Tag Archives: slow cooker

5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Dinner Ideas: Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese

Ready to make the most comforting dinner with the least amount of effort? Then you’ll love this beef Bolognese. It only required five ingredients, plus a little salt and pepper! It’s the perfect, warming dish to make as the weather starts turning cooler — and is usually loved by all family members, even picky eaters. After a quick sauté of the onion and beef, simply throw all of the ingredients into the slow cooker and voila, you’re done. We like to choose a jar of our favourite store-bought marinara or tomato sauce, since it infuses so much flavour in one simple ingredient. If you would like to add the extra step of making your own, go for it. For the ultimate comfort dinner, serve the Bolognese over a big pile of your favourite noodles.

5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 to 6 hours
Total Time: 3 to 6 hours
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 lb ground beef
1 x 750 ml jar marinara or tomato sauce
½ cup chicken broth or dry red wine
½ tsp sea salt and pinch of pepper

Directions:

1. Place a wide skillet over medium-high heat and add in the oil. Once heated, put in onion and cook for 3 minutes until translucent.

2. Add in the ground beef, break it up with the back of a spoon and allow to brown.

3. Then place the onion, browned beef, sauce, broth, salt and pepper in the slow cooker.

4. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours.

Like Tamara and Sarah’s slow cooker beef Bolognese? Try their vegan pumpkin soup or their no-bake chocolate layered oat bars.

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup is the Easiest Way to Make Dinner

Love French onion soup? Don’t have time to stand around caramelizing onions? Then this slow cooker version is the perfect way to satisfy those cravings. Slow cooker soups are a great way to get a meal on the table with very little prep time and this is no exception. This is a perfect easy soup recipe for a chilly fall evening. It’ll make your home smell amazing and it’ll taste like you’ve spent hours in the kitchen when, in fact, it’s the slow cooker doing all the work for you!

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 9 hours
Total Time: 9 hours, 30 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

2 lbs onions, halved and sliced
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3 tsp brown sugar
1.5 L beef stock
2 Tbsp brandy (optional)
8 sprigs fresh thyme, plus some for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
8-12 slices baguette
1 ½ cups grated Swiss cheese

Directions:

1. Place sliced onions, butter and sugar in a 6-quart slow cooker. Stir to combine.

Related: This Vegan Pumpkin Soup Has a Super-Secret Immune-Boosting Ingredient

2. Cover and cook on high for 6 to 7 hours, removing the lid and stirring from time to time. Many recipes suggest doing this overnight, but as all slow cookers are different, it’s best to be around when these are cooking so you can keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. The onions should be deep brown before you put the rest of the ingredients in.

3. Add the stock, brandy, thyme and pepper. Cover again and cook on high for approximately 2 hours.

4. Remove the lid, scoop out the thyme sprigs and stir.

5. Pre-heat your oven broiler to high. Prepare your oven-safe soup bowls by placing them on a parchment-lined tray. Top each bowl of soup with 2 slices of baguette and approximately ¼ cup grated cheese.

6. Broil for approximately 5 minutes or until the cheese is melty and golden brown. Top with a few fresh thyme leaves to serve.

Like Mardi’s slow cooker French onion soup? Try her oven-baked zucchini and corn fritters or her easy mixed berry galettes.

crockpot-freezer-meals

How to Prep Slow Cooker Freezer Meals to Get Through the Week

Slow cooker freezer meals are a must for any family and for the budget-savvy home cook. Often referred to as “dump meals” or “dump bags”, what makes it easy, is that you thaw and simply dump the contents of your freezer bag into your Crockpot. Then you let it do its thing as you go about your day. And when it’s dinnertime: your delicious home-cooked meal is ready to devour. This style of cooking awards you some precious time back, and it also happens to be kind to your wallet. Win, win.

To make perfect Crockpot freezer meals, there are a few tips and tricks to getting it just right. You don’t want to end up with a stew that’s way too soupy or vegetables that are mushy and unappetizing. Here’s what you need to know!

Related: These Budget-Friendly Microwave Recipes Are Total Time-Savers

lentil-soup-crockpot-freezer

Get the Right Meal Prep Equipment

Before you start planning which meal to make, you need the right equipment: a slow cooker, freezer bags, a permanent marker and labels (although these aren’t entirely necessary). We recommend buying name-brand freezer bags that are sturdy. The ones that have the slide lock are the easiest.

Always Label Your Freezer Bag First

Once you’ve decided what you’re going to make, it’s important you label your freezer bags. Do not attempt to label once the food is in, not only will the bags be too hard to write on, but the marker often won’t work, or the label won’t stick because of the moisture released from the ingredients inside.

This surefire labelling method will help you remember what you froze, how long it’s been in your freezer and how to cook it. First label what the meal is, for example: “Chicken Tortilla Soup” or “Turkey Chili” and write down the date you made it. Then label it with ingredients that need to be added before cooking as well as cooking instructions. For example: add 1/2 cup broth before cooking, set on high for 6 hours.

Label it with instructions on how you’re going to serve the meal once it’s ready – so you know which ingredients you need to have on hand before slow-cooking. If it’s a chili, maybe you want to serve it with avocado, fresh cilantro and some grated cheese. If it’s a curry, you might want to serve with toasted coconuts, peanuts and fresh mint. Or if you’re making chicken tortilla soup, you will certainly need to have tortillas on hand to crisp up and top your bowl.

Related: This Clever Trick Will Prevent Freezer Burn for Good (And Major Food Waste)

slow-cooker-prep

Time-Saving Tips for Freezer Meal Prep

Take your time chopping up all ingredients first and prepping the sauce or marinade before packing. It’s best if all prep work is done before for efficiency and for easy clean-up. Usually prepping for slow-cooked meals only takes 15-20 minutes.

Some savvy home-cooks like to make several different freezer meals at once, so they’ll prep four different recipes first, then pack all of the bags and freeze. This will usually take a whole day to do.

Some slow cooker recipes call for sautéing or blanching the veggies, or browning the meat beforehand. We’ve found these steps to be unnecessary. Just toss everything in, uncooked.

How to Pack Freezer Bags

To avoid big spills and messes in the kitchen, stand the bags upright to pack. You can buy special baggy rack holders online, or simply place the bag in a big bowl so it won’t fall over as you’re adding the ingredients.

No matter the meal, you can add the ingredients to the bag in any order. Some people prefer veggies and beans at the very bottom, sauces and marinades in the middle, and meat on top; but, once in the slow cooker, it will all meld together.

When closing up the bags, press them firmly to ensure all the air is released. Then lay the bag flat in the freezer (this allows for easy defrosting, and it doesn’t take up as much of your precious freezer space).

Related: Can I Freeze This? How to Freeze Fruit, Cheese, Leftovers and More

crockpot-freezer-packing

Do’s and Don’ts for Slow Cooker Freezer Meals

If you’re making a meat Crockpot meal and your chicken, turkey, lamb, pork or beef is already frozen, don’t defrost it before adding it to your bag. You never want to defrost raw meat and then freeze it again.

Slow-cooked meals tend to release a lot of liquid, especially if you’re cooking lots of veggies. You don’t need to add as much broth or water as you think; otherwise, you’ll end up with a soupy texture and diluted flavour.

Most dairy products need to be added to the slow cooker the day of cooking and shouldn’t be frozen, for example: milk, cream, sour cream and cheese.

If your recipe includes pasta, add it the day-of, don’t freeze beforehand. Pasta tends to get very, very mushy, so unless you’re making a baked ziti, add the pasta 15 minutes before cooking time is up.

Be careful with veggies that get too mushy, like broccoli, asparagus or leafy greens. Add those towards the end of the cook time to preserve some texture. If you don’t mind mushy veggies, then you can add them in with the rest of the ingredients.

Related: 10 Tasty Uses for Leftover Food Scraps to Reduce Food Waste

How to Thaw and Cook Crockpot Freezer Meals

Always thaw the freezer meal first before adding it to the slow cooker… this is important for food safety. You can defrost the freezer bag by placing it in the fridge the night before. The meals tend to store well in the freezer for 3-4 months.

Depending on how much time you have, most meals need to be cooked for 4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.

The Best Crockpot Freezer Meals to Make

The best meals to make in the slow-cooker are soups, stews, curries, chilis, daals, meatballs, ribs, brisket and roasts. We don’t recommend slow-cooked fish, seafood or pasta dishes.

There you have it: the ins and outs of making Crockpot freezer meals for any weeknight dinner!

Looking for some tasty slow cooker dishes to try? Start with our most popular slow cooker recipes.

Published September 1, 2018, Updated April 11, 2020

Slow Cooker Chicken Shawarma with Nigella-Seed Cabbage Slaw

Traditional chicken shawarma is slow cooked on a vertical rotisserie spit (it’s delicious, but not ideal for home cooking). If you’re craving the same tender, Middle Eastern dish that can easily be made in your own kitchen, this is the recipe for you. The chicken is dressed up with warming spices like cinnamon, turmeric and cumin, and pairs perfectly with a light and airy slaw. The slaw is topped with the mighty nigella seed. It may look like a black sesame seed, but it gives off an amazing, nutty flavour that’s a cross between oregano and toasted onion. The slaw can also be made in about 10 minutes flat. How’s that for a quick and easy side dish?

Slow Cooker Chicken Shawarma with Cabbage Slaw

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours up to overnight
Total Time: 2 to 8 hours
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Chicken Shawarma
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp coriander
½ tsp cinnamon
Pinch of cayenne
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp sea salt
1 ½ lbs chicken thighs
½ cup veggie or chicken broth
¼ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Cabbage Slaw
2 cups purple cabbage, sliced
2 cups savoy or green cabbage, sliced
2 carrots, grated
¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, squeezed
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper
1 Tbsp nigella seeds

Directions:

Chicken Shawarma
1. Add the spices in a bowl to combine.

2. Coat the chicken in the spices, ensuring every crevice is marinated.

3. Place the chicken in the slow cooker and pour broth over top. Cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 6 hours.

4. When the chicken is done, roughly shred it into uneven pieces. If you want these pieces to be crisp, place them in the broiler for 5 minutes, or quickly saute in a pan with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil.

5. Place the shawarma on (or beside) the cabbage slaw and finish with a sprinkling of roughly chopped parsley.

Cabbage Slaw
1. While the shawarma is cooking, slice up the cabbage slaw. You can shred the cabbage and carrots in a food processor, using the grater attachment, or slice by hand, and use a box grater for the carrots. Both options work well.

2. Place the sliced purple and green cabbage, grated carrots and chopped parsley in a bowl.

3. Combine the dressing ingredients (olive oil, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper) in a separate bowl. Pour the dressing over the cabbage, and toss well. Finish with a sprinkling of nigella seeds on top.

Continue your cooking streak with these satisfying slow-cooker chicken dinners. For something quick, this 30-minute Instant Pot curry dish can do no wrong.

The Best Slow Cooker Short Ribs With a Delectable Red Wine Sauce

Richly satisfying and beefy, our easy short ribs are also deeply comforting with a reduced wine sauce and loads of veggies to stave off any guilt you may hold while hibernating from the frigid winter temperatures. Sear your short ribs and vegetables, transfer to your slow cooker and tuck in.

Slow Cooker Short Ribs with Reduced Wine Sauce and Vegetables

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes (plus 3-6 hours in the slow cooker)
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
4 lbs short ribs cut into 2- to 4-inch pieces
1 ½ tsp each kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper, divided
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 carrots, cut in thirds
2 onions, quartered
1 head garlic, halved crosswise
2 Tbsp tomato paste
3 cups full-bodied red wine (like Cabernet Sauvignon)
2 sprigs rosemary
6 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
2 cups no-salt added beef broth
12-14 small cremini mushrooms


Directions:
1. Sprinkle short ribs with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ribs and cook in batches, turning to brown all over, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker insert.

2. Add carrots, onions, garlic, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves to same Dutch oven and cook, turning carefully until browned, 4 minutes. Add tomato paste in centre of pan and cook, stirring until fragrant, 30 seconds. Stir in wine and broth; bring to a boil.

Tip: For a tomato based short rib ragout, add 1 can of good-quality plum tomatoes in place of beef broth. Remove the bones after removing from slow cooker and use 2 forks to shred the meat for a lovely rich ragout.

3. Pour vegetable mixture over ribs. Cover and cook on low until meat is very tender, on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 5 hours, adding mushrooms the last hour (if using).

4. Remove short ribs and vegetables to a large bowl and cover. Strain sauce into medium pot and skim fat. Add mushrooms and bring to a boil over medium-high heat and reduce to half, about 2 cups. Add short ribs and vegetables to pot and serve with mashed potatoes or potato gratin.

Tip: For ease of skimming, let the wine sauce and fat sit overnight in the refrigerator. Pour remaining wine sauce over ribs.

Stay cozy all season with these 15 Dutch-oven recipes made for winter, our best slow cooker soups and stews, and 10 slow cooker casseroles that’ll warm you right up.

A Slow Cooker Lasagna You Wouldn’t Believe is Gluten- and Dairy-Free

If you can’t eat gluten or dairy, it can be a little difficult to find a lasagna that you are able to eat. Look no further! This delicious vegan recipe will leave you feeling satisfied  even without the cheese! To make it even better, it’s easy to prep the ingredients and is completely hands-free once the slow cooker is turned on. While it cooks, the noodles remain tender and soft so they are less likely to dry out. Plus, you get to skip pre-cooking the noodles altogether. Make this recipe on days when you need some comfort food that tastes delicious and leaves you feeling healthy.

Prep Time: 30 minutes (plus soaking time for the nuts)
Cook Time: 3 hours
Servings: 6

Vegan and Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Lasagna

Ingredients:
1 package gluten-free lasagna noodles
1 jar marinara sauce
3 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 medium zucchini, sliced into thin pieces
3 cups butternut squash, cut into cubes
½ box of baby spinach

Dairy-Free “Cheese”
1.5 cups cashews, soaked in water
1 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ cup water
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
1. Prep the dairy-free cheese first. Soak the cashews in a bowl of water for 4 hours. If you’re short on time, soak them in very hot water for 30 minutes.
2. Drain the cashews and add them to the food processor with lemon juice, nutritional yeast, sea salt, garlic powder, water and extra virgin olive oil. Blend on high until the cashews are chopped up well and the mixture is soft, similar in consistency to ricotta cheese.
3. Prep the vegetables next. Slice the cremini mushrooms. Slice the zucchini into thin pieces, about 2 inches in length. Chop the butternut squash into small cubes.


4. Place the mushrooms in a large skillet with a few spoonfuls of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Turn heat to medium and let the mushrooms sit for about 5 minutes, without stirring them. This helps remove the excess liquid from the mushrooms, so they don’t become too mushy. Give them a stir and then remove from the skillet.
5. Next, saute the butternut squash with a spoonful of extra virgin olive oil and pinch of sea salt for about 5 minutes, to lightly cook. Remove from the skillet.
6. Rub the slices of zucchini with some extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.

7. To compile the lasagna, it’s easiest to place all of the ingredients on the counter. Put the squash, mushrooms and zucchini on separate plates. Place the baby spinach on the counter as well. Have a spoon ready to ladle out the marinara sauce and the cashew “cheese.”
8. Start with spooning out a layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker.
9. Then place a layer of lasagna noodles. Since the slow cooker is not shaped as a rectangle, you’ll have to break some of the noodles into smaller pieces to fit in the curved places.
10. Add a layer of the cashew “cheese” using ⅓ of it and spread out ⅓ of the veggies over top. Place a layer of lasagna noodles on top and then spread some more marinara sauce over them.
11. Repeat this again twice to make additional layers. Pour marinara sauce over the top layer of noodles. Extra sauce is good to prevent the lasagna from drying out.
12. Cook on high for 3 hours.

For similar recipes, see our 20 Best Dairy-Free Dinners and 15 Extra-Creamy Vegan Pasta Recipes.

The Best Slow Cooker Chicken Breast Recipe has a Tasty Moroccan Twist

Do you feel like chicken tonight? We hope so, because we have the best slow cooker chicken recipe to share. Chicken for dinner is a staple in most households, including our own.  And, although there are many, many ways to cook chicken, often times it can end up dry and unappetizing. No one wants to sit down to a meal with an ill-seasoned, rubbery chicken breast staring back up at them. Here we’re going to teach you the ins and outs of juicy slow cooker chicken breasts that are perfect for salads, meal prepping for the week ahead or even for dinner tonight.

slow-cooker-chicken-breast

Go Skinless

Remove the skin from the chicken breasts before placing in the slow cooker. When cooked too long the skin will become rubbery and dry – think shoe leather. If you are planning to shred the chicken at all, this is a step you must follow.

No Need to Sear

Although searing adds major flavour, if your plan is to use the chicken shredded for chicken salad or tacos, there is no need to sear the breasts. Skip the step and save yourself time.

Set it to High

Chicken breasts don’t have very much connective tissues or fat, so cooking them for hours and hours in the slow cooker won’t get you the result you want. Really tough cuts of meat, with lots of connective tissue are perfect for slow cooking because they break down over time and become oh-so tender. When slow cooking chicken breasts, set to high for 2-2.5 hours, you don’t need to go beyond that. Of course, you can use your meat thermometer to check when the chicken is fully cooked on the inside when it reads 165°F.

Make it Easy and Saucy

The whole idea behind the slow cooker is to make things easy. If you have any sauces or marinades on hand like salsa, tomato sauce, pesto or BBQ sauce you can easily toss them in with the chicken breasts and voila you’re done. Remember to season the chicken breasts separately with salt and pepper before you start cooking to enhance flavours.

chicken-breast-in-slow-cooker

Go Light on Liquids

Chicken breasts will release quite a bit of liquid as they cook so go easy on adding liquids like broth or sauces.  You don’t want the chicken to be drowning.

Prep Ahead

Slow cooking chicken on a Sunday (or any day) is a great way to have your protein ready to go for lunches and dinners all week. You can make what we like to call “blank slate” chicken, which is chicken breasts seasoned with salt and pepper and slow cooked with broth. You then have tender chicken breasts that can be sliced, shredded or cubed and used for any dish like salads, tacos, pastas, sandwiches, wraps, and quinoa or rice pilafs. Simply add a marinade or sauce on top after and you’ve got yourself a meal.

Moroccan Slow Cooker Chicken is one of our go-to recipes when we want a nourishing and delicious slow cooked meal that can be warming in the winter and refreshing in the summer. Add rice, quinoa or cauliflower rice for a hearty dish or place it on top of a slaw or enjoy as is.

slow-cooker-chicken-breast-on-cutting-board

Moroccan Slow Cooker Chicken Recipe

Ingredients:
1 lb. chicken breasts (3 to 4 chicken breasts)
1 tsp coriander
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp sea salt
Pinch of black pepper
¼ cup chicken stock
¼ cup pitted green olives, sliced
¼ cup currants
½ lemon, sliced into thin discs

Directions:
1. Mix the spices, except for the salt and pepper, together in a small bowl.
2. Season the chicken breasts with sea salt and pepper.
3. Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the slow cooker so that they are flat and not overlapping and pour in the broth.
4. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over top of the chicken breasts.
5. Add the chopped olives and currants to the slow cooker, they can be spread over top of the chicken breasts and alongside.
6. Place thin slices of lemon over top of the chicken breasts.
7. Cook on high for 2.5 hours.
8. The chicken breasts will be tender. Carefully transfer out of the slow cooker and onto a cutting board. You can slice the chicken into pieces with a knife or shred the chicken with your hands, whichever you prefer.

Looking for more great recipes? Try these Popular Chicken Breast Recipes.

We’ll be Making Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls All Winter Long

Stuffed cabbage is an Eastern European favourite and depending on where you’re from there will be tons of variations on this comforting, classic recipe. Some swear by a sweet sauce, or insist on using raisins while others follow the sweet and sour tradition. Some stuff with pork and beef, while others keep it simple and vegetarian. No matter how you make them, this classic dish will always satisfy, but our recipe means you can make-ahead. Come home to a meal that’s been slowing cooking and will definitely warm you up in those colder months.

cabbage-rolls-cut-open

Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4-8 hours
Servings: 6

Ingredients
1 large green cabbage head or 2 small

Sauce:
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, diced
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
½ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper

Filling:
½ cup uncooked brown rice
1 lb lean ground beef
1 yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, grated
½ bunch fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper

cabbage-rolls-how-to-roll

Directions
Cabbage:
1. Boil a pot of water and toss in a little sea salt. Prepare a large bowl or pot of cold water.
2. Turn your cabbage upside down, carefully slice around the core and pull it out. There may be some parts of the core still inside, do your best to cut them out so you have a hole in the bottom of the cabbage.
3. Once the water is boiling, place the cabbage down into the water with the core-end down. After about a minute, use your tongs and begin turning the cabbage in the water. Allow to boil for 5 minutes and then plunge the whole head of cabbage into the bowl of cold water or simply run it under cold water from your tap.
4. Once slightly cooled, gently remove 12 cabbage leaves, being careful not to break.

Sauce:
1. Heat a pot on medium heat and drizzle oil. Add the onions cool until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
2. Pour in the crushed tomatoes, sea salt and pepper. Cover and allow to simmer while you prepare the filling.

Filling:
1. Place all filling ingredients in a bowl and mix so everything is well combined.

cabbage-rolls-in-crockpot

Assembly:
1. Place about ¼ – ⅓ cup of filling into each cabbage roll. Fold in the sides and end of the leaf and then continue to roll until it’s closed. Repeat until all the leaves and filling have been used.
2. Place a little bit of sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker and then place the cabbage rolls in, seam side down.
3. Pour the rest of the sauce on top. Turn on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

cabbage-rolls-served

Looking for more comforting recipes? Try our Must-Make Slow Cooker Recipes that will keep you full and happy all season long.

17 Hot & Cold Appetizer Recipes for Easy Entertaining

Winter is in the air, which means that holiday party season is nearly here.  Every good host knows that a stellar appetizer spread should ideally include an equal number of hot and cold hors-d’oeuvres. If you’re hosting a Christmas bash, an ugly sweater party or a potluck, we’ve got a mix of sizzling and cool recipes that will get your party started.

swedish-meatballs-slow-cooker-recipe

Hot Appetizer Recipes

Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs

Gougeres (Gruyere Cheese Puffs)

Crispy Crab Cakes with Mustard Artichoke Aioli

Duck Pot Stickers with Plum Sauce

Lemon Chicken Lollipops

Pear and Gorgonzola Mini Pizzas

Sausage Stuffed Mushroom Caps

Shrimp Chips with Spicy Peanut Sauce

The Pioneer Woman’s Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Ina Garten’s Baked Brie

wreath-cheese-ball-recipe

Cold Appetizer Recipes

Holiday Cheeseball Wreath

The Pioneer Woman’s Salami Roll-Ups

Smoked Salmon on Corn Blini with Wasabi Cream

Middle Eastern Bean Dip

Chunky Summer Gazpacho

Prosciutto Wrapped Melon

Tortellini Skewers

Looking for more party ideas? Try these Holiday Party Appetizers That Your Guests Will Love.

This Slow Cooker Butternut Squash is Beyond Easy

Butternut squash is by far the most popular of the squash family, that’s probably because it’s fairly user-friendly, versatile and the perfect balance of sweetness and earthiness. This delicious carby vegetable is also packed with a spectrum of vitamins and minerals that all work to protect your body, especially in the colder months as cold and flu season move in.

Although butternut squash is becoming more commonplace, many people get overwhelmed or confused about how to prep it, use it or cook it. Do you peel it? How do you cut it safely so it doesn’t roll around or worse, so you don’t injure yourself? Should you keep the seeds? Here we give the easiest way to cook butternut squash – in your slow cooker!  Literally, your only job is to buy one, no need for a peeler or a knife. This slow cooker method, which can easily be done in an electric pressure cooker (like an Instant Pot), comes out perfectly tender and sweet, just the way it should be.

squash-slow-cooker-in-bowl

How to Cook Butternut Squash in Your Slow Cooker (or Instant Pot)

Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: Slow cooker: 8 hours,  Pressure cooker: 35 minutes
Servings: 2-3

Ingredients:
1 butternut squash, choose a size that will fit into your slow cooker or Instant Pot
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp cinnamon

squash-in-slow-cooker

Directions:

Slow Cooker:
1. Place your squash in the slow cooker. Do your best to find one that fits right inside without needing to slice it.
2. Put the lid on, cook it on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

Instant Pot:
1. Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot. Place the steam rack on the bottom and then put the butternut squash on top. Again, choose one that fits into the pot without needing to cut it. If you find one too large, slice it in half widthwise so you have two round circles and scoop out the seeds.
2. Lock the lid, turn the pressure release valve to sealed and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes. Turn the valve open to release steam for 10 minutes.

squash-slow-cooker-scoop

Assembly:
1. Allow the squash to cool slightly, then gently scoop out the seeds with a spoon. The squash will be so tender so this will be an easy job.
2. Cut the squash into large cubes and drizzle with maple syrup and cinnamon.
3. Now that you have a beautifully steamed squash you can also do whatever you want with it, make a mash, blend it with coconut milk into a soup, make it into a hummus, place cubes of it on top of a salad or eat it as is.

Looking for ideas? Try the Brilliant Ways to Eat Butternut Squash.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Win Dinner With These Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Enchiladas

A satisfying dinner with a real Tex-Mex vibe, these slow cooker sweet potato enchiladas might just become a part of your weekly menu. We’ve made our own enchilada sauce, which is smoky, silky and hits all the right flavours, but if you’re stretched for time, a store-bought version or your favourite salsa will do the trick. The enchiladas are topped with queso fresco, a fresh and salty Mexican cheese that holds up to the heat, keeping its shape without melting. If you can’t find queso fresco, swap in feta, cheddar or skip the cheese altogether. Any way you build them, serving these enchiladas with a big scoop of avocado to garnish is an absolute must!

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
Filling:
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp granulated garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp regular or smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Enchilada Sauce:
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp granulated garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne, to taste (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth

Assembly and Topping:
8 to 12 corn or flour tortillas, divided
1/2 cup queso fresco, crumbled, divided
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
1 lime, quartered

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Directions:
Filling:
1. Add red pepper, sweet potato, onion and beans to a large bowl. Toss with garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, cumin and salt. Set aside.

Enchilada Sauce:
1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes, until fragrant and starting to turn translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer, until fragrant. Stir in chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne, to taste, if using, salt and pepper. Toast the spices for 30 seconds, until fragrant and sizzling, then pour in crushed tomatoes and broth. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
2. Carefully pour the enchilada sauce into a blender or food processor, or use a hand blender directly in the pot, and blend on low speed (low speed important for hot mixtures) until smooth.

Assembly:
1. Pour 1/3 cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of your slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Enchiladas

2. Working on a clean surface, lay out 8 tortillas without overlapping. To the centre of each tortilla, add a scant 1/2 cup filling, tuck in two sides, then place the filled tortilla seam-side down in the slow cooker on top of the sauce. If you have extra filling, repeat this step with more tortillas, then layer them on top of the first round of filled tortillas. Or, skip the additional tortillas and scatter the additional filling over top.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Enchiladas

3. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas and crumble 1/4 cup of the queso fresco evenly over top. Place the lid on the slow cooker and set to cook on high for 2 hours, until the filling is tender and sauce is bubbling.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Enchiladas

4. When the timer runs out, remove the slow cooker lid and gently plate 2 enchiladas per person (they will be very soft and tender from slow cooking, so do this carefully). Top enchiladas with cilantro, avocado, remaining 1/4 cup of queso fresco and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Ready for more wholesome slow cooker solutions? Reignite your love for this retro kitchen appliance with our healthiest slow cooker recipes ever.

Irish Slow Cooker Stew

This Slow Cooker Irish Stew Recipe is a Classic Restored

Irish beef stew is a cozy, family-friendly dinner, and it can be incredibly easy to make, especially when all you have to do is toss everything in a slow cooker. Our recipe uses beef, however, if you’re a true lover of lamb, feel free to use that instead. Of course, a hearty Irish stew isn’t complete without earthy root veggies and here, Yukon gold potatoes, parsnips, carrots and celeriac shine in a hearty medley. Make this easy version in your slow cooker or Instant Pot for St. Patrick’s Day or a chilly, yet busy weekday. It’s classic comfort food for contemporary schedules.

Irish-Slow-Cooker-stew-in-bowl

Slow Cooker Irish Stew

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours on high, 8 hours on low
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes on high, 8 hours 10 minutes on low
Serves: 4 to 6

Irish-Slow-Cooker-stew-ingredients

Ingredients:

2 lbs stewing beef, cut into 1-inch pieces (see Notes below)
3 Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
1 celeriac (celery root), peeled and cubed
3 medium carrots, sliced
1 medium parsnip, sliced
1 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
salt, to taste (check the saltiness of your beef stock before adding)
ground black pepper, to taste
chopped fresh parsley, for serving

Irish-Stew-in-the-Slow-Cooker

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients except parsley in a large slow cooker and stir to combine. Replace lid and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

2. Once your cook time is up, give the stew a stir, spoon into bowls and top with fresh parsley. Serve warm.

Notes: 
If you have time, brown the beef first by searing the cubes in a skillet with a splash of olive oil over medium-high heat – it adds a great depth of flavour.

Serve something cool and creamy for dessert while keeping with the Irish theme and mix up this Guinness Ice Cream Float.

Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin

Your Weeknight Needs This Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin Recipe

Perfect for a gathering or a simple weeknight dinner, this meat-and-veg meal always impresses. Slow cooker pork tenderloin is incredibly tender and moist so you can forget all about dryness.  What’s more, the leisurely braising brings on a sweet, caramelized flavour as the balsamic vinegar and maple syrup work their magic on the pork tenderloin. Finally, seasonal vegetables add pops of colour and a welcome earthiness to this hearty meal. While oven baked pork tenderloin is delicious we’ll be making this easy Crock Pot dinner all winter long.

Slow-Cooker-Pork-Tenderloin-2

Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin with Winter Veggies

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours on high, 4 hours on low
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes on high, 4 hours 10 minutes on low
Serves: 4
Slow-Cooker-Pork-Tenderloin-3

Ingredients:

1 (2 lb) pork tenderloin (see Notes below)
3 red potatoes, cut into 2-inch cubes
3 stalks celery, chopped into 2.5-inch pieces
2 carrots, sliced into 1-inch circles (we used a mixture of purple and orange carrots)
1 red onion, sliced into 1-inch half-moons
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp grainy mustard
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
ground black pepper, to taste
fresh thyme leaves, to taste
fresh chopped parsley, for serving

Directions: 
1. Add all ingredients except parsley to a large slow cooker, positioning the pork tenderloin in the centre and surrounding it with the vegetables. Replace lid and cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 hours.

Food-Network-pork-tenderloin-2

2. Once the cook time is up, transfer pork to a cutting board and slice into medallions.
3. Dish up the vegetables along with those delicious slow cooker juices onto plates or into shallow bowls, top with pork tenderloin medallions, then garnish with parsley. Serve warm.

Slow-Cooker-Pork-Tenderloin-Recie

Notes:
To enhance the caramelized flavour in this stew, you can sear the pork in a skillet before it goes in the slow cooker. To do so, add olive oil to a skillet set over medium-high heat, then brown each side of the pork tenderloin until desired colour; continue with the remainder of the recipe.

Soak up all of those mouthwatering juices on your plate with a warm slice of Chef Michael Smith’s Pot Baked Bread with Homemade Butter.

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup is Fiesta Flavour Without the Fuss

This zesty and warming soup is just asking to be on your dinner menu this week. Toppings of tortilla chips, avocado, cilantro and lime add incredible flavour and texture to a big, comforting bowl of slow-cooked shredded chicken, sweet potato, black beans and tomatoes. To make this into a vegan or vegetarian soup, simply skip the chicken, toss in another can of black beans and replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth.

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours on high, 4 hours on low
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes on high, 4 hours 20 minutes on low
Serves: 4  

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup

Ingredients:

Tortilla Soup
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2-1/2 cups chicken broth
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 small or 1 large yellow onion, diced
1 sweet potato, diced
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt

For Serving
1 lime, quartered
1/2 cup (about a handful per serving) tortilla chips
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 avocado, pitted and diced

Directions:
Tortilla Soup
1. Stir to combine all tortilla soup ingredients (except for toppings) in a large slow cooker. Replace lid and cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 hours.

2. After time is up, shred the chicken using two forks and stir to coat with remaining soup ingredients.

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup

For Serving:

1. Dish the tortilla soup into bowls and top each one with a squeeze of lime, tortilla chips, cilantro and avocado. Serve hot.

For tortilla soup outside of the bowl, try this family-friendly Chicken Tortilla Casserole (aka Mexican lasagna!) from The Pioneer Woman.

Slow Cooker Saag Paneer

Slow Cooker Saag Paneer is the Tastiest Way to Eat Your Greens

Looking for new and exciting ways to eat your greens? We’ve got the perfect healthy slow cooker recipe for you. This saag paneer is loaded with spinach, fresh cheese, spices and a hint of lime juice, leaving your taste buds happy. We’ve given this traditional Indian dish a twist by omitting the heavy cream that’s commonly used and replaced it with coconut milk to add natural sweetness. A big bowl of saag paneer will definitely warm you up on a cold day, especially if you have some naan handy to heat up and dunk in!

Slow Cooker Saag Paneer

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours on high, 4 hours on low
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes on high, 4 hours 10 minutes on low
Serves: 2 to 3 as a main, 4 as a side


Ingredients:

2 small or 1 large yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
3 tomatoes, diced
2 bunches fresh spinach
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
3 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
1/2 lime, squeezed
3 tsp maple syrup
2 tsp coconut oil
1 brick of paneer (fresh Indian cheese), cubed
1/4 cup toasted shredded coconut

Directions:

1. Toss all ingredients except coconut oil, paneer and toasted shredded coconut in a large slow cooker. Replace lid and cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 hours. When the saag (spinach) mixture has about 15 minutes left to cook, make the paneer.
2. Heat a large skillet (non-stick ensures easy turning) over medium and add coconut oil. Place the cubed paneer into the skillet and fry until golden, flipping around every so often until most sides are brown, about 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside pan-fried paneer while you puree the saag mixture.

3. Once the saag mixture has finished cooking, use an immersion blender to puree inside the slow cooker until smooth, or carefully transfer to a blender, puree and add it back to the slow cooker to keep warm. The green colour will have dulled but the flavour is huge.
4. Add the reserved pan-fried paneer to the slow cooker with the pureed saag and stir until combined and warmed through. Or, keep pan-fried paneer on the side and add on top of bowls of saag right before serving, like we did in the photo.
5. Divide saag paneer into bowls or enjoy as a side dish. Garnish with additional cilantro and toasted shredded coconut. Serve warm.

Cool things down after dinner with Indian-inspired Mango Coconut Ice Pops.

Red Thai Curry Slow Cooker Soup

Slow Cooker Thai Red Curry Soup That’s Easier (and Better) Than Take-Out

Thai curry is all about layering flavours, and slow-cooking the ingredients allows everything to fully meld, creating a rich, complex dish without standing at the stove for hours. Chicken, vegetables, brown rice and roasted peanuts make this bowl a complete meal, while prepared red Thai curry paste keeps things simple. With this spicy, coconut milk and chicken soup, you’ll skip the take-out once and for all.

Slow Cooker Thai Red Curry Soup with Chicken

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours on low, 4 hours on low
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes on high, 4 hours 10 minutes on low
Serves: 4


Ingredients:

Thai Red Curry Soup with Chicken
1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
3 Tbsp red Thai curry paste
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 Tbsp tamari (a gluten-free soy sauce)
1 large or 2 small yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2-inch piece ginger, minced
1 cup broccoli florets
2 carrots, sliced
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

For Serving
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 lime, quartered


Directions:
1. Whisk the coconut milk, broth, curry paste, coconut sugar and tamari together in a large slow cooker. Add the remaining soup ingredients and stir to combine. Replace lid and cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 hours.

2. Once cooked, shred the chicken using two forks and give the soup a good stir.

For Serving:
1. Ladle soup into bowls and top each one with cooked brown rice, peanuts, cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Serve warm.

Looking for more Thai curry recipes? Try these 26 Thai Recipes to Make at Home and forget about take-out.

Slow-Cooker-Root-Vegetable-Cider-Stew-feature-image

Slow Cooker Root Vegetable Cider Stew From The Simple Bites Kitchen

If your slow cooker has a permanent place on the counter during these chilly fall days, you’re doing things right. It doesn’t get any better than coming in from the cold and sitting down to a bowl of hearty, homemade soup or stew.

A resolution to cook more from my pantry inspired this autumn dish. It combines many ingredients I keep on hand, such as canned chickpeas, tomato sauce, onions and spices, along with root vegetables, into a comforting vegetarian stew. Turnips and parsnips are some of the most underrated fall vegetables. They are not as vibrant as Brussels sprouts or as versatile as butternut squash, but they play nicely with other flavours. I love the earthiness they bring to a dish as well as their robust texture.

In this dish, cubes of turnip and parsnip are simmered slowly in a sauce seasoned with fragrant garam masala. They turn into buttery bites that hold their shape nicely, while a handful of golden raisins plump up to become almost as big as the creamy chickpeas. Nearly a pint of fresh-pressed apple cider adds both acidity and sweetness to the dish and a sprinkling of pistachios completes the hearty stew.

Serve it up as is or add a dollop of yogurt for good measure. It’s even better on the second day after the flavours have had an opportunity to mingle. Don’t forget the basket of crusty bread on the side.

Tip: For a vegan version, simply use olive oil in place of the ghee.

Slow-Cooker-Root-Vegetable-Cider-Stew-recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 4 to 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours, 15 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
2 medium turnips (about 1/2 pound)
2 large parsnips
2 tsp ghee or unsalted butter,  divided
1 medium sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp sea salt, divided
1 can (19 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1-1/2 cups fresh-pressed apple cider (unfiltered raw apple juice)
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup golden raisins
Chopped pistachios, for garnish
Full-fat plain organic yogurt, for topping (optional)

Directions:
1. Peel the turnip and cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) cubes. Peel the parsnips and cut them slightly larger. In a medium saucepan, melt 1 tsp (5 mL) of the Golden Ghee over medium heat. Slide in the onion, then stir and cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Sprinkle in the garlic and garam masala and cook for an additional minute.
2. Push the onions to the side of the pan and melt the remaining 1 tsp (5 mL) Golden Ghee. Tumble in the turnips and parsnips and stir to coat with the ghee. Toss in a pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
3. Transfer the vegetables to a slow cooker. Add the chickpeas, cider, tomato sauce, raisins and remaining salt. Stir well. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 5 hours. Slow cookers vary, so check the stew after about 4 hours. The stew is ready when the turnip is tender but not mushy. Serve with a sprinkling of chopped pistachios and a spoonful of yogurt if you wish.

Simple Bites Kitchen cover

Excerpted from The Simple Bites Kitchen: Nourishing Whole Food Recipes for Every Day. Copyright © 2017 by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque. Photos copyright © Tim and Angela Chin. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Slow Cooker Chicken Coconut Curry

Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken Curry is the Easiest Healthy Comfort Food

Are you craving a warming, deeply delicious curry that is slow-cooked to perfection? This coconut chicken curry has the bold, creamy flavours we love in restaurant versions, but is a cinch to make at home, and far healthier. The method is as simple as adding ingredients to your slow cooker and setting the timer – you come home to a beautifully cooked meal that’s especially satisfying to eat as the weather gets chilly. Served on a bed of whole grain quinoa or rice and topped with refreshing cilantro, it’s healthy comfort food done right.

Slow cooker chicken curry 3

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours on high, 8 hours on low
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes on high, 8 hours 10 minutes on low
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into cubes
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
2 Tbsp mild curry powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp sea salt
1 heaping cup of baby spinach
Warm cooked quinoa, for serving
¼ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Curry ingredients

Directions:
1. Place all ingredients except baby spinach, quinoa and cilantro in a 6-quart slow cooker. Mix well to combine, cover and set on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

Slow cooker chicken curry-1

2.  When ready to serve, open the lid and stir in baby spinach to wilt. Ladle curry over cooked quinoa or rice with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro. Serve.

Slow cooker chicken curry-2

Spicy-hot curry is all about the cooling condiments. Smooth things out with this refreshing mint, yogurt and cucumber raita.

Looking for more slow cooker ideas? Try these tasty chicken slow cooker recipes.

How to Roast a Whole Chicken in Your Slow Cooker

Whole roast chicken is such a comforting food, but turning your oven on, roasting it and letting it rest can be a feat at the end of a busy day. Many people resort to picking up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, but there’s a better answer. Toss the whole chicken in your slow cooker in the morning and you’ll come home to the aromas of a mouth-watering home cooked meal. The chicken will be perfectly juicy and tender, the meat will fall right off the bone and you’ll be left with a jus at the bottom of the pot that’s liquid gold. Interested? Here’s how to do it.

Slow Cooker Chicken

Quick and Easy Slow Cooker Chicken
Season a 4-lb chicken with salt and pepper. Place roughly chopped onion, celery and carrot in slow cooker to cover the bottom of the pot. Place chicken on top of the vegetables breast side down. Cook on high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 7 hours. Carefully remove the chicken from the slow cooker. Strain the jus collected at the bottom of pot. Serve chicken with jus.

Tasty Flavour Ideas:

Southwestern Spiced Roast Chicken
Replace the carrot with a green pepper. Rub chicken with a little salt, pepper, smoked paprika and cumin. Cook on high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 7 hours. Carefully remove the chicken from the slow cooker. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro. Serve with rice or baked beans.

Sweet and Spicy Glazed Chicken
Place a roughly chopped onion and a few garlic cloves on the bottom of the slow cooker. Mix together equal parts sriracha, honey and soy sauce and rub onto the chicken. Place chicken, breast down, on top of garlic and onion. Cook on high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 7 hours. Carefully remove the chicken from the slow cooker. Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onion. Serve with sticky rice or fries.

Rosemary and Citrus Roast Chicken
Place several garlic cloves, a quartered orange and lemon in the bottom of the slow cooker. Rub chicken with orange marmalade. Place a few sprigs of rosemary in the cavity of the chicken. Cook on high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 7 hours. Carefully remove the chicken from the slow cooker. Serve with buttered country bread.

Looking for more delicious ideas? Try our 20 Best Chicken Slow Cooker Recipes.

SlowCookerButterChicken

Slow-Cooker Chicken Sliders With an Indian Twist

By Sarah Huggins

My husband and I hail from vastly different culinary traditions. We are both Canadian-born and raised, but he’s from a vegetarian Indian family and I’m from a meat-eating British one. Our wedding was a two-day affair at which our guests enjoyed a taste of each food heritage: chai, naan and chana masala on Day 1, and lamb chops, oysters and B.C. pinot gris on Day 2.

Six years and two kids later, we have evolved our own shared culinary tradition, which can be best described as a Canadian “mash-up.” Our four-year-old eats seaweed salad alongside her chicken curry, and our 20-month-old is just as likely to shovel in a bowl of tabbouleh as he is to devour a piece of pizza.

If we had a poster child recipe for this new family cuisine, these Slow Cooker Butter Chicken Sliders would be it: shredded slow-cooked chicken bathed in rich butter chicken gravy, piled onto a soft bun and garnished with fresh veg. Is it “Indian food”? That might be a stretch. But it’s our food. It’s authentic to our experience as a mixed family living a busy life in the most multicultural city on earth. There are few things more Canadian than that.

Slow-Cooker Butter Chicken Sliders, Courtesy of Sarah Huggins, kiwiandbean.com, Toronto

These bite-size butter chicken sliders are perfect for get-togethers – and they’re easy to make ahead.

SlowCookerButterChicken

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 7 hour
Yield: 8-10 servings

Ingredients
2½ tbsp (27 mL) butter or oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 thumb-size pieces gingerroot, peeled and finely grated
2 tsp (10 mL) garam masala
2 tsp (10 mL) cumin
1 tsp (5 mL) tsp turmeric
½-1 tsp (2-5 mL) cayenne pepper (optional)
14 oz (398 mL) can full-fat coconut milk
5½ oz (156 mL) can tomato paste
3 lb (1.35 kg) boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp (5 mL) cornstarch
¼ cup (50 mL) whipping cream (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
10 small slider-sized hamburger buns
shredded cabbage
sliced cucumber
chopped cilantro
mango chutney

Directions
1. Heat butter in medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until softened and starting to brown. Add garlic and ginger; continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is brown and caramelized.
2. Add garam masala, cumin, turmeric and cayenne pepper, if using, and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant.
3. Stir in coconut milk and tomato paste. Bring to boil, then remove from heat.
4. Make ahead: Transfer mixture to airtight container; cool and cover. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. Or pour into slow cooker and proceed.
5. Add chicken thighs to coconut milk mixture in slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until chicken thighs are very tender.
6. Remove chicken to plate and shred. Whisk cornstarch into the sauce and turn the slow cooker to high. Stir in whipping cream, if using. (To prevent cream from curdling, add 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter chicken sauce to whipping cream to bring to room temperature, and then pour into crock pot). Add salt and pepper to taste.
7. Return shredded chicken to sauce and stir.
8. Serve on slider buns; garnish as desired with cabbage, cucumber, cilantro and chutney.

Note: Leftovers can be cooled in the fridge and then frozen in Ziploc bags or containers.

(Cooking For) Kiwi and Bean
(Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean is all about simple, wholesome family recipes: dinners you can create with pantry staples when you walk through the door at the end of the day, breakfasts you can whip up the night before, and snacks and treats that you can make with your kids.