19 Healthy Slow Cooker Soup Recipes

January is National Soup Month. The fact that Soup Month takes place during the chilly month of January is no surprise, but you may be surprised by this healthy roundup of¬†soup recipes made easily in the slow cooker. No fuss, no muss! From Barley Bean Soup and Smoky Chili with Sweet Potatoes to Chicken Ramen Noodle Soup, let the slow cooker do the work for you, especially when you’re outside shoveling snow ūüôā

Healthy Slow Cooker Soups via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #soup #slowcooker

I do most of my hibernating in winter, but when there’s snow on the ground, I strap on my snowshoes and walk through the network of trails and farms near my house. Sadly, here in Boston, it’s currently rainy, wet, and cold, but I’m still craving soup.

A few years ago, during one of our mega New England snow storms, I created the¬†most warming¬†new recipe for Barley and Bean Soup, and I wanted to share it with all of you again today along with a dozen-plus other slow cooker soup sensations. Most of the recipes that I gathered from my fellow food and nutrition bloggers are plant based—made with beans, whole grains, squash, and sweet potatoes—but there are some chicken recipes peppered throughout as well. Let me know which recipe whets your family’s appetite the most. Personally, I’m not sure where to begin.

Healthy Slow Cooker Soups via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #soup #slowcooker

Smoky Chili with Sweet Potatoes from Sharon Palmer at The Plant-Powered Blog

Slow Cooker Black Bean, Sweet Potato, and Quinoa Chili from Maria at Halsa Nutrition

Slow Cooker Black Eyed Pea and Pork Chili from Katie at Mom’s Kitchen Handbook

Healthy Slow Cooker Soups via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #soup #slowcooker

Slow Cooker Potato Leek Soup from Kara at The Foodie Dietitian

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Vegetable Chili from Lauren at Bite of Health Nutrition

Tuscan Chicken and Sorghum Soup from Holley at Holley Grainger Nutrition

Healthy Slow Cooker Soups via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #soup #slowcooker

Slow Cooker Barley Bean Soup from Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen

Hearty Crockpot Mung Bean Soup with Vegetables from Sarah at Family. Food. Fiesta.

Slow Cooker Sorghum and Black Bean Chili from Kathy and Tracee at Triad to Wellness

Healthy Slow Cooker Soups via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #soup #slowcooker

Smoked Paprika Sweet Potato Chili from Elizabeth at Shaw’s Simple Swaps

Slow Cooker Potato Leek Soup from Jill at Just the Right Byte

Chicken Chili from Marissa at New Kid on the Guac

Healthy Slow Cooker Soups via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #soup #slowcooker

Yellow Split Pea Daal from Dixya at Food, Pleasure, Health

Spicy Winter Coconut Lemongrass Squash Soup from Ginger at Champagne Nutrition

Quinoa and Bean Chili from Kitty at Gluten-Free Slow Cooking

Healthy Slow Cooker Soups via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #soup #slowcooker

Slow Cooker Chicken Ramen Noodle Soup from Ann at My Menu Pal

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore from Dana at Dana White Nutrition

Healthy Slow Cooker Soups via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #soup #slowcooker

Gluten-Free Minestrone from Kelli at Hungry Hobby

Slow Cooker BBQ Chili from Amanda at The Nutritionist Reviews

I’m curious about something: If you live in a warm climate, do you still crave soup in the winter when you’re running around in shorts and a T shirt? My inquiring mind wants to know…

Slow Cooker Chicken Thigh Hot Pot + Tips for Using Maple Syrup in Everyday Cooking {Podcast Episode #278}

There are many more to ways to savor sweet maple syrup beyond the traditional topping for pancakes. Try this sweet and spicy chicken soup for your next family dinner featuring vibrant flavors from pure maple syrup, crushed red chili flakes, and five-spice powder.

Slow Cooker Chicken Thigh Hot Pot via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #maplesyrup

New England is known for a lot of things: gorgeous fall foliage, winning sports teams, and naturally sweet and impossible-to-resist pure maple syrup.

Maple Cookbook via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

So when Maple: 100 Sweet and Savory Recipes Featuring Pure Maple Syrup (Quirk Books, 2015) by Katie Webster landed in the Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen, we were more excited than two kids in a candy store as we poured through its sweet pages!

Maple cookbook featured on Cooking with the Moms radio podcast via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

You can hear all about Maple, get tips for using maple syrup in everyday cooking, learn the backstory on how maple trees are tapped, and discover Katie’s formula for using maple syrup in place of sweeteners like granulated sugar on this week’s Cooking with the Moms radio podcast. Katie joins us from her Vermont home where she cooks up new dishes each week for her food blog, Healthy Seasonal Recipes.

Click the play button above to listen, and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to our show on iTunes

And read on for Katie’s recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Thigh Hot Pot and news on how you can enter to WIN a copy of Maple.

Read more

Cook Once and Eat Twice – Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Becomes Pork Soft Tacos

Slow cooked pulled pork is a favorite recipe here at The Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen. Made with lean pork, bell pepper, onion, carrot, and BBQ sauce, it’s delicious and nutritious … and the recipe always makes enough for leftovers, which can easily be turned into these Pork Soft Tacos.

Pork Soft Tacos via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Cook Once and Eat Twice is the theme of this month’s Recipe Redux cooking challenge, so we took our recipe for Pulled Pork Primavera Sandwiches and morphed it into Pork Soft Tacos.

Read more

It Just Keeps Snowing and Slow Cooker Barley & Bean Soup

Too cold to think about anything BUT a warming bowl of soup? Try my meatless yet oh-so hearty (and healthy) slow cooker Barley & Bean Soup.

Barley & Bean Soup via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

It’s been a wild few days here in New England. With 20 inches of snow on the ground and more in the forecast, I’ve been cooking up some nutritious new soup recipes for my resident snow blowers, Tim (crazy dad removing snow from roof) and Simon (helpful teen making sure crazy dad doesn’t fall off ladder).

Snow blowing in New England

Just another day in the neighborhood … Read more

A Recipe for Slow Cooker Sweet & Hearty Beef Stew … Plus, Go Red Sox {October Recipe Redux Challenge}

When it comes to sports, The Meal Makeover Moms are Yin and Yang. Janice is an avid sports fan and wouldn’t miss a Red Sox or Patriot’s game for the world. Liz on the other hand is a fair-weather fan … at best! But when it comes to the World Series, we’re all in.

The Meal Makeover Moms

As the World Series begins tonight, the goal for family meals this week will be fast, easy, and comforting, which is why we were excited about this month’s Recipe Redux cooking challenge featuring slow cooker creations.

Slow cooker beef stew

Our Sweet & Hearty Beef  Stew recipe takes just five minutes to assemble, and then the slow cooker does the rest of the work for you. As Red Sox Nation cozies up to watch their team battle it out with the Cardinals, steamy bowls filled with a mix of lean stew beef, sweet carrots, and mushrooms are guaranteed to hit the spot.

Sweet and Hearty Beef Stew

Makes 6 Servings

Looking for a home-run recipe for your family? Try this slow cooker beef stew with three veggies: mushrooms, carrots, and peas. Serve over egg noodles (fun for kids), brown rice, or with a whole wheat roll and a salad.

  • 8 ounces presliced mushrooms
  • 2 pounds lean stew meat, trimmed of fat
  • One 16-ounce bag baby carrots
  • One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 cup frozen petite peas, thawed

1.  Place the mushrooms in the bottom of a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. Top with the stew meat and carrots.  In a bowl, mix together the tomato sauce, maple syrup, and vinegar, and salt and pour evenly over the meat and vegetables. Cover and cook on low until the meat and carrots are tender, 6 to 7 hours.

2.  When done, maintain the slow cooker on low heat. In a bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until well combined. Gently stir the cornstarch mixture and the peas into the slow cooker and cover until the liquid thickens and the peas heat through, about 5 minutes.

Nutrition Information per Serving:  350 calories, 11g fat (4g saturated), 420mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 32g protein, 220% vitamin A, 15% vitamin C, 24% iron

Beef Stew

A Recipe for Barbecue Lamb Sliders with Cucumber Topping … And a Giveaway for a Breville 7-Quart Slow Cooker {GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED}

As promised, as a follow up to ¬†my recent post about the lamb dinner I hosted in my kitchen last week, I’m sharing a recipe I created for Barbecue Lamb Sliders.¬†I developed this family-friendly, super-easy recipe for LeanonLamb.com, and I’m happy to report that my daughter, Leah, is a huge fan. The sliders were also a hit with my lamb dinner foodie friends, and it’s a recipe I know I’ll make again and again.

Barbecue Lamb Sliders via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Traditional coleslaw would be a great side dish … or you can try our Carrot Kohlrabi Slaw once kohlrabi is in season.

Barbecue Lamb Sliders with Cucumber Topping

Makes 10 Servings 

I love my slow cooker when I’m cooking for a crowd. The reason: the prep work is done ahead of time which means I can spend more time with friends. This super-simple recipe provides a great source of protein and immune-boosting vitamin A thanks to the whole grain slider buns, fresh and flavorful cucumber topping, and the lamb, of course.

  • 2¬ľ¬†pounds boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of fat
  • 1 medium onion, cut in 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 cup all-natural barbecue sauce
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded on the large holes of a box grater (1 cup)
  • 1 cup pitted prunes
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large English cucumber (12 ounces), seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup 0%-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 20 whole wheat slider buns, lightly toasted

1. Add the lamb, onion, barbecue sauce, carrot, prunes, vinegar, and salt to a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker, and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low until the lamb is tender, 7 hours.

2. For the topping, combine the cucumber, yogurt, dill, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl, and set aside in the refrigerator.

3. When the meat is done, use two forks to pull the mixture into shredded pieces. You can do this right in the slow cooker crock. Divide the lamb evenly between the slider buns and serve with cucumber topping.

Nutrition Information per Serving (2 sliders):  490 calories, 17 g fat (5g saturated), 590mg sodium, 56g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 31g protein, 30% vitamin A, 10% vitamin C, 10% calcium, 25% iron

Print Recipe

GIVEAWAY NEWS: Thanks to my friends at the Tri-Lamb Group, we’re giving away a Breville 7-quart slow cooker with EasySear Insert ($130.00 value) to ONE lucky winner. Our winner will also receive a jar of Penzeys Lamb Seasoning and an oh-so-handy meat thermometer.


TO ENTER: Leave a comment here or on Facebook and tell us about your favorite way to prepare or eat lamb. Recipes please!

We will enter you into the giveaway additional times if you …

> Tweet about the giveaway with a link back to this post.
> Share the giveaway news with your Facebook fans and friends with a link back to the post.
> Follow us on Pinterest.
> Follow The Meal Makeover Moms on Twitter (@MealMakeovrMoms)

Please be sure to leave us a new comment every time you do something extra, and GOOD LUCK. The giveaway ends on May 17th at noon, and as always we’ll use Random.org to pick our winner. Good luck!

Disclosure: Janice was compensated for recipe development and media work by the Tri-Lamb Group

Tips for Saving Money at the Grocery Store … And a Recipe for Rainbow Veggie Coleslaw

A few weeks ago, I received an email from a producer at NECN, a TV station here in the Boston area. The station runs a segment called, Money Saving Mondays, and they asked me to help with a piece on saving money at the supermarket. What followed was an afternoon shoot at my house featuring the following cost-cutting tips: (1) Cook in the Slow Cooker, (2) Choose Inexpensive Cuts of Meat, (3) Pack Lunch vs. Going Out to Eat, (4) Go Meatless at Least Once a Week, and (5) Drink Tap Water vs. Buying Bottled. I also created a new recipe for homemade coleslaw to go with the slow cooker Pulled Pork Primavera Sandwiches showcased in the segment.

Why buy prepared coleslaw when you can make it yourself with better-for-you ingredients …

I just discovered this colorful coleslaw mix from Mann’s. I adore the addition of tiny broccoli florets. How cute. Read on for my new coleslaw recipe … and click here to watch the NECN segment on saving $ at the supermarket.

Making family meals in the slow cooker or Ninja saves big because I’m able to cook A LOT of food all at once. For example, with our Pulled Pork Primavera Sandwiches, I make sandwiches one night, quesadillas filled with pulled pork, corn kernels, sauteed diced bell pepper, low-fat shredded cheese, and BBQ sauce the next, and I date and freeze anything that is left over.

Rainbow Veggie Coleslaw

Makes 6 Servings

This is an easy veggie side dish for sandwiches, grilled anything, or fish tacos.

  • 1/4 cup 2%-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat canola mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard
  • One 12-ounce bag rainbow salad (I used Mann’s)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons roasted & salted pumpkin seeds
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper

1. Place the yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and honey mustard in a large bowl and whisk until well combined. Add the veggie mix, cranberries, and pumpkin seeds and stir well until evenly coated with the yogurt mixture.

2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Information per Serving (about 3/4 cup): 70 calories, 2.5g fat (0g saturated, 0.2g omega-3), 140mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 2g protein, 45% vitamin A, 50% vitamin C

Print Recipe

Lesley Gaydos, reporter extraordinaire from NECN and mom of three, happily taste tested my pulled pork, quesadillas, and salmon salad. And so did her crew ūüôā

A Recipe for Hearty Skillet Lasagna, an Update on Janice’s Kitchen Makeover, AND … We’re Giving Away a Ninja Cooking System (Podcast #201) {Giveaway CLOSED}

This summer, Liz received a complimentary new appliance called the Ninja Cooking System, and she was asked by the manufacturer — Euro-Pro — to give it a try. What followed was a month-long cooking frenzy; Liz made Hearty Skillet Lasagna, Salmon with Arugula & Sun-Dried Tomato Couscous, Lemon Chicken with Rosemary, Classic Braised Beef Brisket, Tofu Shitake & Red Pepper Stir-Fry, and even Mini Strawberry Shortcakes … all in ONE cooking device. We dish all about it on this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast … and offer an AMAZING giveaway for a Ninja!!

Cooking in the Ninja is fast and nutritious, and cleanup is super easy. Liz is gaga over the Ninja because it can do four things in one pot: One-Pot Meal Making, Slow Cooking, Steam Roasting, and Steam Baking. In this photo, Liz is about to add petite peas to a steam-roasted beef brisket … and she’s just topped mini cupcakes with a wee bit of whipped cream and some thinly sliced strawberries.

The folks over at Ninja asked Liz if she’d provide a testimonial for their new infomercial, and she said, “yes.” So if you see Liz on TV this fall, don’t be surprised. By the way, if you know Stephanie O’Dea from A Year of Slow Cooking, she was one of the hosts of the infomercial. Adorable!

Top the Hearty Skillet Lasagna with fresh, chopped basil for even more flavor.

Hearty Skillet Lasagna

Makes 6 Servings

This is a pretty flexible recipe. You can add just about any veggie your family loves … things like a peeled and shredded carrot, a diced onion, and a finely diced zucchini. Liz has made it a few times¬† and usually leaves the ricotta out (it’s not a fave with her kids), but she definitely gets creative with the veggies!

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean or higher)
  • 10 uncooked lasagna noodles broken into 2-inch pieces
  • One 24-ounce jar pasta sauce
  • 1¬Ĺ cups water
  • One 6-ounce bag baby spinach
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup light ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Place the beef into the pot. Set to Stovetop High. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes or until the beef is browned, stirring often. If you’re using carrots, zucchini, etc, add them along with the beef.

2. Arrange the noodles pieces over the beef. Pour the sauce and water over the noodles. Set to Stovetop Medium. Cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the noodles are tender. Turn off the pot.

3. Stir in the spinach and watch it wilt. Stir the cheeses into the pasta mixture. Cover and let stand until the cheeses melt.


¬†GIVEAWAY NEWS: We’re giving away a Ninja Cooking System to ONE lucky winner. Our winner will receive the new Ninja appliance PLUS a bunch of other goodies including a roasting rack, multipurpose roasting pan, silicone trivet, silicone mitt set, and a recipe book with 150 Ninja recipes. Total value is $360.00. WOW!!

TO ENTER:¬†Leave a comment here or on¬†Facebook¬†and tell us why you’d like to win the Ninja … or share your favorite slow cooker recipe with us. (U.S. only please.) We will enter you into the giveaway additional times if you ‚Ķ

> Subscribe to our RSS feed.
> Tweet about the giveaway with a link back to this post.
> Share the giveaway news with your Facebook fans and friends with a link back to the post.
> Follow us on Pinterest.
> Follow The Meal Makeover Moms on Twitter (@MealMakeovrMoms)

Please be sure to leave us a new comment every time you do something extra, and GOOD LUCK. The giveaway ends on October 12 at noon, and as always we’ll use Random.org to pick our winner.


Meanwhile, Janice talked a lot about her kitchen renovation on this week’s show. She even shot a video to show you how the new kitchen is shaping up … (Cleansing breath, Janice.)

Read on for more highlights from Janice’s Extreme Kitchen Makeover.

In the beginning there was a hole in the ground … then the builders poured the concrete foundation … then they framed the walls … and then they installed the windows and doors. Janice and Don are on their way to a dream kitchen, so stay tuned for much more to come.

Janice has managed to cook some decent meals in the front porch on her trusty hot plate. Some of Leah’s favorites have been Last-Minute Black Bean Soup from The Moms’ Guide to Meal Makeovers¬†and Quick Apple Sausage Quesadillas from No Whine with Dinner. But the best meals have been those enjoyed at friends’ houses. Janice and Don long to have a pretty table like Mary’s when she had them over for a dinner of grilled pork tenderloin, rice pilaf, and green beans.

That’s what we’ve been up to lately. What about you? And don’t forget to tell us why you want to win the Ninja!

Magic Meatloaf and a Conversation with a Local Beef & Dairy Farmer

lucinda-with-cow-farm-june-09Lucinda Williams is a mother of four children, ages 14 to 23, and a Massachusetts beef and dairy farmer. Together with her husband Darryl, they run the Luther Belden Farm in Hatfield, MA. This is no ordinary farm. It’s been in her husband’s family since 1661, and her children are the 13th generation to work the land. Today, they milk 100 cows twice a day, keep a herd of 200, and grow hay, corn and alfalfa to feed their livestock.

¬†In a recent conversation with folks at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (one of our former blog sponsors), we were surprised to learn that 97% of beef cattle farms are family farms. We caught up with Lucinda (who is also Chair of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board) to hear more about that and to get¬†her family’s favorite recipe from the ranch.

Q: We often hear about the decline of the family farm. What changes have you seen since you first started farming in terms of new challenges and the increased emphasis on the environment and sustainability?

A: The family farm is alive and well. We strive to provide safe, high-quality beef for consumers at an affordable price while sustaining and improving resources under our care. Beef production methods have evolved over the years to achieve this goal, resulting in new management protocols and technologies that help producers meet consumer demand.


Q: Do your children help out on the farm? If so, what do they like to do?

A: Absolutely!¬† During the school year, our kids are busy with sports, music, and drama, as well as church and community activities, so their available hours to help on the farm are somewhat limited.¬† Nevertheless, they still have daily chores such as feeding the calves and additional weekend work as needed.¬† This summer, we milked our cows three times a day — 4:00am, noon, and 8:00pm and all of us helped out.¬† This summer, our 21-year old son, Jackson, worked on the farm mowing, raking, baling hay, tending to the cows, fixing fences, and the myriad other jobs that go along with running a dairy farm.

Q: What’s your family’s favorite recipe?

Magic Meatloaf (from the kitchen of Lucinda Williams)

It cooks like magic in the slow cooker and disappears like magic, too! I use a 6-quart slow cooker.

  • 3 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 ¬Ĺ cups quick-cooking oats
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup barbeque sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup shredded lowfat Cabot cheddar cheese

1. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, oats, eggs, barbeque sauce, minced onion, and Worcestershire sauce.  Mix until all the ingredients are combined.

2. Fold a sheet of aluminum foil in half and place in the bottom of your slow cooker (allow the foil to extend up the sides of the slow cooker). Spray the foil and the exposed bottom of the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.

3. Form half of the meat mixture into an oval or rectangle and place on top of the foil (leave half an inch to an inch of space between the meatloaf the sides of the slow cooker).¬† Sprinkle the cheese over the meat. Add the rest of the meatloaf mixture on top of the cheese. Seal the “seam” by pinching the mixture with your fingers.¬† Cook on low 4 to 5 hours.

4. Remove the meat from the cooker by carefully pulling up the sides of the aluminum foil. Transfer the meatloaf to a plate or platter. Slice and serve.

We agree with Lucinda that this recipe disappears like magic! Liz made it the other day (she cut the recipe in half and it worked great), and it was a big hit with the kids. The half recipe yielded about 8 servings.  Post your favorite meatloaf recipe here!

Next Page »