Counterintuitive as it may seem, using a slow cooker is often the fastest way to prepare a wholesome homemade meal. The process is seriously easy: Just chop the ingredients (veggies, meat, alternative protein), place in the crock, add some seasoning, and forget about it. Four to eight hours later you have a complete meal that can be enjoyed immediately. Plus, the leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, ready to heat up the next time you’re too busy to cook. What’s more, the countertop device is the perfect vessel for preparing comfort foods your body craves during cold-weather months, and the long cook time allows flavors to deeply meld, making even basic, inexpensive ingredients taste fantastic. Here, we’ve rounded up 30 healthy slow cooker recipes that are easy to prepare, delicious, and satisfying.
Soups & Stews
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes, black beans, and kidney beans serve as the hearty base of this chili. Fresh garlic, red onion, bell pepper, cinnamon, and a hint of unsweetened cocoa powder marry the flavors for a nourishing afternoon meal.
Creamy Tomato Soup
This recipe gives rich and creamy tomato soup a nutritious upgrade without sacrificing flavor. Instead of heavy cream or butter, this recipe calls for fiber-packed unsweetened almond milk.
Savory Superfood Soup
This power-packed soup is a perfect way to fuel your afternoon. Sweet potatoes, green beans, and carrots are light, natural energizing foods with tons of fiber to help keep you full and satisfied.
Black Bean Soup
Have trouble digesting beans? This soup starts with soaking dried beans in order to eliminate the natural acids and enzymes that are hard for our bodies to process. You may never go back to canned beans once you know how to make them fresh.
Paleo Chicken Tortilla Soup
A healthy twist on classic comfort food. Shredded carrots, diced tomatoes, chopped celery, and shredded chicken add lots of flavor so you won’t miss the dairy. You’ll find this dish soothes and satisfies the soul just as much as the creamy version.
Beef & Potato Stew
During your busiest weeks, turn to this classic beef stew recipe. Not only does the flavor develop and improve one or two days after you make it, but it’s also easy to freeze individual servings in mason jars for on-the-go meals.
Quinoa & Vegetables
This recipe for fluffy quinoa flavored with basil, garlic, onion, and vegetable stock is as easy as it gets. Just toss the ingredients into the slow cooker and let the flavors combine.
Spinach & Ricotta Lasagna
Layers of Parmesan cheese, marinara, mozzarella, and lasagna noodles slowly combine until the pasta becomes tender. Serve with an easy romaine salad to make your afternoon lunch pleasurable and satisfying.
Super Simple Channa Masala
Fiber packed garbanzo beans are the feature in this classic Indian dish. Turmeric, a powerful spice used in Ayurvedic medicine as an anti-inflammatory, pairs well with cumin and coriander to create a powerful combination of spices that help boost immunity and appease afternoon hunger pangs.
Stuffed Acorn Squash
Give stuffed squash a twist with this vegetarian version. Protein-packed quinoa will provide enough energy to conquer even the busiest afternoon. You could also add a side of fish or meat to round out this dish and make it an easy go-to weekday meal.
Lentil & Kale Superfood Recipe
Not into the kale craze? Try this lentil and kale combination with vibrant flavors like ginger, cumin, fire roasted chilies, and garlic. It might change your mind about the hearty green.
Deep-Dish Cheese Pizza with Cauliflower Crust
Not your traditional pizza crust here. Many cauliflower pizza recipes require you to take the time to squeeze moisture out of the cauliflower. Instead, save yourself time (and sanity) and make the cauliflower crust in your slow cooker. It will be perfectly browned on the outside and soft on the inside.
Layer lasagna in your slow cooker and then set it and forget it. No need to precook noodles here. You’ll end up with perfectly al dente noodles and a creamy veggie mixture that’s sure to satisfy.
All-Purpose Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken
This versatile chicken recipe can be used in salads, soups, BBQ chicken sandwiches, and quesadillas. Make a big batch and freeze half of it for future meals.
Balsamic Pear & Portobello Mushroom Slow-Cooker Chicken
With only four ingredients, this dish is sure to surprise you by how flavorful it is. And because it has only 181 calories per serving and four grams of fat, there’s no reason to not fill up on seconds.
Asian Lettuce Wraps
Skip carb-heavy sandwiches by ditching the bread and making a lettuce wrap. Water chestnuts give texture and crunch to this midday meal, and hot mustard adds just enough heat to balance the cool lettuce.
Honey Garlic Chicken
It takes less than six ingredients to make this flavorful dish. It’s super versatile and would be great for dinner with a side salad or even turned into a sandwich or wrap for lunch. Plus, the sweet honey chicken has a little hint of garlic that will please the pickiest eaters.
Turkey & Sausage
Sausage in Peppers
The cauliflower “rice” in this recipe is full of vitamins C, K, and B6 as well as folate, fiber, and healthy omega-3 fats. Fresh basil, dried oregano, and thyme add an earthy tone to the ground Italian hot sausage.
Easy Slow Cooker Paella
Brown the sausage, add the veggies into the slow cooker, and let the paprika and turmeric do their thing. Mix seafood in at the very end and dinner is served.
Turkey Meatballs in Tomato-Spinach Sauce
Taking extra time to brown your turkey meatballs before throwing them into your slow cooker will make them crispy on the outside while still soft and juicy on the inside. Cook the meatballs in spices like cumin, paprika, and garlic powder and kick up the flavor of your sauce. Make it a meal by adding the meatballs over pasta, quinoa, couscous, steamed veggies, or rice.
Almond Cherry & Coconut Granola
Warm, chewy, slightly sweet granola fresh out of the slow cooker. Raw almonds provide protein, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, while the cherries are packed with flavonoids, vitamins A and C.
Healthy Crock-Pot Breakfast Casserole
With only 320 calories per serving, plus 5 grams of fiber and over 22 grams of protein, this breakfast casserole is a great way to start your morning. Fiber and protein help you stay full and energized throughout the morning. Bonus: This recipe stores in the refrigerator up to five days to provide breakfast for the week.
Slow Cooker Baked Apples
Waking up to baked apples stuffed with raisins, honey, cinnamon, and coconut oil is a delightful way to start any day. This recipe could also be made for a sweet treat after dinner.
Slow Cooker Multigrain Cereal
You can’t go wrong with a bowl of warm cereal. Steel-cut oats, pearl barley, and quinoa create a nice, hearty texture. Top with fresh fruit you have on hand and drizzle with maple syrup or honey.
Slow Cooker Spinach & Mozzarella Frittata
Skip the scrambled eggs and omelets and head straight to your slow cooker for this spinach and mozzarella frittata. The perfect main dish for any breakfast or brunch, your guests won’t leave without getting the recipe. With 12 grams of protein per serving, it will keep even the biggest appetites satisfied all morning long.
Carrot Cake & Zucchini Bread Oatmeal
Carrot cake lovers can get their fix with this sweet and savory recipe. Ground cloves, cinnamon, and grated carrots will remind you of your favorite dessert, chopped pecans and zucchini add texture, and brown sugar adds just enough sweetness.
Slow Cooker Spiced Applesauce
The perfect way to start a cold winter morning. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves will warm your body from the inside out. Cook this one overnight and wake up to the smell of mouth-watering spiced apples.
Egg, Ham & Spinach Breakfast Casserole
This recipe is something that can easily be thrown together at the beginning of the week but is impressive enough to serve to guests for brunch. You’ll find all the breakfast classics: spinach, cheese, ham, and mushrooms, plus a little Greek yogurt to keep it creamy and smooth.
Making homemade yogurt has never been easier or more affordable. Spice up this recipe with fruit, nuts, and vanilla extract or keep it simple and serve as is.
If you’ve never tried your hand at quiche, this is a perfect recipe for beginners. You’ll start your day with vitamins K, A, B6, C, and E from the spinach, and the eggs provide high-quality protein and amino acids.