3 Simple Slow Cooker Recipes for Easy Meal Prep



By Kristina Goldman Breaking Muscle


Meal prep is an essential part of the athlete’s lifestyle. As athletes, we are constantly using up the fuel – food – we put into our bodies. Thus, being prepared with pre- and post-workout fuel, as well as adequate snacks to maintain energy, is the foundation for a successful nutrition plan.


Meal Prep Tips

Prep time on Sundays (or another day that works for your schedule) makes it that much easier for an athlete on the go to choose a meal or snack that provides energy and nutrients required to perform. Use the time to chop, portion, and cook any food for the week. During football season, Sunday morning is also a great time to get your Sunday evening meal ready before the big games.


The trick with prep is to get as many meals and snacks portioned out and ready to eat as possible, with carbohydrates, proteins, and fats all accounted for. The healthiest choice can also be the easiest choice. One of my go-to kitchen tools for making large quantities of healthy meals is the slow cooker. Even a small 4.5qt slow cooker can provide three to four healthy meals for two people. They come as cheap as $20.00 and vary in size. It is so simple to throw some ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning, turn it on low, and have dinner ready within six to eight hours. Nothing better than knowing something else is doing the work for you.


A few of my go-to slow cooker recipes include poultry (turkey or chicken) and no more than ten other ingredients. The following recipes provide an ample amount of lean proteins and can be served with greens, avocado, and veggies for a complete meal loaded with all of your macronutrients. Any of the following recipes can substitute poultry for ground beef or other meats. Actual cook times may vary.


Pulled Taco Chicken
Yield: Serves 10-12
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 to 6 hours



  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2-3 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1-2 Tbsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 jar of Trader Joe’s Salsa Authentica



  1. Clean chicken breasts and place at the bottom of the slow cooker in a single layer.
  2. Add cilantro, onions, lime juice, cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to slow cooker.
  3. Pour entire jar of salsa over chicken. Use a spoon to cover chicken breast completely.
  4. Turn slow cooker on low and cook for 5 to 6 hours. Stir every 30 minutes beginning at hour 4 to break up chicken breast.
  5. Serve on tortilla or over salad greens and top with favorite taco toppings.


Turkey and 3-Bean Chili
Yield: Serves 8
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes


  • 1lb 85% lean ground turkey (*option to leave turkey out for vegetarian/vegan chili)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 1 8oz can black beans (rinsed)
  • 1 8oz can red beans (rinsed)
  • 1 8oz can Great Northern beans (rinsed)
  • 1-2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1-2 Tbsp cayenne pepper (depending how spicy you like it)
  • 10 halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 12oz can tomato sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste



  1. In large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once pan is hot, place onions in oil and cook about half way (slightly translucent) then add ground turkey. Cook until turkey is browned and cooked through. Remove from heat.
  2. In slow cooker, combine cooked ground turkey and onions with remaining ingredients. Stir until evenly distributed.
  3. Turn slow cooker on high and let warm for 25-30 minutes or until mixture is warmed. Continue to stir every 5-6 minutes.
  4. Serve in a bowl with green onions, bell peppers, and your favorite chili toppings.


Spinach Turkey Meatballs
a quick, simple recipe for spinach meatballs


Yield: Serves 4-6
Prep time: 20-25 minutes
Cook time: 6-7 hours



  • 1lb 85-95% lean ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup frozen chopped spinach (thawed)
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs (optional if gluten free)
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 jar of your favorite clean tomato sauce



  1. In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, spinach, onions, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
  2. Mix ingredients together with hands until thoroughly combined.
  3. Roll out meatballs (about 1 1/2 inches in diameter) and place on the bottom of the slow cooker. Meatballs can be touching, but be sure to place them in a single layer along the bottom of the slow cooker.
  4. Pour entire jar of tomato sauce over meatballs so they are completely covered.
  5. Turn slow cooker on low and cook for 6 to 7 hours or until meatballs are cooked through.
  6. Enjoy over spaghetti squash, noodles, on a sandwich, or on their own.


Source: https://breakingmuscle.com/recipes/3-simple-slow-cooker-recipes-for-easy-meal-prep



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