When you think of slow cookers you might imagine stews cooking for eight hours or your grandparents’ vintage version from the Fifties. But the classic (and thankfully updated) appliance is having a resurgence – and going seriously viral.

Northern Irish TV chef, cookbook author and content creator, Nathan Anthony knows a thing or two about using the slow cooker in interesting ways. His Instagram, Facebook and TikTok accounts, @boredoflunch have blown up with easy meal ideas to make in both slow cookers and air fryers. Simply sticking a Camembert in an air fryer got 100 million views, and his Thai mango chicken curry in a slow cooker earned up 50 million.

So why is slow cooking suddenly so popular again? “You literally load it up and go,” says the 33-year-old from Belfast. “If you have a busy nine-to-five, or you have kids, [if you want to] meal prep, plan ahead, they’re healthier as you don’t need to use oil in them.”

His third cookbook, Bored of Lunch: Healthy Slow Cooker, Even Easier, seeks to prove just how quick and simple lots of nutritious meals can be to prepare – the ethos being, just five minutes prep and under 500 calories a portion.

Red Pepper Bruschetta Pasta

Ingredients (serves 3):

2 x 300g jars of roasted red peppers, chopped

15 cherry tomatoes, quartered

700g passata

1tsp dried oregano

4 garlic cloves, grated

Generous handful of fresh basil

250g fresh lasagne sheets, cut into thick strands

Salt and pepper, to taste

4tsp balsamic vinegar


50g grated vegetarian Parmesan cheese, to serve


1. Add the peppers, tomatoes, passata, oregano, grated garlic, salt and pepper and most of the basil to the slow cooker. Cook on high for two hours or low for four hours.

2. Add the lasagne strands and cook for a further 20–25 minutes (if cooking on low, you may need slightly longer).

3. Plate up and top the pasta with the balsamic vinegar, croutons, Parmesan and remaining fresh basil.

Tip: To make your own sourdough croutons, cube a couple of slices of bread, toss them in olive oil and put in the air fryer at 200°C for six minutes, or on a baking tray in a 200°C oven for 10–12 minutes.

Credits: PA; Author: PA;

Steak and Guinness pie

Ingredients (Serves 6):

800g beef steak or rump (or 1kg brisket), chopped

440ml can of Guinness

200ml beef stock

1tbsp tomato purée

1tsp dried rosemary

1tsp dried thyme

1tsp dried oregano

1 bay leaf

1tbsp brown sugar

2 carrots, roughly chopped

1 red onion, chopped

1 celery stick, chopped

1 heaped tbsp cornflour

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry

1 egg, beaten, to glaze the pastry

Salt and pepper, to taste

Tenderstem broccoli, and carrot and parsnip mash, to serve (optional)


1. Throw all the ingredients, except the pastry and egg, in the slow cooker.

2. Cook on high for four hours or low for seven to eight hours. Discard the bay leaf.

3 Preheat the oven to 200°C. Top the beef filling with the puff pastry, tuck it round the pie, then brush with the beaten egg.

4. Pop the ovenproof slow-cooker pot (without the lid) into the oven for 25 minutes until golden and crisp. If your slow-cooker pot isn’t oven-safe, decant the filling into an ovenproof pot, cover with the pastry, brush with the egg and bake as above.

5. Serve with Tenderstem broccoli, and carrot and parsnip mash, if you like.

Tip: To get the pastry the right size, put your slow cooker lid on top of your puff pastry sheet and cut round it before adding to the slow cooker.

Credits: PA; Author: PA;

Carrot cake overnight oats

Ingredients (Serves 4):

500ml skimmed milk

150g porridge oats

1tsp vanilla extract

1tbsp ground cinnamon

1tsp ground nutmeg

Handful of dried fruit (around 50g), chopped

200g Greek yogurt

2 large carrots, grated

To serve:

25g chopped walnuts

Zest of 1 orange

4tbsp honey


1. Mix all the ingredients, except the walnuts, orange and honey, in your slow cooker. Cook on low for eight hours. If you’re an early riser, throw it all in and cook on high for three hours.

2. Serve with the chopped walnuts, orange zest and a drizzle of honey.

Tip: If it looks a little dry at any point, add a splash more milk. If cooking overnight, add a few extra splashes at the start so it doesn’t dry out.

Credits: PA; Author: PA;

Bored Of Lunch: Healthy Slow Cooker Even Easier by Nathan Anthony is published by Ebury Press