Your 7-Day Dinner Plan: Outside-the-Box Slow Cooker Recipes

We love chili and beef stew from the slow cooker, but if you're looking to branch out, here are some fresh ideas.

Multitasking takes on a whole new meaning when you start talking slow cookers.

Wait, my dinner basically cooks itself while I commute/work/run errands/walk the dog/help my kids with their homework/do my nails?

It's no wonder home cooks consider the slow cooker a hero countertop appliance.

If you're looking for some recipes outside of your usual repertoire of stewed beef, chili, and chicken soup, this collection has you covered. The long simmering time of food in the slow cooker can sometimes mute the flavors of what you put in, so we concentrated on dishes with high-powered seasonings and ingredients that are anything but shy.

How about a creamy, dreamy curry that cooks chicken until it's fall-off-the-bone tender and seasoned throughout with hints of ginger and coriander?

Or try a recipe that takes your fave pub grub (spoiler alert: we're talking about a cheeseburger) and magically transforms it into a bowl of comforting soup, complete with chopped pickles.

And while we hate to play favorites, the idea of using naturally sweet apple cider to braise chicken for sandwiches—complete with quick cabbage slaw as a fresh topping—gets our hearts racing. Top them with some sauerkraut or an extra dab of grainy mustard for even more zing.

Looking for a vegetarian option? Our farro recipe is both a flavor and texture sensation; the whole grain manages to maintain its pleasant chewiness, while two types of earthy mushrooms, sweet butternut squash, and Parmesan cheese make sure your palate never falls asleep at the table.

Ready, set, slow cook!