In case you didn't know, preparing meals in advance is key to sticking to any nutrition plan. But we get it - sometimes you're on a time crunch and you only have 20 minutes to spare.
Luckily, slow cooker meals are a great addition to any meal planning! You only need 30 minutes (at most), and you can come home to a nice hot meal! Even better, most slow cooker meals are freezer-friendly, so you can make big batches last longer.
We have 4 slowcooker recipes that make it easy for you to keep your diet on track, and add in extra hours that you can spend doing stuff that really matters (like hit the gym for a quick HIIT session... or Netflix).
- 2 cups dried green lentils (sorted & rinsed)
- 8 cups vegetable stock
- 2 stalks celery, small diced
- 4 medium carrots, small diced
- 1 medium onion, small diced
- 1 shallot, small diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 14-oz can fire roasted petite diced tomatoes
- 1 dried bay leaf
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 2 t kosher salt
- 9 oz-bag fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- In a 6 quart or larger slow cooker, add all of the ingredients except for the spinach and red wine vinegar. Stir and cover. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours. About 15 minutes before the soup is finished cooking, remove the bay leaf. Add the spinach and red wine vinegar. Stir and allow just enough time for the spinach to wilt (about 10 to 15 minutes).
- Serve with more ground black pepper or grated parmesan cheese.
Recipe courtesy of: Primavera Kitchen
- 15 oz part-skim ricotta
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup spinach, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 4 cups of your favourite tomato sauce
- 4 medium zucchini, sliced 1/8″ thick (grill zucchini in advance to remove some moisture)
- 16 oz part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
- In a medium bowl mix ricotta cheese, egg, Parmesan cheese, spinach. Stir well and set it aside.
- Lightly coat the inside of the slow cooker with cooking spray.
- Ladle about 1 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker and spread it well.
- Layer 5 or 6 zucchini slices to cover.
- Place some of the ricotta cheese mixture and top with the mozzarella cheese.
- Repeat the layers until all your ingredients are all used up.
- Top the lasagna with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
- Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours.
- Turn off the slow cooker and let stand for about 1 hours. (UPDATE: Since some readers said the lasagna became a little soupy, I made it again and I let it stand for about 3 HOURS before serving. I found it was great because the liquid absorbed much more – Please, do not forget this step).
- Before serving top with fresh parsley
Quinoa Chicken Risotto
Recipe courtesy of: Delish
- 1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cup low-sodium chicken broth, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 large carrots, sliced into rounds
- kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and quartered
- 2 cup peas, frozen or canned
- In a slow-cooker, combine chicken, quinoa, 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, garlic and carrots. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Cook on high 4 hours, until chicken is easily shreddable. Shred chicken, then add asparagus and peas to slow-cooker and cook until tender, 30 minutes more.
- Pour over remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth and stir until creamy.
Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies
Recipe courtesy of: Damn Delicious
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 16 ounces baby red potatoes, halved
- 16 ounces baby carrots
- 16 ounces green beans, trimmed
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- In a large bowl, combine soy sauce, honey, ketchup, garlic, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes and pepper.
- Place chicken thighs, potatoes, carrots and soy sauce mixture into a 6-qt slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, basting every hour. Add green beans during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
- OPTIONAL: Preheat oven to broil. Place chicken thighs onto a baking sheet, skin side up, and broil until crisp, about 3-4 minutes.
- Serve chicken immediately with potatoes, carrots and green beans, garnished with parsley, if desired.
Get a FREE nutritional assessment and see if these recipes fit your nutritional needs!