5 Super Simple Crockpot Dinners

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Not sure what to make for dinner on those nights when you know you’ll be getting home late and won’t have time to cook? Here are 5 super simple and budget-friendly crockpot dinners that I think you and your family will love!

I adore my crockpot! With just a little prep in the morning, I can come into my kitchen after a long day’s work and smell a delicious meal just waiting to be eaten. What could be better!

I am a vegetarian. So for years after I stopped eating meat I thought my crockpot recipes were limited to some variation of chili. I love chili as much as the next gal, (and I make a mean vegetarian chili that gets raves from even my meat loving friends), but hey – you don’t want chili every night!

Turns out there are a bunch of recipes that are vegetarian and vegan-friendly for the crockpot. Here are 4 of my favorites that I think you will really enjoy! 

BONUS! Want all the recipes in a ready to print format? There’s a link to that at the end of the post. Interested help with making meal planning easier? Get my FREE meal planning printables bundle below as well.

A bowl with chickpeas in sauce

Crockpot BBQ Chickpeas

Serves 4-6 

Prep time: 10 Min 

Cook time: 3 hours  


2 15-oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained 

1 1/2 cup frozen pepper & onion mix chopped (Don’t bother to thaw the mix first. The veggies will chop easier when frozen.) 

(Or ¾ cup of chopped onion and ¾  c chopped red or green pepper)

1 teaspoon garlic powder 

1 teaspoon onion powder 

1 teaspoon smoked paprika (This stuff is amazing – so flavorful!) 

¾ teaspoon sea salt 

1 6 oz can tomato paste 

1 tablespoon maple syrup (adjust to taste if you like a sweeter bbq sauce) 

1 tablespoon molasses 

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 

½ cup water 


  1. Put all the ingredients in the crockpot.
  2. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5.
  3. Taste and add additional salt or vinegar if you like. If the mixture is too dry add a little bit more water and stir.

Serve over a mess of cooked greens like collards or on top of grits or on buns with coleslaw on top. 


A bowl of spaghetti with cauliflower Bolognese sauce

Slow Cooker Cauliflower Bolognese 

Serves 4 

Prep Time: 10 min 

Cook Time: 3-4 hours 


For the bolognese: 

1 small-medium head of cauliflower, cut up into florets 

1 chopped walnuts 

1/2 cup onion, finely chopped 

2 cloves garlic, minced 

2 tsp dried oregano flakes 

1 tsp dried basil flakes 

2 14oz cans diced tomatoes, no salt added 

1/2 cup vegetable broth, low-sodium 

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes 

1 T olive oil 

salt and pepper, to taste 

For the pasta: 

You can use regular spaghetti, gluten-free spaghetti, or even zucchini noodles. 


Place all of the ingredients for the Bolognese into a crockpot. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 7-8. 

Mash the cauliflower lightly with a potato masher or fork until the florets start to break up to create that  Bolognese type “meaty” texture. 

Serve the Bolognese sauce over pasta of your choice. 

 An image of a taco with salsa

Crock Pot Mexican Quinoa Tacos 

Serves: 6-8 

Prep Time: 10 Min 

Cook Time: 3 hrs 


1 cup quinoa (rinsed or – get the pre-rinsed kind it’s so much easier!) 

1 cup vegetable broth 

1 15 oz can pinto beans (drained and rinsed) 

1 15 oz can black beans (drained and rinsed) 

1 15 oz can diced tomatoes 

1 10 oz can enchilada sauce (mild or medium depending on how spicy you like it) 

1 15 oz can of corn (drained – white shoe peg is my favorite) 

3 tablespoons taco seasoning  

Serve with: Corn or flour tortillas or tortilla chips or lettuce 

Optional Toppings: cheese, onions, avocado, black olives, fresh lime juice, hot sauce, cilantro  


To a large crock pot add the quinoa, vegetable broth, pinto beans, black beans, diced tomatoes with juice, enchilada sauce, corn, and taco seasoning. Stir well. 

Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or for 7 hours on low. 

Serve in tortillas or in a shallow bowl as a hot dip with tortilla chips or on beds of lettuce for a taco salad type meal. It’s delicious! 

  Bowl of white bean soup

Slow Cooker White Bean Soup 

Serves: 4-6

Prep Time: 15 Min. 

Cooking Time: 4 hours 


3 15 oz cans white beans, rinsed well and drained 

1 cup chopped onion  

1 cup chopped celery  

1 cup carrot sliced into rounds  

¼ c sun dried tomatoes, chopped  

3-4 cloves minced garlic 

4 cups vegetable stock 

¼ c. white wine (optional) 

1 ½ – 2 t. Italian seasoning 

1 bay leaf 

Salt to taste  

Pepper to taste 


Put all ingredients in a crockpot and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8-9 hours.  Check carrots for tenderness and when they are tender your soup is ready to eat. Remove the bay leaf before serving. 

Serve with a little rustic crusty bread and enjoy!

  A bowl of minestrone soup with bread

Crock Pot Vegetable Minestrone Soup  

This hearty veggie soup is full of healthy veggies and even has protein from the beans. You can use the veggies you like and you can even sub in frozen veggies. How easy is that?  

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes  

Cook Time 8 hours  


1/2 cup onion  

1 stalk celery  

4 cups frozen mixed veggies – like the Italian blend from Birdseye with cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, zucchini and peppers

(Or  1 cup carrots, 2 cups zucchini, 1 cup green beans  – your choice of veggies so it equals 4 cups)

15 oz cannellini beans or garbanzos 

3/4 cup lentils  

15 oz diced tomatoes  

4 cups vegetable broth  

1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning or Oregano 

1 T olive oil 

Add 30 min before serving: 

1/2 tsp ground black pepper  

1/2 tsp salt  

1 cup spinach  


Put vegetables, garbanzo beans, lentils, tomatoes, vegetable broth, Italian seasoning, and olive oil in the crockpot and stir well.

Cook on low for 7-8 hours. Test lentils for tenderness.

30 minutes before serving, add in salt, pepper, and the spinach.

Serve as is or add a scoop of cooked, leftover pasta, a little vegan Parmesan or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Want more?

If you are looking for more delicious vegan crockpot meals I really like & highly recommend Kathy Hester’s Vegan Slow Cooking for Two. It’s full of easy, creative and tasty recipes. Try the Thanksgiving Dinner all in one crock pot. It’s so fun to make and delicious we don’t just save it for Thanksgiving. It’s great all fall and winter. And the Lentil Quinoa Tacos! YUM!

She’s also included some really different recipes like the lobster-free “Lobster Rolls” made with tofu. I would have never thought of this – but they’re really good! So if you’re in the market for some fun new vegan slow cooker meals, definitely check out  Vegan Slow Cooking for Two.

I hope you and your family enjoy these delicious crock pot dinners that will save you time and make your dinner hour less hectic!

To get free printables of all 4 recipes click here

PLUS – For weekly and monthly meal planning helpand recipe cards to help you organize your favorite recipes, click here for my free meal planning printable bundle. 

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Want more easy recipes? Check out this post: 4 Scrumptious Sheet Pan Meals to Make Your Own

Need help with meal planning? Here are 3 Simple Steps for Conquering the “What’s for Dinner” Blues

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