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Crock pots are a popular kitchen cooking appliance that are especially well-suited for group cooking. They are fantastic for making cheap stews, soups, pasta and other easy dinner recipes. Generally speaking, crock pot cooking is also healthy, safe, cheap, convenient and easy to do for large families and crowds. And among the variety of creations that can be made in them, crock pots are also great for vegetarian recipes, which are themselves quite budget-friendly!

A Little Background on Crock Pots

If you were not aware, a crock pot is a type of slow cooker. They originated in the 1970s and have been used by families ever since. Crock pots have a ceramic or porcelain pot that sits snugly inside a heating unit with a glass lid on top to trap the heat and moisture. Crock pots also usually have two heat settings – high and low. They cook food slowly and continuously using direct heat from the crock along with steam created from inside the pot.

Well, if you are looking for some delicious, money saving and vegetable-filled crock pot recipes for your family, you have come to the right place! We’ve included six cheap and healthy vegetarian crock pot recipes for you to try out. Using a crock pot, you can easily make inexpensive meals for a large group of people. Plus, they are perfect for doing affordable family meal prep for the whole week!

6 Cheap Vegetarian Crock Pot Recipes

1. Family Crock Pot Spaghetti Casserole

Family Crock Pot Spaghetti Casserole

This crock pot dish is cheap, easy and will be loved by the whole family, kids included! Because who doesn’t love spaghetti?

Recipe: Family Crock Pot Spaghetti Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce
  • 1 can of tinned tomatoes
  • 2 tins/cans of beans of choice
  • 250g or 9 oz. spaghetti   
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • Sprinkle of pepper
  • 1 cup of cheese of choice
  • 1 cup water
  • To serve – fresh basil and cheese

Method:  

  1. Place all ingredients into your crock pot with pasta and cheese on top.
  2. Cover and cook on low for three-to-four hours.
  3. Serve and garnish with fresh basil and a sprinkle of cheese.
  4. Enjoy!

2. Easy Potato Chickpea Stew

Easy Potato Chickpea Stew

Packed with protein and fibre/fiber-filled carbohydrates, this Easy Potato Chickpea Stew is an excellent option for energetic, growing kids and the busy parents who have to keep up with them! It can also be used for meal prep and frozen into portions for a quick midweek dinner that is cheaper than ordering takeaway (or as Americans say, “takeout”).

Recipes: Easy Potato Chickpea Stew

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tins/cans chickpeas, drained
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable stock 
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach, roughly shredded

Method:

  1. Add all the ingredients to your crock pot (except for the spinach).
  2. Cover and cook on low for six hours or on high for three hours.
  3. Add in the spinach leaves and stir through.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

3. Cheap Lentil and Carrot Ginger Soup

Cheap Lentil and Carrot Ginger Soup

An inexpensive but extremely healthy soup that is loaded with flavour/flavor, this Lentil and Carrot Ginger Soup will become a regular recipe in your household. If you want to make it go even further, you can add a healthy grain like quinoa or brown rice when serving. 

Recipe: Cheap Lentil and Carrot Ginger Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 6 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tin/can lentils, drained
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • Sprinkle of pepper
  • 1 litre (or 4 ¼ cups) of water

   Method:

  1. Place lentils, carrots, onion, ginger, garlic, turmeric, paprika and pepper into your crock pot. Pour in water and vegetable stock.
  2. Cover and cook on low for six to eight hours.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

For more easy soup recipes that are crock pot-friendly, see my 6 Healthy and Tasty Vegetarian Soup Recipes (Vegan Options included). Also, here are 5 Healthy, Delicious Fall Soup Recipes with 10 Ingredients or Less that you can also try in your crock pot.

4. Slow Cooker Ratatouille

Slow Cooker Ratatouille

Ratatouille, a French stewed vegetable dish, is healthy and a great lunch or dinner option for a large family. Cooking ratatouille in your crock pot is easy, making it another great meal prep option. To bulk up this meal, serve on a bed of quinoa or brown rice.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Ratatouille

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 
  • 1 capsicum, chopped
  • 2 medium eggplants, chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 zucchinis, chopped
  • 2 cups of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 can of beans of choice, drained
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground pepper

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients except basil into your crock pot.
  2. Cover and cook on high for three-to-four hours or on low for five-to-six hours.
  3. Before serving, gently stir in fresh basil. Enjoy!

5. Simple Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

Simple Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

We all love a bowl of delicious cheesy mac and cheese, and now you can make mac and cheese in a crock pot! This super simple mac and cheese recipe is perfect for those nights when you just can’t be bothered to cook. It’s alright; we all have those days!

Recipe: Super Simple Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of macaroni noodles
  • 2 tins/cans tomatoes
  • 1 cup of cheese of choice
  • 1 cup of baby spinach, shredded

Method:

  1. Cook macaroni according to packet instructions.
  2. Place macaroni in a crock pot and add tomatoes and cheese. Cover and cook over low heat for two hours.
  3. Stir through baby spinach and serve. Enjoy!

6. Crock Pot Baked Beans

Crock Pot Baked Beans

Baked beans are always a cheap and healthy option. Amazingly, you can make them in a crock pot too! The next time your family wants baked beans, try this easy baked beans crock pot recipe.

Recipe: Crock Pot Baked Beans

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups navy beans
  • 3 tins/cans tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup 
  • 1 large onion, very finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients into a crock pot and set to high. Add one cup of water and cook on low for eight hours.
  2. Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!

Conclusion:

Crock pots meals are a cheap and easy way to cook for large groups or the whole family. They are versatile and great for making vegetarian dishes, including pastas, soups, beans and stews. I would love to hear if you try any of these vegetarian crock pot recipes! Also, please share any of your own favourite/favorite crock pot recipes that you cook for your family.

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