Fall is almost synonymous with the words “slow cooker” and “crock pot.” There’s nothing easier than chopping up some ingredients, dropping them into a pot and letting the dinner cook itself–literally. While it may not be readily available, the time it saves in the long run is amazing. Plus, these recipes generally produce multiple “leftover nights” which every mom is thankful for!
Take a quick breather, step away from the family schedule and get ready to be amazed at the simplicity a slow cooker provides.
Here are 10 of our favorite slow cooker dishes:
1. Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken Tacos: Seriously, I don’t know why I haven’t thought to marinate the chicken in salsa before! These tacos turn out so flavor-filled you will want taco night every night. Two stuffed tacos only add up to about 380 calories. Bonus: there’s a low-sodium taco seasoning recipe included as well. Your belly won’t bloat after this Mexican dish. You’re welcome! (via Skinny Mom)
2. Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken: Who knew you could make a great Asian inspired dish with a classic American dinner tool?! This sesame chicken and rice dish is under 300 calories–a fine trade off for 20.9 grams of protein! You might be surprised to find tomato paste as an ingredient in the dish. Enjoy! (via Mimi’s Fit Foods)
3. Slow Cooker Shrimp, Kale and White Bean Soup: This soup screams “fresh.” From the yummy kale to the barley and beans, there’s never been a better healthy seafood based soup! However, this recipe does use bacon, so swap it out for some turkey bacon if you want to make it even healthier. (Spry Living)
4. Skinny Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup: I absolutely love chicken tortilla soup. However, the added sour cream and tortilla strips can seriously take a once health-conscious meal over the edge. So, I packed this soup with so many textures, spices and flavors that you won’t need all the added toppings. Choose a dollop of reduced-fat sour cream or a sprinkle of tortilla strips. Don’t load up on both–not measuring them out is a calorie-busting mistake. (via Skinny Mom)
5. Crispy Slow Cooker Carnitas: So the crock pot is normally used to make moutherwatering, soft meals. But, I have found an awesome pork recipe that gives you just a little texture switch up: crispy pork. NOM! (via Gimme Some Oven)
6. Crock Pot Rice and Bean Soup: Dry beans are cheap, healthy recipe builders. They also cook up in the crock pot perfectly. Your little sprouts will love this veggie packed soup. It’s super thick and super easy to chew! I can’t wait to make this on a rainy day–not that I’m looking forward to the rainy fall weather. (via Super Healthy Kids)
7. Skinny Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff: It doesn’t get back to the basics quite like a stroganoff dish: noodles, mushrooms, peas and carrots. We swapped out the beef for some tasty chicken. A noodle packed dish for under 500 calories! (via Skinny Mom)
8. Slow Cooked Caribbean Stuffed Peppers: These beautifully stuffed peppers are not difficult to make even if they look like little pieces of art. This does require you to skillet the couscous mixture beforehand. There’s seriously only three steps to this recipe…three steps, that’s it! (via The Tasty Fork)
9. Slow Cooker Honey Chicken with Quinoa: A little honey and soy sauce create the perfect sauce for a zingy chicken dish. A sprinkle of sesame seeds provides a nutty crunch that pairs with the quinoa beautifully. Plus, it almost creates the same flavor as honey dipped chicken nuggets–uhm, yum! (via iheartnaptime)
10. Pulled Pork Stuffed Potatoes: Need a new pulled pork recipe? Try this stuffed sweet potato version of the BBQ classic. Don’t skip out on this recipe, it’s totally a two-for-one deal. There’s a Skinny Barbecue Sauce recipe that you can use to lighten up any saucy recipe. (via Skinny Mom)