Meal planning can be tricky and finding the time to cook those planned meals can be even harder. But if there's one kitchen gadget that can save you time and stress, it's the slow cooker.
Hearty stews and marinated meats can be cooking away while you sleep, ferry the kids around or are hard at work – what’s not to love?
So if you've been given a slow cooker for Christmas and need some inspiration to get started, here are some of our favourite slow cooker recipes.
Slow-cooked lamb burger with cabbage slaw
Tender lamb that has been cooked for 6-8 hours in Worcestershire sauce, chipotle and harissa paste and paired with crunchy, tangy slaw - this burger really is the most flavoursome thing in bread you'll ever eat.
Chilli non carne
There's no need for meat - even carnivores will love this hearty veggie chilli which is packed with vegetables, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms and served with broccoli rice.
A brilliant alternative to the traditional roast chicken, this slow-cooked masterpiece is bursting with refreshing flavours such as saffron, garlic, tomato and bay leaf.
Bangin’ root veg stew
Ready-chopped veg is a great timesaver – just throw them in your slow cooker, add enough Cumberland sausages to feed your crowd, cover with stock and paprika and cook for 6-8 hours. When you come home you'll have a tasty feast for all the family.
Slow cooker chicken fajitas
Who doesn't love a Friday night meal of chicken fajitas? And once you've tried making your fajita filling in the slow cooker, you won't go back. Our recipe uses thighs which fall apart once cooked for hours and take on all those Mexican flavours.
Cheesy shepherd’s pie
Thought you couldn't make this family favourite of shepherd's pie in a slow cooker? Think again. To make, fry the mince before putting in the slow cooker with your vegetables and stock. Aftter cooking for an hour, reduce the heat to low, then top with the root veg mash and grated cheese. Replace the lid of the cooker and continue to cook for 2-4 hrs. Easy as pie.