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.
Pesto Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms
What's not to love about a set-it-and-forget-it lasagna "bake"? Once you layer all the ingredients in your slow cooker, you can walk away and tend to other things as the cooker work its magic. No-boil lasagna noodles are essential here, as they absorb all the juices that accumulate in the cooker. For the freshest flavor, we find that the tubs of refrigerated pesto really deliver, tasting much more vibrant than the shelf-stable jarred varieties. Though we call for cremini mushrooms (also known as baby bella mushrooms) in this recipe, you can use white mushrooms or a mushroom blend in their place.