We’ve all had those moments where you thoughtfully plan out every aspect of your main dish, and then leave the sides to the very last minute. Maybe you’ll quickly steam some broccoli and boil instant rice, but the slow-cooked flavor just won’t be there. Don’t let the accompaniments be an afterthought! Break out your slow cooker before work, and you could have creamy macaroni and cheese or juicy corn when you walk back in the door. Check out 13 slow cooker sides down below, and you’ll always have the perfect support to any main dish.

1. Slow Cooker Mac + Cheese: Load up your slow cooker with pasta, cheeses, butter, milk, and spices; and a few hours later, you’re in comfort food heaven. (via Brit + Co)

2. Slow Cooker Milk and Honey Corn on the Cob: Whether you’re having burgers, BBQ, or brisket, corn on the cob is always a winning side. This slow-cooker recipe has a sweet creaminess from milk and honey that enhances its natural flavor. (via The Magical Slow Cooker)

3. Garlic Ranch Slow Cooker Potatoes: Really, what’s a meal without potatoes? In addition to the garlic ranch spuds in this pot, you’ll get a spicy taco seasoned variation as well. (via The Cookie Rookie)

4. Slow Cooker Barbecued Green Beans: There’s nothing quite like the taste of homestyle green beans like Grandma used to make. (via Spicy Southern Kitchen)

5. Slow Cooker Garlic Herb Mushrooms: It takes more than just a few minutes on the stove to get mushrooms to their peak flavor. Garlicky ‘shrooms would be amazing poured over a seared pork chop or served alongside sautéed spinach and quinoa. (via Closet Cooking)

6. Creamy Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes: No gummy, lumpy, or dry mashed potatoes are allowed in your house; only the ultra-creamy and buttery variety like this recipe yields. (via Cafe Delites)

7. Slow Cooker Risotto With Butternut Squash: Risotto is perfect for date night, and could even be a hearty vegetarian main dish by itself. (via Well Plated)

8. Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes: If baking potatoes in the oven tests your patience, switch to this slow cooking method for good. (via Cook, Eat, Paleo)

9. Slow Cooker Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash: If you’re looking for a low-carb side, garlic Parmesan spaghetti squash is a melt-in-your-mouth option you have to try. Pair it with any basic chicken dish to up your dinner game. (via My Modern Cookery)

10. Slow Cooker Balsamic Brussels Sprouts: We can’t promise you that your house will smell the best after cooking these Brussels all day, but the result is well worth it. (via Damn Delicious)

11. Slow Cooker Honey Glazed Carrots: If getting your whole family to eat carrots means coating them in honey, so be it. (via Evolving Table)

12. Slow Cooker Cinnamon Sugar Butternut Squash: When the holidays roll around, you’ll be so glad you have an easy butternut squash side in your repertoire. Let’s just say that it’s comfort in a slow cooker. (via The Magical Slow Cooker)

13. Slow Cooker Mexican Beans: Next taco Tuesday, come home to these Mexican beans that make for a vegetarian filling or a side with rice. (via Yellow Bliss Road)

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