Slow cooker recipes always come in handy on busy weeknights or for meals that you can "set and forget" instead of standing over the stove. But slow cookers go way beyond cooking beef, chicken and pork. In fact, you can make slow cooker seafood recipes that are delicious, quick to put together and full of nutrients.
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The good news is, because seafood has a shorter cook time than, say, a five-pound beef roast or chicken breasts, most slow cooker seafood recipes are ready to eat in just 2 to 5 hours. And if you don't have the seafood that the recipe calls for, in most cases, you can use any seafood you have on hand, making them truly customizable.
We tapped two registered dietitians to get the scoop on a few slow cooker seafood recipes and how to incorporate them into a well-balanced diet. Keep scrolling for ideas that will amp up your weeknight dinner menu.
1. Slow Cooker Octopus, Lemon and Potatoes
"This nutritious recipe is rich in protein, iron and vitamin B12, thanks to the main ingredient, octopus," Andrea Mathis, RD, says. "Octopus also has several other important nutrients including calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium."
Get the Slow Cooker Octopus, Lemon and Potatoes recipe and nutrition info here.
2. Slow Cooker Salmon With Lemon and Parsnips
This slow cooker salmon recipe will give you a dose of healthy fats, and it also incorporates root vegetables, such as parsnips. "Parsnips have vitamin C and potassium," Mathis says. "In fact, just one serving of parsnips provides about 10 percent of your recommended intake of potassium."
Get the Slow Cooker Salmon With Lemon and Parsnips recipe and nutrition info here.
3. Slow Cooker Risotto and Scallops
Arborio rice and scallops are the star of this delicious risotto, but it makes this dinner low in fiber. While the original recipe only has 4 grams of fiber per serving, you can easily swap the rice for barley or quinoa. This will bulk up the fiber content and make the dish more filling.
Get the Slow Cooker Risotto and Scallops recipe and nutrition info here.
4. Slow Cooker Seafood Stew
"This recipe includes a significant amount of garlic which has been linked to fighting bacteria, viruses and even parasites," Mathis says. "Garlic has also been associated with decreasing inflammation and improving heart health."
Get the Slow Cooker Seafood Stew recipe and nutrition info from I Heart Naptime.
Ciopino, also called fisherman's stew, typically includes fish, crab, clams and shrimp, and you can customize it to include whatever seafood you might have on hand.
Like most soups, this Crock-Pot fish recipe includes celery, which is often overlooked, but highly nutritious. "Celery is a great source of vitamin C and other important antioxidants, including beta carotene," Mathis says. "It's also been shown to help reduce inflammation and improve digestion."
Get the Cioppino recipe and nutrition info from The Seasoned Mom.
6. Shrimp Tacos
Make taco night a regular thing in your home with this delicious Crock-Pot shrimp taco recipe. "I love that this recipe calls for olive oil instead of vegetable oil," Mathis says. "Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated oleic acid and is linked to reducing the risk of heart disease by taming inflammation and protecting the body against 'bad' LDL cholesterol."
Get the Shrimp Tacos recipe and nutrition info from Cotter Crunch.
7. Slow Cooker Salmon With Creamy Lemon Sauce
One serving of this delicious slow cooker salmon dish boasts 31 grams of protein, which is sure to keep late-night hunger and cravings at bay. "This dish is a bit higher in fat. To reduce it, consider using reduced-fat cream or even oat milk in place of heavy cream," Mathis suggests.
Get the Slow Cooker Salmon With Creamy Lemon Sauce recipe and nutrition info from Diethood.
8. Slow Cooker Shrimp and Crab Bisque
Bisque is usually rich and decadent, but there are ways to lighten it up. "To reduce the fat and cholesterol in this recipe, try using low-sodium old bay seasoning or making your own reduced-salt version. You can also use low-fat cream instead of heavy cream," Mathis says.
Get the Slow Cooker Shrimp and Crab Bisque recipe and nutrition info from Yes to Yolks.
9. Slow Cooker Shrimp Boil
"This recipe incorporates potatoes, which are an excellent and oft-forgotten source of antioxidant vitamin C, corn which is a good source of carotenoids and shrimp which deliver a good dose of protein per serving," says Nicole Rodriguez, RD.
Get the Slow Cooker Shrimp Boil recipe and nutrition info from Damn Delicious.
10. Slow Cooker Shrimp and Grits
With a few simple swaps, this slow cooker spin on a classic comfort food recipe can be lighter without losing flavor. "Sub in whole milk for skim, reduced-fat cheese for full-fat cheese and use half butter and half heart-healthy olive oil," Rodriguez says.
Get the Slow Cooker Shrimp and Grits recipe and nutrition info from Diethood.
11. Crock-Pot Jambalaya
"The base of this recipe is a nutritional winner," Rodriguez says. "Canned tomato products, while nutritionally similar to their fresh counterparts, are actually higher in lycopene, the powerful antioxidant that gives tomatoes their rich red color."
Get the Crockpot Jambalaya recipe and nutrition info from The Seasoned Mom.
12. Slow Cooker New England Clam Chowder
Rodriguez agrees with the author of this recipe that soups like chowders can serve as an excellent vehicle for veggies — especially frozen ones. "Frozen vegetables are picked at their peak ripeness and nutrient content, then flash-frozen to preserve that nutrition," Rodriguez says. So feel free to load them up!
Get the Slow Cooker New England Clam Chowder recipe and nutrition info from Six Sisters Stuff.
13. Slow Cooker Seafood Stew
This slow cooker fish recipe can be customized based on your favorite fish or what you have stocked in your kitchen. "Whitefish, like cod, is my go-to for fish stew," Rodriguez says. "It's an excellent source of vitamin B12, selenium and choline." Just add in your favorite vegetables for more nutrients, as the flavors in this soup will make every bite worth it.
Get the Slow-Cooker Seafood Stew recipe and nutrition info from Hungry Girl.
14. Slow Cooker Chunky Manhattan Clam Chowder
This tomato-based soup is a lighter option than its cream-based counterpart, Rodriguez says. "Because this is comprised largely of vegetables, the protein content is low." Consider serving this soup alongside a lean protein or adding shrimp or fish to make it more filling.
Get the Slow Cooker Chunky Manhattan Clam Chowder recipe and nutrition info from Deb's Daily Dish.
15. Crock-Pot Shrimp Scampi
This butter-free shrimp scampi can be made with just seven ingredients, so it's quick to throw together if you're in a hurry. That being said, it doesn't compromise on taste with flavors that pop from the parmesan cheese, garlic salt and chicken broth. To make this a well-balanced meal, serve with a side of green leafy vegetables or a side salad.
Get the Crock-Pot Shrimp Scampi recipe and nutrition info from Eating On A Dime.