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Family slow cooker recipes

Find out how to make the most of cheaper cuts, take the hassle out of busy weeknights and even create a slow-cooker pudding with our best-ever family recipes

Slow cookers have so many benefits for busy families, especially when you’re contending with busy school nights and cooking for your brood on a budget.

Cheaper cuts

If the little ones in your family aren’t feeling too adventurous when it comes to trying cheaper cuts of meat, the recipes below will make a brilliant and gentle introduction, with beef brisket, pork shoulder, lamb neck and chicken thighs. Slow-cooking really extracts the flavour of meat throughout the whole dish, so you can also use much less and concentrate on bulking out with vegetables instead.

Chicken, bacon & potato stew 

Thai beef curry 

Slow-cooked Irish stew

Braised pork with plums

Winning family dinners

Big-batch Bolognese

This is the perfect meal for getting ahead as you should have plenty of leftover portions for storing in the freezer. It can cook on low for 6-8 hours without any interference, so it's great if you're out and about for the day. You can find the instructions for slow-cooking this in the tip box at the bottom of the recipe page.

Big-batch Bolognese

Roast chicken soup

This clever recipe is brilliant for making your Sunday roast go that little bit further. Follow the tips for making this in the slow cooker and you’ll enjoy maximum flavour with minimum fuss.

Roast chicken soup

Mexican chicken stew

This low-fat, slow-cooked beauty will be on the table in just two hours. Serve with avocado, shredded onions, wraps or rice for a build-your-own family feast. Slow-cooking instructions are at the bottom of the recipe page.

Mexican chicken stew

Friday food

Slow cooker ribs

If you’re looking for Friday food the whole family will love look no further than these tender melt-in-the-mouth pork ribs. Throw everything in the slow cooker for the day then baste in barbecue sauce and finish off in the oven for 20-30 minutes.

Slow cooker ribs 

Chilli con carne

Ideal for entertaining families with kids, this classic chilli dish is quick, hassle-free and great to have in the freezer. Cooked on low for 8-10 hours you can do the preparation in the morning and expect glorious results come supper time.

Chilli con carne

Slow cooker puddings

It’s not just suppers that can be cooked to perfection in the slow cooker, these seriously comforting, homemade puds can all be simmered to perfection too. Trust us, you won't look back…

Schooldays treacle sponge

Apple flapjack crumble

Slow cooker muscovado cheesecake

Breakfast for busy families

Slow cooked porridge

If mornings are chaos in your household and the thought of being stuck at the stove for even a few minutes seems tough, this porridge could be the answer for you. Simply chuck the ingredients into your slow cooker before bed and wake up to a bowl of creamy comfort in the morning. Let the kids add their favourite toppings and you should be all set.

Slow-cooked porridge 

Plus... how to buy a slow cooker

If you want to find the best slow cooker for your family, plus clever tips for getting the most out of your new gadget, check out our review of the best buys plus 10 top tips for using a slow cooker.

You may also enjoy...

Cheap & healthy family meal plan

The best soup recipes for kids

Healthy food kids will love 

Five nights of family suppers

Do you have any tips or favourite recipes using a slow cooker? We would love to hear from you below... 


Comments, questions and tips

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30th Jan, 2017
I have to agree with the person who said that there should be more veggie recipes. A diet with less meat is considered to be more healthy, as well as environmentally more sound.
21st Nov, 2016
Great idea but how is it possible that the article still focuses on meats when BBC I believe advocates less meat consumption for environmental reasons? Would be so happy to see at least one vegetarian dinner idea when the title on the home page promises "Family slow cooker recipes"!
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