As we head into the winter months and it’s already dark out when we leave the office, our motivation to spend precious time in the kitchen wanes, but our desire for cozy comfort food rises. What’s the healthiest (and heartiest) fix that satisfies both these seasonal woes? Our good friend and game-changing kitchen staple, the crockpot, is a saving grace during chilly months—providing low-lift meal options that pack in all the home-cooked flavor we desire during the holiday season. The only problem with hearty heartwarming meals is that they’re usually heavy on the carbs. But with the right recipes, you can get your feel-good fix without derailing your healthy eating plan. To prove it, we’ve rounded up seven low-carb crockpot recipes that will become your favorites through fall and winter. Prep before the workday to come home to a filling meal brimming with flavor (not the carbs). Keep scrolling for seven low-carb crockpot recipes that are perfect to cozy up with after a long workday.
Wake up to a plate of flavorful goodness with this bountiful breakfast you can make ahead. “This hearty, filling slow-cooker egg casserole recipe with Mediterranean flavors, goat cheese, and prosciutto is simple to put together and can be assembled the night before so it’ll cook while you sleep!” says recipe creator Heidi of Foodie Crush. “Planning is key to surviving the holidays,” she rightly notes. “It’s also when your slow cooker can become your best friend—and it starts with breakfast.” She calls this recipe the quintessential trifecta of holiday cooking: hearty, filling, and simple to pull together. “The ingredients aren’t going to pass expiration in a hurry, and it mostly takes some simple chopping and a bit of sautéeing before the slow cooker steps up.”
“For me, the best slow-cooker recipes are those where you can toss all the ingredients into the cooker at once, turn it on, then let it do its thing,” admits Camille Styles. “After all, isn’t one of the main benefits of this type of cooking that it’s no-fuss and results in fewer dishes to clean at the end of the day?” Camille explains that the only prep required by this chicken and white bean chili is chopping up an onion and opening a few cans. “It really is that easy, and after hanging out in the slow-cooker for eight hours, it tastes like you’ve been slaving over the stove all day.”
“Who’s ready for the healthiest, coziest, and easiest Sunday night dinner?” asks Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest. “For this crockpot dish, I used my favorite hearty winter vegetable, broccoli rabe, [as] it’s perfect for these colder weather days.” She explains this recipe is equally great on both busy working weekdays or jam-packed weekends. “I love making this dish after a day of fun winter activities like snowboarding, snowmobiling, or simply just playing all day in the snow,” she says. “When I come home exhausted and starving, it’s always nice to know I already have dinner taken care of.”
According to Mike of I Am a Food Blog, this crockpot dish is “pretty much the world’s easiest pho recipe.” He explains that good pho is all about balance, but not necessarily subtlety. “Charred aromatics are the key to a great pho, and the easiest, laziest way to char your aromatics is by putting them all on a sheet tray and blowtorching them all at once,” he explains. “I like to use a mixture of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, coriander seeds, star anise, shallots, and onions.”
“Pulling out your crockpot aka slow cooker on Monday morning makes dinner a whole heck of a lot easier,” admits Heidi of Foodie Crush. But have you considered going big with the meal? “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,” she says. “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.” Not only that but cooking the chicken in a slow cooker produces a delicious stock that Heidi recommends saving for soup or mixing into shredded chicken to keep it moist.
“This recipe is kind of life-changing,” says Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest. “You literally just add everything to the crockpot, slow cook all day, and come home to an amazing dinner—done.” She lets hers slow cook for about six hours for spaghetti squash perfection—“not mushy (which I was worried it would be) but tender and buttery and so good.”
Looking for more delicious ways to use your slow cooker this season? This crockpot recipe has been shared 500,000 times, and it’s pure comfort food.