Slow-Cooker Pork Ditalini Stew


Everyone knows that slow cookers can be a lifesaver on harried days, and few cuts of meat are better suited to the device than savory pork shoulder (also known as Boston butt), which turns supremely tender after a day of low and slow simmering. A handful of baby spinach adds a pop of freshness and color to the mix—but a bag of frozen spinach or kale would work in a pinch, too. Stirring some bite-size ditalini (or any petite, short pasta) into the rich tomato and chicken stock at the end of cooking gives the dish an appealing, comforting texture and transforms it into a colorful and convenient one-pot slow cooker meal that's as perfect for a weeknight family dinner as it is for a Sunday afternoon watching the big game. Trust us, this satisfying but surprisingly light dish is going to quickly become one of your new staples.

Ditalini and Stewed Pork Soup
Photo: Gentl & Hyers
Hands On Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
6 hrs 30 mins


  • 1 ½ pounds boneless pork shoulder roast (Boston butt), cut into 1-in. pieces

  • 4 cups chicken broth

  • 1 (28-oz.) can whole tomatoes, chopped, liquid reserved

  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced

  • ½ tablespoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt

  • 6 ounces uncooked ditalini pasta

  • 4 ounces baby spinach

  • 2 ounces parmesan cheese, grated (about ½ cup)


  1. Combine the pork roast, broth, tomatoes and their liquid, garlic, red pepper, and salt in a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on high 6 hours.

  2. Add the pasta; cover and cook 10 minutes. Add the spinach; cover and cook until the pasta is al dente, 2 minutes. Serve topped with the Parmesan.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

374 Calories
15g Fat
30g Carbs
28g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Calories 374
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 76mg 25%
Sodium 1653mg 72%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 28g
Calcium 154mg 12%
Iron 4mg 22%

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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