Next Week's Meal Plan

A Week of Slow Cooker Mediterranean Diet Dinners

published Jan 11, 2020
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Credit: From Left to Right: Guy Ambrosino, Emma Christensen, Joe Lingeman, Ghazalle Badiozamani, Leela Cyd

Come winter, the slow cooker is my favorite tool for getting wholesome Mediterranean diet dinners on the table. It’s my ticket to hearty vegetable-heavy soups and stews that cook all day, and fresh dinners that add a pop of sunshine to cold days.

If you’re new to the Mediterranean diet, here’s a handy explanation. In brief, it’s a set of guidelines for eating that encourages you to fill your plate with seafood and plant-based foods like vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, as well as healthy fats, so you feel like you’re fueling your body, not depriving it.

Want to try it out? Here are five easy, delicious, and healthy dinners to get you started — break out your slow cooker and try making them next week!

Credit: Guy Ambrosino

Monday: Slow Cooker Minestrone

I typically make a double portion of this on Sunday, as it’s that much better the next day. After cooking the soup, I purée about two cups in the blender, then stir it back in to give the dish a thicker, heartier texture. All that’s left to do on Monday evening is reheat on the stovetop.

Get the recipe: Slow Cooker Minestrone

Tuesday: Salmon in the Slow Cooker

This method for salmon takes longer than the oven or stovetop — but the result is salmon so tender and delicious that it’s well worth the extra time. I cook the salmon over a bed of thinly sliced fennel, onions, and celery to round out the meal.

Get the recipe: How To Cook Salmon in the Slow Cooker

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Spinach and Artichoke Chicken

This is one of my favorite dinners to cook in the winter because it brings bright, sunny flavor to the table. This week I’m substituting boneless chicken thighs for breasts since I have some in the freezer.

Get the recipe: Slow Cooker Spinach and Artichoke Chicken

Credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Pearl Jones

Thursday: Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili

The way to make this chili is to just toss everything in the slow cooker in the morning so it has all day to cook. Thanks to the bag of mixed veggies I picked up from the freezer section, there’s literally no prep to be done.

Get the recipe: Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili

Credit: Leela Cyd

Friday: Whole Chicken in the Slow Cooker

This is one of the most comforting ways to end the week: chicken so juicy and tender it practically falls off the bone. I like to pop it under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp up the skin, and serve it with a simple salad and potatoes.

Get the recipe: Whole Chicken in the Slow Cooker

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