When you return home from a long day at work, worn out and resisting the urge to promptly pass out on your couch, a pre-made dinner—heated up and ready to serve—is a weeknight savior. Better yet, make that a home-cooked meal that also happens to be healthy, and you have yourself a supper situation that feels almost too good to be true. The hero in this scenario is your trusty crockpot, the game-changing appliance that works hard while you're at work so you can take care of your hunger without the hassle at the end of the day. Couple your slow cooker with healthy crockpot chicken recipes packed with protein and satiating flavor, and you're set for the rest of the week.
Read on for 15 of our favorite crockpot chicken dishes that are healthier takes on traditional recipes—some are even gluten-free, dairy-free, and Whole30 or Paleo-approved.
Crockpot Creamy Cashew Chicken
"Think spicy, but not overly so," notes recipe creator Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest. "Think so creamy, but without any actual cream. And then think super cozy and crazy delicious." She promises her flavorful twist on traditional cashew chicken is the perfect weeknight meal. "You can add everything to the crockpot before work or school or wherever you may be, and then come home to a house that smells in-freaking-credible and a delicious dinner that is ready to eat."
You can add everything to the crockpot before work or school or wherever you may be, and then come home to a house that smells in-freaking-credible and a delicious dinner that is ready to eat.
Thai Crockpot Paleo Chicken Noodle Soup
"This crockpot paleo chicken noodle soup has a Thai spin," explains Taylor of Food Faith Fitness. "It uses butternut squash noodles so it's gluten- and grain-free and perfect for cold evenings." She lists the usual chicken noodle soup suspects like carrots, celery, onion, and chicken among the ingredients—but notes the flavorful additions that give it a Thai twist: "We're talking lemongrass, ginger, and fish sauce, slowly swimming together in a pot of delicious crockpot paleo chicken noodle soup, simmering and infusing the broth with a citrusy, lemon-lime flavor profile that has a warmth and burst of saltiness that hits the back of your throat with each spoonful."
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
"These Paleo slow cooker buffalo chicken meatballs are gluten-free, dairy-free (blue cheese is optional), low-carb and absolutely delicious with an all-natural hot sauce," declares Kate of Root and Revel of her Whole30 take on classic game-day meatballs. "I've made these dozens of times now and they're always a huge crowd pleaser—I don't advertise that they're actually healthy and nobody can tell the difference."
Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
"Cooking a whole chicken in the slow cooker or crockpot is an incredibly simple way to cook chicken for a week of easy lunches or dinners," asserts Heidi of Foodie Crush. "The formula is simple. Simply toss in a few vegetables with a whole chicken and you've just created the base for a whole week of eats."
Thai Chicken Quinoa Bowls With Peanut Sauce
"Who does not love throwing a bunch of stuff into one pot, turning a little knob, and presto! There's a delicious dinner waiting for you when you get home?" asks Taylor of Food Faith Fitness rhetorically. One of her go-to healthy crockpot recipes is a Thai chicken quinoa bowl you can feel good about devouring. "It's got a little bit of sweet honey, creamy coconut milk, soy for the salty factor and then peanut butter," she describes. "Pair all that goodness with some tender chicken breast, fluffy quinoa, and some spicy-smooth-crunchy-healthy cabbage slaw."
Easier, Healthier Crockpot Butter Chicken
Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest took the traditional butter chicken recipe, made a few changes to make it healthier, and ended up with a super-easy crockpot meal that's sure to be a savior on weeknights. "It's so easy to make, it's kind of embarrassing," she admits—though its simplicity doesn't mean it compromises on flavor.
Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup
Heidi of Foodie Crush shares Skinnytaste creator Gina Homolka's crockpot chicken enchilada soup. "Chipotle peppers give the soup its kick, and while some may anticipate a thicker broth when perusing the recipe, it's definitely thinner than what you'd find on traditional enchiladas," Heidi recounts. The slow-cooked chicken comes out perfectly and super easy to shred.
Slow Cooker Indian Chicken Kheema
Phoebe of Feed Me Phoebe shares an incredibly flavorful recipe for an Indian Chicken Kheema dish that's dairy-free and even be Whole30-friendly by substituting peas for green beans. Filled with healthy herbs and spices, such as coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, cilantro, and ginger, this dinner option is anything but boring.
Asian Crockpot Lettuce Wraps
Taylor of Food Faith Fitness comes to the rescue again with this flavorful, veggie-packed, low carb, and Whole30-friendly chicken lettuce wrap. The Asian-inspired dish combines cauliflower, peppers, water chestnuts, peanut/almond butter, ginger, and other vegetables with a kick of Srirarcha to spice things up.
Instant Pot Turmeric Chicken and Veggies
Taylor of Food Faith Fitness whips up this dreamy dish that's paleo and Whole30-friendly. Turmeric has long been known for its many anti-inflammatory health benefits. This combination of chicken breast, light coconut milk, brussel sprouts, broccoli, and bell peppers makes for a bowl of spicy golden goodness you won't be able to get enough of.
Crockpot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Krista of Joyful Healthy Eats shares her wholesome recipe for a quick and easy chicken and wild rice soup. This gluten-free option full of fresh herbs, mushrooms, and rice is a truly hearty and comforting meal for a chilly day. The best part is you can truly set it and forget it with the crockpot.
Slow Cooker Italian Chicken with Zoodles
Easy, fast, and healthy is just our style. Taylor of Food Faith Fitness shares her recipe for this scrumptious chicken dish with zucchini noodles that is gluten-free and under 350 calories. So you don't have to sacrifice taste for your health.
Crockpot Chicken Curry
A sweet and spicy concoction loaded with veggies, this chicken curry recipe by Krista of Joyful Healthy Eats will definitely top your weeknight go-to list. Featuring red curry made with sweet coconut milk, fresh ginger, garlic, cilantro, and lime juice. Have plenty of rice on hand, because you'll want to soak up every last drop.
Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Soup
If you're looking for a light, quick, and tasty meal that practically makes itself, this buffalo chicken soup by Taylor of Food Faith Fitness will be your new favorite dish. Creamy and satisfying with just the right kick, this keto-friendly recipe uses ghee, low sodium chicken broth, and Whole30 ranch dressing so eat up.