While I love to cook, I’m always looking for ways to cut a few corners in meal prep. I’ll opt for a “splash” of this instead of measuring things out, and I take a hard pass on any “optional” ingredient in a recipe if it means eliminating a step. Of course, there are occasions when I’m fully ready to roll up my sleeves and spend hours perfecting a culinary masterpiece. But most of the time (aka weeknights), I’m sticking with my tried-and-true strategies to get a delicious meal on the table as quickly as possible.
We’re all busy, but that doesn’t mean our meals have to lack nutrition and flavor when we’re short on time.
So when I finally discovered slow-cooker meals, the magic was not lost on me. Perfectly roast an entire meal while you sleep? Provide enough to feed a crowd? Only one pot to clean at the end? This thing is foolproof, and with a little bit of prep and a few ingredients, you can come home to an easy, warming meal at the end of the day. So scroll on for some of the best healthy slow-cooker recipes I like to keep in my back pocket. Whether you’re in the mood for a comforting stew, cozy curry, or a veggie-packed soup, we’ve got slow-cooker recipes for whatever healthy comfort food you’re craving.
Do you have your own list of the best slow cooker meals that make dinnertime easy and effortless? Please share them in the comments below!
image above: slow-cooked chicken stew with kale from bon appetit
Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala by Camille Styles
Just chop up a few ingredients, throw them in the slow-cooker before work, and at the end of the day, you’re greeted by the most mouthwatering aromas of your favorite Indian meal. But with less grease, sodium, and after-bloat. You’re welcome.
Salsa Verde Shredded Beef Bowls by The Defined Dish
You can’t go wrong with a simple yet versatile protein that basically cooks itself. This flavorful, savory shredded beef can be served bowl-style, wrapped up in a tortilla, on top of a stuffed sweet potato, you name it!
Sweet Potato Lentil Stew by FitFoodieFinds
Want the most bang for your buck when it comes to meal prep? This sweet potato lentil stew feeds a crowd and freezes beautifully. You’ll have a cozy, delicious meal ready to go when your comfort food craving hits.
We love this yummy protein-packed bowl for a healthy, delicious weeknight meal; If you want to take this recipe to the next level, just scoop it up with all the toppings into a burrito-sized tortilla and fully enjoy a full Chipotle-style indulgence.
Thai Curry Spiced Slow-Cooker Snack Mix by Cotter Crunch
Okay, not a dinner recipe but how genius is this? If you’re a snacker like me, this slow-cooker nut mix is great to have on hand. I’m always on the hunt for snacks that are packed with healthy protein and fat, and won’t slow me down throughout the day. Swap in your favorite nuts and mix-ins and you’ve got yourself a trail-mix upgrade.
Slow-Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken by Well Plated by Erin
This juicy, flavorful chicken is truly better (and healthier) than my usual Sunday takeout order. By using tamari instead of soy sauce and arrowroot flour instead of cornstarch, you’ve got your restaurant-level Asian dinner, healthified.
Slow-Cooker Sweet Potato Mexican Quinoa by Fit Foodie Finds
If any recipe calls for sweet potatoes, I’m in. This easy Mexican quinoa makes for another laid-back meal that tastes like you worked up a sweat in the kitchen for hours. With bursts of flavor from the green chiles, balanced with the tender, satisfying sweet potatoes, you’ve got a party on a plate that comes together in a snap.
Slow-Cooker Chicken & White Bean Chili by Camille Styles
The only prep this recipe requires is chopping up an onion and opening a few cans. It really is that easy, and after hanging out in the slow-cooker for eight hours, it tastes like you’ve been hovering over the stove all day.
Parsnip & Split Pea Soup by the Simple Veganista
In the past, one of the easiest ways I’ve succeeded in sticking to my health goals is by having a big batch of healthy vegetable soup on hand for weekday lunches. This soup is thick and hearty, yet packed with tons of healthy ingredients like carrots, parsnips, and peas. Just prep a big batch on a Sunday, and have it in the fridge ready to reheat and enjoy.
Mom’s Slow-Cooker Beef Stew by Ambitious Kitchen
Growing up, my mom used to make delicious beef stew whenever the weather began to cool off in Texas, and I’d feel instantly transported to my favorite mountain town. There’s nothing more comforting on a cold winter night than warm stew simmering away in the kitchen. Add in fuzzy socks and your favorite knit sweater and you’ve got yourself a top-notch cozy night in.
Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies by Damn Delicious
After I discovered the deliciousness that is bone-in chicken thighs there was no turning back. Every tender, flavor-packed bite put any boneless chicken breast I’d ever made to shame. This recipe is a great go-to for feeding a group, and the veggies can be swapped out for whatever you have on hand.
The Best Black Bean Chili by Gimme Some Oven
This veggie chili is the ultimate healthy comfort food. Just add all of the ingredients to your slow cooker and let it do the work. Your only job is to serve yourself a warm bowl with all your fave toppings when dinnertime rolls around.
Slow-Cooked Chicken Stew with Kale by Bon Appetit
We can’t talk about slow-cookers without mentioning bone broth. Whether you’ve warmed up to it yet or not, bone broth has become all the rage for its miraculous healing powers for skin, nails, hair, and overall health. While you can drink it on its own, you can also reap its benefits while enjoying all of your favorite veggies in this delicious, healthy chicken stew.
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