With temperatures dropping, Crock-Pot season has officially returned. Nothing screams cozy—not to mention effortless—like throwing ingredients into a slow cooker in the a.m. and having dinner ready in the p.m.
But with so many recipes relying on potatoes, "cream-of" soups, and other anti-Paleo ingredients, those following the caveman diet can have a tough time taking advantage of Crock-Pot convenience. But not to fear! We’ve rounded up some of the tastiest Paleo meals: From meats and stews to wings and tacos, you'll find something to suit those primal cravings.
Sunday roasts don’t have to be a thing of the past. Making this in the Crock-Pot ensures tender, fall-off-the-bone meat and mashed carrots, an antioxidant-rich, just-as-delicious alternative to starchy potatoes. Don’t skip making a quick gravy from the beef drippings to drizzle over your plate.
Barbecue brisket is one of those delectable meats that most of us shy away from making at home because it seems like way too much work. But when you let a slow cooker do it all, you’re left with saucy, pulled beef that’s perfect piled high atop veggies, mixed with eggs, or stuffed in lettuce wraps with avocados, onions, and jalapeños.
Picture a flavorful marinara sauce, simmering for hours for maximum taste. Then add hearty beef meatballs (sans any bread fillers) and let them cook in that same sauce, soaking up all the flavor. Serve over zucchini noodles to enjoy a big bowl of low-carb pasta goodness.
Vitamin C-packed broccoli gets mixed with flank steak, carrots, and onions for a stir-fry style meal without the hassle. Best of all, it’s easy to customize with your favorite veggies, such as mushrooms or bell peppers.
Chicken & Turkey
Raw honey and garlic wake up your taste buds as the star ingredients of these Crock-Pot wings. Just pour over the chicken and cook: No muss, no fuss, and best of all, no sticky fingers.
Chicken and vegetables can seem so meh. But when you add in a dose of inflammation-fighting ginger, super spice turmeric, and your choice of veggies, the end result is anything but boring.
Satisfy that Chinese-takeout craving with this Paleo-friendly cashew chicken. Thanks to tapioca flour, sesame oil, and coconut oil, you’ll still get that yummy sauce without the MSG-laden ingredients. Cashews add an extra dose of vitamins while using boneless, skinless thighs ensures you’ll wind up with juicy chicken. Spoon this into lettuce wraps or serve over cauliflower rice—and don’t skimp on the green onion garnish for a little extra color.
Whether you’re fighting off a cold or just want budget-friendly comfort food on a chilly day, this warm (and slightly spicy) chicken stew has your back. Prepare it in the morning and end your day with a dairy-free, hearty bowl full of chicken, onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño.
No need to swear off your favorite Indian dishes just because you’re going Paleo. This easy take on tikka masala isn’t just simple to make, it’s also downright delicious. You’ll quickly sear chicken thighs to give them a nice, golden color; smother them with spices; and let flavors meld together in coconut milk. The result? A spicy, creamy chicken sans dairy that’s best served over cauliflower rice.
This decadent-tasting curry is international comfort food at its finest. With just a few easy-to-find ingredients, including coconut milk, tomato paste, and cumin, you’ll have a chicken dish that’s just waiting to be gobbled up.
Why wait for Thanksgiving to enjoy turkey? Cooking turkey breasts in the slow cooker means you can enjoy the lean protein any time of year. The best part of this turkey is how versatile it is: Eat it as a main with veggies, use it to bulk up salads or wraps, or add it as a protein for stir-fry.
All balls, no fillers: That’s the deal with these turkey bites. And with an addition of sweet Asian flavor, they're definitely not just your regular meatball dish. Eat in sandwiches, with spaghetti squash, or just on their own—they’re that good.
Soups and Chilis
This bean-free chili is packed with protein, thanks to ground chicken and lean beef, but also flavor, with a host of pantry-staple spices. Bonus: Fresh jalapeños add heat, and sweet potatoes add extra potassium and vitamins. Top this one with avocado slices (for a dose of healthy fats) and chopped scallions.
Ideal as a main dish, this chicken soup is jam-packed with flavor. With a Thai twist, it's a lot more interesting than your average Crock-Pot soup. Use pre-cut butternut squash to make this recipe even more of a snap, and top with bacon because duh, bacon.
Sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, zucchini, and spinach—plus whatever other veggies you to want to sneak in—are in every bite. And your favorite ground meat keeps it hearty and adds protein. Serve with fresh basil for a pop of color.
With just five ingredients, this soup couldn't be any easier—or tastier. The flavor combo of creamy pumpkin with spicy curry gives this dish a kick and makes it a show-stopper.
Making Paleo-friendly side dishes often means cauliflower rice or salad, but not anymore. This vegetable korma does use cauliflower, but it also tosses in carrots and onions. Add some Indian flavors, like curry and garam masala, and you have the perfect side for your favorite meat dish—or a meal that can stand on its own.
If you’re looking for a chili that’s got some kick but also a hint of sweetness, this is the one. Slow cooking the sweet potatoes balances out the red pepper flakes. This hearty recipe makes a ton, so freeze extra batches to have on demand on cold nights.
Give Chipotle a run for its money with these amazing pork bowls. You’ll use the slow cooker to prepare a flavorful enchilada sauce that cooks directly with a pork roast, so every bite is brimming with flavor. Top with sautéed peppers, fresh (or canned) pineapple slices, avocado, and a sprinkling of cilantro. Bonus: You can make the enchilada sauce on the stove for other Mexican-inspired meals too.
Pork and fruit: a classic combo that's never been easier than with this recipe. Pork tenderloin cooks directly over sliced apples with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Cover and let the Crock-Pot do its thang. Not only will your kitchen smell amazing, but you’ll also have a crazy-tender pork loin to slice and serve.
Peach, butter, and pork. What more could you want? This combo of flavors is always popular and also easy to make in your slow cooker. A little sweet, a little savory: These will be a hit.
The best types of one-pot meals are those that are easy to customize—and this Paleo recipe is no exception. Fresh bell peppers are packed with ground pork and shredded veggies. Just use a food processor to make this in a snap. Add seasonings to taste, let the slow cooker work its magic, and enjoy a juicy meat and veggie meal in eight hours.
Rich and creamy, this sweet potato soup is full of vitamins and requires just a handful of ingredients for ultimate deliciousness. But the real star is the bacon, which is so simple to make you’ll wonder why you never thought of it sooner.
Get your dose of slow-cooked meat with these awesome short ribs. While you can dump all the ingredients into the Crock-Pot and let ‘em cook, charring them under the broiler first adds some fantastic color. The key to the flavor is the blended sauce that’s poured over the ribs.
You don’t even need to defrost fish when you make this awesome Paleo stew. Combine two pounds of seafood (shrimp, scallops, whatever your little heart desires) with potatoes, tomatoes, and a ton of spices to create this beautiful and super-easy meal.
If any recipe gets to pack in a pound and a half of bacon, count us in. That’s the deal in this cauliflower chowder. We love that basically any veggies you have on hand work; you’ll chop ‘em up in a food processor then add in the seasonings. Top it off with hot sauce for an extra kick.
This “recipe” is so simple it doesn’t even need directions. Throw in your favorite seafood (prep them first if necessary), add veggies and spices, and there you have it. This seafood boil is as simple as it sounds and super versatile, since you can add or subtract ingredients to your liking.
This tasty shrimp curry keeps it real (and simple) with just five ingredients. Combine light coconut milk, water, Thai curry sauce, lemon garlic seasoning, and cilantro for the base; add your shrimp; and boom. Dinner is served.
Originally posted December 2015. Updated September 2016.