Slow-Cooker Showstoppers

by in Recipes, December 2nd, 2011

The beauty of the slow cooker is endless. With this trusty, must-have kitchen gadget, you’re able to create bold dishes in just one pot, achieve flavors that normally require constant monitoring without the time-consuming commitment to them, and can essentially let it do the cooking for you. For a taste of the slow-cooked life, try our easy recipes below that can be quickly prepped in the morning and enjoyed at night.

This veggie-friendly Slow-Cooker Squash Stew from Food Network Magazine is perfect for an easy Meatless Monday main dish or healthy lunch any day of the week. Leafy Swiss chard, hearty butternut squash and chickpeas combine to create a warm, comforting stew, while a final squeeze of lemon juice brightens up the bowl.

Cooking Channel’s Kelsey Nixon uses her slow cooker to simmer seasoned pork shoulder in a tomato sauce with brown sugar, chili powder and cumin for her Slow Cooker Shredded Pork recipe. After a few short hours in the slow cooker, the pork becomes fork-tender and has adopted the spicy flavors of the sauce. Pile the pork atop a lightly toasted bun for instant sandwiches or serve with Food Network Kitchens’ Cornbread to enjoy a barbecue feast.

Serve an Italian supper without boiling a pot of water for pasta. This Slow Cooker Ravioli Casserole recipe from Food 2 lets the slow cooker do all of the work in melding tomato sauce, beef ravioli and creamy mozzarella into a family-friendly dish.

Put down that Chinese takeout menu and opt for Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken from instead. Boneless skinless chicken breasts are simmered, not deep-fried, with pineapple chunks, bell peppers and onions. Brown sugar, vinegar and soy sauce are mixed in to craft a smooth, thick sauce that coats the chicken and vegetable. Serve with white or brown rice for a traditional takeout-style dish without the extra cost.

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Comments (8)

  1. I totally agree. I love to use my slow-cooker on those busy days when I don't have time to cook.


  2. I have used my slow-cooker a lot lately because I'm a student and I work. I love to use my slow-cooker for ribs, pot roast, among other things.

  3. Becky says:

    I love cooking with my slow cookers – I have three (difference sizes). Cooking with a slow cooker gives me a day to myself while a great dinner cooks , and also we have an RV . I can put something together in the morning and let it go for the day (using 8-10 hrs recipes) I have also used it while we are in route to that nights' destination -I prepare it in the morning and just before we leave I put the cooker in the sink -place a bath towel loosely around it to keep it in place- plug it in and off we go. I do check it about every hour to make sure the towel isn't getting too hot, but since it is cooking on low, the towel is only warm. The Sweet and Sour Chicken looks great so plan to try that on our next RV trip. NOW, if I could just find some recipes for this "Electric Pressure Cooker" I bought!!

  4. Fred says:

    One of the greatest cooking implements ever created!

  5. Debbie says:

    I love my slow cooker but I'd also like to see many more pressure cooker recipes here. What a time saver and they're so easy to use. Modern pressure cookers are built with safeguards so that users can be completely confident. Without recipes, folks won't even give it a try.

    • JLF says:

      You are so right. I grew up with my grandmother and mother always warning us kids to "don't touch the pressure cooker – it could blow up on you". I've been scared to death of them ever since.

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