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10 set and forget slow cooker dinner recipes for busy mums

Hands up who is busy and tired? Hands up if you didn’t raise your hand because you are tired in your very soul? We hear ya.

Here at the Healthy Mummy we are all busy mums too, and YET our little families still seem to demand to be fed EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT.

This is where your friend the slow cooker comes in. If ever there was an appliance that had mums in mind, it’s this. And thanks to the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge you are never going to be short on slow cooker recipes.

10 set and forget slow cooker dinner recipes for busy mums

Now while some traditional slow cooker recipes require multiple steps, browning of meat, pre-cooking of onions – we say NO. Not today.

Today we have TEN 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge recipes that are literally throw and go. You put the ingredients in, press the buttons (please do not omit this step, it is so disappointing to come home to an uncooked meal), and then you walk away and get on with your life.

Here we go….

10 set and forget slow cooker dinner recipes for busy mums

1. Slow Cooked Ragu Sauce for Pasta


OK so you WILL have to boil some pasta to go with this succulent sauce, but even the most tired mother can handle that, right? Any leftovers will make a welcome lunch the next day.

Ingredients (Makes 4 servings)

  • 500 grams lamb shanks, skin and fat removed
  • 1 brown onion, sliced (100 grams)
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced (6 grams)
  • 2 medium carrots, diced (140 grams)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced (80 grams)
  • 1 cup liquid beef stock, salt reduced (250 mls)
  • 400 grams tinned tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary (1 grams)
  • 120 grams wholemeal pasta, any shape
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan (24 grams)


  1. Place all ingredients, excluding pasta and parmesan in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.
  2. When ready, remove lamb shanks from ragu and shred all meat from the bones.
  3. Return lamb meat to the ragu sauce and stir to combine.
  4. Cook pasta according to packet directions. Divide pasta evenly between 4 bowls and top each with some lamb ragu and a sprinkle of Parmesan to serve.

450 calories per serve

2. Lamb Chickpea Harira Soup

Lamb Chickpea Harira Soup

A hearty and warming soup, made by simply combining the ingredients in a slow cooker and leaving it to do all the work. Make ahead of time to serve to the whole family or to portion up into single serves for your lunch for the week.

Ingredients (Makes 4 servings)

  • 600 grams lamb shoulder, trimmed
  • 1 brown onion, diced (100 grams)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced (80 grams)
  • 1 medium carrot, diced (70 grams)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (6 grams)
  • 400 grams tinned tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (4 grams)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (1 grams)
  • 2 tsp lemon zest (8 grams)
  • 4 cups liquid beef stock, salt reduced (1000 mls)
  • 4 cups water (1000 mls)
  • 400 grams tinned chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup green olives, pitted and sliced (25 grams)
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped (15 grams)
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat Greek natural yogurt (65 grams)


  1. Dice lamb and combine with onion, celery, garlic, carrot, tinned tomatoes, curry powder, cinnamon, lemon zest, stock, water and chickpeas (rinsed and drained) in the slow cooker and cook on low 6-8 hours.
  2. When ready to serve, stir through the olives and divide between four bowls. Top with coriander and a dollop of yogurt.

405 calories per serve

3. Taiwanese Chicken


This is an amazing chicken dish with slightly spicy Taiwanese inspired flavours. This recipe freezes well so why not double it and freeze a family sized portion for another meal?

Ingredients (Makes 4 servings)

  • 8 chicken drumsticks, skin removed (480 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, salt reduced (15 mls)
  • 2 tsp hot chilli sauce, e.g. Tabasco (10 mls)
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar (8 grams)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed (6 grams)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger (1 grams)
  • 1 cup liquid chicken stock, salt reduced (250 mls)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice, uncooked (80 grams)
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced (140 grams)
  • 2 cups green beans, trimmed (240 grams)
  • 200 grams pak choi or choy sum
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives (5 grams)


  1. Place chicken drumsticks into the slow cooker and cover with the soy sauce, chilli sauce, coconut sugar, garlic, ginger and stock. Cook for 5 hours or until chicken is very tender.
  2. About 30 minutes before chicken is ready, cook rice according to packet directions and steam carrot, beans and greens.
  3. Divide chicken evenly between four plates and serve with cooking juices, rice and veggies on the side. Sprinkle over chives to serve

371 calories per serve

4. Slow Cooked Porcupine Meatballs

Slow cooked porcupine meatballs

While this recipe uses homemade meatballs, you could always buy a pack of the lean, pre-made variety for a quick and easy family favourite.

Check out the recipe HERE

5. Slow Cooked Roast Lamb with Potatoes & Mint Peas


You can beat a roast leg of lamb! And to speed things up, omit the browning of the lamb first, it still tastes 110% great.

Ingredients (Makes 6 servings)

  • 1kg lamb shoulder, trimmed,
  • 4 tsp dried Italian herbs (4 grams)
  • 6 medium potatoes, chopped (720 grams)
  • 3 brown onions, peeled & chopped (300 grams)
  • 1/2 cup liquid vegetable stock, salt reduced (125 mls)
  • 2 cups frozen peas (320 grams)
  • 4 tsp mint leaves (5 grams)


  1. Rub the lamb with the dried herbs and a teaspoon of salt and place in a baking dish surrounded by the potatoes and onions.
  2. Pour the stock into the dish and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

To serve: When ready to serve, boil the peas until tender. Combine peas with mint while still hot. Divide the lamb, potatoes, onions and mint peas evenly between 6 plates to serve.

365 calories per serve

6. Healthy Slow Cooked Asian Chicken


Put down the phone, you don’t need to call in for takeaway when you can make a meal like this so easily.  Tender chicken and full of delicious Asian flavours, this chicken dish is a winner. Best of all it’s only 320 per serve INCLUDING the rice, making it idea if you’re following the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge.

Check out the recipe HERE

7. Lamb Tagine with Pistachios and Chickpeas

Lamb Tagine

Delicious lamb shoulder, with lots of warming spices and the sweetness of dates and fresh orange juice is going to put a smile on your face as you tuck in.

Ingredients (Makes 4 servings)

  • 600 grams lamb shoulder, trimmed
  • 1 brown onion, thinly sliced (100 grams)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin (1 grams)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (1 grams)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander (1 grams)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric (1 grams)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (1 grams)
  • 1/2 cup pitted, dried dates (85 grams)
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (125 mls)
  • 1 tbsp orange zest (16 grams)
  • 240 grams tinned chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, unsalted, finely chopped (30 grams)
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander, chopped (30 grams)
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped (30 grams)


  1. Dice lamb.
  2. Place all ingredients excluding the fresh herbs and pistachios into the cooker.
  3. Cook on a low setting for 6 hours. Divide between 4 bowls and sprinkle with fresh herbs and pistachios to serve

415 calories per serve

8. Corned Beef & Cabbage

Corned Beef

This is the recipe that keeps on giving. The leftovers make AMAZING sandwiches the next day for the whole family. Corned beef is often quite economical, making this a budget friendly meal.

Ingredients (Makes 4 servings)

  • 600 grams corned beef roast (silverside)
  • 2 cups water (500 mls)
  • 1 cup liquid beef stock, salt reduced (250 mls)
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar (15 mls)
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves (4 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds (4 grams)
  • 2 cups white cabbage, shredded (100 grams)
  • 2 brown onions, thinly sliced (200 grams)
  • 3 medium potatoes, chopped (360 grams)
  • 1 cup frozen peas (160 grams)
  • 1 tbsp reduced-fat Greek natural yogurt (20 grams)
  • salt and pepper


  1. Place all ingredients, excluding the peas and yogurt into the cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.
  2. About 10 minutes before ready to serve, steam peas until tender.
  3. Mash with yogurt and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Slice beef and divide between four plates with cooking vegetables and juices poured over the top.
  5. Serve with pea mash on the side

449 calories per serve

9. Beef Burgundy

Beef Burgundy

This classic dish is a cinch in this recipe. Come home to the enticing aroma of slow cooked beef in red wine.

Ingredients (Makes 4 servings)

  • 400 grams stewing steak e.g. casserole steak
  • 2 brown onions (200 grams)
  • 240 mls red cooking wine
  • 2 cups tomato passata (500 mls)
  • 2 cups whole button mushrooms (200 grams)
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian herbs (4 grams)
  • 240 grams fettuccine
  • salt and pepper


  1. Dice the beef. Peel onion and cut into wedges.
  2. Place all ingredients, excluding the fettuccine, into the cooker and cook on low for 6 hours.
  3. 15 minutes before ready to serve cook pasta according to packet directions.
  4. When meat is ready pull apart meat pieces with two forks and combine into sauce.
  5. Serve beef sauce on top of fettuccine. Season with salt and pepper.

439 calories per serve

10. Slow Cooked Beef Brisket with Roast Cabbage


You know the pulled beef that you love so much when you go out for dinner? It’s actually super simple to make at home.

Now this recipe for Slow Cooked Beef Brisket suggests you serve it with roast cabbage, but you’re not going to do that because you are so tired that you just found your keys in the fridge.

Instead you’re going to serve up the pull-apart beef with some simple mashed potato and steamed veggies, or even just serve it with some salad in a wrap.

Ingredients (Makes 6 servings)

  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil (10 mls)
  • 1 leek, sliced (80 grams)
  • 1kg grams beef brisket
  • 1 tbsp plain wholemeal flour (10 grams)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (15 mls)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste (16 grams)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups liquid beef stock, salt reduced (375 mls)
  • 2 cups red cabbage (200 grams)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted (15 mls)
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds (1 grams)
  • 2 cups cauliflower, diced (200 grams)
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat milk of choice (62.5 mls)
  • 1 tsp butter (4 grams)
  • salt and pepper


  1. Put brisket into the slow cooker with leeks and extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Combine the flour, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and stock and pour over the brisket.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  4. About 40 minutes before brisket is ready, cut the cabbage into wedges and combine with coconut oil and caraway seeds.
  5. Place on a baking tray and into the oven for 30-40 minutes, to roast.
  6. Ten minutes before brisket and cabbage are ready, steam cauliflower on the stovetop or in the microwave until very tender.
  7. Mash with milk and butter and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Divide brisket and cooking sauce between 6 plates.
  9. Serve with an even amount of roast cabbage and mashed cauliflower.
  10. Leftover brisket can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze for another meal.

416 calories per serve

Access thousands of recipes on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge!

Our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge is a family-friendly, breastfeeding-safe program designed FOR MUMS to help them tackle their health and lose the baby weight. 

Every week you are given a different meal plan to follow and each month we add new recipes to our Challenge Recipe Hub. That way, you’ll never get bored and stay on weight loss track while digging into healthy, yummy recipes.

Learn more about our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge HERE


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