Slow Cooker Recipe Roundup

Winter weather is here and there’s no better way to prioritize your time than using a slow cooker.

Slow cooker meals are great for busy days when you need a meal to set and forget. What makes it even better is that the flavors of the ingredients are brought out while your meal cooks over many hours.

Slow cookers combine long cook time and low temperatures to bring out flavors in the dish. They are designed to take the condensation and use the steam as a baster for the dish.

Slow cookers work very similarly to stovetops where the pan is heated from the bottom and the heat moves up the sides to cook the whole dish. This is why recipes don’t give exact temperatures.

Lighter dishes like sauces and dips are usually cooked for much shorter times, but on a higher setting. In contrast, meats and stews take many hours on low heat.

Winter is the perfect time to get re-acquainted with your slow cooker. Spend the long nights making hearty soups, stews and dishes that are both healthy and comforting. You can even use your slow cooker to have a warm breakfast waiting for you in the morning!

Photo credit: mrgarethm

lemon lentil

Ingredients

  • 6 carrots, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups red lentils
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped

Slow Cooker Lemon Lentil Soup

Instructions
1. In a six-quart slow cooker, add all ingredients EXCEPT lemon zest and juice and rosemary.
2. Cook on low for 6 hours.
3. Stir in lemon zest, juice and rosemary.
4. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

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slow cooker pulled chicken

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs (about 5-6 count) boneless, skinless chicken breasts and/or boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1.5 cups BBQ Sauce of your favorite or make your own
  • ½ medium onion, grated (with juice)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Sandwich

Instructions
1. Stir together all sauce ingredients in a 5-6 qt slow cooker.
2. Add chicken and coat in sauce. Cover and cook on high 3 to 4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours. Chicken is done when cooked through and easy to shred.
3. Shred chicken with two forks in slow cooker or you may remove and shred in a bowl. If you remove from sauce, replace back in crockpot to stay warm and ready to serve. Enjoy!

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Complete dish of zoodles arranged on a white plate

Ingredients

  • 1.5-2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken, best with combination of thighs and breast, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 (20 oz.) can of pineapple chunks, reserve juice
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated or 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 (8 oz.) can of sliced water chestnuts
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tsp. sesame seeds, optional garnish
  • Parsley, optional garnish
  • 3-4 zucchinis, made into zoodles (zucchini noodles)

Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken with Zoodles

Instructions
1. Pour juice from canned pineapple into a mixing bowl with chicken broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and honey. Whisk thoroughly to combine.
2. Place chicken and pineapples in slow cooker, pour mixture over chicken. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-4 hours until cooked to 165 degrees.
3. During last 30 minutes of cooking add bell pepper, onion, and water chestnuts. Also, at this time, mix cornstarch in water until dissolved and add to slow cooker.
4. Serve chicken on top of zoodles or bed of white rice, brown rice or quinoa. Garnish with sesame seeds and parsley. Enjoy!


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Caprese casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 bag frozen hash brown potatoes 32 oz.
  • ½ – 1 lb. turkey deli meat, chopped or diced (or pre-cooked meat of choice) – you can also eliminate
  • 3-6 Tbsp. basil, diced
  • 8 oz. shredded mozarella cheese
  • 1 tomato de-seeded and diced
  • 10 ounces of spinach, de-stemmed and chopped
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 cup low-fat milk or milk substitute of choice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Caprese Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole

Instructions
1. Add half bag of hash browns to bottom of slow cooker.
2. Layer the following ingredients on top of the hash browns; half your basil, tomato, spinach and half your cheese.
3. Continue layering with the remaining hash browns, turkey, basil, tomatoes and spinach. And add the remaining cheese.
4. In a medium sized bowl beat eggs and milk together. Then, pour egg mixture over your casserole.
5. Add salt and pepper on top.
6. Cook on Low for 4 hours or warm for 8 hours. Serve hot. Enjoy!


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garlic shrimp and spinach over quinoa

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp. butter or ghee
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. Creole seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs. extra-large or jumbo shrimp, or about 21 to 30 per pound, shelled and de-veined
  • 3 cups spinach, cleaned and trimmed
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley, for garnish

Slow Cooker Garlic Shrimp and Spinach

Instructions
1. Combine the butter, oil, sliced garlic, Creole seasoning, and the black and cayenne peppers in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 25 to 30 minutes.
2. Rinse the shrimp under cold running water and pat dry.
3. Add the prepared shrimp to the slow cooker and stir to coat them with the oil and butter mixture. Cover and cook on high for 15 minutes. Add spinach and stir until combined and cook on high for 10-15 more minutes. When the shrimp are opaque and pink in color and the spinach is wilted, remove them to a serving dish and pour the sauce over them. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve with your favorite whole grain. Enjoy!

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beef and broccoli

Ingredients

Slow Cooker Korean Beef and Broccoli Ingredients

  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. Sriracha, or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 3 lbs. very lean ground beef (at least 93% lean)
  • 3 heads of broccoli cut into small florets or about 6 cups frozen broccoli
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

Crunchy Rice Cups

  • Prepared Korean beef and broccoli recipe (see above) – 4 cups
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa and brown rice
  • 12-24 won ton wrappers

Slow Cooker Korean Beef and Broccoli with Crunchy Rice Cups

Instructions
For the Beef and Broccoli filling:
1. In a large bowl, whisk together beef broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, ginger, Sriracha, onion powder and pepper.
2. Place ground beef into a 6-qt slow cooker. Break up the beef thoroughly. Stir in beef broth mixture until well combined.
3. Cover and cook on low heat for about 4-5 hours or high heat for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally and breaking up beef.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1/4 cup water. Stir in mixture into the slow cooker. Add broccoli and combine thoroughly. Cover and cook on high heat for an additional 30 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
5. Serve immediately with quinoa or brown rice, garnished with green onions and sesame seeds, if desired. Enjoy!

To make the Crunchy Rice Cups:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Generously spray muffin tin. Then line 12 muffin cups with one or two-won ton wrappers. For extra crunchy cups use two-won ton wrappers.
3. Combine prepared Korean beef and broccoli with quinoa and brown rice.
4. Fill won ton wrappers and bake for 8-12 minutes until won tons are crispy. Enjoy!


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