Slow Cooker Shrimp in Purgatory

Slow Cooker Shrimp in Purgatory

This recipe is inspired by eggs in purgatory, a Southern Italian dish in which eggs simmer in a spicy tomato sauce. Shrimp aren’t commonly thought of as slow cooker material, but here, the sauce simmers for several hours, and the quick-cooking shrimp is dropped in just a bit before you want to eat. (You can use frozen shrimp; just thaw them first.) Cooking the sauce on high allows the onion and garlic to tenderize and melt into the sauce. The tomatoes and roasted peppers caramelize slightly as they simmer, so when fully cooked, the sauce should be a shade darker than when you started. The sauce holds well on the warm setting. Serve the shrimp in shallow bowls on its own, or over orzo, couscous or polenta and with crusty bread. Find a skillet version of this dish here.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    In a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker, combine the oil, onion, roasted red peppers, Calabrian chiles, garlic, oregano, red-pepper flakes, fennel seeds and tomatoes. (Crush the tomatoes by hand if using whole.) Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and several generous grinds of black pepper. Stir well to combine, then cover and cook on high for 5 hours. (The sauce holds well on warm for up to an additional 3 hours.)
  2. Step 2

    Increase the heat to high if it has switched to warm. Stir in the shrimp, capers and scallions. Cover and cook until the shrimp are curled and opaque, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on size and quantity. Turn off the heat and taste the sauce. Add more red-pepper flakes and salt and pepper, if you like. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and serve, passing more Parmesan and red-pepper flakes at the table.