When it comes to making mindless, no-fuss meals, there’s nothing better than a crock pot. Cooking dinner is as simple as throwing all the ingredients inside, turning it on, and leaving it to do its thing for a few hours. And with our 35 Healthy Crock Pot Recipes, there are tons of tasty and diet-friendly options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.
But with so many slow cooker makes and models on the market, it can be a little overwhelming to pick the best one. Luckily, the editors at Eat This, Not That! have found the best crock pots that won’t break the bank (one is just $12!). With a variety of sizes and functions, you’re bound to find the best one to make eating healthy as easy as setting your slow cooker to "low."
Hamilton Beach 8-Quart
$40; Buy now at JCPenny.com
Want to start meal prepping, but aren’t sure where to begin? This giant 8-quart crockpot is the most convenient way to make giant batches of soup, chili, or even sauces that will last you the entire week. Or if you have a full house with tons of hungry mouths to feed, then its large size takes the stress out of making extra portions. Bonus: it's handles and lid rest make serving out of this bad boy easy and mess-free.
$21; Buy now at Amazon.com
A smaller three-quart pot is all you need to whip up something for you and your partner, and still have leftovers. The round size makes it easy to store, and the handles are ideal for easy maneuvering. Best of all, this slow cooker is a steal at just over $20.
TRU Buffet 3-Crock Set
$30; Buy now at SamsClub.com
Why make just one meal at a time when you can have three separate dishes going simultaneously? This three-pot slow cooker from Tru is perfect for entertaining (think: dips and apps cooking all at once). Each crock has a separate heat setting, making it easy to prepare any combination of recipes. With rests for all the lids and spoons included, it’s the ultimate multi-functional slow cooker.
Hamilton Beach Programmable 5-Quart
$45; Buy now at Amazon.com
The programmable feature on this slow cooker is a game changer. Now you can set exactly how long you need a recipe to cook, which comes in handy when you’re gone the entire work day. Plus, the sealed-tight lid makes it the perfect crock pot to take on the go; you have no excuse not to bring a healthy dish to your next potluck! And with the sturdy carrying lids, taking it from your kitchen to your car is a breeze.
RoadPro 12-Volt Travel Slow Cooker
$35; Buy now at Cabelas.com
Turn your car into a portable kitchen with this 12-volt crock pot. Perfect for tailgating or camping, this on-the-go slow cooker plugs right into the power outlet in your vehicle. It heats up to 170 degrees, and the small 1.5-quart size can hold hot dips to share or a smaller meal for two. And to make the most out of your favorite kitchen gadget, don't miss these 20 Smart Slow Cooker Tips for a Flat Belly.
Crock-Pot 3.5-Quart Casserole
$43; Buy now at Amazon.com
Casseroles deserve their own slow cooker; they’re hearty, delicious, and perfect for any meal. Up your casserole game with this crock pot from Hamilton Beach. The snap lid makes for a spill-proof dish when you bring it to your next family function. And with five colors to choose from, it won’t be an eyesore on your counter while you’re whipping up your favorite healthy dish. Get some culinary inspo with our 20 Healthy Casserole Recipes.
Crock-Pot Cook & Carry 6-Quart
$30; Buy now at JCPenny.com
If you’re new to the wonderful world of crock pot cooking, then this 6-quart slow cooker is a good place to start. The size is just right to feed a family of four or to make plenty of leftovers for a single person. Snap on the sealable lid, and take it with you to your next food function. At just $30, the price can’t be beat.
Elite Gourmet 1.5-Quart
$12; Buy now at Amazon.com
Everyone needs a tiny little crock pot. And at just $12, there’s literally no excuse not to buy one. It's the perfect size for hot party dips, or a single serving of your favorite recipe. For people with little to no kitchen storage (hello, NYC apartments!), this compact size can fit even the smallest of cabinets.
Cooks 5-Quart Latch & Travel
$35; Buy now at JCPenny.com
The 5-quart size on this crock-pot is a good universal size: Big enough for large batches of soups and chili, but won’t overwhelm your cabinets or countertop. Cooking something extra slow? The programmable feature goes up to 20 hours, meaning you can literally set it and forget it for almost an entire day (although we don’t necessarily recommend that). It comes in three beautiful shades; for under $40, this is totally a steal.
Crock-Pot Lunch Crock
$20; Buy now at Target.com
OK so this isn’t a slow cooker per se, but it is a highly functional crock pot that will completely change how you eat lunch. The food warmer plugs into an outlet, keeping your favorite soups, oatmeal, or other favorite hot meal, well, hot. With the compact 20-oz size and sturdy top handle, it’s as easy to carry around as a lunchbox.