Gone are the days of just using a slow cooker to make stew.

Today savvy home cooks are using the home appliance to cook everything from bread to desserts.

But a four-hour pasta recipe shared on Facebook has divided opinion, with some claiming the recipe "defeats the purpose" of having a slow cooker because of the steps it takes to prep the simple meal before it's even cooked inside the appliance.

In a post shared on the Slow Cooker Recipe & Tips Facebook page one woman shared her slow cooker chicken pesto penne recipe.

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The recipe required the cook to brown the chicken, garlic, bacon and shallots in a pan – unless you were lucky enough to have a sear function on your slow cooker – before you added it with the other sauce ingredients to the slow cooker to cook on low for two hours.

The pasta then needed to be boiled in a separate pot and added to the pasta sauce to cook on low for another two hours before the final ingredients – cheese and spinach leaves – were stirred in at the end, news.com.au reports.

While the recipe was a hit with followers of the page, racking up hundreds of comments and shares, some people queried whether it was really necessary to cook the pasta dish in a slow cooker for four hours.

"So basically it is cooked in pots and pans and then kept warm in the slow cooker," one person commented.

Slow cookers are now being used to make everything from bread, cakes and even breakfast. Photo / Facebook
Slow cookers are now being used to make everything from bread, cakes and even breakfast. Photo / Facebook

"Because realistically (you can just) add the other ingredients to pan while pasta fully cooks in a pot or while pasta drains, then just throw pasta in pan or stuff from pan into the pot of drained pasta and the meal is done, without dirtying slow cooker as well."

"I love this page, but recipes like this and same with the lasagne just confuse me," one comment read, while another person added: "Why would you bother doing it in a slow cooker as well!"

"Sorta defeats the purpose of using a slow cooker," another said.

One commenter shared her solution, writing that several of the steps could be combined and done inside the slow cooker.

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"I'd add the pasta to the slow cooker with a little added liquid," she wrote. "Will cook in the last half hour. And I don't ever usually brown meat. I made a similar recipe, all chucked in and it was delicious."

But despite the criticism most people seemed to think the recipe was a hit, saying that they couldn't wait to make it.

"How good does this look?" one person commented, while another added: "This looks amazing!"

It's not the first time a slow cooker dish divided cooks. Last month a woman questioned whether she should put frozen pre-cooked $14.99 lamb shanks from Aldi in her slow cooker.

Her post soon attracted plenty of comments, with people divided over whether she could put it in the slow cooker or whether it was simply a waste of time as the item was already cooked.

"Just microwave! They are pre-cooked they just need a heat through. We eat them all the time!" one person wrote, while another added: "They're already cooked, they only need reheating."

One commenter argued that if the poster had a slow cooker she should look to make her own lamb shanks from scratch using fresh local produce.

CHICKEN PESTO PENNE SLOW COOKER RECIPE

Chicken pesto penne (before & after I added the cheese) Ingredients 350g penne pasta 500g chicken fillet thighs...

Posted by Slow Cooker Recipe & Tips on Monday, 1 June 2020