Sometimes it's okay to take things slow. This year, let your slow-cooker do the work with 365 days of foolproof recipes.
September 22, 2014
1 of 31Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller
October is here and your slow cooker is fired up and ready to prepare all the soups, stews, and roasts until your heart's content. Christen it with a Mexican tortilla soup that will make your taste buds sing like a mariachi band. Be sure to leave room in the bowl for all the toppings--we like crispy tortilla strips, queso fresco, avocado, and a generous squeeze of lime.
4 of 31Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller
Tangy Slow-Cooker Pork Shoulder
This will become your new go-to pork shoulder slow-cooker recipe, thanks to the sweet and tangy soy-and-vinegar flavor profile. Pull the pork, and serve it Southern-style over grits or sandwiched between buns, and ladle on plenty of sauce.
Brimming with rich, deep flavors, Easy Beef Osso Buco is a slow cooker classic. With just 30 minutes of preparation in the morning, this warm stew cooks in 8 hours while you are at work or running errands throughout the day and is ready to eat when you get home.
Everyday pasta sauce is elevated to an exotic level when simmered with earthy spices. Stir leftovers into cooked brown rice or farro for a whole-grain dinner with a jambalaya feel. To amp up the veggies, serve over a bed of roasted cauliflower.
8 of 31Photo: Chris Villano; Styling: Gerri Williams for James Reps
Asian Turkey Meatballs
Turkey meatballs are flavored with ginger, scallions, and cilantro before simmering in a mixture of soy, hoisin, and plum sauces. Serve over a hot cooked rice or rice noodles for an Asian-inspired meal.
This stick-to-your-ribs vegetarian dish can be served over barley, couscous, or millet. Cook whichever grain you choose separately, according to the label directions, and spoon the colorful stew over it just before serving.
Here's an example where the slow cooker excels: The beef slowly braises until it practically falls to shreds. We like the mixture on sandwiches, but it's also delicious over a baked potato and topped with sour cream.
12 of 31Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke
Slow-cooker Turkey Chili
This slow-cooker chili recipe is as easy as it is delicious. Browning the meat before adding it to the slow-cooker brings out the rich flavor of the dish. Enjoy a bowl on game day as your cheer your team on to victory.
The addition of butternut squash and a fresh orange makes this braised chicken company worthy. Round out the chicken-and-vegetables meal with rice steamed in the microwave, and your dinner prep is complete.
This company-worthy pot roast is surprisingly effortless, absorbing rich, classic flavor in the slow cooker. Serve over a bed of hot cooked egg noodles or mashed potatoes to soak up the delicious tomato gravy.
The beauty of bolognese? It freezes well. Make it ahead to have on hand for busy weeknights. When it's time to serve, spoon the savory Italian meat sauce over any pasta of your choice. We love the long, ribbon-style pappardelle.
Madras curry powder lends a little spice without being overpowering. Coconut milk stirred in at the end of the cooking time counters the burn with sweet creaminess. Reminiscent of many Indian-inspired dishes, this recipe relies on slow cooking to develop its richness.
Apples abound at this time of year. A combination of the Golden Delicious and McIntosh varieties create this chunky applesauce. We left the skins on the McIntosh apples to provide texture and color to this favorite fruit dish.
Seasoned with ginger, garam masala, mustard seeds, and cumin, this fragrant Indian-spiced pork loin braises in a tomato-based sauce. The low-and-slow cooking method renders the pork melt-in-your-mouth tender.