Warm up to a steaming, fragrant bowl of slow-simmered stew within minutes of stepping through your front door thanks to these five slow cooker stews.
Tangy stuffed olives, fragrant fennel and an herbaceous topping brighten the flavours of this easy chicken stew. Serve over basmati rice to soak up the savoury sauce.
Pancetta, like bacon, is made from cured pork belly. The difference between the two is that pancetta is not generally smoked, giving it a stronger pork flavour. Use thicker pancetta—you can often buy it prechopped—for this stew rather than the thinly sliced variety.
This richly spiced chicken stew has just a touch of sweetness from dried apricots and honey, resulting in a perfectly balanced dish that requires little effort to prepare.
Switch up your usual beef stew with this Asian-inspired version. Five-spice powder, which is an intensely flavourful blend of Sichuan peppercorns, star anise, cloves, cinnamon and fennel, lends the stew a mix of warm, sweet and savoury notes.
Cooking molasses boasts a more robust and less sweet taste than the fancy variety, which gives this hearty stew a rich, full-bodied flavour. Whisking in a bit of flour at the end thickens the sauce, making this the ultimate satisfying stick-to-your-ribs meal.
Lemony Red Pepper and Asparagus Pasta Salad <br> Photography by Joe Kim Credits: Lemony Red Pepper and Asparagus Pasta Salad <br> Photography by Joe Kim
Planning a picnic or family barbecue anytime soon? Give yourself one less thing to worry about and go for one of our easy pasta salad recipes. It's sure to be a hit!
Pasta salads are great to make ahead, and are absolute tops for large groups. They also take the cake for being an extremely versatile dish – with a host of added ingredients, toppings and dressings, simple pasta salads can go from humble side to star entrée in no time.
We asked Test Kitchen food specialist Amanda Barnier to share some top tips for preparing pasta salads, and why they're a crowd favourite. Here's what she had to share:
Pasta salads: the perfect make-ahead dish
"Pasta salads can easily be prepped in advance and can feed a crowd with little effort," Amanda says. "It can be made in advance and cooled immediately after cooking."
One important tip to remember, she adds, is to "add dressing the day it's being served, because it will quickly absorb the dressing."
Pasta salad favourites
"I like using cheese filled tortellini for a hearty salad. Soba and rice noodles are great with Asian dressings, whole grain and coloured pastas," Amanda says.
How to store pasta salads
"Keep salads well wrapped and refrigerated," she says. "Salad has the same storage life as its ingredients. Seafood is best eaten within 2 days, and chicken (within) 2 to 3 days. If traveling, be sure to store pasta salads in coolers packed with lots of ice."
"Proteins should not be within 4 C and 60 C for longer than a four hour period," she adds.
The long and short of it: best pasta shapes
"Short shapes are best with vinaigrettes and creamy dressings, and chunky ingredients such as chopped vegetables and beans," Amanda says.
"Long pasta shapes are better used with thinly sliced vegetables, proteins, herbs, spices and vinaigrettes."
Tips for making pasta salad
"If making a pasta salad in advance, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process and drain well," she advises. "Add dressing just prior to serving. Pasta quickly absorbs liquids; if the dressing is added too soon, the pasta will absorb it."
So whether you prefer chunky pasta salads with a cool, creamy dressing perfect for summer picnics, or entrée-worthy pasta salads with long rice noodles and a tangy vinaigrette, you're sure to find a new favourite with from our collection.
Easy pasta salad recipes:
Lemony Red Pepper and Asparagus Pasta Salad
A bright vinaigrette makes this pasta salad the ultimate dish to serve at any summer party.
Photography by Joe Kim
Mediterranean Orzo Salad
This salad highlights many fresh flavours of the Mediterranean and is at its best when made with good-quality olive oil.
Photography by Jeff Coulson
The Best Macaroni Salad
This is a great keeper salad and perfect for a picnic or BBQ. Just make sure you pack it with plenty of ice packs to keep it nice and cold, both during transportation and at the table.
Photography by Annabelle Waugh
Chicken, Broccoli and Bocconcini Pasta Salad
Make this pasta salad for the whole family—the kids will love the mild dressing and round bocconcini cheese, while the adults will appreciate it as a light alternative to a sandwich.
Photography by Jeff Coulson
More great pasta salad recipes:
Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad
This salad is simple to assemble for a quick family meal.
Warm Spinach and Ham Pasta Salad
Dressed with Dijon mustard and white wine vinegar, this penne pasta salad is a winner topped with goat cheese and cherry tomatoes.
Winter Vegetable Pasta Salad
Cook everything together in one pot for this easy warm salad.
Pea, Pepper and Pasta Salad
This make-ahead salad is perfect for toting to a potluck barbecue or picnic. Toss the salad with the dressing right before serving so the peas stay bright green.
Summer Pasta Salad
Serve this light summery salad with crispy, homemade Parmesan Breadsticks.
Mediterranean Fusilli Salad
Fresh basil, hearty beans, piquant sun-dried tomatoes and al dente pasta make the perfect summer salad.
Warm Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Salad
The dressing lends a taste of summer any time of year. The red peppers provide vitamins A and C and potassium. Quick and easy to make, this salad is perfect to take to a last-minute potluck or picnic.
Grilled Sausage, Pepper and Bocconcini Pasta Salad
This delicious pasta salad is made with tasty Italian sausage and lots of colourful peppers.
Bow-Tie Pasta Salad
This easy, colourful salad has the sunny fresh tastes of Greece.
Tuna Pasta Salad
Using tuna packed in both oil and broth means you'll need less oil in the dressing.
Salmon Pasta Salad
Start with melon wedges to whet your appetite for this quick and light dinner.
Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad
Grilled market-fresh veggies meet marinated olives and artichokes in this healthy dish made with whole wheat rotini. So chock full with taste and texture, carnivores won't complain about this vegetarian dish.
Party Parmesan Pasta Salad
Try this hearty salad studded with salami, olives, tiny tomatoes, roasted pepper and fresh basil.
Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad
This easy tasty pasta salad is loaded with calcium. Omit the banana peppers if your child is not a fan of hot food.
Deli Pasta Salad
Add 1-1/4 cups (300 mL) extra pasta to the pot at dinner the night before to have enough for this lunchtime salad the next day.
Sirloin Steak with Green Bean Pasta Salad
Sirloin steaks paired with green beans and tomatoes make this salad a hearty entrée.
Looking for more great recipes? Try our best potato salad recipes.
Crunchy-Top Blueberry Muffins <br /> Photography by Mark Burstyn Credits: Crunchy-Top Blueberry Muffins <br /> Photography by Mark Burstyn
Highlights from the royal family's tour of Canada.
Following the royal couple’s 2011 Tour, this visit is their second official tour to Canada, and their first as a family of four. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with their children—three-year-old George and one-year-old Charlotte, who will be making her royal visit debut—will have a jam-packed schedule and a chance to meet many Canadians along the way.
The weeklong tour runs from September 24 to October 1 and will kick-off in the west with a focus on British Columbia and Yukon. The itinerary includes stops in Victoria, Vancouver, Bella Bella, Kelowna, and Haida Gwaii in British Columbia, and Whitehorse and Carcross in the Yukon. "They are really looking forward to seeing other parts of this beautiful country," said a spokesman for Kensington Palace.
The Royals have a jam-packed schedule (with approximately 30 events planned) and will engage in a number of events, including a visit to the Great Bear rainforest, sampling British Columbia’s harvest, going fishing sailing a tall ship, along with a focus on a number of environmental and social issues. "The Royal Highnesses will highlight the many Canadians who volunteer or work in obscurity. This Tour, more than any other, features important engagements with Indigenous people," said The Honourable Melanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to welcome the royal family on Saturday in B. C. They will open the tour with a plaque unveiling for the veterans of the Afghanistan conflict.
We will be highlighting our favourite moments from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit. Stay tuned!
DAY 1 - Victoria, B.C.
The royal family arrived in Victoria, B.C. on Saturday, where they were greeted by Justin Trudeau, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, B.C. Premier Christy Clark and her son and B.C. Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon.
The family stepped off the plane wearing colour-coordinated outfits in white and blue. Kate wore a blue Jenny Packham dress, which was gorgeous, but a bit of a surprise for many who thought she might wear red. But she wasn't without any Canadian elements: she wore a maple leaf brooch on her lapel.
Thousands of Canadian fans gave the royal family a warm welcome outside the Legislative Assembly in Victoria.
"Catherine and I are delighted to be back in Canada," William told the crowd.
"We're so pleased that George and Charlotte could be with us in Canada this time around, beginning their own lifetime of friendship with this wonderful country."
Getty ImagesThe couple were officially welcomed by the Songhees First Nation and the ensuing ceremony included a performance by the Victoria Children's choir, a 21-gun salute and an official inspection of the honour guard.
Next stop? Vancouver on Sunday.
DAY 2 - Vancouver, B.C.
Will and Kate arrived in Vancouver at 11am on Sunday without George and Charlotte, who stayed in Victoria. As Prince William said yesterday during the welcoming ceremony, the royal couple is "very much looking forward to learning about how Canadians are tackling some of the biggest challenges of the day, including the environment, supporting young families, and the mental health of young people."
Their Vancouver itinerary focuses on a number of these issues, including a visit to an outreach program for pregnant women and women with young kids dealing with alcohol and drug issues in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, the welcome centre at the Immigrant Services Society of B.C., meeting young Canadian leaders who are making a difference and speaking about mental health issues that first responders face at the Kitsalano Coast Guard Station.
The couple will return to Victoria at the end of the day.