The Magic of Slow-Cooked Root Vegetables

Love beets but hate the mess of peeling? Crave potatoes but don’t want to wait for an hour or more while they bake? Time to resurrect the crockpot (aka slow cooker) that’s been gathering dust in your cupboard.


Don’t own a slow cooker because you don’t believe anything delicious could come out of one? Do reconsider. There’s more to slow cookers than Aunt Betty’s mystery casserole!

Slow cooking makes it simpler to fit from-scratch root-vegetable cooking into a busy schedule; plus cooking at low heat for longer times results in sweet, tender and tastier veggies. Here’s how.

1. Start with

Whole vegetables
Choose 1–2 pounds washed, whole sweet potatoes, beets, fingerlings or russet potatoes. No need to peel. Skins can be removed after cooking. Whole veggies are best if cooked one type of vegetable at a time—to mix and match, see the chopped method, below.

Chopped vegetables
1–2 pounds washed, peeled and cut into large, 1-inch chunks: carrots, parsnips, rutabagas, turnips or a mixture.

2. Add in (optional)

Herbs or spices: For classic savory taste, add sprigs of thyme, rosemary or marjoram, whole peppercorns or bay leaves.

Oil or butter: Drizzling the vegetables with 2–3 tablespoons of your favorite healthy cooking oil or organic butter will result in crispier skins (similar to roasting in the oven).

3. Cook

Set the cooker to low. Whole vegetables take approximately 6–8 hours; chopped, 4–6 hours. Can be kept on “warm” setting for up to 2 hours.