Slow-Cooker Recipes to Feed a Crowd

Plug in and let Old Faithful help out with feeding a crowd. These recipes are delightfully savory and yield 8 servings or more.

Savory Goodness

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Savory Goodness

We unlocked the secrets to succulent meats, tender but toothsome beans, and brilliant, robust flavors. Mission accomplished: These are our best-ever slow cooker recipes.

First, our Classic Slow Cooker Beef Stew will surely delight.

A nutty dark beer adds richness and depth to the stew. Be careful not to choose a beer that's super-hoppy; it will taste too bitter. To get 2 pounds of trimmed meat, you'll probably need to purchase a 2 1/2-pound roast.

View Recipe: Classic Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Slow Cooker Sausage and Squash Lasagna

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Slow Cooker Sausage and Squash Lasagna

We were surprised and delighted by how well lasagna cooks up in the slow cooker. Be sure to use traditional noodles, and place them in the cooker uncooked. We tried the recipe with specially formulated no-bake noodles, and they didn't work as well.

View Recipe: Slow Cooker Sausage and Squash Lasagna

Creamy White Bean Soup with Smoked Ham Hocks

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Creamy White Bean Soup with Smoked Ham Hocks

Creamy, starchy, and filling, this hearty, rustic soup is the epitome of comfort. And convenient: Beans go in dry—no need to soak.

View Recipe: Creamy White Bean Soup with Smoked Ham Hocks

Slow Cooker Chicken Verde

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Slow Cooker Chicken Verde

It's not hard to make your own salsa verde, with fresher flavor and much less sodium than jarred versions: Simply blacken tomatillos, chiles, and onions; then blend.

View Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Verde

Tangy Italian Beef Sandwiches

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Tangy Italian Beef Sandwiches

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.

View Recipe: Tangy Italian Beef Sandwiches

Slow-Cooked Ragù

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Slow-Cooked Ragù

This meaty sauce is great ladled over any kind of pasta, and leftovers freeze well.

View Recipe: Slow-Cooked Ragù

Hearty Oats and Grains

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Hearty Oats and Grains

When you have a house full of holiday guests who'd enjoy a wholesome, hearty breakfast at their own pace, the slow cooker can come to your rescue. Get it going first thing, and let folks serve themselves when they're ready to eat.

View Recipe: Hearty Oats and Grains

Sweet and Tangy Short Ribs

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Sweet and Tangy Short Ribs

This saucy dish is worthy of a dinner party; just serve with a side of brown rice or rice noodles. Cola is the secret ingredient, yielding a luscious sauce with great body.

View Recipe: Sweet and Tangy Short Ribs

Chicken and Chickpea Tagine

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Chicken and Chickpea Tagine

Hearty canned chickpeas hold up beautifully in the slow cooker, where they're combined with fragrant spices and just a little stock. Since the chicken cooks on top of the chickpea mixture and is not submerged in liquid, it can cook longer without suffering texturally.

View Recipe: Chicken and Chickpea Tagine

Easy Beef Osso Buco

Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr

Easy Beef Osso Buco

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.

View Recipe: Easy Beef Osso Buco

Spicy Chicken Cacciatore Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

Spicy Chicken Cacciatore

Serve this saucy dish over polenta or pasta. Transform leftovers into soup: Shred the chicken, and place in a pot with sauce. Add unsalted chicken stock, diced zucchini, and diced carrots; simmer until veggies are tender.

View Recipe: Spicy Chicken Cacciatore  

 

Sweet and Tangy Slow Cooker Brisket

Photo: Randy Mayor

Sweet and Tangy Slow Cooker Brisket

This brisket is a slow-cooked combination of vegetables, spices, and divine flat-cut brisket roast that is sure to please the whole family on a chilly night.

View Recipe: Sweet and Tangy Slow Cooker Brisket

 

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