16 Healthy Slow-Cooker Suppers to Savor
Healthy slow-cooker recipes
Toss in a few good-for-you ingredients, turn it on—and come back later to a delicious dinner (and easy cleanup!). You can make these hearty slow-cooker supper recipes ahead of time to feed a crowd or feast for a week yourself on savory leftovers. While vegetarians can certainly make use of slow cookers, the "low and slow" method is perfect for tenderizing less pricey cuts of meat so you can fill up on protein without breaking the bank. Plus, cooking your meals over low heat for lengthier periods of time ensures that your resulting masterpiece is brimming with flavor. Try these 16 slow-cooker suppers–they're worth the wait.
Slow-Cooker Chicken with Tarragon and Leeks
Try this recipe: Slow-Cooker Chicken with Tarragon and Leeks
The tasty sauce that accompanies this lean protein-packed dish gets it's flavor from leeks and fresh herbs, not an excess of sodium. Greek yogurt adds creaminess without a load of saturated fat. Those leeks also offer vitamins A, C, and K.
Ingredients: Baby new potatoes, skinless bone-in chicken thighs, leeks, dry white wine, kosher salt, frozen peas, whole milk, low-fat Greek-style yogurt, fresh tarragon
Slow-Cooker Turkey Meatballs
Try this recipe: Slow-Cooker Turkey Meatballs
Swap ground beef for lean ground turkey to cut back on the fat in traditional meatballs. Pineapple adds a sweet surprise and packs loads of immunity-boosting vitamin C.
Ingredients: 85% lean ground turkey, onion, garlic cloves, fresh ginger, egg, panko, salt, vegetable oil, red bell pepper, rice vinegar, soy sauce, light brown sugar, crushed red pepper, cornstarch, pineapple chunks
Slow-Cooker Chickpeas with Cumin and Spinach
Try this recipe: Slow-Cooker Chickpeas with Cumin and Spinach
Chickpeas are loaded with protein and fiber, not to mention folate, which helps your cells divide and make DNA. If you have leftovers, you can store these savory garbanzo beans in the fridge for up to two days.
Ingredients: Chickpeas, baking soda, spinach, olive oil, garlic, cumin seeds, vegetable broth, sea salt flakes or kosher salt
Split Pea and Greens Soup
Try this recipe: Split Pea and Greens Soup
The thick-cut, low-sodium ham steak in this comforting bowl cuts back on fat in traditional split pea soups made with bacon. You'll get filling fiber from the kale and the spit peas themselves, which are also rich in thiamin and folate, both B vitamins.
Ingredients: Green split peas, sweet onion, carrots, celery, thyme, ham steak, kale, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper
Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
Try this recipe: Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
Feed a crowd with this DIY dish that's as good as restaurant-caliber BBQ. You'll cut back on sugar by preparing your own sauce, and opting for chicken instead of pork means less fat per sandwich too.
Ingredients: Smoked sweet paprika, dry mustard, dark brown sugar, chicken thighs, cider vinegar, ketchup, cayenne, red cabbage, whole-wheat hamburger buns, salt, pepper
Three Bean Chipotle Chili
Try this recipe: Three Bean Chipotle Chili
Kidney, cannellini, and pinto beans come together with sweet potatoes and loads of seasoning for a hearty chili that packs 15 grams of fiber and protein per steaming serving.
Ingredients: Dried kidney beans, dried cannellini beans, dried pinto beans, red onions, sweet potatoes, garlic, chipotle chiles in adobo, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, molasses, cumin, dried oregano, salt, pepper
Try this recipe: Mediterranean Meatballs
Fire-roasted tomatoes, mint, and scallions make these meatballs extra flavorful, all for under 200 calories. Serve them in a whole-wheat pita for an easy handheld meal.
Ingredients: Panko bread crumbs, ground sirloin, scallions, mint leaves, egg, olive oil, garlic, cumin, cayenne, fire-roasted crushed tomatoes, whole-wheat pitas, Persian cucumbers, salt, pepper
Try this recipe: Mushroom-Barley Risotto
Risotto usually requires your undivided attention and lots of stirring, but making it in a slow cooker means you can forget all about it and still delight in the creamy finished product. This recipe calls for pearl barley, which is higher in fiber than traditional rice.
Ingredients: Dried porcini mushrooms, leek, white mushrooms, pearl barley, vegetable broth, thyme, flat-leaf parsley, salt, pepper
Try this recipe: Vegetable-Beef Soup
Coming home to this comforting dish at the end of a cold day can't be beat. Serve with a multi-grain roll to soak up every last drop of the protein-rich, savory soup from your bowl.
Ingredients: All-purpose flour, lean top round steak, spicy herb blend, frozen gumbo vegetables mix, frozen chopped onion, canned diced tomatoes with garlic, beef broth, minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper
Try this recipe: Pulled-Pork Tacos
Rich pork becomes ultra-tender in the slow cooker. You'll love the smoky flavor combination of unsweetened cocoa and chili powder. Add a little hot sauce if you can handle the heat; the active ingredient in spicy peppers, capsaicin, can help rev your metabolism.
Ingredients: Salsa, chili powder, dried oregano, unsweetened cocoa, pork butt or shoulder, corn tortillas, cilantro sprigs, sour cream, limes
Smoky Chipotle Chili
Try this recipe: Smoky Chipotle Chili
This budget-friendly chili (chuck steak is an economical and leaner cut of beef) cuts back on the sodium in a traditional bowl. Pinto beans, tomatoes, and red bell peppers up the fiber content to keep you full, and a touch of cocoa adds rich flavor.
Ingredients: Dried pinto beans, coarsely chopped onion, ground cumin, ground coriander, dried oregano, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, unsweetened cocoa, chuck steak, tomato paste, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, frozen corn kernels, can diced tomato, kosher salt, reduced-fat sour cream, fresh cilantro
Curried Lamb and Carrots
Try this recipe: Curried Lamb and Carrots
Lamb is relatively high in saturated fat, so wow guests with this dish on a special occasion. A perfect blend of sweet and spicy, this Thai-inspired meal can be made even more nutritious by swapping in quinoa for the couscous.
Ingredients: Carrots, onion, all-purpose flour, lean boneless lamb, cooking spray, apple cider, mango chutney, minced garlic, Thai seasoning, curry powder, salt, pepper, couscous
Coq au Vin
Try this recipe: Coq au Vin
Simmering juicy chicken thighs in red wine, bay leaves, thyme, and veggies for hours locks in moisture and flavor. Serve with arugula for brain-protecting vitamin K; it's why leafy greens help keep memory sharp.
Ingredients: Carrots, baby bella mushrooms, bay leaves, flour, dried thyme, chicken thighs, olive oil, tomato paste, dry red wine, pearl onions, baby arugula, salt, pepper
Pork Roast with Apples
Try this recipe: Pork Roast with Apples
Pork and apples make a classic pairing, and this slow-cooker version also has big health benefits. Pectin, a type of fiber found in apples, has been linked to lower LDL or "bad" cholesterol, and fennel may help quell digestive woes.
Ingredients: Poultry seasoning, pork loin roast, sweet-tart apples, fennel bulbs, apple cider, salt, pepper
Slow-Cooker Molasses and Spice Wheat Berries
Try this recipe: Slow-Cooker Molasses and Spice Wheat Berries
With just a few minutes of prep, you'll have this slow-cooker breakfast set before you go to bed, so you can wake up to a seriously flavorful morning meal. If you're not familiar with them, wheat berries are a hearty whole grain with loads of filling fiber and some protein and energizing iron, too.
Ingredients: Wheat berries, cinnamon stick, orange zest, fresh ginger, ground nutmeg, ground allspice, ground cloves, salt, unsalted butter, molasses, raisins, toasted pecans
Classic Beef Stew
Try this recipe: Classic Beef Stew
What could be a more quintessential slow-cooker recipe than a hearty beef stew? Ours is lightened up with low-sodium chicken broth and heavy on the filling, fibrous veggies.
Ingredients: Cornstarch, dried rosemary, beef stew meat, shallots, red potatoes, carrots, celery, shiitake mushrooms, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, flat-leaf parsley, salt, pepper