Low & Slow: Ultimate Slow Cooker Recipes

Cold temps, rosy cheeks and snow boots all make it the perfect season to pull out the slow cooker and cook up some hearty meals. We’re sharing a few of our favorite recipes for these long winter nights. These dishes are refined enough for dinner guests, yet easy enough to pull off on a busy week night. This is comfort food at its best!



1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 lb ground beef

1/2 lb ground veal or pork

16-oz can tomato paste

3 14-oz cans diced tomatoes

4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tbsp sugar

Pinch of red chili flakes

Pinch of red chili powder

1/4 cup red wine

1/4 cup heavy cream

Pasta (such as pappardelle or spaghetti), for serving

Grated parmesan for garnish


In a large skillet, combine the onion, celery, carrot, and olive oil and cook over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add the meats and cook, stirring often, until brown. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker and add the tomato paste, tomatoes, salt, nutmeg, sugar, the red chili flakes and powder, and red wine. Cook on low for about 4 hours on high heat, or 8 hours or on low. Add the heavy cream. Serve over pasta, garnish with grated parmesan.



A favorite rustic dish among French cooks, cassoulet is a slow-cooked dish made with white beans and a variety of meats. You can substitute the meats in this recipe with what you have on hand. This slow-cooker version is an adaptation of Thomas Keller’s (The French Laundry, in Northern California) recipe.


1/2 lb dried navy beans

4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed, plus 1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 medium onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 cups canned diced tomatoes

Handful of fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

1/4 lb bacon, chopped

4 sweet Italian sausages

1 pound boneless pork shoulder

2 duck legs

Beef stock, as needed

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup Panko bread crumbs

Chopped fresh parsley for garnish


Combine the beans, crushed garlic, herbs, vegetables, and meats in a slow cooker, and turn heat to high. (Optional: brown the sausage and duck legs in a skillet before adding.) Add the beef stock so the ingredients are covered by 2 inches. Cover and cook until the beans and meats are tender, about 5 to 6 hours on high heat, or 7 hours or on low.

Add salt and pepper to taste; add minced garlic. (Optional: transfer the cassoulet to an oven-safe casserole dish. Cover with panko and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.) Garnish with fresh parsley.


Banh Mi

Banh Mi is a tasty sandwich with Vietnamese and French influences. While a variety of meats can be used, this recipe features slow-cooker pork tenderloin. The slaw adds a tangy crunch that goes perfectly with the sweet flavors of the pork.


2 1/2 lbs pork tenderloin

1 jalapeno, diced

1 1/2 tbsp ginger, minced

8 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce

1 cup carrots, shredded

1 cucumber, sliced into 2 inch long strips

1 cup Napa cabbage, shredded

1/4 cup cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp mayonnaise

4 10-inch baguettes

Sriracha to taste


In a mixing bowl, combine the jalapeno, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar.

Pour over the pork. Cook on low for 4 hours. Make a slaw by mixing together the carrots, cucumbers, cabbage, cilantro, and Mae Ploy chili sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Slice the baguettes in half and toast in the oven at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. Build the sandwiches with a spread of mayo, a layer of pork, a layer of slaw, and a squirt of sriracha.

  • I have more questions and concerns about getting an oil-change than I do about this project.

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