Because it's still January, you haven't given up on your resolutions, and it's flippin' cold outside, I'll bet you are craving something warm and not insanely unhealthy for dinner tonight. Enter, these 15 healthy Crock-Pot recipes that you will want to make again and again. There is a lot to love when it comes to the splendiferous Crock-Pot, where you can "set it and forget it," as they say, and have a warm and nutritious meal waiting for you when you get home. It doesn't get any easier — or any more delicious.
I first purchased my Crock-Pot to make pulled pork sandwiches with North Carolina-style barbecue sauce like you can't get anywhere in the Greater Los Angeles area, where I live. It's not that there is no barbecue in LA, it's that my barbecue sauce is just that good, y'all. But, one can't survive on pulled pork alone, because eating red meat every day does not a balanced diet make. So, I've gotten pretty slick at using the Crock-Pot to slow cook the daylights out of some healthier meals like quinoa chili, Indian curries, and even soup.
Here is a seven-gallon Crock-Pot's worth of healthy recipes that you can make in your slow cooker tonight.
1. Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
If you've ever been sick in the winter, you know that this is an essential recipe to be able to make at the drop of a hat, and because you're making it in the slow cooker, it will be a lot less labor-intensive than it would be on the stovetop. Nurse your loved ones back to health with this delicious recipe from FoodieCrush.
2. Pork Carnitas Tacos
You can't have a whole Crock-Pot list with no pork at all. Plus, yum. Find out how to create this divine Mexican street food at The Kitchn.
3. Chicken Carnitas
For a slightly healthier twist, you can adapt a carnitas recipe to work just as well with chicken breast. This is the perfect meal to eat after a hard workout, or really, anytime. Your love of slow cooked tacos never has to go unsatisfied. Get the details at Closet Cooking.
4. Orange Chicken With Asian Slaw
You love the flavor of orange chicken? Have it whenever the craving strikes thanks to this healthy slow cooker take. Check out the genius adaptation over at A Farmgirl's Dabbles.
5. Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Sticking with the Asian food craving for just a minute, The Comfort of Cooking has a great, super healthy recipe for chicken lettuce wraps that you can whip up in your Crock-Pot. Slow cooking the chicken allows it ample time to soak up the savory and aromatic sauce, which you wouldn't quite get cooking it in a frying pan.
6. Chicken Ramen Noodle Soup
I've gotten pretty obsessed with ramen since it got cold outside, so the healthy adaptations are killer for home cooking. Find out how to make this dream a reality at A Spicy Perspective.
7. Turkey Chili
If you've never tried making chili with ground turkey, you should move this recipe to the top of your list, because it's truly a brilliant way to get all the goodness of a beef chili without putting undue stress on your arteries. The Comfort of Cooking will show you the way!
8. Chicken Taco Chili
Another chili! My dad makes a recipe that's pretty similar to this one and wins first prize at chili cook-offs, so if that's any indication of the delicious-to-healthy factor of chicken taco chili, then I think this one is definitely worth trying out. Head on over to The Comfort of Cooking for your inevitable grocery list.
9. Healthier Butter Chicken
This easy homemade "healthier" butter chicken recipe from Half Baked Harvest still has a little bit of butter in it, but skips the heavy cream in favor of fat-free yogurt and half and half.
10. Mini Turkey Meatballs With Marinara
Here's another trick that substitutes turkey for less healthy meats. You can get your Lady and the Tramp romance on without eating a bunch of pork and veal. Where do you even buy ground veal anyway? I plan on making this recipe very soon, and you should too. Get the details at How Sweet It Is.
11. Black Bean Soup
This soup by A Spicy Perspective would be a great side for one of the earlier taco recipes, especially if you happen to have two Crock-Pots lying around. It's healthy and extremely filling, which is a rare and beautiful combination.
12. Chicken Enchilada Quinoa
Speaking of healthy and hearty meals, quinoa is a magic food that acts as the perfect conduit for any flavor combination you could possibly come up with. It's like rice, but packed with protein and about a zillion times more filling. You can find the recipe at Prevention RD.
13. Thai Chicken Soup
FoodieCrush has a great recipe for a Thai chicken soup (also known as Tom Kha Gai) that is spicy and sweet (from the coconut milk), and will become an instant favorite.
14. Beer Braised Chicken
Go on a culinary trip to Louisiana with this cajun-style feast. It does have a little bit of sausage in the recipe, but surely you can sub that out for a cajun-style chicken sausage, especially if you've got a Trader Joe's nearby. Get the directions to New Orleans at Half Baked Harvest.
15. A Whole Roasted Chicken
You can actually roast a whole chicken without a ton of liquid in your Crock-Pot, which is basically wizardry, as far as I'm concerned. Impress your loved ones with this crazy-simple and ridiculously healthy recipe that looks amazing on a serving platter. Tori Avey will show you how.
For more food inspiration and ideas, check out Bustle on YouTube.