Why cook when a slow cooker does it for you? When the in-laws start to make you feel like your head is about to spin off, the last thing you want to do is spend hours in the kitchen hearing about Aunt Cheryl’s latest doctor visits while slaving over an elaborate dinner. Relax. Make a drink. Maybe three. We want everyone to have a stress-free winter, so here are 8 healthy slow cooker recipes to make your life a little more sane this holiday season.

healthy slow-cooker recipes

Slow-Cooked 5-Meat Chili

Our primal instincts tells us to eat whatever animal we can get our hands on for means of survival. Our slow cookers tell us to gather everything we can get our hands on for lazy, indecisive eaters. I say, let’s combine both! With five types of meat (grass-fed beef, pastured chicken, wild boar, turkey, and bison), this grain-free, slow-digesting chili is hearty, easy to throw together and has all the right flavors to spice up your life!

Serves: 8-12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 4 hours, on high OR 6 hours, on low
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

● 2 tbsp. avocado oil
● 1 lb. ground grass-fed beef
● 1 lb. ground bison
● 2 Onnit Warrior Bars, turkey & buffalo jalapeno flavor
● 2 wild boar sausage*, diced
● 2 chicken breasts
● 1 large yellow onion, chopped
● 2 garlic cloves, diced
● 3 small sweet potatoes**, peeled & diced
● 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
● 2 organic carrots, peeled and diced
● 2 stalks celery, diced
● 15 oz. can black beans**, rinsed and drained
● 15 oz. can kidney beans**, rinsed and drained
● 3 cups grass-fed beef stock, pastured-raised if possible
*Any wild game sausage will work. If you don’t have access to wild game, look for any type of “uncured, nitrate-free sausage” at your local butcher or grocery store.
**Remove for a keto-friendly version of this recipe. I recommend you replace with two portobello mushroom caps, stems removed and diced, to add bulk, more veggies without sacrificing flavor.

Seasoning

● 3 tsp. Onnit Himalayan salt
● 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
● 2 tsp. cumin
● 1 tsp. black pepper
● 2 tbsp. chili powder
● 2 tsp. smoked paprika

Serving Suggestions

● Green onions, thinly sliced, garnish
● Avocado (squeeze lemon or lime on top to prevent oxidizing, or browning, when serving)
● Shredded white cheddar cheese, raw cheese if possible
● Plain full-fat Skyr or Greek yogurt*
*For keto version, opt for sour cream. 

Directions

1. Heat 1 tbsp. avocado oil in a large pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion, diced garlic, diced sausage, diced chicken, ground beef, 1 tsp. Himalayan salt and black pepper. Cook and break up the beef as you stir, until the beef is no longer pink. Add 1 tbsp. chili powder, smoked paprika, and cumin. Transfer meat to the bottom of the slow cooker.

2. Slice the Warrior Bars in half lengthwise, then into small ½-inch pieces transversely. Add to the slow cooker.

3. Finally, add the diced sweet potato, black beans, kidneys beans, crushed tomatoes, beef broth, cayenne pepper, and spices to the slow cooker.

4. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours, until the potatoes are tender. Serve warm with desired toppings. For the keto-friendly version, see the asterisks in the ingredients above.*

 

Slow-Cooked Pulled Brisket & Bean Chili

There’s nothing like enjoying a warm bowl of chili smothered in cheese a cold winter day. But there is a way to make it even better. Throw some fast-digesting MCT oil in the mix, and bam! We added a tablespoon of French Onion emulsified MCT Oil after slow cooking the brisket chili, then topped it with organic sour cream, chopped parsley, maybe a little shredded cheese. Consider life is made!

Yields: 6-8 servings
Cook Time: 3-4 hours on high, 5-6 hours on low
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients
● 2 tbsp. unrefined avocado oil
● 2 lb. grass-fed brisket
● 3 Warrior Bars, turkey & buffalo jalapeno flavor
● 1 large yellow onion, chopped
● 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
● 15 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed & drained
● 3 cups organic beef stock
● 3 tsp. Himalayan salt
● 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
● 2 tsp. cumin
● 1 tsp. black pepper
● 3 tbsp. chili powder
● 2 tsp. smoked paprika
● 6 tbsp. French Onion emulsified MCT Oil
*remove if you don’t like too much heat.

Serving Suggestions
● Parsley, finely chopped, for garnish
● Organic sour cream
●  White raw cheddar cheese

Instructions
1) Heat 1 tbsp. avocado oil in a large pan or cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add the brisket, and sear quickly on both sides to get a nice golden brown. Transfer to the bottom of the slow cooker.
2)  Slice the Warrior Bars in half lengthwise, then into small ½-inch pieces transversely. Add to the slow cooker. Then top with onion, kidney beans, crushed tomatoes, beef broth, and spices.
3) Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours, until you can easily shred the brisket with two forks. You can shred the brisket in the slow cooker, or transfer the meat to a cutting board, then shred, then return the meat to the slow cooker. Your choice. Depending on the cut, size, shape and amount of fat on the brisket, cook time may vary.
4) Before serving, stir in French Onion Emulsified MCT Oil (can be added in individual servings alternatively as well). Serve warm with desired toppings. Another option, mix 1 tbsp. of the Herbs de Provence Savory Emulsified MCT Oil with the sour cream, then serve on the side of the chili.

 

Slow-Cooked Shredded Buffalo Chicken: 3 Ways

Don’t ruin your weekday efforts with weekend binging. Behold healthy slow cooker recipes that can be repurposed in three ways and will make your tastebuds and waistline beaming with joy. This slow-cooked buffalo chicken is great for meal prepping for the week. Throw on a salad or lettuce wrap, serve with cauliflower rice, or smother in Primal Kitchen ranch dressing. The options are endless, and the best part is, most of the work is done for you.

Serves: 10-12
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 3-4 hours, on high OR 5-6 hours, on low
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

● 5 chicken breasts, USDA organic
● 13-oz bottle buffalo sauce*
● ⅓ cup chicken broth
● ½ sweet onion, diced

*We used Wing-Time medium buffalo wing sauce

Directions

1. Add all ingredients to CrockPot or slow cooker. Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours or on high for 5-6 hours.
2. Using two forks, gently shred the chicken, and mix in with all the delicious sauce.

healthy slow cooker recipes

Chicken & Blue Cheese Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Serves: 10-12
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

● 8 large portobello mushroom caps
● ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
● ¼ cup gluten-free Panko breadcrumbs*
● Shredded buffalo chicken, recipe above

*We used Ian’s Panko breadcrumbs, gluten-free original

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Remove stems from mushrooms, and clean the outside of the caps using a damp paper towel Never run mushrooms under water. They are porous and will absorb the moisture. You can save the stems for re-purposing later; for example, finely dice up the stems and integrate them with the shredded chicken to cook all together, or save it to use in scrambled eggs or as a salad topper.
3. Carefully scoop out a little mushroom “meat” in the center to create more room for the chicken.
4. Add about ⅓ cup shredded chicken into each portobello cap. Sprinkle 1 tbsp. crumbled blue cheese and ½ tbsp. gluten-free Panko breadcrumbs on top of each stuffed portobello.
5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Remove from oven, and let cool. You can serve whole or slice into bite-size pieces for an easy grab-and-go bite.

healthy slow cooker recipes

Keto-Friendly Lettuce Wraps

Serves: 10
Prep time: 10 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

● Head of red leaf lettuce, or any bibb or romaine lettuce of choice
● ⅓ cup. crumbled blue cheese
● 2 ripe avocados, sliced
● 1 lemon
● Shredded buffalo chicken, recipe above

Directions

1. Wash and pat dry the head of lettuce.
2. Pick the largest, most sturdy pieces. Add about ¼ cup of the shredded chicken, 2-3 slices of avocado, and a sprinkle of blue cheese on top of the lettuce. Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top of the avocado slices to prevent browning. Enjoy!

healthy slow cooker recipes

Shredded Buffalo Chicken Dip

Serves: 20+
Prep time: 10 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

● 5 carrots, peeled and sliced
● 4 stalks celery, sliced
● Assorted bell peppers, pitted, seeds removed, sliced
● Corn or grain-free tortillas chips of choice*, optional
● Buffalo shredded chicken, recipe above
● Primal Kitchen’s Ranch Dressing (Avocado Oil Based)

* Tip: Always for a simple ingredient list. For chips, it should only be 4 to 6 or less ingredients. One of my favorite brands is Siete grain-free cassava tortilla chips! When I’m looking for corn tortilla chips, I’m looking for non-GMO or organic corn on the label. Tried to avoid refined oils and unnecessary preservatives (i.e. ingredients you can’t pronounce) when possible.

Directions

1. This one is fairly straightforward: Add the shredded buffalo chicken to a bowl, and serve with fresh, sliced vegetables like carrots, celery, and bell peppers. Include your favorite tortilla chips and a side of ranch dressing, if you’d like. You can also use this shredded chicken in a healthy seven-layer dip or top with shredded cheese and bake to serve warm.

barbacoa recipe

Slow-Cooked Beef Barbacoa

This slow-cooked, mouth-watering meat is a Tex-Mex staple. Now you don’t have to wait until the weekend to enjoy this flavor-packed protein. With less than 10 minutes of prep time, this barbacoa recipe cooks for you, so you don’t have to do anything except eat it! Enjoy it on our favorite grain-free tortillas by Siete, on top of a bed of lettuce or rice bowl, or simply munch on it as a snack with some salsa and guacamole. This dish is extremely versatile, and can be altered to fit any diet. If you’re Paleo, forgo the corn. If you’re Keto, leave out the sweet potatoes. If prefer less spicy, don’t add the jalapeno. The most important part: simplify your life, fuel your body, enjoy good-quality food.

Serves: 6-8
Cook Time: 3-4 hours on high, 5-6 hours on low
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

● 2 lbs. grass-fed brisket
● 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
● 1 red onion, sliced
● 2 bay leaves
● 4 cups organic beef broth
● 1 bag frozen organic corn (sweet or fire roasted)
● 1 jalapeno, optional*
*If you dig really, ridiculously spicy things.

For the sauce:

● 6 cloves garlic, minced
● ½ bunch fresh cilantro, with stems
● 7.5 oz can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
● ¼ tsp. cloves
● Juice from 2 limes
● ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
● 2 tsp. Himalayan salt

For serving:

● Brown rice, cooked
Siete Cassava & Coconut Flour Tortillas
● Avocado, sliced
● Fresh lime wedges
● Queso fresco, crumbled
● Sliced ¼ red onion
● Fresh cilantro, chopped or for garnish
● Full-fat Greek or Skyr plain yogurt
● Favorite fresh salsa

barbacoa recipe

Instructions

1. Add all sauce ingredients to a blender. Pulse until smooth.
2. Add brisket to slow cooker or CrockPot. Then top with the sauce, onions, sweet potatoes, beef broth, and bay leaves.
3. Cover and cook for 3-4 hours on high, or 5-6 hours on low. Turn to warm, then add the frozen corn for about 20 minutes.
4. Transfer meat to cutting board. Shred thy beautiful, tender meat. Return meat to slow cooker.
5. Don’t throw out the flavorful juices. You can add to ice cube tray or mason jar and freeze to add flavor in future stews and chilis.

Serving suggestions:

● Make a healthy taco bar! Serve with tortillas, sliced avocado, sliced onions, chopped cilantro, crumble queso fresco, lime wedges, fresh salsa, and plain yogurt. Our favorite tortillas are Austin-based company, Siete, who makes cassava (yucca) and coconut flour tortillas that are so tasty and low in carbohydrates and no white flour!
● Serve as a rice bowl with sliced onions, lime wedges, and cilantro for garnish. Feel free to add more Mexi-flavors sliced avocado, diced jalapeno, or a dollop of yogurt as a probiotic-rich substitute for sour cream. For a Paleo-friendly Burrito Bowl, you should definitely try this recipe!
● Simply serve alongside of fresh salsa and guacamole, enjoy as a snack and dip, or top on health(ier) homemade nachos made with Siete Cassava tortilla chips, shredded blend of cheese and organic refried black beans.