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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.