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The crockpot is my best friend

From Shelby Moose, Crossing Rivers Health Registered Dietitian


Are any of these points true for you?

  • You're so busy sometimes that you don’t even remember what day of the week it is?
  • You ask someone 'is today Wednesday?' multiple times and have to endure the response of 'yep, all day!'
  • You love to eat, but don’t like to make food or clean up from cooking?
  • You roll your eyes at the thought of making supper after a long day? Because of this you have your local pizza joint's number memorized and you now consider the workers there to be a part of your extended family?
  • Most days, you have no supper plans and scramble to get food on the table before your family turns the dreaded hangry version of themselves?

I have a solution for you and you most likely already own it. Say hello to the crockpot (a.k.a. you're new best friend).

Here are three quick, delicious, easy, inexpensive recipes to try this busy fall season. Bonus: these recipes can be made ahead and frozen meaning all you have to do in the morning is:

  1. Make coffee
  2. Drink the coffee
  3. And finally, take bag out of freezer, place contents into crockpot, and turn it on.
  4. Boom. Supper.

Creamy Crockpot White Chicken Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (can be frozen)
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 24 oz. chicken broth (low sodium)
  • 2 - 15 oz. cans Great Northern beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 - 4 oz. cans diced green chiles (I do one hot, one mild)
  • 15 oz. can whole kernel corn drained
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin (optional)
  • 3/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Small handful fresh cilantro chopped
  • 4 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup half and half

Toppings

  • Sliced jalapenos
  • Sliced avocados
  • Dollop of sour cream
  • Minced fresh cilantro
  • Tortilla strips
  • Shredded Monterey Jack or Mexican cheese

Instructions

  1. Add chicken breasts to bottom of crockpot. Top with salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.
  2. Top with diced onion, minced garlic, Great Northern beans, green chiles, corn, chicken broth and cilantro. Stir.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
  4. Remove chicken to large mixing bowl, shred, then return to slow cooker.
  5. Add cream cheese and half and half, stir, then cover and cook on HIGH for 15 minutes, or until chili is creamy and slightly thickened.
  6. Stir well and serve with desired toppings.

Notes - To thicken chili even more, mix 1 tbsp of cornstarch into 2-3 tbsp of milk/half and half/chicken broth or water. Stir until cornstarch dissolves, then stir that mixture into the chili. Cook until thickened to your liking.

Adapted from www.thechunkychef.com/slow-cooker-creamy-white-chicken-chili/


Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas

Ingredients

  • 2-3 bell peppers (your favorite), sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 chicken breasts (can be frozen)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • taco seasoning packet (or make your own)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder (more or less per preference)
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika (optional)

Directions

  1. Place all the ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 5-6 hours.
  2. When it’s cooked, shred the meat and add it back to the pepper mixture and serve on warm tortillas and your favorite toppings.

Tips and variations:

  • If you like the bell peppers tender-crisp and not soft, wait until about the last 30 minutes to add them.
  • Cook near lesser times if you’d like to slice chicken vs. shredding.
  • Instead of tortillas, try serving over rice or quinoa instead.

Adapted from www.savingyoudinero.com/2012/05/28/crock-pot-chicken-fajitas/


Crockpot Beef Stew

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. beef chuck roast fat-trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery ribs chopped
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup pearled barley
  • 7 cups beef broth (not needed until day-of cooking if making ahead and freezing recipe)

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Cook on LOW for 8 hours or until carrots are soft.
  3. Remove the bay leaf and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Live Simply | https://livesimply.me/2014/11/20/freezer-crockpot-beef-stew/


If you are interested in making an appointment with Shelby, ask your primary care provider for a referral.