Happy New Year, Sweeties! So far, it’s a cold one…with the weather bringing extreme chills down South, we’re huddled up and dreaming of hot, steaming meals! But who’s got the time to spend hours in the kitchen preparing dinner while also trying to stick to New Year’s resolutions of exercising, finishing tasks on time, keeping the house tidy, going to the doctor for regular checkups…there are only 24 hours in the day, after all!
So, we’ve compiled our FAVORITE slow-cooker meals for the cold weather to keep you warm, cozy, and free to check off everything else on your long To-Do list.
And in an effort to stay healthy this year, sub-in some zero-calorie sweet tea for those sodas and juices. Try Cold Brew sweet tea to save time!
This dish is perfect for winter and only takes 20 minutes of your time – let the slow cooker do the rest!
- 2 lbs bone-in chicken thighs, skinned and trimmed
- 3 carrots chopped
- 1 celery root, chopped
- 1 medium leek, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 2 sprigs of sage
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 8 c. chicken broth
- 2 c. wide noodles
- 3 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
Put everything except for the noodles, parsley, and lemon juice into a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
Remove chicken and dice, discarding the bones. Add back to slow cooker. Add in the noodles and parsley, then cover and cook on high for 15-20 minutes.
Add in lemon juice and serve.
Red Beans and Rice
This Louisiana classic is perfect to make after coming in from the windy, snowy, frightful weather. And when it’s made in the slow-cooker, it’s quick and easy. Perfect for a hearty weeknight meal!
- 1 lb dry red kidney beans
- 2/4 lb Andouille sausage, sliced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 2 tsp Creole seasoning
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 7 c. chicken or vegetable broth
- Black pepper
- Green onions, sliced
- White or brown rice, cooked
Rinse the kidney beans and add, with sausage, garlic, celery, onion, bell pepper, seasoning, hot sauce, thyme, bay leaves, and chicken stock to slow cooker. Stir.
Cook on high for 6-8 hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve over rice and garnish with green onions.
Skinny Veggie Lasagna
Y’all, there ain’t nothing better than a hearty lasagna after a long January day. This recipe's healthy AND simple to make. Let the slow cooker do the work for ya.
- Two 24-oz. jars of Italian tomato sauce
- 9 bronze-cut lasagna noodles
- 24 oz. low-fat cottage cheese
- 3-4 c. chopped kale
- 2 c. shredded Mozzarella
- Fresh parsley
Spray the slow-cooker with cooking spray and spread 1/2 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom.
Break the noodles and cover the bottom of the slow-cooker with them. Layer a third of the cottage cheese, kale, sauce, and mozzarella, and place another layer of noodles on top. Repeat with two more layers for a total of three layers.
Cover and cook on high for 3 hours. Once complete, turn slow-cooker off and let the lasagna sit for an hour. Scoop out to serve.
Trying to add more protein and veggies to your plate this year? Good on you! Here's a simple - but delicious - chickpea recipe you can throw into your slow-cooker! This spicy dish will warm you on the coldest nights.
- 1 package firm tofu
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 c. tomato puree
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp curry powder
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- salt and pepper
- 15 oz. can chickpeas
- Chopped cilantro
Rinse tofu and drain for 15 minutes.
In saucepan, cook onion in olive oil for 5 minutes. Add in garlic and stir. Add in coconut milk, tomato puree, garam masala, curry powder, chili powder, ground ginger, and salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.
Cube the tofu. Place the tofu and chickpeas into slow cooker and pour the sauce over it. Cook on low for 5 hours.
Stir in cilantro, then serve over rice.
We hope y'all try these easy recipes out and stay warm! Here's to saving time on work and spending more time with friends and family in the new year!