5 Vegetarian Slow Cooker Meals Worth the Wait

vegetarian chili

Slow cookers save time by allowing you to set up your meal in the morning, and not worry about it again until evening. Nearly anything can be cooked in a slow cooker, including many different complete vegetarian meals. Try one of these recipes to get a hot, delicious meal that's ready whenever you are.

Vegetarian Slow Cooker Chili

This recipe uses texturized vegetable protein to give it its texture, as well as an important source of protein. Most of the flavor in this dish comes from the vegetables and spices, so feel free to use a flavorless variety of TVP. Makes 8 - 10 servings.


  • 1 large can kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can white beans
  • 3 cups thawed or precooked TVP
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 quart tomato juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ancho pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Place all ingredients in the slow cooker.
  2. Stir well to combine and evenly distribute the spices.
  3. Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 6 to 8 hours, or set to high for 3 to 5 hours.
  4. Stir well before serving.
  5. Serve with sour cream and tortilla chips on the side.

One Pot Bean Dish

One pot bean dish

This meal relies on kidney beans for protein and fiber. It cooks relatively quickly compared to meat-based dishes in the slow cooker, but can simmer on low for several hours if necessary without compromising texture or flavor. The resulting dish has a stew-like consistency with a hearty texture and flavor. Makes 6 - 7 servings.


  • 15 ounce bag dried kidney beans
  • 6 or 7 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced into 1/2-inch disks
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic


  1. Place all ingredients in the slow cooker and stir well to combine.
  2. Cook on low for a minimum of six hours - may cook on low for up to 12 hours without problem.
  3. Remove the bay leaf and stir well before serving.

Steel Cut Oatmeal

steel cut oats topped with blueberries and agave

Have your breakfast ready for you when you wake up in the morning by making a bowl of steel cut oatmeal in your slow cooker overnight. Steel cut oats contain the whole grain of the oat, giving it more fiber and a heartier, creamier texture. This recipe is also vegan, and can be gluten-free by using gluten-free oats. Makes 2-3 servings


  1. 1/2 cup steel cut oats
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 1/2 cup coconut milk
  4. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  6. 1/4 cup dried fruit, such as blueberries, apples, bananas or peaches


  1. Place all the ingredients in a heat safe bowl that will fit inside your slow cooker.
  2. Place the bowl in the bottom of the slow cooker and fill the area surrounding the bowl with water up to approximately 1/2-inch from the bowl's rim.
  3. Set the cooker to low and allow it to cook undisturbed overnight.
  4. Use heat safe gloves or tongs to remove the bowl from the slow cooker; the water surrounding it will be very hot!
  5. Stir well and serve.

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

Split pea soup

This thick, creamy split pea soup is vegan and is packed with protein and fiber from the dried peas. It can be fully cooked in about six hours, but can be left in the pot on low up to 12 hours with no difference in taste or texture. Makes 5 to 6 servings.


  • 15 ounce bag dried split peas
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 6 cups water


  1. Place all ingredients in the slow cooker.
  2. Set the cooker to low and cook for a minimum of six hours. May cook up to 12 hours on low if necessary.
  3. Remove the bay leaf.
  4. Mash well while in the cooker with a potato masher to break up the larger pieces of potato and onion, or use an immersion blender to puree.
  5. Stir well and serve.

Black Bean and Spinach Burrito Filling

This is a relatively quick recipe for the slow cooker; it cooks on low in about two hours. Serve the filling with your choice of tortillas and a salad on the side. Makes 6 - 8 servings.


  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed with water squeezed out
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 cups salsa
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 6 to 8 warmed tortillas


  1. Place the first six ingredients in the slow cooker and stir well to combine.
  2. Cook on low for 2 - 3 hours, or until heated through.
  3. Ladle the mixture into the center of the tortillas and top with shredded cheese.
  4. Roll up the tortillas and serve with a side of fresh salad greens.

Eat Well

Using the slow cooker can help open up your evenings, while providing you with delicious, one-dish meals. Try any of these vegetarian slow cooker recipes and enjoy good food.

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5 Vegetarian Slow Cooker Meals Worth the Wait