Slow-Cooker Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Skip the roasting in this butternut squash soup recipe and let your slow cooker do the work instead. Just load up all the ingredients into the crock pot, set it and forget it for an easy, healthy dinner or packable lunches.
Slow-Cooker Vegetable Minestrone Soup
A winter classic, this crock pot version of minestrone is heavy on the vegetables and light on the pasta, keeping carbs in check while providing plenty of flavor.
Slow-Cooker Chicken & Orzo with Tomatoes & Olives
Perk up basic chicken breast and whole-wheat orzo with the vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean, like lemon and olives. This load-and-go recipe makes a complete and satisfying meal; just add a green salad.
This is a soup with a long history (references to it in English go back to 1784) that can now be conveniently made in a modern appliance. Although it's technically an English soup, its origins are decidedly Indian. (The name loosely means "pepper water" in the Tamil language of Southern India.) The sweetness of apple and coconut milk counterbalances the garlic, ginger, curry and cayenne.
Vegetarian Slow-Cooker Pozole
This healthy vegetarian take on the Mexican stew pozole gets tons of flavor from poblano peppers, ancho chile powder and dried herbs and spices, while cannellini beans provide substance, protein and fiber. Chewy hominy--corn that has been treated with lime to remove the tough hull and germ--is integral to the stew. Look for it in cans in the Latin section of your supermarket. Serve the stew with shredded cabbage, radishes, fresh cilantro and sour cream.
Savory Bean Spinach Soup
Let a slow cooker complete this vegetarian soup. Serve it in cups as a sandwich side or ladle it into bowls for a light meal.
Slow-Cooker Beef Stew
Load the crock pot and go with this stew recipe that's prepped in the morning and simmers all day so you'll come home to a Sunday-worthy dinner (and your house smelling downright heavenly). Tender beef, melt-in-your-mouth potatoes and carrots in a rich broth--this could be the best and easiest beef stew you've ever made.
Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili
Grab your crock pot for this delicious and easy slow-cooker vegetarian chili with beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, bell peppers and sweet potatoes. The recipe requires just 20 minutes of active time: after a bit of chopping, you just dump the ingredients in the slow cooker and let it do the work. Adding a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of cilantro just before serving brightens up the flavors. Top it with some shredded cheese, if you'd like, or serve it as-is to keep it vegan. Either way, this healthy chili is sure to become a go-to when you want a satisfying and healthy dinner.
Slow-Cooker Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Onions
Thanks to fresh green beans, an easy homemade cream sauce and crispy onion topping, this green bean casserole recipe is healthier and more delicious than traditional recipes that use canned soup, beans and onions. Plus, the slow cooker saves you time cooking at the stove. Make sure to use fresh green beans, as frozen green beans will become mushy.
Slow-Cooker Vegan Chili
Grab your crock pot for this hearty and easy vegan chili, which is chock-full of great-tasting and good-for-you ingredients, including pinto and black beans, red pepper, tomatoes and butternut squash. Once a little chopping is done, all you have to do is dump the ingredients in the slow cooker, making this colorful veggie chili the perfect weeknight dinner. A garnish of fresh avocado and chopped cilantro is a nice touch.
Middle Eastern Lamb Stew
This brothy stew is boldly flavored with a blend of characteristic Middle Eastern spices and finished with fresh spinach and fiber-rich chickpeas. Economical lamb shoulder tenderizes beautifully when leisurely cooked in a slow cooker. If you can't find boneless shoulder stew meat, do not substitute more-expensive lamb leg--it tends to dry out during slow cooking. Instead, purchase lamb shoulder chops and debone them. Serve over bulgur and accompany with a salad.
Hungarian Beef Goulash
This streamlined goulash skips the step of browning the beef, and instead coats it in a spice crust to give it a rich mahogany hue. This saucy dish is a natural served over whole-wheat egg noodles. Or, for something different, try prepared potato gnocchi or spaetzle.