11 Tips for Healthy Slow Cooker Meals

As these last few lazy days of summer are upon us, it may become difficult to find the energy to prepare dinner. We typically think of cooking with a slow cooker during the fall and winter months, but summer is an excellent time to use it as well! Slow cookers will not add any extra heat to your house AND it will save you hours of cooking!

Something to be aware of is that most slow cooker recipes are not all that healthy. Follow the tips below to create slow cooker meals that fit your healthy lifestyle and diet!

Here are Revive’s 11 Tips for Healthy Slow Cooker Meals:

Look for recipes without a jar sauce:

Recipes will often call for a whole jar of sweet and sour sauce.  While this may taste delicious, it is equivalent to 4-7 Tbsp of sauce per person, which is nearly 4 times the recommended serving size of 1-2 Tbsp per person. 

Know what you are putting in your body:

Make sure you know what all the ingredients are before you put them in the Crock-Pot – This will help to prevent you from adding too many preservatives or highly processed ingredients.

Sugar is sugar:

Just because you substitute honey for sugar doesn’t make it healthier.

Fat is fat:

Just because olive oil is good for you doesn’t mean a cup of it is a good idea.

Sodium still counts:

Choose low sodium ingredients so you can add your own salt to taste. (Low sodium chicken, beef or vegetable broth, tomato sauce, etc.)

Don’t pick seafood-based recipes:

As much as you may love seafood, it should only be added the last few minutes of cooking; otherwise, the seafood can become rubbery or overcooked, and the flavours can over power the entire dish.

Slow cookers for breakfast:

Crock-Pots are an excellent tool for making delicious oatmeal that is hot and ready to go in the morning. Add 2 chopped apples, a dash of cinnamon and 2 tbsp of maple syrup to your overnight oats for a delicious hot oatmeal that’s ready when you are.

Cook your meat:

For slow cook meals, think about using your Crock-Pot to cook just the meat in your recipe. One of our favourites is the No Sugar Added Pulled Pork (see below for recipe). This is an easy dinner to have on whole wheat buns with a crisp salad or coleslaw.

Add leafy greens and quick cooking vegetables at the end:

Greens like spinach, kale, Swiss chard and even broccoli should be added about 15-30 minutes before the Crock-Pot meal is done cooking. This will help to preserve the flavour, texture and appearance of your vegetables.

Use fruit:

Using fruit reduces the need for added sugar and enhances flavour. Pineapple and mango are great for that!

Keep a list of your favourites:

Make a list of family favourites to help increase variety and help you prep and freeze ahead of time. Here are a few of Revive’s favourites:

  • Chili Stew
  • Pulled Pork (see below for recipe)
  • Tomatoes and Meat Sauce
  • Homemade Tomato Sauce
  • Vegetable and Lentil Soup
  • Beef Roast
  • Pork Roast
  • Whole Chicken
  • Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Pineapple Chicken
  • Lazy Cabbage Rolls

Revive’s No Sugar Added Pulled Pork


  • 2 lbs pork roast, trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 large cans of chunked pineapples
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • ½ of a small can tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Put pork roast in Crock-Pot with 1 large can of chunked pineapples, 4-5 whole crushed garlic cloves and salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Cook in Crock-Pot for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
  3. Once cooked, take pork roast out of liquid and discard remaining liquid in bottom of Crock-Pot.
  4. Shred pork roast.
  5. In the Crock-Pot, stir together 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp chili flakes, ½ a small can tomato paste and one large can of crushed pineapple.
  6. Add shredded pork.
  7. Cook for 1 hour on high in the Crock-Pot, stirring occasionally.

 Goes well on whole wheat bun with coleslaw and/or horseradish.