Though often associated with cooking budget cuts of meat, a slow cooker can make delicious work of veggies too, as our easy meat-free suppers attest…
Despite their reputation as a piece of kit that works its way through hard, tough cuts of meat, slow cookers apply a gentle but magic touch to vegetables too – even soft vegetables with a high water content, like mushrooms or aubergines. They’re also one of the best means by which to cook storecupboard pulses like lentils, chickpeas and dried beans. So join us as we show you how to cook vegetarian and vegan dishes in your slow cooker...
If you're looking to buy a slow cooker or need a replacement for yours, be sure to read our review of the best slow cookers.
Slow cooker aubergines
Unlike the rich, wintery stews you might associate with slow cooking, this veggie dish sings with summery freshness. The aubergines are dressed with a tangy herb sauce, topped with feta and crunchy almonds and can be served with bread or tossed through fresh pasta.
Try our slow cooker aubergines
Slow cooker vegetable lasagne
This luscious yet low calorie lasagne offers all the comfort of the richer version, but packs in five of your 5-a-day! Wholewheat pasta sheets are layered with a medley of vegetables and creamy mozzarella, making for a wholesome and nutritious meal.
Get your entire day’s vegetable quota in one easy go with this freezable veg pot. Just to add to its list of credentials, it requires zero pre-cooking, so you can just lob the lot in the slow cooker and leave it to cook for 6-8 hours on low.
Slow cooker vegetable curry
If you fancy a comforting bowl of curry without the normal heaviness, this veg-packed marvel will deliver just the ticket. A mixture of chopped squash, pepper, aubergine and peas are coated in light coconut milk, curry paste, herbs and spices. As well as scoring on flavour, one serving will also bag four of your 5-a-day. Serve with wholemeal flatbreads to mop up all the fragrant juices.
Italian vegetable bake
This meat-free one-pot features layer upon layer or sliced aubergines, courgettes and red peppers. The beauty is in the contrasting crunchy croutons with molten mozzarella, but they can be omitted in favour of rice, couscous or another carb-based accompaniment.
Slow cooker dhal
The key to achieving an authentic finish to this slow cooker curry is sourcing black urid beans and ghee, but yellow split peas and butter would work too. Top with crispy fried onions, either from a pot or homemade, and your favourite curry sundries.
This recipe demonstrates how easily you can adapt oven-cooked dishes for use in a slow cooker. These melty chestnut mushrooms with garlic cream cheese can be served hot or cold, as a starter or main. We like them on hot, buttered sourdough toast.
Vegan sweet potato curry
Using two staple vegan ingredients – peanut butter and coconut milk – this creamy curry is filling, gluten-free and contains four of your 5-a-day. The blend of spices only tastes better the longer they have to mingle.
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Do you cook vegetarian or vegan food in a slow cooker? We'd love to hear your recipe recommendations...