We love slow cookers for so many reasons but the convenience has to be our favorite. Slow cookers take the stress out of making a delicious and healthy dinner. With the school year back in full swing, busy weeknights will soon be upon us. Stock up on slow cooker recipes so you can handle dinner and all other extracurricular activities with ease. Below we’ve listed some of our favorite slow cooker recipes from our RD friends. Happy cooking!
Our Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas are sure to please everyone, especially the cook. Slow cookers are such a great kitchen product, as they allow for easy prep time and minimal clean-up, all while producing a mouth-watering dish that is sure to please everyone. Packed with protein and loaded with flavors, these enchiladas will quickly become a weeknight staple in your home!
“This appliance is notorious for its role in creating hearty comfort meals to enjoy during the winter months. But did you know that your crockpot is capable of so much more than just soups and stews?!” says Kara Golis, RD of Byte Sized Nutrition. Her Slow Cooker Sriracha Mango Chicken Tacos are refreshing enough to enjoy during these last few weeks of summer but easy enough to prepare on a busy weeknight!
“If prepping and cooking homemade meals is too much of a chore then it’s going to be really hard to really enjoy your food! With freezer meals, there’s barely any work to be done on Eating Day. You just take a bag of food, dump it into your appliance of choice, and let the machine do its job. Voila! Dinner is served!” says Jessica Penner, RD of Smart Nutrition. Her Thai Peanut Chicken recipe is a freezer meal, making it super easy to prepare for busy weeknights during the school year! Even better, this recipe can be made in an Instant Pot or a slow cooker.
” This (recipe) makes two pounds of pulled Coconut Lime Chicken that can be refrigerated for easy protein to throw on salads, in wraps or sandwiches, or even over rice or grain bowls” says Lindsey Janerio, RDN of Nutrition to Fit. She turned her Coconut Lime Chicken into Collard Wraps but it can be used in so many different dishes making this meal perfect to meal prep for easy school lunches!
“In reality, it’s a lot of hot, tiring days spent running around town with the kids and then scrambling home just in time to barely scrape together something that resembles “dinner”” says Brynn McDowell, RD of The Domestic Dietitian. This is the reason that she created this delicious Summer Garden Chicken Stew. This recipe is made with veggies leftover from the garden and in the slow cooker, so it’s easy to “set it and forget it”.
“Another slow cooker favorite for a simple and healthy weeknight dinner” says Dana White, MS, RD, ATC of Dana White Nutrition. This Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken is a delicious, protein-packed meal. Two cooking options, 4 or 8 hours, make this perfect to make right after work or in the morning; giving you a delicious meal ready whenever you need it. This meal is a great option for when the kids come home from practice or games, giving them ample lean protein and complex carbohydrates.
” I probably only use (my slow cooker) once or twice a year. This Fall and Winter we are going to get more use out of this appliance! Chicken Noodle Soup is the perfect meal for a cold Fall evening. All you need to do is prep the veggies, which you can do the night before and then add them and the chicken to the slow cooker the next morning and you are ready to go” says Jennifer Pulman, RD of Nourished Simply. Making hearty meals like this Chicken Noodle Soup doesn’t require too much hard work! This slow cooker recipe gets the job done for you.
” I decided I wanted to make a healthier version of traditional spaghetti and meatballs – and, since I’ve been trying to build up my repertoire of healthy crockpot recipes, I wanted to use that as the cooking method” says Chrissy Carroll, RD, CPT of Snacking in Sneakers. Her Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs packs in ample veggies and lean protein from the turkey!
“Here’s another super fast freezer meal that you can prep ahead of time, pop in the crockpot before work, and come home to a warm, delicious and healthy meal!” says Jennifer Bowers, RDN. All of the ingredients for this Turkey White Bean Kale Soup can be prepared ahead of time, placed in a freezer bag for up to 4 weeks, then popped into the slow cooker whenever it is decided to be made. This makes healthy, back to school dinners super easy and delicious!
“Mongolian beef has a sweet flavor because it’s usually prepared with a lot of brown sugar. That alone has deterred me from making it at home in the past…I tried it and it turned out perfectly. What’s even better is it’s cooked in the slow cooker, so you can dump it in and walk away!” says Stacey Mattinson, MS, RDN. This Low Sugar Mongolian Beef recipe is versatile too! You can serve this over cauliflower rice, brown rice or whatever you think works best!
“This is great make-ahead recipe because flavors develop over the next day or two. And believe me, it tastes as good on the patio as it does by the fire” says Judy Barbe, RDN of Live Best. This Short Rib Ragu recipe is filled with flavor and perfect for an Instant Pot. An Instant Pot can be used as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer or yogurt maker.
“The meat sauce is a combination of homemade meatballs and my favorite chicken sausage all cooked in our family red sauce. Throw everything in a slow cooker in the morning and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours and you have dinner ready in no time” says Lauren Sharifi, RDN of Bite of Health Nutrition. This Homemade Meatballs and Sauce recipe is incredibly versatile, too; serve over zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, whole grain or lentil pasta or on whole grain bread as a sandwich!
“I can’t say all nights will be smooth sailing and your cup of tea, BUT you can help yourself out with some easy and nutritious meals you can plop at the table with and unwind. One such recipe is pot roast in the crock pot. By setting aside about 15-20 minutes in the morning you can prep it all, throw it in the pot, turn it on low and let the rest take care of itself” says Elissa Lueckemeyer, RD of Food For Success. This Slow Cooker Pot Roast is a delicious, healthy and easy way to get a hearty meal on the table, stress-free!
“This “recipe” is pretty flexible. Take soft corn tortillas and heat them in a skillet or microwave. Arrange a quarter cup of leftover pulled pork down the center and add your favorite toppers: black beans, sliced green onions, shredded low-fat cheese, fresh or jarred salsa, low-fat plain Greek yogurt, and cilantro” says Liz Weiss, RDN of Liz’s Healthy Table. This Slow Cooker Pulled Pork can be made into a variety of meals; served over sweet potatoes, made into tacos, mixed into mac and cheese and many more!
“This Gluten Free Minestrone recipe was handed down at least three generations, it’s hearty, filling, and delicious. I included two ways to make it, on the stove top or in the crockpot. It’s also totally customizable, add in or take out whatever you like to fit your preferences/dietary needs!” says Kelli Shallal, RD of the Hungry Hobby. Filled with so much flavor and hearty, this Gluten Free Minestrone Soup is sure to please everyone!
“We are keeping things extremely simple around here, I am talking less than 5 ingredients including salt and water and finishing off with tadka, a process of frying green chilies, and spices such as cumin, carom in oil/ghee/butter until its aromatic and folding it into daal right before serving” says Dixya Bhattarai, RDN of Food Pleasure and Health. This Yellow Split Pea Daal recipe is so simple to make yet filled with flavor and nutrients!
“To cut back on our weekly grocery bill I try and make at least one meal a week using beans or lentils instead of meat. Another way I cut back on the cost of groceries is by using dried herbs and spices, instead of fresh. Not only do they add the same great flavor but they last much longer!” says Lauren Sharifi, RDN of Bite of Health Nutrition. Not only is this Slow Cooker Pesto Minestrone Soup budget friendly, but easy to make too!
“I love this recipe because it doesn’t use any added sugar. I simply add apples, water and cinnamon to the slow cooker and the end result is a delicious homemade applesauce. The kids eat it on its own, but it’s great to have on hand because you can add it to many baked goods in place of oil. I’ve also added it to oatmeal and in smoothies” says Brynn McDowell, RD of The Domestic Dietitian. Apple season is approaching, making this Slow Cooker Applesauce an easy, healthy and delicious after-school snack!
Our Slow Cooker Sorghum and Black Bean Chili is the perfect blend between comfort food and nutritious ingredients, making this ideal for chilly nights or cozy family get-togethers. We included one of our favorite whole grains, sorghum, in this recipe because of its nutritional profile. Along with the added whole grain benefits, sorghum also absorbs the flavors of the ingredients and herbs it’s combined with. In addition, a 3/4 cup cooked serving of whole grain sorghum has approximately 5g protein and 5g fiber!