Outdoor temperatures are getting colder, days are getting shorter, and the cravings for warmer food have never been stronger. There’s no better time for some warm, delicious and nutritious meals that will please even the pickiest of eaters.
One of the best things about a slow cooker or Instant Pot is the small amount of effort you need to put in to create a wonderful meal. Not to mention there is little prep work for every recipe. Check out some of our healthy favorites below.
1. Slow cooker sausage, spinach and white bean soup
With only 10 minutes of prep, it’s so easy to make this hearty and healthy soup. Plop the ingredients in your slow cooker, set the time, and let it cook. No stirring or checking involved. The white beans pack in a punch of extra protein and the wilted spinach is a great source of vitamin A.
2. Slow cooker black bean soup
Don’t be fooled by the dark color of this soup. With five different types of colorful vegetables, this is a sure way to get your veggie servings for the day. Not to mention — it’s packed with ingredients that are naturally vegetarian, vegan and even gluten-free. Make this soup your own by adding extras like cilantro, tortilla chip strips, diced avocados, or sour cream and cheese.
3. Healthy slow cooker lentil vegetable soup
Cozy up with this warm vegetable soup. With carrots, potatoes, celery and a slew of fun spices, this is sure to change up your soup game and introduce you to the health benefits of lentils. According to Healthline, “Lentils are an excellent source of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. They’re also a great source of plant-based protein and fiber.” So, give these great meat-alternative protein-packed legumes a try.
4. Slow cooker stuffed peppers
Replace Taco Tuesday with tender stuffed peppers for a Tuesday treat. Hallowing out these veggies and packing them with meat, rice, beans, and corns is a great way to add an extra layer of veggies. In just about 3 hours, you can have a nice hot meal that beats takeout any day.
5. Slow cooker white chicken chili
This dairy-free recipe is perfect for a cozy weekend indoors. With easy ingredients, and very little effort from you this chili will pack the perfect amount of protein and heat — and this dish basically cooks itself!
6. Chili lime chicken in the Instant Pot
Chicken is always an easy way to get some healthy, low fat protein. With this fast and easy Instant Pot recipe, you’ll be able to make a lightly spicy, tangy, sweet meal that can cook in just under 10 minutes.
7. Pressure Cooker Thai peanut chicken and noodles
This 30-minute dish includes chicken, homemade spicy Thai peanut sauce and is finished off with rice noodles and pears for an easy one-pot meal made right in your Instant Pot. Nut allergy? The peanuts are optional. They add a nice crunch and color to the otherwise brown dish. You can feel good about eating this flavorful meal, and like it even more because of the carryout vibe it brings.
With hundreds of recipes available and easy prep work, now is a great time to get out that Instant Pot or Crock-Pot and cook up some warm and delicious meals. For easier weeknights when schedules are busy with work or school, try weekend meal prepping with freezer bags to easily drop in your slow cooker for a fast, healthy and warm meal. There are loads of healthy recipes online for exploring, like these 34 healthy and budget-friendly ideas. Make the most of the cooler winter months and let the gadgets do the hard work while you enjoy the great food.