If you've been using "I can't cook" or "I don't have the time" as excuses for ordering pizza every second night or living off of boxed Minute Made Rice, this article about crock-pot recipes is for you. Crock-pots have earned a bad reputation among CTV's This is Us fans for playing a role in a certain character's untimely death. Despite that, they really are a staple kitchen item, especially for students.

Crock-pot recipes are a perfect time-efficient solution to all of your cooking problems. There is no skill required; crockpots are ideal for cooking rookies who want a taste of home without the work. All you have to do is pour in the ingredients and wait. Here are 8 easy and quick recipes that you can make in your slow cooker for lunch, dinner, or dessert today. 

1. Chilli

Chili con Carne

wuestenigel on Flickr

Now that winter is here, chilli tastes better than ever. With this recipe, you can substitute the type of beans that are used to suit your own preferences, and make it with or without beef. You can also spice it in different ways each time you make it.

2. Pulled Pork

Slow cookers allow for flavourful and tender pulled pork. You can eat it on its own, or add it to another dish. Consider making a barbecue pulled pork sandwich with some of your leftovers to mix it up. Add enough greens to your bun and you might even feel like you're eating a balanced meal!

3. Butternut Squash Soup

Spiced butternut squash soup photo by Sara Dubler (@_ahungryblonde_) on Unsplash

Unsplash on unsplash

If you're looking for a vegan slow cooker recipe, look no further than this delicious butternut squash soup. Not a butternut squash fan? No problem. There are endless possibilities for making soup in crock-pots. Check out the recipe above, and look for other slow cooker soup recipes (including vegan options) here

4. Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder

AustinMatherne on Flickr

This dish is great on a chilly and snowy day. When you combine potatoes, bacon, chicken, and cream, the end result is bound to be good. Once you start cooking this chowder, your house will smell amazing. Also, this recipe is gluten-free!

5. Macaroni and Cheese

Ultimate Mac and Cheese Guide

thebittenword.com on Flickr

I promise that this is a big step up from Kraft Dinner. One slow cooker serving makes much more than one box of KD and is a little more guilt-free. Who doesn't love mac and cheese leftovers? It's the ideal comfort food that you can make as cheesy as you want.

6. Meatballs

Crock-pot recipes don't get much simpler than slow-cooked meatballs. Just add the meatballs and a sauce of your choice, and let them sit. These are a great snack for game day while you and your friends are cheering on your favourite team.

7. Apple Crisp

Mmm... Apple Crisp with Whipped Cream

jeffreyw on Flickr

Once you make this slow cooker apple crisp, you'll never want to cook dessert in the oven again. Add some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream to the top and you can't go wrong. If you eat dessert before dinner, I won't tell.

8. Hot Chocolate

Cream, marshmallow, drink and mug HD photo by rawpixel (@rawpixel) on Unsplash

Unsplash on unsplash

You can even use your crock-pot to make drinks. This creamy hot chocolate recipe is perfect for warming up your family and friends on a cold holiday afternoon.Don't forget the marshmallows.

#SpoonTip: spray your slow cooker with cooking spray before using it for an easier cleanup.

If you don't have a slow cooker in your kitchen already, it's time to invest in one. Once you do, you'll realize that you don't need to be the next Gordon Ramsay to be able to make a meal that tastes home-cooked.