Hearty Slow Cooker Suppers for Cold Winter Nights

January 02, 2015 Classic Cooking, Slow Cooker Tips

It turned cold here early. When temperatures drop, I just want to curl up in front of my fireplace with a bowl of soup in my hands, my dog in my lap and a movie on TV. There's just one problem: I have to make the soup! I don't want to pop open a can of soup — I want something heartier and fresher. Where do I turn?

I turn to the slow cooker, of course.

Your slow cooker can be your best friend. Simply layer ingredients, add water or broth and turn it on. When you come home from work, you'll have a hearty, delicious, easy meal that makes everyone in your family happy. For me, since I'm part of a family of two, this also allows me to have lunch for a couple of days, or I freeze the extras so I can warm them up in a hurry.

A hearty, delicious, easy meal that makes everyone in your family happy.

Soup With Mexican Flare I love Mexican flavors, so this Southwest-inspired soup is one of my favorites. It also contains ingredients that I tend to have on hand, like canned tomatoes, onions and canned pinto beans. Substitute fire-roasted corn for the regular corn to give the soup a great smoky flavor. I like to serve this dish with tortilla chips.

Vegetarian Options Sometime you want to skip the meat, or you have a guest who's vegetarian. It's entirely possible to make a hearty, delicious, meatless meal that appeals to everyone. This rich, satisfying soup mixes beans, potatoes and cheese with amazing results.

Wrap It Up Don't limit yourself to soup! Slow cookers make great fillings for wraps, too. Combine pork, salsa (your choice of heat level) and enchilada sauce in the slow cooker, let cook, and then shred and stuff into tortillas with your choice of toppings.

Italian Comfort Spaghetti and meatballs are a total comfort food. This unique recipe is great because it's full of vegetables and beans, making the dish even more filling — but still kid friendly. This dish also freezes well.

Dust off your slow cooker this winter, and let it do most of the work. Enjoy the extra time with your family and friends!

MeetJulie Niesen

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