Clean Eating Slow Cooker Recipes
Slow Cooker Beef-and-Barley Stew
Something wonderful happens over the long simmer in the slow cooker: The barley cooks to tender-chewy perfection, the beef becomes meltingly tender, and the liquid thickens to a beautiful gravy. Brown the meat, toss it and everything else in the slow cooker, and let the magic happen. Go with hulled, whole-grain barley here, and skip quick-cooking pearl barley; the latter isn't whole grain, and it will cook to mush over the long simmering time. If you can't find hulled barley, you can try wheat berries, whole-grain farro, rye berries, or Kamut instead. This soup is great for freezing, as it thaws and reheats beautifully.
Slow Cooker Beef-and-Sweet Potato Chili
Robust chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper are tamed and balanced by sweet potatoes. Leaving the peels on the sweet potatoes has three benefits: Prep is faster, you add more fiber, and the potatoes hold their shape better after the 7-hour simmer. Besides, the peels get so tender that you barely notice they’re there. If you’d like to change things up, try parsnips in place of the sweet potatoes; they have a similar sweetness and earthier flavor and won’t fall apart after cooking for an extended time. You don’t need to fully cook the ground beef before it goes into the slow cooker; just cook it enough to “set” the shape of the crumbles.
Slow Cooker Chicken, Bacon, and Potato Soup
The slow cooker gently coaxes out delicious flavors from simple, hearty ingredients. This soup is perfect for ushering in fall: It's hearty enough for the beginning of soup season, yet brothy and veggie-packed so that it doesn't feel too heavy. Pair it with a slaw or kale side salad and crusty whole-grain bread for a light, satisfying dinner. This recipe is ideal for a weekend, when you can check on the slow cooker after just a few hours; though you won't be able to leave the soup unattended all day, this still offers the benefit of hands-free, fuss-free cooking. Either baby red, Yukon Gold, or fingerling potatoes will work well here, as they'll maintain their shape nicely during cooking.
Slow Cooker Ramen Bowls
Any ramen lover will tell you—it's all about the broth. We build layers of rich umami flavor with the help of mushroom stems, fresh ginger, kombu (a type of edible kelp), sesame oil, and, of course, low and slow heat.
Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Mushrooms and Carrots
A full-plate dinner simmers to saucy, savory perfection in the slow cooker. To end up with super-succulent pork, don't overcook the chops in the pan before adding to the slow cooker. Just a couple of minutes per side will be enough to achieve nice color. Using bone-in center cut pork chops results in a juicier, more flavorful dish. With just 25 minutes of active prep time, you can throw dinner together in the morning and come home to a comforting meal of tender pork and vegetables for supper. To speed up prep, opt for presliced mushrooms, carrots, and onion.
Slow Cooker Beef Lettuce Wraps with Quick Pickles
Savory, fork-tender beef is brightened with summery crunch from pickled veggies. The low, even heat of the slow cooker helps flavor powerhouses like miso, sesame oil, and soy sauce impart tenderizing moisture, umami depth, and savory personality to common pot roast.
Slow Cooker Beef and Cabbage With Potatoes and Carrots
Here's a showstopping feast of beef, cabbage, carrots, and potatoes. To create the traditional flavor profile of corned beef and cabbage without the traditionally massive sodium spike, we simmer brisket in a strong aromatic spice blend at low and slow heat rather than starting with brined beef.
Slow Cooker Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
Tender thighs, and creamy red potatoes simmer to perfection in rich, aromatic jus. White meat can dry out after a long haul in the slow-cooker, so we opt for bone-in thighs to guarantee optimal flavor and succulence. Make prep esier with prepeeled garlic, and pretty-up the platter with lemon slices and thyme sprigs.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
We love the heat level in this slow cooker take on tikka masala to fend off winter chill. If the spice kick is too much for your family, you can cut the red pepper down by half without losing any of the dynamic flavor layers.
Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
Get the chili started in the morning and keep warm in the slow cooker while you're out. Calling for a mixture of beans and hominy, this recipe boasts bold, rich flavor, something that can often be dulled in a slow cooker. Whirring some of the beans in a food processor thickens the soup, lending a heartier texture to the dish. We suggest serving the soup with green onions, cheese, cilantro, peppers, and plain yogurt, a great substitute for sour cream. Serve with Cheesy Jalapeno-Sour Cream Corn Muffins (next slide).
Slow Cooker Barbacoa Brisket
Traditional Mexican barbacoa involves wrapping meat in banana or avocado leaves and slowly cooking it over hot coals, partially steaming the meat to tender perfection. This slow cooker version replicates the flavors and a bit of that traditional method: Chipotle chiles, ground cumin, and oregano offer bold, smoky flavor, and the beef brisket steams to tenderness as it cooks gently in the slow cooker. For tacos, serve the saucy barbacoa in tortillas with green and red onion, cilantro leaves, jalapeño slices, and fresh lime wedges. Or build yourself one awesome burrito bowl with those same components by putting them over brown rice or quinoa instead of in tortillas.
Slow Cooker Cioppino
Our rich and brothy seafood stew keeps prep time to a minimum while maxing out savory flavor.