Wondering what healthy slow cooker meals there are out here? We're pleased to tell you that there are a lot, and all of them genuinely healthy. Generally speaking, preparing healthy food with a slow cooker may be easier than without one. For one, you can batch cook over the weekend and enjoy healthy lunches throughout the week. You can also time your slow cooker to make your meal while you're out during the day, and you can come back to a healthy meal that's all ready.
Full disclaimer: by 'healthy' we mean well-balanced, without unnecessary added sugar or processed foods. These are not low-calorie meals, and they're not part of any specific nutritional regimen. They do all use good, fresh ingredients packed full of nutrients.
Find more delicious recipes at our hub page.
1. Aubergine Thai red curry
For this easy and heartwarming, meat-free slow cooker recipe for two, you'll need:
- Aubergine, 300 grams. We prefer using mini aubergines, but can also chop up one large aubergine
- Thai red curry paste, preferable Barts, two to four teaspoons, to taste
- White cup mushrooms, 250 grams
- Lemongrass, one stalk
- Ginger, 20 grams or a thumb-sized piece, sliced
- Tinned tomato, one tin
- Coconut milk, 500ml
- Juice of one lime
1. For best results, it's best to start on the sear function on your slow cooker (if you have it; don't worry it not, you can do this in a frying pan). Stir fry the aubergines and the cleaned and chopped mushrooms in the red curry paste; if you wish, you can add a little bit or rapeseed oil.
2. When the vegetables have softened, add all the other ingredients and slow cook for about 1.5 hours, or until the sauce is not too runny.
3. For an even fresher taste, you can add fine green beans or sugarsnap peas towards the end.
4. Serve with jasmine rice.
Some recipes advise mixing your own Thai paste, but we've found it almost impossible to achieve an authentic flavour. Some people also like adding a bit of fish sauce to the mix, but we find the flavour (and smell) to be quite strong, so go easy if you do decide to add it. Obviously, the fish sauce will also make the dish non-veggie.
2. Healthy slow cooker Teriyaki chicken
For this healthy, Japanese-inspired recipe for two, you will need:
- Boneless chicken thighs, 450 grams. We don't recommend using chicken breast for this recipe, as the slow cooking benefits thighs much more, with their higher fat content;
- Honey, 100 ml;
- Soy sauce, 100 ml;
- Garlic, two cloves, finely chopped;
- Ginger, a thumb-sized piece, finely chopped;
- Sesame seed, 10 grams;
- A medium-hot red chilli, chopped;
- Spring onion to garnish, 50 grams;
- White jasmine rice, steamed, 125 grams per person;
- Broccoli, steamed, 250 grams
The simplicity of this recipe is rivalled only by the satisfying, perfectly balanced flavour. Because you're using honey and soy sauce, there's no need to add any extra salt or sugar.
1. In a mixing bowl, combine the honey, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, chilli, and sesame. Mix together well.
2. Put your chicken thighs into the slow cooker and pour over the sauce. Cook on high for three to four hours, or on low for four to five hours.
3. In the last 20 minutes, steam your rice and broccoli.
4. Plate up the rice and place the cooked chicken on top. You can chop it up or shred it, or simply serve the thighs as they are. Don't discard the remaining sauce, but drizzle it over the chicken. Garnish with chopped spring onion and serve with steamed broccoli on the side.
Tip: If your sauce is still very runny after the cooking is done, you can thicken it with a couple of tablespoons of plan flour in a pan on low heat. Simply mix in the flour vigorously until you achieve a uniform texture.
3. Slow cooker dessert: dark chocolate cake
Ok, so dessert isn't usually associated with being healthy, but most of us like a dessert now and again, and if there's a way to make one without using too much sugar, all the better, right? This recipe uses a lot less sugar than many cake recipes, and it uses dark chocolate, which is actually quite a healthy ingredient. To make this chocolate beauty, you'll need:
- Dark chocolate, powdered in a food processor, or dark chocolate powder, 100 grams
- Plain flour, 150 grams
- Plain Greek yoghurt, 200 grams
- Sugar, two to four tablespoons, to taste
- A teaspoon of melted butter, plus a little extra for greasing
- A teaspoon of baking soda
1. Grease the inner bowl of your slow cooker with butter.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the chocolate, yoghurt, and sugar, mix together well.
3. Fold in the flour gradually to avoid lumps.
4. Add the melted butter and baking soda.
5. Pour the mixture into the slow cooker bowl. Cook on low for three hours. Serve with cream or ice cream.