11 vegetarian slow cooker recipes that prove the Crock-Pot is for way more than meat

Pinch of Yum

When did slow cooking become so cool? The once-dowdy homemaker's accessory has recently seen a resurgence on social media as the coolest thing to cook with since the microwave. 

Maybe it's because it's so easy to use and pretty much impossible to mess up any recipe, or perhaps because it saves you time with meal prep and lets you actually live your life while your dinner basically cooks itself, but the slow cooker is seriously back in style. While chicken and ground beef seem to dominate the slow cooker landscape, here are some excellent vegetarian slow cooker recipes. 

Tomato, kale and quinoa soup

Tomato, kale and quinoa soupSource: Damn Delicious
Tomato, kale and quinoa soup  Damn Delicious

This soup packed with veggies and grains is the perfect lunch or dinner on a cold day. The recipe makes eight servings with little prep, so your veggie meals are pretty much set for the week.

Butternut squash soup

Butternut squash soupSource: Skinny Taste
Butternut squash soup  Skinny Taste

Coconut milk adds the creaminess to this "blissful" soup that smells like fall and takes the pain out of cooking a whole squash.

Coconut basil tofu

Coconut basil tofuSource: The Healthy Maven
Coconut basil tofu  The Healthy Maven

Five minutes of prep followed by five hours of hands-off creates this fragrant tofu dish. Turn on your rice cooker just before you're ready to eat for a bowl full of vegetarian goodness.

Macaroni and cheese

Slow cooker mac and cheeseSource: Brown Eyed Baker
Slow cooker mac and cheese  Brown Eyed Baker

All the tasty gooeyness of homemade mac and cheese with less work than making a box of Kraft? Yes, please!

Vegetable stock

Vegetable stockSource: Crepes of Wrath/food52
Vegetable stock  Crepes of Wrath/food52

At the base of countless vegetarian dishes is vegetable stock. Save money and let your own stock — made mostly from leftover vegetable scraps — cook itself in a slow cooker while you relax.

Lentil soup

Crock-Pot lentil soupSource: Pinch Of Yum
Crock-Pot lentil soup  Pinch Of Yum

Reset your weekly diet by simmering this soup on Monday morning and coming home to a week's worth of hearty clean eating.

Red lentil cauliflower curry

Cauliflower currySource: Well Plated
Cauliflower curry  Well Plated

Slow cooking can get a bad rap for creating flavorless mush. Luckily, lentils hold their shape after hours of cooking and the seasonings in this dish make it anything but boring. Serve over a different grain each night for a fresh meal.

Fondue

Crock-Pot fondueSource: Wanderlust Kitchen
Crock-Pot fondue  Wanderlust Kitchen

If you're not in the mood to wait all day for your Crock-Pot to cook your meal, make things cheesy (and classy) with a quick fondue. The Crock-Pot keeps it warm while you dip in whatever you dream to be covered in cheese.

Brown butter marinara sauce

Slow cooker marinaraSource: Half Baked Harvest
Slow cooker marinara  Half Baked Harvest

Your slow cooker just became your new Italian nonna. Let this sauce simmer for 7-8 hours while you're living your daily life and just boil pasta when you're ready to chow down on some seriously good marinara.

Vegetarian lasagna soup

Vegetarian lasagna soupSource: Foodie Crush
Vegetarian lasagna soup  Foodie Crush

Making a traditional baked lasagna is such a pain in the you-know-what. Unless you have a solid group of Italian kitchen helpers assisting with your noodle stacking, just throw all your lasagna ingredients in a slow cooker for the flavors of lasagna without all the hassle.

Mango sticky farro

Mango sticky farroSource: Bake Love Give
Mango sticky farro  Bake Love Give

A riff on the Thai dessert mango sticky rice, this whole grain breakfast cooks while you snooze and is ready to be topped with fresh (or frozen) fruit if you synchronize the cook time with your alarm clock.