Power Hour Meal Prep

Meal Prep Plan: How I Prep a Week of Low-Carb Slow Cooker Meals

published Jan 29, 2021
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a slow cooker filled with food, a tin with muffin shaped quiche, and two tupperwares of veggies sit on a wooden table
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

Credit: The Kitchn

Whether you’re been following a low-carb diet for a while now, or are just getting your feet wet, one of the things you’ve probably quickly realized is how useful it is to follow a meal plan. It could be as simple as ensuring you have enough eggs on hand to reach for each morning at breakfast, or it could be a more formalized approach, like this Power Hour.

In this two-hour meal prep session, you’ll assemble a week’s worth of low-carb breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. The secret to keeping it extra-easy? Your slow cooker. The appliance is so great at cooking a wide range of low-carb staples like chicken and beef, which means you can let it do a lot of the work for you. You’ll use it during this meal prep session, as well as throughout the week, to satisfy both your dietary needs and your appetite. Let’s get started.

Find more low-carb meal plans: Here Are 11 Weeks’ Worth of Low-Carb and Keto Meal Plans

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

Meal Prep Goals

  • Breakfast: One ready-to-eat option that’s flavorful and satisfying (five days).
  • Lunch: Alternating choices — a few of which make use of dinner leftovers (five days).
  • Dinner: Prepped components that can be tossed in your slow cooker on weekday mornings for no-fuss dinners (five days).
  • Nutritional Goals: Each meal clocks in at less than 20 grams of carbs per serving.
Credit: The Kitchn

Meal Prep Plan Snapshot

  • Feeds: Two people
  • Prep Time: About 2 hours
  • Meals Covered: About 75% (no weekend meals)
  • Weeknight Cooking Required? Light (easy, mostly hands-off assembly in the slow cooker; otherwise, 10 to 15 minutes of simple cooking and reheating)

Meal Plan




Credit: The Kitchn

Shopping List

This week’s shopping list calls for a combination of meat, low-carb produce, dry and refrigerated basics, and store-bought conveniences. It assumes staples like olive oil, salt, and pepper are already on hand.

  • Produce: 1 medium shallot, 1 small broccoli crown, 1 box or bag of clementines, 1 pint cherry tomatoes, 1 (5-ounce) clamshell baby arugula, 1 head garlic, 3 medium bell peppers (assorted colors), 2 medium yellow onions, 1 1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms, 1 lemon, 1 small bunch fresh thyme or tarragon, 1 bag coleslaw mix
  • Meat: 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 1 (3-pound) beef chuck roast, 2 pounds uncooked Italian or bratwurst sausages
  • Refrigerated: 1 (16-ounce) container cottage cheese, 1 (8-ounce) bag shredded cheddar cheese, 1 dozen large eggs, 1 quart whole milk, 1 (8-ounce) container sour cream, unsalted butter, 1/2 pint heavy cream
  • Pantry: 1 jar basil pesto, 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth, light brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, whole-grain mustard, dried porcini mushrooms, dried thyme, dried tarragon
  • Other: 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen cauliflower florets, 1 can beer, dry sherry, small low-carb tortillas
Credit: The Kitchn

Power Hour: How to Get the Prep Done

  1. Make the pesto chicken: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prepare the Pesto Chicken according to recipe instructions, using jarred pesto, and cook on HIGH for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add the optional tomatoes during the final 30 minutes of cooking. 
  2. Assemble and bake the egg muffins: While the chicken is cooking, prepare the Broccoli Cheddar Egg Muffins according to recipe instructions, and bake. Cool completely.
  3. Prepare the peppers and onions: Meanwhile, slice all of the bell peppers and 1 yellow onion for the Sausages with Peppers and Onions. Store them together in an airtight container.
  4. Roast the mushrooms. After removing the egg muffins from the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 375°F. Slice the mushrooms for the Cream of Mushroom Soup and roast them according to recipe instructions.
  5. Prepare the onion and garlic for the soup. Dice the remaining yellow onion and mince 2 garlic cloves for the soup and store them together in an airtight container.
  6. Store the prepped items: Refrigerate the pesto chicken, egg muffins, and roasted mushrooms in three separate containers once cool.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk
Credit: The Kitchn
Credit: Joe Lingeman

A Week of Low-Carb Slow Cooker Meals


Rewarm an egg muffin and enjoy it with a clementine.


Monday and Wednesday, Pesto Chicken Salad: Spoon some of the pesto chicken salad over a bed of arugula.

Tuesday, Leftover Cream of Mushroom Soup: Enjoy the rest of the mushroom soup.

Thursday and Friday, Leftover Sausage, Peppers and Onions: Rewarm some sausage, peppers, and onions with leftover mashed cauliflower.


Monday, Cream of Mushroom Soup: Assemble the Cream of Mushroom Soup in the slow cooker in the morning or afternoon and cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours. The prep will take about 5 minutes.

Tuesday, Balsamic Shredded Beef and Garlic & Sour Cream Mashed Cauliflower: Assemble the Balsamic Shredded Beef in the slow cooker in the morning and cook on LOW for 8 hours. The prep will take less than 5 minutes. Right before dinner, make the Garlic & Sour Cream Mashed Cauliflower.

Wednesday, Sausages with Peppers and Onions: Assemble the Sausages with Peppers and Onions in the slow cooker in the morning and cook on LOW for 6 hours. The prep will take less than 5 minutes. Enjoy a portion for dinner with extra mustard on the side.

Thursday, Balsamic Beef Tacos: Rewarm some of the shredded beef and serve it in low-carb tortillas with coleslaw mix and sour cream.

Friday, Cheesy Beef Quesadillas: Make quesadillas with the rest of the shredded beef and shredded cheddar cheese. Serve with pesto for dipping, if you’d like!


Power Hour Meal Prep is the series where we help you put it all together. We show you how to eat well during the week with an hour or two of Power Hour prep over the weekend. Every plan is different; mix and match to find your own personal sweet spot.