Few things are more comforting than coming home to a house filled with the smell of dinner cooking. Slow cookers were created with just this notion in mind, using gentle, all-day heat to help busy people multitask on the meal front.
This collection of healthy, chicken-based recipes moves beyond your standard brothy braise with flavors inspired from around the globe. Dust off your slow cooker and let it do the work for you this week!
A steamy bowl of Chicken noodle soup is classic comfort food. Once you get this method down, you can take the flavors in so many different directions. Season the chicken with cumin and cayenne and add fiber-rich beans for Chicken Tortilla Soup or stir in cooked wild rice for a twist on the noodles. Want a deeper chicken flavor for your broth? Swap in bone-in chicken pieces for boneless.
Fresh ginger, cloves, and star anise give the broth in this Vietnamese-inspired recipe traditional flavor without minimal work. When the broth and chicken are ready, rice noodles can be dropped right into the cooker insert to soften while you’re prepping the garnishes.
In this sweet and spicy braise, thinly sliced onions and chicken breast simmer in a tomato-based barbecue sauce spiced up with cumin and chili powder. After shredding, add the chicken to a corn and black bean salad, over hearty greens, or topped with tangy coleslaw on a toasted whole wheat bun.
Traditionally, the chicken in this Cajun classic cooks in a cast-iron skillet with the hood fan cranked on high. Simmering the spice-rubbed thighs in a slow cooker instead omits the smoke and makes for fork-tender chicken. For a crispier, golden brown exterior, broil the chicken for a few minutes in the oven before serving.
Think you can’t get crispy skin from a slow cooker? Try this recipe. Serve these garlicky chicken thighs with everything from sauteed seasonal vegetables to a make-ahead Mixed Potato Torte.
Warm spices like cinnamon and cardamom mix with turmeric and curry powder in this easy chicken recipe. Plan on serving the chicken next to Indian-Spiced Kale and Chickpeas for an inspired weeknight dinner that goes from kitchen to table in about 30 minutes.
The chicken thighs in this recipe are dry-rubbed with a barbeque spice blend and then cooked until tender and crispy on the outside. If you have time, mix the chicken with the spices the night before and refrigerate overnight before adding to the slow cooker.
Lemon wedges, peppers, and olives do double duty in this recipe. They give Mediterranean flavor to the broth and can be used to garnish the finished chicken. After reducing the sauce, you can spoon it over roasted new potatoes to round out the meal.
Named after the vessel it’s cooked in, Moroccan tagines are perfect for the low-and-slow heat of the slow cooker. Feel free to riff on the add-ins by adding chopped classic choices like preserved lemon, dried apricots, and green olives.
It’s time to pull that slow cooker from the depths of the cabinet to do the heavy lifting of weeknight meals. Pick one of these recipes and set-and-forget your way to a healthful meal that everyone will enjoy.