There’s something about chilly weather that makes a hot, slow-cooked meal exceptionally satisfying. And while slow cooker meals and comfort foods are often associated with meat-based dishes, the vegetarian options of these warm, cozy meals are virtually endless.
Vegetarian slow cooker meals are packed with nutrients, many freeze well, and almost all of them are less expensive than meat-based dishes. These delicious, editorially chosen slow cooker recipes are no exception.
Cajun 15-Bean Soup
Leave your preconceived notions that “vegetarian meals don’t stick to the belly” behind with this Cajun-style 15-bean soup. All 15 magical fruits combine to create a savory blend of flavors and textures highlighted by bold Cajun spices, fresh veggies, and salsa.
Thai-Inspired Butternut Squash and Peanut Soup
Full of warm south Asian flavors like ginger, curry paste, cilantro, and fish sauce, this butternut squash and peanut soup is a thick, creamy soup perfect for colder weather. Serve in a bowl with chopped cilantro and peanuts or over a bed of basmati rice.
Hungarian Goulash with Tempeh
Traditional Hungarian goulash is served with paprika-spiced beef, onions, and other vegetables, but tempeh—one of our favorite vegetarian meat substitutes—can be used to make an amazingly delicious plant-based alternative. Sauerkraut, dry white wine, and caraway seed add complex flavors to the tomato-based dish that take this goulash from good to amazing.
Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
Vegetarians, it’s time we elevate mac and cheese from “this is all I can order at this restaurant” to a show-stopping entree in and of itself. This creamy crockpot mac and cheese is the perfect place to start (just make sure to sub cream of potato or mushroom soup for the cream of chicken soup).
Mushroom Barley Risotto
Risotto is an Italian rice dish in which grains are sauteed and cooked with wine, vegetables, and seasoning. In this slow-cooked mushroom barley risotto, pearl barley, cremini mushrooms, fresh thyme, and parmesan create an irresistible blend of earthy, hearty flavors.
Buffalo Chik’n Sandwiches
Jackfruit is a natural marvel, mimicking the texture of shredded or diced meat and absorbing seasoning, broth, and sauce extraordinarily well. Because of its meat-like consistency, jackfruit is the perfect base for this savory, tangy, and incredibly easy-to-make buffalo chik’n sandwich recipe.
Slow Cooker Ratatouille
Ratatouille is a traditional French vegetable stew of tomatoes, squash, zucchini, eggplant, and bell pepper. This cozy stew is great for winter, and it’s also a creative way to use up the surplus of gourds and tomatoes from a late-summer garden.
Slow Cooker Asian “Meat”balls
Step up your frozen plant-based meatball game with this deliciously sweet and sour Asian “meat”ball recipe. This particular recipe uses Trader Joe’s brand meatless meatballs, but Morning Star and Gardein make great options as well. Pair with a bed of white rice, edamame, or cabbage. Yum.
All those delicious layers of sauce, noodles, cheese, and vegetables in a veggie lasagna can seem like a lot of work. Luckily, this slow cooker vegetable lasagna recipe requires only 15 minutes of prep time and two hours in the crockpot.
Butternut Squash Dal
Dal refers to both an ingredient (dried split peas) and an intensely spiced stew popular in Indian cuisine. The dal and butternut squash in this recipe breaks down into a thick, creamy stew with a gorgeous, warm blend of spices that make it difficult not to stick your nose down into the slow cooker.
Vegan Split Pea Soup
While we’re talking about split peas, we have to mention another slow cooker classic: split pea soup. Packed with nutritious greens, flavorful herbs, and robust onions, this vegan split pea soup can be made even creamier and richer with an immersion blender.
Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa
As if the delectable blend of black beans, corn, enchilada sauce, chiles, quinoa—and of course, lots of melted cheese—wasn’t enough, this slow-cooked enchilada quinoa recipe only requires five minutes of prep time. FIVE. It takes us longer to decide what we even feel like having for dinner.
Tuscan Pumpkin Soup
Who says pumpkin-flavored foods should only be enjoyed in the fall?! In this recipe, tomato sauce, pumpkin puree, onion, garlic, spices, and maple syrup simmer down into a warm, flavorful, perfectly sweet-and-savory Tuscan pumpkin soup. Coconut milk, not cream, contributes to this soup’s mouthwatering texture, making it 100% vegan as well!
Lentil and Quinoa Chili
A moderately-sized bag of lentils or quinoa can easily last for weeks, even months, making both of these veggie superfoods a thrifty kitchen must-have. When cooked down with vegetables, tomatoes, broth, and spices, lentils and quinoa create a wonderfully hearty vegetarian chili that’ll stick to and warm up your belly.
Sweet and Sour Tempeh
Craving Chinese takeout but not trying to get back out in freezing cold weather? Try this unbelievably tasty sweet and sour tempeh recipe packed with spicy, piquant flavors of tamari, apple cider vinegar, and ginger. No muss, no fuss, just amazing food that tastes just as good (if not better) than take-out.
Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes
If mashed or roasted potatoes seem too blasé, try scalloped instead. Also known as potatoes au gratin, this creamy potato dish is smothered in Gruyere, cheddar cheese, and cream and cooked for several hours in a slow cooker. wipes drool from keyboard
Bourguignon dishes refer to a preparation style specific to France’s Bourgogne region (known as Burgundy in English). These red wine-based dishes are commonly served with beef, but this wonderfully flavorful mushroom bourguignon offers a vegetarian alternative that is insanely good.
Vegan Slow Cooker Tofu Tikka Masala
Tikka masala is a traditional Indian dish full of warm spices, creamy coconut milk, and in this vegan slow cooker tikka masala recipe’s case, perfectly marinated tofu chunks. With just 30 minutes of prep time and up to six hours of slow cooking, this tikka masala is as delicious as it is easy to make.
Broccoli Turmeric Soup
Chilly weather can bring stuffy noses, sore throats, and rattling coughs. Soothe inflamed sinuses and respiratory tracts with this broccoli turmeric soup, full of powerhouse anti-inflammatory ingredients like ginger, turmeric, and leeks. Getting rid of a stuffy nose never tasted so good.
Slow Cooker Veggie Loaf
Veggie loaves make fantastic plant-based entrees for holiday dinners, potlucks, or just because. For this vegan slow cooker veggie loaf, kidney beans, rolled oats, pecans, and minced portobello mushrooms are used to create a savory, hearty dish that’s able to keep its shape when sliced like meatloaf.