Slow Cookers Making a Comeback

Sales for slow cookers went up in 2008 and 80% of Americans own a slow cooker. Every Day with Rachael Ray has easy budget-friendly recipes that will gather the family around the table with just the flick of a switch.

Turkey Meatballs in Paprika Tomato Sauce
Photo by Sang An/Every Day with Rachael Ray
Serves: 6
Prep: 30 Min
Slow-Cook: 6 HR

Serve with spaghetti.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
One 14.5-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
One 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained
2 tablespoons paprika
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 pounds ground dark meat turkey

1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, celery and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, 7 minutes. Transfer 1 1/3 cups of the onion mixture to a large bowl; let cool. Reserve the skillet.

2. Using a food processor, puree the tomatoes and roasted peppers. Add the puree to the skillet and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the paprika and season with salt and pepper; transfer to a large slow cooker, cover and set to low temperature.

3. Whisk the breadcrumbs, egg, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper into the remaining onion mixture. Mix in the turkey. Form 1 1/2-inch meatballs. Add the meatballs to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 hours.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook 1 pound of spaghetti until al dente. Drain, return to the pot and toss with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper. Season with salt and black pepper.

Chianti-Braised Short Ribs
Photo by Sang An/Every Day with Rachael Ray

Serves: 6
Prep: 40 Min
Slow-Cook: 6 HR

Serve with fried polenta.

8 beef short ribs on the bone (4 to 5 pounds)
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups chianti wine
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon tomato sauce

1. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the ribs and cook, turning often, until browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a large slow cooker.

2. Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon fat from the skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the wine and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker and cook on low heat until tender, about 6 hours.

3. Transfer the ribs to a platter and cover to keep warm. Strain the cooking liquid into a large measuring cup and skim as much fat as possible from the surface. Transfer to a saucepan, bring to a boil and cook until reduced to about 1 cup. Whisk in the tomato paste and season with salt pepper. Spoon the sauce over the ribs.

Fried Polenta
Cut two 16-ounce tubes of prepared polenta into 3/4-inch-thick slices; season both sides with salt and pepper. In a nonstick skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Cook the polenta, turning, until browned, about 5 minutes on each side.

Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder
Photo by Sang An/Every Day with Rachael Ray

Serves: 6
Prep: 30 min
Slow-Cook: 5 HR

Serve with caraway mashed potatoes.

One 5-pound boneless pork shoulder roast, trimmed
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, sliced
3 ribs celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup apple cider
6 ounces dried apples
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoons ground sage

1. Season the pork with salt and pepper. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pork roast and cook, turning, until browned, about 15 minutes.

2. Grease the inside of a large slow cooker. Add onion and celery. Arrange the pork on top and pour in the cider. Scatter the apples and raisins over the pork and sprinkle the sage on top. Cover and cook on low heat until tender, about 5 hours.

3. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and thickly slice. Skim the fat from the gravy. Serve the pork with the gravy, fruit and vegetables.

Caraway Mashed Potatoes
In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook 2 pounds peeled, chopped potatoes until tender. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Return the potatoes to the pot and mash with 1/2 cup milk, 4 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon toasted caraway seeds, adding the reserved cooking liquid as needed. Season with salt and pepper.


The March issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray is on newsstands now and features easy and cost-conscious ways to have more fun while you cook, travel, and entertain with friends.

The Top Ten Party Ideas on the Cheap (P. 106)
Want more great ways to have fun at home? Every Day features the top 10 ideas to get the gang over and have a blast without spending a lot of money. Number one on the list is “A Big Fat Mardi Gras,” and the full list is in the March issue and online at

Taste Tested: Best Hummus in the U.S. (P. 48)
The editors at Every Day with Rachael Ray tasted dozens of varieties of everyone’s favorite Mediterranean spread – hummus – and ranked the best. From the Best Spicy Hummus, Holy Land Jalapeño Hummus to Best Oddball Hummus, Sabra Sun-Dried Tomatoes Hummus, this list of the top picks for your pita includes a variety anyone will love.

Parties 101: Plan a Killer Party – Then Enjoy It (P. 95)
Every Day with Rachael Ray believes you should keep it fun and real all the time, especially when you throw a party. From make-ahead party treats to a last-minute checklist before your guests arrive, throw a stress-free party and have a ton of fun while you do it!

Travel 101: Be a Better Vacation Partner (P. 111)
Whether you’re a “Rigid Planner” or “Power Lounger,” take this quiz to find out your travel style and the best personality match to go-away with. If your travel companion is not the perfect ft, Every Day with Rachael Ray has tips to make you both enjoy the trip.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment