7 Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes For Special Occasions

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Woman cooking in kitchen with ingredients around her

The 8-in-1 slow cooker is the daddy of cookware. Cook everything, from a full Sunday roast to a breakfast fry-up in this one versatile cooker.  Tasty risottos, pasta, chips, jacket potatoes and so much more. Just set the temperature and the timer and that’s it! The 5-litre bowl lets you cook for the whole family, and because it’s non-stick, clean-up is quick and simple.

The Go Chef 8-in-1 is available for just £69.99 from JML

To celebrate this fantastic deal we’ve partnered up with the wonderful people at Positive Health Wellness to bring you some truly spectacular meals.

There are times that you just want to create a slow cooker recipe for a special occasion. You don’t want your typical stew or curry that you make on a normal weekday. You want something healthy but delicious; something that your guests or your family crave for every time, there’s a birthday, anniversary, or a party.

The best thing about a slow cooker is that you can set and leave. You don’t have to worry about getting the perfect timing for each individual ingredient. It’s also possible to make something for the Friday night dinners with friends while you’re at work, making sure it’s ready to grab when you leave after getting dressed up.

So, here are seven healthy slow cooker recipes that you can make for any special occasion.

Slow Cooked Lamb with Potatoes and Olives

There are chances that you’ve stayed away from the lamb when it comes to the slow cooker. It needs to be cooked just right to create a melt-in-your-mouth masterpiece, and you may be worried that it’s overdone when you leave it throughout the day. Well, it’s time to take the chance.

This recipe is perfect for lamb lovers. You’ll get a world of flavors with every bite.

Ingredients:

1 1/4lbs of potatoes, small and halved

4 shallots, chopped into wedges

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1tbsp lemon zest, grated

2tbsp lemon juice

3 rosemary sprigs

4tbsp flour

¾ cup of chicken broth

3 1/2lbs of lamb shanks, fat removed and cut crosswise

2tbsp oil of choice

½ cup of white wine, preferably dry

1 cup of olives, pitted and halved

Method:

  1. Combine the potatoes, shallots, garlic, zest, and rosemary in a slow cooker and season with some salt and pepper
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the broth with a tbsp of flour and then add into the slow cooker
  3. Place the other 3tbsp of flour onto a plate, season the lamb with some salt and pepper, and then coat the lamb with the flour
  4. Shake off excess flour and then place in a skillet with some oil, browning both sides
  5. Add to the slow cooker
  6. Place the wine in the skillet and scrape up any brown bits from the lamb, and cook for about 2 minutes
  7. Add the wine to the slow cooker and turn on the device
  8. Cook for 3 ½ hours on high or 7 hours on low
  9. Stir in the olives and cook for another 20 minutes and then stir in the lemon juice

You can serve without any other ingredients, as the potatoes give you the starchy carbs. If you want something to dip, try some crackers or bread.

Garlic Chicken with Couscous

Chicken tends to be the favor meat for slow cooker recipes. It’s possible because the slow cooker is guaranteed to cook the poultry all the way through and chicken just seems to work with everything! Here’s a delicious and easy recipe to try.

Ingredients:

1 chicken (whole), chopped into pieces and patted dry

1tbsp oil of choice

1 onion, sliced thinly

6 garlic cloves, halved

2tsp thyme, dried

1 cup of white wine, preferably dry

1/3 cup of flour

1 cup of couscous

Fresh parsley for serving

Method:

  1. Season your chicken with some salt and pepper and then place in a heated skillet with the oil, cooking in batches with the skin side down until golden brown on the outside
  2. Place the onion, garlic, and thyme into a slow cooker and add some salt and pepper
  3. Place the chicken on top with the skin up
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and wine together and then pour into the slow cooker
  5. Cook for 3 ½ hours on high and 7 hours on low
  6. Cook your couscous according to the packet instructions

Serve the chicken on the bed of couscous, with some parsley over the top. You can place the couscous in a bowl at the side of your garlic chicken so your family or guests can add as much of both as they want.

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork Sandwiches

The next meal to try involves pork. Pulled pork sandwiches are extremely popular, especially when you want a taste of the south. It’s time to make your own without any hassle, with this slow cooker recipe.

Ingredients:

¼ cup of light brown sugar

1tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)

3lbs of pork shoulder, boneless and cut into 4 pieces

1 ½ cups of apple cider vinegar

4 garlic cloves, crushed

8 sandwich rolls

BBQ sauce (you can make your own or buy from the store)

Method:

  1. Combine the sugar, pepper, and some seasoning in a bowl
  2. Rub the mixture into the pork and place in a slow cooker
  3. Mix the vinegar and garlic with half a cup of water in a bowl and pour over the port
  4. Cover and turn on the slow cooker, cooking for 3 ½ hours on high or 7 hours on low
  5. Pull the pork out and shred the meat
  6. Place the pulled pork into a bowl and soup the juices from the slow cooker to pour over the meat to moisten; you may not need all the liquid
  7. Pile the pork into your sandwich rolls and serve with the BBQ sauce.

You can keep the pork in a dish so your guests can create the sandwiches as they wish. This is also a dish that you can do in the oven if you don’t have enough time. You’ll need the oven on 350F and cook for about 2 hours in a covered dish.

Slow Cooked Salmon with a Bunch of Herbs

How about creating fish in your crock pot? Salmon is one of the best options. When you get it just right, the fish will be flaky and soft. Load it with herbs to create a world of flavors that come together with each mouthful.

Ingredients:

2tbsp oil of choice

1lb of potatoes, scrubbed and sliced

1 onion, sliced thinly

2 ribs of celery, sliced

2lbs of salmon fillets, bones removed

Salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

½ cup of dry white wine

1 cup of hot water

2tbsp herbs of choice, such as dill, parsley, basil and tarragon

2tbsp butter

Method:

  1. Drizzle a tbsp of oil at the bottom of your slow cooker
  2. Lay in the potatoes, onions, and celery across the bottom and press down with foil
  3. Leave the foil in, making sure it goes up the sides and sticks out of the crock pot
  4. Season the salmon with some salt and pepper
  5. Heat the rest of the oil in a skillet and brown the salmon on the flesh side for 2 minutes
  6. Place the salmon with the skin down on the foil in the crock pot
  7. Add your wine to the pan and boil, before pouring into the crock pot
  8. Cook the mixture for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until the salmon starts to flake, you can put on warm for several hours after this
  9. Lift the salmon out with the foil and place onto a platter
  10. Remove the vegetables and place around the fish on the platter
  11. Pour the liquid into your skillet and bring back to a boil, leaving like this until a quarter of the liquid evaporates
  12. Add your herbs and boil for a minute
  13. Add in the butter and swirl, taking off the heat
  14. Pour the sauce over the top of the vegetables and fish, serving immediately

You can replace the potatoes and celery with some bell peppers and carrots if you’d like. This helps to knock out some of the calories and can remove the starchy carbs that can leave some people feeling bloated.

Memphis Rubbed BBQ Brisket in a Slow Cooker

The next recipe will bring more tastes of the South to your kitchen. This is a popular dish with families that just can’t get enough of BBQ flavored dishes, and it’s so easy to make when you’re busy.

Ingredients:

4lbs of brisket, trimmed

3tbsp brown sugar

2tsp chili powder and paprika

1tsp salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried thyme

1/4tsp chipotle chili powder and ground cinnamon

Method:

  1. Mix all the herbs and spices together in a bowl
  2. Rub everything over your brisket; you’ll be able to smell the herbs and spices
  3. Wrap the brisket in foil and place in the slow cooker
  4. Cook on a low heat for 8-9 hours; you can cook on a high heat for half the time, but it doesn’t taste as cook
  5. Remove and slice the brisket against the grain
  6. Add back in with all the juices to keep warm until it’s ready to serve

This is one of those dishes that works perfectly for Sunday dinner. You’ll be able to smell it cooking throughout the day, making you ready for it when it comes to it. Don’t forget to serve with some vegetables and potatoes. You can also opt for a bed of wild rice instead.

Sweet and Sour Chicken, Slow Cooker Style

What about bringing a taste of the Orients to your slow cooker? This is often a dish ordered from your local Chinese restaurant, or you make it with lots of pans, trying to do multiple things at once. This recipe will help your chicken absorb the tastes and gives you more time to do the things you want around the house.

Ingredients:

1 1/2lbs of chicken breast, boneless and skinless

¼ cup of cornstarch

2tbsp oil of choice

1 red and green bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed and cut into chunks

20oz of pineapple chunks, reserving the juice

¼ cup of both brown sugar and rice vinegar

2tbsp soy sauce and ketchup

1tsp sesame seeds

Chopped cilantro or spring onions

Method:

  1. Chop the chicken into pieces and place in a large bag
  2. Add a quarter cup of the cornstarch and shake until the chicken is coated
  3. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the chicken, browning on each side and then put in the slow cooker
  4. Place the peppers and pineapple (without juice) into the slow cooker
  5. Whisk 2tbsp of cornstarch with 2tbsp of water until smooth, and then add the sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, and 2tbsp of the pineapple juice, whisking until smooth
  6. Pour over the vegetables and chicken in the crock pot
  7. Cook for 6 hours on a low heat or 3 hours on a high heat
  8. When serving, garnish with the cilantro and sesame seeds

Cook some rice to serve with this on the side. Your kids will think you’ve ordered a Chinese takeaway until they see the crock pot needs washing!

Crock Pot Beef Lasagne

Did you know that you could do a lasagne in the slow cooker? This is something that most of you will have avoided if you did realize you could do it. Well, it’s time to give it a go because it’s easier than you would think!

Ingredients:

1lb of beef mince, preferably lean or extra lean

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, smashed

1 can of tomato sauce

1 can of tomato paste

1 1/2tsp salt

1tsp oregano

12oz of cottage cheese

½ cup of parmesan or asiago cheese

12oz lasagne noodles, uncooked

16oz of mozzarella cheese, grated

Method:

  1. In a frying pan, cook the onion, garlic, and beef until the beef is browned
  2. Add the tomato sauce and paste oregano, and salt, cooking until warm
  3. Spoon a layer of meat to the bottom of the slow cooker and add two layers of lasagne noodles (you may need to break to fit in), and then top with the cheeses
  4. Repeat until you’ve used up all the ingredients or you have no space
  5. Cook for 4-5 hours on a low setting in the slow cooker; you can half the time on a high heat, but it doesn’t taste as good

Serve with a fresh side salad, full of tomatoes, spinach leaves, and bell peppers.

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