9 Slow Cooker Recipes To Try This Autumn

Not only does a slow cooker make cosy, comforting food, you can also leave it to simmer away in the background while you get on with other things. From a nourishing coconut and kale dhal to family friendly spaghetti dishes, here are nine easy recipes to try this autumn.
By Heather Steele /

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Chickpea & Butternut Squash Dahl

Serves
4
Total Time
3 Hours
Ingredients
1 butternut squash, peeled & cut into 2cm dice
1 x 400g can of chickpeas in water
300g of dried red lentils, rinsed
2 low-salt vegetable stock cubes
1 tbsp of garam masala
1 tbsp of mild curry powder
1 good grinding of black pepper
2 heaped tsp of dried mixed herbs
2 tsp of smoked paprika
1 x 400g can of coconut milk
1 x 400g can of chopped tomatoes
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, grated
Method
Step 1
Put all of the ingredients, including the water from the can of chickpeas, into the slow cooker, along with 350ml of boiling water. Give it a really good stir and put the lid on. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Once done, use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to give the dahl a good stir and mash the soft butternut squash into the sauce a little.
Step 2
Serve the dahl with rice or naan breads, or even as a pasta sauce. Adults, you may want to season your portion with a little salt or even a dash of chilli sauce, if you like.
Step 3
Love your leftovers: The dahl will keep for 3 days in the fridge or freeze it for up to three months. Reheat in a saucepan or in the microwave until bubbling and piping hot throughout.

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese

Serves
4
Total Time
4 Hours 10 Minutes
Ingredients
1 x 454g pack of minced beef
1 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 beef stock cube
1 stick of celery, sliced
100ml of red wine
400g can of Cirio chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp of Cirio Supercirio double concentrated tomato purée
1 sprig of rosemary, leaves chopped
300g of De Cecco spaghetti
Method
Step 1
Fry the mince, onion and garlic to brown, and stir in the beef stock cube. Add all the remaining ingredients except the spaghetti, and place in a slow-cooker. Set on high and cook for 4 hours. Alternatively cook on low for 8 hours.
Step 2
Cook the spaghetti in boiling water for 8-10 minutes or until tender, and then serve with the bolognese.
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Maple Beef Casserole With Winter Root Vegetables

Serves
6
Total Time
3 Hours
Ingredients
2 tbsp of vegetable oil
850g-1kg of lean braising steak cut into chunks
6 bacon rashers, chopped
2 onions peeled & diced
4 carrots, peeled & cut into chunks
1 small swede, peeled & cut into chunks
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp of tomato purée
3 tbsp of pure maple syrup
50ml of Worcestershire sauce
20g of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 litre of beef stock
150ml of red wine
1 tsp of cornflour plus 2 tsp of water mixed together
Method
Step 1
Preheat the slow cooker.
Step 2
Heat oil in a large casserole dish and brown the beef and bacon together.
Step 3
Remove meat and set aside.
Step 4
Using the same casserole dish, add the onions carrots, and swede and cook for about 5 minutes to soften. Add the garlic, tomato purée, maple syrup and Worcestershire sauce then return the beef and bacon to the casserole dish. Stir together and cook for another 10 minutes. Add the thyme and bay leaf, cover with the beef stock and red wine.
Step 5
With the lid on, transfer to a slow cooker for 2 hours until all the meat and vegetables are cooked.
Step 6
Remove and stir in the cornflour and water mix into the cooked casserole. Serve with buttery creamed mashed potato.

All-In-One Roast Chicken Leeks & Peppers

Serves
4
Total Time
2 Hours
Ingredients
4 leeks, trimmed & roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely sliced
400g of baby onions, peeled
Few sprigs of fresh rosemary
Few fresh thyme stalks
1 bay leaf
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Handful of Cooks & Co green olives
1 tbsp of olive oil
3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
Generous splash of white wine
1 tbsp of runny honey
1 whole chicken, jointed or chicken thighs
460g jar of Cooks & Co roasted red peppers, drained & roughly chopped
Gorgonzola for topping – optional, but delicious
Handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped for serving
Method
Step 1
Add the leeks to a slow cooker, along with the garlic, baby onions and fresh herbs and scatter over the olives. Drizzle with the olive oil and season well.
Step 2
Mix together the balsamic, white wine and honey. Put the chicken pieces in a large bowl, pour over the balsamic mix and using your hands combine well. Now tuck the chicken pieces in and around the leeks. Pour over remaining juice then put it in the cooker for 40 minutes.
Step 3
Remove and stir though the peppers, return it to cook for a further 20 or so minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the onions are tender. Check on the chicken occasionally. If using, scatter over some gorgonzola for the last 5 minutes of cooking or until it begins to melt. Garnish with parsley to serve.

Coconut & Kale Toor Dhal

Serves
4
Total Time
1 Hour
Ingredients
For The Toor Dhal Base:
150g of toor dhal
500ml, plus 2 tbsp of boiling water
2½cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled & grated
½ tsp of fine sea salt
For The Tadka:
5 tbsp of vegetable oil
1cm of piece of cassia bark or cinnamon stick
4 cloves
½ tsp of mustard seeds
½ tsp of cumin seeds
10-15 fresh curry leaves
½ tsp of ground cumin
½ tsp of ground coriander
½ tsp of ground turmeric
½ tsp of kashmiri chilli or chilli powder
To Finish
200ml of coconut milk
1 tsp of palm sugar/jaggery
50g of chopped fresh kale
To Serve
Dried coconut chips
Cooked basmati rice or naan breads
Method
Step 1
For the dhal base, pick through the toor dhal to remove any stones. Place it in a colander and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear. Transfer the rinsed lentils to a slow cooker with the boiling water, ginger and salt. Close the slow cooker and place over a medium heat. Cook for about 15 minutes.
Step 2
When the lentils are soft and falling apart, release the steam from the slow cooker slowly. Most of the water should have been absorbed during cooking, but gently crush the lentils if any small amount remains. Set aside.
Step 3
For the tadka, place the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the cassia bark or cinnamon stick and the cloves and let them sizzle for 30 seconds. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and shake the pan gently. After about 30 seconds, stir in the curry leaves, cumin, coriander, turmeric and kashmiri chilli/chilli powder.
Step 4
Pour the cooked toor dhal base into the seasoned oil and mix well. Simmer gently over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
Step 5
To finish, pour in the coconut milk, add the palm sugar or jaggery and kale. Simmer gently for 10 minutes to allow the kale to soften.
Step 6
Meanwhile, toast the coconut chips in a hot, dry frying pan or skillet for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until crisp and toasted.
Step 7
Divide the dhal into serving bowls and top each one with toasted coconut chips. Serve on its own or with cooked rice or naan breads. Here, sweet, nutty coconut milk is added to the toor dhal base alongside the spiced seasoned oil. Super-healthy kale and coconut chips bring an extra dimension of texture.

Black Pepper Chicken Dhal & Naan

Serves
4
Total Time
4 Hours 30 Minutes
Ingredients
100g of red lentils
1 garlic clove
320g of British chicken thighs
1 tbsp of curry powder
10g of coriander and mint
2 cardamom pods
½ tsp of ground turmeric
15g of crispy onions
2½g of cracked black pepper
50g of solid coconut cream
185g of canned green lentils
15g of fresh root ginger
11g of chicken stock mix
2 plain naans
Method
Step 1
Boil a kettle. Heat a large, wide-based pan with a drizzle of olive oil over high heat. Drain and rinse the green lentils and red lentils together under cold running water.
Step 2
Add the chicken thighs to the pan and cook until lightly golden.
Step 3
Crush the garlic cloves open by squashing with the side of a knife and remove the skins. Crush the cardamom pods open by squashing them with the side of a knife. Peel the ginger, then chop it in half. Roughly chop the coconut cream.
Step 4
Add the rinsed lentils, crushed garlic, ginger halves, cardamom pods, curry powder and ground turmeric to the pan and give everything a good mix up.
Step 5
Add the contents of your pan to the slow cooker. Add 450ml of boiled water, the chicken stock mix, cracked black pepper, coconut cream and 1 tsp of sugar. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.
Step 6
When the black pepper dal is nearly ready, preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/Gas Mark 7. Add the plain naans to a baking tray and put the tray in the oven for 3-4 minutes or until warmed through.
Step 7
To serve, pull the cooked chicken thighs into large chunks using two forks. Top the black pepper dal with the pulled chicken and garnish with the crispy onions. Tear over the coriander and mint leaves, serve the warmed naans to the side.
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Slow Cooker Mushroom Ragù Spaghetti & Caprese Salad

Serves
4
Total Time
3 Hours 15 Minutes
Ingredients
1 garlic clove
125g of mozzarella
125g of cherry tomatoes
1 tsp of dried oregano
5g of basil
15ml of balsamic vinegar
35g of grated Italian hard cheese
250g of chestnut mushrooms
32g of tomato paste
1 x 210g can of finely chopped tomatoes
11g of vegetable stock mix
190g of spaghetti
Method
Step 1
Heat a large, wide-based pan with a drizzle of olive oil over a high heat. Grate the mushrooms and garlic clove.
Step 2
Add the grated mushrooms, garlic and knob of butter to the dish. Add the tomato paste and give everything a good mix up.
Step 3
Add the contents of your pan to the slow cooker with the chopped tomatoes, veg stock mix, balsamic vinegar and oregano. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours.
Step 4
After 3 hours boil a kettle. Break the spaghetti in half and add it to the slow cooker with 200ml of boiled water, stirring everything to separate the strands. Cover and cook for 1 hour further.
Step 5
Once everything is almost done, chop the cherry tomatoes into halves and add them to a serving bowl. Roughly tear the mozzarella and basil leaves over the top. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Step 6
To serve, give the mushroom ragù a good mix up with a fork to separate the strands of pasta and sprinkle the Italian grated hard cheese all over. Serve the caprese salad to the side.
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Jerk Chicken With Easy Slaw

Serves
6
Total Time
9 Hours
Ingredients
40g of butter
1.5-1.8kg whole organic chicken
Juice of 3 limes
1 tbsp of ground allspice
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
½ tsp of cayenne pepper
2 tsp of sea salt
1 tbsp of rice malt syrup
For The Slaw
1 tbsp of olive oil
2 bunches of tenderstem broccoli, halved lengthways
1 pack of pre-shredded coleslaw mix
4 spring onions, sliced
Method
Step 1
In the morning, melt the butter in a hot frying pan and brown the chicken all over. Remove from the pan and place it upside down in the slow cooker insert.
Step 2
Combine the lime juice with the spices and salt in the same pan over low heat. Add the rice malt syrup and stir until melted and combined.
Step 3
Pour the mixture over the upside-down chicken and rub all over, including the cavity, to coat thoroughly. Cover and cook for 6 hours on low or 3½ hours on high.
Step 4
In the evening, make the slaw. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, then gently sweat the broccoli until almost tender. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until warmed through.
Step 5
Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and slice the meat from the bone. Serve with slaw.

Mushroom Bourguignon With Cheddar & Maple Scone Topping

Serves
6
Total Time
2 Hours 35 Minutes
Ingredients
2 tbsp of olive oil
4 large carrots, peeled & sliced
2 white onions, diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Handful of fresh thyme
1kg of mixed mushrooms, chopped
3 tbsp of pure maple syrup
Salt & pepper, to taste
600ml of vegetable stock
For The Cheddar & Maple Scones:
140g of self-raising flour, sieved
100g of wholemeal self-raising flour, sieved
1 tsp of salt
100g of grated cheddar, plus extra for topping
1 tbsp of pure maple syrup
175ml of whole milk
1 egg, beaten
Handful of chopped parsley
Method
Step 1
In a slow cooker, heat oil and add carrots, onion, garlic and thyme and cook together for seven minutes. Add mushrooms, season with pepper and stir in maple syrup. Cook until mushrooms start to brown and excess liquid has reduced by over half.
Step 2
Pour in vegetable stock, bring to the boil, reduce heat then gently simmer for up to 30 minutes leaving thick, glossy juices in the pan.
Step 3
Transfer mushroom mix to a deep oven-proof dish, spread out across the base and set aside.
Step 4
To make the cheddar and maple scones, blend both flours and salt together, and add 100g of cheese. Make a well in the middle and slowly add milk and maple syrup. Bring the wet and dry ingredients together using hands to form a ball of dough. Turn dough out onto floured surface and roll with a pin into a circle about 2cm thick, cut out discs using pastry cutter. Re-use excess dough to make more scones until all the pastry is used.
Step 5
Lay scones on top of the mushroom mix, leaving a small gap between. Transfer to oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until scones rise. Five minutes before finished baking, brush each scone with beaten egg, scatter with remaining grated cheese and chopped parsley. Continue to bake until cheese has melted and turned golden brown, then serve.

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