8 Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes for Delicious Meatless Meals

vegetarian slow cooker vegetable soup with crackers

BHG / Crystal Hughes

Forget the idea that slow cookers are just for cooking meats and stews—it's just not true. In fact, a slow cooker is an essential item ideal for every kitchen. Try our best vegetarian slow cooker meals, and you'll want to dedicate a regular place on the counter for your favorite cooking appliance for meatless nights.

01 of 08

Lemony Yellow Lentils

Lemony Yellow Lentils in black bowls
Jason Donnelly

Here's your chance to work lentils into your meal rotation with a mere 20 minutes of prep. Lentils, quinoa, and Greek yogurt blend into a healthful combination of carbs, protein, and fiber. The cooking is done for you (thanks to your slow cooker), the flavoring is simple, and the result is delicious.

02 of 08

Slow Cooker Lentils Bolognese

dish of spaghetti with Lentils Bolognese
Jacob Fox

As long as you skip the Parmesan cheese in this comforting lentil recipe, it fits a vegetarian diet. Chunky veggies and brown lentils combine to look very much like a classic meat-based bolognese sauce. And this vegetarian version tastes just as hearty and keeps you full for hours with its 10 grams of fiber and 17 grams of protein.

03 of 08

Pumpkin-Kale Calico Bean Stew

Pumpkin-Kale Calico Bean Stew
Blaine Moats

The not-so-secret ingredient lending a smooth, thick body to this vegetarian stew is canned pumpkin. An entire can is used in this high-fiber (13 grams!) recipe. This slow cooker vegetarian dish simmers 11 to 12 hours on low, so you can start it before you head to work for the day and come home to a healthy meal. Keep things easy by using a slow cooker liner to make cleanup a snap.

Buy It: Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners ($3, Target)

04 of 08

Cauliflower-Corn Tacos with Pico Verde

overhead view of platter of Cauliflower-Corn Tacos with Pico Verde
Blaine Moats

That's right, you can still enjoy taco night while skipping meat. These veggie-packed tacos eat hearty thanks to full-of-good-fat avocado and generously seasoned cauliflower.

05 of 08

Veggie Chili Verde with Seitan Crumbles and Lager

dutch oven with Veggie Chili Verde with Seitan Crumbles and Lager and toppings on side
Blaine Moats

Two tablespoons of mild chili powder is definitely enough for spice-lovers to delight in this vegetarian chili from the slow cooker. Beans, sweet potatoes, and lager make this a chili with a well-rounded taste experience. The seitan (a high-protein vegetarian food made of cooked wheat gluten), can be replaced with tofu or tempeh, if you prefer.

06 of 08

BBQ Veggie Joes

BBQ Veggie Joes
Blaine Moats

This slow cooker sandwich is perfect for game day when served in a hoagie bun—or hamburger bun, for that matter. Cook in a slow cooker that totes nicely (like those with clips so the lid can't come off in the car) for a vegetarian tailgate idea.

Buy It: Crock-Pot Cook & Carry Slow Cooker ($50, Bed Bath & Beyond)

07 of 08

Barley Vegetable Soup

Barley-Vegetable Soup
Blaine Moats

Barley, a whole grain we think is entirely underutilized, is rich in fiber and has loads of health benefits. It absorbs whatever flavor you add, so don't be afraid to spice things up generously. Use the peppers, onion, and zucchini as listed in this recipe or add the veggies you already have on hand for this easy vegetarian slow cooker recipe.

08 of 08

Italian White Beans with Cauliflower

white bowl of Italian White Beans with Cauliflower soup
Brie Passano

Our Test Kitchen taste panel loved the flavor of this healthy vegetarian slow cooker recipe, especially how the tomatoes added at the beginning of cook time meld into the broth. Stir in the other half of the tomatoes when cooking time is up for a pretty finish.

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