- 2 cups frozen onions, chopped
- 3 pounds lean boneless beef brisket, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 medium-sized cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
- ½ pound baby carrots, halved if large
- 8 small new potatoes, halved
- 16 prunes, pitted*
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 5 teaspoons honey
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoons black pepper
- ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup canned beef broth
- 1 tablespoon flour (optional)
Place the onion, beef, garlic, sweet potatoes, carrots, new potatoes, prunes, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of honey in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add the salt, pepper, cinnamon, and broth; stir well.
Cook on low for 7-8 hours. About 5 minutes before serving, stir in the remaining lemon juice and honey; cover and cook on low for 5 minutes.**
11 Slow-Cooker Soup and Stew Recipes to Warm Your Body and Soul
There are so many reasons we love using a slow-cooker. It's a master at breaking down and tenderizing tougher cuts of meat, such as beef chuck, which is used in our recipe for Slow-Cooker Sicilian-Style Beef Stew. Over the course of four to eight hours, these multicookers can slowly but surely build flavor, as demonstrated with the absolutely beautiful Slow-Cooker Persian Lamb Stew pictured here. Plus, slow cooker recipes are one-pot meals, which makes for easy clean-up, and we especially like that you can prepare them ahead of time. Gone are the days of entertaining friends and rushing to put the main course together at the last minute. With our crowd-friendly slow-cooker recipes, you'll be asked to host again and again.
One of our favorite warm and cozy slow-cooker recipes is this Italian-inspired Slow-Cooker Ribollita. It's a hearty vegetable stew that brings together four cups of Lacinato kale, zucchini, chopped tomato, and cranberry beans. It's served with toasted bread and plenty of grated cheese. It's a guaranteed winner, because no one has ever said no to a dish made with those savory ingredients.
Another vegetarian slow-cooker winner is Slow-Cooker White-Bean Soup, which we especially love to make in fall. Cubed butternut squash is accented with springs of sage and garlic, and float alongside beans, leeks, and spinach. If you're a carnivore craving beef, try our take on classic Cuban beef stew&mdashSlow-Cooker Ropa Vieja. Tender flank steak gets plenty of flavor from capers, Spanish olives, tomatoes, cumin seeds, and jalapeño pepper.
From spiced fish curry to a hearty beef stew, enjoy these slow-cooker recipes during the colder months.
Healthy Slow Cooker Freezer Meals
Mastering slow cooker freezer meals was a total game changer for me in terms of meal prep. Combining the simplicity of the slow cooker with the convenience of make-ahead freezer meals makes dinner time a breeze, especially for busy nights. Just imagine opening up your freezer and having a variety of ready to go slow cooker freezer meals waiting, - no last minute grocery store trips, take out, or cereal for dinner. Just pop a prepared recipe in the slow cooker in the morning, pair it with a quick cooking grain and some veggies, and dinner is ready. It couldn't be easier.
Here are some general tips for creating slow cooker freezer meals.
- Prep the Same Way: When you are making a slow cooker recipe to freeze, follow the same preparation instructions as the original slow cooker recipe. That means leave ingredients raw that are meant to be added to the slow cooker raw and brown/cook any ingredients that are meant to be cooked before being added to the slow cooker. You are preparing the recipe in the same exact same way except you are adding it a freezer bag instead of the slow cooker.
- Use High Quality Freezer Bags for Easy Storage: Since you will be freezing most of these meals for up to 3-4 months, you want a high quality freezer bag that will last, prevent freezer burn, and won't leak. It's worth spending a little extra to avoid a messy freezer or ruined meal.
- Proper Order: When adding the ingredients to your freezer bags, you want to start with any beans or grains. Next add the veggies, sauce/broth/liquid, and spices. Lastly add the meat. This order tends to yeild the best results in my opinion, but don't worry too much if you use a different order.
- Freezer Storage: There are two keys to storing slow cooker freezer meals. First make sure to remove any excess air in the bag before sealing. Removing the air significantly decreases freezer burn. Secondly, store the bags sideways so that you can store multiple bags easily in your fridge. Once you pack everything into your freezer bag, seal it and lay it down sideways to freeze. I also recommend labeling your meals and including the recommended cook time and any extra instructions.
- Defrost Overnight: You want to defrost your meal before dumping it into the slow cooker. The easiest way to do this is by defrosting it in the fridge overnight the night before you plan on preparing the meal. You can also defrost in the microwave or a bowl of cold water if you need things to move more quickly. It's fine if it isn't fully defrosted when you add it to the slow cooker, but it should be mostly defrosted. When cooking the meal, you may have to add 1-2 hours to the cooking time if it isn't fully defrosted.
- Consider Frozen Ingredients: Lastly since you are freezing these meals, frozen ingredients can be a way to save time and money. Frozen veggies and proteins work great in these recipes.
Now that we know how to freeze slow cooker meals, here are some of my favorite slow cooker freezer meals.
So how do you cook a beef heart in the slow cooker? The detailed instructions are listed in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
First, you cut the heart into 1-inch cubes and place them in your slow cooker. Then you add beef broth and spices.
Now cover the crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours.
The next step is to strain cooking the liquids into a saucepan and place the meat back in the slow cooker, cover, and set to warm.
The final step is to cook the liquids with some butter until they reduce into a rich gravy. Serve the meat with the gravy, garnished with parsley.
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What a great collection of recipes! Thanks for including mine
Thanks so much for including my recipes!! :)
I absolutely love this collection of Weight Watcher resources! Thanks for including some of my recipes! Can’t wait to explore your blog :)
Holy cow Sadie, this is AWESOME.
Thank you soooo much for this information. I can not afford weight watchers and this is very helpful.
Thanks for sharing this! My Mom is doing WW and I am trying to eat healthier as well, so I am going to share this with her. Great post!
Thanks so much for this information. And for telling us about Shrinking On a Budget too. I’m using your Weight Watchers for free post and the Shrinking On a Budget Meal Plan now and it really allows me to do Weight Watchers affordably. I can’t thank you enough since I really can’t swing meeting fees right now.
i cant tell you how much I appreciate your website. I cant afford the fees at weight watchers either. i am disabled and just cant afford it. I really need to lose weight as a year ago I was in the hospital with blood clots in both lungs. I have fibromyalgia and need to lose for my health. I don’t want to die at 56. I don’t even have a printer so I am trying to write all this info down. Where do I find Shrinking On A Budget Meal Plan? I am computer challenged so hope its easy to look up. Again thankyou!
Sadie, Thank you so much for including my Stuffed French Toast recipe in your yummy collection!
Best of luck to you,
So much useful info. Thank you!
I have no will power for something so tedious. But I can use them to change eating habits and hopefully that leads to me keeping better track of what I am consuming.
Thank you for helping to make a difference in the lives of many people.
Need to know how many points there are in eggs? Had three this morning with 1/4 c moz cheeese, 2 T greek yogurt, 2 T lean ham cooked with 1/2 tsp of butter added 2 T Salsa on top of all of this any hope I stayed within my limit?
Other Best Slow Cooker Recipes
There's more to your slow cooker than you think! Did you know you could cook hash browns, casseroles, chow mein and mac and cheese in there? Well you can, and these super delicious dishes are also some of the best slow cooker recipes you'll ever try. These dishes are ideal when you're oven's alread tied up with other dishes and you're still in need of a side dish or more to the meal.
For even more easy slow cooker recipes, don't miss our Ultimate Slow Cooker Recipe Guide with 268 recipes for a slow cooker.
Fifty Weight Watchers SmartPoints Slow Cooker Recipes
Fifty Weight Watchers SmartPoints Slow Cooker Recipes for an effortless dinner that your family will love. Recipes for chicken, beef, pork, vegetarian meals, and more.
Fifty Weight Watchers SmartPoints Slow Cooker Recipes because there is nothing better than getting home after a long day and having dinner ready and waiting in the slow cooker!
For anyone on the Weight Watchers® SmartPoints™ program, the slow cooker is a great way to make flavorful, easy meals that don't require hours in the kitchen plus they provide great leftovers for easy lunches and dinners. These fifty slow cooker recipes with Weight Watchers® SmartPoints™ are some of my favorites and the ones I make most often in my own kitchen.
For my personal meal planning (and the Slender Kitchen meal plans), I love making a slow cooker recipe on Sunday and recommend giving it a try. First of all, it means that you can have a delicious and healthy Sunday supper with your family without spending hours in the kitchen. Since free time on the weekend is precious, not having to worry about dinner makes the whole weekend more enjoyable. Additionally, I love having leftovers for at least two healthy lunches during the week. I am constantly using leftovers from my slow cooker recipes to create quick and easy lunch time wraps, quesadillas, soups, tacos, and salads. It makes packing my own healthy lunches much easier.
Another reason I love making Weight Watchers Slow Cooker recipes and healthy slow cooker recipes is that I can come home after a long day and know that dinner is ready and waiting. Usually I will mix up everything I need for the recipe the night before and store it in the fridge. Then before I head out of the house in the morning, I will dump it into the slow cooker and let it cook all day. When I get home the house smells amazing and dinner is ready. To make things super easy, usually I will prepare the side dishes on the weekend or use something quick like frozen rice or quinoa to make dinner as simple as possible. Usually I can have everything on the table in less than 10 minutes.
- , 227 calories, 3 SmartPoints™ , 226 calories, 5 SmartPoints™ , 204 calories, 3 SmartPoints™ , 319 calories, 7 SmartPoints™ , 225 calories, 5 SmartPoints™ , 208 calories, 2 SmartPoints™ , 246 calories, 4 SmartPoints™ , 189 calories, 3 SmartPoints™ , 201 calories, 4 SmartPoints™ , 222 calories, 3 SmartPoints™
- , 183 calories, 2 SmartPoints™ , 165 calories, 2 SmartPoints™ , 269 calories, 6 SmartPoints™ , 233 calories, 3 SmartPoints™ , 237 calories, 3 SmartPoints™ , 215 calories, 4 SmartPoints™ , 331 calories, 6 SmartPoints™ , 196 calories, 3 SmartPoints™ , 213 calories, 4 SmartPoints™ , 257 calories, 5 SmartPoints™
- , 221 calories, 3 SmartPoints™ , 223 calories, 4 SmartPoints™ , 224 calories, 3 SmartPoints™ , 256 calories, 5 SmartPoints™ , 233 calories, 6 SmartPoints™ , 190 calories, 3 SmartPoints™ , 208 calories, 4 SmartPoints™ , 205 calories, 3 SmartPoints™ , 242 calories, 3 SmartPoints™ , 268 calories, 5 SmartPoints™
- , 228 calories, 4 SmartPoints™ , 217 calories, 3 SmartPoints™ , 173 calories, 3 SmartPoints™ , 209 calories, 3 SmartPoints™ , 214 calories, 4 SmartPoints™ , 317 calories, 5 SmartPoints™ , 262 calories, 7 SmartPoints™ , 183 calories, 4 SmartPoints™ , 284 calories, 5 SmartPoints™ , 213 calories, 5 SmartPoints™
- , 226 calories, 6 SmartPoints™ , 92 calories, 2 SmartPoints™ , 236 calories, 7 SmartPoints™ , 325 calories, 5 SmartPoints™ , 278 calories, 5 SmartPoints™ , 62 calories, 2 SmartPoints™ , 145 calories, 4 SmartPoints™ , 292 calories, 7 SmartPoints™ , 111 calories, 3 SmartPoints™ , 129 calories, 4 SmartPoints™
Meal Plan Members: See recipes you think your family will love? Consider adding them to your Recipe Queue or Favorites.
This post was originally shared in Janaury 2016 but has been updated to include new recipes and ideas.
- 2 pounds beef stew meat, diced into 1 inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon no salt herb seasoning
- 5 potatoes
- 4 carrots
- 1 yellow onion
- ¾ cup tomato juice
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
- 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced into rings
The night before, cut up potatoes and carrots and slice onions. Put all the vegetables in a plastic container filled with water overnight.
Also the night before, marinate the stew meat with Worcestershire sauce and herb seasoning in a plastic storage bag. Place in the refrigerator.
In the morning, put the raw beef in the bottom of your slow cooker. Drain the vegetables, and pour in on top of the beef. Pour in the stewed tomatoes and tomato juice. If you like your stew a little spicy, add a chopped jalapeno pepper or two.
Turn the slow cooker on high for 1 hour. Then, set your slow cooker to low for 6-8 hours. The beef will cook completely, and will be very tender.
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Happy Sunday, y&rsquoall. I can&rsquot think of a more perfect day to post this recipe for Slow Cooker Beef Stew. It&rsquos been pouring cats and dogs out! I promised this recipe so I am chaining myself to my desk until I am done writing this post for ya! (Unless of course a sweet little girl named Pepper asks me to play dolls with her. Spoiler Alert: She did. about 7,000 times.) Anyhow, I&rsquom super excited about this recipe. I really didn&rsquot think about doing a Beef Stew for the blog until a few weeks ago. I truly never have too much of a plan when it comes to food here. I&rsquom a complete unorganized mess, but I like to think that&rsquos why I am able to be so creative in the kitchen, I mean&hellip that makes me feel better.
This is how Beef Stew made it&rsquos way to the blog before some other really yummy things that I am looking forward to. About two or three weeks ago on a chilly Sunday evening. It was about 5 o&rsquoclock in the evening and Eric declared that all he wanted in life was Beef Stew. Um, you don&rsquot just whip some stew up, babe. It&rsquos just not possible. I felt kind of bad because he&rsquos been working so much and so hard lately and I really like to thank him with his favorite meals. (I say thank you with food, it&rsquos fine!) I decided that while I may not be able to make homemade stew I can totally figure out something stew-ish. We have a Culver&rsquos here in town and I drove over there because I really thought they had a Beef Stew for one of their soups, but nope. So here&rsquos what I did. I ordered their beef pot roast sandwich with mashed potatoes with a bowl of vegetable soup. I came home and mixed the Beef Pot roast with the Vegetable Soup and I plopped in on some mashed potatoes and gave it to him. I was pretty proud of myself for this Beef Stew-ish type meal in under 30 minutes. Although it was not made in my kitchen and with all my love. He was pretty pleased, but asked if I could still make stew soon. Of course, within a couple days I had my own pot o&rsquo stew going for him. And so this version of Beef Stew was born. I basically combined my mom&rsquos trusty beef stew recipe with my Sunday Pot Roast recipe. It was a delicious marriage.
I love a good Beef Stew. I really do. It&rsquos just perfect for the fall and winter months ahead. Is it just me or does anyone else feel like they are living in Medieval times when they eat a hearty bowl of stew? It&rsquos just one of those meals that has been made for so, so, so many years. It&rsquos historical, really. The original recipe is what my mom has always made, but I added a few extra things because I am me. Ha! It&rsquos super simple and super delicious. It&rsquoll take ya a few minutes to prep and then you throw it all into the slow cooker and let it do it&rsquos thing all day long. The meat becomes as tender as can be and the flavor is fantastic.
Eric and my mom both think I am absolutely NUTS because here it is&hellip I don&rsquot add potatoes to my Beef Stew. I just don&rsquot like the way they taste in stew with the beef maybe? I am not sure. I just don&rsquot enjoy it. Whenever I have Beef Stew I always pick the potatoes out and fling&rsquom at people. (Just kiddin) In conclusion, my Beef Stew is not made with potatoes and that&rsquos just the way it is.
I step it up though and I serve it over a heaping pile of mashed potatoes.. specifically my Homestyle Cauli-Tater Mash. I served this stew and tater mash in a big ol bowl to each of them the other night and they took it all back, but Eric still thinks y&rsquoall are gonna think I&rsquom a nut job for telling you to make a Beef Stew without potatoes. Even though, he said it&rsquos the best dang stew he&rsquos ever had. I don&rsquot know why this surprises him so much. I make pot roast and I don&rsquot add the potatoes ever either. I think it&rsquos just that I actually told him that there are no potatoes in it that he became bothered so much by it. Anyway, I hope ya&rsquoll enjoy it! It&rsquos super yummy and you&rsquoll love it. I know it! Serve it over a pile of some mashed taters and thank me later.
Let&rsquos getcha in the kitchen!
Chop about 4 ribs of celery into chunky pieces.
Chop and peel 4 large carrots into chunky pieces.
Roughly chop a few cloves of garlic.
and finally roughly chop an onion into chunky pieces. Perfection is not needed in Beef Stew. At least not in my Beef Stew world&hellip It&rsquos a rustic dish and I think that&rsquos why I like it so much!
Now take a Chuck Roast and cut into bite size pieces. (Trimming the fat as best you can as you go)
Sprinkle some kosher salt on top &lsquoo the meat and some pepper. I&rsquom pretty generous with the kosher salt. I know I shouldn&rsquot be, but I am. My sister told me the other day she forgot to buy salt at the store one day and hasn&rsquot used it in weeks now. I audibly gasped at such a thing.
Add a few tablespoons of white flour.
Stir until the beef is coated completely.
Also, some of you may ask why I don&rsquot sear the meat first. I do sometimes. You can too obviously. Honestly, I taste the slightest difference&hellip. and the slightest difference does not make me want to wash another dish. It&rsquos my blog and I&rsquoll break aaaaaall the rules if I wanna! haha!
Add all the chopped up veggies and a few sprigs of thyme. Yes, the thyme is important.
Add a small can of tomato sauce, a cup&rsquoa low sodium beef broth, a tablespoon of brown sugar (white sugar will work too), and a few tablespoons of worcestire sauce! (Don&rsquot forget 2 bay leaves. I actually did until about an hour into cooking time hence no photo of&rsquom!)
Stir it up real good and pop that cover on the slow cooker! Cook on low for 8-9 hours or High for 5-6. &lsquoSlow & Low&rsquo results in much more tender beef.
And come home to or back to this pot full of yum.
Now add some corn and stir it in.
Hands down the worst photo I&rsquove ever taken. Why didn&rsquot I grab a different colored bowl? Oh well. You win and you lose sometimes. This is 3 tablespoons of flour and 3 tablespoons of water. Whisk it together well. You&rsquoll add this to the stew to thicken it up a bit and give it that stew-y feel.
Actually, this might be the worst photo I&rsquove ever taken of food. Haha! Some things just don&rsquot photograph well. Add in the flour and water mixture and stir really well into the stew until it feels thickened up. Continue to cook the stew after this for about 30 minutes. This will cook down the raw flour taste. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs. You could also do what my mom used to like to do.. leave the bay leaves in and if your bowl has a bay leaf you&rsquore the lucky one who gets to do the dishes! (This was not a fun game. I feel like I always got the bay leaf.)
Ta-da! All done. Oh my gosh. It&rsquos just so pretty and so delicious. (And yes I&rsquom using these bowls again. I LOVE&rsquoM!)
And Yeeeeep, piled high on top&rsquoo my Homestyle Cauli-Tater Mash! Delicious perfection.
&ldquothe perfect bite&rdquo shot is one of my favorite things.
I hope you love this hearty stew as much as we do. Make it soon, y&rsquoall!
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Slow Cooker Beef Stew is the perfect comforting dish on a cold winter day. Best of all, this recipe is a easy set and forget meal. Made with tender meat, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes and celery.
Slow Cooker Homemade Beef Stew makes the perfect comforting dish on a cold day. Made with tender beef, potatoes, carrots, stew and sweet potatoes.
For the beef
1 1/2 - 2 pounds beef chuck roast preferred (or beef stew meat) trimmed and cut into 1 - 2 inch chunks
1/3 cup flour (use gluten free flour or arrowroot starch if needed)
1-2 teaspoons sea salt (to taste)
For the stew
1 medium onion, cut into large chunks
6 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or red wine
3-4 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch chunks (or can use about 10 small baby potatoes with skin on - cut in half)
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1 inch chunks (leave out if desired)
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into slices
1-2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning (or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
4-5 cups beef broth, homemade or low sodium
1 star anise (optional but adds SO much depth and flavor)
water as needed to cover the vegetables
1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
more salt and pepper to taste
To thicken stew : Make a slurry with 2 Tablespoons flour (all purpose, gluten free or arrowroot powder)+ 3 tablespoons cool water
- For the beef In a large zip-top bag, combine flour, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning. Add beef and shake until well coated.
- Browning the meat: (feel free to skip to step 5 and add all the ingredients to the slow cooker instead)
- In a large skillet on medium high heat, add cooking oil and brown the meat on all sides. Meat will not be cooked through. (Be sure not to crowd the skillet - you may have to work in batches). Transfer browned meat into a large 6 quart slow cooker.
- Put the uncleaned skillet back on the stove and add onions and garlic. Saute for a minute or two then add the balsamic vinegar and tomato paste until just hot enough to deglaze the pan, about 1 minute. Pour into slow cooker over the beef.
- Add the potatoes, sweet potato, carrots, celery, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, beef broth, (star anise if using) and stir to combine. If there is not enough liquid to cover the vegetables, add water - only as much as needed.
- Cook on low for 5 to 7 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours (stir about half way through), until potatoes are tender and meat is cooked through. (Times may vary depending on how hot your slow cooker runs - check and cook longer or shorter if necessary)
- Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper if necessary (discard star anise if used). Serve hot with fresh parsley.
- Optional: To thicken stew: Make a slurry by whisking 2 tablespoons of flour (all purpose, cornstarch, gluten free flour or arrowroot powder) with 3 tablespoons of cool water. 20-30 minutes before serving, stir the slurry into the slow cooker, set to HIGH. Stew should thicken within 20-30 minutes. If it does not thicken, your slow cooker may not be hot enough so you will have to transfer to a large pot and heat on the stove if you want to thicken the stew. However, the stew will thicken up on its own overnight in the fridge even without the cornstarch slurry - the slurry is just a solution for immediate results.
Let cool, then store in refrigerator overnight or until ready to serve. This stew improves in flavor if made at least 1 day ahead.