Crock pot meals are the best, all you have to do is put in your food, leave it for a few hours, and you have a delicious dinner ready with almost no work required. As a vegetarian, you may think that crock pots are only for meat, but this isn’t true at all as there are several amazing vegetarian crock pot recipes that will satisfy your hunger without you needing to slave over a hot stove all day.
Whether you are preparing for a large dinner, or maybe just a quiet night at home, a vegetarian crock pot recipe is just what you are looking for. Read on to discover more about cooking vegetables in a crock pot and learn some tasty vegetarian crock pot recipes you can use to impress your family.
What is a Crock Pot?
A crock pot is a counter top device you can use to slow cook food. It is made with a heating element, a ceramic or stone interior, and typically a glass lid. Most crock pots have two heat settings, either low or high, as well as an additional warming option.
Crock pots can be used to cook several different types of recipes. Many people like to use them to cook soup, but they can also be used to cook stews, meat, and even bread.
Is a Slow Cooker the Same as a Crock Pot?
Although people usually use the word slow cooker interchangeably with the word crock pot, they aren’t always the same thing. A Crockpot is a brand and type of slow cooker, while a slow cooker is a device which cooks food slowly.
Therefore a crock pot is always a slow cooker, but a slow cooker may not always be a Crockpot. If you would rather not get this technical, then know that they are generally the same device.
How to Use a Crock Pot for Vegetarian Recipes
Using a crock pot for the first time can be a bit nerve-wracking. After all, there are barely any instructions on the pot. Here is a quick step-by-step guide to using a crock pot.
Step 1: Prep the Ingredients
Take a look at your recipe and prepare all the ingredients you will need. For example, if the recipe calls for potatoes to be chopped, do that now. Try to cut them as close to the same size as possible so they take the same amount of time to cook.
Step 2: Put Everything in the Pot
Place all your ingredients in the pot as outlined in the recipe. For recipes with no instructions, place the root vegetables, or the items that take the longest to cook at the bottom. You shouldn’t fil your crock pot over 3/4ths full as this will prevent even cooking.
Step 3: Turn On the Heat
Put the lid on, then turn the crock pot on. The instructions should tell you the heat setting for your recipe, but if not, know that low takes about 6-8 hours to cook food, while high takes 4-6 hours.
When working with crock pots, you typically need to set your own timer as they aren’t usually built-in.
Step 4: Using the Warm Option
Once your timer goes off, you will want to turn off the heat to the crock pot and serve your dish. Believe it or not, it is possible to overcook food in a crock pot which is why you shouldn’t leave it on once the food is finished.
If the crock pot you have has a warming option, you can use this option to keep the food warm for an hour or two before serving.
How to Cook Vegetarian Recipes in a Crock Pot
Cooking vegetables in the crock pot is easy and you can use any type of vegetables you want. Here is how to make a simple roasted vegetable recipe in your crock pot.
Step 1: Prepare Veggies
You can use almost any vegetable you like, but generally the starchier the better. Try to cut them in the same size pieces so they will cook at the same rate.
Step 2: Grease the Crock Pot
Grease your crock pot with cooking spray. Add your vegetables and sprinkle with salt, herbs, and a little oil.
Step 3: Cook Your Vegetables
Set your crock pot to high and cook the vegetables for 3 hours (or for 6 hours on low). When you open the lid, you will see a liquid at the bottom from the roasting vegetables. You can drain this when the vegetables are finished or use it for another purpose.
Step 4: Remove the Veggies from the Crock Pot
When cooking vegetables you will want to remove the veggies from the crock pot as soon as they are finished to prevent overcooking.
How Do You Keep Vegetarian Recipes From Getting Mushy in a Crock Pot?
Nobody likes mushy vegetables, even when they come from the crockpot. There are several things you can do to keep your vegetables from getting mushy in a crockpot.
- Only prepare the veggies the exact amount of time before a meal that you need to and serve them immediately when the timer goes off. Leaving vegetables in the crock pot, even on the warm setting, can make them mushy.
- Add soft vegetables last. Veggies like zucchini and tomatoes can get soft and inedible fast. Wait to add these until the last hour of cooking.
- Put the vegetables on top. This of course only applies if you are also cooking meat.
Now that you know some of the do’s and don’ts about putting vegetables in your crock pot, it’s time to take a look at some delicious vegetarian crock pot recipes.
30 Amazing and Best Vegetarian Crock Pot Recipes for Any Occasion
1. Crock Pot Vegetarian Chili
Just because you are a vegetarian doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a nice bowl of chili on a cold day. Check out this vegetarian chili recipe from Kylee Cooks, which features a tasty mix of sweet potatoes, bell peppers, onion, beans, and various spices to make a delicious chili.
Throw this mixture into your crock pot before work, turn to low, and come home to find a healthy ready to eat meal waiting for you.
2. Vegetarian Crock Pot Mexican Street Corn
Mexican street corn is like regular corn, but more flavorful. You also probably didn’t realize that it can be easily made in the crock pot—all you need is a few ingredients, some corn, and tin foil to wrap it in (to keep it from burning).
Brush your corn ears with olive oil, spices, and lime then wrap them in foil and let them cook. In 2-3 hours you will have some delicious street corn. Find the full recipe on Eazy Peazy Meals.
3. Crock Pot Queso Fundido
A party isn’t a party without some queso fundido, and you can cook it in your slow cooker freeing up your stove for you to make other dishes. The full recipe can be found on Blogghetti, but all you will need is some black beans, jalapenos, onion, and some cheese.
Mix it all together and let the crock pot do the rest of the work. If you are feeling really creative, consider using this as a topping for some veggies like the above street corn.
4. Brown Sugar Acorn Squash
The crock pot isn’t just for cut vegetables, as you can also use it to roast whole vegetables like the acorn squash in this recipe by The Short Order Cook.
Start by stuffing your acorn squash with a variety of sweet spices, then, chop the bottom so it won’t roll around the slow cooker. Cook for 3-4 hours and you will have a delicious main dish your whole family will love.
5. Vegetarian Crock Pot Minestrone Soup
Minestrone soup is a traditional Italian favorite that is packed with vegetables. Naturally vegetarian, this is an easy soup to prepare in the morning and let cook while you are busy doing other things.
Mix all of the ingredients found in this recipe by Saporito Kitchen together, allowing it to cook for 4 hours on high, or 8 on low. When it’s finished, remove the bay leaf, season with salt and pepper, and serve.
6. Slow Cooker Thai Green Curry
A curry is a delicious dish from Asia that will be sure to warm you up even on the coldest nights. Take a look at this recipe from Nutrition in the Kitch to make a delicious vegetarian green chili.
Just be sure you check the ingredients on your curry paste, and ensure there is no fish sauce to keep this recipe fully vegetarian, then add all of your favorite vegetables for a healthy vegetarian crock pot recipe.
7. Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut squash soup is a fall favorite. Made using fresh squash, onion, apple, and some spices, your mouth will water while this vegetarian crock pot recipe cooks.
You can find the recipe on The Natural Nurturer, and make this recipe when you just want something warm to come home to after a long day.
8. Vegetarian Crock Pot Lasagna
Without meat, Lasagna can be a difficult recipe to make hearty, but this vegetarian lasagna recipe by Erhardt’s Eat does just that. You’ll need a little more time to prepare this recipe, about 15 minutes, as it takes a little time to mix all the ingredients together.
Note that you don’t need oven-ready lasagna noodles for this recipe, however, as the dry noodles actually work better.
9. Crock Pot Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese is a household favorite as it can be a main dish, side dish, or even served as a snack. Even better, it can be made in your crock pot within a couple of hours, meaning there is no need to slave over a hot stove.
Find this recipe on Wishes Not Dishes so you can make a tasty and creamy mac and cheese the next time you have a craving for it.
10. Overnight Vegetarian Crock Pot Fruit Oatmeal
The crock pot isn’t just for lunch and dinner, and one of its best uses is actually putting your breakfast in it before you go to bed so it can cook while you sleep.
Try this recipe from Nutrition in the Kitch for a delicious overnight oatmeal complete with apple and cranberries that will have you starting your day off right.
11. Crock Pot Vegetarian Stew
People typically associate the word stew with a soup that has large chunks of meat in it. You can create the same consistency using vegetables and lentils when you make this vegetarian lentil stew by Well Plated.
Simply cut your carrots and tomatoes into large chunks, and leave adding the tomatoes until an hour before the stew is ready.
12. Christmas Vegetarian Crock Pot Pasta Soup
Although the word Christmas is in the title of this recipe, this is a vegetarian crock pot dish your family can enjoy all year long. Made with a mix of veggies, pasta, cheese, and sour cream, no one will leave the table hungry.
You can find the directions on Erica’s Recipes, but note that this particular recipe takes a bit more supervision than other crock pot recipes as you’ll need to add specific ingredients at various times.
13. Crock Pot Cranberry Stuffing
Stuffing is typically associated with the holidays, but it is another dish that can be served year-round as a side, or even as the main dish. Check out this recipe by The Creative Bite that will have you mixing savory stuffing with sweet raisins and pecans.
Just be sure to swap out the chicken stock for a vegetarian broth to make this recipe fully vegetarian.
14. Vegan Crock Pot Roast
Pot roast is one of the most common dishes to make in a crock pot, and just because you are vegetarian doesn’t mean you can’t make something similar. Look at this recipe on From My Bowl which makes tempeh taste just as delicious as a pot roast.
You’ll also be making a beef-like broth using some dry red wine and other vegan alternative ingredients to the top of this truly excellent dish.
15. Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes
Gone are the days when you need to spend hours slaving over the stove to make homemade mashed potatoes. Instead, cut the potatoes and toss them in the crockpot for about 3 to 4 hours.
When they’re fork-tender, you’ll be able to blend them easily with some butter, milk, or cream to make delicious mashed potatoes. Find out more about this recipe on Lemons for Lulu.
16. Slow Cooker Tikka Masala
Tikka Masala is a famous Indian dish that is typically made with chicken. You can make this tasty vegetarian alternative from The Recipe Well, which replaces the meat with a comforting blend of potatoes, chickpeas, green peans, and bell peppers.
Pop all the ingredients into the slow cooker and you’ll have the perfect curry in just about 4 hours.
17. Slow Cooker Jacket Potatoes
Want something a little different than mashed potatoes? Well, you can actually roast whole potatoes in your crock pot following this recipe by Kitchen Mason.
Take your potatoes, wrap them in foil, then put them in your slow cooker for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low. When you remove them, they will be fork tender and you can stuff them with all types of delicious toppings.
18. Greek Vegetarian Crock Pot Breakfast
Eggs are another unique dish that can really be tasty when prepared in a crock pot. Next time you are craving a special breakfast or brunch, pull out this breakfast crock put recipe from Whitney Bond.
Besides containing eggs, it’s also filled with all types of vegetables from mushrooms, tomatoes, and even spinach. Better yet, this dish is also gluten-free and an amazing low-carb vegetarian crock pot recipe.
19. Carmel Apple Crumble
While you’re making dinner in your crock pot, you might as well make some dessert to go with it. It’s easy, simple, and is a dessert that will keep your guests talking for months.
Check out the recipe on Fake Ginger and grab all the ingredients you will need next time you head to the store.
You’ll start by mixing the apples with some spices, followed by making the crumble topping. From there, all you have to do is set it in the crock pot and let it cook for 4 hours while you finish the rest of the party preparations.
20. Crock Pot Vegetarian Enchilada Bake
Looking for something with a little kick? Mix your veggies with some spiced rice to make this crock pot enchilada bake from Dizzy Busy and Hungry.
Made with brown rice, this is a healthy vegetarian crock pot recipe that your kids will be asking you to make again and again. Just be sure to wait to add your corn and beans until close to the cooking cycle to keep them from getting mushy.
21. Vegan Carrot Ginger Soup
Vegan carrot ginger soup is a great healthy vegetarian crock pot recipe when you are looking for something to fill you up without filling you out. It’s easy to put together, simply follow these directions on Hey Nutrition Lady for making this dish in your slow cooker.
Toss in all the ingredients listed, pour in some water and veggies broth, then set a timer for 6 to 8 hours and it’s ready to eat.
22. Slow Cooker Lentil Quinoa
The slow cooker isn’t just for rice and veggies, as it can also be used to cook quinoa as well. Pull out this quinoa crock pot recipe from Plant Baked to make a healthy and tasty crock pot dish that you don’t have to feel bad about eating.
It doesn’t require many ingredients, so you’ll likely have all of them on hand—meaning there is no excuse not to make this recipe for dinner tonight.
23. Vegetarian Crock Pot Baked Ziti
Mac and Cheese isn’t the only pasta you can make in the crock pot, as this baked ziti recipe from The Kitchen Wife is just as easy to make and very tasty. You’ll need some pasta sauce (you can make your own), sugar, basil, cheese, eggs, and pasta.
The important thing with this recipe is to be sure half of the sauce is poured on the bottom of your crock pot, as this will keep the pasta from burning as it cooks. Otherwise, you just toss in all the ingredients and let it cook.
24. Slow Cooker Broccoli and Cheese Soup
Broccoli and cheese soup is a crowd favorite, and it is naturally vegetarian and easy to make vegan when needed. Try this recipe by Healthy Little Vittles which is made with cashews and non-dairy milk rather than cheese.
But don’t knock it until you try it, because you won’t be able to taste the difference.
25. Vegetarian Crock Pot Eggplant Parmesan
Many people shy away from eggplant parmesan, as they expect it to be difficult to cook. But with your slow cooker, it couldn’t be any easier. Follow the steps outlined on Wendy Polisi and you’ll be making eggplant parmesan as easy as if it were a soup.
Do note that this recipe does take some prep time, however. So it is probably better saved for a weekend, rather than a weekday when you are rushing out the door to work.
26. Slow Cooker Orange Teriyaki Tofu
Ever heard of orange chicken? Orange Teriyaki Tofu is the vegetarian alternative, and you can find this delicious recipe on Food for Net.
It’s easy to make, as all you will do is combine tofu with ginger, orange juice, sugar, and some soy sauce, then stick it in your tofu for 4 hours. Serve with rice, or even on a bed of vegetables if you prefer.
27. Slow Cooker Mushroom Asada
Carne Asada is a famous meat that is typically used to top tacos or stuff burritos. Make this vegetarian alternative by Life Current’s Blog which uses mushrooms spiced the same way as the famous meat.
It will take 5-7 hours to cook to perfection in your crock pot so be sure to put this recipe in long before you want to make some tacos. Drain the liquid which accumulates at the bottom before you serve it to avoid soggy tacos.
28. Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
The slow cooker isn’t just for white potatoes, as it can be used to cook sweet potatoes to perfection too. Check out this recipe by Real Food, Whole Life, to make some stuffed sweet potatoes that will make a perfect main dish.
Not to mention this recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan, making it ideal to make when you have guests with allergies coming for a visit.
29. Crock Pot Vegetarian Quinoa
Quinoa is the perfect carb because it goes with everything. Mix it up with some ginger, turmeric, golden milk, and the veggies of your choice to make this delicious vegetarian quinoa crock pot recipe from Food Faith Fitness.
It takes about 4 hours to cook in total, but you will need to add some vegetables within the last hour to keep them from getting overcooked.
30. Root Vegetable Risotto
One cool thing about making rice in the slow cooker is that this means you can also use it to make a tasty risotto. Use this recipe from Healthy Slow Cooking to make a root veggie risotto out of barley, carrots, turnips, sweet potatoes, and a few spices.
Allow this mixture to cook for 7-9 hours as you go about your day. Then season with a little bit of greens, lemon zest, and salt and pepper before you serve.
How to Cook Rice in a Crock Pot
The crock pot isn’t just for veggies, as it is also an efficient way to cook rice. Use the following recipe to cook rice in your crock pot whenever you are needing a simple side to any meal.
Ingredients for Cooking Rice in a Crock Pot:
- 1 Cup Rice
- 2 Cups Water
- Butter or cooking spray
Cooking Rice in a Crock Pot Directions:
Step 1: Rub Crock Pot With Butter
Lightly coat your crock pot in butter to keep the rice from sticking. You can also use cooking spray.
Step 2: Add Ingredients
Add the water, rice, and a few pinches of salt to the crock pot.
Step 3: Cook the Rice
Put the lid on the crock pot and cook on high for 1 hour and 30 minutes or 2 hours and 30 minutes, stirring occasionally while it cooks. Once the timer goes off, remove the rice from the crock pot immediately.
Just like that, you now have a quick and easy method to make rice to go with any meal.
How Long to Cook Vegetarian Chili Recipes in a Crock Pot
Vegetarian chili is just like regular chili, but without having to worry about needing the meat to be cooked fully before serving. Therefore it doesn’t need as long to cook.
Vegetarian chili should be cooked on high for 4-5 hours in the crock pot, or on low for 6-7 hours. Either way, you’ll want to check that your vegetables are tender before turning off the heat to ensure the chili is cooked all the way.
How to Clean a Crock Pot After Cooking Your Vegetarian Recipes
The only downside of crock pots is that people can find them difficult to clean. Especially when you cook lots of messy dishes then let the crock pot sit for a few days before cleaning it.
While you can stick the stone/ceramic part of your crock pot in the dishwasher, this isn’t the best way to clean your crock pot as it shortens its life. Instead, just use hot water and soap to hand wash your crock pot.
For really stubborn messes, don’t scrub too hard as you can damage the surface of the crock pot. Instead, follow these directions to get even the toughest messes out of your crock pot.
Step 1: Fill the Crockpot with Water
Put the crock pot in the sink and fill it with water above the line of the residue you are trying to remove. Return it back to the warming element.
Step 2: Add Vinegar and Baking Soda
Put ½ cup of vinegar for a small slow cooker, and a full cup for a larger one. Next, take the same amount of baking soda and add it slowly to the water.
Step 3: Cook For One Hour
Cover your crock pot and set it to the lowest heat setting. Leave it there for an hour, maybe more for really difficult grease.
Step 4: Cool Down and Rinse
Turn off the heat and allow the crock pot to cool before you dump out the solution and give your crock pot another scrub. Difficult messes should come right off.
Vegetarian Crock Pot Recipes FAQs
What Temperature is Low on a Crock Pot?
Crock pots vary on their temperature settings, but generally, the low setting on a crock pot is 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
What Temperature is High on a Crock Pot?
While different brands of crock pots have different settings, usually the high setting on a crock pot is about 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can You Put a Crock Pot in the Oven?
Your crock pot is best used on the countertop, but if you absolutely must keep something warm, you can put the stone part in the oven up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. You should never place the glass lid or heating part of the crock pot in the oven.
How Hot Does a Crock Pot Get?
A crock pot usually cooks food between 200 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit, and although your crock pot may vary, most crock pots only get as hot as 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Do Vegetables Go on the Top or Bottom in the Crock Pot?
Slow cooking root vegetables should always be placed on the bottom of the crock pot to give them enough heat to cook. Lighter and more water based vegetables, like tomatoes, should go on top in the crock pot.
When Should I Add Vegetables to a Crock Pot?
Starchy root vegetables need to be added to your crock pot at the beginning of the cooking cycle in order to cook fully. Hold off on adding lighter vegetables, like tomatoes, mushrooms, and zucchini until the last hour of cooking so they don’t get overcooked.
Do You Need to Add Liquid to a Crock Pot?
You only need to add a liquid to your crock pot if the recipe calls for it. Many recipes don’t need liquid in order to slow cook.
Are Crock Pots Dishwasher Safe?
While you can use the dishwasher to clean the stone portion of your crock pot, you should avoid placing any other elements of your crock pot in the dishwasher. You may also want to consider hand washing all parts of your crock pot in order to prolong its life.
Time to Enjoy One of These Vegetarian Crock Pot Recipes
Overall, cooking vegetarian crock pot recipes is just as easy as cooking meat dishes, as long as you can learn to cut the vegetables you are using uniformly and know the right time to put them into the device.
Whether you make a soup, or maybe a vegetarian pasta, there is no limit to the number of vegetarian recipes you can make in your crock pot. So head to the store, grab some veggies, and start cooking amazing vegetarian dinners in your crock pot.