Healthy Slow-Cooker Recipes

Use this handy countertop appliance to make wholesome, comforting dinners, breakfasts — and even dessert!

January 06, 2022

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The Do-It-All Gadget

There’s no denying that a good slow cooker is a must for every home cook. Paired with a few reliable recipes it can handle weeknight chicken dinners, batches of chili and everyone's favorite sweets. It’s a great way to cook ribs, cobblers and potato salad during the summer (without heating up your entire kitchen!) and, believe it or not, you can even bake a loaf of homemade bread in one. So, it should come as no surprise that your trusty slow cooker is ideal for healthy meals too. One of our favorites? This savory vegetarian dinner that can be eaten the day you make it — or stowed in the freezer for busy weeknights. Quartering the cauliflower, rather than cutting it into florets, allows this meal to simmer all day without it becoming mush.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Freezer-Pack Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry

Slow-Cooker Pork Tacos

It's impossible to resist flavorful and tender pork shoulder after it's been slowly simmered in chicken broth and aromatic spices.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Pork Tacos

Slow-Cooker Whole-Grain Breakfast Porridge

This whole-grain porridge is a healthy way to start the day. Dehulled or hulless barley is unprocessed and takes longer to cook than the quicker pearled barley; use either for this recipe (servings of fiber will differ).

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Whole-Grain Breakfast Porridge

Slow-Cooker Brisket Sandwiches

Amp up the flavors in this sweet and tangy brisket by adding a bottle of stout beer to the homemade barbecue sauce.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Brisket Sandwiches

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

This slow cooker version of the classic soup is super easy to make. We used chicken thighs because they're less expensive than breasts and tend not to dry out. If you like, skip the noodles and stir in your favorite cooked grain at the end.

Get the Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

Slow-Cooker Coconut Brown Rice Pudding

The lite coconut milk and natural starches in the brown rice create a rich, creamy consistency without excess fat.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Coconut Brown Rice Pudding

Slow-Cooker Bean and Barley Soup

Comfort food at its best: warming, hearty, filling and completely hands-off and fuss free.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Bean and Barley Soup

Slow Cooker Pepper Pork Chops

Alton brines pork chops overnight for maximum juiciness, then slow cooks them with dried apple slices until the pork is tender and falling away from the bone. The warm and satisfying meal clocks in at 347 calories and 17 grams of fat per serving.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Pepper Pork Chops

Vegetarian Chili

Let your slow-cooker do all the work to make a hearty, meatless chili that even meat-lovers will go crazy for.

Get the Recipe: Vegetarian Chili

Slow-Cooker Steel-Cut Oats

Ripe bananas are the secret ingredient in Valerie's steel-cut oatmeal, which gets creamier as it cooks overnight.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Steel-Cut Oats

Slow-Cooker Spiced Nuts

Snacking on a handful of nuts can be a great way to avoid indulging in sugary treats when you hit a midday slump. These have just a touch of sweetness from maple syrup and plenty of spiced flavor thanks to cinnamon and cayenne. Make a batch on the Sunday and you can enjoy them all week long.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Spiced Nuts

Slow-Cooker Mushroom Barley Risotto

This entree is vegetarian, but the mushrooms make it hearty enough for non-vegetarians too. The flavors are perfect for the colder weather of fall.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Mushroom Barley Risotto

Slow-Cooker Chicken Chili

Substitute chicken for ground beef and add shredded sweet potato for a creative take on a classic meal.

Get the Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

Slow-Cooker Chili

Some chili recipes read like extensive grocery lists, but this one comes together with just eight simple ingredients. Get it going in your slow cooker just before bed, and wake up to a healthy chili ready to be topped with chunks of creamy avocado for lunch or dinner.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Chili

Whole-Grain Breakfast Porridge

The four different grains used in this recipe add texture, flavor and variety to this high-fiber porridge. Add some dried fruit and chopped nuts for a delicious meal that will keep you full all morning long.

Get the Recipe: Whole-Grain Breakfast Porridge

Slow-Cooker Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup

This hearty, warming soup is packed with lentils and veggies like leeks, carrots, celery and sweet potatoes. Curry powder and ginger give it depth and heat, and fresh cilantro and lemon lend brightness.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup

This Mexican-inspired chicken, tomato, and bean soup practically cooks itself: just pile all the ingredients into a slow cooker, set and go. If you have leftover cooked rice in the fridge, a spoonful in the soup is a nice touch; for a less spicy flavor, remove the jalapeno seeds and ribs. 

Get the Recipe: Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup

Slow-Cooker Squash Stew

Creamy butternut squash, tender chickpeas, and earthy Swiss chard add vitamins and protein to this hearty soup. Serve it with crusty bread and a squeeze of lemon for a satisfying cold weather meal.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Squash Stew

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