Although the calendar indicates that spring is right around the corner, the weather outside in much of the U.S. is telling a different story, as many of us are still braving winter-like temperatures, freezing wind chills and even snow. Even snow in Las Vegas this year!
To help you keep warm, and to maximize meal prep efficiency, use your slow cooker. It’s a huge time-saver, there are tons of easy, healthy recipes – from breakfast to dinner – and you’ll benefit from tasty, nutritious meals – and sometimes even leftovers. Really, what could be easier than throwing everything in the Crock Pot and turning it on?
We’ll save you even more time by sharing some healthy slow cooker recipes for dinner here to get you cooking. Enjoy super simplicity and delish, hearty meals!
Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 1/4 cups chopped yellow onion (1 medium)
- 1 1/4 cups chopped red bell pepper (1 medium)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
- 2 1/4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 (14.5 oz) can tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
- 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14.5 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
- 1 1/2 cups cheddar or Monterey jack, or Mexican blend cheese
For serving: Diced avocados, diced Roma tomatoes, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, chopped green onions (optional)
Heat canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper and sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds longer. Pour mixture into a slow cooker.
Stir in quinoa, vegetable broth, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder and cumin and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and cook on HIGH heat about 2 hours 45 minutes – 3 hours 15 minutes (cook time can vary because all slow cookers cook a little differently, so just keep an eye on it near the end to make sure it’s neither getting soggy or drying out near the edges).
Add corn, black beans and pinto beans and toss mixture. Even top then sprinkle with cheese. Cover and cook until heated through and cheese has melted – about 10 – 15 minutes longer. Serve warm with desired toppings.
- 4 pounds eggplant
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup milk of choice
- 1 1/2 cup gluten free breadcrumbs
- 3 ounces Parmesan cheese or vegan Parmesan
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning make sure it is gluten free
- 4 cups marinara sauce use a low-sugar brand like Rao’s
- 16 ounces mozzarella cheese sliced or shredded Daiya
- fresh basil for topping
Peel eggplant and cut into 1/3-inch rounds. Layer in a colander, sprinkling each layer with salt. Allow to sit for 30 minutes and then pat dry. (If you aren’t a fan of salt, you can rinse and pat.)
Spread 1/2 cup of sauce in the bottom of the slow cooker.
Whisk together the eggs and milk in a shallow bowl. Stir together breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl. Dip eggplant in egg mixture and then in the breadcrumbs.
Layer 1/3 of the slices in the slow cooker. Top with 1 cup sauce and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers two more times. Cook on low for eight hours.
If desired, top with fresh basil leaves.
- 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 1 jar (16-ounce) salsa verde
- 1 can (14.5-ounce) chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 tablespoon (or to taste) ground cumin
- 1/2 tablespoon (or to taste) chili powder
- 1 onion, diced, for garnish
- chopped parsley or cilantro, for garnish
Lightly spray the slow cooker with cooking spray. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and place in crock pot. Add salsa verde, chopped tomatoes, cumin, and chili powder; stir well to combine.
Cover and cook for 3.5 to 4 hours on HIGH, or 5 to 6 hours on LOW.
Remove cover and transfer chicken breasts to a cutting board; using two forks, shred chicken. Stir the shredded chicken back into the crock pot. Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly.
Top with diced onions and fresh parsley or cilantro. Serve.
- 2 lbs. sirloin steak or boneless beef chuck roast, sliced thin
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 Tablespoons water
- 1 (12 oz.) bag frozen broccoli florets
- White rice, cooked
In the slow cooker bowl, whisk together beef broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and garlic.
Place slices of beef in the liquid and toss to coat. Cover with lid and cook on low heat for 5 hours.
When done, whisk together cornstarch and water in small bowl. Pour into crock pot and stir to mix well. Add the frozen broccoli over the beef and sauce. Gently stir to combine. Cover with lid and cook 30 minutes to cook broccoli and thicken sauce.
Serve over warm white rice. Enjoy!
- 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 lb. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb. baby red potatoes, quartered
- 2 tbsp. butter, softened
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tbsp. fresh thyme
- Freshly chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper, and sear until golden, 3 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, in a large slow cooker, toss potatoes with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, butter, garlic, thyme, parsley, and Parmesan and season generously with salt and pepper. Add chicken and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours, until potatoes are tender and chicken is fully cooked.
Garnish with Parmesan before serving.
- 1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin
- 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle root beer
- 1 (18 ounce) bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce
- 8 hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted
Place the pork tenderloin in a slow cooker; pour the root beer over the meat. Cover and cook on low until well cooked and the pork shreds easily, 6 to 7 hours. Note: the actual length of time may vary according to individual slow cooker. Drain well. Stir in barbecue sauce. Serve over hamburger buns.
- 10 ounces salmon fillets
- 1 package frozen Asian stir fry vegetable blend (12 to 16 ounces)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, optional
Add frozen vegetables to the slow cooker as the base. Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper to taste and place on top of vegetables.
Mix together soy sauce, honey and lemon juice; then drizzle it over the salmon and vegetables. Add sesame seeds on top.
Cook on low for 2-3 hours, depending on how well-done you enjoy your salmon. Serve with brown rice and make sure to drizzle all the sauce from the slow cooker over the fish.