Personally, I am not winter’s biggest fan. I definitely prefer a perfect 70 degrees fall day over a 30 degree, windy, cloudy winter day. But, the one thing I do love about winter is hot crockpot meals. When I started eating healthy, I realized there is no better way to eat healthy than with hearty crockpot meals. When you’re stuck in the house all day or just come in from the cold, the entire house smells amazing and you know there is cozy comfort food waiting for you. So, in honor of those chilly months ahead, I’ve collected 17 of the best healthy, frugal crockpot meals for those cold winter days we have come at us.
*This post contains affiliate links. Although I may make a commission, all recommendations are my own.
I used to go into grocery shopping and meal planning totally blind. Now, I always shop my pantry first to make sure we stay on budget.
I never liked chili as a kid. Like any picky eater, I spent most of the dinner picking around the veggies and the beans while pouting and asking for more bread. If only I would have known about this White Chicken Chili from Well Plated by Erin. This lighter, healthy, tasty white chicken chili is definitely right up my alley. Although, I would probably not be great at sharing with my family.
Since he started making his way over the hill (I love to tease him) my husband has not been able to eat hamburger meat anymore. So we have started subbing more things with turkey and this Healthy Turkey Chili from Ambitious Kitchen makes it so easy to totally enjoy every single bite. If you are looking for a healthier alternative to traditional chili, then this is it. I also love the idea of adding in some avocado! Something I definitely wouldn’t have enjoyed as a kid!
If there was ever a way to get yourself to eat more veggies while still eating a healthy, hearty meal it is this Butternut Squash Chicken and Quinoa Soup from Chelsea’s Messy Apron. I think cooking with squash is such a scary thing for a lot of people but this recipe is so delicious and simple it is an absolute must-try. Plus, popping ingredients into the crockpot for the day is probably the least scary way to cook as it is.
Pulled pork in “my day” meant it was drenched in BBQ sauce and slapped in between 2 white buns. Well, gone are the days of gluten for me and so are the days of unconscious eating. This Healthy Pulled Pork from The Clean Eating Couple pulled pork is such a great way to still enjoy pulled pork in a cleaner, healthier way that is still totally satisfying. Plus, the crockpot naturally makes the meat so amazingly tender.
Spaghetti squash is absolutely amazing if you are trying to cut back on grains or sneak more veggies into your diet. I personally love using it in place of traditional spaghetti, but I think this Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash from My Modern Cookery just might steal the show completely. This would be a perfect, light meal to have for a Meatless Monday or as a quick grab after a long day.
Topped with pineapples? Yes, please. I think this Crockpot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken from The Salty Marshmallow is the perfect way to indulge your taste buds a little and still stay frugal and healthy. How simple to just spoon over a bed of rice, pour on some pineapple chunks and curl up on the couch under your favorite blanket. Talk about perfection.
Leave it up to the dynamic couple behind Pinch of Yum to come up with this amazing Quinoa Chicken Primavera. If you have ever dreamed of taking amazing photos, working to create fabulous recipes and then blogging all about it (and getting paid for it!) then you have got to check out the Food Blogger Pro course! It was created by Lindsey and Bjork from Pinch of Yum and teaches you everything you need to know to be successful with your food blog. If you already have a good blog, don’t miss their handcrafted WordPress plugins specifically for food blogs.
I don’t know why it took me so long to hop on the sweet potato train. Whenever I tried them I just didn’t care for them. But they were usually covered in marshmallows on Thanksgiving day, which was definitely not my favorite way to go. Even though I love the occasional sweets, I think sweet potatoes do way better when paired with something that has a little more kick. Like these crockpot Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes from The Real Food Dietitians.
When I think of the perfect home cooked meal, a good roast always comes to mind. It is the absolutely perfect, healthy, hearty, comfort food for any cold winter day. To be able to come home to this Roast with Vegetables from Yummy Healthy Easy in the crockpot seems like an absolute dream come true. It would be like mom cooking in the kitchen all over again.
You had me at honey garlic. I mean really does anything sound more delicious? To top it off, this is something you could make in the crockpot? They totally nailed this Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies from Damn Delicious! I have never seen a more perfect looking healthy meal in my life. Well, maybe I have…but seriously…look how delicious…
Stuffed peppers have to be my favorite looking food trend. Everything stays so cute and neat in a little bell pepper while all the tasty ingredients inside just ooze with flavor. I think you could go totally wrong with too mild of ingredients inside, but these Mexican Stuffed Peppers from The Slow Cooking Housewife are anything but mild. This recipe is perfect for those nights when you’re craving a burrito but are really sticking to your healthy diet.
I think anything with “skinny” in the title just instantly makes you feel better about your decision. A lot of people totally take advantage of this word but these Skinny Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken from The Recipe Critic are not one of them. If you are looking to indulge in a little in some amazing oriental cooking, then you can jump into this recipe guilt free. If you are gluten-free like me, you can easily swap the soy sauce for coconut aminos!
Can you ever go wrong with a classic? Believe me, I am all about new, original recipes, but sometimes you just gotta get back to basics like this Chicken Noodle Soup from Cooking Classy. For some reason, whenever I am sick I crave chicken noodle soup. It’s like I am instantly transported back to being sick on the couch as a kid with my mom watching over me. There is immense comfort in chicken noodle soup and thank goodness the crockpot makes it all possible.
So the creamy here may be a little leap away from healthy, but you can deny that this looks amazing. And for the sake of argument, this Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Chicken from Chef in Training is a way better option than a heavy alfredo-type pasta. You skip the heavy meal while still indulging in all the yummy-ness.
A friend introduced me to Minestrone and I was officially convinced that I could be a vegetable eater! Thank goodness for vegetarian friends with a flair for cooking! While my minestrone has now taken on the “dump whatever you have into a pot” style of cooking, this Crockpot Minestrone Soup from Family Fresh Meals is anything but ordinary. I am a firm believer that this soup is the best way to create a happy, healthy home.
This Beef Barley Soup from The Chunky Chef is so healthy, so healthy and so tasty looking. If you have just spent a long day outside doing winter activities or working in the yard, or shoveling…whatever crazy cold activity you can think of, I’m pretty sure this is the recipe you need. A little heartier and still packed full of veggies and goodness.
You can’t go wrong with a super frugal, super simple, healthy recipe like this one. Even better when you can just toss it in the crockpot. This Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole from Kristine’s Kitchen is so delightfully simple it’s unbelievable. If you are one of those families with picky eaters (like I used to be) then I really feel like this recipe is a great place to start.