Slow cooker meals are an essential meal prep tool that makes it easier to put together a healthy meal for your family when life gets busy. Below you’ll find 25 healthy slow cooker recipes from dietitians that you can feel good about serving your family.

Post updated 12/4/2023. Originally posted 2/18/2018.

Collage of 4 healthy slow cooker meals

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. And that means if you purchase a product through my link, I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you. It will, however, help keep this site running. Thanks for your support!

How do you eat healthy when you’re too busy to cook?

Let’s face it – after a long day at work, the last thing many people want is to do is spend an hour or more in the kitchen making a meal. Instead we turn to more convenient ways of providing a meal, like eating out or relying on highly processed foods. Yet done too often, those habits can impact your health. You may even be asking yourself, how do you eat healthy when you’re too busy to cook?

As a Registered Dietitian, I find that the slow cooker, or crock pot, is a life saver in the kitchen when it comes to making healthy meals in a busy season of life. Many people I see are in the same boat, with busy lives and often a limited amount of time for cooking healthy meals at home. In fact, time constraints are often a major barrier to healthy cooking, or any type of cooking for that matter.

Using a slow cooker is one way to overcome that obstacle. With it, you can assemble meals in the morning before getting started with your busy day; and you can come home to a fully cooked meal all ready to eat. Who wouldn’t like that? What’s more is you can use a slow cooker for all kinds of meals, from breakfast to lunch to dinner.

Slow cooker and time-saving tips

  • Have your ingredients prepped the night before if using it for a lunch or dinner meal. This will save significant time in the morning allowing you to dump your ingredients in and go.
  • While you can put raw meat in a crock pot or slow cooker, do not start with frozen meat. Frozen meat will take longer to cook and longer to reach a safe temperature, so you risk food borne illness if you start with frozen meat.
  • If your recipe calls for browned or cooked meat, you can do this step the day or evening before to save time when assembling.
  • For quick weekly meal prep, prep your vegetables and other ingredients once or twice in the week for all your recipes. In other words, chop or dice once and do enough for 3 or 4 recipes.
  • While slow cookers are designed to cook over a long time period of time, including overnight, it’s always best to check your instruction manual for guidance.
  • If rice or pasta is part of the recipe, add it toward the end of cooking time to avoid mushy, overcooked pasta.

More Meal Prep Help and Ideas:

With a little meal prep early in the week, you can easily put together a healthy meal for your family. Since I don’t have a lot of my own slow cooker recipes, I reached out to some dietitian colleagues for their favorite healthy slow cooker recipes to share with you. Here they are, 25 dietitian approved healthy slow cooker meals.

Healthy Slow Cooker Breakfasts:

cooked oats with dried cherries and slivered almonds in white bowl against wood background

Healthy Slow Cooker Lunch and Dinner Recipes:

carnitas tacos on a white plate with toppings against a white background

Healthy Slow Cooker Soups, Stews, and Chili

Bean and barley soup in a white bowl against a wood background

See More Recipes Here

Thank you for sharing!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *