Making dinner for the family can be a daunting task — someone wants chicken! someone is on a meat strike this week! broccoli? no thanks! chicken nuggets only! — you get the idea. So when meal planning for a group of picky eaters, primarily the children, a slow cooker meal can be the answer you’ve been looking for. With all sorts of options available for any and every type of dietary restriction and taste, dinner for the family will be a breeze with your slow cooker by your side. Chicken tenders, step aside. It’s time to up your family dinner game.
The key to making a dinner the whole family can enjoy is keeping your ingredients simple without compromising on flavor. Hot and spicy chili may not be the best fit for the kids, but a hearty chili loaded with beans and vegetables offers the same comforts of the slow cooker staple, while also sneaking in some added nutrition. Chicken taco night gives kids the opportunity to play with their food a bit, and parents get to indulge in something delicious without the guilt. A healthy family is a happy one, so use this guide of the 17 best healthy crock pot meals for the kids to find your next nutritious set-it-and-forget-it family meal.
1. Mini Meatloaves and Polenta
Meatloaf in the slow cooker comes out even more flavorful and juicy than in your oven loaf tin, and the kids will love this miniature version.
5 hours 25 minutes 560 calories Medium
2. Chicken and Mushrooms
Get your well-rounded meal with protein, vegetables, and starch in this chicken and mushrooms crock pot creation. Not a fan of dark meat? Sub in boneless skinless chicken breasts instead.
4 hours 20 minutes 400 calories Easy
3. Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
With just six ingredients, you’ll impress the whole family with this easy and nutritious chicken chili.
8 hours 470 calories Easy
4. Slow Cooker Beef and Veggie Burritos
Make these beef and veggie burritos in the slow cooker for a fun and easy handheld dinner for the family. Plus, you can bump up the amount of veggies in these burritos for maximum nutritional intake.
7 hours 15 minutes 400 calories Easy
5. Braised Beef Ragu Polenta
Jazz up dinner for the family with slow cooked braised beef ragu. Serve it with polenta or a hearty tubular pasta.
7 hours 30 minutes 450 calories Easy
6. Honey Garlic Pork Chops
Take your pork chops from the pan to the slow cooker for a flavorful dish without the added calories. Serve with a side of rice and some steamed vegetables for a perfect family meal.
4 hours 5 minutes 400 calories Easy
7. Chicken and Broccoli Bowls
Take your standard chicken and broccoli dinner to the next level with this slow cooker version. Turn up the heat with some red pepper flakes for the adults!
1 hour 30 minutes 300 calories Easy
8. Slow Cooker Baked Ziti
Baked ziti made with lean ground turkey and whole wheat penne is a nutritious twist on a family favorite, and only takes a few hours to make.
3 hours 30 minutes 400 calories Easy
9. Mango Chicken Stuffed Peppers
Fresh mango is the perfect sweet addition to this slow cooker stuffed pepper recipe the whole family will enjoy.
5 hours 300 calories Easy
10. Crock Pot Sloppy Joes
How can a kid not love a sloppy joe? Make these in the crock pot for a classic dish the whole family will enjoy.
5 hours 400 calories Easy
11. Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken noodle soup made in the slow cooker is far more enjoyable than whatever comes out of the can — plus you can sneak more veggies into the homemade version without the kids even knowing.
7 hours 350 calories Easy
12. Homemade Minestrone Soup
Toss all your favorite beans and vegetables into the slow cooker for the ultimate soup that will no doubt become a weekly family favorite.
4 hours 30 minutes 300 calories Easy
13. Honey Sesame Chicken
This slow cooker honey sesame chicken packs a lot of flavor with only a handful of ingredients.
4 hours 10 minutes 400 calories Easy
14. Barbeque Lime Chicken
This three-ingredient crock pot dish is a dream for the whole family; easy to make and full of delicious flavors everyone will love.
6 hours 400 calories Easy
15. Vegetarian Black Bean Soup
A true set-it-and-forget-it dish, this vegetarian black bean soup can be put together first thing in the morning and will be deeply flavored by the time you’re ready to serve.
12 hours 300 calories Easy
16. Balsamic Pork Roast
This slow cooked pork roast will be falling-apart tender by the time you’re ready to serve dinner.
6 hours 350 calories Easy
17. Chicken Tikka Masala
Introduce some fun and exciting flavors into your weekly family dinners with this slow cooker chicken tikka masala. Omit the cayenne pepper entirely if you want to keep this not spicy for the kids.
8 hours 400 calories Easy