Healthy Slow Cooker Tips

Preschool & Older

In a hurry? Let a slow cooker do the work for you. Slow cookers make enough for leftovers, use less energy than ovens and leave you with only one pot to clean. Just add ingredients in the morning and come home to a healthy family meal, ready when you are.

Chopping vegetables

For the best results, cut food into equal-size pieces to allow them to cook evenly. Layer root veggies (like potatoes and carrots) on bottom of the pot and add meat on top.

Tip: Slow cookers are great for soups, stews, chili and roasts, but you can also set them overnight and wake up to ready-made breakfast or pack-and-go lunch!

Protein prep

Try skinless dark meat poultry (like chicken legs or thighs) instead of breasts, which can dry out in the slow cooker.

Tip: Avoid greasy cooking liquid by trimming visible fat and removing poultry skin before putting meat in the slow cooker.

Add dairy last

Wait until the last 15 minutes of cooking time to add dairy products (sour cream, milk, yogurt); otherwise, they’ll curdle and spoil the flavor.

How full should it be?

Slow cookers come in a range of sizes, measured in quarts. As a rule of thumb, they should be about 2/3 full. So if your family is big (or if you want leftovers), it is better to use a bigger pot than to overfill a smaller one.

Keep the lid on

Resist the urge to open the lid while your slow cooker is working … it'll just slow down your cook time.