10 High-Protein Slow Cooker Dinner Recipes

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition
spicy pineapple teriyaki pulled pork on buns with vegetables

Set it and forget it: That’s the way you want to cook during the week when work, kids, school activities and sports all collide. And truth be told, you don’t mind making weekend meals the same way, either. Slow cooker dinners are your solution when you’re short on time (and energy). Plus, when that slow cooker recipe also happens to be super-high in protein, you can consider it a win for your waistline.

A high-protein diet keeps you fuller for longer and helps your body build muscle. Protein is also more thermogenic than carbohydrates and fats (meaning it requires more energy for digesting and absorbing). This means that you’ll burn more calories eating a high-protein food compared to something higher in carbs and fat.

Get energized and stay satisfied with protein-packed meals that are delicious and nutritious! Here are 10 high-protein slow cooker dinner recipes that are made easy in your slow cooker:

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1. Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken and Vegetables >

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken and Vegetables

This one is all about the sauce: Honey, low sodium soy sauce, rice vinegar, minced garlic cloves, grated ginger and sesame oil combine to give an Asian-inspired twist on a standard chicken and veggie dish. Just submerge the chicken breasts in the honey garlic sauce and let it cook low and slow. Add your favorite non-starchy veggies—broccoli florets and sliced bell peppers work deliciously, so do mushrooms, tomatoes and snap peas. Garnish with chopped scallions when cooking is complete, then sprinkle on red pepper flakes if you’re wanting a little heat. Click here for the full recipe! >

2. Easy Slow Cooker Taco Soup with Ground Beef >

Easy Slow Cooker Taco Soup with Ground Beef

Of course you can still partake in Taco Tuesday when you’re trying to lose weight. This slow-cooker version has all the flavors you crave—seasoned ground beef, black beans, corn, diced tomatoes and fire-roasted green chilies—for only 217 calories per serving. Squeeze a little fresh lime for a burst of freshness and dive in, spoon-first. The soup tastes so good, you won’t even miss the taco shell. Click here for the full recipe! >

3. Slow Cooker Mediterranean Chicken Breast >

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Chicken Breast

Super simple to make and packed with so much flavor—if those aren’t reasons enough to put this winner of a chicken dinner on your menu, here’s another: it’s packed with protein. Make your Mediterranean marinade by stirring a slew of spices—including cumin, garlic powder, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon and dried parsley—into Greek yogurt (for more protein). Add it to the slower cooker with your chicken breast, low sodium chicken broth and lemon juice. Cook it on low for eight hours (or on high for half the time) and voila—savory Mediterranean chicken that pairs beautifully with pita and creamy tzatziki. Click here for the full recipe! >

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4. Skinny Slow Cooker Chili Cheese Dip >

Skinny Slow Cooker Chili Cheese Dip

This slow cooker dip recipe is perfect for a Friday night with friends or even a mid-week happy hour. That’s because this chili takes minimal effort to make and offers tons of yummy flavor with every dip. Plus, it’s good for you: refried beans and green chiles fill you up with fiber, plus you get a healthy punch of protein with the lean ground turkey, nonfat Greek yogurt and cheddar cheese. If you want to add a serving of vegetables to your meal, dip into the gooey goodness with slices of bell peppers or circles of cucumbers. Click here for the full recipe! >

5. Slow Cooker Parmesan Chicken Stew >

Slow Cooker Parmesan Chicken Stew

Sometimes you just want a piping hot bowl of soup—even in the heat of summer. This slow cooker chicken stew is an excellent option. It’s hearty and satisfying, jam-packed with protein and loaded with nutrient-dense vegetables. Minced garlic and Italian seasoning add flavor, while zesty parmesan finishes off the simmer. Complement your comforting bowl of goodness with a fresh summer salad and a slice of whole grain bread (for one more SmartCarb). Click here for the full recipe! >

6. Slow Cooker Roasted Turkey >

Slow Cooker Roasted Turkey

No need to wait for Thanksgiving to enjoy this bird: with this simple recipe (submitted by a fellow Leaf visitor!), you can feast on roasted turkey any day of the year. No basting or oven required! Just toss chopped celery, sliced onions and minced garlic into the bottom of a slow cooker with some chicken broth. Rub your turkey breast (inside and out) with dry onion soup mix and spices, then rest it on top of the veggies. Drizzle on a little melted butter and then let the slow cooker take over for one moist and flavorful meal. Click here for the full recipe! >

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7. 4-Ingredient Spicy Pineapple Teriyaki Pork >

4-Ingredient Spicy Pineapple Teriyaki Pork

It doesn’t get much easier than this slow cooker recipe! Four ingredients—pork tenderloin, pineapple chunks, a jalapeno pepper and reduced sodium teriyaki sauce—plus one slow cooker creates a dish that’s a little sweet, a little spicy and a lot delicious. Shred the pork when it’s done cooking, then scoop a serving alongside brown rice, quinoa or tortilla chips for a flavor-packed punch of protein. Click here for the full recipe! >

8. Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chicken Chili >

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chicken Chili

It’s got the beans, diced tomatoes and onions you expect in a chili. Chicken brings in the lean protein, fire roasted green chilis and jalapenos pack the heat, and chili powder and cumin pump up the flavor. However, this autumn-inspired slow cooker recipe incorporates pumpkin puree for a fall-flavored twist. If you want your chili a little creamy, add some low-fat cream cheese to the slow cooker near the end of the simmer. Top with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro and enjoy this hearty meal with your whole family. Click here for the full recipe! >

9. Slow Cooker Moroccan Lentil Soup >

Slow Cooker Moroccan Lentil Soup

Don’t worry vegetarians, we have a slow cooker dinner recipe for you, too! Take a long whiff while it cooks—the smell of this simmering pot of lentils, veggies and spices is sure to get your belly grumbling. And trust that your taste buds won’t be disappointed when the ingredients and flavors come together in this delicious—and super healthy—slow cooker soup. Lentils provide the protein; kale, carrots, celery, green bell peppers, sweet potatoes and onions fill you up with fiber and nutrients; and a slew of spices—like garlic, coriander, cumin, curry powder, paprika, cinnamon, nutmeg and turmeric—add tons of Moroccan flavor. We add crunch to each spoonful of soup with a garnish of pumpkin seeds. Click here for the full recipe! >

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10. Artichoke Chicken with Potatoes and Sundried Tomatoes >

Slow Cooker Artichoke Chicken with Potatoes and Sundried Tomatoes

You know chicken, of course, is an excellent source of protein. What you may not realize, however, is that artichokes are among the list of veggies highest in this muscle-building nutrient as well. The one-two punch combo provides a whopping 20.5 grams of protein per tasty serving. Sundried tomatoes add a zing of flavor, potatoes some heft and garlic, oregano and fresh parsley are the perfect finish. Click here for the full recipe! >

Looking for easy, high-protein meals but don’t have time for cooking? Stock up your freezer with Hearty Inspirations premium frozen meals from Nutrisystem! These all-in-on, protein-packed dinners come together in 15 minutes or less in your skillet or microwave. Learn more here! >