Turns out, Mom’s go-to appliance can be your healthy eating MVP, too. Here are nine yummy ways to make better use of your slow cooker. 

By Jessica Smith
Updated August 27, 2019

Whether you’re seeking a cozy meal for fall or winter or want to keep your kitchen cool during spring and summer, you’ll be glad you have these healthy slow cooker recipes in your arsenal. Simply fill the handy countertop appliance with all of the slow cooker recipe ingredients before bed (to prep breakfast) or in the morning (for dinner), and by the time your meal will basically prep itself. (Read: More time to tackle a bonus at-home HIIT workout!)

Vegetable and Chickpea Curry

Dorling Kindersley: Charlotte Tolhurst/Getty Images

Makes: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup loose-pack frozen cut green beans
  • 1 cup sliced carrots 
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion 
  • 1 14-ounce can vegetable broth 
  • 2-3 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 14-ounce can light coconut milk 
  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
  • Cooked brown rice (optional)

Directions 

  1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, combine cauliflower, chickpeas, green beans, carrots, and onion. Stir in broth and curry powder. 
  2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. 
  3. Stir in coconut milk and shredded basil leaves. Spoon rice, if using, into bowls, and ladle curry over the top. (If you like this slow cooker recipe, then you’ll love these 8 other DIY Indian dishes.)

Savory Bean and Spinach Soup

Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 14-ounce cans vegetable broth 
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato puree 
  • 1 15-ounce can small white beans or Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed (buy a few extra cans for these tasty bean desserts—yes, they exist!)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice 
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion 
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped 
  • 8 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach or kale leaves 
  • Finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions 

  1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, combine vegetable broth, tomato puree, beans, rice, onion, basil, salt, pepper, and garlic. 
  2. Cover; cook on low-heat setting 5 to 7 hours or on high-heat setting 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours. 
  3. Just before serving, stir in spinach or kale and sprinkle the healthy slow cooker recipe with Parmesan cheese.

Pasta with Eggplant Sauce

Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 medium eggplant 
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion 
  • 2 14-1/2-ounce cans diced tomatoes 
  • 1 6-ounce can Italian-style tomato paste 
  • 1 4-ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine 
  • 1/4 cup water 
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano 
  • 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 
  • Black pepper 
  • Cooked penne pasta 
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions 

  1. Peel eggplant; cut into 1-inch cubes. 
  2. In a 3-1/2- to 5-quart slow cooker, combine eggplant cubes, chopped onion, canned tomatoes with their juices, tomato paste, sliced mushrooms, red wine, water, chopped garlic and oregano. 
  3. Cover; cook on low-heat setting 7 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting 3 1/2 to 4 hours. 
  4. Stir in kalamata olives and parsley. Season to taste with pepper. Pour sauce over pasta; sprinkle the finished slow cooker recipe with Parmesan cheese and serve. (Related: This Vegan Bolognese Is the Best Possible Stovetop Alternative for Actual Meat Sauce)

Beef Vegetable Soup

LauriPatterson/Getty Images

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces 
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices 
  • 2 small potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes 
  • 1 medium onion, chopped 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 2 14-1/2-ounce cans diced tomatoes 
  • 1 cup water 
  • 1/2 cup loose-pack frozen peas 
  • Fresh parsley sprigs (optional)

Directions 

  1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, combine beef chuck pieces, sliced carrots, cubed potatoes, and chopped onion. Sprinkle with salt and thyme. Add bay leaf, tomatoes with their juices, and water. Stir until all ingredients are combined. 
  2. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. 
  3. Remove and discard bay leaf. Stir in peas and garnish the slow cooker recipe with parsley if desired.

Red Beans Over Spanish Rice

Makes: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups dry red beans or dry kidney beans 
  • 5 cups cold water 
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
  • 3/4 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces 
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped onions 
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin 
  • 4 cups water 
  • 1 6-3/4-ounce package Spanish rice, cooked 
  • Fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced

Directions 

  1. Rinse beans; drain. In a large saucepan, combine beans and the 5 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. 
  2. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour. Rinse and drain beans. 
  3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook pork in two batches; drain fat. 
  4. Coat a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Add beans, pork, onions, garlic, and cumin. Pour in the 4 cups water; stir. 
  5. Cover; cook the slow cooker recipe on low heat 10 to 11 hours. 
  6. Using a slotted spoon, remove beans and pork. Serve beans over rice, and spoon liquid over the top. Garnish with sliced jalapeno. (Then keep the heat cranked up with these 10 spicy pepper-infused recipes.)

Cajun Shrimp and Rice

Brian Hagiwara/Getty Images

Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14-ounce can chicken broth
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 6- to 6-1/4-ounce package long-grain and wild-rice mix, such as Uncle Ben's
  • 1/4 cup water 
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning 
  • 1 pound cooked, shelled and deveined shrimp 
  • Hot-pepper sauce (optional)

Directions 

  1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, combine tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, onions, bell pepper, rice mix with seasoning packet, water, garlic, and Cajun seasoning. 
  2. Cover; cook on low-heat setting 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting 3 to 3 1/2 hours. 
  3. Stir shrimp into rice mixture. Cover; cook for 15 minutes longer at high-heat setting. Sprinkle the slow cooker recipe with hot-pepper sauce if desired.

Gingered Beef and Vegetables

Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless beef round steak, cut into 1-inch cubes 
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices 
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 1/2 cups water 
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce 
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant beef-bouillon granules 
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper 
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch 
  • 3 tablespoons cold water 
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper 
  • 2 cups loose-pack frozen sugar snap peas, thawed 
  • Cooked rice

Directions 

  1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, combine beef, carrots, scallions, and garlic. In a medium bowl, combine the 1 1/2 cups water, soy sauce, ginger, bouillon, and crushed red pepper; pour over mixture in cooker. 
  2. Cover; cook on low-heat setting 9 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting 4 1/2 to 5 hours.
  3. If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and the 3 tablespoons cold water; stir into meat mixture along with bell pepper. Cover; cook 20 to 30 minutes more, or until thickened, stirring once. Stir in sugar snap peas. Serve with rice. (Final Answer: Is red meat *really* bad for you?)

Cranberry Applesauce

Makes: 6 to 8 servings

Slow cooker recipe courtesy of Pamela Braun of MyMansBelly.com

Ingredients

  • 

4 pounds (approximately 12) apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions

  1. Add apples and cranberries to the slow cooker and pour water over top. (If you want to make it sweeter, add in desired amount of sugar, brown sugar, or cinnamon now.) 
  2. Place lid on slow cooker. Turn heat to low and cook for 6 hours. 
  3. Remove lid and stir to break up apples and cranberries that may still be in large pieces. 
  4. Serve as is, or use an immersion blender (or regular blender) to smooth it out.

Easy Slow Cooker Oatmeal

jenifoto/Gett Images

Makes: 8 servings

Slow cooker recipe courtesy of The Cleaner Plate Club by Beth Bader and Ali Benjamin

Ingredients

  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1/3 cup chopped dates
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried figs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup chopped almonds or walnuts
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half (or plain yogurt, which has SO many health benefits)

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a slow cooker before bed.
  2. Set to low and cook for 8 to 9 hours. 
  3. Stir to combine and serve.
Advertisement

Comments (3)

Anonymous
November 30, 2018
Wanna increase muscle size, strength and performance ? i found this powerful product that is a safe, legal and side effect free i tried it myself and it realy shows good results for more info check in here -> bulkm.net
Anonymous
November 1, 2018
hey i found a rapid weight loss program that can help you lose up to 23 pounds of pure body fat in just 3 weeks!!! watch this video here -> 3weeksdiets.net
Anonymous
October 25, 2018
Did you know there’s a “deep detox” you can do first thing in the morning to burn more fat? you can burn 1.2lbs daily and It only takes 13-seconds! watch this video : flatbelydetox.net