There is so much to love about slow cookers. They’re eco-friendly, make light work of cheap ingredients and meat cuts, and involve minimal prep. What’s more, they offer a healthier, low-fat method of cooking as you don’t need any oil. Instead, the large volumes of liquid used ensure ingredients don’t catch, plus you can trim fat off any meat as the gentle bathing method keeps ingredients moist. As long as you monitor liquid levels, your dishes shouldn’t dry out.
Preparing a slow-cooked supper this way is easy, too. These recipes simply require throwing all the ingredients together and leaving to simmer. If you’re not a convert yet, our top 10 healthy slow cooker dishes might just convince you. We have lots more healthy slow cooker recipes for you to browse.
Our best healthy slow cooker ideas
1. Slow cooker ratatouille
A glorious melting pot of colour, this vegan slow-cooked ratatouille is bursting with veg such as aubergines, courgettes, peppers and tomatoes. As well as being high in fibre and folate, this hearty stew delivers an impressive four of your five-a-day. It’s also freezable, so you can make a large batch to keep for busy midweek days. Enjoy it with some crusty homemade sourdough for mopping up the juices.
Find more plant-based wonders in our collection of vegan slow cooker recipes.
2. Slow cooker meatballs
These meatballs are so packed with flavour, you won’t believe they are healthy! Using turkey mince makes them leaner and the hidden veg sauce is a great way to give kids some of their five-a-day. Serve with spaghetti for a satisfying family dinner.
Check out more healthy family slow cooker recipes.
3. Slow cooker spiced root & lentil casserole
Make chilly winter days that bit better by having a comforting casserole waiting for you in the slow cooker. This simple vegan one-pot is brimming with chunky root veg such as parsnips, carrots and lentils, which soak up the flavours of warming spices and bay leaves. Serve with bread, rice, or potatoes for a budget-friendly dinner, or make an extra-large batch to freeze for when you have less time.
4. Slow cooker vegetable lasagne
Comfort food doesn’t have to be stodgy or leave you feeling bloated. We’ve made this classic pasta bake lighter by ditching the white sauce, using wholewheat lasagne sheets and loading up on plenty of veg. Layers of courgettes, aubergines, peppers and pasta are baked in a rich tomato sauce and topped with a scattering of veggie buffalo mozzarella, making for a satisfying meat-free supper. As an extra bonus, a serving of this veggie lasagne provides all five of your five-a-day as well as being low in fat and calories.
5. Slow cooker chicken casserole
The whole family will love our wholesome chicken and vegetable casserole, which just happens to be low-fat and full of goodness. Use boneless, skinless chicken thigh fillets for maximum flavour, along with low-salt stock cubes, bay leaves and a hint of spice from Dijon mustard. With just 10 minutes prep time required, it’s sure to become a favourite.
Browse our slow cooker chicken recipes for more flavoursome casseroles, curries, soups and stews.
6. Danish-style yellow split pea soup
Yellow split peas are a great storecupboard staple to have on hand and add plenty of texture to this simple Scandinavian-inspired soup. All you have to do is cook the split peas for 10 minutes, then add to the slow cooker along with an assortment of wintry veg. We’ve ramped up the flavour levels with herbs such as thyme, dill and oregano, whilst caraway seeds, white pepper, cloves and white miso lend a gently spicy, umami boost. This warming blend has plenty of health credentials to boot – as well as being a source of iron, it’s low in fat, vegan and provides three of your five-a-day.
7. Squid, prawn & chickpea nduja stew
Seafood dishes are also well suited to slow cooking as it allows the flavours to meld together. We’ve used British squid in this Spanish-style stew because it’s budget-friendly, sustainable and underused. However, you can easily adapt the recipe with whatever seafood you have – steamed clams, mussels and cockles could all work. Nduja or chorizo sausage also add a smoky, spicy kick and meatiness to the dish.
8. Slow cooker pork fillet with apples
Want a nutritious dish to impress? The classic combination of pork and apples is only enhanced by slow cooking as the meat becomes more tender and the fruit caramelises. Served in a sauce made with low-fat crème fraîche, sage and mustard, this makes for a light and elegant dinner party dish, accompanied by a plate of steamed greens. Furthermore, this is one of our quicker slow cooker recipes, requiring just four hours to cook – ideal, if you have less time.
Discover more low-carb slow cooker recipes
9. Aubergine & chickpea stew
Combine melting aubergines with chickpeas, chopped tomatoes and spices in this vibrant vegan stew. A source of vitamin C and folate, it’s also low in fat and packs in three of your five-a-day. Finish the dish with a sprinkling of satisfyingly crunchy toasted pine nuts, plus fresh parsley, and enjoy it with warm pittas.
10. Slow cooker bolognese
Every nonna knows the key to any successful meaty pasta sauce is slow cooking. This bumper bolognese recipe makes 12 portions and it can be frozen to thaw on those nights when you just can’t face cooking a meal from scratch. What’s more, its fat, calorie and salt levels are all in check. Serve with wholewheat pasta and a big side salad.
Get more slow cooker inspiration
Our best-ever slow cooker recipes
Top 10 budget slow cooker recipes
Top 10 slow cooker chicken recipes
Top 10 summer slow cooker recipes
Vegetarian slow cooker recipes
Vegan slow cooker ideas
Best slow cookers to buy
For more on eating a healthy, balanced diet, visit our health and nutrition section.
We’d like to hear about what you make in your slow cooker. Share your recipe ideas with us in the comments below…