Vegan slow cooker meals have a positive one-two punch on the environment.
Meatless meals dramatically reduce the amount of water used for the production of meal ingredients, since one pound of beef uses about 1,850 gallons of water for production, compared to 39 gallons to produce a pound of vegetables.
Slow cookers use less energy, too, saving electricity. Don’t forget to factor in the savings of your precious time, too, which can be a rare commodity!
With a set-it-and-forget-it attitude, slow cooker meals let you spend just minutes on meal prep for a healthy and hearty hot meal that’s ready when you are.
Not just for dinner, these vegan slow cooker recipes offer hearty dining any time of the day.
1. Quinoa and Black Bean Stuffed Peppers
While most slow cooker recipes tend to be for meals meant to be ladled into a bowl, individual servings of artfully prepared peppers are possible with this Slow Cooker Quinoa and Black Bean Stuffed Peppers recipe from 365 Days of Slow Cooking.
2. Herb Pound Cake
Bread in a slow cooker? Yep, it’s possible! Check out this Vegan Herb Pound Cake recipe from ifood.tv for a quick bread that can be altered with a variety of herbs to suit your taste.
3. Vegetable Lasagna
This Italian favorite can be done in a slow cooker, if you don’t mind more of a casserole look rather than squares of pasta. The Slow Cooker Vegetable Lasagna from Vegan Mother Hubbard uses tofu, plenty of veggies, and marinara sauce for a satisfying meal.
4. Butternut Squash Coconut Chili
Butternut squash and coconut milk come together with beans and a variety of produce to create a savory chili with an unexpected flavor. Traditional favorites such as chili powder, cumin, and tomato paste are part of this Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Coconut Chili recipe from The Fig Tree.
5. Bean and Cornbread Casserole
Save plenty of time on meal prep when you get both chili and cornbread prepared all at once in this Slow Cooker Bean and Cornbread Casserole recipe from the That Was Vegan? blog.
6. Unsweetened Applesauce
Create a simple side dish with this Unsweetened Crock Pot Applesauce recipe from Insteading.
7. Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal
Want a hot breakfast waiting for you when you wake up in the morning? This Overnight Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe combines the classic flavors of steel cut oats, maple syrup, and cinnamon for a breakfast that will fuel you for the day.
8. Chocolate Lava Cake
Chocolate lovers: This may be the desert for you! Free of gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts, Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake from Allergy Awesomeness is a dense cake floating on top of homemade chocolate pudding. It’s surprisingly easy to make and will please just about anyone — even those who aren’t on restricted diets.
9. Bourbon Maple Baked Beans
A cup of bourbon is the key to the rich and hearty Bourbon Maple Slow Cooker Baked Beans from Averie Cooks. No trace of alcohol will be left after the lengthy cook time, but you will be rewarded with sweet and tangy baked beans that will stick to your ribs.
10. Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew
The Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew from thekitchn is full of warming flavors such as cayenne pepper, curry powder, and fresh ginger.
Feature image courtesy of Howard Walfish
Editor’s note: Originally published on December 23, 2014, this article was updated in January 2019