Robin’s Fresh Take: Healthy Slow-Cooker Dinners

by in Robin's Healthy Take, January 14, 2011
Robin's Slow-Cooker Mexican Chicken
Robin's Slow-Cooker Mexican Chicken

I don’t know what I would do without a slow-cooker this time of year. I can throw a bunch of ingredients into the pot in the morning (or even the night before) and dinner is ready 8 hours later.  And, if I’m not ready, (if soccer runs late or homework takes too long) the meal stays warm and waits for us.  Plus, when it’s cold outside, there’s no question an aromatic, one-pot feast warms your heart and soul. Here are my favorite healthy slow-cooker recipes.

Slow-Cooker Dinners Made Healthy
It’s super-easy to make slow-cooker meals healthy — they require little fat, and the braising process that occurs over long-simmering keeps lean meats moist and vegetables tender and flavorful.  So what should you put in your slow-cooker?  Check out some of my favorites (and then send me YOURS!):

Savory Pot Roast With Vegetables
Sear a 2-pound beef bottom round roast in a little olive oil until browned on all sides.  Fill the bottom of a slow-cooker with cubed Yukon Gold potatoes, baby carrots, sliced cremini mushrooms and chopped white onion.  Sprinkle the vegetables with salt, black pepper, dried oregano and dried thyme.  Place the beef on top of the vegetables and pour over a 28-ounce can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes.  Cover and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours, until beef and vegetables are tender.  To make gravy, whisk about 1/4 cup of flour into about 1/2 cup of the pan juices and then return the mixture to the rest of the pan juices; simmer on high heat until thickened.

Pork Loin With Apricots and Apple Cider
Place a sliced yellow onion and sliced turnip into the bottom of a slow-cooker.  Place a 2-pound boneless pork loin roast on top of onion and turnip and season with salt and black pepper.  Top pork with 2 cups dried apricots.  Whisk together 1 cup of apple cider, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard and 1 teaspoon ground cumin; pour mixture over pork.  Cover and cook on low heat for 7 to 9 hours, or until pork is tender.

Mexican Chicken With Salsa, Black Beans and Corn (pictured)
Place a sliced yellow onion and green bell pepper in the bottom of slow-cooker.  Place 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (5 ounces each) on top of onion and pepper.  Season chicken with salt and black pepper.  Combine 2 cups prepared salsa, 4-ounce can minced green chilies, 15-ounce can black beans (rinsed and drained), 1/2 cup frozen white corn and 1 teaspoon chili powder.  Pour mixture over chicken.  Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, until chicken is cooked through.  Serve with 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese sprinkled over top.

More Slow Cooker Recipes From Robin:

TELL US: What are your favorite slow-cooker recipes?

Robin Miller is a nutritionist, host of Quick Fix Meals, author of “Robin Rescues Dinner” and the busy mom of two active little boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at

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Comments (1,034)

  1. Barbara says:

    I make a quick easy dish, buy just throwing stew meat and crean of mushroom in the slow cooker. When I get home from work I add a tablespoon of sour cream and whip up some egg noodles.
    Instant beef Stroganoff

  2. Judy says:

    @Julie…..are you talking about meat just laying around at room temp all day…do not understand that…as when you cook it in a slow cooker it is being cooked…at a slow temp & it is not at room temp all day…I love my crock pot….it is one of the best products around….especially if you work or even if you don't to have the convenience & not be in the kitchen all day….I love soups….stews….pot roast…pork roast…just to name a few….quite yummmy….step out of the box Julie & go for it… won't be sorry & you will wonder why you waited sooooo long…. :)

  3. Marti says:

    Barbara, that sounds so good I'm off to the store now to get some stew meat. I'll probably brown the meat before putting it in the crock pot. Thanks for a wonderful suggestion.

  4. CBANKSRE says:

    The picture from Robin's Mexican Chicken slow cooker meal looks like it is some kind of a sour cream sauce around the chicken w/ the beans/salsa/chili/ all on top… what was used to make the sauce look so creamy around the chicken? It looks delicious and would love to try it!

  5. Denise says:

    Does the packaging actually say "stew meat". I just bought a slow cooker and love reading what everybody has to say. Im excited to get cooking tomorrow morning, go out and come home in the evening and dinner is ready!

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