The 15 Best Slow Cooker Recipes

The 15 Best Slow Cooker Recipes

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Butter   

Pumpkin and apple butter are great ways to add a bit of sweetness to the Paleo diet. They’re extremely easy to make in the slow cooker and are delicious served warm after cooking overnight. The pumpkin butter keeps well in the fridge for about a week in a  tightly covered jar.

Slow Cooker recipes : Pumpkin Butter
Photo: Debbie Wolfe
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans pumpkin puree (not pie  filling)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, apple juice, and honey, and stir until well blended. Add the allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and salt, and stir well. 

Pour the mixture into the slow cooker, cover, and cook on low heat for 8 hours. If the butter is a bit thin, uncover and increase the temperature to high heat. Allow the butter to reduce for about 30 minutes. 

To serve, spread over Paleo-friendly bread, pancakes, or waffles, or use as a dip for fresh apple or pear slices.

Serves 12. 

Slow Cooker Stuffed Portobellos

Stuffed mushrooms are a great appetizer to serve to company, and they also make an excellent light lunch or side dish for yourself. Portobellos are wonderfully dense—similar to steak—and delicious.

  • 8 large portobello mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper,  divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 1/2 cup frozen chopped  spinach, thawed and drained well

Remove the stems from the mushrooms and chop them; set aside. 

In a heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and pecans. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. 

Add the onion, chopped mushroom stems, and spinach, stirring well, and cook for  1 minute to coat the pecans and vegetables with oil. 

Use the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to season the mushroom caps.  Divide the mixture between the mushroom caps, spooning it loosely into each 1. 

Place the mushrooms in a single layer in the slow cooker. (It’s okay if they are a bit  crowded.) Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours. 

Serve as an appetizer or alongside a green salad for a light lunch.

Serves 4.

Spicy Slow Cooker–Roasted Nuts

Most people don’t think to use slow cookers when it comes to preparing crunchy snacks,  but it’s actually a great no-fuss way to prepare tasty lunch-bag or party snacks for later. They’re much lower in salt than commercially roasted nuts, too.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika 
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 pound pecan halves
  • 1/2 pound walnut halves
  • 1/2 pound shelled Brazil nuts

In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder, paprika, and salt, stirring until thoroughly blended. Add the pecans, walnuts, and Brazil nuts, and toss until the nuts are evenly coated. 

Pour the nuts into the slow cooker and cover. Cook on high heat for 15 minutes.  Toss again with a large spoon, cover, and cook on low for 2 hours.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the nuts to a shallow baking dish or cookie sheet, and cool to room temperature before serving or storing.

The nuts will keep for about 2 weeks in a resealable plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Serves 8.

For serving:

  • 2 fresh cucumbers, sliced
  • 4 stalks celery, cut into 3-inch pieces

Slice the eggplant into 1/2-inch slices and season each with the paprika, cumin,  and pepper. Place 1 layer of eggplant into the slow cooker, and sprinkle with half of the garlic and half of the parsley. 

Repeat with a second layer. Pour 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice over the eggplant, cover, and cook on low heat for 2 hours.

Transfer the eggplant to a large cutting board and cool for a few minutes. Place eggplant in a blender or food processor, add the tahini, and blend the mixture until it is still chunky, but of a spreadable consistency.

Transfer the baba ghanoush to a shallow bowl, pour the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice over the top, and garnish with fresh parsley, if desired. Serves 6.

low Cooker Beef Stew

There are few things that say “comfort food” better than a hearty beef stew. Slow cooking means the meat is always succulent and tender, plus your home is filled with wonderful aromas.

  • 1 1/2 pounds lean beef stew meat
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black  pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch  pieces
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh kale, trimmed and  roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 cups beef broth or stock, divided
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder 

Trim the beef of any visible fat. Cut the meat into bite-size pieces, and season with the salt and pepper.

In a large, heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef (in batches, if necessary) and brown on all sides for 4 to 5 minutes. 

Add the carrots, celery, onion, kale, bay leaf, and parsley to the slow cooker, then add the beef. Pour 2 3/4 cups of the broth over the meat and vegetables. Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours. 

Uncover the slow cooker and increase to high heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup broth and arrowroot powder until the powder dissolves. Stir into the stew and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, just until thickened.

Ladle the stew into shallow bowls and serve with a fresh salad and Paleo-friendly bread.  Serves 6.

In a large, heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the roast and brown on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the roast to the slow cooker,  reserving the drippings in the skillet. Reduce to medium heat and add the onions,  garlic, and celery to skillet. Sauté for 2 minutes, then transfer to the slow cooker. 

In a medium bowl, combine 2 cups broth and the tomato paste with a fork, then pour over the roast. Arrange the carrots and peppers around the roast and sprinkle the oregano and pepper over everything. Add the bay leaf, cover, and cook on low heat for 6 hours. 

Transfer the roast to a platter. Using a slotted spoon, arrange the vegetables around the roast. Cover with foil to keep warm.

Increase the slow cooker to high heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup of broth and arrowroot powder until the powder dissolves. Whisk into the slow cooker. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until a slightly thickened gravy forms, 10 to 15 minutes.

To serve, pour the gravy over the roast and garnish with fresh parsley.

Serves 6.

Slow-Cooked Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

This recipe is similar to the traditional stuffed cabbage dishes of Germany and Hungary.  The sauce is slightly sweet, with just a hint of nutmeg, and you’ll never miss the rice that’s traditionally included.

  • 8 cups of water
  • 12 large green cabbage leaves, washed
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black  pepper
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes 
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound lean ground pork
  • 1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey 

In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add the cabbage leaves and cook for 3 minutes.

Drain and rinse with cool water until cool enough to handle. Pat dry and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the onion, garlic, carrots, salt, pepper, and diced tomatoes, stirring until well blended. In a separate bowl, using clean hands or a sturdy spoon, combine the ground beef and ground pork. Add the ground meat to the vegetables, and mix thoroughly. 

Divide the mixture evenly between the cabbage leaves, rolling them like an egg roll.

Position the rolls in a single tight layer in the slow cooker, seam sides down.

In a medium bowl, combine the tomato sauce, tomato paste, nutmeg, cardamom,  and honey. Pour the mixture over the cabbage rolls, cover, and cook on high heat for 1 hour. Reduce to low heat and cook for 4 more hours.

To serve, arrange the cabbage rolls on a platter and spoon the sauce over the top. Serves 6.

Slow Cooker Ratatouille

This recipe is a riff on the classic French ratatouille, one of the most delicious ways to use the abundance of summer produce. The addition of walnuts makes it more filling and wonderfully different; you won’t miss the traditional Parmesan topping.

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon olive oil,  divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 large eggplants, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 large red onion, cut into thin slices
  • 2 yellow summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch  slices
  • 2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black  pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a large, heavy skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Sauté the eggplant slices in batches for about  2 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Pour the oil from the skillet into the slow cooker, and once slightly cooled, wipe around the crock to coat.

Place a layer of eggplant in the slow cooker and top with alternating slices of onion,  squash, and zucchini. Season with half of the herbs, salt, and pepper. Repeat the layering with the remaining eggplant, vegetables, and seasonings. Cover and cook on high heat for 2 hours.

In a small skillet, heat the remaining 1/2 teaspoon olive oil and sauté the walnuts for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, just until they smell toasted. Remove from the heat.

To serve, plate each portion and top with the walnuts.  Serves 6.

Slow Cooker Banana Bread

If you’re lucky enough to be home when this bread is baking, the smell will drive you wild! Full of ripe bananas and scented with vanilla, you’d never know this banana bread is actually grain-free. Unlike many slow cooker recipes, this one takes only a couple of hours, but it makes an excellent option when you don’t have access to your oven or you want an added treat for a brunch or other event. Make sure your bananas are very ripe for the best results; the skins should be well spotted with black.

  • Coconut oil or unsalted  grass-fed butter for greasing
  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped and toasted  walnuts
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted grass-fed butter,  softened
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups ripe mashed banana
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Lightly grease the slow cooker crock with coconut oil or butter. 

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, baking soda, salt, and walnuts. Stir well and set aside. 

In a separate bowl, using a mixer, beat the butter with the maple syrup. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. On low speed, beat in the bananas, followed by the almond milk and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. 

Pour the batter into the prepared crock. Cover and cook on high heat for 2 hours.  Check doneness by inserting a toothpick. If it’s not done, continue cooking on high until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Allow the bread to cool, remove from the slow cooker, and slice. Wrap leftover bread in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Serves 8 to 10.

Slow Cooker Almond Bread

This lightly scented almond bread is delicious, and it fits the Paleo plan perfectly. Apple-  sauce makes for a tender and moist bread, while toasted almonds add crunch and flavor. This is the perfect addition to an afternoon tea or a Sunday brunch when served alongside some Paleo-friendly jam. One bite and this is sure to become a favorite.Slow Cooker Almond Bread

  • Coconut oil or unsalted  grass-fed butter for greasing
  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted  grass-fed butter, softened
  • 1 cup raw honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 tablespoon almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure almond extract
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Lightly grease the slow cooker crock with coconut oil or butter.

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir well and set aside. 

In a separate bowl, using a mixer, beat the butter with the honey. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. On low speed, beat in the applesauce, followed by the almond milk and extract. Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. 

Pour the batter into the prepared crock. Sprinkle the toasted almonds over the top. 

Cover and cook on high heat for 2 hours. Check doneness by inserting a toothpick.

If it’s not done, continue cooking on high until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Allow the bread to cool, remove from the slow cooker, and slice. Wrap leftover bread in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Serves 8 to 10.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Bread

This savory bread is a perfect fall treat, and anyone who tastes it will beg for the recipe.  It’s best served warm with butter. Feel free to substitute mashed and pureed butternut squash or even sweet potatoes for a twist on this classic bread.Slow Cooker Pumpkin Bread

  • Coconut oil or unsalted grass-fed  butter for greasing
  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted grass-fed butter,  softened
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups pureed pumpkin
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional) 

Lightly grease the slow cooker crock with coconut oil or butter.

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir well and set aside. 

In a separate bowl, using a mixer, beat the butter with the maple syrup and add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. On low speed, beat in the pumpkin,  followed by the almond milk and vanilla. Add the flour mixture, and beat until batter is just coming together.

Pour the batter into the prepared crock. Sprinkle the toasted pecans over the top, if using. Cover and cook on high heat for 2 hours. Check doneness by inserting a  toothpick. If it’s not done, continue cooking on high until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Allow the bread to cool, remove from the slow cooker, and slice. Wrap leftover bread in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Serves 8 to 10.

Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake

The slow cooker is a great addition to the Paleo diet, but you can do more than braise meats and turn out mouthwatering stews. This chocolate cake recipe proves that. This moist chocolate cake is even better than many traditional recipes you’ll find. It’s more rich than sweet, but feel free to add a bit more honey if you like sweeter desserts.

  • Coconut oil or unsalted grass-fed butter  for greasing
  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 cup raw honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Brush the slow cooker crock with coconut oil or butter.

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

Stir well.

In a separate bowl, beat the honey, egg, almond milk, coconut oil, and vanilla together with a mixer. Add to the flour mixture. Pour in the boiling water and stir well to combine.

Pour the batter into the slow cooker, cover, and cook on low heat for about 3  hours. The cake is done when the top is dry and the edges are starting to pull away from the sides.

Uncover and allow the cake to cool for about 30 minutes before serving. Store leftover cake loosely covered at room temperature until ready to serve. It will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 1 week in an airtight container.

Serves 8.

Slow Cooker Paleo Brownies

Looking for a rich and chocolaty dessert that’s made in your slow cooker? How about one that is also gluten-free and Paleo-friendly? If that’s what you’re looking for, you’ve hit the jackpot with these brownies. Chocolate cravings will be satisfied with one bite of these sinfully delicious and chewy delights. Serve them at your next party; your guests won’t believe they are actually suitable for a diet.

  • 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted  grass-fed butter, melted
  • 1 cup raw honey
  • 2 large eggs, beaten

Line the slow cooker crock with aluminum foil. 

In a small bowl, combine the almond flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. 

In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter and honey. Add the eggs and whisk until well combined. Add the flour mixture and stir until well blended. 

Pour the batter into the prepared crock. Cover and cook on low heat for about 3  hours. Uncover and cook for 30 more minutes. 

Allow the brownies to cool completely before removing the foil, slicing, and serving. Store any leftover brownies in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Serves 12.

CONCLUSION

You now have a great head start on your gluten-free slow-cooking adventure. But don’t stop with these recipes; convert your old family favorites to the slow cooker and have fun experimenting with other recipes from all over the world. 

The Paleo diet is full of a wonderful array of foods, and there are at least a dozen ways to prepare each one of them in the slow cooker. 

With a slow cooker and the abundant choices available on the Paleo diet, there’s no reason to get stuck in a food rut or to approach the dinner table with resignation.

Get creative, experiment with unfamiliar ingredients or seasonings,  and invest some time checking out cuisines that you may not have tried before. 

Leave a Reply