15 Healthy Slow-Cooker Recipes for Cozy Winter Nights
The slow-cooker is one of our favorite kitchen appliances because it makes preparing dinner in one pot a breeze. Even better, while it's busy cooking everything low and slow, we can forget about it for five or six hours. Many quintessential slow-cooker recipes are hearty comfort foods (think braised meats and stews, like the Slow-Cooker Ropa Vieja pictured here), which are perfect for winter. But a slow-cooker isn't just for preparing meat. Case in point? We're sharing recipes for our Slow-Cooker Indian-Style Fish Curry and even a few vegetarian entrées, such as Slow-Cooker White Bean Soup, to prove just how versatile this appliance is.
Even though you can use it for other meals, there's no denying the fact that the slow-cooker is particularly adept at cooking large, tough pieces of meat. As they marinate with stock, herbs, vegetables, and other aromatics, cuts like pot roast, brisket, and short ribs transform into succulent and tender pieces of meat. Slow-Cooker Persian Lamb Stew is a prime example of this process—it breaks down lamb shoulder into a juicy, earthy bite.
Maybe one of the most classic slow-cooker recipes is chili. This Spicy Turkey Chili is lighter than the traditional beef version but packed with plenty of heat and body. Somewhere in between a stew and chili is this Tex-Mex-inspired Chicken and Beans recipe; using store-bought salsa saves time, so all you need to do is arrange the ingredients in the cooker and set it to low heat for eight hours. Top with tortilla strips, sour cream, and jalapeño slices for a stellar finishing touch.
When you want a healthy, cozy meal, break out the slow-cooker and make these nurturing, crowd-friendly recipes.
Slow-Cooker Chicken with 20 Cloves of Garlic
Slow-Cooked Tex-Mex Chicken and Beans
Slow-Cooker Persian Lamb Stew
Carb-free and topped with nutrient-rich vegetables and flavorful herbs, this hearty stew is exactly what you need on a chilly night. Serve slow-cooked lamb shoulder over quinoa and top with fragrant dill, tart pomegranate seeds, and pistachios for color and crunch.
Slow-Cooker White-Bean Soup
Slow-Cooker Indian-Style Fish Curry
Slow-Cooker Beef and Tomato Stew
Lamb with Olives and Potatoes
A delicately cooked dish of tender lamb, small potatoes, and green olives is the perfect one-pot meal for quality-conscious home cooks who are lacking in excess prep time. Zesty lemon juice, bright shallots, rosemary, and crisp pinot grigio enhance the recipe's complex flavor.
Slow-Cooker Garlic Chicken with Couscous
Enriched with garlic, thyme, and dry white wine, this is one healthy slow-cooker recipe that will not force you to sacrifice flavor. After cooking seasoned chicken in a large skillet, place ingredients in a slow cooker to simmer for three and a half hours, then serve atop couscous.
Loaded Slow-Cooker Baked Potatoes
Craving a loaded baked potato? Substitute crunchy, fiber-filled broccoli, nutty cremini mushrooms, and protein-rich plain yogurt for bacon crumbles and sour cream to create a well-rounded, mouthwatering meal.
An anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent, ginger is an excellent dietary addition in this sweet and savory dish. A blend of ground coriander, fresh ginger, and garlic combine with soy sauce, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar to provide an aromatic foundation for chicken drumsticks.
Chicken Cacciatore with Cremini Mushrooms
Selenium, potassium, antioxidants, and B-vitamins are in full-force in this wild mushroom and chicken dish. Dry sauvignon blanc and rosemary amplify the woody blend of mushrooms and vegetables.
Garlic Chicken with Barley in the Slow Cooker
Slow-Cooker Cajun Stew
Characterized by a myriad of spices and seafood, traditional Cajun cuisine offers a delicious bite for the health-conscious cook. Succulent shrimp, chopped bell peppers, diced tomatoes, and celery simmer low and slow with garlic and cayenne pepper to produce a stew that is low in carbs, yet off the charts in flavor.