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Slow cooker recipes: simple, tasty dishes for midweek family meals

Bored of the same old slow cooker stews and casseroles? Here are three delicious (and easy!) recipes to satisfy your taste buds.

By Natasha Gregson | Last updated Aug 23, 2023

Woman chopping onions

Long gone are the days of bland, watery stodge; slow cookers have now evolved and can dish up a variety of mouthwatering dishes the whole family will enjoy.

Known for being energy efficient, easy to use and making mealtimes fuss-free, the best slow cooker is a worthy investment for your kitchen, particularly if you often find yourself juggling tasks in the evening. They do the hard work for you during the day, cooking your food over a low heat for long periods, resulting in flavourful sauces and tender meat and veg.

However, even the most high-tech slow cooker needs the right recipe to reach its full potential. To give you some dinnertime inspiration, we have a selection of recipes from number one bestseller Bored of Lunch: The Healthy Slow Cooker Book by Nathan Anthony. With millions of followers, home cook Nathan has revolutionised slow cooker and air fryer meals, giving plenty of inspiration that goes beyond the typical beige food associated with these gadgets.

His cookbook is a Mumsnetter favourite, and it even took the top spot on our best slow cooker recipe book round-up, with many singing its praises on our forum. So, without further ado, here are three tasty dishes from Nathan to add to your slow cooker favourites...

Creamy chicken, chorizo and sundried tomato pasta

Creamy Chicken, Chorizo and Sundried Tomato Pasta

Serves: Four | Calories per serving: 896

What Nathan says

"My most popular recipe ever, this has been viewed over 20 million times and gone viral every time I have shared it. I hope you love it as much as I do. It is higher in calories than most of my recipes but the taste is worth it. However, you could reduce the calories by using soft cream cheese instead of cream."


  • 100g chorizo, sliced

  • 3 chicken breasts, cut into chunks

  • 2 tbsp sundried tomato pesto

  • Handful of sundried tomatoes, chopped

  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced

  • 1 tsp dried basil

  • 650ml hot chicken stock

  • 350g dried penne pasta

  • 250ml double cream

  • 200g spinach

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • Grated Parmesan cheese, to garnish


  1. If you have time, heat a non-stick frying pan over a high heat on the hob, then place the chorizo in the pan and sear until just browned all over. If you’re in a hurry, just skip this step.

  2. Place the chorizo, chicken, pesto, sundried tomatoes, garlic, basil and 150ml of the chicken stock in the slow cooker and stir. Cook on high for two and a half hours. Add the pasta and remaining stock and cook for another 45 minutes, stirring after 30 minutes.

  3. Stir in the cream and spinach – the spinach will wilt really quickly into the sauce. Sprinkle the pasta with grated Parmesan.

Related: The best food processors, as recommended by Mumsnetters

Red lentil dahl

Red Lentil Dahl

Serves: Four | Calories per serving: 463

What Nathan says

"I absolutely love dhal and this is one of my go-to dishes when I am having a vegetarian day. It’s sure to become one of your family favourites. The addition of coconut milk makes it deliciously creamy, but you could replace this with a tin of chopped tomatoes for a lower-calorie version, if you prefer."


  • 380g dried red lentils

  • 250ml cold water

  • 400ml tin of reduced-fat coconut milk

  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, finely chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1 onion, sliced

  • 2.5cm fresh ginger, grated

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 1 tsp ground turmeric

  • 1 tsp chilli flakes

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp curry powder

  • 1 tsp garam masala

  • 1 bay leaf

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • Fresh coriander and chopped spring onions, to garnish


  1. Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker, stir and season to taste. Cook on low for five to six hours, then stir and garnish with fresh coriander and chopped spring onions.

Related: The best bread makers for delicious home-baked loaves

Thai basil beef

Thai basil beef

Serves: Four | Calories per serving: 324

What Nathan says

"I adore this recipe, which was inspired by the local Thai takeaway we had growing up. The smell alone transports me back to my childhood so it holds such sentimental value. That’s the beauty of food – it can trigger wonderful memories. The flavour here is sensational, like a very rich satay. It’s got to be one of my all-time favourite fakeaways."


  • 500g beef steaks, thinly sliced

  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1 tsp chilli flakes

  • 1 tsp ancho chilli flakes

  • 1 tbsp dried basil or Thai holy basil paste

  • 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce

  • 1 tbsp sugar

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce

  • 2 tbsp orange juice

  • 1 heaped tbsp cornflour, mixed to a paste with 1 tbsp water

  • 3 tbsp honey

  • 1 red pepper, sliced

  • Handful of mushrooms, halved

  • 250ml chicken stock

  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker, stir and season to taste. Cook on high for two and a half to three hours or on low for five hours. If you would like the sauce to be thicker, stir in another teaspoon of cornflour mixed to a paste with a little water.

Related: The best cookbooks to add to your collection

About the author

Nathan Anthony is a Northern Irish homecook who set up a lockdown food blog 'Bored of Lunch' to get people cooking, eating healthier and give them something to focus on during the pandemic. In the two years since its launch, Bored of Lunch has grown organically to reach over a million followers, including a fair few Mumsnet users.

By day Nathan works at a FTSE100 company, so he cooks in a way to suit his pretty hectic schedule. Initially aimed at busy professionals, Bored of Lunch quickly expanded to all those working from home, busy parents and those who want quick, calorie-controlled recipes.

Bored of Lunch Slow Cooker Book

"Everything by 'Bored of Lunch' on Instagram! I hated my slow cooker until I followed him!"


Bored of Lunch: The Healthy Slow Cooker Book
By Nathan Anthony

Buy now

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