5 Comforting Slow Cooker Recipes to Try This Season

We are officially in the season of slow cooked foods that are warming and comforting. It is the time of year when we use our Dutch ovens and slow cookers more often than not.

Slow cookers are excellent for those who are away from the house and don’t have a lot of time to prepare dinner in the evenings. They tend to be extremely convenient because you can usually leave it unattended all day and come home to a home-cooked meal. If there is any stove top prep, you can either do that in the morning or the night before.  

Here are five excellent comfort food dishes that can be prepared in a slow cooker. Enjoy! 

1. Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder with Tomatoes, Fennel, and Pasta

Recipe by Jennifer Olvera via Serious Eats

Pork shoulder is perfect in the slow cooker because the slow and low cooking process allows it to become deliciously tenderized meat.  The recipe calls for a 6-pound pork shoulder which is entirely too much meat for this recipe. I use the 2.5-pound pork shoulder from Seven Sons, and it is the perfect amount.  

It also calls for parmesan rind to help boost the umami of the sauce. I have used Cave Aged Alpine or Cave Aged Tomme from Marcoot Jersey Creamery as a replacement. If you want to make it gluten free, just use gluten free pasta and sub the Worcestershire sauce with San-J’s Tamari.   

I usually prep the sauce the night before, but if you have time, you can quickly get it done in the morning. 

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2. Slow Cooker Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

Recipe by Kelli Foster via The Kitchn

I absolutely love fall off the bone meat, and this recipe delivers just that! There is a bit of prep on the stove top at the beginning of the recipe, so I usually make this recipe on a busy weekend day. Prep it in the morning and away we go for a day full of sports. When we come back to the house smelling amazing and dinner is as good as done.  

I use two packages of Bear Creek Cattle Beef Short Ribs and just increase the beef broth by 1 cup. If you don’t want to use wine, you can just replace it with more beef broth. I use Bare Bones Grass-fed Beef Broth – it is full of gelatin, flavor, and nutrients.  

We usually eat this served over mashed potatoes, but polenta is equally as good. Anything that will sop up the gravy that is made during the 8 – 10-hour cooking process. 

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3. Slow Cooker Chicken Tortellini Tomato Soup

Recipe by Sarah DiGregorio via NYTimes Cooking

This is one of my favorite slow cooker recipes because everything is done in the slow cooker. You just add your ingredients, turn on your slow cooker, and walk away. If you aren’t going to be home for 8 hours or more, you can set your cook time for 4 hours and then let it auto-switch to warm for the rest of the time.  

If you don’t want to use the white wine, then increase the chicken stock. Bare Bones Broth is my favorite right now, but Pacific Foods also makes a great chicken bone broth. And, if you are gluten free, try Taste Republic’s Gluten Free Four Cheese Tortelloni.

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4. Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches

Recipe by Maria Lichty via Two Peas and Their Pod

Ever since we added Against The Grain Gourmet’s Baguette to our store, I have been looking for any recipe where I can incorporate it into our meal, and since Italian beef sandwiches are one my husband’s favorite foods, this was a homerun. This recipe uses chuck roast which we have from both Seven Sons and Bear Creek Cattle.  

Italian beef is perfect for the slow cooker because it is a large cut of beef that is wet-roasted in broth with Italian seasonings. There is very little prep that is needed (and admittingly, I have omitted the searing step and it tastes just fine), so you can add everything to the slow cooker and walk away from it for 8 hours and let it do its thing.  

I didn’t have jarred pepperoncini’s, so I just pulled them out of the Bold Pickins Ring Around the Rosemary Pickles and used that juice instead. Also, if you don’t have the giardiniera to top the sandwiches at the end, then try some kraut from Cleveland Kraut. We’ve used their garlic flavor and the gnar gnar (if you like it a bit spicy). 

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5. Crock Pot Pizza Pasta Casserole

Recipe by Diana Rattray via The Spruce Eats

Of my three kids, I only have one that truly likes pizza. The other two will tolerate it. However, all three of them love this Pizza Pasta Casserole. When making the sauce, you can use whatever pizza toppings your family likes. We love mushrooms and red bell peppers, so we add them! I usually serve this with a side salad, or “Rachel’s Style” like we get our pizza at our local pizzeria – which means arugula rubbed with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and added by the handfuls to top our pizza casserole.  

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About Organic Beth

Beth Blessing (Organic Beth) has a Masters in Nutrition and is the co-founder of Green Bean Delivery. She is a mother of three who loves supporting family farms and searching for unique, artisanal products. Her goal is to help others eat better and live a more natural, holistic life through healthy recipes and practical tips.