Review: The Paleo Slow Cooker

I have a very narrow relationship with my slow cooker. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m generally not a fan of stews and soups made in the slow cooker, but as a counter-top oven, I think it’s awesome (see: Italian Pork Roast) — especially in Austin where using my oven also means turning on the air conditioner to balance the blast of cooking heat.

The recipes in The Paleo Slow Cooker: Healthy, Gluten-free Meals the Easy Way — a new cookbook from Arsy Vartanina (of the blog Rubies & Radishes) — could teach me a few slow cooker tricks.


As a tester for my review, I had Dave pick a recipe. No surprise: He chose Beef Brisket in Espresso Bean BBQ Sauce, which was kind of cool because I, too, have a BBQ beef recipe coming in Well Fed 2. It was fun to see how Arsy’s recipe differed from mine. I have to admit, hers was pretty darned good. The meat was tender, the sauce was flavorful, and the slow cooker did most of the work. Gotta love that. (Sorry… no photo! We were testing and eating this food while we were packing for Prague, so photography wasn’t a priority.)

If I’d picked, I might have opted for these Curried Chicken Wings, ’cause they look pretty tasty — and they use the slow cooker as an oven. Just the way I like it!


They look tasty, right?! Not every recipe in this book has a photo, but most of them do, and the photography is appetizing so you can easily imagine making the recipes. They’re divided into sections according to ingredients — Beef, Lamb, Pork, Chicken, Duck, Fish and Seafood, Vegetables — plus, Appetizers, Desserts, and Slow-Cooker Liquids.

Before jumping into the recipes, Arsy also provides an overview of paleo, plus tips on how to stay paleo when your partner is not, advice for dining out and travel, slow cooking tricks, and even a mini love letter to luscious fat.

The Paleo Slow Cooker: Healthy, Gluten-free Meals the Easy Way is available on Amazon and offline retailers now. You can follow Arsy on Twitter and Facebook, or visit her site Rubies & Radishes.


The fine print: I received a complimentary copy of this book, but all opinions are mine. If you use the links above to purchase the book through Amazon, I earn a small commission.


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  • maureen says:

    thanks for the review…love the crockpot and am always looking for great new recipes…can’t wait to try those wings and briskit…my kids favorites!
    Enjoy Eurpope!!!

  • Erica says:

    Is this a good cookbook for those of us who like to follow the Whole9 way of eating most of the time? Thanks!! 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Some of the recipes include sweeteners that are excluded during a Whole30, but they can be adapted to work for Whole30-ing. When we made the BBQ sauce, I only used about 1/4 of the amount of honey that was recommended. I think you can make most of the recipes work, but it’s not as strictly compliant as Well Fed is. I’m a stick-in-the-mud 🙂

  • Martha says:

    I’m making your Chocolate Chili right now, and I think it would work really well in the slow cooker, after you saute the vegs, brown the meat and add the spices in a pan on the stove top. No substitution for those steps. You might not need as much water, as I think the slow cooker adds moisture.

  • Lisa says:

    The brisket sounds great. My slow cooker is going right now and with this weather I totally agree on ovens staying off.

    Martha, I just made the choc chili from the book the other day in the slow cooker just like said and it was great! I had to add the moisture and a little extra but it was great (and the house smelled fantastic!)

  • Liz Rodriguez says:

    Can some of the recipes in your book be cooked in a crockpot?

  • Heidi says:

    Thank you for this review. It’s so nice to get some ideas about a slow cooker cook book before buying.

  • Once again, Thank you for sharing! I love using my slow cooker as often as I can, because it is not easy juggling working schedules in my household (as my husband works 3rd shift, and I work days and keeping up with our 2 yr old son) I like relying on the slow cooker some days as it allows me more time to get a walk or squat session in before dinner with my son and my husband. So thank you, I look forward getting my hands on this one!

  • Amy says:

    I make a big crockpot of your chocolate chili each Sunday and we eat it all week for a hot breakfast.

    I brown the (frozen) grass fed meat in the crock on Saturday, and then drain it and use it to make the chili in the crock on Sunday. I cool the finished chili down, portion it into individual containers and we’re good to go.

  • Vanessa says:

    I’m considering getting a slow cooker for when I go back to school. I love cooking, but I imagine saving a bunch of time while in grad school might be a good trade off. I’m a bit at a crossroads. My mum didn’t use a slow cooker growing up and I don’t think I have ever had anything from one either. But there are so many good looking slow cooker recipes on pinterest. I might try this book out.