Sadly, losing weight for some can feel like a full-time job. That's in addition to working at an actual job. What's a dieter to do? Well, for one thing, we strongly recommend having some of the best healthy slow cooker recipes for weight loss at your fingertips. It may be just the help you need to get through a busy week.
Eat This, Not That! spoke with Laura Burak MS, RD, the founder of GetNaked® Nutrition and author of Slim Down with Smoothies, who reveals one of the biggest struggles among her clients who are trying to lose weight and boost their health is finding the time to prepare healthy meals. "Enter a slow cooker," she says. "You simply throw a bunch of quality ingredients like lean proteins, veggies, and sauce in the slow cooker in the morning before you leave the house, and you set it so that when you get home, dinner is served. Your energy and decision-making tank is the most full at the beginning of the day and close to or nearly empty by the end, so using a slow cooker to set yourself up for healthier meals—especially at dinner when you struggle the most—can be super beneficial to move closer to your health goals. You can also think about buying a bigger size so there is enough for leftovers."
Having a slow cooker in your kitchen is really like having an assistant to help you out. All you need to do is decide on your meal for the day, get your ingredients organized, and set the timer. Voila—your meal will be ready to eat when you'd like it to be.
When choosing just the right slow cooker recipes for weight loss, consider the following tips, according to Burak:
- A balanced meal that keeps you full and satisfied should include the three macronutrients: protein, carbs, and fat. "Think lean protein like poultry, pork, or tofu for protein and fat, and beans, lentils, corn, potatoes, and any veggies for carbs/fiber," Burak explains. This combination of high-quality ingredients offers a lot of volume and not a lot of calories, which is a recipe for weight loss success.
- Choose "slow" carbs in your meals the majority of the time, which are "naturally higher fiber carb options" that take more time to digest and help stabilize your blood sugar. Pairing these types of carbs, such as lentils, beans, corn, and potatoes, with sufficient lean protein like fish, poultry, eggs, tofu, and meat, along with as many veggies as possible, makes for the ultimate nutrient-dense meal.
To make the recipe selection process even easier, we're here with some of the best healthy slow cooker recipes for weight loss to add to your weekly rotation. After reading and enjoying your scrumptious meal, take a look at 10 Best Breakfast Foods for Losing Weight & Gaining Muscle.
Best-Ever Crock-Pot Vegetarian Chili
Chilis don't have to have meat! This vegetable-based chili is just as flavorful as its meatier counterparts. Plus, it's jam-packed with healthy veggies, like kidney beans and black beans, that will keep you feeling full. Consider passing on a side of cornbread for a little more chili instead!
Get our recipe for Crock-Pot Vegetarian Chili.
Hearty Asian Beef Noodle Soup
One of the best meals you can make in a slow cooker is a hearty, healthy soup. And if you want an Asian soup that doesn't come in a plastic takeout container, you'll fall in love with this recipe. With flavors from garlic, ginger, and star anise, this soup is just as good as what you'd get at a restaurant.
Get our recipe for Hearty Asian Beef Noodle Soup.
This Moroccan-inspired recipe puts a new spin on slow cooker dishes—and it's healthy comfort food at its finest. If you're looking for a recipe you might not have tried before, this is it. Lamb, Roma tomatoes, chickpeas, and golden raises are all served over couscous for a meal you'll want to prepare time and time again.
Get our recipe for Lamb Tagine.
Crock Pot Jambalaya
With chicken, shrimp, Andouille sausage, and vegetables, this jambalaya is bursting with flavor. Consider opting for quinoa or brown rice as a healthier base rather than white rice to round out this meal.
Get our recipe for Crock-Pot Jambalaya.
Slow Cooker Shredded Pork
If you grew up eating Southern barbecue, you might want a copycat recipe you can make at home. No, this isn't cooked in a smoker, but the slow cooking still makes all the difference. This recipe is keto-friendly, high-protein, and low-carb, which will leave you full long after you finish your meal.
Get our recipe for Keto-Friendly Slow Cooker Shredded Pork.
Crock-Pot Beef and Broccoli
If ordering in is one of your guilty pleasures, a much healthier alternative is whipping up this tasty beef and broccoli recipe at home in your slow cooker—just consider swapping out the white rice for brown rice. Once you realize how easy and delicious this recipe is, you'll never want to order takeout again.
Get our recipe for Crock-Pot Beef and Broccoli.
Tangy Slow-Cooker Pork Carnitas Tacos
You don't have to visit a restaurant to enjoy delicious tacos. With pork roast serving as your lean protein, pickled onions, oranges, and limes, these tacos are juicy and flavorful. Rather than enjoying them the traditional way in tortillas, consider savoring this tasty mixture on top of a bed of fresh romaine lettuce for more veggies.
Get our recipe for Tangy Slow-Cooker Pork Carnitas Tacos.
Slow Cooker Green Chile Pork Soup
Looking for a healthier alternative to canned soup options? This flavorful dish is easy to assemble, and it's way more delicious than the shelf-stable stuff. Complete with hearty beans and veggies, this soup will only set you back 259 calories while offering a whopping 25 grams of protein and six grams of fiber.
Get our recipe for Slow Cooker Green Chile Pork Soup.
Slow Cooker Cuban Tomato and Black Bean Soup
This slow cooker Cuban tomato and black bean soup is a keeper. It features reduced-sodium black beans, unsalted chicken broth, diced tomatoes, and Greek yogurt for an incredibly healthy topping. This meal will only set you back 261 calories and provides 16 grams of protein and eight grams of fiber.
Get our recipe for Slow Cooker Cuban Tomato and Black Bean Soup.
Smoky Crock Pot Chili
Chili is a classic slow cooker meal, and you can't go wrong with this recipe. Chuck roast or sirloin tips combine with veggies, beans, and spices for a tasty, filling meal that's just 250 calories.
Get our recipe for Smoky Crock Pot Chili.
If your go-to lean protein is chicken, this scrumptious recipe is for you. The secret to this Basque chicken is browning the meat before you put it in the slow cooker. Yes, it's an extra step (and an extra pan to clean), but we promise the flavor will be well worth it.
Get our recipe for Basque Chicken.
Slow Cooker Turkey Breasts with Oranges and Herbs
Turkey isn't just for Thanksgiving! These citrus-flavored turkey breasts will have you eating this lean protein all year long. The fresh oranges, thyme, and rosemary really bring this dish full circle.
Get our recipe for Slow Cooker Turkey Breasts with Oranges and Herbs.
Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos
If you normally gravitate toward pork or beef tacos, give this lean-protein chicken recipe a try. You'd be surprised how flavorful chicken tacos can be with the right seasonings and toppings. And for a healthier tweak, consider swapping out tortillas for a bed of fresh lettuce.
Get our recipe for Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos.
Crock-Pot Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Sure, enchiladas are great. But why not try something new with a chicken enchilada casserole? Just set it in the morning before you leave for the day, and you can come home to a delicious meal. This dish is filled with hearty veggies and lean protein that'll leave you feeling incredibly satisfied.
Get our recipe for Crock-Pot Chicken Enchilada Casserole.
Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
What's better than a classic bowl of chicken soup? Whether you're under the weather or just looking for a cozy, healthy meal, you can't go wrong with chicken noodle soup.
Get our recipe for Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup.
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chicken Chili
You can enjoy pumpkin no matter the time of year, thanks to this slow cooker pumpkin chicken chili recipe. And don't get things twisted—pumpkin isn't just for dessert; it can be used in savory dishes as well. This chili will make you wonder why you didn't start adding this tasty fruit to your dinner recipes sooner.
Get our recipe for Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chicken Chili.
Slow Cooker Turkey Cassoulet
This French-inspired dish blends chili and stew into one delicious meal, featuring a lean protein as the star of the show: turkey. If you're looking for a break from chicken but don't want red meat, it's a great option. This recipe provides a solid 34 grams of protein and nine grams of fiber for a filling, well-rounded meal.
Get our recipe for Slow Cooker Turkey Cassoulet.
Slow Cooker Maple-Balsamic Chicken and Vegetables
Step up your chicken game with this simple, tasty, and healthy recipe. The chicken gets a major upgrade thanks to the maple and balsamic flavors, and the veggies are soft and tender. With 33 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber, you can't go wrong adding this dish to your dinner rotation.
Get our recipe for Slow Cooker Maple-Balsamic Chicken and Vegetables.
Classic Slow-Cooker Chicken in Red Wine
Feeling fancy? You can make coq au vin right in your slow cooker, complete with a red wine sauce. It's definitely cheaper than a trip to France! Take your go-to chicken recipe up a notch for your next dinner, and shop for these delicious ingredients.
Get our recipe for Classic Slow-Cooker Chicken in Red Wine.
Creamy Split Pea Soup
Split peas rank up there as one of the heroes of the health-food world. This split pea soup is a classic for a reason, and it is one of those few and far-between comfort foods that are comforting, delicious, and healthy for you, too.
Get our recipe for Creamy Split Pea Soup.
French Pot Roast
Every culture has its version of pot roast, that amazing slow-cooked amalgamation of hearty meat, vegetable chunks, and flavorful broth. Here's an easy, healthy version to tackle the French pot roast.
Get our recipe for French Pot Roast.
This story has been updated.