Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes for Your Dinner Party
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After a holiday season full of wining and dining, the thought of attending a party can be daunting. Your friends and family have gorged themselves on pastries and pigs in a blanket, and are frankly so afraid to step on their scales that they may never accept another invitation to a party again.
Click here for the Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes for Your Dinner Party (Slideshow)
But if you’re already itching to host another party, be it a birthday celebration or simply a small get-together, there is a way to entice guests with a delicious meal that won't tip their scales. How, you may ask? Simply look to your slow cooker and a few healthy recipes, and everyone can party while keeping those New Year’s resolutions intact.
To inspire your dinner party menu, we’ve pulled together appetizer, entrée, and dessert ideas that all come straight from your slow cooker — for instance, a warm and delicious lentil soup will fill your guests up without costing them calories, a satisfying and classic combination of pork and sauerkraut, and a hot fruit salad, a sweet, delicious, and healthy dessert that could be the perfect ending to a great meal. Whatever recipe you choose, not only will your party be delicious and healthy, it will be extremely easy to prepare, too. Try any of these recipes and we promise your guests can attend guilt-free!
Healthy Slow-Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip
Who doesn’t love a delicious buffalo chicken dip at a party? It’s creamy, delicious, a little spicy, and extremely flavorful. But when it is loaded with a few different types of cheese, this dip can get pretty fattening, pretty quickly. We’ve lightened up this recipe for you so you can thoroughly enjoy this essential party food without the guilt.
Click here for the Healthy Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe
Slow-Cooker Sausage and Meatballs Bites
This easy slow-cooker recipe for sausage and meatball bites makes a great appetizer. It also comes with 10 amazing sauces that you can serve with it, so you’re basically getting 10 recipes in one! Eat this on its own, or pick one of the options below.
— Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook.
Click here for the Slow-Cooker Sausage and Meatball Bites Recipe
75+ Best Healthy Crock-Pot Recipes for Easy Family Dinners
Of all the various newfangled countertop cooking methods out there, one of the best is a tried-and-true classic: slow cooking. Not only is it a convenient and reliable method for ensuring tons of flavor (with nothing under- or overcooked), but it's also a relatively healthy way of cooking. By keeping food over low heat for long periods, and by keeping the moisture in, you ensure food is flavorful without needing to use a lot of oil&mdashor unnecessary amounts of sugar or salt.
That's why slow cookers (or Crock Pots, if you prefer) are so perfect for making healthy recipes that your whole family will enjoy. We've rounded up some of our favorite lighter slow cooker dishes that you can whip up for quick, easy dinner recipes. Whether you're trying to satisfy picky eaters or just want to try something new, there's no shortage of healthy Crock-Pot recipes to choose from.
And you can use an Instant Pot or other multi-cooker to make any of these slow cooker recipes as well! Though, for the best results, we recommend avoiding using the locking lid (which traps too much moisture) and getting a glass lid that fits.
From hearty slow cooker soup recipes that will keep you warm during winter, to summer slow cooker recipes like pulled pork sliders to serve at a barbecue, there's a recipe in here for any occasion and season. If you're in a rush or just want something easy to make for dinner, you can't go wrong with these healthy Crock-Pot recipes.
Okay, not a dinner recipe but how genius is this? If you’re a snacker like me, this slow-cooker nut mix is great to have on hand. I’m always on the hunt for snacks that are packed with healthy protein and fat, and won’t slow me down throughout the day. Swap in your favorite nuts and mix-ins and you’ve got yourself a trail-mix upgrade.
Tandoori Style Slow Cooker Lamb Leg.
UM YUM. Image: Supplied/Leah Itsines.
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 2kg lamb leg (or shoulder!), bone in
- 1 brown onion, quartered
- 1/4 full fat yoghurt
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1 heaped tbsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Turn on your slow cooker.
- Place the onion, yogurt, garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, ground coriander, pepper, curry powder, chilli flakes, tomato paste, salt, and lemon in a food processor and process until a smooth paste.
- Pierce the lamb leg with a sharp knife, at least 1-2cm deep all over (random spots, anywhere and everywhere!) and place in the slow cooker.
- Pour all the marinade over the lamb, ensuring it gets into those deep pockets.
- Put the lid on and set slow cooker to low for the day if you&aposre going out, or on high for 4 hours.
- After a few hours or when you get home from work, turn the heat up to high for another 30 minutes.
- Remove, leave to sit for 15 minutes and then carve.
50 Slow Cooker Recipes So Dinner's Always Ready By the Time You Get Home
Sometimes, you just need to have a few carbs smothered in cheese. But at least it includes some veggies, right?
Get the recipe: Baking Mischief.
You'll have to actually mash the cauliflower after it's cooked all day, but that's the hardest step to this Paleo-friendly side dish.
Get the recipe: Wicked Spatula.
The prep for this side dish is a breeze: simply toss some pinto beans and minced garlic in the crock pot, turn it on, then smile as you walk away.
Get the recipe: Yellow Bliss Road.
Appetizer, dessert, side dish. this crunchy spin on bread pudding can be whatever you want.
Get the recipe: Creole Contessa.
When you're not making soup, use the slow cooker to make these parmesan-dusted oyster crackers. Sprinkled on top of any stew, it'll be way more satisfying than plain ol' bread.
Get the recipe: Damn Delicious.
Glazed with brown sugar, balsamic, and parmesan cheese, these Brussels sprouts may be the key to finally convincing your kid to eat those veggies.
Get the recipe: Damn Delicious.
Grilling steak can quickly drain them of the juices that make it taste so good. Marinate 'em in beef broth and tomato paste instead to do just the opposite.
Get the recipe: Plain Chicken.
Whoever said you can't eat soup in warmer weather has clearly never tried this combo of light spring veggies sprinkled with grated Romano cheese.
Get the recipe: How Sweet It Is.
Think you can't be vegetarian-friendly with a slow cooker? Think again. Case and point: This mock chili made with kidney beans and peppers.
Get the recipe: Gimme Some Oven.
Sure, this recipe calls for all the same ingredients as a regular lasagna, but you'll get an extra hit of protein from the spicy Italian sausage. and you won't have to watch the oven, waiting for it to be done.
With one pound of black beans and an assortment of vegetables, this soup is just what vegans need to get their fiber fix.
Get the recipe: Emilie Eats.
Even strict dieters won't be able to resist this combo of bacon, cheese, and creamy potatoes. #SorryNotSorry
Get the recipe here.
It's just as good as the classic. only more velvety and delicious.
Get the recipe: Love Bakes Good Cakes.
Mixing beer and cheese for dinner may seem wrong, but it feels so right.
Get the recipe here.
The only thing better than a bowl of classic chicken noodle soup is stuffing those noodles with cheese.
Get the recipe: The Recipe Critic.
Yes, you can have your hot-wing-flavor fix even when it's not game day. We won't tell.
Get the recipe here.
Step away from the takeout menu&ndashthis protein-heavy dish is just as tasty as fast food, but free of MSG and, well, grease.
Get the recipe: The Recipe Critic.
Making breakfast for the family in bulk? Ditch the pan and make a giant, fluffy omelette the easy way.
Get the recipe: Diethood.
The work day will go that much faster when you know you have hot, ready-to-eat tacos waiting for you at home.
Get the recipe: With Salt and Wit.
This isn't much different from regular eggplant parmesan, per say. It's just a lot easier to make (and maybe a bit more cheesy).
Get the recipe: Wendy Polisi.
A classic take on cuisine, this dish means you have no excuses to eat out for dinner.
Get the recipe: Well Plated.
Who said you needed to hit up a street festival for your favorite vendor food? This lightened-up version will leave you just as satisfied, but infinitely less bloated.
Get the recipe: Six Sisters Stuff.
Craving an enchilada smothered in sauce. but don't want to break your diet? We gotchu'.
Get the recipe: Two Peas & Their Pod.
While stew is a bit too heavy for summer, skinless chicken breast drizzled in balsamic is just what you need before hitting the pool.
Get the recipe: Well Plated.
What is picadillo, you ask? A combination of all the good stuff: Ground beef, cilantro, olive brine, garlic. well, you get the point.
Get the recipe: Aggie's Kitchen.
Having the in-laws over for dinner? Focus on prepping your pasta and leave the meatballs and sauce to the slow cooker. When 6pm rolls around, you'll be thankful they're already made.
Get the recipe: Three Bridges.
These ground beef-and-pork patties on sticky Hawaiian rolls are practically begging to make an appearance at your next summer BBQ.
4 mini buns or Hawaiian rolls
200 g ground beef
50 g ground pork
Leaf vegetable of your choice (lettuces, mustard greens, romaine lettuces)
1 tsp. minced garlic
Dash of salt and pepper
Brown the pork and beef in a skillet. Pour the Gochujang sauce over the meat and cook in a crockpot, covered, on low 4-5 hours. Add the mince onion and garlic with salt and pepper. Mix with beef and pork. Thinly slice tomato and onion. Serve on the buns with mustard green/lettuce, tomato and onion.
Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes with Nutrient Dense Ingredients
I love to eat food that will keep you feeling full for the rest of the day, especially dinner. I don’t like going to bed feeling hungry! These healthy slow cooker recipes have nutrient dense ingredients, like fiber and protein, that will help keep you full.
When you’re not in the mood for something heavy like a stew, make these healthy slow cooker recipes instead. I never even thought to make stuffed peppers in a slow cooker, but I will now!
64 Delicious Slow Cooker Recipes
Wild schedules, long work hours, and tempting takeout menus make it tough to even think about cooking most nights during the week. Despite the inconvenience, firing up the oven is almost always cheaper and healthier than ordering in.
How about a compromise? Making dinner with a slow cooker — Crock-Pot is the go-to brand in the U.S. — is an easy way to get in all those vitamins and minerals without slaving over a hot stove for hours at a time.
Most of these recipes involve mixing up ingredients and popping them into a slow cooker for a prescribed number of hours. Save even more time by starting some of these dishes overnight or first thing in the morning and reaping the delicious benefits later in the day.
1. Banana bread quinoa
Why not begin the day with a protein-rich food like quinoa? This recipe highlights why people love slow cookers: Just dump the ingredients into the slow cooker and let them hang out together for a few hours. Insta-breakfast.
2. Vegetarian breakfast burritos
This vegetarian burrito filling includes loads of vegetables, beans, and eggs. Cook vegetables, spices, and beans together in the slow cooker overnight. Stuff tortillas with the filling and fresh scrambled eggs in the morning.
Pro tip: To make this recipe vegan, use a scrambled tofu in place of eggs.
3. Greek yogurt
Making yogurt from scratch takes some time, but it’s hands-off with a slow cooker and it’s much cheaper than buying it at the supermarket.
You’ll need patience (this recipe requires the mixture to sit overnight) and a cheesecloth, but the results are well worth the effort. You’ll wake up to an extra thick and creamy bowl of Greek yogurt.
4. Apple cinnamon breakfast risotto
Forget the constant stirring and standing at the stove. This risotto recipe is super user-friendly.
Simply add the ingredients to a slow cooker and set it on high heat for 3 to 5 hours, or low heat for 6 hours. Cut down or cut out the butter and use skim milk to make the recipe even healthier.
5. Hot chocolate oatmeal
When a massive chocolate craving strikes first thing in the morning, this breakfast hits the spot.
Despite the name, this oatmeal recipe isn’t too decadent — it uses coconut or skim milk, vanilla, and just a touch of brown sugar to add sweetness.
6. Spinach and mozzarella frittata
Hosting a brunch party? Mix up this vegetarian frittata early and let it cook for an hour or so before guests arrive. Part-skim mozzarella cheese, low fat milk, and plenty of veggies make this a smart option at the breakfast table.
7. Almond-cherry-coconut granola
Homemade granola is much cheaper and healthier than the store-bought stuff (who knows what’s in that cute package?!).
Bonus: mixing and cooking it all in a slow cooker instead of the oven means there’s only one dish instead of multiple bowls and baking sheets to wash.
You might like
8. Curried almonds
For this savory snack, coat blanched almonds in curry powder and a bit of seasoned salt. Add to the slow cooker and cook on high for approximately 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Snack time never tasted so good.
9. Spiced nuts
Make your own sweet and spicy snack mix for munching between meals or as a delicious party appetizer.
Coat nuts with cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and a bit of powdered sugar and cook in a slow cooker for about 2 hours.
10. 3-ingredient slow cooker spicy peanuts
Who knew something so simple could taste so good? The melted butter and chili seasoning combo is a heaven-send. Ready in just 2.5 hours, your favorite peanut snack just got a major upgrade.
11. Sweet and spicy mixed nuts
Snacks are great for you, but not so great for your tastebuds if you keep eating the same flavor every single day. That’s why this sweet and spicy nut recipe is such a crowd pleaser.
Rosemary, honey, melted butter, brown sugar, and chili flakes are all great flavors on their own, and total dynamite when mixed together. You’ll have a hard time keeping your hand out of the bowl when they’re done — and we don’t blame you one bit.
12. Slow cooker maple glazed nuts
Did someone say maple? We’re onboard. In this recipe, pecans and almonds come together with apple pie spice, brown sugar, and maple syrup for a treat worthy of the holidays.
These are great as a snack or as a salad topper. Or as an air freshener, because the entire house will smell like cozy winter holidays.
17 Healthy Slow-Cooker Recipes to Add to Your Summer Arsenal
Summer isn’t exactly stew season, but that doesn’t mean you need to put your slow cooker away until it gets cold again. In fact, there are plenty of healthy slow-cooker recipes worth adding to your summer arsenal. (Because enjoying the convenience of a meal that basically cooks itself is fun, no matter the season.) Sure, you probably aren’t in the mood for beef stew or white chicken chili, but doesn’t a pulled chicken sandwich or a lemony piece of salmon sound great right now? Your slow cooker can make that happen!
Another selling point of healthy summer slow-cooker recipes is that they’ll deliver hot, cooked food without turning your whole house into a sauna (I’m looking at you, oven). Sure, a grill can do the same thing, but some nights you just don’t feel like standing outside to babysit it. Plus, with a slow cooker and a little foresight, you can have dinner ready to go the second you walk in the door. (Who doesn’t want that??)
The below slow-cooker recipes are all easy, healthy and perfect for warm summer days. Some are light, while others are super filling. No matter what you’re in the mood for, there’s bound to be something here that catches your eye!
60+ Healthy Instant Pot and Slow Cooker Recipes
Healthy Instant Pot and Slow Cooker Recipes–looking for some healthier options to make for dinner in your Instant Pot or slow cooker? I’ve got you covered! Here are 61 healthy dinner ideas to add to your menu this month.
Healthy Instant Pot and Slow Cooker Recipes
Don’t get me wrong I’m all about the creamy soups and ribs that you can make in your Instant Pot or slow cooker. In fact, that’s my preference most of the time. Ha ha! But I do feel better when I eat a little lighter. Today I’ll be sharing with you 61 healthy Instant Pot and slow cooker recipes that you can add to your dinner menu this month. Although these won’t cover everyone’s definition of “healthy,” they cover mine. Whole grains, vegetables, lean meats etc. Although these recipes are healthier they are not lacking in flavor! Enjoy!
Instant Pot Fish Tacos with Avocado and Lime Cream Sauce—lime marinated tilapia is pressure cooked quickly and then rolled up in a soft tortilla with lime sour cream, pico de gallo, shredded cabbage and avocados. A healthy, fresh and easy dinner recipe.
Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Chicken Lettuce Wraps–an incredibly easy and delicious recipe for lettuce wraps. Hoisin sauce gives these ground chicken lettuce wraps lots of flavor and the rice and water chestnuts add texture. Get a whole head of lettuce ready because you’re not going to want to stop eating these chicken lettuce wraps!
Instant Pot/Slow Cooker Texas Caviar is a colorful tortilla chip dip that has black eyed peas, tomatoes, peppers, corn, red onion and a zesty dressing. This stuff is addicting so make sure you have enough chips on hand!
Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Dip
Courtesy of Your Cup of Cake
Cheesy dip on a list of healthy slow cooker recipes? Yes, really! If you've ever had a spinach artichoke dip, you know how divine a combo spinach, artichokes, and cheese are. However, you also know it's a diet disaster. TGI Friday's Tuscan Spinach Dip has a horrifying 870 calories, 29 grams of saturated fat, and 1,440 milligrams of sodium. That's why we love this slow cooker version with just 116 calories, 1/6 of the saturated fats, and 1/8 of the sodium.