Rainy days, crisp evenings and crackling fires call for pulling out the slow cooker for fuss-free eating. But we’re ditching the usual pot roast, stews and soups for a twist on crock pot cookery.
Slow cookers are the smart way to cook in winter. It’s less energy for your home (no need to flick on the oven) and it’s less energy for you. It’s time to mix it up and trade traditional slow cooker fare for delectable desserts, decadent drinks and meals with bite.
Slow Cooker Bread
So easy, you’ll wonder why you’ve never tried making bread in the slow cooker before. This recipe is for a large slow cooker, so if yours is smaller, halve the ingredients or cook it in two batches. This is great if you love soft crust on your bread, as this won’t brown the top. But you can give it a quick cook under the grill once cooked if you prefer your loaf crusty!
3 cups of warm water
- 1 tbsp of granulated yeast
- 1 tbsp salt
- 6 ½ cups of plain flour
Put the water, salt and yeast in a bowl and whisk together.
- Add in the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are well mixed.
- Cover the bowl and let the mixture rise for two hours.
- Once risen, sprinkle flour over the dough and turn it out onto a sheet of baking paper.
- Dust the top of the dough with flour then shape it roughly before lifting it with the paper into the slow cooker bowl.
- Cook for two hours.
Slow Cooker Beef Nachos
This recipe pairs the traditional method of slow cooking cuts of meat for super tender mouthfuls, with a family-friendly meal that sure to be a winter winner.
- 1tsp ground cumin
- 2tsp chilli powder
- 1tsp pepper
- 3 crushed garlic cloves
- 1 ½ kg beef steak
- 2tsp olive oil
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 packets of corn chips
- 2 cups of grated tasty cheese
- 1 cup of sour cream
2 medium-sized avocados
- Juice of one lime
3 diced tomatoes
- ½ a Spanish onion
- 1tbs olive oil
- ½ a diced garlic clove
- 2tbs coriander
- Rub the beef all over with the crushed garlic. In a small bowl mix all of the spices together, then rub the mixture over the beef. Pop the steak into the slow cooker, cover with chicken stock and cook on high for four to six hours, or low for six to eight hours.
- When it’s finished cooking, the beef will be fall-apart tender. Take it out of the slow cooker and shred it with two forks.
- Make the guacamole by mashing the avocados with the lime juice and seasoning with salt and pepper. Combine the salsa ingredients and season.
- Layer the corn chips, cheese and beef on a microwave-safe plate, and repeat until all ingredients are used. Give it a quick buzz in the microwave until the cheese is melted.
- Top with guacamole, salsa and sour cream.
Easy Slow Cooker Lasagne
Make a traditional family lasagne without even looking at the oven.
500g beef mince
- 1 chopped brown onion
- Two minced cloves of garlic
- 700g jar of passata sauce
- 140g tub on tomato paste
- 1 ½ tsp of salt
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 400g of fresh lasagne sheets
- 350g of cottage cheese
- ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 450g of grated mozzarella cheese
In a frypan cook the mince, onion and garlic over medium heat until brown.
- Add the tomato paste, salt and oregano and stir until mixed. Cook until all ingredients are heated through.
- In a bowl mix cottage cheese, grated Parmesan cheese and grated mozzarella cheese.
- Grab your slow cooker, a put a layer of meat mixture into the bottom. Add a layer of lasagne sheets, cutting to size to make sure sauce is covered. Put a layer of cheese mixture on top of the sheets, then continue the layering until everything is used.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for four to six hours.
Slow Cooked Brownies
Oven-free snacks that smell as good as they taste. Put the kettle on and sit back while the slow cooker does all the work.
140g of chopped dark chocolate
- 170g of cubed, unsalted butter
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 eggs
- ¼ tsp of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup plain flour
Butter the inside of the slow cooker bowl and line the bottom with baking paper. Make sure it goes up the sides a little.
- Put the butter and chocolate in a bowl and melt in the microwave.
- Let the chocolate cool before whisking in the sugar and then the eggs, vanilla and salt.
- Add the flour and stir for a couple of minutes before transferring to the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low for two and a quarter hours. The edge of the brownies will be well cooked, while the centre will still be a little soft.
- Take the bowl out of the slow cooker and let the brownies cool in it for an hour with the lid on, before removing and serving.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Totally kitsch and never out of fashion, this version is quick to make and easy to bake.
1 cup of brown sugar
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 450g tin of sliced pineapple
- Juice reserved from pineapple tin
- 10 maraschino cherries, stems removed
- 540g box of vanilla cake mix (plus ingredients on cake mix box needed to make cake – eg. eggs, oil etc)
Spray the slow cooker bowl with cooking spray.
- Mix the brown sugar and melted butter in a small bowl, then spread it in the bottom
of the slow cooker.
- Arrange the pineapple slices and cherries over the brown sugar mixture in a layer.
- Put reserved pineapple juice into a mixing jug, and add enough water to make it up to one cup.
- Make the cake batter using the instructions, but substitute water for pineapple juice.
- Pour batter over pineapples and cherries.
- Cook on high for 2 ½ to 3 hours. Then turn off cooker, uncover and remove the slow cooker bowl so it can cool.
- After 15 minutes put a serving plate upside down on the slow cooker bowl and turn it over.
Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate
Friday home movie nights in winter aren’t complete without a steaming mug of hot
chocolate. Make enough for a crowd with this crafty (and totally decadent) slow cooker
6 cups of milk
- 1 ½ cups of thickened cream
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 395g tin of condensed milk
- 2 cups of milk chocolate chips
Put all of the ingredients into the slow cooker.
- Pop it on the low setting and mix all the ingredients well.
- Cook for two hours, stirring every now and again to make sure the choc chips don’t sit on the bottom.