The slow cooker is a powerful tool, particularly this blustery time of year when, after a long day at work, all you really want to come home to is a warm, wintery braise or stew. Both dishes are Whole30-approved, along with so many other things that can be made in the appliance, like salmon, shredded chicken, and hearty vegetable curries.
Here are 10 slow cooker recipes that will help make your Whole30 meal plan a whole lot easier.
Instead of searing the meat, as most braises require, the short ribs are just quickly browned under the broiler, eliminating any stovetop cooking. Be sure to check for added sugar in the fish sauce — Red Boat is one Whole30-approved brand.
The slow cooker recipes I rely on most are the ones that leave me with an ample amount of leftovers. And this brisket delivers in the most delicious way. To make it Whole30-compliant, use coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce and skip the Worcestershire sauce.
This riff on the popular recipe for chicken in milk nixes the dairy in favor of canned coconut milk and some Thai-inspired aromatics. While it's not required, I recommend browning the chicken under the broiler for extra flavor before slow cooking.
Here's a slow cooker recipe to add to your meal prep routine for Whole30 and beyond. It's a mostly hands-off recipe that leaves you with plenty of juicy, shredded chicken to add to salads and soups, and just about any veggies.
The takeout version might be off limits, but this one most certainly is not. Keep this Indian-inspired favorite Whole30-compliant by swapping canned coconut milk for the cream and serve it over cauliflower rice.
This recipe requires a little upfront work, but the slow cooker does the heavy lifting and rewards you with enough tender, shredded pork for several meals. Serve it over cauliflower rice, pile it into lettuce wraps, and use it as a salad topping.
Meaty chicken thighs give this soup tons of flavor, and unlike lean chicken breast they won't turn dry if left to cook a little too long. You'll want to skip the beans and tortilla chip garnish to keep it Whole30-friendly — instead load up on extra avocado and some sliced radishes for crunch.
If you've never cooked salmon in the slow cooker, now is a wonderful time to give it a try. Whether you're cooking a few small fillets or an extra-large cut (hello, leftovers!), the result is reliably tender and delicious.
Make a big batch of ratatouille during Sunday meal prep, then turn it into a meal by topping it with a fried egg, spooning it over cauliflower rice, or pairing it with a hearty green salad.
While this recipe calls for pumpkin, you can also use a large butternut or kabocha squash. For extra flavor I like swapping the water for vegetable stock (or chicken, if it doesn't need to be vegan-friendly). Instead of basmati rice, serve it with cauliflower rice or a mess of sautéed greens.
Our Readers' 6 Favorite Slow Cookers
30 Days of Whole30: We kicked 2017 off with 30 days of Whole30. Why Whole30? It's not a permanent diet; it's not a prescription for eating. It's just 30 days of eating whole foods and exploring a more purposeful, mindful approach to food. Read more here on what Whole30 is and how to follow along.