Stay warm this winter with these healthy and delicious slow cooker recipes! Pull out the crockpot and enjoy comforting stews, soups, casseroles, and more! Find recipes that suit your dietary needs – this collection contains vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, and vegan recipes.
Here we are, after the holidays, after the hustle and bustle and excitement. Now starts the long, cold, dark part of winter, at least here in Michigan. These are the months where we huddle up inside and make comforting soups and fragrant stews. And if we can do that in the slow cooker, well, that makes things even easier!
I thought I’d put together a roundup of delicious and healthier slow cooker recipes. These recipes have beans, whole grains, lentils, fresh veggies, herbs and spices, and lean meats. This is good for you, comforting, flavorful food that will get you through the winter months. Enjoy!
And if you’re in search of more delicious meals for those with special dietary needs, take a look at my series, 31 Days of Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Egg Free Comfort Food, along with my Top 9 Allergen Free Meal Plan.
Choosing a Slow Cooker
The slow cooker you choose will depend largely on the amount of people you need to feed.
A family of four would need at least a 4 or 5 quart slow cooker. Many slow cookers come in a 6 quart size (this is the size I use). I find that 6 quarts is nice for my family of four, and it makes enough for that meal, and then we have some leftovers.
Crockpots have other features that you will want to consider when making your purchase. Things like automatic timers and carrying handles may be important to you, so take your time and find the appliance that’s right for your needs.
Where to Find Allergy Friendly Ingredients
If you’re wondering where to find allergy friendly broths, spices, and beans, you’ll want to read my post on how to stock an allergy friendly pantry. Depending on your particular dietary needs, you may need to find gluten free pasta, dairy free gluten free broth or stock, and spices that are free of cross contamination.
Bean and Lentil Recipes
Sweet Potato Wild Rice Soup from The Pretty Bee (Vegan, Gluten Free – GF) – This soup is so super filling, no one will miss the meat at all! Wild rice and beans make this a hearty soup that’s sure to please a crowd.
Chipotle Style Black Beans from Jeanette’s Healthy Living (Vegan, GF) – Black beans are a nice addition to Taco Tuesday! You can serve these over rice or add them to your tacos or burritos.
Hearty White Bean Soup from My Whole Food Life (Vegan, GF) – A good bean soup should be on the menu this winter! It’s a great way to fuel up before you head outside to build snowmen or go sledding.
Greek Lentil Soup from Jeanette’s Healthy Living (Vegan, GF) – This lentil soup is fresh and colorful, and the perfect frugal recipe to try this winter.
Egyptian Lentils and Rice from The Pretty Bee (Vegan, GF) – This lentil and rice recipe is one that I’ve used for years – it’s so simple, but the combination of spices make it extra special. Your house will be so fragrant when you make this in the crockpot.
Red Lentil Soup from Vegan in the Freezer (Vegan, GF) – Red lentils are a great choice for soup, and this recipe is a perfect vegan choice for a cold night. This recipe has just the right amount of heat!
Tuscan White Bean Soup from A Family Feast (Vegetarian, GF) – A comforting bean soup is perfect for those days when you want to have a simple dinner. Top with gluten free crackers and fresh herbs to make it extra delicious.
Slow Cooker Lentil, Sausage, and Kale Soup from The Pretty Bee (Dairy Free, GF) – We love lentil soup over here, and this recipe adds some sausage for extra protein, so it’s a little bit different! Kale is a nice addition to get some extra greens in your diet.
Barley and Chickpea Risotto from Foxes Love Lemons (Vegetarian, omit cheese for Vegan) – A delicious risotto is always welcome! Making it with pearl barley is a nice change from the traditional rice.
Black Bean and Quinoa Soup from Post Punk Kitchen (Vegan, GF) – You can’t go wrong when you pair quinoa and beans together! This is an easy, budget friendly soup that’s sure to please your guests.
Chicken and Dumpling Soup from Money Saving Mom – There’s nothing cozier than chicken soup, unless you add dumplings! This comforting soup is easy to make, and the dumplings are gluten free, which is a bonus!
Gluten Free Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup from My Gluten Free Kitchen (GF, Dairy Free) – With cold season coming, it’s a good idea to have a great gluten free chicken noodle soup recipe on hand. Making it in the crockpot is even better for when you’re under the weather.
The Best Whole Chicken from The Little Kitchen (GF) – What a great way to make a whole chicken without using up your oven space! This crockpot chicken is a good recipe to try for a family gathering or a holiday meal with oven space is at a premium.
Chicken Taco Chili from Skinny Taste (GF) – Chili is always a great choice in the cold weather. Serve this chicken taco chili with tortilla chips, salsa, and guacamole, or make a big pan of vegan cornbread to round out the meal.
Chicken Wild Rice Soup from The Pretty Bee (Dairy Free, GF) – Wild rice and chicken go together so well! This hearty soup is very filling, and your house will smell amazing while it simmers all day long. We enjoy eating this chicken soup with homemade gluten free crackers.
Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas from The Pretty Bee (GF, Dairy Free) – This is an easy way to make carnitas to serve in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, or on top of a bowl of cilantro rice. You’ll love how tender the pork gets as it simmers in the slow cooker all day long.
Italian Sausage and Vegetable Soup from Tastes Lovely (GF) – Italian sausage adds lots of flavor to this hearty veggie soup! Serve with fresh bread or crackers for a cozy meal.
BBQ Pulled Pork from Kristine’s Kitchen (GF, Dairy Free) – This is the perfect meal to serve at a party! Serve this pork with gluten free buns, or over rice, and with coleslaw on the side. This is a crowd pleaser!
Beef Bourgignon from The Healthy Foodie – When you want a comforting meal, this beef bourgignon is just the thing. Warm up this winter with this savory dish!
Sweet Potato Chili from A Nomad’s Dream (GF) – Sweet potatoes are a great addition to chili! This recipe is sure to keep you full – it uses ground beef, but feel free to try it with ground turkey or bison. Top this with chopped peppers, fresh salsa, or diced avocado.
Classic Slow Cooker Beef Stew from The Pretty Bee (GF, Dairy Free) – This hearty stew is just right for a winter’s day! Tender beef, potatoes, carrots, onions, and a flavorful broth make this stew extra delicious.
Vegan Vegetable Stew from Vegan in the Freezer (Vegan, GF) – A hearty blend of mushrooms and other veggies, this stew recipe is sure to fill you up! You will love the blend of spices that gives this stew its savory flavor.
Mushroom Stroganoff from Easy Cheesy Vegetarian (Vegetarian) – Mushroom stroganoff is an easy, comforting meal to make in the fall. Even meat eaters will enjoy this hearty, savory meal.
Chipotle Tacos from Vegan in the Freezer (Vegan, GF) – Taco Tuesday can’t come soon enough for me! These chipotle tacos are gluten free and vegan, so everyone can enjoy them!
Side Dishes and More
Crockpot Sweet Potato Stuffing from Whole and Heavenly Oven (Vegetarian, Use Vegan Buttery Spread to make it Dairy Free) – I love the idea of making stuffing in the slow cooker! This is a great way to free up your oven during the holidays.
Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce from Serving Joyfully (Vegan, GF) – When apple season arrives, that’s the perfect time to make a big batch of homemade applesauce! Let the crockpot do the work for you – your house will smell divine!
Make Ahead Mashed Cauliflower from Holistically Engineered (Paleo, GF) – Mashed cauliflower is a nice change from mashed potatoes! Serve this with your Thanksgiving dinner, or with a pot roast or roasted chicken for Sunday dinner.
Carrot Cake and Zucchini Bread Oatmeal from 86 Lemons (Vegan, GF) – I love the idea of using the crockpot to make breakfast! This carrot cake and zucchini bread steel cut oatmeal is a great way to start your morning. Top it with diced apples or nuts to make it even more delicious.