Creative Ways to Use Your Slow Cooker


Cook an Entire Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti sqaush

Photo: Alexandra Shytsman

Your slow cooker is good for more than just soups and stews! Here are five slow-cooker hacks that will change the way you look at your Crock Pot.

Spaghetti squash is the ultimate low-calorie pasta swap (you can have three cups of the stuff for just about 125 calories), but the process of turning the gourd into spaghetti-like noodles can be intimidating. Not to worry, a slow cooker makes it much easier! All you have to do is put a whole spaghetti squash in your slow cooker with half a cup of water and cook it on high for 2 1/2 hours. By the time the squash comes out it’ll be tender enough to slice in half lengthwise and easily scoop out the seeds. Then you can use it in your favorite spaghetti squash recipes.


Whip-Up Taco Filling

5 Slow-Cooker Hacks: Whip up taco filling
Courtesy of

The only thing better than tacos is guilt-free tacos that practically make themselves.

Shredded pork: By combining decadent pork shoulder with lean pork tenderloin, you get a delicious dish that's surprisingly low in calories. When you shred the meat after it's cooked, the flavors all blend together.

Ground beef: Extra-lean ground beef is low in fat and adding chopped veggies amps up the portion size. It's great on crispy corn taco shells or you can wrap it in lettuce leaves for a low-carb fiesta.


Cook Up Crustless Pies

5 Slow-Cooker Hacks: Cook up crustless pies.
Courtesy of

Slow cookers aren’t just for main dishes. One of my all-time favorite ways to use a slow cooker is to make desserts. Deconstructed apple pie has just 137 calories per serving – pretty reasonable for a bowl of ooey-gooey fruit deliciousness topped with whipped cream. Turn on the slow cooker when you get home from work, and dessert will be ready after dinner!
In the market for a quicker dessert? Make low-calorie chocolate cake in as little as 2 minutes.


Steam a Cabbage


Photo: Alexandra Shytsman

One of my favorite ways to slash carbs from sandwiches is to ditch the bread and wrap the filling with a cooked cabbage leaf. The problem is that it’s nearly impossible to remove an entire leaf from a raw cabbage and keep it intact. The solution: Your slow cooker! Place half a head of green cabbage in a slow cooker with 2 cups of water, then cook on high for 2 ½ hours. When the time is up, you’ll be able to easily remove the leaves and wrap them around your favorite sandwich fillings.

For guilt-free recipes, food finds, tips 'n tricks, and more, sign up for free daily emails or visit Hungry Girl!

Was this page helpful?