Slow cooker recipes: prepare healthy, hearty meals with ease

The best slow cooker recipes will make short work of warming, hearty, healthy meals – while you get on with your day. There's even a cake!

Crock Pot: best slow cooker recipes
(Image credit: Crock Pot)

As you're about to discover, we love slow cooker recipes. Not only do they require minimal labour – which is always good news in our books – but they also deliver super satisfying and super succulent meals, whether you're throwing in a joint of meat or a load of leftover veggies.

So, how do they work? Well in the case of the best slow cookers, all that you'll need to do is add all of your ingredients to the pot and set the timer. From there your slow cooker will do all the work, allowing you to get on with work or simply sit back and relax. It really doesn't get much easier than that. Jump to view our simple slow cooker soups, slow cooker meals, or even slow cooker desserts. Yep, that's a thing.

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Best slow cooker recipes

Slow cooker soups

First up in our guide to the best slow cooker recipes are slow cooker soups. A much healthier alternative to anything bought in a tin, they're also easier to make than you might think and – thanks to the long cooking time – are packed full of flavour. Here are some of our favourites:

Curried red lentil, tomato and coconut slow cooker soup
This scrumptious soup combines warming flavours and, if your slow cooker doesn’t have a sauté function, this slow cooker recipe just needs a little preparation on the hob before you let the appliance do the work.    

Chilli chicken, bean, corn and lime slow cooker soup
The slow cooker will make the chicken in this soup beautifully tender. If you want to turn it into more of a meal, serve accompanied with rice. Coriander makes a great alternative garnish if you don’t want the kick of extra chilli.

Mushroom and potato slow cooker soup
Like your soup creamy? This recipe is sure to please. Offset its richness by serving with warm, fresh bread, or add the crunch of toasted slices.

Slow cooker meals

Looking for inspiration for dinner or a hearty lunch? In this section of our guide to the best slow cooker recipes, we've covered everything from slow cooker curries and slow cooker chilli, to slow cooker rice and pasta and slow cooker meat.

Slow cooker curries

Sweet potato and coconut curry with chickpeas and spinach
One of our favourite slow cooker recipes, this curry is lovely and mild with a touch of natural sweetness from the potatoes, however if you prefer some extra heat, add in some extra chopped chilli with the garlic. Team the curry with some couscous or if you prefer rice, that works just as well.

Aubergine red Thai curry
This aubergine curry is delicious and healthy, and the ingredients are not difficult to find. Thai cuisine is also very vegetarian-friendly, with a great range of dishes that don't require any meat at all. 

Slow cooker chili

Super tasty slow cooker chilli
This slow cooker chilli is a thing of beauty: a simple, hearty meal that can be happily consumed in front of Netflix, or served with nachos as party food. It also was pretty much made for the slow cooker (although you can cook it on a hob, too). The longer you stew it, the tastier it gets. 

Slow cooker pasta

Chicken fajita one pot pasta
Everyone loves fajitas and everyone loves pasta, so this one pot, slow cooker recipe is bound to go down well. To achieve a deeper depth of flavour to your chicken, try to remember to marinade the day before.

Slow cooker rice

Teriyaki chicken brown rice bowls
This comforting, tangy Teriyaki chicken recipe is the perfect pick me up – and while it's packed with exotic flavours, it's easy to make. Love a takeaway but saving your pennies? Homemade is always better and cheaper.

Slow cooker chicken

Slow cooker roast chicken
This slow cooker roast chicken recipe makes for a delicious Sunday roast and has a delicious smoky flavour.

Slow cooker beef

Slow cooker roast beef
A slow cooker roast beef recipe is a godsend for those of us who struggle with all the pots and pans required for Sunday lunch, to say nothing of all the washing up afterwards.

Slow cooker gammon

Slow cooker gammon
These slow cooker gammon recipes will change your ham game forever. Home-cooked ham is many people's favourite guilty pleasure, and these recipes will help you avoid a dried out piece of gammon. 

Slow cooker lamb

Slow cooker leg of lamb: a tasty recipe with a Moroccan twist
A slow cooker leg of lamb recipe with a Moroccan twist – this recipe really honours the rich taste of lamb without overpowering it, and the ingredients are very easy to find. 

Slow cooker pork

Slow cooker pulled pork
This slow cooker pulled pork recipe delivers the ultimate party-friendly meat that goes with virtually anything – and a little goes a long way

Slow cooker desserts

Bet you didn't think that our round up of the best slow cooker recipes would include desserts too. We know, we know, we're full of surprises. Find everything from rice pudding to sponge cake below, for an extra tasty take on some of your old favourites.

Slow cooker rice pudding
This vegan slow cooker rice pudding is made with coconut milk, giving it a gorgeous flavour. Serve with berries for a healthy breakfast, dessert or snack

Slow cooker cakes

Slow cooker chocolate cake
This super tasty chocolate cake is one of the most indulgent slow cooker recipes around – and we can't get enough of it.

Raspberry upside down cake
Got yourself a slow cooker and thinking... 'cake'? This one is easy, delicious and light

Slow cooker apple sponge cake
Cooking a slow cooker apple sponge cake in your slow cooker first is a great place to start. Sprinkled with icing sugar and set on a decorative serving plate, this makes a great centrepiece for a teatime table setting.

Slow cooker Christmas cake recipe
The beauty of this recipe is that you can really experiment with what you like best. More/different fruit? Not a problem. More/other type of booze? Again, try out different types to see what you enjoy the most. Will it be sherry or whisky? Finally, there's the question of icing or no icing.

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