40 Healthy Crock-Pot Recipes
Your slow cooker is the secret to a fast, easy, and healthy dinner. From protein-packed soups and stews (like this Tuscan White Bean and Lentil Soup and this Cuban Pork and Black Bean Stew) to impressive meals that no one would ever guess came from a Crock-Pot (we're looking at you, Chicken With 40 Cloves of Garlic), you're going to want to bookmark this collection of our best healthy slow cooker recipes.
Simple Slow Cooker Spaghetti Squash
As easy as it gets, this is a great, hands-off, and foolproof method for making slow cooker spaghetti squash. Use the slow-cooked squash for salads, as a veggie swap for pasta noodles, or as a simple fall side dish.
Slow Cooker Tuscan White Bean and Lentil Soup
Pantry staples like dried lentils and canned beans make up the bulk of this soup and boost the fiber to cover more than half your daily goal. Want to make it in your Instant Pot? Click here for the recipe.
Slow Cooker Mediterranean Chicken and Quinoa Stew
Look for bags of cubed butternut squash in the produce section to save you the trouble of peeling and dicing a whole squash. Find Castelvetrano olives either jarred in the olive and pickle section or fresh at most specialty market antipasti bars. If you can’t find them, use any green olive you like.
Slow Cooker Tex-Mex Chicken and Black Bean Soup
This filling and flavorful soup is ideal for a chilly evening. Freeze leftover chipotle chiles and adobe sauce in a flattened Ziploc bag for future use. Want to make it in your Instant Pot? Click here for the recipe.
Vegetarian Slow Cooker Collard Greens
If you are a fan of your slow cooker, then this is a recipe you will want to try. Cooking this classic Southern side in a slow cooker not only frees you up to prepare other dishes, it frees up valuable stovetop space, as well. The greens get very tender without cooking down into a mush in the 9-hour cook time.
Slow Cooker Shrimp Boil
For a classic summery meal without a fuss, look no further than this slow cooker shrimp boil. With a simple ingredient list and a largely hands-off cooking method, this easy seafood boil is a perfect recipe to plan on for casual warm weather entertaining or even as a low-effort meal to make at the rental house during a beach vacation.
Slow Cooker Creamy Lentil Soup
Simple flavors and a rustic touch will make this soup an instant home-cooked favorite, especially on chilly, wintry days. Inexpensive dried lentils make up the bulk of the soup, helping fill in your fiber gaps and keep you full longer. Chickpeas are the secret ingredient to achieve supreme creaminess.
“Everyone, everywhere wants slow cooker recipes,” explains Sarah DiGregorio in an email to Extra Crispy, adding, “but sometimes that content ends up feeling repetitive, revolving around big hunks of meat.” That was the inspiration for her new cookbook Adventures in Slow Cooking: 120 Slow-Cooker Recipes for People Who Love Food.
Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Smoked Turkey
If your Thanksgiving tradition includes a smoked turkey, save one of the legs for this easy, soul-satisfying soup. Otherwise, look for smoked turkey legs near the bacon at your grocery store (or use a ham hock).
Simple Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
This simple whole chicken recipe is great served as is with crusty bread or over rice, but it’s also a great way to cook chicken ahead of time to use in a variety of dishes, such as chicken salad, soups, and casseroles.
One-Ingredient Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions
Don’t feel like standing over a pan of gently sautéing onions? Simply toss them in the slow cooker, let them go (8 hours or overnight), and come back to beautifully tender-sweet caramelized onions—perfect for folding into dips, stirring into sides and salads, layering onto sandwiches, and more.
Slow Cooker Korean Pork Lettuce Wraps
This dish is great for a casual get-together or a weeknight meal (with leftovers). The seasoning paste is modeled after Korean ssamjang--a concentrated, salty, slightly spicy concoction. Unlike traditional versions, though, ours is made with grocery store ingredients for ease and convenience.
Slow Cooker Green Beans
This recipe frees up precious stove-top space and reminds us of the traditional green beans our grandmothers used to make.
Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
This slow-cooker chicken chili is a great addition to your cool weather weeknight meal rotation. Calling for a mixture of beans and hominy, this recipe boasts bold, rich flavor, something that can often be dulled in a slow cooker. Processing some of the beans in a food processor thickens the soup.
Slow Cooker Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
White meat can dry out after a long haul in the slow cooker, so we opt for bone-in thighs to guarantee optimal flavor and succulence. Make prep easier with prepeeled garlic, and pretty-up the platter with lemon slices and thyme sprigs.
Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
The most popular recipe for chili on our site, Slow-cooker Turkey Chili features lean ground turkey, black beans, onion, corn, and fresh bell pepper. With just 15 minutes of prep time, you can throw all of the ingredients into a slow cooker before leaving for work and return 8 hours later to a piping-hot, home-cooked meal.
Slow Cooker Chicken Stew with Pumpkin and Wild Rice
This savory fall stew is filled with tender cubes of pumpkin, shredded chicken, and nutty wild rice in a creamy sauce. When choosing a pumpkin, look for a sugar or cheese pumpkin. Field pumpkins, which are larger in size, have watery, stringy flesh and are best used for decoration. Or substitute a butternut squash.
Slow Cooker Chicken Posole
Think of posole as chili's brothier, lighter cousin, a Mexican version of chicken soup. Posole is also a name for the hominy, or rehydrated dried corn, that goes in the dish.
Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja
You'll be wowed by the way lean flank steak transforms into tender, succulent shreds as it slowly simmers in the aromatic sauce. Served over rice (preferably brown), this homey Cuban dish makes for an exceptionally hearty and wholesome weeknight meal.
Slow Cooker Ramen Bowls
Any ramen lover will tell you--it's all about the broth. We build layers of rich umami flavor with the help of mushroom stems, fresh ginger, kombu (a type of edible kelp), sesame oil, and, of course, low and slow heat.
Slow Cooker Thai Beef Curry
Here, we start with big flavor from a good amount of curry paste and fish sauce, and we finish with fresh touches of cilantro and lime juice that amplify the taste of everything. Serve over a bed of brown rice or brown rice noodles to catch all the sauce.
Slow Cooker Chicken, Bacon, and Potato Soup
This chicken potato soup is perfect for ushering in fall: It's hearty enough for the beginning of soup season, yet brothy and veggie-packed so it doesn't feel too heavy. This recipe is ideal for a weekend, when you can check on the slow cooker after just a few hours.
Slow Cooker Tuscan White Bean Soup
Pantry staples like dried lentils and canned beans make up the bulk of this soup and boost the fiber to cover more than half your daily goal.
Three-Bean Vegetarian Chili
This soup has a mild chile flavor. If you want more heat, increase the amount of chili powder and don't seed the jalapeños.
Slow-Cooker Spanish-Style Chickpeas
This protein-packed slow cooker recipe is a healthy side you'll make again and again. For an added dose of heat, top the flavorful dish with sliced fresh jalapenos.
Stewed Green Beans and Tomatoes
Our update to this favorite Southern side will remind you of great Asian takeout. Don't be intimidated by red curry paste; it's a subtly spicy blend of fresh ginger, lemongrass, garlic, and chiles. Look for it at Walmart or online at amazon.com.
The soothing aroma of fresh oatmeal makes this dish the ultimate comfort food. Savor happiness in a bowl with the flavors of brown sugar, cinnamon, and maple syrup topped with chopped hazelnuts and apples.
Slow Cooker Chicken Verde
It's not hard to make your own salsa verde, with fresher flavor and much less sodium than jarred versions: Simply blacken tomatillos, chiles, and onions; then blend.
This gumbo recipe made in the slow cooker has all the flavor of traditional gumbo but none of the tedious steps or hard-to-find spices. Serve this Louisiana favorite over rice.
Slow Cooker Chicken Congee
The slow cooker does all the work in this comforting rice porridge, breaking down the rice with fragrant ginger and star anise and poaching the chicken until silky. A bit of chili oil is the vibrant kick this dish needs. You can also use Sriracha or a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Cilantro or baby spinach leaves can work in place of the watercress.
Slow Cooker Cioppino
Simmering the base of this rich stew in the slow cooker allows for ultimate flavor concentration. When you're almost ready to serve, add raw fish to poach quickly. A signature dish of the West Coast, cioppino can be made with a wide variety of fish and shellfish, so feel free to experiment with your favorites.
Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Mushrooms and Carrots
A full-plate dinner simmers to saucy, savory perfection in the slow cooker. To end up with super-succulent pork, don't overcook the chops in the pan before adding to the slow cooker. Just a couple of minutes per side will be enough to achieve nice color.
Cuban Pork and Black Bean Stew
Save on Chipotle and get your Tex-Mex fix with this Cuban Pork and Black Bean Stew. Trust us, you won't regret it.
Slow Cooker Santa Fe Meatloaf
Oven-baked meatloaf can turn dry, but the moisture-sealing magic of the slow cooker makes this one melt in your mouth.
Slow Cooker Collard Greens with Ham Hocks
When cooked low and slow, the tender ham hocks completely fall apart and infuse the collard greens with a savory, smoky flavor. Carefully remove the hocks before serving to make sure no bones remain.
Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes with Bacon
These sweet-and-salty slow cooker sweet potatoes could not be easier to prep on Thanksgiving morning. Whether you’re looking to save stovetop space or just want to streamline the side dish, these simple sweet potatoes are guaranteed to please.
Slow Cooker Beef Lettuce Wraps with Quick Pickles
The low, even heat of the slow cooker helps flavor powerhouses like miso, sesame oil, and soy sauce impart tenderizing moisture, umami depth, and savory personality to common pot roast.