Healthy Holiday Slow Cooker Recipes

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Rustic Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Photo: Scott Little

With these healthy holiday slow cooker recipes, you can indulge in foods of the season without scrapping your healthy eating goals. These healthy Christmas recipes take you from appetizers to desserts, with plenty of great side-dish options in between for proof that the holidays and healthy eating can go hand in hand.

01 of 22

Orange-Glazed Carrots and Parsnips

Orange-Glazed Carrots Parsnips
Jason Donnelly

Orange juice and orange marmalade join forces in a sweet citrus glaze for this healthy Christmas side dish. Anchored by tender carrots and nutty parsnips, the colorful recipe is high in fiber and loaded with vitamin A. Beginner's tip: Find out how to prepare carrots for cooking.

02 of 22

Crispy Holiday Treats

Crispy Holiday Treats
Jason Donnelly

Fans of holiday slow cooker recipes will love this unexpected way to use their favorite appliance. Indeed, making crispy rice treats in a slow cooker might be our best idea yet. Add a sprinkling of holiday cheer with healthy red cranberries and green pistachios.

03 of 22

Ham and Sweet Potato Soup

Ham and Sweet Potato Soup
Andy Lyons

For many families, a soup or stew anchors the Christmas Eve dinner. And for most families, Christmas Eve is one of the busiest days of the season! Thankfully, 20 minutes of hands-on prep are all you need to make a batch of bubbling sweet potato soup. Flavored with thyme and chock-full of fiber-rich beans, it's a hearty and healthy recipe you can feel good about serving everyone around your table.

04 of 22

Hot Wing Dip

Hot Wing Dip
Jason Donnelly

Oooey-gooey slow cooker dips might not come top of mind when you're dreaming up healthy holiday recipes, but thanks to reduced-fat and reduced-calorie ingredients, this luscious dip can fit in with your aim to eat well. You'll also appreciate the way the dip lets guests enjoy all the flavors of hot wings, but without all the mess. Serve with veggies for extra nutrition.

05 of 22

Bourbon-Citrus Sipper

Bourbon Citrus Sipper
Andy Lyons

A hot beverage should be high on anyone's list of slow cooker Christmas dinner recipes—serving the drink right from the cooker is just so handy! PS: While we love the way the bourbon meshes with apple cider, lemon, orange, cinnamon, cloves, and anise, you can leave out the bourbon if you like—it will still be a tasty party drink to serve your crowd.

Buy It: Hamilton Beach 7-Quart Stay Or Go Slow Cooker, $73, Amazon

06 of 22

Caraway-Sauerkraut Beer Bread

Caraway-Sauerkraut Beer Bread
Jenna VanGrowski

Put bread on the list of surprising things you can make in your slow cooker! This enticing loaf is hopped up with a hint of beer and loaded with fiber-filled caraway and flaxseed for a healthy recipe that will become a new family favorite.

07 of 22

Orange-Sage Sweet Potatoes with Bacon

Orange-Sage Sweet Potatoes Bacon
Jason Donnelly

Bacon in a healthy Christmas side dish? Sure thing! You can feel good about doling out bowls of this sage-seasoned sweet potato recipe, thanks to the vitamin powerhouse status of the main ingredient. Salty bites of bacon make those sweet potatoes even more scrumptious.

08 of 22

Garam Masala Chicken Stew with Peas and Potatoes

Fragrant Garam Masala Chicken with Peas and Carrots
Andy Lyons

Make your slow cooker Christmas dinner go global! Transform your holiday meal with one of our best Indian-inspired recipes featuring sweet peas and chicken simmered in a ginger-spiced tomato sauce. Serve with a cranberry-studded rice pilaf for a festive side.

09 of 22

Smoky Green Bean Casserole

Smoky Green Bean Casserole
Andy Lyons

You can add green bean casserole to your list of healthy holiday recipes if you lighten it up with bold but low-calorie ingredients like whole grain mustard and sweet peppers. A little Gouda cheese goes a long way to add plenty of melty goodness and a hint of smoke to the slow cooker Christmas dinner favorite.

10 of 22

Wild Rice with Pecans and Cherries

Wild Rice Pecans Cherries
Karla Conrad

Two favorite holiday ingredients—cranberries and pecans—star in this healthy Christmas side dish. The recipe makes a whopping 15 servings and requires just 20 minutes of prep time. Plus you'll save so much space in the oven and on the stove top thanks to the slow cooker convenience.

Test Kitchen Tip: This dish is flavored with marjoram, but you can substitute other herbs if you like.

11 of 22

Mulled Cranberry Punch

Mulled Cranberry Punch
Blaine Moats

You can feel good about warming up with a mug of our 114-calorie cinnamon-spiced cranberry punch. We added white grape juice, cloves, and allspice to sweeten this healthy recipe. Out of allspice? No worries! Our list of emergency ingredient substitutions will tell you what to do.

12 of 22

Vegetable Chili Con Queso Dip

Vegetable Chili con Queso
Scott Little

This healthy Christmas appetizer has a triple hit of fiber-rich beans. Serve with an array of other surprisingly healthy Mexican-inspired recipes for a terrific holiday gathering that won't break your fat and calorie budgets.

13 of 22

Cider-Maple Brussels Sprouts

Cider-Maple Brussels Sprouts
Jason Donnelly

If you're not yet a fan of Brussels sprouts, try them in this healthy slow cooker Christmas dinner side dish. The "it" veggie tastes oh, so good when doused in sweet apple cider. If you need more convincing, it's packed with vitamin C. Use any leftover cider in our warm and cozy apple cider recipes.

14 of 22

Peppermint Pretzel Candies

Peppermint Pretzel Candies
Blaine Moats

Attention, avid slow cooker fans (you know who you are): We know you love using your slow cooker for anything and everything. That's why we came up with this healthy Christmas candy you can make in your favorite appliance. Simply mix salty pretzels with sweet white chocolate and peppermint for a just-right flavor combo you don't have to resist!

15 of 22

Hoisin-Garlic Mushrooms

Hoisin-Garlic Mushrooms
Scott Little

One secret to putting the "healthy" in healthy holiday recipes is to nix the meat when possible. That's easy to do when mushrooms star as the main ingredient! Flavored with hoisin sauce, garlic, and red pepper, these bites are easier to make than homemade meatballs or stuffed mushrooms (though we love those, too—especially when we have a little extra time to spend in the kitchen!).

16 of 22

Sweet Ginger Roots

Sweet Ginger Roots
Andy Lyons

This healthy recipe is not only fat-free and full of color, but it also makes a wonderfully earthy-sweet side to the kinds of roasted meats traditionally served on the holiday table. If you don't think you're a fan of beets, the bright pomegranate juice and zippy ginger in this slow cooker Christmas dinner recipe might just make you change your mind.

17 of 22

Dark Chocolate Fondue with Fruit Kabobs

Dark Chocolate Fondue with Fruit Kabobs
Karla Conrad

When you're looking for healthy holiday recipes, think fruit! This chocolate fondue will taste particularly holiday-worthy when you use in-season fruits, such as apples and pears. Angel food cake also makes a terrific no-fat dipper.

Buy It: Stainless Steel Fondue Pot, $100, Sur La Table

18 of 22

Pumpernickel-Cherry Stuffing

Pumpernickel-Cherry Stuffing
Jason Donnelly

You can never have too much stuffing on the holiday table! And having a choice of stuffing varieties—including one healthy recipe—is a great addition to the Christmas menu. This one will please adventuresome diners with unexpected pumpernickel as the bread; for traditionalists, try our classic stuffing.

19 of 22

Rustic Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Rustic Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Scott Little

This recipe fills the healthy mashed potatoes bill, thanks chicken broth as a replacement for some of the dairy products. Even better, the ultimate Christmas side dish can be made in your slow cooker, then kept warm for up to 2 hours. In fact, this might be one of the easiest components of your Christmas dinner menu.

20 of 22

Turkey Shepherd's Pie

Turkey Shepherd's Pie
Blaine Moats

Our five-ingredient shepherd's pie has healthy Christmas main dish written all over it. First, we swap in turkey for the red meat traditionally called for in the classic, then we add a windfall of vitamin-packed frozen vegetables. After a few hours in the slow cooker, the medley becomes a comfort food masterpiece that's perfect for a holiday family gathering.

21 of 22

Creamy Chicken-Noodle Soup

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
Peter Krumhardt

Reduced-fat cream cheese helps make this soup rich and creamy—without any cream! It's a healthy recipe that's perfect for a Christmas Eve soup supper. Round out the comfort food spread with one of our fresh winter salads and some dinner rolls that can be made in 60 minutes or less.

22 of 22

Creamy Butternut Squash Curry Soup

Creamy Butternut Squash Curry Soup
Jacob Fox

If your tradition is to eat your holiday meal in courses, kick off the occasion with this luscious-yet-healthy Christmas soup. Evaporated milk makes it creamy, while curry paste adds deep, intriguing flavors—and that's a lot of pleasure for just 123 calories and 1 gram of fat per serving! It's one of the best healthy curry recipes in our files.

Buy It: Mueller Heavy-Duty Immersion Blender, $35, Amazon

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