Preparing meals just for yourself can seem like a ton of work, but there’s always one kitchen gadget you can lean on when you want your meal to be as easy as ordering takeout or hitting up the nearest drive-thru, but way healthier: the slow cooker. When you’re looking for a fuss-free way to stick to those healthy eating New Year’s resolutions, turn to that kitchen staple and these 13 tasty crock pot recipes. With prep as easy as toss in and step away for the day, eating healthy just became the easiest thing you’ve ever done.
1. Black Bean Soup: Packed with protein — and naturally vegan and gluten-free — this soup can do no wrong. Garnish with thick slices of avocado, a dollop of sour cream, crushed tortilla chips or all three. No matter how you serve it, it’s so yummy that you won’t believe it’s actually good for you. (via Gimme Some Oven)
2. Beef + Broccoli: Satisfy your Chinese food cravings without all the calories and MSG with this slow cooker version. With only 10 minutes of prep time, you’ll be able to get everything ready before work in the morning and come home to a delicious (and nutritious) meal. (via Cooking Classy)
3. Smoked Bacon Veggie Soup: Snuggle up with a bowl of this hearty soup on a frigid winter day and you’ll warm up from the inside out. The flavor of the smokey bacon helps balance out the Brussels spouts and mushrooms and makes the whole thing feel super indulgent. (via Cotter Crunch)
4. Stuffed Peppers: Not only are these stuffed peppers healthy and delicious, but they’re also completely customizable. You can switch out the ground beef for turkey (or leave it out altogether) and choose between white rice, brown rice and even quinoa for an extra punch of protein in the filling. Make as many peppers as will fit in your slow cooker and you won’t have to worry about what you’ll eat for lunch for the rest of the week. (via Damn Delicious)
5. Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Soup: Combine cauliflower, sweet potatoes, vegetable broth and a touch of cream cheese for extra creaminess. Five hours later you’ll be devouring bowl after bowl of this scrumptious soup. The leftovers are also freezer-friendly and will be there anytime you need it for the next three months. (via Peas and Crayons)
6. Healthier Beef Stew: Make your favorite beef stew recipe healthier by adding more in-season veggies like parsnips and turnips, and by using low-sodium broth. Quickly brown the stew meat in a skillet before dumping it in your slow cooker for an extra layer of flavor you won’t want to miss. (via Primavera Kitchen)
7. White Chicken Chili: Sticking to your healthy eating resolution will be a breeze with meals as good as this one. An hour before dinner, shred the chicken and then distract yourself for the next 60 minutes while it keeps cooking. Top with crushed tortilla chips and fresh cilantro. (via Simply Whisked)
8. Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies: This is the easiest meal you’ll make all year long. There’s almost no prep work involved (besides chopping the potatoes), so you can just throw in all the ingredients and forget about it for the next eight hours. Remove the chicken right before it’s time to eat and broil for a quick three minutes to get the skin nice and crispy. (via Damn Delicious)
9. Baby Bella Chicken: Once you taste this delicious, moist chicken and mushrooms, you’d never guess there are only three ingredients involved. Eating healthy just got a whole lot easier. (via Homemaking Hacks)
10. Orange Chicken: Skip the heavy take-out and recreate one of your favorite meals at home with a healthy twist. Whip up a quick orange sauce and pour it over two boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Serve over your choice of rice and you’ll never order take-out orange chicken again. (via Show Me the Yummy)
11. Whole Chicken: Making a whole roast chicken in your slow cooker will give you enough tender, fall-off-the-bone meat to feed you like a queen for the week. Place your seasoned chicken on a bed of veggies, like onions, celery and carrots, and let it cook for the next six hours. If you prefer crispier skin, carefully remove the chicken from you slow cooker and broil for a few minutes. (via The Little Kitchen)
12. Turkey and Quinoa Tortilla Soup: This is a great recipe for using up leftover turkey or rotisserie chicken, if that’s what’s hanging out in your fridge. Full of black beans, corn and zesty diced tomatoes, this tortilla soup will take care of all your taco Tuesday cravings. (via Smile Sandwich)
13. Italian Chili: Spice up your usual chili recipe with hot Italian turkey sausage and whole wheat pasta. There is a bit of prep work for this one, like browning the sausage and the veggies, but all your hard work will be worth it once you taste the intense flavors swimming around in this chili. (via Amy Bites)
What’s your favorite healthy slow cooker dish? Snap a pic and tag us on Instagram so we can see what you’re cookin’ up.