I’ve only recently started trying out the slow cooker because, for some reason, I really associated slow cookers with cooking meat. Aly and Dawn have helped dispel this association and I have been experimenting with some vegetarian slow cooker recipes and hope to try out a few more. I feel that curries and chillis would work particularly well in a slow cooker.
This Slow Cooker Beany Casserole Recipe is very similar to my ‘normal’ beany casserole recipe. The big difference (in terms of ingredients) is that I didn’t use any oil, which I suppose makes it low fat, too. (That said, I excellent quality olive oil is really good for you, so don’t have a big problem using it in my cooking.) In terms of taste, I was surprised how different it turned out. I would say that it came out a lot fresher and lighter (perhaps to do with the lack of oil) and I could really taste the flavours from all the individual vegetables, where normally they have melded together. I think, therefore, doing it in the slow cooker makes it much more of a summery dish, and cooking it on the stove makes it more autumnal.
Slow Cooker Beany Casserole Recipe
- 1 large onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 medium carrots
- 125g fine green beans (or similar quantity – I use half a packet and save the other half for some risotto later in the week)
- 1 large courgette
- 3 sticks celery
- 5 new potatoes
- 1 can of beans (I used cannelini, but you could also use haricot or kidney, for example, or chick peas would also work well)
- 300ml stock (2 tbsp tomato puree, 2 vegetable stock cubes)
- Herbs to flavour (I used 2 tsp of an Italian herb mix, that we could from our local healthfood store)
- Chop all the vegetables up into small pieces (maybe about 1.5cm square).
- Place them in the slow cooker.
- Add the stock.
- Cook on high for two hours.
- Cook on low for three hours.
You might prefer to sauté the onions briefly and then follow the rest of the instructions, as I did find they weren’t quite the texture I prefer (though they had improved considerably by the next day, so it might just be a case of adding an extra hour on low).
If you are all happy with spiciness, I’d add some cayenne pepper and paprika and perhaps the juice of half a lemon.
Vary the vegetables according to season. The ones I’ve included are best in summer. For autumn and winter, you could bump up the root vegetables (e.g. turnip, parsnip, beetroot…) and cut out the courgette.
If you have a bigger slow cooker than we do (I think ours is only 1.5 litres), add another can of beans and maybe some lentils, too. An aubergine would go well, too, though I’d salt it and rinse it first.
This is a perfectly balanced one pot meal, but you might also like to serve it with some crusty granary bread. The girls also like it with a bit of pasta and topped with some grated cheese. If you fancy a drink with it, red wine would probably be best, though white wine might work too, because it’s such a light dish.
I hope you enjoy the slow cooker beany casserole recipe if you make it. Please do come back and let me know how it turned out, if you do.
Ten Vegetarian Main Meals by Tasha Goddard
In case you haven’t noticed the links in the sidebar, I’ve published a little recipe eBook. It’s available in multiple formats, though my preferred one is the PDF version, because it’s much prettier, and recipe books should be pretty, really!
Ten Vegetarian Main Meals on Kindle
Ten Vegetarian Main Meals on Smashwords (multiple formats)
Ten Vegetarian Main Meals on Gumroad (pretty PDF version)
Ten Vegetarian Main Meals on Kobo Books
It’s also available on iBooks, but I don’t have a direct link. Search for “Ten Vegetarian Main Meals”.