17 Slow-Cooker Dinners for Weight Loss
Making a healthy, delicious meal just got easier with these slow-cooker dinner recipes. Just load in your ingredients, walk away and come back to a flavorful dinner. These recipes are low in calories and high in fiber, which is a key nutrient if you’re looking to slim down. Dinners like Slow-Cooker Chile-Orange Chicken Tacos and Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash are nutritious and tasty.
Slow-Cooker Mediterranean Stew
This Mediterranean stew is a healthy dinner chock-full of vegetables and hearty chickpeas. A drizzle of olive oil to finish carries the flavors of this easy vegan crock-pot stew. Swap out the chickpeas for white beans for a different twist, or try collards or spinach in place of the kale. Any way you vary it, this stew is sure to go into heavy rotation when you are looking for healthy crock-pot recipes.
Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash
The sweetness of the butternut squash tames the kick from cayenne in this healthy turkey chili, making this easy crock pot chili just right for kids and adults alike, whether for weeknight dinners or tailgating parties. For those who prefer a spicier chili, just pass hot sauce at the table. This chili also freezes well, so save leftovers for hearty and healthy dinners and lunches for weeks to come.
Slow-Cooker Chile-Orange Chicken Tacos
A taco night favorite! Boneless chicken breasts cook low and slow in a chipotle-orange sauce until they're pull-apart tender, then are paired with a fresh avocado-orange salsa.
Slow-Cooker Pinto Bean Stew with Jalapeno-Corn Dumplings
This healthy slow-cooker pinto bean stew recipe is bursting with veggies--onion, bell pepper, celery and corn--and topped with crunchy bits of radish and chile- and lime-flecked cornbread dumplings. If you're pressed for time, skip the dumplings and serve this pinto bean stew straight out of the crock pot, topped with crushed tortilla chips and a sprinkling of Monterey Jack cheese. Make sure to soak your dried beans before using them in the slow cooker to ensure even cooking.
Curried Chicken with Naan
Chicken thighs with spicy rub are slow cooked with onions and carrots until tender. The chicken is chopped up and served on warm naan with mango-ginger chutney and spinach.
Slow-Cooker Spanish Chickpea Soup
This easy soup recipe is inspired by cocido, the hearty stew of assorted meats, chickpeas and vegetables considered a national dish of Spain. Each region, family and restaurant has its own variation, but this slow-cooker soup has enough meat to satisfy the carnivores and enough vegetables to make it healthy. Ask for a 4-ounce slab of Serrano ham or prosciutto at your deli counter instead of buying slices. If you don't have a 6-quart (or larger) slow cooker, opt for the stovetop variation instead.
Slow-Cooker Dal Makhani
Using a slow cooker for this dal curry recipe is brilliant--the lentils cook until they're perfectly tender. For the creamiest results, use whole urad dal (versus split), which you can get online or at Indian markets. This particular bean breaks down beautifully, giving the dish its rich, creamy texture. For a stovetop variation, see below. Serve it over rice with Indian-style green chutney and a side of plain yogurt.
Cheesy Vegetable Pasta Alfredo
This cheesy pasta recipe is made in a slow cooker but is relatively quick taking just 2 1/2 hours from start-to-finish. It's full of vegetables, whole-grain linguine and of course, lots of cheese!
Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili
Grab your crock pot for this delicious and easy slow-cooker vegetarian chili with beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, bell peppers and sweet potatoes. The recipe requires just 20 minutes of active time: after a bit of chopping, you just dump the ingredients in the slow cooker and let it do the work. Adding a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of cilantro just before serving brightens up the flavors. Top it with some shredded cheese, if you'd like, or serve it as-is to keep it vegan. Either way, this healthy chili is sure to become a go-to when you want a satisfying and healthy dinner.
Slow-Cooker Mediterranean Chicken & Orzo
Perk up basic chicken breast and whole-wheat orzo with the vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean, like lemon and olives. This load-and-go recipe makes a complete and satisfying meal; just add a green salad.
Slow-Cooker Squash, Millet & Lentil Dal with Herbed Yogurt
This slow-cooker dal recipe has a range of pleasing textures: red lentils and millet break down as they cook, and the toor dal, which are split pigeon peas, stay toothsome. Look for all three ingredients at Indian markets or natural-foods stores. The crock pot does most of the work for this healthy vegetarian recipe, and a quick herbed yogurt added just before serving brightens up the flavors. Bonus: Both the dal and the yogurt can be made ahead and the leftovers are wonderful.
Vegetarian Slow-Cooker Pozole
This healthy vegetarian take on the Mexican stew pozole gets tons of flavor from poblano peppers, ancho chile powder and dried herbs and spices, while cannellini beans provide substance, protein and fiber. Chewy hominy--corn that has been treated with lime to remove the tough hull and germ--is integral to the stew. Look for it in cans in the Latin section of your supermarket. Serve the stew with shredded cabbage, radishes, fresh cilantro and sour cream.
Slow-Cooker Vegan Chili
Grab your crock pot for this hearty and easy vegan chili, which is chock-full of great-tasting and good-for-you ingredients, including pinto and black beans, red pepper, tomatoes and butternut squash. Once a little chopping is done, all you have to do is dump the ingredients in the slow cooker, making this colorful veggie chili the perfect weeknight dinner. A garnish of fresh avocado and chopped cilantro is a nice touch.
Slow-Cooker Lamb Stew with Artichokes & White Beans
Fresh dill, lemon, escarole and artichokes give this healthy slow-cooker lamb stew recipe a decidedly springtime flavor. Dried white beans are perfect in this healthy crock pot recipe, but you could also add frozen lima beans at the end.
Nonna's Spaghetti & Meatballs
The meatballs and sauce are cooked in the slow cooker for this traditional Italian spaghetti and meatballs recipe. You could also serve the meatballs over creamy polenta or on a sandwich with melted provolone.
This classic French stew recipe is typically made with a variety of meats and simmered over the course of multiple days. In this easy, streamlined cassoulet, the slow cooker makes it a breeze to have a healthy dinner on the table when you get home.
Slow-Cooker Chicken & White Bean Stew
This load-and-go slow-cooker chicken recipe is perfect for a busy weeknight dinner. Serve this Tuscan-inspired dish with crusty bread, a glass of Chianti and a salad.