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45 Slow-Cooker Lunch Recipes We Love

Ditch the soggy turkey sandwiches and blah salads. Give yourself something to look forward to with these tasty slow-cooker lunch recipes!

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Vietnamese Chicken Meatball Soup with Bok ChoyTaste of Home

Vietnamese Chicken Meatball Soup with Bok Choy

Throughout Vietnam there are many kinds of soups, “canh,” served all year long. I particularly love enjoying this warm, flavorful bowl of Vietnamese chicken soup on laid-back weekends, but it's also great packed in a Thermos for lunch. It's the perfect bok choy soup, too! —Brenda Watts, Gaffney, South Carolina

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Slow-Cooker Buffalo Chicken SaladTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Buffalo Chicken Salad

My husband and sons love chicken with blue cheese, so I created this salad. You can even make the chicken the day before and reheat when ready to serve. —Shauna Havey, Roy, Utah

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Slow-Cooked Chicken Caesar Wraps

Slow-Cooked Chicken Caesar Wraps

I first created these slow-cooker chicken Caesar wraps for our daughter who loves Caesar salads, then later for our extended family on vacation. It's such an easy meal—perfect for days when you'd rather be outside than inside cooking all day. —Christine Hadden, Whitman, Massachusetts

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Pork and Hominy Stew

Pork and Hominy Stew

This pork hominy stew, also known as pozole, is a delicious southwestern delicacy. I moved it to the slow cooker so it can simmer away on its own. The rich, brothy soup is delicious, much like a tamale in a bowl. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

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Slow-Cooker Thai Peanut NoodlesTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Thai Peanut Noodles

I like to serve these Thai peanut noodles with green onion or cilantro for a pop of color and fresh flavor. — Catherine Cebula, Littleton, Massachusetts

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Moroccan Lamb Lettuce WrapsTaste of Home

Moroccan Lamb Lettuce Wraps

I am a huge fan of both Moroccan lamb and lettuce wraps. This combination—with the creamy and crunchy cucumber—makes a tasty slow-cooked dish. The wine and chili powder add extra flavor elements to the sauce mixture, too. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois

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Greek Sausage and PeppersTaste of Home

Greek Sausage and Peppers

This recipe is an old family favorite. My grandmother, mother and I make this every year for Christmas Eve. Just toss all the ingredients in your slow cooker and let the meal cook all day on low. It makes the house smell amazing and is wonderful comfort food for a chilly holiday. You can double the recipe and freeze the other portion for a quick hot meal in a pinch. —Debbie Vair, Wake Forest, North Carolina

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Chicken Tomatillo SoupTaste of Home

Chicken Tomatillo Soup

I had tomatillos to use and wanted to make something more exquisite than salsa verde. I combined two favorite recipes, added my own special touches and made chicken tomatillo soup. Feel free to add cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce to spice it up. —Katrina Krumm, Apple Valley, Minnesota

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Pulled Turkey TenderloinTaste of Home

Pulled Turkey Tenderloin

Not your ordinary pulled turkey sandwich, this one shines thanks to its unique yogurt sauce. Serve the turkey by itself or stack on sweet pickle slices and jalapenos to echo the dressing.

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Slow-Cooker Sweet Potato Chocolate Mole SoupTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Sweet Potato Chocolate Mole Soup

This recipe is perfect for those days when you’re craving something just a little bit different. It’s spicy, flavorful and a great excuse to open up a bar of chocolate (if you’re the type of person who needs an excuse!). —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia

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Mojito Pulled PorkTaste of Home

Mojito Pulled Pork

This fork-tender pulled pork tastes fabulous on a bun, in a wrap or tortilla. My kids like to eat it spooned over rice in its citrus-flavored juices.—Mindy Oswalt, Winnetka, California

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Italian Sausages with Provolone

Italian Sausages with Provolone

Here’s an easy recipe everyone will rave about. These tangy sausages with their pepper and onion topping will go quickly. Better make a double batch! —Shelly Bevington-Fisher, Hermiston, Oregon

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Slow-Cooked Vegetable CurryTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Vegetable Curry

I love the fuss-free nature of the slow cooker, but I don't want to sacrifice flavor for convenience. This cozy, spiced-up dish has both. —Susan Smith, Mead, Washington

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Carolina-Style Vinegar BBQ ChickenTaste of Home

Carolina-Style Vinegar BBQ Chicken

I live in Georgia, but I appreciate the tangy, sweet taste of Carolina barbecue chicken. In fact, my sons are more likely to show up to dinner if they know I'm serving this slow cooker recipe. —Ramona Parris, Canton, Georgia

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Slow-Cooker Shredded Beef Lettuce CupsTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Shredded Beef Lettuce Cups

The slow cooker is our summertime go-to for cool kitchen cooking. After swim lessons and outdoor activities, it's so nice to come back to a tasty, light dinner. If you can't find Bibb or Boston, green leaf lettuce is less sturdy but can work in a pinch. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah

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Carrot and Lentil ChiliTaste of Home

Carrot and Lentil Chili

This plant-based version of chili is filled with flavor and color to make you feel energized and nourished—a terrific way to fit more veggies and legumes into your diet. I love to serve it with yogurt. —Rebekah Ranes, Sedona, Arizona

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Hearty Pork Bean Soup

Hearty Pork Bean Soup

It's wonderful to come home to this pork bean soup dinner simmering away in a slow cooker, especially on a busy weeknight. This soup uses dried beans and is simple to throw together in the morning before work. When you get home, just add a few more ingredients, and in half an hour dinner is ready! Do not put the tomatoes in for the first 8 hours of cooking, or the beans will not become soft. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia

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Slow-Cooked Orange Chipotle Chicken

Slow-Cooked Orange Chipotle Chicken

Even though this chicken dish cooks for hours, the citrus keeps things fresh. We're big on spice, so sometimes I use two chipotle peppers. —Deborah Biggs, Omaha, Nebraska

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Vegan Cabbage SoupTaste of Home

Vegan Cabbage Soup

Comforting soups that simmer all day long are staples on cool, busy days. For a heartier version, stir in canned beans, such as cannellini or navy. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Slow-Cooked Stuffed Peppers

Slow-Cooked Stuffed Peppers

My favorite kitchen appliance is the slow cooker, and I use mine more than anyone else I know. It does a great job with this good-for-you dish. —Michelle Gurnsey, Lincoln, Nebraska

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Italian Turkey MeatballsTaste of Home

Italian Turkey Meatballs

What's not to love about moist and tender homemade Italian meatballs? Because they're made with lean turkey, they're lower in saturated fat, too! —Mary Berg, Lake Elmo, Minnesota

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Southwest Turkey Stew

Southwest Turkey Stew

I prefer main dishes that let me stay on my diet but still eat what the rest of the family eats. My husband and our young children think this diet-friendly stew is a hit. —Stephanie Wilson of Helix, Oregon

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Maple Mustard ChickenTaste of Home

Maple Mustard Chicken

My husband loves this chicken dish. It calls for only five ingredients, and we try to have them all on hand for a delicious and cozy dinner anytime. —Jennifer Seidel, Midland, Michigan

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Italian Beef Vegetable SoupTaste of Home

Italian Beef Vegetable Soup

This hearty vegetable beef soup features a ton of fresh vegetables, making it the perfect dish to use up all that summer produce. It's also great during cooler weather! Make sure you serve this Italian soup with some breadsticks, rolls or flaky biscuits. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas

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Chickpea & Potato CurryTaste of Home

Chickpea & Potato Curry

I make chana masala, the classic Indian dish, in my slow cooker. Browning the onion, ginger and garlic first really makes the sauce amazing. —Anjana Devasahayam, San Antonio, Texas

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African Peanut Sweet Potato StewTaste of Home

African Peanut Sweet Potato Stew

Back when I was in college, my mom made an addicting sweet potato and peanut stew. I shared it with friends, and now all of us serve it to our own kids. They all love it, of course. —Alexis Scatchell, Niles, Illinois

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Asian Slow Cooker Pork

Asian Slow Cooker Pork

Asian slow cooker recipes are a favorite in our home, and this one is perfect for fall and winter evenings. A pork roast cooks all afternoon with sweet onions, honey, soy sauce and ginger for fabulous flavor. The aroma fills the house with a scent that cries out, 'Welcome home!' —Sheree Shown, Junction City, Oregon

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Red Pepper ChickenTaste of Home

Red Pepper Chicken

Chicken breasts are treated to black beans, red peppers and juicy tomatoes in this Southwestern supper. We love it served with rice plumped up in chicken broth. —Piper Spiwak, Vienna, Virginia

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Steakhouse SoupTaste of Home

Steakhouse Soup

Enjoy a steak dinner in a bowl with this super simple, hearty steak soup. Because of the chili powder and cayenne pepper, it packs a little heat, but the recipe can easily be adjusted if you’re cooking for young ones. —Erica Schmidt, Kansas City, Kansas

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Tangy Orange Chicken ThighsTaste of Home

Tangy Orange Chicken Thighs

Here's a quick-prep recipe for tender, flavorful chicken in a tangy tomato-based sauce. You can easily double or triple the recipe, depending on the size of your slow cooker. —Dahlia Abrams, Detroit, Michigan

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Mushroom Marsala with Barley

Mushroom Marsala with Barley

This filling vegetarian recipe is a tasty mashup of chicken Marsala and mushroom barley soup. It's great as a main dish, but it can also be served, with or without the barley, as a side. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois

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Apple Chicken StewTaste of Home

Apple Chicken Stew

My husband and I enjoy visiting the apple orchards in nearby Nebraska City. We always make sure to buy extra cider to use in this sensational slow-cooked stew. —Carol Mathias, Lincoln, Nebraska

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Thai Chicken ThighsTaste of Home

Thai Chicken Thighs

These very tender and moist chicken thighs come with a tangy peanut butter sauce that is irresistible. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Hearty Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Hearty Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

This satisfying soup with a hint of cayenne is brimming with vegetables, chicken and noodles. The recipe is from my father-in-law, but I tweaked it to make it my own. —Norma Reynolds, Overland Park, Kansas

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Slow-Simmered Chicken with Raisins, Capers and BasilTaste of Home

Slow-Simmered Chicken with Raisins, Capers and Basil

Capers, golden raisins and fresh basil give this dish a sweetly savory flavor. And what's better than that? The kids LOVE it. —Nadine Mesch, Mount Healthy, Ohio

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Over-the-Rainbow Minestrone

This colorful soup is vegetarian-friendly and full of fresh flavors from a rainbow of vegetables. You can use any multicolored pasta in place of the spirals. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado

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Simple Vegetarian Slow-Cooked BeansTaste of Home

Simple Vegetarian Slow-Cooked Beans

When I have a hungry family to feed, these tasty beans with spinach, tomatoes and carrots are a go-to dish. This veggie delight is frequently on the menu. —Jennifer Reid, Farmington, Maine

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Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco SaladThe musical "Waitress"

Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Salad

We use this super duper chicken across several meals, including it in tacos, sandwiches, omelets and enchiladas. My little guys love helping measure seasonings. —Karie Houghton, Lynnwood, Washington

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Slow-Cooker Chickpea TagineTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Chickpea Tagine

While traveling through Morocco, my wife and I fell in love with the complex flavors of the many tagines we tried. Resist the urge to stir this dish too much, as it will break down the veggies. Add shredded cooked chicken in the last 10 minutes, or serve with grilled fish. —Raymond Wyatt, West St. Paul, Minnesota

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Tomato Balsamic ChickenTaste of Home

Tomato Balsamic Chicken

I came up with this saucy chicken during a particularly busy holiday season. As new parents, my husband and I both appreciate having a go-to dinner that's easy, homemade and delicious. —Anne Colvin, Chicago, Illinois

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Butternut Squash Soup with CinnamonTaste of Home

Butternut Squash Soup with Cinnamon

The golden color, smooth and creamy texture and wonderful taste of this soup make it a welcome addition to a chilly fall day. It has a slightly tangy flavor from the gingerroot, and the sweet cinnamon really comes through. —Jackie Campbell, Stanhope, New Jersey

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Asian-Style Round SteakTaste of Home

Asian-Style Round Steak

My friend gave me this recipe two decades ago. All I added was a little more meat, the celery and mushrooms. My family loves it! —Marilyn Wolfe, Des Moines, Iowa

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Butternut Squash with Whole GrainsTaste of Home

Butternut Squash with Whole Grains

Fresh thyme really shines in this hearty slow-cooked side dish featuring tender butternut squash, nutritious whole grain pilaf and vitamin-packed baby spinach. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Sweet Potato Chili with TurkeyTaste of Home

Sweet Potato Chili with Turkey

My slow-cooker chili is packed with flavor. Swapping ground turkey for ground beef lightens it up, and sweet potato puree sneaks in a healthy dose of vitamin A. —Rachel Lewis, Danville, Virginia

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Beef & Rice Stuffed Cabbage RollsTaste of Home

Beef & Rice Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

This recipe is special to me because it’s an easy one-pot meal that tastes like you spent the whole day in the kitchen. My family loves it. —Lynn Bowen, Geraldine, Alabama

Carrie Madormo, RN
Now a freelance health and food writer, Carrie worked as a nurse for over a decade. When she isn't hunched over her laptop with a baby in hand, you will find her cooking her grandmother’s recipes, lacing up her running shoes or sipping coffee in the bathroom to hide from her three young children.

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