The biggest challenge for Whole30 followers is all the prep and planning. When foods containing gluten, grains, dairy, soy, and sugar are off the table for a month, ordering takeout gets complicated and slapping together a quick sandwich isn’t an option.

Planning is key if you don’t want to be tired, hungry, and foodless at the end of a Whole30 day.

That’s where these 19 recipes come in. Each makes several servings of delicious, exciting slow-cooked meals you can eat all week long or freeze.

Our biggest tip, which you’ll see in many of these recipes, is to brown meats, onions, carrots, and celery before adding them to the slow cooker. This will build up extra caramelized flavors in your final dish.

Looking for more short-term Whole30 breakfast recipes? We’ve got those too.

1. Slow-cooker lemon-thyme chicken

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Photo: The Natural Nurturer

Yes, you can cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker. And you barely have to do any work.

This Whole30-friendly recipe uses lemon juice and garlic cloves to flavor the chicken, which releases yummy juices while cooking. When it’s done, the meat will slip off the bone (perfect for leftovers — tacos, anyone?).

2. Turkey Bolognese sauce with zucchini noodles

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Photo: Cook Eat Paleo

Even if you’re skipping pasta, that doesn’t mean you’ve gotta say no to a good meat sauce. This dish of zoodles topped with a rich tomato sauce enriched with turkey is so easy to make that it’ll become your regular Sunday Gravy.

3. Slow-cooker cilantro-lime chicken

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Photo: Life Tastes Good

The slow cooker makes sure all the lime, garlic, and cilantro flavors seep into the meat, and 10 minutes in the oven turns the drumsticks crisp and golden brown. Meanwhile, you can sit back, relax, and sip a club soda (or something with a stronger ABV).

4. Fall harvest turkey Thai soup

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Photo: The Skinny Fork

Once you make sure your curry paste is Whole30-approved (no soybean oil or sugar), use a few spoonfuls to spice up this coconut-based soup. Butternut squash and green beans join turkey breast in this easy alternative to Thai takeout.

5. Slow-cooker farmers market Mexican chicken soup

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Photo: Real Food Whole Life

Packed with produce and protein, this colorful soup is pure comfort food. Serve it as is or, better yet, top it with sliced avocado and chopped cilantro for a Whole30 take on tortilla soup.

6. Slow-cooker butter chicken

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Photo: Becoming Ness

Butter chicken sounds like the antithesis of a Whole30 meal, but don’t worry — there’s actually no butter in this updated Indian recipe. Coconut milk and tapioca flour make the spiced tomato sauce smooth and creamy.

7. Slow-cooker sweet potato chili

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Photo: One Lovely Life

In the absence of beans, sweet potatoes become the main source of carbs in this hearty, beefy chili.

But they’re not all that’s sweet about this recipe — it yields a whopping 10 servings. That’s a pretty smart way to cook affordably and eat healthfully. Efficient too.

8. Crock-pot coconut pork curry

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Photo: What the Forks for Dinner?

Replace the rice with zoodles to make this dish Whole30-friendly so you won’t miss out on the deliciousness of how the curry powder, turmeric, and coconut milk infuse flavor into juicy chunks of pork.

As a bonus, this curry gets even better as it sits in the fridge. We swear we loved it even on the third day. You can freeze the leftovers for a future quick meal.

9. Paleo slow-cooker meatballs in marinara sauce

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Photo: Paleo Running Momma

The world is missing a kitchen appliance that shapes ground beef into balls, so you’ll have to put your hands in to roll up these beef-and-almond-flour-based meatballs. It’s fun — just resist the natural tendency to make them progressively bigger.

The slow cooker will take care of the rest of the work. Serve them over buttered cabbage “noodles.”

10. Balsamic beef roast and veggies

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Photo: The Magical Slow Cooker

This one-pot recipe should be in your repertoire. Balsamic vinegar brings a sweet-sour flavor to the sauce created by the juices of the meat and vegetables.

Carrots add sweetness; potatoes provide a mild, starchy dose of comfort; and the slow-cooked beef roast will be savory and super succulent. Who said Whole30 meals are bland?! Not us.

11. Slow-cooker stuffed cabbage casserole

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Photo: Bowl of Delicious

Traditional stuffed cabbage is packed with rice and calls for meticulous roll-up work. This Whole30 (and Paleo) stuffed cabbage is packed with riced cauliflower and does away with the assembly.

Just throw the sauce, meat, and veggies into the slow cooker. Let them all hang out for a few hours and you’ll have a big batch of comfort food and freezable leftovers.

12. Crock-pot pork carnitas

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Photo: Physical Kitchness

It’s rarely a good sign when things fall apart — unless you’re talking about pork shoulder. Slow-cooked for up to 6 hours with a few simple spices and a jalapeño, this one becomes tender, juicy, and shreddable — perfect for scooping into lettuce wraps.

13. Old-fashioned pork chops

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Photo: Paleo Leap

Sure, the old saying tells us not to fix it if it ain’t broke, but there’s nothing wrong with improving on a traditional method if it makes life easier.

Take these pork chops. They’re dusted with a clever mix of mustard and garlic powders, salt, pepper, and tapioca flour and then browned before the slow cooker simmers them in beef stock until they’re fall-apart tender and the sauce is rich.

14. 5-ingredient slow-cooker coconut-cilantro curry shrimp

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Photo: Fit Slow Cooker Queen

With five main ingredients and virtually zero prep time, this might be one of the easiest ways to get a Whole30 meal on the table. Coconut milk and curry paste make a sweet and spicy broth for the shrimp, which are added for only the last few minutes of cooking.

15. Whole30 clam chowder

If you’d like a break from coconut milk, you’ll be happy to hear that this New England-style clam chowder gets its creaminess from cashew milk. Feel free to replace the canned clams with fresh.

This blogger uses the time-honored tradition of sautéing onions and potatoes in bacon fat to add flavor. Garnish the finished soup with crispy bacon.

16. Slow-cooker vegetable korma

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Photo: The Big Man’s World

A favorite indulgence at Indian restaurants, vegetable korma is famous for its silky gravy made from yogurt and cream. This one is silky, all right, but it’s all thanks to a mix of coconut milk and almond meal that cloaks the veggies as they slow-cook into a thick stew.

17. Slow-cooker cioppino

Ah, cioppino. The bounty of cod, shrimp, scallops, and mussels can now transition from an order-at-restaurants dish into an easy one-pot celebration at home. The seafood is tossed into a long-simmered broth during the final 30 minutes.

Go ahead — tuck a napkin under your chin and dig into a bowl.

18. Slow-cooker garlic-herb mashed cauliflower

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Photo: Wicked Spatula

Instead of boiling your cauliflower to a pulp, let it soften in the slow cooker with plenty of garlic before mashing it with ghee and herbs for the perfect mashed potato substitute. You’ll add tons of flavor and preserve a few nutrients in the process.

19. Chunky vegetable soup

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Photo: My Whole Food Life

Save this garlic-, parsley-, and veggie-packed soup for when you’re burnt out on salads and craving comfort food. Simply seasoned but super satisfying, it works well as a light entrée.