10 Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes to Make Tonight

healthy slow cooker recipes

Slow cooker meals offer a quick and convenient way to put dinner on the table, especially on hectic weeknights. They can also be a healthy choice, incorporating protein- and fiber-rich ingredients such as chicken, legumes, and vegetables.
However, opinions on this small kitchen appliance can be polarized, with some asserting that slow cooker recipes lack flavor. The idea of tossing all your ingredients into a pot in the morning and returning to a hot, ready-to-eat dinner in the evening might seem too good to be true. Nevertheless, we're here to assure you that the right recipes will leave you pleased with both the taste and texture. In this collection, we've curated the top 10 healthy slow cooker recipes that are not only satisfying but also simple to prepare, providing a wealth of nutrients for your family.

Slow Cooker Soy-Braised Chicken

Chicken is preferred over beef by Americans due to its leaner protein profile and lower fat content. The good news is that there are countless methods to prepare and flavor chicken, so you need not be concerned about monotony. In this recipe, we opt to braise chicken thighs in a delightful sweet and sour sauce comprising soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, onion, garlic, bay leaf, and pepper. Slow-cook it on low heat for seven to eight hours, then serve it over a bed of rice and bok choy, creating a well-rounded meal that includes protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables.

healthy slow cooker recipes

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Slow Cooker Black Bean Posole

Posole, a classic Mexican soup, is an irresistible dish that often leaves you reaching for seconds and thirds when you're fortunate enough to savor it. While traditional recipes traditionally feature pork or chicken, if you're seeking a lighter way to relish its comforting flavors, this meatless variation substitutes beans for meat. Moreover, it's prepared effortlessly in a slow cooker, where you simply assemble your ingredients in the pot and let it work its magic. Once the posole is ready, you can enjoy it as is or enhance it with toppings like avocado, cilantro, and radish to introduce more flavors, textures, and nutritional value.

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Big-Batch Black Beans

While there's certainly nothing amiss with canned or store-bought beans, crafting your own beans at home is unquestionably more economical and arguably even more delicious. This slow cooker bean recipe requires just a handful of ingredients to unlock the flavors: white onion, garlic, bay leaf, and salt. One pound of dried beans will generously produce approximately six cups, allowing you to reheat any leftovers or store them in the freezer for future use. These beans can be employed as a scrumptious topping for tacos and burritos, or you can serve them alongside rice and your preferred protein to create a hearty and satisfying meal.

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Sweet and Spicy Pork Tenderloin

No more dry pork tenderloin on the menu today. Achieving succulent, melt-in-your-mouth pork is all about the low and slow approach. While this recipe demands approximately five hours of cooking time, the preparation couldn't be more straightforward. You'll introduce a blend of sweet and spicy seasonings to infuse a rich depth of flavor, and then let the slow cooker handle the heavy lifting. Serve it with rice and vegetables for a nutritious meal that assembles swiftly, delivers outstanding taste, and fills your entire home with an enticing, mouthwatering aroma.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili With Sweet Potatoes

This chili recipe offers a well-rounded combination of legumes for protein, sweet potatoes for fiber, and aromatic ingredients for a flavorful punch. It's a "dump and go" recipe, perfect for those seeking a speedy dinner option. While some preparation is involved in chopping sweet potatoes, onion, bell pepper, and garlic, opting for pre-cut ingredients can save you some time. Adding a dollop of sour cream as a topping turns this into a vegetarian dish, but you can skip it to cater to a vegan-friendly meal.

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Slow-Cooker Shepherd's Pie

Slow cooker recipes are known for their convenience, and they can also be both wholesome and budget-friendly, as demonstrated by this twist on traditional shepherd's pie. This classic dish, with its roots in Ireland, was initially conceived as a way to resourcefully utilize ingredients and minimize food waste during times of financial constraint. Embrace the Irish culinary tradition and experiment with this beef stew. While you'll require the fundamental elements like beef, carrots, peas, and mashed potatoes, there's also a surprising twist—a cup of beer, which imparts a distinctive flavor to the gravy. Give it a chance before passing judgment!

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

For those aiming to reduce their carb intake from white rice and flour tortillas, taco soup offers a nutritious alternative to savor the familiar flavors you cherish, with ingredients that align better with your macronutrient goals. This recipe simplifies the process by combining all the ingredients in the slow cooker, allowing the flavors to meld together until the chicken reaches a tender state. Once the meat is fully cooked, use a fork to shred it into bite-sized pieces. Spoon the soup into a bowl, and personalize it with your favorite toppings, relishing a protein-rich dinner that's also lower in fat.

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Slow Cooker Chicken Tostadas

Slow cookers are prized for their convenience, mainly due to their minimal prep requirements. Nevertheless, the waiting time until dinner is ready can be considerable, often spanning eight to ten hours. However, this specific recipe breaks that tradition, offering a shorter cook time of approximately four hours. It entails creating a zesty chicken filling for tostadas. You'll combine chicken, salsa, onion, poblano peppers, and salt in the slow cooker. While the chicken simmers, you can craft a straightforward pico de gallo with tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, onion, and salt. Once the chicken and pico de gallo are ready, simply layer them onto crispy corn tostadas, garnish with cheese and lime, and enjoy a delectable, speedy, and effortless dinner.

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Slow-Cooker Pork With Peppers and Olives

In this uncomplicated slow-cooker recipe, Cuban ropa vieja takes a twist with pork, departing from the usual beef. Here, the pork is immersed in a tomato-based sauce infused with bell peppers and onions. With the addition of pimiento-stuffed olives and generous portions of oregano, cumin, and garlic, you create a rich and intensely flavorful stew. Pair it with black beans and your choice of brown or white rice to savor every drop of the delectable sauce.

Slow-Cooker Ragù With Spaghetti Squash

If you're in search of a more calorie-conscious option to traditional spaghetti, consider giving spaghetti squash a try. While there are various methods to prepare the pasta-like strands inside this squash, opting for a slow cooker means you'll only invest about 15 minutes of hands-on effort, leaving the appliance to handle the rest. Finish the dish with a generous sprinkling of basil and freshly grated Parmesan, and your delightful meal is ready to enjoy.

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FAQs

Q: What do Americans call a slow cooker?
Ans: A slow cooker and a Crockpot are the same thing, essentially. A slow cooker is an appliance of which there are lots of brands. Crockpot is one brand of slow cooker. Crockpot popularized slow cookers when they launched their version in the 1970s

Q: Are slow cookers a healthy way to cook?
Ans: Using a slow cooker can promote healthy eating since it requires minimal, if any, added fats, effectively reducing calorie intake. Furthermore, it enhances the flavors, which proves beneficial when reducing salt consumption.

Q: What is a healthy alternative to a Crockpot?
Ans: To replicate the effects of a slow cooker, you can employ a Dutch oven or a covered casserole dish in a preheated oven set to a very low temperature, around 200 degrees Fahrenheit (95 degrees Celsius) in the United States. Certain modern wall ovens and ranges come equipped with a built-in "slow cook" feature that seamlessly transitions to a "keep warm" mode once the cooking time elapses

Q: Are slow cookers safe for meat?
Ans: It is safe to prepare large cuts of meat and poultry in a slow cooker. Nonetheless, considering the various sizes of slow cookers available, it's advisable to consult the instruction manual for recommended sizes of meat and poultry suitable for your specific slow cooker.

Q: Is slow cooker safe for food?
Ans: The low heat helps less expensive, leaner cuts of meat become tender and shrink less. The direct heat from the pot, lengthy cooking and steam created within the tightly-covered container combine to destroy bacteria and make the slow cooker a safe process for cooking foods.

Q: Is cooking food in cooker healthy?
Ans: Cooking in an instant pot or pressure cooker is a great method for preparing your food on many levels — including the nutritional level, according to registered dietitian Beth Czerwony, RD. Instant pot recipes are absolutely healthy as long as what you put in the recipe is healthy,

Q: Can you reheat food in slow cooker?
Ans: Reheating leftovers in a slow cooker is not recommended. However, cooked food can be brought to steaming on the stove or in a microwave oven and then put into a preheated slow cooker to keep hot for serving. Use a food thermometer to be sure the food stays at 140 °F.

Q: Can you put slow cooker in the fridge?
Ans:Your crock will be perfectly fine in the fridge until you're prepared to begin cooking. Personally, I prefer to let the crock return to room temperature before commencing the slow cooker, as an extra precautionary measure.

Q: Are slow cooker liners safe?
Ans:The liners are crafted from nylon resin to guarantee safe cooking at any temperature setting when used with your Crock-Pot™ slow cooker. Additionally, it's worth noting that this product has obtained Kosher certification and prominently displays the Kosher symbol.


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