Stock your pantry and freezer with these cold weather winners that are easy on your budget and prep time.

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Trader Joe's is always a go-to when I want to plan some simple meals. From their exceptional frozen goods to fabulous array of sauces, often all I need is to add a protein and I can get dinner on the table quickly. Now that it's slow cooker season, I love having a simple one-pot meal on the go, making the house smell amazing. But sometimes I do not have the bandwidth for much prep or fuss. So, TJ's to the rescue again! Here are my top 10 Trader Joe's items that keep my slow cooking on point and my dinners delicious.

Meatballs
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Tomato Pepper Sauce
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Spicy Chunky Tomato and Pepper Pasta Sauce

This might technically be a pasta sauce, but I love it for slow cooker meatloaf or a riff on chicken cacciatore. You can also add fresh eggplant, squash, and peppers for a slow cooker ratatouille.

Cold Brew BBQ
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Cold Brew Coffee BBQ Sauce

From pulled pork to BBQ chicken to sloppy joes, pretty much all you need is a bottle or two of this delicious BBQ sauce, your slow cooker, your protein of choice, and a package of buns. 

Thai Green Sauce
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Thai Green Curry Simmer Sauce

You add the protein and vegetables of your choice, and add this bright fresh tasting simmer sauce, and dinner is as easy as turning on your slow cooker. Want to make a full meal of it? Try adding Trader Joe's frozen Riced Cauliflower Stir Fry on the side.

Salsa Verde
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Salsa Verde

Sure, a jar of this tomatillo salsa is terrific with a bag of tortilla chips. But add it to your slow cooker and you have the beginning of everything from a green chicken chili to a pork verde. Serve both meals with warm corn tortillas... perfect!

Zhoug Sauce
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Zhoug Sauce

This spicy herbaceous Middle Eastern sauce is found fresh in a tub. Think of it like pesto's amazing Israeli cousin. Using it in your slow cooker with chicken and vegetables can turn a bland Tuesday supper into something special. Serve with pita bread and tahini or yogurt for an exciting new take on your basic slow cooker meal.

Meatballs
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Italian Style Meatballs

Put these frozen meatballs in your slow cooker with a jar of your favorite TJ's pasta sauce and all you need is a carb! Put them on hearty rolls for meatball subs, serve over pasta, polenta, rice, or mashed potatoes.

Spatchcock chicken
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Spatchcocked Lemon Rosemary Chicken

If you love roasting chicken in your slow cooker, TJ's just made it that much easier. All the great seasoning and flavor are in this package—just add some potatoes and vegetables underneath with a little broth, and it is like a sheet-pan meal in your slow cooker. But the real gift of this chicken is to use it for a slow-cooker chicken soup! Tons of great lemon and rosemary flavor… just add water and vegetables!

Cacio e Pepe
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Cacio Y Pepe Pasta Sauce

If you love a slow cooker mac and cheese, swap out your usual cheese sauce for this jar of peppery Cacio y Pepe for an elevated take on a family favorite. You can also use as the base of a great broccoli cheese soup: Just add frozen chopped broccoli and some chicken stock.

Ravioli Trader Joe's
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Ricotta and Lemon Zest Ravioli

I like a slow-cooker lasagna, but I hate to have to do all that layering prep. Grab a couple packages of these frozen ravioli and just layer with the TJ's jarred Bolognese and some shredded mozzarella and you have a cheater lasagna that is as yummy as it is simple.

Lentils
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Indian Fare Madras Lentils

These lentils are full of great flavor and just need your slow cooker to warm them up. Serve as is over rice or add chicken or vegetable soup to make a lentil soup.