Healthy Crock Pot Recipe: Corn, Summer Squash and Yellow Bell Peppers with Basil

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Crock Pot Summer Vegetables with Basil. Photo by Jennifer Meier
    2 hrs 15 mins
Ratings (12)

The sunny color and flavor of this healthy crock pot recipe gives a feeling of summer, even when it's prepared in the dead of winter. Most people think of a slow cooker as a cooking method best for using during the winter months for stews and roasts, but they're also great for cooking on hot summer days too. Using a slow cooker in the summer allows you to cook meat or veggies without having to turn on the stove and heat up your kitchen.

Although cooked in a slow cooker, the vegetables in this recipe don't end up overly soft and mushy. While some slow cooker recipes that include vegetables recommend cooking them ahead of time to reduce the liquid in them, that's not necessary for this recipe. These vegetables will be tender, but still retain their texture and lots of flavor.

Serve this blend of corn, yellow squash and yellow bell peppers as a side dish or as a main dish over pasta with shaved parmesan cheese.

What You'll Need

  •  2 ears of corn, kernels shaved off
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, cut into thin strips
  • 6 small yellow crookneck squash, cut in half and sliced into 1/2-inch wide half moons
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • A few grinds of black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped or torn fresh basil

How to Make It

Combine the corn, bell peppers, yellow squash, onion and garlic in the slow cooker with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir all the ingredients well, and cook on high for 2 hours. Resist the temptation to keep checking on it before it's ready; slow cookers are best left alone while they cook. Every time you lift the lid, you increase the cooking time. 

Before serving, top with fresh basil or other herbs or spices you prefer (dried basil is also OK, but you might need to use more to get enough flavor).

To make a spicier variety of this dish, you might substitute the basil with cumin for a more Latin flavor, or use curry for a sweeter taste that evokes Indian cuisine. Whatever you do, wait until the cooking is almost complete; if you add spices and herbs too early to a slow cooker dish their flavor can fade and become dulled over the long cooking process.

Serve over pasta with shaved parmesan cheese or serve as a vegetable side dish. Can be served warm or at room temperature. Other good accompaniments for this dish include basmati rice, naan bread, noodles or a nice crusty Italian bread. 

Recipe Jennifer Meier, licensed to About.com, Inc.