Lightened Up Slow-Cooker Recipes
Serving up a nutritious dinner doesn’t have to be hard. Whether you’re craving a healthy start to the New Year or just trying to stay on track with your goals throughout the year, these hearty but healthy slow cooker recipes are just what you need. From family-favorite beef recipes and Crock-Pot chicken meals to vegetarian dinner ideas and comforting soups, this list of easy and light slow-cooked dinners aims to please. Now that’s what we call a fresh start to the new year, or any new week, really.
Sausage and Squash Lasagna
Recipe: Sausage and Squash Lasagna
Ricotta, fontina, and Asiago cheese combine with squash, sausage, and mushrooms in this practically hands-free pasta dish.
Recipe: Barbacoa Brisket
Slow cooking tougher cuts of meat, such as beef brisket, gives you a meltingly tender texture. For tacos, serve the saucy barbacoa in tortillas with green and red onion, cilantro leaves, jalapeño slices, and fresh lime wedges.
Chicken Thighs with Olives and Tomato Sauce
Recipe: Chicken Thighs with Olives and Tomato Sauce
You can add capers along with the olives, parsley, and seasoning for a more briny flavor in chicken thighs with olives and tomato sauce. The parsley goes in last to keep its flavor and color intense. Serve with a salad of mixed greens and a simple vinaigrette.
Recipe: Ramen Bowls
Any ramen lover will tell you—it's all about the broth. We build layers of rich flavor with the help of mushroom stems, fresh ginger, kombu (a type of edible kelp), sesame oil, and, of course, low and slow heat.
Plum Pork Tenderloin
Recipe: Plum Pork Tenderloin
Serve with jasmine rice to help soak up some of the sauce. Snow peas make a great side dish for rounding out your meal.
Thai Red Curry Beef
Recipe: Thai Red Curry Beef
Jalapeño seeds add a slight kick to this Thai beef dish that's covered and cooked on low for six hours.
Chicken Tamales with Ranchero Sauce
Recipe: Chicken Tamales with Ranchero Sauce
Forming the tamales is part of the fun. Make it a family activity with an assembly line—one person filling, another folding, and a third tying. This recipe uses lard, which has less saturated fat than butter.
Fresh Corn and Potato Soup with Sautéed Shrimp
Recipe: Fresh Corn and Potato Soup with Sautéed Shrimp
After tasting the delicious results of "milking" a fresh corn cob, you'll never shuck and chuck again. We fully tap the flavor of in-season corn with this kernel-to-cob cooking method, infusing our soup with rich, sweet flavor.
Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
Recipe: Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
White meat can dry out after a long haul in the slow cooker, so we opt for bone-in thighs to guarantee optimal flavor and succulence. Make prep easier with pre-peeled garlic. Pretty up the platter with lemon slices and thyme sprigs.
Slow-Cooker Roasted Chicken
This Slow-Cooker Roasted Chicken recipe has all the flavor and warmth of a gourmet meal, but it doesn’t several involve hours in the kitchen. The convenience of a slow cooker ultimately saves the day when the regular duties of life leave you little time to prepare a filling meal. Complete with spices like cayenne pepper, fresh thyme, and paprika, there’s no doubt this recipe will leave you and your family utterly satisfied. A long and low cook times makes the chicken incredibly tender, and craving a second serving is almost inevitable! Slow-Cooked Roasted Chicken is the perfect choice for a relaxed, chilly winter evening. Throw in some spices, a few fresh ingredients, and a chicken, and let the nifty slow cooker do the work for you. Not convinced? This recipe serves four people, and it will only take thirty-five minutes to prepare! There’s nothing more rewarding than sitting down to the dinner table with a hearty and delicious meal that took very little effort.
Spicy Chicken Cacciatore
Recipe: Spicy Chicken Cacciatore
Serve this saucy dish over polenta or pasta. Transform leftovers into soup: Shred the chicken, and place in a pot with sauce. Add unsalted chicken stock, diced zucchini, and diced carrots; simmer until veggies are tender.
Beef Pot Roast with Turnip Greens
Recipe: Beef Pot Roast with Turnip Greens
Cipollini onions are small, flat Italian onions. If you can't find them, substitute pearl onions. Other large, full-flavored greens like mustard greens or kale will work as well.
Classic Beef Stew
Recipe: Classic Beef Stew
A nutty dark beer adds richness and depth to the stew. Be careful not to choose a beer that's super hoppy; it will taste too bitter. To get 2 pounds of trimmed meat, you'll need to purchase a 2 ½-pound roast.
Chicken with Potatoes and Carrots
Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya
Recipe: Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya
French-Cajun cooking striaght from your slow cooker.
Slow-Cooker Red Beans and Rice
Recipe: Slow-Cooker Red Beans and Rice
Don't be turned off by the total time this recipe requires: Eight hours are simply for soaking beans overnight, and another eight are for hands-off cooking.
Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili
Soulful Chicken Soup
Slow Cooker Turkey Chili with Quinoa
This quinoa chili is protein packed and sure to satisfy.
Smoky Turkey-and-Sweet Potato Chili
Curl up with a bowl of sweet potato and turkey chili on a particularly cool night, and you're sure to warm up with the smokey flavor of chipotle peppers.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore with Spaghetti
A simple, homemade sauce meets a pound of noodles in this slow cooker spaghetti.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Lettuce Cups
Recipe: Slow-Cooker Chicken Lettuce Cups
Spoon slow cooker chicken into lettuce leaves and drizzle with sauce and toppings for a fresh dinner that'll make you forget about tortillas.
Rosemary-Garlic Chicken Quarters
Recipe: Chicken-and-Spinach Lasagna
Serve this Crock-Pot lasagna with a side of salad, and you're all set.
Slow-Cooker Veggie Chili
Recipe: Slow-Cooker Veggie Chili
Vegetarian doesn't mean flavorless. This veggie chili uses a variety of your favorite beans, and you can add a bit of hot sauce to your serving for a dash of extra flavor.
Recipe: Lemon-Rosemary Chicken
Five ingredients and ten minutes of prep time stand between you and a healthy meal.