Slow cooker food conjures images of meat and potatoes—using a different sauce every day doesn’t hide the fact that it’s pot roast again. But who has time for incredibly complex recipes with dozens of ingredients? Home cooks can take back the slow cooker with these midcentury family favorites, updated for today’s tastes and adapted to make ahead of time and cook all day. With an eye toward entertaining, these recipes come together in a flash with zero time spent standing over the stove.
There’s a recipe for any occasion—from weeknight dinners to impromptu parties to festive holiday meals—and they will please even the pickiest eater.