Slow-Cooker Meals

Chicken in Red Wine Vinegar

The appeal of a slow-cooker is obvious: throw some ingredients into your pot in the morning and come home at night to a hot, ready-to-eat meal. How does it work?Slow-cookers employ a method known as moist heat cooking. Electric coils heat a metal insert at a low, steady temperature, and as the ingredients cook they release steam. The steam condenses on the lid and travels back down into the pot as liquid, keeping the dish moist throughout hours of cooking. What should I make?Our collection of slow cooker recipes lets you make on a weekday what would normally take an entire Sunday in the kitchen to prepare. There are classic comfort foods like Corned Beef with Cabbage, Carrots and Potatoes or Slow-Cooker Sunday Sauce with Spaghetti. How about a pot of beans? We mean an insanely creamy, flavorful, satisfying pot of beans—which is tough to perfect. The slow cooker is an easy way to avoid tough or mushy beans, so you can make that long-simmered chili or hearty chickpea stew without a Goya can in site. Of course this is modern slow cooker-ing (no bland green beans with cream of Mushroom soup here), and our collection also includes bold dishes like Berbere-spiced Ethiopian Chicken and Black Lentil Stew. Saving MoneySlow-cooker recipes are our go-to for times when we’re trying to save money. Inexpensive cuts of meat can remain tough and chewy when prepared using traditional cooking methods, but the long, slow braise in a slow cooker breaks down the connective tissues and tenderizes the meat. Choose cuts like brisket, which we use in our Slow-Cooker Spicy Brisket with Texas Caviar, or pork shoulder, which we cook until it’s fall-off-the-bone tender then pull into meaty threads. One shoulder can become a week’s worth of recipes. Try our spicy Slow-Cooker Pork Tacos or our Barbeque Pulled Pork sandwiches.—Carrie Mullins

01 of 17

Slow Cooker Sunday Sauce on Spaghetti

Slow Cooker Sunday Sauce for Spaghetti
© Fredrika Stjärne

Have an Italian palate but don't exactly have the time on Sunday like an Italian grandma? "Cheat" with this recipe and your slow cooker.

02 of 17

Slow Cooker Glazed Pork Ribs with White Beans

Slow Cooker Glazed Pork Ribs with White Beans
© Fredrika Stjärne

This warming eastern European short rib stew is best served in deep bowls over buttery noodles.

03 of 17

Slow Cooker Coconut Pork Curry

Slow Cooker Coconut Pork Curry

Grace Parisi cooks pork shoulder with bold ingredients like fresh ginger, garlic, curry powder, cumin and turmeric. The flavors intensify and penetrate the meat after four hours in the slow cooker.

04 of 17

Slow Cooker Korean Beef Stew with Napa Cabbage and Pickles

Slow Cooker Korean Beef Stew with Napa Cabbage and Pickles

Napa cabbage and thinly-sliced sour pickles add texture and tang to this hearty stew. Searing the pieces of beef chuck before putting them in the slow cooker gives the stew a rich flavor.

05 of 17

Slow Cooker Ginger-Beef Noodle Soup

Slow Cooker Ginger-Beef Noodle Soup

This gingery soup features meaty shiitake mushrooms, shredded beef chuck and chewy Japanese udon noodles.

06 of 17

Slow Cooker Thai-Inspired Chicken Stew

Slow Cooker Thai-Inspired Chicken Stew

The Thai accents in this fragrant chicken stew come from creamy coconut milk, fresh ginger, salty fish sauce and lime.

07 of 17

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry with Potatoes and Cauliflower

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry with Potatoes and Cauliflower

Looking to warm up after a cold day? Throw this savory chicken dish in your slow cooker before you face the say and you'll come home to the ultimate comfort-food meal.

08 of 17

Slow Cooker Ham Hock and Chickpea Stew

March 20: Slow Cooker Ham Hock and Chickpea Stew

F&W's Marcia Kiesel credits split pea soup, one of her favorites, as the inspiration for this hearty stew. Like split peas, chickpeas need to simmer for a long time, making them great for a slow cooker.

09 of 17

Chicken Tinga Tacos

Chicken Tinga Tacos

"The chicken is braised in the oven, but you can make it in a slow cooker or completely on the stove, in a casserole," says Jenn Louis. There are many versions of tinga--the smoky Mexican tomato sauce--and this one is especially easy, calling for only a few simple ingredients.

10 of 17

Slow Cooker Spicy Brisket with Texas Caviar

Slow Cooker Spicy Brisket
FREDRIKA STJÄRNE

You've never had Texas brisket like this before, but it may change the way you enjoy it forever.

11 of 17

Slow-Cooked Duck with Green Olives and Herbes de Provence

Slow-Cooked Duck with Green Olives and Herbes de Provence
© Matthew Armendariz

This is the most forgiving and delicious duck recipe you'll ever find. By slow-cooking duck with aromatics until it's as tasty and tender as confit, then broiling it until the skin is shatter-crisp, Paula Wolfert manages to play to all of the bird's strengths. If you're feeling lazy, you can simply serve the duck with the strained pan juices and forego the stock and olive sauce altogether. If you're feeding a crowd, you can cook three ducks in a large roasting pan, increasing the onions and aromatics slightly and allowing just a little more cooking time. And you can prepare the dish two days ahead and finish it off at the last moment. Just be sure to have the butcher cut the duck for you--that's the only step that can be tricky.

12 of 17

Slow Cooker Corned Beef with Cabbage, Carrots and Potatoes

Slow Cooker Corned Beef with Cabbage, Carrots and Potatoes

This classic Irish-American dish gets simplified in the slow cooker.

13 of 17

Slow Cooker Ethiopian-Spiced Chicken and Black Lentil Stew

Slow Cooker Ethiopian-Spiced Chicken and Black Lentil Stew
© Sarah Bolla

In this intensely comforting spiced chicken and black lentil stew, bold ingredients like fresh ginger, garlic, tomatoes, and white wine simmer slowly with an Ethiopian spice blend called Berbere. The berbere spice blend can be substituted with an equal amount of Garam Masala for a very similar flavor profile in this dish.

14 of 17

Slow Cooker Indian-Spiced Red Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard

Slow Cooker Indian-Spiced Red Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard
© Sarah Bolla

In this soup, fresh turmeric pairs up with cinnamon, cumin, and coriander to spice up red lentils and wilted Swiss chard. It's power-packed full of flavor and warmth and also subtlety sweet. To serve, add a dollop of yogurt for a bright, creamy, and cooling topping.

15 of 17

Slow-Cooked Pork Shoulder with Roasted Apples

Slow-Cooked Pork Shoulder with Roasted Apples
© Eva Kolenko

This cut takes a long time to cook, but the prep is minimal and the results are outstanding: supercrispy skin and meltingly tender meat.

16 of 17

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore with Linguine and Caper Berries

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore with Linguine and Caper Berries
© Sarah Bolla

Adding tart caper berries to a cacciatore go a long way toward brightening the flavors.

17 of 17

Chicken in Red Wine Vinegar

Chicken in Red Wine Vinegar

For Paula Wolfert, this rustic Lyonnais dish is comfort food. Slow cooking transforms red wine vinegar, tomato, shallots, garlic and a touch of honey into a perfectly balanced sauce for chicken.

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