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Diabetic Recipes – Healthy Slow Cooker Meals

Source: Diabetic Cooking Magazine, January/February 2005

Slow, Savory and Healthful

Save time, energy and reduce fat with your trusty slow cooker.

It’s a fact: Slow cookers can be used for preparing healthful, low-fat dishes.

Traditional slow cooker recipes often call for browning cuts of meat in oil or fat, then transferring the meat into the slow cooker.  Even when trimmed of visible fat, these traditional meat cuts may still be relatively high in fat.  This hidden fat floats to the surface of the slow-cooker liner as the dish cooks.  Conscientious cooks cool the dish and skim the fat before reheating and eating.

Now there is a way to cut the fat and keep the flavor, without cooling and skimming the dish. With three simple steps, you can easily prepare flavorful, healthful dishes in your slow cooker.

First, cook your grains, beans, and vegetables in the slow cooker.  Second, about 15 minutes before serving, cook very lean meat such as boneless, skinless chicken breast or turkey or beef in a nonstick skillet on the stovetop.  Third, add the cooked meat to the grains, beans and vegetables in the slow cooker.  Then heat and serve.

By using this simple three-step technique you’ll be able to use leaner cuts of meats but still retain flavor, tenderness, and moistness.

Sweet Potato Stew


1 c chopped yellow onion
1 c chopped celery
1 c peeled, grated sweet potato
1 c vegetable low-sodium broth or water
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 c fat-free half-and-half
ground black pepper
1/4 c minced parsley


Place onion, celery, sweet potato, broth, and bacon in slow cooker on LOW setting. Cover and cook 6 hours. Turn slow cooker to HIGH. Add half-and-half, using just enough to bring the stew to desired consistency. Add more water, if needed. Cook about 30 minutes or until hot. Season to taste with pepper. Stir in fresh parsley and serve.

Makes 4 (1 1/2 cup) Servings.

Dietary Exchanges:
1 Starch, 1/2 Fat

Nutrients Per Serving:
112 Calories
2 g Total Fat
13% Calories from Fat
<1 g Saturated Fat
5 g Protein
18 g Carbohydrates
280 mg Sodium
13 mg Cholesterol
2 g Fiber


Creamy Cauliflower Bisque


1 lb frozen cauliflower florets
1 lb baking potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes
1 c chopped yellow onion
2 cans (14 oz each) reduced-less sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 c fat-free evaporated milk
2 tbsp diet margarine
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
4 oz (1 cup) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 c finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/4 c finely chopped green onion (green and white parts)


In 3 1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker, combine cauliflower, potatoes, onion, broth, garlic powder, thyme and cayenne. Cover and cook on HIGH setting 4 hours or on LOW setting 8 hours. Working in batches, place soup in blender and process until smooth, holding lid down firmly. Return to slow cooker. Add milk, margarine, salt and black pepper. Stir until blended. Top each serving with equal amounts of cheese. Sprinkle with parsley and green onions.

Makes 9 (3/4 cup soup plus 2 tbsp cheese) Servings.

Dietary Exchanges:
1 Starch, 1 Meat, 1/2 Fat

Nutrients Per Serving:
158 Calories
5 g Total Fat
27% Calories from Fat
2 g Saturated Fat
10 g Protein
19 g Carbohydrates
410 mg Sodium
19 mg Cholesterol
3 g Fiber


Creole Vegetables and Chicken


nonstick cooking spray
1 can (14 1/2 oz) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
8 oz frozen cut okra
2 c chopped green bell pepper
1 c chopped yellow onion
3/4 c sliced celery
1 c low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1 lb chicken tenders, cut into bite size pieces
3/4 tsp Creole seasoning
1 1/2 tsp spoonable sugar substitute
1/4 c chopped parsley
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
hot pepper sauce to taste, optional


Coat 3 1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Add tomatoes, okra, bell pepper, onion, celery, broth, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and bay leaf. Cover and cook on HIGH 4 1/2 hours or on LOW 9 hours. Place 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium high heat until hot. Coat skillet with cooking spray. Add chicken and cook 6 minutes or until beginning to lightly brown, stirring frequently. Add to slow cooker with remaining ingredients, except parsley and cook on HIGH 15 minutes to blend flavors. Stir in parsley.

Makes 8 (3/4 cup) Servings.

Dietary Exchanges:
2 Vegetable, 1 Meat

Nutrients Per Serving:
95 Calories
3 g Total Fat
23% Calories from Fat
<1g Saturated Fat
10 g Protein
9 g Carbohydrates
21 Mg Cholesterol
87 mg Sodium
3 g Fiber