Crock pots (or slow cookers) are amazing tools for cutting grocery costs and feeding a family for less. After getting a new slow cooker last year, I’ve been amazed with the delicious, easy, healthy, and cheap family meals I’ve prepared in zero time with few cooking skills. I wrote a little post singing the praises of my favorite kitchen tool in 6 reasons to use a slow cooker – in case you need convincing.

Since cooking slow is a delicious way to prepare vegetarian meals, I’ve gone super veggie by including FOUR vegetarian recipes for your dining pleasure. If you’d prefer chicken or beef, then try these recipes for Pot Roast and Southwestern Chicken Soup. Now, on to the veggie goodness!

Recipe: Slow Cooker Mediterranean Stew

I love this healthy, cheap, and easy stew that’s ready to serve when I get home from work. This Mediterranean stew slow cooker recipe is rich with flavor, bursting with color, and it won’t leave your wallet hungry. Add some cooked brown rice or serve with quinoa for a change in taste. Yum!

slow_cooker_vegetarian_stew

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 butternut squash, cubed and peeled
  • 2 cups eggplant, cubed with peel
  • 2 cups zucchini, cubed
  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed>
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chilies
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Instructions:

  1. In a 6-quart slow cooker, combine eggplant, butternut squash, zucchini, green peas, canned tomatoes, onion, carrot, broth, raisins, and garlic. Add and stir cumin, turmeric, red chilies, and paprika.
  2. vegetarian_stew_crock_pot

  3. Cover, and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours (or until vegetables are tender).
  4. slow_cooker_mediterranean_stew_chopped

TIP: Don’t want mushy zucchini? Then add your zucchini in the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Recipe: Crock Pot Chili (Vegetarian)

You won’t miss the meat in this crock pot chili recipe – promise! When I make this chili recipe I like to use a 6 qt slow cooker to make extra and then freeze for family meals later in the month. Now let’s get down to bean-iness!

crock_pot_chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cans kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can chick peas, drained
  • 1 can vegetarian baked brown beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley

Instructions:

  1. In a 6-quart slow cooker, combine kidney beans, chick peas, tomatoes, baked beans, onion, corn, green pepper, and celery. Add and stir chili powder, garlic, basil, oregano, and parsley.
  2. slow_cooker_chili

  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours (or until vegetables are tender).

Recipe: Slow Cooker White Bean and Fennel Soup

This crock pot recipe for white bean and fennel soup has been a favorite of mine for decades. There’s just something soothing about slow cooked fennel broth and juicy white kidney beans. If I’m feeling fun I’ll use the tomatoes I froze from my organic garden. The recipe pictured uses yellow and red beefsteak tomatoes from last fall’s tomato harvest. Mix in some cooked quinoa or rice to extend this healthy family meal.

bean_fennel_soup

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 medium bulb fennel, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 package frozen spinach, thawed
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cans white kidney beans, drained
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. In a 6-quart slow cooker, combine vegetable broth, tomatoes, fennel, beans, onion, black pepper, and garlic.
  2. prepare_bean_fennel_soup

  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 7 hours, or HIGH for 3 to 3.5 hours.
  4. slow_cooker_bean_fennel_soup

  5. Add thawed spinach. Cover and cook for 1 hour on HIGH or 2 hours on LOW.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

This is a super simple black bean soup recipe for your family to try. Feel free to add more or less spice for your taste. Whenever I make recipes calling for beans I opt to soak and cook dried beans – but use canned beans if you’re short on time!

slow_cooker_black_bean_soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dry lentils
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice OR quinoa
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium green peppers, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Instructions:

    1. In a 6-quart slow cooker, combine canned or cooked black beans, carrot, celery, onion, green peppers, jalapeno pepper, lentils, and tomatoes. Add and stir chili powder, salt, black pepper, cumin, garlic, and oregano.
    2. black_bean_soup_prepare

    3. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours. Stir the quinoa OR rice into the crock pot in the last 30 minutes of cooking.
    4. crock_pot_black_bean_soup

    5. Blend or puree around 1/3 of the soup with a food processor or hand blender, then return to the pot before serving.

    Do you love your slow cooker for vegetarian cooking? Got a favorite recipe? Share away!