Multi-watt continuous-wave room temperature operation with efficiency exceeding 10% has been demonstrated for quantum cascade lasers essentially in the entire mid-wave and long-wave infrared spectral regions. Along with interband cascade lasers, these devices are the only room-temperature lasers that directly convert electrical power into mid- and long-infrared optical power. In this paper, we review the progress in high-power quantum cascade lasers made over the last 10 years. Specifically, an overview of the most important active region, waveguide, and thermal design techniques is presented, and various aspects of die packaging for high-power applications are discussed. Prospects of power scaling with lateral device dimensions for reaching optical power level in the range from 10 W to 20 W are also analyzed. Finally, coherent and spectral beam-combining techniques for very high-power infrared platforms are discussed.