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Thrifty and easy slow cooker recipes

by Malou Herkes

published on 7 January 2019

Embrace your slow cooker this winter with these recipes that guarantee frugal, delicious and healthier meals with minimal time in the kitchen. The beauty of slow-cooking is you can use leaner, cheaper cuts of meat and fish, leaving the slow cooker to do the hard work of bringing out their fantastic flavour, so you don't have to. From pulled pork and fish stew to tagines and soups, these are the best slow cooker recipes that won't break the bank.

pulled pork slow cooker

Few things work better in a slow cooker than pulled pork. This recipe from Slow Cooked shows you how to make a joint of meat go a long way by adding masses of flavour and creating amazing leftovers. Perfect Sunday cooking. 

From the book

Miss South

Brisket, one of the cheaper cuts of beef, is perfect for the slow cooker, breaking down into tender, melt-in-the-mouth strands as it cooks. This Slow-Cooked Beef with Root Veg Mash from Eat Well For Less: Every Day by Jo Scarratt-Jones makes a hearty and substantial weekend dinner.

slow cooker veggie chilli

This Double Bean Roasted Pepper Chilli from Good Food Eat Well is a warming vegetarian slow cooker dish that is not only low-fat and healthy but also packs in the veggies and flavour. Keep the leftovers to eat on toast the next day or packed into a steaming baked potato.  

pot roast beef

Also from the Good Food Eat Well cookbook is this Pot-Roast Beef, served up with a rich French onion gravy. Use a cheaper and leaner cut of meat, such as silverside or topside, which is not only well-suited to slow-cooking, but makes for a healthier take on a Sunday roast. 

squash chorizo soup

For something warming on a cold winter's day, make this Butternut Squash and Chorizo Soup from The Complete Slow-Cooker Cookbook. With only fifteen minutes of prep time (before the slow cooker does the rest), this is a great make-ahead meal. 

slow cooker tagine

This vegetarian recipe for Cauliflower, Olive and Lentil Tagine from Good Food Eat Well is easy to prepare and full of nutritious ingredients thrown in the slow cooker to make a delicious, satisfying meal.

slow cooker fish stew

From The Complete Slow-Cooker Cookbook, this Italian Fish Stew with Pancetta and Garlic is a really delicious way to eat squid, which is a thrifty and often forgotten seafood. With crusty bread to mop up the delicious juices, this is a sumptuous and deceptively simple recipe. 

chicken one pot recipe

Super simple to make, this Moroccan Chicken One Pot recipe from Good Food Eat Well makes the most of chicken breasts and seasonal squash. Just throw it all in the slow cooker and top with feta, mint and lemon. Delicious.  

A nutritious one-pot from Amelia Freer's Cook. Nourish. Glow., this Chicken and Tarragon Casserole is a wonderful way to get the most of a whole chicken. Flavoured with lemon, tarragon, and a dash of white wine, it's a warming and fresh-tasting alternative to a traditional Sunday roast.

Traditional risotto recipes tend to be pretty hands-on, but this Slow-Cooker Pinenut, Fennel, and Parmesan Risotto from The Complete Slow Cooker Cookbook requires next to no effort – just toss in the ingredients and wait. Better yet, you can easily adapt the recipe to include whatever vegetables happen to be in season. 

Slow cookers don't just work wonders on savoury foods – they also take the hassle out of desserts and sweet things, like this incredibly light and fluffy Cherry Bakewell Pudding from Miss South's Slow Cooked.

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