Okay, okay, we might be exaggerating a bit. The point is, a crock-pot is your solution to cooking delish meals while never missing a moment in the sun. We have 6 reasons this handy cooking device is a worthy kitchen sidekick.
Preparing for a classy garden party, but your friends relentlessly insist you join them at the beach? Stop being stubborn already and ditch the apron!
With these healthy crock-pot meals, you can quite literally toss in all ingredients and walk away.
Easy-Peasy, Healthy Crock-Pot Recipes
1. Pulled Pork
Mmmm, pulled pork. You have GOT to try this!
- Rub about 4 pounds of pork roast with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a little brown sugar. Add chili powder for a kick!
- Chop 2 onions and place around the roast.
- Options for cooking liquid:
- Can of dark beer poured onto the roast will result in a nice traditional flavor.
- Can of pineapple juice can be substituted for a fruity Hawaiian taste.
- Cup of apple cider vinegar can be used for a tart taste.
- Cook everything on low for 6 to 7 hours.
- Use a fork to shred the meat and remove any bones.
- Mix in your favorite BBQ sauce and let it cook on low for 1 more hour.
- Serve your pork on delicious potato rolls. This healthy crock-pot recipe serves 10-12.
2. Chicken Tortilla Soup
When you think of chicken soup, you may picture frosty, stormy nights and a cold (perhaps runny) nose. Hear this: chicken soup is not limited to winter meals and sick-day sipping. Add a twist of lime, wedge of avocado, and dollop of sour cream for an instant summer soup hit!
- Place 2-3 chopped chicken breasts into the crock-pot. Add chopped green chile, a can of beans, corn kernels, chopped tomato, onion, garlic, and a pinch of your favorite spices.
- Pour 2 cups of chicken broth and 1 cup of water on top. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.
- Squeeze at least 2 large limes into the soup and add a handful of cilantro.
- To serve, pour into a bowl over tortilla chips. Sprinkle some shredded cheese on top.
- Sliced avocado and a big spoonful of sour cream served as garnish completes the meal. This simple & healthy crock-pot soup serves 4-5 people.
3. BBQ Ribs
This recipe is ridiculously easy. Other than utter laziness, you have no excuse to skip it.
- Rub down the 3-4 pounds of ribs with salt, pepper, garlic powder and a little chili sauce.
- Place in the crock-pot with about 1/2 cup of dark beer.
- Cook on low for 8 hours.
- Cover the ribs in barbecue sauce and bake at 350 degrees for just long enough that the sauce starts to caramelize. This healthy crock-pot meal serves 6-7 people.
4. Mac and Cheese
If you don’t love Mac and Cheese, there’s probably something wrong with you. This all-time favorite is virtually painless to prepare.
- Coat the crock- pot in non-stick spray.
- Mix 3 cups of milk with 3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese.
- Add 1 beaten egg. Season everything with salt, pepper and paprika.
- Pour this over 1 box of macaroni in the crock-pot and add a tad more cheese on top.
- Cook on low for 4 hours.
5. Healthy Crock Pot Oatmeal Recipe: Loaded Berries
A tangy breakfast treat that is so simple to complete. Try cooking it overnight for a quick breakfast the morning of that camping trip. Delicious and healthy crock pot breakfast recipes can be a pain to find, but this one is a winner every time.
- Pour 2 cups of steel-cut oatmeal into the crock-pot.
- Add 6 cups of water and a pinch of salt, as well as a ½ cup of brown sugar.
- Try a pinch of cinnamon for extra sweetness.
- Stir well and let cook on low for 8 hours.
- Before serving, stir in about a ½ cup of whole milk and top with a healthy portion of seasonal berries.
Then there is the beloved chili bowl. This ever-popular crock pot healthy dinner is a picnic food classic!
- Add 2 pounds of ground beef to 2 cans of tomato sauce in a crock-pot.
- Chop up a large onion, a bell pepper, and a couple cloves of garlic. Add them to the pot, along with 2 cans of your favorite beans.
- Pour a ½ cup of water or broth on top. Season everything with a mixture of salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, brown sugar, and cumin.
- Stir well and let cook on low for at least 8 hours.
- Serve with a dollop of sour cream and some shredded cheese on top. This will easily serve 8-10 people.
TIP: Find crock-pots at Sears, Walmart, and Macy’s. Some suppliers, such as Amazon, will even deliver fresh ingredients to your doorstep!