Are you all about your slow-cooker? If not, you should be! Slow-cooked meals are not only affordable but will also cut your energy bill. Check out our favorite slow-cooker recipes in this slideshow!
The Best Slow-Cooker Recipes
Slow-Cooker Stout & Kitchen Stew
Chicken thighs can take plenty of cooking without getting tough or drying out, which makes them perfect for the slow cooker. Here we braise them in Guinness stout along with hearty vegetables, with just the right amount of bacon for added savoriness.
Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Stout & Kitchen Stew
Barley Risotto with Fennel
This alternative to traditional stovetop risotto uses healthy, fiber-rich whole grains—either barley or brown rice—seasoned with Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and oil-cured olives. The heat of a slow cooker allows you to cook a creamy risotto without the frequent stirring.
Get the Recipe: Barley Risotto with Fennel
By cooking your own dried beans, you save money, reduce sodium and get better flavor along with, surprisingly, more vitamins and minerals. If you can't use the whole batch, freeze surplus cooked beans for later use in soups, salads and dips.
Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooked Beans
French Country Beef Stew
In France, this classic stew made with beef, vegetables and red wine would be known as a daube. Slow-cooking the surprisingly lean beef shanks melts and softens the connective tissue, producing succulent results. If you prefer, use nonalcoholic wine.
Get the Recipe: French Country Beef Stew
Sweet & Sour Beef-Cabbage Soup
This wholesome sweet-and-sour soup combines beef, caraway seeds, sweet paprika and cabbage—ingredients that star in a number of German dishes. For an even heartier soup, add diced cooked potatoes along with the cabbage. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Get the Recipe: Sweet & Sour Beef-Cabbage Soup
Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew
Here's a dinnertime warmer with a hint of spring's sweetness, designed for that day when you'd rather be outside raking the leaves from the garden, getting it ready for what's ahead, than slaving over the stove.
Get the Recipe: Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew
Slow-Cooker Black Bean-Mushroom Chili
Earthy mushrooms, tomatillos and a subtle layering of spices combine to give this full-bodied vegetarian chili a deep complexity of flavor. Note that dried beans need to be soaked before going into the slow cooker. Once that's done, the chili can gently bubble for hours.
Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Black Bean-Mushroom Chili
Middle Eastern Lamb Stew
This brothy stew is boldly flavored with a blend of characteristic Middle Eastern spices and finished with fresh spinach and fiber-rich chickpeas. Economical lamb shoulder tenderizes beautifully when leisurely cooked in a slow cooker. If you can't find boneless shoulder stew meat, do not substitute more-expensive lamb leg. It tends to dry out during slow cooking. Instead, purchase lamb shoulder chops and debone them. Serve over bulgur and accompany with a salad.
Get the Recipe: Middle Eastern Lamb Stew
Baked Onion Soup with a Gruyère Cheese Bread Crust
You can’t beat a good bowl of onion soup, but to get that beautiful sweetness from the onions they need long slow cooking.
Get the Recipe: Baked Onion Soup with a Gruyère Cheese Bread Crust
Part of HuffPost Food Group
Are you all about your slow-cooker? If not, you should be! Slow-cooked meals are not only affordable but will also cut your energy bill.
From risotto to soup to stew, here are some cool ways to stir up a homemade slow-cooked meal.
Want more recipe ideas that won't break the bank? 12 Good, Fast and Cheap Recipes