6 Immune-Boosting Slow Cooker Recipes
There’s something so comforting about meal-prepping everything in a slow cooker, knowing you’re going to come home to a nourishing meal that’s done for you at the end of the day. If you’re looking for immune-boosting slow cooker recipes, we’ve got you covered. We spoke to dietitians and nutrition experts to find out exactly which slow cooker recipes they love for immune health.
When it comes to the big dial movers for immune health, nutrition experts agree that there are a few important nutrients to focus on:
- Protein: Protein is the building block of our cells and helps improve immune health by fueling the cells that we need to fight off colds, flus, and viruses, according to a 2013 study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
- Vitamin C: A 2017 research study in Nutrients concluded that vitamin C works to boost our immune system by killing germs and improving infections. Vitamin C is also a great nutrient for skin health and collagen production.
- Zinc: Zinc has long been shown to improve immune function. A 2008 study published in Molecular Medicine found that zinc functions to bolster our immune system by nourishing our immune cells and supporting growth and wound healing.
Let’s find out exactly which immune-boosting slower cooker recipes our dietitian experts recommended, and why!
1. Slow Cooker Chicken Teriyaki Bowls
Melanie Marcus RD, a dietitian for Dole Food Company, shares one of her recommended immune-boosting slow cooker recipes. “This meal prep bowl is brimming with nutrients that support immunity thanks to its unique combination of fruits and vegetables,” she says. “Pineapple, cauliflower, and broccoli deliver a hefty dose of immune-supporting vitamin C which may shorten the duration of the common cold. Carrots and spinach contribute a significant source of vitamin A which helps the formation of white blood cells to fight infection.”
Try the recipe from Dole Food Company.
2. Lemon Chicken Soup
“Packed with immune-boosting vitamins like vitamins A, B, and C, this Lemon Chicken Soup is easy to make and freezes well,” Amanda Liptak, RDN, CLT, CA tells us. “If you love garlic, you can add 1 or 2 cloves more and amp up the flavor of this recipe even more. When you do, you’ll also be getting an increased immune benefit as garlic contains a compound called allicin, which is known for its antimicrobial properties. To release allicin, crush the garlic and allow it to sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes.”
Try the recipe from Nutrient-Rich Life.
3. Pumpkin Chicken Crockpot Chili
The pumpkin offers a surprising creaminess that we love in this recipe. “This chicken pumpkin chili is full of antioxidants and vitamins A and C to help boost and strengthen your immunity,” says Sarah Schlichter, MPH, RDN. “It’s a tasty, balanced meal that you can prepare and set, making your life easier,” If you’re out of pumpkin, mashed sweet potato also works well here!
Try the recipe from Bucket List Tummy.
4. Veggie-ful Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken
It doesn’t get easier than this from nutritionist Sarah Garone, NDTR. In this set-it-and-forget-it style recipe, you’ve got protein and antioxidants to promote immune function. If you’re feeling like you could use a boost, consider adding beans, corn, and diced onion and peppers here for more fiber, zinc, and vitamin C! We love that you can use this shredded chicken dish in so many ways – tacos, nachos, and enchiladas all come to mind!
Try the recipe from A Love Letter to Food.
5. Sweet Potato Chickpea Chili
With more than 10 g of fiber per serving, this plant-forward recipe is a great source of immune-supporting fiber, protein, and nutrients. “This recipe is beneficial to immune health given its fiber content,” shares Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD. “Fiber from chickpeas helps feed the gut microbiome. Sweet potatoes and tomatoes also provide a nice dose of vitamin C.”
Try the recipe from Sound Bites Nutrition.
6. Healthy Chicken Pot Pie Soup
Chock-full of protein, this twist on the classic dish will boost the whole family’s immune health. With a hearty source of 40 grams of protein from the chicken breast and a whopping 7 grams of fiber per serving, this soup is a guaranteed family favorite.
Try the recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.