5 Delicious Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes

Delicious dinners that can be made ahead and are healthy are dinner goals for everyone. Healthy slow cooker recipes enable you to cook a simple, healthy and yummy dinner for your family. You can also rock those healthy slow cooker recipes for lunch the next day and not have to worry about what you're going to pack for work.

lunch table salad

Source: Pexel

In this day and age, most of us don't have the time or the energy (let's be honest here!) to slave in front of a hot stove for half the day like our grandmothers did. But at the same time, let's be honest...families eat out too much and that's not healthy. A lot of people are setting goals for themselves and their families to get back to eating healthy and clean instead of ordering pizza and burgers.

Crockpot Quinoa Chicken Primavera

pan quinoa colorful vegetables

Source: Pixabay

This Crockpot Quinoa Chicken Primavera cooks incredibly quick. That quinoa and chicken can be ready to go in three or four hours with the crockpot on LOW. This isn't necessarily a crockpot meal that you want to leave cooking all day while at work, as it will burn. This is a great recipe for those early days that you have 3-4 hours before dinner.
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Once the quinoa and chicken are cooked, you’re basically just sauteing the asparagus and tossing it in! Fresh asparagus in the crockpot becomes mushy so in order to keep it crisp and fresh, cooking it in the pan is justified. The asparagus doesn't take long to cook at all, just enough time to toss the peas into the crockpot with the pesto and let everything become delicious.

This is one of the easiest healthy slow cooker recipes that you and your family will love! Try adding bacon for something really yummy.

Directions: 

In the crockpot:

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 cups + 3 cups chicken broth (SEE NOTES)
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper, other dried herbs you like (I tossed in 1/2 teaspoon each dried parsley, thyme, and basil)

Before serving:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 6 ounces pesto (SEE NOTES)
  • 2 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • watercress, fresh parsley, chives, or any other herbs for topping
  • Parmesan or Asiago cheese for topping

Crockpot Low Carb Lasagna

lasagna noodles cheese tomatoes

Source: Pexels

This is a delicious alternative to the traditional lasagna you grew up with. You can sub the cottage cheese for ricotta cheese and you could also sub the eggplant for either all zucchini or add squash instead. Low carb lasagna is one of those healthy slow cooker recipes that you have to try at least once.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • Kosher salt
  • 16 ounces (2 cups) good-quality store-bought tomato-based pasta sauce (or homemade)
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 16 ounces low-fat cottage cheese (do not use skim—I used 1%)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 8 ounces part-skim shredded mozzarella or provolone cheese, divided (about 2 cups—I used a blend of both cheeses)
  • For serving: Parmesan cheese, freshly chopped herbs such as basil or parsley

Directions:

  1. With a mandoline or very sharp knife, slice the eggplant and zucchini length-wise into long, thin (1/4-inch) sections so that they resemble lasagna noodles. Spread the vegetable slices out onto a kitchen towel or layers of paper towels and sprinkle them lightly with kosher salt. Let stand for 15 minutes to allow some of the excess liquid to drain off. Pat dry. Prepare the zucchini and eggplant according to one of the three methods below:
    • GRILL METHOD: Preheat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan to medium. Lightly coat the grill with canola oil, then grill the eggplant and zucchini strips until cooked and lightly brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
    • BROIL METHOD: Place the top oven rack about 5 inches from the upper heat element. Set the oven to broil at 500 degrees F. Arrange the zucchini and eggplant slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. (Do not line the baking sheet pans with wax paper or parchment, as they will burn.) Lightly brush the slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Flip over the slices and repeat for the other side. Broil for 5-8 minutes, or until lightly brown, working in multiple batches as needed. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Place the slices on paper towels to remove excess moisture.
    • NEITHER: Move ahead with the recipe—skip grilling or broiling the zucchini completely. The lasagna will have a lot of excess liquid around the veggie slices in the slow cooker (even after salting them in step 1), but if this doesn’t bother you, you can scoop out the noodles and discard it.
  2. Lightly coat a 6-quart crockpot with nonstick spray. Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce on the bottom of the crockpot—the layer will seem very thin. In a small bowl, beat the cottage cheese together with the eggs.
  3. Create the first veggie lasagna layer in the crock pot as follows: 1 layer of eggplant “noodles”; one-third of the cottage cheese (about 2/3 cup); one-third of the bell peppers and onions; one-third of the mozzarella; 1/2 cup tomato sauce.
  4. Create the second veggie lasagna layer, this time using zucchini: 1 layer of zucchini “noodles”; one-third of the cottage cheese; one-third of the bell peppers and onions; one-third of the mozzarella; 1/2 cup of tomato sauce.
  5. Create the final layer: 1 layer of eggplant “noodles”; remaining cottage cheese; remaining bell peppers and onions; 1 layer of zucchini noodles; 1/2 cup tomato sauce; remaining mozzarella.
  6. Cover the crockpot and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours, until the eggplant is tender. To test, insert a long, thin knife into the lasagna and ensure the eggplant feels tender. Re-cover, turn off the slow cooker, and let stand until any remaining liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes to 1 hour. (Note: if you did not grill or broil the vegetables first, you will have a lot of remaining liquid.) To serve, slice and scoop desired portions, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and herbs as desired.
  • Depending upon the size of jarred tomato sauce you can find, you may have some leftover. Most jars come in a 24-ounce size, so you will have some sauce remaining. The extra sauce is great for reheating leftovers (top with a bit before microwaving), or if you like a saucier lasagna, you can heat it separately on the side and spoon it over individual servings.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and reheat gently in the microwave. Top with a little leftover sauce if you have it available.
  • We have not tried cooking this recipe on low heat, but estimate it would take about 4 to 5 hours covered, depending upon your crockpot.
  • We also have not tried making this recipe in the oven instead of a slow cooker but would anticipate that it could be assembled in a 9×13-inch baking dish, then baked, covered, at 350 degrees F for 35 to 45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Uncover the pan for the last 10 minutes of baking. We recommend grilling or broiling the noodles first.

Slow Cooker Thai Turkey and Noodle Bowls

thai food noodle fried noodles

Source: Pixabay

Thai food is so delicious...we don't know too many people who wouldn't absolutely devour this dish. You can add as few or as many toppings as you'd like to make it your own. If you or a family member has a peanut allergy, you can swap the peanut butter for a nut-free butter instead. Thai turkey and noodle bowls are one of those healthy slow cooker recipes that your family will love!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 package (24 ounces) JENNIE-O® All Natural Turkey Breast Tenderloin
  • 1 package (14 ounces) stir-fry rice noodles
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded or cut into ribbons using a peeler
  • 1/2 English cucumber, shredded
  • 1/2 small red cabbage, shredded
  • Chopped cilantro, chopped mint, chopped peanuts, sliced green onions, sliced serrano peppers, hot sauce and/or limes, for serving

Directions

  1. In slow cooker, stir together coconut milk, peanut butter, and soy sauce. Add turkey and stir until well combined. Cover and cook on high 4 hours or on low 8 hours.
  2. Remove turkey from slow cooker with a slotted spoon; transfer to a cutting board and coarsely shred. Transfer shredded turkey to a large bowl and cover to keep warm. Turn slow cooker off. Leave liquid in the slow cooker with lid off. The liquid will thicken as it sits while you prepare the noodles.
  3. Prepare noodles according to package directions. Drain and add noodles to bowl with turkey. Add carrots, cucumber, cabbage and some of the liquid from the slow cooker; toss until well combined. Add more liquid from slow cooker to reach the desired level of “sauciness.”
  4. Divide noodle mixture between 6 bowls and serve with cilantro, mint, peanuts, onions, peppers, hot sauce and/or limes.

Broccoli Beef

beef broccoli onion food dinner

Source: Pixabay

Who doesn't love great Chinese food, we sure do! If you're craving some, this recipe will really hit the spot. Not only is this recipe super duper easy, but it's also a much healthier version than the fast food take out you're used to. We're sure you and your family will love it. Serve this dish over a side of rice and dinner is done.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds flank steak, cut across grain into thin slices
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chili-garlic paste, Sriracha, or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus additional to taste
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 large cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 5 cups broccoli florets (about 2 small crowns)
  • Prepared brown rice or quinoa, for serving
  • Chopped green onions and toasted sesame seeds, optional for serving

Directions

  1. Coat a 4-quart or larger slow cooker with nonstick spray. Place the beef in the bottom.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the beef broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, honey, rice vinegar, chili-garlic paste, and garlic. Pour over the beef, then stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 1 1/2 hours.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup water and cornstarch. Stir into the slow cooker with the beef and sauce, then place the broccoli on top. Cover, turn the heat to high and cook another 30 minutes until the broccoli is tender. Serve warm over rice, sprinkled with green onions and sesame seeds as desired.

Slow Cooker Burrito Bowls

Slow cooker burrito bowls are one of those healthy slow cooker recipes that your family will ask for again and again. It's like making chipotle in your kitchen! Except it's so much healthier and much more economical than going out to dinner. You can add as many toppings as you like. Set out the toppings ahead of time and your family can have a make your own burrito bowl night!

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, diced or thinly sliced
  • 1 bell pepper (I used yellow), diced
  • 1 mild red chili, finely chopped
  • 400 gm tin black beans, drained (240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained)
  • 215 gm uncooked brown rice (~ 1 cup)
  • 400 gm tin chopped tomatoes (~ 1 1/2 cups)
  • 150 ml water (~ 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tbsp chipotle hot sauce (or another favorite hot sauce)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • To serve, your choice of grated cheese, fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped spring onions, sliced avocado, sour cream, guacamole, etc.

Directions

  1. Add all the burrito bowl ingredients (not toppings) to a slow cooker - mine is 4.7 liters / 4 quarts. Mix well.
  2. Cook on low for around 3 hours, or until the rice is cooked *see note below*.
  3. Serve hot with your choice of toppings.

Recipe Notes

Some people in the comments have found that their rice doesn't cook properly on the Low setting. If you're concerned about this or you're having trouble getting the rice to cook, try cooking on High instead.


Healthy Slow Cooker Recipe - Conclusion

slow cooked pulled pork sandwich

Source: Pixabay

Eating clean and healthy is so important for your health. We hope that these 5 healthy slow cooker recipes will make it just a bit easier to manage dinner time for you and your family. 

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