Slow Cooking Courses

Food affordability has become an increasingly important issue for many residents as the cost of living continued to rise during Winter 2023-24.  WRCC has worked on developing slow cooking courses, as this method of cooking uses a low amount of energy (approximately 4p per hour) and is suitable for using cheaper cuts of meat and ingredients.

Slow cooking is also very easy and convenient, and the longer cooking times result in meals having richer texture and taste, which can be appealing for those people who may not otherwise bother to cook and rely on “quick fix” meal solutions instead (or go without). As one attendee commented, it frees up your time for doing other things – whether at home or work – and recipes are easily adaptable for someone living on their own (with the option of batch cooking) or for a family.

“[It’s] very helpful to help the elderly and people living alone”

“Ideal for first time cooks and busy mums … and those leaving home for the first time”

In 2022-23, WRCC initially trialled our first slow cooking courses with the support of volunteers in Kenilworth, as well as at Lighthorne Heath and Atherstone Warm Hubs. Feedback from course attendees, hub organisers and volunteers, plus the chefs themselves, helped us develop our overall structure and delivery to set up more courses going forwards.

Slow cooking courses 2023-24

Thanks to funding from Warwickshire County Council (as part of their Warwickshire Food Strategy) and with slow cookers provided by Cadent, WRCC organised eleven slow cooking courses running from October 2023 – May 2024, with a twelfth course due to start running at the Sydni Centre in Sydenham in June 2024.

We collaborated with local community groups and a panel of five experienced cooks to run courses at the locations below:

  • All Saints and Lantern Churches, Bedworth, at St Michael’s Children and Family Centre
  • Benn Partnership Centre – Rugby Warm Hub
  • Coleshill Community Centre, Temple Way
  • Compassionate Kenilworth and Kenilworth Warm Hub, at the Kenilworth Centre
  • Great Alne Parish Council and Alcester Foodbank, at Great Alne Village Hall
  • New Life Church, Warwick
  • Polesworth Parish Council, at The Tithe Barn
  • RBL Community Hub and Café, at Galanos House, Southam
  • The Chapel, Newbold
  • Wembrook Community Centre, Nuneaton
  • Windmill Sports and Social Club (Friends of the Windmill), Nuneaton

Each course consisted of four demonstration sessions – comprising a hearty starter, two mains and a pudding – and was led by an experienced chef supported by volunteers at the venue. Attendees were required to attend all the sessions and each received a free 3.5l slow cooker, ingredients, recipes, plus a free energy and resource pack and a carbon monoxide alarm.

Cooks’ recipes included chicken noodle soup, minestrone, pork goulash, vegetarian fahitas, sausage and bean casserole, aloo gobi, mini sponge puddings, chocolate cake, plum cobbler and slow cooked bread, as well as other soups, bolognaise, chilli and stews. They provided a “taster” meal for sharing among the group at the start of each session, which also encouraged people to try foods they may not otherwise have considered. Attendees were required to confirm any food intolerances, allergies, dietary requirements etc in advance.

Key highlights from attendees’ feedback were as follows:

  • One third of respondents previously only cooked weekly or occasionally and 3% had never cooked before
  • 4 in 10 people had never used a slow cooker before
  • Nearly two thirds said they were cooking slightly more or much more due to the course
  • 47% advised they were using their slow cooker 2-3 times per week, with a quarter using it 4 or more times per week
  • 8 out of 10 people most enjoyed the ease and convenience of slow cooking, while saving money and eating more healthily were also identified as important benefits
  • 27% felt a little more confident and 51% felt a lot more confident in cooking after attending the course
  • Meeting new people was ranked as being the most important social benefit by a third of responses, closely followed by learning a new skill
  • 88% would like to attend some type of cooking classes in the future


The positive response was overwhelming, and the sample comments below indicate how much people enjoyed the courses and the different ways in which they benefited:

“I really looked forward to the camaraderie and cooking every week”

“Thoroughly enjoyed the course, it was very insightful and informative, and well demonstrated”

“ It’s made my life easier, not having to stand over a cooker for hours”

“Taste, flavours, cheap to use, lots of different ideas!”

“I am getting really good with using a slow cooker … I feel so confident now!”

“I would never have bought a slow cooker and cooked in it.  This course has encouraged me greatly”

“This has been a wonderful opportunity!”

The organiser at Coleshill Community Centre echoed the positive feelings of many volunteers involved in supporting the course:

“[Attendees] really enjoyed having ago at the cooking, finding  out about things that you could cook, which they did not know about before. Also, the money they could save with electricity and by buying fresh food and cheaper cuts of meat and being able to cook for a few days is all a great saving!”

Slow cooking courses 2024-25

Following the positive impact of these courses, WCC has agreed to fund a further 12 courses during 2024-25. Cadent will also provide more free slow cookers. We are currently discussing locations with WCC, whose priority continues to be that those most in need (for a range of reasons) should benefit from these future sessions. If you are interested in collaborating with us to run a slow cooking course for the benefit of your local community, please email

Please note that WRCC do not take any bookings directly from people looking to attend slow cooking courses – any enquiries should be made to the local community group involved.

Slow cooking recipes

Here are a few cost effective and easy to make meals that you may like to try – remember the recipe is only a starting point, and you can always adapt it to suit your individual taste and preferences, and of course substitute ingredients for those you may already have in your store cupboard to reduce waste.

Low and Slow Recipe Booklet – slow cooking recipes from NHS Borders

Centre for Sustainable Energy slow cook recipes


You can also find lots of other recipe ideas plus resources below. It’s also easy to find inexpensive slow cooking books or you can borrow some from your local library. And why not share tips and ideas with others who may be interested at your local Warm Hub?

BBC Good Food slow cooking recipes

Tesco slow cooking recipes

Aldi slow cooking recipes

Asda slow cooking recipes

And don’t forget to check out these handy slow cooking guidelines!

Other cooking and food projects

For more information about Warwickshire Food Strategy, including newsletters and how to become a Community Food Champion, Kind Communities Kind Food events, grants, community pantries and more, visit the Warwickshire Food Strategy webpage.

WRCC is also looking at other sustainable and affordable food projects as part of our Warm Hubs project, and if you would like to discuss any ideas you may have, please contact our Warm Hubs team.