Slow cooker recipes are synonymous with winter because of the comforting ingredients, but a few simple swaps make those recipes lighter and fresher, easy to transition to warmer weather.
Slow Cooker Zoodles with Meat Sauce
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There are only three basic ingredients: zucchini, meat, and marinara sauce. After that, add whatever vegetables, spices, and cheeses you prefer.
Get the recipe: Slow Cooker Zoodles with Meat Sauce
Photo: Fit Slow Cooker Queen
Slow Cooker Adobo Chicken
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Burrito bowls are a great option for enjoying the taste of tacos with fewer carbs. The spice from the chipotle peppers, jalapeños, and cumin ensure you'll be putting this pulled chicken on everything.
Get the recipe: Slow Cooker Adobo Chicken
Photo: Creme de la Crumb
Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken Artichoke Soup
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Soup is a winter favorite because it's warm, filling, and comforting. And maybe a little heavy. The zip of lemon in this broth-based soup makes it more appropriate for a lighter meal. At only 158 calories per serving with 23 grams of protein, add a salad and you have a healthy weekday lunch.
Get the recipe: Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken Artichoke Soup
Photo: Flavor the Moments
Crock-Pot Quinoa Chicken Primavera
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Coming home to find dinner ready means you have more time for post-work barre, or ahem, bars.... Just throw quinoa, chicken breasts, asparagus, peas, and pesto into the cooker and it'll be ready when you are.
Get the recipe: Crock-Pot Quinoa Chicken Primavera
Photo: Pinch of Yum
Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers
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These peppers are stuffed with healthy yet delicious ingredients like black beans, salsa, and fresh cilantro. They're also packed with protein (30.4 grams) and fiber (8.9 grams) to keep you full.
Get the recipe: Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers
Photo: Damn Delicious
Slow Cooker Coconut Quinoa Curry
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Slow cooker meals don't need to be meat-based. This curry is vegetarian with sweet potato, chickpeas, and broccoli. The sauce is made with coconut milk, fresh ginger, turmeric, and tamari (similar to soy sauce). (Love turmeric? Check out the benefits of golden milk lattes.)
Get the recipe: Slow Cooker Coconut Quinoa Curry
Photo: Simply Quinoa
Crock-Pot Peaches and Cream Oatmeal
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Take advantage of fresh produce by making a healthy breakfast: oatmeal with peaches. Add more protein to the breakfast by stirring in vanilla protein powder before cooking. (Check out these vegan protein powders we love.)
Get the recipe: Crock-Pot Peaches and Cream Oatmeal
Photo: Spicy Southern Kitchen
Spring Breakfast Chicken Soup
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Soup for breakfast sounds just crazy enough to be good. The broth is light but the chicken and avocado will add protein and healthy fat to keep you full until lunch. If you can't get past the idea of soup for breakfast, try dropping in an egg.
Get the recipe: Spring Breakfast Chicken Soup
Photo: A Squirrel in the Kitchen
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Meatballs are easy to throw together and can cook all day while you're at the office. For a low-carb option, eat them plain or over spaghetti squash.
Get the recipe: Crock-Pot Meatballs
Photo: The Wholesome Dish
Slow Cooker Seafood Stew
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Fresh seafood is a staple in the summer (especially if you're making your way to one of the coasts) but you can enjoy the experience at home, too. This stew has a lighter base made with crushed tomatoes and vegetable broth and lots of spices to add flavor.
Get the recipe: Slow Cooker Seafood Stew
Photo: I Heart Naptime