Easy Slow Cooker Recipes

With the outdoors now bathed in the sun’s warmth, it’s the perfect time for family picnics and al fresco lunches. This spring, bring out the slow cooker and create some healthy and delicious meals that will make family meals more memorable.

This post from Tree Classics features a few easy slow cooker recipes you can add to your spring menu.

Chicken Parmesan Soup

Whoever said that soups are only for winter has never tasted the unique flavor of chicken and parmesan in a hearty soup. Add a twist to simple chicken soup by coating chicken breast in crispy breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese and topping it off with marinara sauce and melted mozzarella cheese. This recipe will show you how to create a tasty soup dish in only a few minutes.

What you need:

  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
  • 6 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (28 oz.)
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 6 oz. pasta
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tbsp. basil, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

How to prepare:

  1. Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat; add onion and cook until tender.
  2. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and fennel and cook until fragrant.
  3. Add the chicken broth, chicken, tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add pasta and simmer again until cooked al dente.
  6. Remove chicken, shred, and mix it back into soup.
  7. Mix in the parmesan until it melts and season with basil, salt, and pepper to taste.

Beef Burgundy

For a delectable beef dish sans the guilt, this recipe is ideal because it uses olive oil and has almost zero fat. You can also eat it over vegetables instead of pasta or rice, and it will still be as filling and delicious. If you cook it just right, the beef becomes so tender that you won’t need that steak knife at all.

What you need:

  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch, divided
  • 1 tsp. steak seasoning
  • 2 lbs. beef, cubed
  • 5 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 cup Burgundy wine
  • 2 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 4 oz. baby Portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)

How to prepare:

  1. Combine flour, 1 tbsp. cornstarch, and steak seasoning in a ziplock bag and shake to mix.
  2. Add beef to the bag, seal, and shake again to coat; set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Add beef mixture once oil is hot and cook for 5-6 minutes, turning often to brown meat on all sides.
  5. While beef is browning, peel and chop onion into ½-inch pieces.
  6. Add onion and wine, and cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Stir in garlic, mushrooms, bay leaves, and beef broth, and bring to a boil.
  8. In a small bowl, stir 1 tbsp. cornstarch into warm water until dissolved.
  9. Pour cornstarch mixture into beef and stir for 1-2 minutes.
  10. Remove from heat and pour stew into a large bowl or pot.
  11. Cook on low heat for 8 hours.
  12. Discard bay leaves before serving.
  13. Add salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with chopped parsley.

Mushroom Risotto

If you love risotto, you will definitely fall in love with this slow cooker version. Cooking risotto can be time-consuming, but this method makes it a bit easier. After tasting the smooth, creamy goodness of this slow cooker recipe, you will know why risotto is considered one of the best gourmet comfort foods.

What you need:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1¼ cup Arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry, white wine
  • 3¾ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced

How to prepare:

  1. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat and sauté shallots until translucent.
  2. Coat inside of slow cooker with olive oil.
  3. Add sautéed shallots and oil to the slow cooker.
  4. Add rice and coat with shallot and oil mixture.
  5. Add ¼ cup of wine and chicken broth.
  6. Add salt and thyme, and stir ingredients together.
  7. Place mixture in slow cooker and cook on high heat for 2 hours or until rice absorbs liquid.
  8. Before rice is done, sauté mushrooms in sauté pan with 1 tbsp. of olive oil and ¼ cup of white wine.
  9. Add cream and cheese into slow cooker and stir; let mixture heat for another 5 minutes.
  10. Remove from slow cooker and serve with mushrooms on top.

Gingerbread Pudding Cake

After a filling meal, it is but right to indulge your sweet tooth with a dessert as delectable as the entrée. This pudding cake dish is one you will not forget anytime soon, with its hints of fruit and gingerbread. Sweetened with brown sugar, it is one of the sweetest healthy slow cooker recipes you will ever see.

What you need:

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 2 ¼ cups water
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup butter
  • Vanilla ice cream (optional)

How to prepare:

  1. Lightly coat inside of slow cooker with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine gingerbread mix and milk until mix is moistened.
  3. Stir in raisins until batter is thick and spread gingerbread batter evenly in the bottom of the prepared cooker.
  4. In a medium saucepan, combine water, brown sugar, and butter. Bring to boil, then reduce heat.
  5. Boil gently, uncovered, for 2 minutes, then carefully pour sugar mixture over batter.
  6. Cover and cook on high heat for 2 hours.
  7. Remove liner from cooker, if possible, or turn off cooker. Let cake stand, uncovered, for 45 minutes to cool slightly.
  8. Spoon warm cake into dessert dishes and serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Triple Berry Cobbler

For an adventurous take on your usual fruit bowl, try this triple berry recipe. This soft and chewy after-dinner treat will have you going crazy over berries. Forget about chocolate cake and spoil yourself with this guilt-free delight.

What you need:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon, ground
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg, ground
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tbsp. quick-cooking tapioca
  • Vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, half-and-half, or light cream (optional)

How to prepare:

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, ¾ cup sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  2. In a small bowl, combine eggs, oil, and milk.
  3. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture and stir until moistened. Set aside.
  4. In a large saucepan, combine blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, 1 cup sugar, water, and tapioca. Bring to a boil.
  5. Pour hot fruit mixture into slow cooker and immediately spoon batter over.
  6. Cover and cook on high heat for 2 hours or until a toothpick inserted into center of topper comes out clean.
  7. Remove liner from cooker, if possible, or turn off cooker.
  8. Let stand, uncovered, for 1 hour to cool slightly.
  9. Spoon warm cobbler into dessert dishes and top with ice cream, whipped cream, half-and-half, or light cream, if desired.

These are just a few of the easy slow cooker recipes you can try this spring. Do you have any other post-winter slow cooker ideas? Share them with us in the comments!

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