If you are looking for a healthy way to eat at home that tastes delicious and will save you money, a slow cooker may be for you. Sales of slow cookers are on the rise, and it is easy to see why as you can cook flavorsome meals with a minimum amount effort. Slow cookers are reasonably priced, energy efficient, and ideal for making delicious meals out of budget ingredients. Best of all, cookbooks and the internet are full of slow cooker healthy recipes to help you meet your diet goals and make cooking easier at the same time.
Once you’ve tried using a slow cooker and you see and taste the results, there will be no going back. You’ll be a slow cooker convert for life.
Benefits of a Slow Cooker
Slow cookers have many benefits that will make mealtimes easier and hassle-free:
- Energy efficient: Slow cookers use less electricity than an oven does.
- Home-cooked meals: Nothing beats a home-cooked meal. When you can make one-step preparation meals in a slow cooker, it eliminates the temptation of ordering takeout.
- Simple meal prep: You can make a large batch of food to eat all week at once.
- Stronger flavors: A slow cooker will bring out the flavor in foods.
- Tenderized meats: Due to the long, low-temperature of cooking, a slow cooker will help tenderize tougher cuts of meat.
- Time-saving device: Because of the long cooking time, using a slow cooker will free up your time. You can do other tasks while your meal is cooking.
These benefits have made these appliances staples for the kitchen.
Slow Cooker Meal Prep
You can make many meals in a slow cooker, including soups, one-pot meals, stews, and casseroles. One of the key benefits of a slow cooker is that you can prep meals in advance to cook thought out the week.
Large Batch Meal Prep
You can make many foods in large batches and then eat them over time.
For example, by making a large batch of chili on Sunday, you can enjoy the meal throughout the week. Freeze the chili and thaw out the night before you want to eat it. Have chili in a baked potato, tacos, or with chips and sour cream.
Individual Dish Meal Prep
Spend a Sunday afternoon chopping ingredients for slow cooker healthy recipes to be frozen and eaten throughout the week. By labeling, bagging, or boxing a meal into individual sized portions, you’ll be able to cook a meal quickly when you need it.
The night before you cook the meal, move the meal prep bags to the fridge to thaw.
Breakfast Meal Prep
Who doesn’t want to get up in the morning and have a hot breakfast waiting for them to enjoy as soon as they get up?
Slow cookers can also be used to create oatmeal, frittatas, omelets, and quinoa bowls. You can put on the slow cooker before you go to bed, and it will do all the work for you while you sleep.
Are you new to meal prep? Read our Top 5 Tips for Any Meal Prep Beginner.
Leave the Slow Cooker to Do Its Thing
Slow cookers have been designed to be left alone. There is no need to keep checking the contents to see if it’s cooking. Checking can be counterproductive because every time you take off the lid, it will release some of the heat. Therefore, if you keep checking on your meal, it will end up increasing the cooking time.Read Our Slow Cooker Reviews
These slow cooker healthy recipes are delicious and only take minimal effort and time to make.
5.) Slow Cooker Taco Lentil Soup
This easy to make taco lentil soup from Ambitious Kitchen is packed full of protein and tastes delicious. This soup is the perfect slow cooker comfort food to eat while hibernating at home in your coziest jumper dreaming about vacationing in sunny destinations.
- Serves: 4
- Prep time: 10 mins
- Cook time: 4 hours
- Total time: 4 hours 10 min
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 white onion, diced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup green or brown lentils, rinsed
- 4 cups vegetarian broth
- 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tbsp. cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/4 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 tsp. salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup of frozen organic corn
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
- Diced cilantro, sliced jalapeno, tortilla chips
- Place a medium pan over medium-high heat. Add in the olive oil, garlic, bell pepper, onion, and jalapeño.
- Sauté until onions are brown and soft.
- Add everything but the corn and the garnish to the slow cooker.
- Stir the ingredients together to combine.
- Cover and cook for 3-4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low.
- Stir in the corn 20 minutes before serving.
- Top with cheese and garnish with extra cilantro, chips, and jalapeño.
4.) Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers
Slow Cooker Gourmet’s stuffed pepper slow cooker recipe is a colorful, fun, and delectable way to eat healthily at home.
Peppers are a tasty addition to any dish, but have you tried stuffing them? Peppers can be stuffed with a variety of ingredients to suit your taste.
Here is a great recipe that involves no precooking. All you need to do is mix a few ingredients in a bowl, stuff the peppers and let them cook for a few hours.
- Serves: 4
- Prep time: 15 minutes
- Cook time: 2 hours
- Total time: 2hours 15 minutes
- 4 large bell peppers
- 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 14.5 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 cup Minute Rice Premium
- 3 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. dried cilantro
- 1/2 cup water + 1/2 cup water in the slow cooker
- 1 cup shredded cheese blend
- Wash and remove the seeds, ribs, and tops of the peppers.
- Mix the beans, tomatoes, rice, seasonings, and 1/2 cup water in a bowl until it is all well combined.
- Fill the peppers to the top with the mixture.
- Add the other 1/2 cup water to the slow cooker.
- Place peppers into the slow cooker, filling side up.
- Top the peppers evenly with cheese.
- Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6 until peppers are tender and the rice is cooked.
Fancy a nice, healthy drink to go with your slow cooker meal? Check out these five healthy juice recipes that taste great and will make you feel healthy.
3.) Slow Cooker Omelet
Start your day right with this healthy slow cooker omelet recipe from Primavera Kitchen. You will probably already have the ingredients you need in your pantry.
The recipe can be made the night before for a quick and easy breakfast the next day and to save you time. This omelet is a hearty, homemade meal that is ideal for breakfast, brunch, or dinner.
- Serves: 6
- Prep time: 10 minutes
- Cook time: 4 hours 35 minutes
- Total time: 4 hours 45 minutes
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 cup of milk or almond milk
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 small white onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Cherry tomatoes
- Fresh parsley
- Use cooking spray to coat the inside of the slow cooker.
- Combine the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and garlic in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until the mixture is combined.
- Pour the egg mixture into the slow cooker.
- Add the bell peppers and onions.
- Cover and cook on high for 2.5 hours.
- Sprinkle with cheese on top of the omelet and cover. Cook until cheese is melted.
- Before serving, add the garnish of fresh parsley and cherry tomatoes.
2.) Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili Recipe
Kitchen Mason’s vegetarian chili recipe is one of the slow cooker healthy recipes that can be enjoyed all year. This tasty recipe is all done in the slow cooker to save you time and require fewer dishes, which means less washing up.
Vegetarian chili is the perfect meal for freezing and enjoyed at a later date.
- Serves: 6
- Prep time: 15 minutes
- Cook time: 5 hours
- Total time: 5 hours 15 minutes
- 3 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
- 2 small onions, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 39g packet of chili seasoning
- 150 g dried split red lentils
- salt and pepper
- 800 g (2 x Tins) chopped tomatoes
- 400 g (1 Tin) of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 550 ml of vegetable stock
- Sour cream
- Chopped fresh parsley
- Place the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, chili seasoning, and lentils into the slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the tinned tomatoes, kidney beans, and 300 ml of the vegetable stock.
- Stir well, then cook on low for 5-6 hours.
- Mix in the remaining 250 ml of vegetable stock.
- Serve immediately with sour cream and freshly chopped parsley.
Top Tip: For a more hearty meal, top a baked potato with the chili and grate some cheese on top.
1.) Skinny Veggie Slow Cooker Lasagna
You can make this healthy lasagna recipe from Pinch of Yum in your slow cooker. It’s jam-packed full of veggies and all the goodness your body needs. Prep only takes 30 minutes, and then you can spend the rest of the day relaxing and doing chores while the lasagna cooks.
- Serves: 9
- Prep time: 30 minutes
- Cook time: 6 hours
- Total time: 6 hours 30 minutes
- 2, 24-ounce jars or cans of tomato sauce
- 9 thick lasagna pasta with wavy edges
- 24 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese OR cottage cheese
- 3–4 cups chopped vegetables of choice
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella or provolone cheese
- Parmesan cheese for topping
- Fresh parsley for topping
- Spray the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
- Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce on the bottom to ensure the pasta don’t stick.
- Break pasta to fit inside the slow cooker. Fill the bottom.
- Cover the pasta with one-third of the ricotta, veggies, sauce, cheese.
- Place a layer of pasta on top.
- Repeat for two more layers.
- End with a layer of pasta on top and cover with a thin layer of sauce and some shredded cheese.
- Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 5-6 hours.
- Turn the slow cooker off entirely and let the lasagna sit for at least one hour.
- Serve, add garnish, and enjoy.
Want to know about slow cookers? Read our review on the best 5 slow cookers to buy in 2019.
Which one of these slow cooker recipes would you like to make? Try them out to see how easy slow cooker healthy recipes can be.