Makes 4-6 servings as a main course.

6-8 servings as a side dish.

The origin of the word cholent may come from the old French word chald or the modern meaning chaud “warm.”

This Eastern European casserole is a Sabbath luncheon dish. It is cooked overnight.

There are many variations of this dish. Mine is a combination of barley, a variety of beans and meat. You can use any bean combination. Some people also add potatoes.

Those who serve this dish at every Sabbath meal have an electric slow cooker that they set for the appropriate cooking time. If you have a stove top friendly slow cooker you can make the whole dish in the same pot. I do not and therefore I prepare all the ingredients in a pot and transfer it to a slow cooker. 


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • ½ cup medium pearl barley

  • ½ cup dried chickpeas

  • ¾ cup dried large lima beans

  • ¾ cup dried red kidney beans

  • 2 pounds, boned, flanken, trimmed of fat, cubed

  • 5 cups cold water, approx

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan add onion and garlic. Sautee over low heat for a minute. Pat the meat dry, add to the saucepan and sauté for a minute. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper.

  2. Rinse the barley and legumes in a sieve and add to the meat. Add enough water to just cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil over high heat and skim off the froth as it rises to the surface.

  3. Boil for a few minutes then transfer to a slow cooker.

  4. Set the temperature of the cooker to low and set the timer for 15 hours.

  5. The legumes will be soft and there will be a light crust on top. You may have to skim off some of the fat as well.

  6. Before serving, check if the cholent is seasoned to your taste and if it is moist enough. If it is too dry add some boiling water.