In this episode of The Vegetarian Zen podcast, we share some of our tips for getting the most out of your crockpot. You can listen here or read on for a summary to include 10 amazing bonus vegetarian crockpot recipes with vegan options (not discussed on the show).
Tips for Using Your Slow Cooker
Before we provide our list of favorite vegetarian crockpot recipes, there are a few things you should know. When it comes to cooking with your slow cooker, there are a few things you can do (and not do) to help ensure your recipes come out great. Let’s start with the “don’ts”.
- Don’t start off with frozen ingredients. Slow cookers are designed to reach the “safe” zone for foods (over 140 degrees) in the first two hours of cooking. If food is frozen, it’s going to take a lot longer to cook.
- Don’t add fresh dairy ingredients until you near the end of cooking (usually within the last hour). If you add it too early, it’s going to curdle and make your food taste, well, icky.
- Don’t lift the lid during cooking (unless specified in the recipe). Oh yes, it can be VERY tempting to want to sneak a peek at how your meal is progressing but try not to do it. The steam created inside the covered pot is what helps cook your food. Releasing that means it’s only going to take longer.
- Don’t put a hot crockpot in the fridge. It’s not a great idea to put hot foods in a refrigerator. The food will take a long time to cool down plus, the heat from the crockpot can raise the temperature of the other foods in the fridge.
- Do use dried herbs and spices instead of fresh ones. Dried herbs and spices do better when exposed to heat for long periods of time. They’ll keep their flavor.
- Do prepare your ingredients together. In episode 285 of our podcast, we talk about the
Mise en Place mindsetwhich means having everything in place before you start cooking. This can really help save you time and energy.
- Do pay attention to the recipe you’re making and ensure the directions are for your size pot. Your cooker should be between half and three-quarters full. Since slow cookers come in different sizes, you should ensure the recipe you’re preparing is adjusted to fit your specific size. Be careful not to overfill it or underfill it.
10 Vegan and Vegetarian Crockpot Recipes
So now that you know how to use your crockpot, let’s get to those vegetarian crockpot recipes!
If you know anything about me (Vickie), you know that I LOVE Mexican food. This recipe hits that spot! It calls for green chilis but if you want to add an extra “kick” try adding some jalapeno or serrano peppers.
Pinch of Yum is one of our “go-to” sites for great recipes. Their recipe is vegetarian (not vegan) as it contains dairy. For a vegan version, try this recipe from the folks at The Flaming Vegan.
OK, I’m going to be honest. I almost skipped over this recipe because I’m an “old school” enchilada kind of gal. I grew up on corn tortillas being fried in oil, loading them with cheese, topping them in sauce, and putting them in the oven.
This recipe for enchiladas in a slow cooker definitely made me test my open-mindedness when it comes to one of my favorite foods. While it’s definitely not my Abuelita’s recipe, I’m sure she’d approve!
Connosseurus Veg is another website we find ourselves going back to time and time again for great recipe ideas. This recipe for jambalaya can be made either in a slow cooker or on a stovetop.
Growing up, one of my favorite dinners my mom made was stuffed bell peppers. These were bell peppers stuffed with rice and ground beef.
Much to my delight, this vegan version of stuffed bell peppers is not only reminiscent of my mom’s recipe but it’s also made in one pot!
Forks Over Knives was one of the first documentaries we watched early in our plant-based journey. Their healthy approach to the plant-based lifestyle was very enlightening and motivating.
In 2018, I took the Forks Over Knives cooking course offered through
Needless to say, I am definitely partial to their recipes and love a good Chana Masala so this one is a must-try!
In episode 365 of the podcast, we talked all about lentils and provided some delicious recipe ideas. Lentils are PACKED with protein and are a GREAT source of plant-based protein. Not to mention, they are super filling!
I enjoy oatmeal for breakfast at least a couple of times a week. With the fall season approaching, I find myself eating it even more. Maybe it’s the warm comforting feeling I get from eating it.
This recipe from The Full Helping calls for apple, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and vanilla. I feel warm and cozy just looking at it!
We hope you saved room for dessert because these last to recipes are going to be all about the sweet stuff! Try this cake with a couple of scoops of non-dairy ice cream.
Looking for something a bit more “fall-like” for dessert? This apple pie cake from Vegan in the Freezer will not disappoint!
This one calls for a yellow cake mix. While most commercial cake mixes are vegan, be sure to check the ingredients for any unwanted ingredients such as whey or palm oil.
Well, there you have it! Our tips and 10 of our favorite vegetarian crockpot recipes! We hope this has inspired you to get going with these recipes or your own vegetarian crockpot recipes.
If you’re looking for even MORE vegetarian crockpot recipe inspiration, check out Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker by Robin Roberton.
This book not only provides 200 recipes but also provides practical guidance on how to work with different models of slow-cookers, taking into account the sizes of various machines, the variety of settings they offer, and the quirks and personalities of each device.
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Here’s what we mention in this episode:
- “Vegetarian & Vegan Slow Cooker (Crockpot) Recipes” (our Pinterest Board)
Quotes of the Week
Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.
— Eddie Cantor
Thanks for listening!
Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa