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Get through winter with these easy crock pot meals

The crock is cool again, or did it ever go out of style? We've rounded up some simple, delicious recipes.

Some crock pot recipes require you to sear your meat or saute your veggies ahead of time — and while we are all about the extra flavor you get from that caramelization, it isn’t the only way to make a tasty dish. Here are five of our favorite crock pot recipes with minimal prep work — no dirty pans or splattered cook tops required.

  1. It’s winter and we’re talking about crock pots, so let’s start with some soups. This Thai Chicken Soup is filling and flavorful. Serve over rice if you want to stretch the recipe a little farther.
  2. One of our go-to websites for quick, easy and cheap recipes is Budget Bytes – and their Vegetarian Lentil Chili comes in at $0.77 per serving (before toppings) – easy on your wallet, good for your body, and five minutes of quick prep? Yes please!
  3. How about another tasty vegetarian recipe – this Aloo Gobi (spiced Indian cauliflower and potatoes) will warm you up when the weather is frightful. Want to save even more time? Substitute 1/2 teaspoon each of ground ginger and granulated garlic for the fresh stuff.
  4. Let’s switch gears and talk about a recipe that is pure meat — but insanely easy and delicious. This Kalua Pig tastes smoked (thanks to the bacon), requires almost zero prep (you do have to peel — but not chop — three cloves of garlic, but that’s it!) and can feed a crowd. Try it in tacos, sandwiches, or with sautéed cabbage and onions for a more authentic spin on things. You don’t need the special pink salt — kosher salt works just fine.
  5. Last but not least, have you ever used your slow cooker for breakfast? Try making Slow Cooker Oats on a Sunday night — slow cooking them makes them extra creamy, and you can quickly reheat leftovers for the rest of the week. This recipe calls for cream but you can substitute any milk you like. Feeling creative? Try adding spices like cinnamon and cardamom at the beginning.

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