is the perfect comfort food. Hoping to get ahead on meal prep on Sunday? Make the soup ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. Then, on the morning you want to serve it, transfer it to the slow cooker and let it cook during the day. The genius part about this stew is that you add the pasta in during the last 10 minutes, so you don’t even have to dirty another pot. If you’re not a fan of pork, try this dish with ground beef, turkey, or chicken.

Get the recipe: Slow-Cooker Pork Ditalini Stew

Classic Slow-Cooker Sunday Sauce
Credit: Gentl & Hyers

Classic Slow-Cooker Bolognese

A mixture of pork shoulder and sweet Italian sausage sets this Bolognese apart from any other you’ve tried before. And the best part? Unlike more traditional recipes, you don’t have to stand over the stove all afternoon. Instead, nearly all of the ingredients simmer together in the slow cooker while you go about your day. All you need to do is make a quick batch of spaghetti, and top with parsley and a heavy hand of Parmesan cheese.

Get the recipe: Classic Slow-Cooker Bolognese

Slow-Cooker Asian Shredded Beef
Credit: Gentl & Hyers

Slow-Cooker Asian Shredded Beef

This tangy Asian-inspired noodle bowl tastes better than any take out and comes together in a snap: simply mix some beef broth with a few sauces—sweet hoisin, umami-rich soy sauce, and rice vinegar—and stir in some ginger and crushed red pepper. Then add the beef, cover, and cook on low while you get on with your day-to-day.

Get the recipe: Slow-Cooker Asian Shredded Beef

Slow-Cooker Chicken and Potato Curry
Credit: Con Poulos

Slow-Cooker Chicken and Potato Curry

Flavored with warm spices and a rich coconut base, this curry is the ultimate comfort food for chilly evenings. The chicken doesn't have to be seared before going into the slow-cooker, so the dish comes together quickly and is largely hands-off. To make it even easier, cook the rice ahead of time and warm it up right before serving.

Get the recipe: Slow-Cooker Chicken and Potato Curry