5 Slow-Cooker Meals

Cooking for a crowd? Try one of these recipes from Art of the Slow Cooker by Andrew Schloss. Pop everything in your slow cooker in the a.m. and you won’t be stuck in the kitchen when guests arrive!
  1. Parmigiano Pumpkin Soup with Frizzled Prosciutto

    Prep: 10 minutes
    Cooking time: 3 to 4 hours on high, 6 to 8 hours on low
    All recipes use a 5- to 6-qt. cooker — you’ll have leftovers for the week!

    Ingredients
    2 Tbl. extra-virgin olive oil
    2 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into strips
    1 large onion, cut into ⅛-inch dice
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1 (28-oz.) can 100% pure pumpkin
    2 qt. vegetable or chicken broth
    ⅛ tsp. ground nutmeg
    1 tsp. kosher salt
    ½ tsp. ground white pepper
    ½ cup cream
    ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
    2 Tbl. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

    Directions
    1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add prosciutto and sauté until crisp, about 1 minute. Remove and set aside.

    2. Reduce heat to medium, add onion and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook a few seconds. Stir in pumpkin, broth, nutmeg, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Transfer to slow cooker, cover and cook 3 to 4 hours on high, or 6 to 8 hours on low.

    3. Stir in cream and cheese and cover 5 minutes. Stir in parsley. Ladle into bowls and garnish with frizzled prosciutto.

  2. Tunisian Lamb Tagine with Toasted Almonds and Couscous

    Prep: 20 minutes
    Cooking time: 3 to 4 hours on high; 6 to 8 hours on low
    All recipes use a 5- to 6-qt. cooker — you’ll have leftovers for the week!

    Ingredients
    2 lb. lamb cubes
    Kosher salt
    3 Tbl. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    5 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
    2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1½-inch chunks
    2 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch-thick slices
    2 onions, cut into 1-inch cubes
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    1 Tbl. ground cumin
    1 Tbl ground coriander
    ½ tsp. ground allspice
    1½ cups beef broth
    1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes with juice
    1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
    1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
    1 dried red chili pepper
    ¼ cup ground toasted almonds
    Juice and finely grated zest of ½ lemon
    1 package instant couscous
    ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

    Directions
    1. Season lamb liberally with salt. Heat 2 Tbl. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown lamb lightly in batches, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer each batch to a slow cooker after it’s browned.

    2. Add 1 Tbl. oil to skillet. Sauté parsnips, sweet potatoes, celery and onions until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin, coriander and allspice. Cook until vegetables are coated, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to cooker.

    3. Add beef broth to skillet and heat until boiling, scraping any stuck browned bits off the pan; pour into cooker.

    4. Add tomatoes, black pepper, cinnamon stick and chili pepper to cooker. Cover and cook 3 to 4 hours on high, or 6 to 8 hours on low, until fork-tender. Meanwhile, mix together toasted almonds, lemon juice and lemon zest in a small bowl.

    5. When stew is done, remove cinnamon stick and chili pepper. Stir in almond mixture and cook on high until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Prepare instant couscous according to package instructions, cover, remove from heat and let rest 5 minutes.

    6. Serve stew on a bed of couscous and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

  3. Slow-Cooked Chicken Dinner

    Prep: 20 minutes
    Cooking time: 3 to 4 hours on high, 5 to 6 hours on low
    All recipes use a 5- to 6-qt. cooker — you’ll have leftovers for the week!

    All-Purpose Spice Rub Ingredients
    1 Tbl. light brown sugar
    1 Tbl. kosher salt
    1 tsp. dried thyme
    1 tsp. dry mustard
    1 tsp. ground dried sage
    1 tsp. paprika
    ½ tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
    ½ tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
    ½ tsp. garlic powder

    Chicken Ingredients
    ⅓ cup flour
    ¼ cup All-Purpose Spice Rub
    2 each of chicken drumsticks, thighs and breast halves with wings (6 to 7 lb. total)
    1½ lb. medium golden or red-skin potatoes, quartered
    2 Tbl. vegetable oil, divided
    1 large onion, cut into chunks
    24 baby-cut carrots
    4 celery ribs, cut into ¾-inch lengths
    ½ cup dry white wine
    2 cups chicken broth
    3 Tbl. instant mashed potato flakes
    2 Tbl. chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

    Directions
    1. Mix all ingredients for spice rub together in a small bowl. Mix flour and spice rub in a medium mixing bowl. Take off skin from all chicken pieces except wings. Turn chicken in flour mixture until thoroughly coated; pat off excess flour and reserve flour mixture.

    2. Boil potatoes in several quarts of lightly salted water for 5 minutes; drain and place in the bottom of slow cooker.

    3. Heat 1 Tbl. vegetable oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken on both sides, about 4 minutes per side, and transfer to a plate; set aside.

    4. Add remaining vegetable oil to skillet. Add onion, carrots and celery and sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes; then add reserved seasoned flour and stir until vegetables are coated. Add wine and bring to a boil. Add chicken broth and simmer until slightly thickened; pour into cooker. Arrange drumsticks and thighs over the vegetables; set breast halves on top of dark meat. Cover cooker and cook for 3 to 4 hours on high, or 5 to 6 hours on low, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a breast registers 165°F.

    5. Remove chicken to a serving platter and surround with potatoes, carrots and celery; keep warm. Turn cooker up to high, stir in mashed potato flakes and continue stirring until gravy thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in parsley and spoon over chicken.

  4. Braised Sweet-and-Sour Brisket

    Prep: 20 minutes
    Cooking time: 4 to 6 hours on high, 8 to 10 hour on low
    All recipes use a 5- to 6-qt. cooker — you’ll have leftovers for the week!

    Ingredients
    3-lb. beef brisket, excess fat trimmed
    Kosher salt
    Coarsely ground black pepper
    2 Tbl. vegetable oil, divided
    2 large onions, chopped
    6 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch coins
    4 celery ribs, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    6 Tbl. cider vinegar
    ¼ cup dark brown sugar
    ½ cup ketchup
    1½ cups beef broth

    Directions
    1. Season brisket liberally with kosher salt and pepper. Heat 1 Tbl. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown brisket on both sides, about 5 minutes per side, starting fatty side down. Transfer to slow cooker.

    2. Add 1 Tbl. oil to skillet. Add onions, carrots and celery and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds. Add vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup and broth. Bring to a boil. Pour over brisket, cover and cook 4 to 6 hours on high, or 8 to 10 hours on low, until meat is very tender.

    3. Transfer brisket to a cutting board and skim fat from the surface of the juices. Cut brisket across the grain in ¼-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices so they overlap on a large platter. Surround meat with vegetables and spoon on sauce to moisten; then serve remaining sauce on the side.

  5. Salmon Slow-Cooked with Herbs

    Prep: 10 minutes
    Cooking time: 2 ½ to 3 hours on low
    All recipes use a 5- to 6-qt. cooker — you’ll have leftovers for the week!

    Ingredients
    2 Tbl. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    1 lb. small Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into thin slices
    1 medium onion, halved and cut into thin slices
    2 celery ribs, cut into thin slices
    2-lb. farm-raised salmon fillet (wild salmon dries out in a slow cooker)
    ½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
    ¼ tsp. coarsely ground black pepper, plus more to taste
    ½ cup dry white wine
    1 cup hot water
    2 Tbl. fresh herbs, chopped, such as parsley, dill or tarragon
    2 Tbl. Butter

    Directions
    1. Drizzle bottom of a slow cooker with 1 Tbl. olive oil. Layer potatoes, onion and celery over the bottom. Place a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil lengthwise across cooker and press down so it covers the vegetables and sides of the pot, and so the ends of the foil extend over the rim at each end of the pot.

    2. Season flesh side of salmon with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 1 Tbl. olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Brown flesh side of salmon in oil, about 2 minutes. Place salmon, skin side down, on top of foil.

    3. Add wine to pan and heat to boiling. Stir in water and pour over salmon. Cover cooker and cook on low 2½ to 3 hours, until the salmon flakes when gently pressed.

    4. Lift salmon from pot with foil and transfer to a platter. Arrange vegetables around fish. Pour liquid from cooker into a skillet, add herbs and boil 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and swirl in butter. Add salt and pepper to taste; pour sauce over fish and vegetables.