We’re officially obsessed with slow cookers, and it turns out you are too – thousands of you visit our slow cooker guides and recipes each month. They tick all our favourite boxes: eco-friendly, they make light work of cheap ingredients and meat cuts and involve minimal prep. What’s more, they offer a healthier, low-fat method of cooking as you don’t need any oil. Instead, the large volumes of liquid used ensure ingredients don’t catch, plus you can trim big bits of fat off meat as the gentle bathing method keeps ingredients moist, and as long as you monitor liquid levels they shouldn’t dry out.
If you’re not a convert yet, our healthy slow cooker dishes might just convince you. We have lots more recipe inspiration for you to browse through too…
Looking for the right kit? Read our review of the best slow cookers on the market.
Our best healthy slow cooker recipes…
Creamy veggie korma
Dispel the notion that slow cookers are best used to slow cook meat – you can use vegetables in them too (even soft, absorbent vegetables like aubergines can be slow cooked without going soggy as the heat is so gentle). Use the mixed veggies of your choice in this mild curry – we like things like cauliflower, potato and carrot. It’s mellowed with yogurt and almonds rather than rich cream or coconut milk.
Oats are one of our hero ingredients thanks to their cost-saving and health credentials, and giving them a long soak makes them even more creamy and luxurious. This slow-cooker porridge recipe is ideal for busy families, and you can use a mix of half milk, half water if you want a less rich version.
Spiced carrot & lentil soup
This spiced soup contains lentils (an ingredient made for slow cookers), carrots and a few storecupboard ingredients, all thrown into the slow cooker with no pre-cooking required. It can also be made vegan by swapping the milk for reduced-fat coconut milk. This winning recipe doesn’t have hundreds of five-star ratings for nothing…
Healthy seafood stew
Ordinarily we wouldn’t recommend cooking delicate fish for long periods of time, but this healthy slow cooker stew has a clever workaround. The vegetable base is cooked on low for 8-10 hours and the white fish and mussels are nestled on top for the final hour or so. Once cooked, the whole thing is stirred together to create a flavoursome seafood bowl that contains 3 of your 5-a-day.
Every nonna knows the key to any successful meaty pasta sauce is slow cooking. This bumper Bolognese recipe makes 12 whole portions and it can be frozen to thaw on those nights when you just can’t face cooking a meal from scratch. What’s more, its fat, calorie and salt levels are all in check. Serve with wholewheat pasta and a big side salad.
More on slow cookers…
For more on eating a healthy, balanced diet, visit our health and nutrition section.
We’d like to hear about what you make in your slow cooker. Share your recipe ideas with us in the comments below…