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!
1. Slow-Cooker Chicken Pho
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.
2. Slow Cooker Blackened Chicken
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.
3. Crispy Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken
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.
4. Slow Cooker Indian Chicken
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.
5. Crispy Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
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.
6. Crispy Slow Cooker Mediterranean Chicken
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.
7. Slow Cooker Chicken and Chickpea Tagine
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.