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17 Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes That Are Seriously So Easy

Women's Health logo Women's Health 05/12/2018 by Christine Yu
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Sure, sometimes it's fun to dedicate a night to preparing a lavish meal at home. But most of the time, you're not about to spend hours cooking dinner (can you say: hangry?). Plus, you need that valuable time for other things-like working out (or, uh, binge-watching Netflix).

Luckily, so many tasty and healthy eats-braised meats, veggie-packed stews, and even steel-cut oatmeal-are perfect candidates for set-it-and-forget-it slow cooker meals. Just throw your ingredients in the morning or evening before, and let the little machine work its magic.

1. Moroccan Meatballs

a box filled with different types of food: Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes © Skinny Taste Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes

Combine sauce ingredients with rolled meatballs in a slow cooker, and let the machine do its thing. You’ll end up with a high-protein, veggie-packed dinner that also works great as lunch leftovers.

Per serving: 334 cal, 15 g fat (4.5 g sat), 18 g carbs, 8 g sugar, 997 mg sodium, 6 g fibre, 36 g protein

Get the recipe from Skinny Taste.

2. Braised Chicken with Tomatoes and Rosemary

a bowl of soup: Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes © Skinny Taste Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes

If you love fall-off-the-bone meat (and, who doesn’t?), this healthy chicken recipe is right up your alley. Serve it over whole-wheat pasta, cooked whole grains, or spaghetti squash to round out the meal.

Per serving: 221 calories, 7.5 g fat (2 g saturated), 6 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 362 mg sodium, 1.5 g fibre, 29.5 g protein

Get the recipe from Skinny Taste.

3. Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

a plate of food and a cup of coffee: Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes © Eating Bird Food Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes

Slow cookers aren’t just for meaty dinners-they also make killer oatmeal, which saves you time in the morning. This version is perfect for fall, and would go great with a homemade PSL.

Per serving: 242 calories, 10 g fat (0 g saturated), 45 g carbs, 12 g sugar, 229 mg sodium, 8 g fibre, 8 g protein

Get the recipe from Eating Bird Food.

4. Slow Cooker Black Bean Quinoa Pumpkin Chicken Chili

a bowl of food on a plate: Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes © Ambitious Kitchen Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes

This hearty chilli is packed with varied flavours and textures, and a batch will yield a full week’s worth of packed lunches. Using chicken instead of ground beef lowers the saturated fat content, which is definitely a win.

Per serving: 320 calories, 7.6 g fat (1.6 g saturated), 41.8 g carbs, 9.2 g sugar, 566 mg sodium, 10.8 g fibre, 31.5 g protein

Get the recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.

5. Chicken Tikka Masala

a bowl of food on a plate: Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes © Ambitious Kitchen Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes

Just because you’re in the mood for takeout, doesn’t mean you need to spend money on delivery food. Plan ahead and whip up this easy chicken tikka masala, then freeze individual leftover servings for when a craving hits.

Per serving: 278 calories, 9.2 g fat (3.8 g saturated), 22 g carbs, 9.5 g sugar, 366 mg sodium, 3.9 g fibre, 26.2 g protein

Get the recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.

6. Sweet Potato and Chickpea Slow Cooker Tagine

a bowl of food on a plate: Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes © Amuse Your Bouche Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes

Whether or not you’re a vegetarian, this meatless meal will hit the spot on a chilly fall day. The satisfying mix of sweet potatoes, chickpeas, vegetables, and spices is comforting and totally energising.

Per serving: 177 calories, 2.6 g fat (0.3 g saturated), 33.3 g carbs, 11.6 g sugar. 66 mg sodium, 10.9 g fibre, 7.9 g protein

Get the recipe from Amuse Your Bouche.

7. Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

a bowl of food on a plate: Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes © Amuse Your Bouche Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes

If the idea of rice and mushroom soup conjures memories of congealed brown glop from your school cafeteria, let this delicious homemade version change your mind! The mushrooms and rice make for a combo that’s super-hearty, even without any meat.

Per serving: 345 calories, 3.2 g fat (1.6 g saturated), 61.5 g carbs, 9.4 g sugar, 483 mg sodium, 7.2 g fibre, 17.1 g protein

Get the recipe from Amuse Your Bouche.

8. Paleo Pumpkin Spice Trail Mix

a close up of food: Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes © Cotter Crunch Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes

The next time you hit a trail, pack a bag of this easy grain-free trail mix. It gets a ton of flavour from pumpkin spice, a little bit of sweetness from coconut sugar and dried cranberries, and plenty of healthy fats from a variety of nuts.

Per serving: 129 calories, 9.1 g fat (3 g saturated), 12.5 g carbs, 9.5 g sugar, 2.5 mg sodium, 1.3 g fibre, 2.2 g protein

Get the recipe from Cotter Crunch.

9. Autumn Quinoa Pilaf With Wild Rice

a bowl of food on a plate: Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes © Cotter Crunch Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes

This fibre-packed pilaf works as a light meatless main (toss in some some baked tofu or chickpeas for extra protein and staying power), or as a side dish. The pilaf is great straight out of the slow cooker, but adding feta, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, and herbs after everything is cooked really brings it to the next level.

Per serving: 236 calories, 8.3 g fat (3 g saturated), 32.3 g carbs, 3.4 g sugar, 292 mg sodium, 4.2 g fibre, 9.2 g protein

Get the recipe from Cotter Crunch.

10. Beef Stew

a bowl filled with meat and vegetables: Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes © Well Plated Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes

Beef stew might not be what comes to mind when you think of healthy recipes, but the combination of protein, potatoes, and tonnes of veggies makes for a really well-balanced meal. Oh, and it’s delicious.

Per serving: 321 calories, 10 g fat (2 g saturated), 24 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 359 mg sodium, 4 g fibre, 30 g protein

Get the recipe from Well Plated.

11. Risotto with Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese

a bowl of rice on a plate: Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes © Well Plated Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes

This risotto is made with whole-grain brown rice and plenty of butternut squash, so it definitely covers your healthy carb needs. You can add a little protein by throwing an over-easy egg on top, or by serving it as a side dish alongside roast chicken.

Per serving: 195 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated), 26 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 412 mg sodium, 3 g fibre, 7 g protein

Get the recipe from Well Plated.

12. Buffalo Chicken-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

a close up of food: Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes © The Real Food Dietitians Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes

These sweet potatoes are just decadent enough. If you choose the right hot sauce and make your own ranch dressing, they’re also Whole30-compliant.

Per serving: 320 calories, 13 g fat (8 g saturated), 25 g carbs, 9 g sugar, 500 mg sodium, 3 g fibre, 24 g protein

Get the recipe from The Real Food Dietitians.

13. Philly Cheese Chicken Tacos

a plate of food on a wooden table: Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes © Nutrition In The Kitch Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes

This lightened-up version of a classic definitely deserves a spot on your next football party spread. Made with chicken instead of beef, heavy on the peppers and onions, and relatively light on the cheese, these are tasty but won’t weigh you down.

Per serving: 420 calories, 14 g fat (3 g saturated), 27 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 363 mg sodium, 3 g fibre, 40 g protein

Get the recipe from Nutrition In The Kitch.

14. Minestrone Soup

a bowl of soup: Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes © Skinny Taste Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes

This diner classic is a satisfying mix of veggies and pasta, all in a rich, savoury broth.

Per serving: 190 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated), 32 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 483 mg sodium, 8 g fibre, 9 g protein

Get the recipe from Skinny Taste.

15. Butternut Squash, Chickpea, and Lentil Moroccan Stew

a bowl of food on a plate: Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes © Ambitious Kitchen Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes

Stew is arguably what the slow cooker does best. For cosiest results, serve a bowl of this fibre-rich goodness with some fresh naan.

Per serving: 431 calories, 6 g fat (3 g saturated), 78 g carbs, 11 g sugar, 524 mg sodium, 28 g fibre, 27.5 g protein

Get the recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.

16. Chicken Fajita Soup

a bowl of soup: Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes © Eating Bird Food Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes

Don’t feel like whipping out a skillet and fixin’s for full-on fajitas? This easy soup has all the flavours you love, minus the mess.

Per serving: 322 calories, 14 g fat (1 g saturated), 20 g carbs, 6 g sugar, 487 mg sodium, 5 g fibre, 33 g protein

Get the recipe from Eating Bird Food.

17. Rosemary Carrot Parsnip Mash

a bowl of food: Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes © Cotter Crunch Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes

This slow cooker carrot parsnip mash is a great, nutrient-packed swap for mashed potatoes.

Per serving: 245 calories, 14 g fat (7 g saturated), 29 g carbs, 9 g sugar, 213 mg sodium, 7 g fibre, 3 g protein

Get the recipe from Cotter Crunch.

Gallery: 10 Vegan Soups To Keep You Warm During Winter

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