18 Slow Cooker Recipes To Warm You Up On These Frigidly Cold, Awful Winter Nights

When the weather outside is frightful, as it usually is during the winter months, the frost-bitten among us desperately search for new sources of warmth. Some opt for new fitness routines, while others rely on a bottle of booze. Then there are those like me who turn to the kitchen in hopes of creating a meal that warms us from the inside out — and when it comes to whipping up delicious comfort meals, these slow cooker recipes can't be beat.

Unfortunately during this culinary quest, we face a challenge that 20-somethings know all too well — time. As young professionals, we often push ourselves to work late in hopes of impressing the boss and climbing up the corporate ladder. By the time we get home at 8 o'clock (or even later), we don't have the desire to whip up our favorite comfort foods.

But fear not my fellow millennials, for there is a machine that can create mouth-watering, body-warming meals while you slave away at the office. No, it's not your mother (though a girl can dream). It's a slow cooker. This bad boy has the ability to prepare an entire meal — meats included — by simmering the foods all day. Though the slow cooker is often associated with award-winning chili recipes, it can be used to create so much more. Here, a sampling of 18 slow cooker dishes that will keep you warm throughout the winter.

Image: robynmac/Fotolia

Italian Chicken With Pasta

After a long day, cooking something as basic as chicken can be a daunting task. Instead of waiting, whip up the Comfort of Cooking’s Italian chicken before leaving for the day, and you’ll return home to a delicious dinner.

Image and recipe: The Comfort of Cooking

Sweet and Spicy BBQ Pot Roast

You don’t have to be a domestic goddess to cook the perfect pot roast. You just need a little help from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.

Image and recipe: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Cashew Chicken

Sometimes the snow makes it impossible for delivery people to, well, deliver. On those dreaded days, you’ll be happy to have this cashew chicken recipe by Damn Delicious on hand.

Image and recipe: Damn Delicious

Beef Enchilada

The key to creating A Spicy Perspective’s enticing beef enchiladas? A good crockpot and a bit of apple butter.

Image and recipe: A Spicy Perspective

Vietnamese Pho

Thanks to Steamy Kitchen, you can enjoy this time-consuming, tasty Vietnamese soup with way less effort.

Image and recipe: Steamy Kitchen

Chicken a la King

Craving comfort food, but need to squeeze in some veggies? Then Taste and Tell’s creamy Chicken a la King is the perfect solution.

Image and recipe: Taste and Tell

Coffee-Rubbed Pork Roast

A pork roast during the week? Yes, it’s possible thanks to Budget Byte’s inexpensive, easy-to-follow recipe.

Image and recipe: Budget Bytes

Cheesy Tortellini

Even the healthiest of eaters can’t resist this mouth-watering combo of cheese and carbs by Damn Delicious.

Image and recipe: Damn Delicious

Chicken Philly Sandwich

Thanks to Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, you can get your Philly fix without leaving the house. Because who really wants to travel to Philadelphia in February?

Image and recipe: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Chicken Adobo

Though Filipino dishes tend to require a lot of work, Table For Two’s sweet and spicy chicken dish can be made with minimal effort.

Image and recipe: Table For Two

Honey Sesame Chicken Sliders

Parsley Sage Sweet combines two takeout favorites for a winter dinner that goes great with a night of Netflix.

Image and recipe: Parsley Sage Sweet

Lasagna Soup

As much as we love lasagna in the winter, it takes way too long to make. For all of the flavors without all of the work, whip up this lasagna soup from A Farm Girl’s Dabbles.

Image and recipe: A Farm Girl’s Dabbles

Chicken Tikka Masala

Table For Two’s Indian-inspired dinner is packed with spices that will warm you up on even the coldest of winter nights.

Image and recipe: Table For Two

Chicken Ramen Noodles

You’ve graduated college, so it’s time to toss out those instant noodles. A Spicy Perspective offers a simple and far superior alternative to everyone’s favorite packaged food.

Image and recipe: A Spicy Perspective

Jalapeño Popper Pulled Chicken

Jalapeño poppers may not be the best dinner option, but they sure can inspire one. Food Fanatic’s creamy, cheesy chicken dish pays tribute to one of the world’s most beloved appetizers.

Image and recipe: Food Fanatic

Orange Chicken With Fresh Asian Slaw

You’ll never order Chinese food again once you’ve mastered this super simple orange chicken from A Farm Girl’s Dabbles.

Image and recipe: A Farm Girl’s Dabbles

Smothered Pork Chops

Everything is better with bacon, especially these southern-style pork chops from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. Serve next to rice or mashed potatoes for a filling dinner that with lull you to sleep.

Image and recipe: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Skinny Crockpot Santa Fe Chicken

Crockpot dinners don’t have to be loaded with calories. The Comfort of Cooking’s Santa Fe-style chicken is a light but flavorful dish that’s sure to spice up an evening in.

Image and recipe: The Comfort of Cooking