Taco Night Transformed: Filling Recipes for Your Slow Cooker

Shake up Taco TuesdaySlow cookers aren’t just good for soups and stews, they are also perfect for whipping up taco fillings. These recipes are more exciting–and healthier!–than plain ground beef, turning Taco Tuesday into everyone’s favorite night of the week. Just throw the ingredients in your slow cooker in the morning and let them simmer all day for you to enjoy at dinner time.


Lentil-Quinoa Taco Fillings

Makes 6 tacos

Adapted from Healthy Slow Cooking

¼ cup brown lentils

¼ cup beluga lentils

¼ cup quinoa, rinsed

2 cups water

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for seven to nine hours. Taste and season with more salt, pepper, chili powder or paprika if you’d like. Serve with taco shells, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa or other toppings.

Nutritional Information per taco (without taco shell): 49.3 calories, 0.5 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 2.6 g protein, 8.8 g carbohydrates


Three-Ingredient Salsa Verde Beef Tacos

Serves 6

Adapted from Simple Nourished Living

2 pound lean beef roast

1.25 ounce taco seasoning packet

1 cup bottled salsa verde

Place roast in slow cooker and cover with taco seasonings and salsa. Cover and cook on low for six to eight hours or until beef is tender and pulls apart easily with a fork. Remove beef from slow cooker and drain the liquid (reserve one cup of it). Shred the beef by cutting it into chunks and pulling it apart. Pour the reserved cup of liquid back into shredded beef and reduce setting to warm until ready to serve.

Nutritional information: 152 calories, 5.1 g fat, 0 g carbohydrates, 26.4 g protein


Chicken and Black Bean Tacos

Adapted from Five Heart Home

3 chicken breasts

1 package taco seasoning

2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic

2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained

10 ounces frozen corn

16 ounces salsa

Place chicken breasts at the bottom of slow cooker and sprinkle in taco seasoning and garlic. Cover chicken with black beans and corn and pour salsa evenly over everything. Cover and cook on low for six to eight hours. Remove chicken breasts and shred. Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Cover and reheat, then serve with tortillas and your favorite taco toppings.


Chipotle Tacos

Adapted from Vegan in the Freezer

2 15-ounce cans pinto beans, drained

1 cup corn

1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

¾ cup chili sauce

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for three to four hours. Spread everything on a soft or hard shell taco and top with your favorite taco garnishes.


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Photo credit: anjuli_ayer

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