10 Budget-Friendly, Protein-Packed Crockpot Dinners for Penny Pinchers and Fitness Fanatics

John Jan 19, 2023
120 People Read
Slow Cooker
Table of Contents
  1. Food Costs Are Through The Roof, So Here's How To Save
  2. Nutritional Value of Protein For General Health And Wellbeing
  3. The Cheap, High-Protein Crockpot Recipes
    1. 1. Kickin' Chicken Chili
    2. 2. Country Dijon Beef Stew
    3. 3. Italian Fish Stew
    4. 4. Asian Style Pork Loin
    5. 5. Mexican Chicken
    6. 6. Sausage Lentil Soup
    7. 7. Moroccan Chicken with Chickpeas
    8. 8. Black Bean Soup with Quinoa
    9. 9. Turkey Breast with Cranberry Sauce
    10. 10. Sausage Spinach White Bean Soup
  4. Conclusion
    1. Related Articles

One of the best ways to save money and still get high-quality protein for building muscle is by preparing crockpot meals. Crockpot meals are also incredibly easy to make, so you don't have to spend long hours in the kitchen slaving away over a hot stove. This article provides you 10 cheap, high-protein crockpot recipes that will help you stay on budget while still giving your body what it needs.

Food Costs Are Through The Roof, So Here's How To Save

But before we delve into the cheap high protein crockpot meals, let's talk about the rising cost of food. It is more important than ever to be smart about selecting budget-friendly meals. One way to do this is by looking for healthy alternatives that are still affordable. Eating healthy doesn’t necessarily mean spending a lot of money. With some creativity and planning, you can take the meal plan that is detailed below and build upon it to make your own affordable, high-protein crockpot meals for even less. 

Related: Budgeting

groceries

For example, instead of using fish filets or chicken for your crockpot recipe, opt instead for the canned variety to save even more money and still pack in the protein. Add some more beans or lentils to your recipe for extra protein...and dietary fiber. The recipes in this article are by no means prescriptive, so it's really up to you however you'd like to make the dish based on your personal preference. If there's something you want more of and another ingredient you want less based on price or taste, do that and adjust the ingredients list as you see fit. That's what makes crockpot meals so simple and easy. Just be sure to write down the steps you took so you can repeat the dish later.

 

Now the benefit to slow cooker meals is that prep time is generally 10-15 minutes, you throw the ingredients in a crockpot, then set it and forget it. This saves a ton of time! The other benefit is that you can make your crockpot meal on a Sunday, and this can be your lunch for the next week, that is if you don't mind eating the same meal. The ease, convenience, and money saved in this method cannot be overstated.

 

Consider a man who spends around $7 per lunch every day. That's $35 each 5-day work week, or $140 per month. Now if that same guy were to make a week's worth of crockpot meals like the ones below and eat that for lunch instead, he would spend about $3.50 per lunch, $18 each 5-day workweek, or $70 per month instead of $140. Now if one were to stick with this method for an entire year, they could save $840, and that's just with one person. If you have a family, multiply that by the number of mouths you feed in your household and the savings add up big time! Did someone say affordable vacation to the Caribbean? With a little preparation and planning, you can unlock big cost savings in your food budget if you take the appropriate actions to do so.

hundred dollar bills

Nutritional Value of Protein For General Health And Wellbeing

Now about the nutritional value of protein. Protein is an important macronutrient that has many health benefits. Consuming more protein can help you feel full for longer, reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases, and promote muscle growth.

 

One way to get more protein in your diet is to replace some of the carbohydrates with lean proteins, such as chicken, fish, beef, and beans. This can help reduce your overall calorie intake while still providing the nutrients you need. Additionally, protein helps to stabilize blood sugar levels which can prevent energy crashes throughout the day. So if you're the type who's struggling to stay awake after the lunch hour, consider swapping those energy-draining carbs with some lean protein dishes instead.

 

Eating a balanced diet that includes foods high in protein can also lead to a healthier weight as protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates. This means that you feel fuller for longer, which can help reduce cravings and minimize overeating.

 

Furthermore, research suggests that a high-protein diet may lower your risk of developing certain chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Protein helps to regulate hormones like insulin which play an important role in managing blood sugar levels and storing fat.

 

Lastly, consuming more protein can help you build muscle. Eating enough protein is essential for building muscle since it provides the amino acids needed to form new proteins and repair existing ones. This helps to increase your strength, improve performance, and enhance recovery after workouts.

fit man

The Cheap, High-Protein Crockpot Recipes

With all of that said about the food budget cost savings and the benefits of a high-protein diet, let's get into the top 10 cheap, high-protein crockpot meals.

1. Kickin' Chicken Chili

This chili packs 41 grams of protein per serving and only costs around $2.50 per serving! All you need is two pounds of chicken, one package of frozen pepper and onion stir-fry vegetables, one jar of green salsa, one can of white kidney beans, one can of diced tomatoes, and optional sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese. Combine all ingredients and cook on Low for 4 to 5 hours or on High for 2 to 2 ½ hours. Get the ingredients at Instacart.

 

2. Country Dijon Beef Stew

This protein-packed meal has 34 grams of protein per serving and only costs around $4.70 per serving. All you need is two pounds of beef chuck, mushrooms, carrots, onions, broth, noodles, and Dijon mustard. Combine all ingredients and cook on LOW for 7 ½ to 8 hours or HIGH for 3½ to 4 hours. Get the ingredients at Instacart.

 

3. Italian Fish Stew

This protein-rich soup contains 25 grams of protein per serving and only costs about $5 per serving. All you need is white fish filets, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, and an Italian seasoning blend. Add all ingredients and cook LOW for 4-6 hours or HIGH for 2-3 hours. Get the ingredients and recipe here.

 

4. Asian Style Pork Loin

This protein-packed meal contains 39 grams of protein per serving and only costs about $2.70 per serving. All you need is one pork loin, soy sauce, brown sugar, chili sauce, ginger, and pepper. Combine all ingredients and cook until the pork is cooked through on LOW for 5-6 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours. Get the ingredients and recipe here.

 

5. Mexican Chicken

This protein-filled dish contains 61 grams of protein per serving and costs around $2.50 per serving. All you need is boneless chicken thighs or breast, black beans, diced tomatoes with green chilies, corn, and taco seasoning. Combine all ingredients and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours. Get the ingredients and recipe here.

 

6. Sausage Lentil Soup

This protein-packed soup contains 20 grams of protein per serving and only costs around $2.50 per serving. All you need is one cup of lentils, celery, carrots, onion, garlic cloves, sausage, broth, and spices. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours or High for 2 hours. Stir in baby spinach, salt, and pepper before serving. Get the ingredients and recipe here.

 

7. Moroccan Chicken with Chickpeas

This protein-filled meal contains 28 grams of protein per serving and only costs around $3 per serving. All you need is about one pound of chicken, chickpeas, diced tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, raisins, creamy peanut butter, and some Moroccan spices (such as cumin, coriander, and turmeric). Combine ingredients and cook until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 6-8 hours on LOW or 2-3 hours on HIGH. Get the ingredients and recipe here.

 

8. Black Bean Soup with Quinoa

This protein-rich soup contains 12 grams of protein per serving and only costs around $1.70 per serving. All you need is black beans, quinoa, salsa, garlic, lime juice, avocado slices, and some Mexican spices (such as cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder). Cook on HIGH for about 2 hours. Get the ingredients and recipe here.

 

9. Turkey Breast with Cranberry Sauce

This protein-filled meal contains 60 grams of protein per serving and only costs around $5.00 per serving. All you need is one 3 lb boneless turkey breast, cranberry sauce, orange juice, and dry onion soup mix.  Combine ingredients, set on LOW, and cook for 7 hours. Get the ingredients and recipe here.

 

10. Sausage Spinach White Bean Soup

This protein-rich soup contains 13 grams of protein per serving and only costs around $2.50 per serving. All you need is smoked sausage, white beans, spinach, garlic cloves, onion, carrots, and chicken broth. Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours. Get the ingredients and recipe here.

 

family dinner

Conclusion

These 10 delicious protein-packed crock pot meals are all incredibly easy to make and will give your body the protein it needs to build muscle while saving you time and money. So don't wait any longer, try some of these recipes tonight or this week, and start discovering how this method can reduce your waistline and increase your wallet.

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Table of Contents
  1. Food Costs Are Through The Roof, So Here's How To Save
  2. Nutritional Value of Protein For General Health And Wellbeing
  3. The Cheap, High-Protein Crockpot Recipes
    1. 1. Kickin' Chicken Chili
    2. 2. Country Dijon Beef Stew
    3. 3. Italian Fish Stew
    4. 4. Asian Style Pork Loin
    5. 5. Mexican Chicken
    6. 6. Sausage Lentil Soup
    7. 7. Moroccan Chicken with Chickpeas
    8. 8. Black Bean Soup with Quinoa
    9. 9. Turkey Breast with Cranberry Sauce
    10. 10. Sausage Spinach White Bean Soup
  4. Conclusion
    1. Related Articles