Healthy Crockpot Recipes
Get all of your healthy crockpot recipes right here on My Natural Family. From the basics like roast and slow cooker chicken noodle soup to healthy favorites like crockpot chicken chili and taco soup, we have recipes for all!
Why do I love my slow cooker so much?
Versatile - I absolutely love to cook with my crockpots. Yes, I wrote that correctly. I have more than one. You can make a lot of different kinds of dishes beyond the typical roasts and soups. I've discovered that you can adapt almost any recipe to be made in a crockpot if you want to.
Set-It and Forget-It - I really like that I can make my dinner in the morning or early afternoon even, put it in the slow cooker and come back when it's time to eat and dinner is ready. I love that because dinner time always seems to be my most hectic time of day. Especially if you have children who are home from school or if you work, you're getting home and need a meal in a hurry. If it's already made that can make your evening so much less stressful.
Freezer Meal Prep - I prepare a lot of our family's meals ahead of time in large batches in the slow cooker, eat them for one meal then freeze the rest in individual freezer containers to pull out whenever we don't feel like cooking (which is often). You can learn more about this method here.
Ready-To-Go Meal Prep - I've been known to make a meal in the crockpot in the evening, put it in the refrigerator overnight, and then take it out in the morning and turn it on so It will be ready that evening. I usually try to wait to turn it on if I have the time and never turn it on ahead of time or I'm afraid it would crack.
Overnight Meal Prep - I even have crockpot recipes for breakfast that can be made the night before, cooked overnight, and ready to eat when you wake up. This is a Basic, 4-Ingredient Healthy Overnight Oats Recipe then there are variations for overnight oats that you can find links to on that page.
Great for All Diets - I literally can't think of a diet that can't benefit from using the slow cooker. I have recipes on my website for Paleo, Whole30, Gluten-Free, Clean Eating, Whole-Food, Plant-Based, Vegan, Vegetarian and probably some others and all of them work.
Budget-Friendly - I save so much money on my monthly food bill when I'm good about making large batches of food in my slow cooker. It's easy to stretch more expensive ingredients, like meat, and have healthier lower-cost ingredients.
Can I put frozen meat in the crockpot?
Absolutely. I do it all the time. It takes maybe an hour longer to cook is all - but most of the time I could care less since it's not any more work.
Why is cooking with a slow cooker healthy?
- Low and slow - since the food cooks slowly over a long period of time, it keeps the moisture in the food so you don't need to add a lot of unhealthy ingredients, like fats and extra salt.
- Flavor - It also tends to make the food more flavorful so you are more likely to eat a healthier option that tastes better than a quick option, which is usually not as healthy.
- Veggies - it's so easy to throw a few extra veggies in your dish and by the time they are cooked, they aren't even recognizable to most children. And even if they are, they are nice and soft and small and they will usually eat them.
What cannot be cooked in a slow cooker?
- Dairy - any dairy but butter or heavy cream will curdle. It will taste fine but not look very appetizing.
- Rice - it is too easy to under or overcook
- Pasta - same thing as rice. If I want to add rice or pasta to the rest of my dish, I just cook it separately and add it as I'm eating it. It is much better for leftovers and/or the freezer that way anyway.
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders - they are just too easy to overcook and then they get dried out and tasteless. Chicken thighs are what you want to use.
- Delicate vegetables - Many vegetables get overcooked. However, you can overcome this by adding them in the last hour or two of cooking or cook them separately and add them at the last minute.
Can I leave my slow cooker on low overnight?
Yes. You need to be careful, such as making sure it's not too old, you don't have a towel over the cord, etc. but it's perfectly fine to do. I get nervous about doing it because I want to be able to check on my food every so often and not overcook it but for something like a large roast that I know will just get super tender overnight, I just go for it.
Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes
Now it's time to read on for our best easy, healthy crock pot recipes for every meal of the day! I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how good and easy they are. There is a big variety from soup, oats, roast, complete meals and even bread.
Have fun and enjoy!