There's a reason why slow cooker recipes are wildly popular. We want convenience, and we want—and need—it now. The slow cooker delivers just that, working hard for us while we're hard at work, welcoming us home to a fragrant dinner that's just waiting to be enjoyed. This simple appliance works miracles with tough, inexpensive cuts of meat, coaxing out incredible flavor and turning out meltingly tender results. Through its low, slow cooking, it melds and marries flavors; it brings ingredients together in delicious harmony. And it offers up a few surprises: appetizers, sides, and drinks that simmer to perfection—hands-free.
Balsamic Collard Greens
You'll love having a pot of these slow-cooked greens on hand. Serve them with roasted chicken, pork tenderloin, or pan-grilled pork chops—or pile them onto a bed of quinoa for a delicious whole-grain bowl. The slow cooker works some real magic here, turning collard greens soft and tender while still retaining some texture. The sweet and tangy vinegar-honey finish brings together the flavors of smoky bacon and earthy, mildly bitter greens in perfect harmony. For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon and stir in 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika to replicate the flavor, and swap in vegetable stock for chicken broth.