Like the newly popular kitchen gadget, the Instant Pot, the slow cooker still makes the top favorite kitchen gadgets to have. Slow cookers are an awesome tool when it comes to making meals without sacrificing time and energy. What many people love about them is that you can set your meal in the cooker before you go to work and when you get home the hard work has already been done for you.

Now, there are so many great recipes accessible to us to make in the slow cooker. Whether you make them while you’re at work or put them to work overnight to provide you and your family a healthy meal for breakfast or dinner you know the ultimate convenience that this glorious tool provides. We have compiled 15 awesome slow cooker recipes that are also vegan approved. If you’re plant-based or not you’ll want to gives these unique recipes a try.

1. Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup

If you love to venture outside of traditional then you’ll want to give this recipe a try. Try turning ordinary lasagna into a soup by using your crock pot. This dairy-free lasagna will satisfy your savory craving perfect for a cozy day in.

This soup is full of hearty lentils and tender noodles all mixed with a chunky tomato soup base. Skip the cheese because this recipe doesn’t need it. Instead, you can make your own vegan pesto ricotta to top off your soup ever so nicely.

2. Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Macaroni

Sometimes the meals that kids love aren’t always the healthiest. While cheesy and carb filled dinners are pleasing especially for picky eaters there are ways around it to turn them healthy. This recipe provides a classic meal like macaroni and cheese and makes it not only dairy-free but also full of veggies too.

This recipe gets its cheesy sauce from creamy butternut squash and is flavored with nutritional yeast. The sauce does all the cooking in the slow cooker while you’re away. When you return puree the sauce then add the nutritional yeast for a bold cheesy flavor. The last step is to then add the pasta and continue cooking. You don’t want to add your pasta until the end to prevent soggy noodles. If you need gluten-free dinners simply use a gluten-free pasta instead so you can enjoy this tasty meal too.

3. Curry Stew

Slow cookers are a great tool to get your stew cooking in one pot effortlessly without having to stand by the stove all day. They are often loaded with vegetables and flavor that the whole family can enjoy. This recipe does just that, accommodates a plant-based dish without sacrificing flavor all the while being packed full of protein and veggies.

This is another great dinner recipe that you can let the slow cooker do all the hard work for you. This curry stew gets its creamy substance from coconut milk and is seasoned with rich flavors of curry powder, chili flakes, garlic and garam masala.

4. Bean And Quinoa Chili

Chili is another awesome recipe to make in a slow cooker. An easy meal where you can throw all the ingredients into one dish and let the cooker do its magic. This chili is filled with protein goodness from black beans and quinoa. Considering this dish is cooked with quinoa there will be no need for rice cooking on the side, even more effortless.

This recipe does have a little heat added to it so if you’re not a spicy food lover make sure to opt out of the cayenne seasoning. As an added bonus since this recipe requires no meat that makes it, even more, budget-friendly. serve with your favorite toppings such as diced avocado and nutritional yeast if you want to add a cheesy flavor.

5. Dairy-Free Broccoli Potato Soup

Thick creamy chowders may be delicious but they are not commonly dairy-free friendly. They are often full of butter and cheeses which might be appealing to those who can eat it but to those that can’t, there is no need to fret you can too enjoy creamy chowders too.

Potatoes are a hearty vegetable that compliments so many different dishes as well as provides you with a generous dose of potassium. The secret to making broccoli potato soup creamy is to use dairy-free sour cream or cream cheese and then serve with dairy-free shredded cheese. This melt-in-your-mouth soup will definitely please everyone in your house.

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6. Overnight Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats

Slow cookers can do more than cook you dinner, they can make you breakfast too. If you haven’t tried it yet you are definitely going to want to try it now. These overnight oats let you bring flavor you love about banana bread into a nutrient dense bowl of goodness.

It is recommended that you use steel cut oats because they will hold up better to the hours of cooking. Not to mention steel cut oats offer a lot more nutrition than the instant variety. Considering steel cut oats generally take a good amount to cook (who really has an extra 30 minutes in the morning to stand by the stove) makes them a great food to cook overnight in the slow cooker. This recipe offers a great alternative to overnight oats if you prefer your oatmeal warm rather than cold. To keep this recipe plant-based approved, make sure to use a dairy-free milk.

7. Slow Cooker Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Root vegetables like butternut squash make great soup ingredients because they’re hearty in flavor, filling and perfect for a day you want to snuggle up and indulge in some soup. This recipe will leave you feeling full, healthy and satisfied.

Pureed soups are a great way to achieve a creamy soft texture without any dairy products to make it that way. This butternut squash soup is seasoned nicely with flavors of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and curry powder. The aroma itself will make you melt in your place as soon as you walk in the door.

8. Crock Pot Spaghetti & Vegetables

If spaghetti night is one of your go-to dinners during the week then why not make it in your slow cooker. That means your favorite meal with fewer pots and pans and less clean up for after. This recipe is a great way to make a delicious meal without spending a lot of money all the while making a lot of portions to feed a whole family or to save for leftovers the next day.

Make sure you don’t add the pasta until there are 20 minutes left to the cooking time as the pasta could become too dry and or overcooked. If you follow a gluten-free diet simply choose a pasta that is catered to what you can eat. This recipe is so versatile you could even add more vegetables if you have more favorites or you could consider adding a protein-packed food like black beans.

9. Slow Cooker Chipotle Tacos

Taco night is one of my favorite nights, mostly because of all the spicy flavors I love to put into my tacos and not to mention I always load them up with my favorite toppings to boot. If cooking stove top is what prevents you from having taco night more often then consider making your taco filling in your slow cooker.

This recipe is a great way to let one gadget do all the work for you so you can have a hot meal ready within several hours. The ingredient list is simple and loaded with protein that is provided from pinto beans. These tacos also have a secret ingredient of unsweetened cocoa powder that gives your taco filling a secret rich flavor.

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10. Kung Pao Chickpeas

This recipe makes an awesome dupe for kung pao chicken that accommodates a plant-based diet or for anyone trying to have a meatless dinner. It is full of flavor and gooey sauce you’ll want to make this recipe. These chickpeas allow you to bring tasty Asian cuisine home with you.

Chickpeas make an excellent substitute for to chicken because one cup of chickpeas contains about 15 grams of protein. The slow cooking process allows the chickpeas to marinate in the sauce for a long period of time to give you maximum flavor in one bite. Serve these savory chickpeas with some rice for a complete meal.

11. Overnight Oat and Carrot Porridge

If you’re like me and save 10 minutes out of your morning routine for breakfast and sometimes when the snooze button gets hit you lose those 10 minutes all together which means breakfast is a total loss. Stop making that mistake and try making overnight oats in your crockpot. Considering it cooks throughout the night you’ll have no excuse to have breakfast in the morning and not to mention the smell alone will definitely wake you up and make your stomach start to growl immediately.

This recipe provides you with a hot breakfast in the morning that is nutritionally dense because it is made with steel cut oats, carrots and is naturally sweetened with dates. Make sure to choose the maple syrup alternative to honey to keep this recipe vegan-friendly. If you aren’t a big fan of molasses you can simply opt out of that topping choice and eat your porridge as is or add toppings you do enjoy like chopped bananas, nuts or seeds, whatever tickles your fancy.

12. Crock Pot Mexican Rice

Some types of rice can take longer to cook which makes it a great ingredient to cook in the slow cooker. If you don’t want to be supervising your rice cooking after work no need to worry make it in your slow cooker. Set your slow cooker on a timer and have it ready before you get home.

Mexican-styled rice turns rice into a dish booming with flavor. Thie one is seasoned with cumin,  onion and spicy chili powder. To make sure you keep this dish plant-based, cook the rice in vegetable broth, not chicken.

13. Slow cooker Chana Masala

Indian dishes can sometimes feel like they take a long time to make, which makes it another great dish to cook up in your slow cooker. While many chana masala recipes might contain chicken, we’re keeping this vegan-friendly and making it with protein filled food like chickpeas.

While picking up the phone for takeout from your favorite Indian restaurant might be the easy way out, you can feel good about the ingredients and the food you’re feeding your family with this slow cooker recipe. This chana masala makes excellent leftovers that could even be more flavorful the next day. Serve the chana masala with your favorite kind of rice and some naan bread for a super comforting meal at home.

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14. Slow Cooker Apple Crisp

We already use our slow cooker for making dinner, and we have talked about using it to make us breakfast but did you know your slow cooker could be making you dessert too? Slow cooker desserts are a great way to make large quantities that you can bring to a party or gathering and have it stay warm throughout your whole dinner. When it’s time to dive into the dessert you’ll have this warm and tasty apple crisp immediately ready to serve.

There is something about warm flavors of cinnamon and soft cooked apples that make me want to stay in, curl up on the couch and watch a movie. These are melt-in-your-mouth kind of flavors and don’t get me started on the crumbly topping of apple crisp that I definitely save for last because it’s the best part, in my opinion! Don’t forget to keep this recipe vegan approved and switch out regular butter for a vegan butter.

15. Italian Chickpeas

These Italian chickpeas make dinner easy and customizable. While the base is made from chickpeas, onion, garlic and crushed tomatoes everything else can be chosen customizable to your taste. Add in as many veggies that you like if you want to stock up on nutrition!

Serve this delicious and saucy mixture on a bed or rice, pasta or whatever your heart desires. The slow cooker will make a large quantity so you’ll have leftovers that will last you for a couple days.

Clarissa Vanner

Clarissa loves experimenting with food of all cultures to make unique healthy dishes. When she’s not browsing Pinterest for new recipe inspiration she likes to pick up a DIY project and use her creative hands to make art or crafts. In her down time you can find her watching the latest documentaries on Netflix or going for nature walks.

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