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15 Slow cooker recipes that will make spring cooking easier

Heather Barnett is a freelance writer and foodie whose work has been featured in blogs, websites, magazines, and TV and radio ads. She spends her free time relaxing with her soulmate, Keith; her dog, Mosby "The Fly Slayer;" and Felix th...

These recipes will prove that slow cookers are for springtime too

If you put that slow cooker away when winter was over, get it back out, young lady! Slow cookers are perfect for warmer weather because you're not standing over a hot stove cooking.

All you need are some great, lighter recipes with seasonal ingredients to make a tasty meal you just threw together (almost literally).

1. Springtime Crock-Pot minestrone recipe

These recipes will prove that slow cookers are for springtime too

Image: How Sweet It Is

Make minestrone the easy way using fresh spinach, asparagus and carrots in this springtime slow cooker minestrone.

2. Miso split pea soup recipe

These recipes will prove that slow cookers are for springtime too

Image: Never Home Maker

This playful Asian twist on split pea soup uses seasonal peas, carrots and garlic for an out-of-this-world vegan soup that's perfect for spring.

3. Crock-Pot collard greens recipe

These recipes will prove that slow cookers are for springtime too

Image: A Palatable Pastime

Few dishes get Southern hearts thumping like a perfectly cooked plate of collard greens (as long as there's pepper vinegar nearby).

4. Slow cooker beef and broccoli recipe

These recipes will prove that slow cookers are for springtime too

Image: Damn Delicious

Skip the stir-frying for this damned delicious slow-cooked beef and broccoli. This looks so good I'd venture to say you may never bother with takeout again.

5. Light turkey (or chicken) and corn chowder recipe

These recipes will prove that slow cookers are for springtime too

Image: Cookin' Canuck

With all the flavor and half the calories, this corn chowder isn't weighed down with cream, which together with the seasonal spring ingredients like corn and spring onions, means it's also a prime candidate for soups you can eat when the weather gets warmer.

6. Slow cooker strawberry-rhubarb jam recipe

These recipes will prove that slow cookers are for springtime too

Image: The Cottage Mama

No need to labor all day over the stove to make this strawberry and rhubarb jam. Just put everything in the slow cooker, and this amazing toast-topper will be ready in no time.

7. Rustic chickpea stew with apricots and turnip recipe

These recipes will prove that slow cookers are for springtime too

Image: Simple Bites

Clear out some leftover pantry items, and make a refreshingly different vegetarian chickpea stew at the same time.

8. Slow cooker lemon-thyme chicken recipe

These recipes will prove that slow cookers are for springtime too

Image: The Healthy Foodie

Cooking the whole chicken in a slow cooker on a bed of chopped, fresh-picked leeks, lemon, garlic and fresh thyme makes this slow cooker lemon-thyme chicken one deliciously juicy and flavorful spring chicken.

9. Asian-fusion slow cooker pulled pork tacos recipe

These recipes will prove that slow cookers are for springtime too

Image: Family Spice

Pork roast is slow-cooked in honey and hoisin sauce until it is fork tender and served as pork tacos with fresh coleslaw and avocado.

10. Slow cooker carrot-ginger soup recipe

These recipes will prove that slow cookers are for springtime too

Image: Homemaker's Habitat

If you just picked up a big bunch of carrots at the farmers market, try this tasty carrot and ginger soup to help you transition into spring.

11. Slow cooker fennel chicken with orange recipe

These recipes will prove that slow cookers are for springtime too

Image: Empowered Sustenance

Fennel and orange will make this healthy slow cooker fennel chicken a regular on your family's dinner table.

12. Crock-Pot chicken tagine recipe

These recipes will prove that slow cookers are for springtime too

Image: The Black Peppercorn

Step outside of your normal ho-hum dinner routine, and cook yourself this easy variation on this beloved North African staple, chicken tagine.

13. Slow cooker quinoa brownies recipe

These recipes will prove that slow cookers are for springtime too

Image: My Whole Food Life

Eating lighter doesn't mean you can't treat yourself right. These irresistible quinoa brownies are a healthy way to sneak something sweet every once in a while without blowing your getting-ready-for-bathing-suit-weather diet.

14. Slow cooker chicken and mushroom pot pie recipe

These recipes will prove that slow cookers are for springtime too

Image: One Lovely Life

This chicken and mushroom pot pie, topped with puffed pastry instead of dense pie crust, isn't as heavy as the comfort food we're used to and can be prepared the night before for a quick, easy meal the next day.

15. Crock-Pot pho recipe

These recipes will prove that slow cookers are for springtime too

Image: Steamy Kitchen

Great pho needs to simmer for hours for the best flavor, but a slow cooker can create those same deep flavors without having to toil away all day in the kitchen. Better yet, you get to top this Crock-Pot beef pho off with heaps of fresh veggies when it's ready.

More springtime recipes

Light, fresh, springtime pasta with pea pesto
Sunday dinner: Lemon chicken and spring veggie rice bowls
Spring fennel salad with avocado and salmon

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