This slow cooker vegetables recipe will get your vegetables in for the day without the hassle of long preparation times. Even better, you can walk away and return to vibrant, flavorful vegetables that can complete any dish.
Why should you cook vegetables in a slow cooker?
Though roasted vegetables are typically a favorite dish, you may want to get out your crockpot aka slow cooker to make these delicious crockpot vegetable recipes. The slow and steady heat that cooking in a slow cooker offers causes vegetables to be even more flavorful than if you had roasted them.
The vegetables taste sweeter and have more overall depth of flavor. Plus, other than chopping the vegetables and dumping them into the slow cooker, you’re off the hook for work in the kitchen.
In this slow cooker vegetables recipe, you can simply add your chopped or sliced array of vegetables into the slow cooker with a small amount of chicken stock or vegetable stock (or water).
Normally, you can cook vegetables in a slow cooker without water or stock, but in this case, the very firm sweet potatoes, parsnips, and turnips we’re using need that little bit of liquid to help them soften as much as the other vegetables used.
Other than your trusty slow cooker, all you’ll need for these slow cooker recipes with vegetables is a good knife (a food processor is not recommended here, since it would chop too finely). Chop, set, and forget until it’s time to enjoy your healthy and flavorful vegetable crockpot recipe.
If you love cooking in crockpot do try our amazing Crockpot Turkey Chili.
- Olive Oil
- Sweet Potatoes
- Yellow Squash
- Chicken Stock
- Dried Thyme
- Black Pepper
🔪How to make Slow Cooker Vegetables (Step-by-Step Instructions)
- Chop and slice the vegetables.
- Add olive oil to the slow cooker.
- Next, add vegetables and chicken stock to the slow cooker.
- Finally add thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Cover and set to high for 4 hours, or low for 5-6 hours.
- Allow vegetables to cool and garnish.
💭Tips & Tricks :
- When chopping vegetables to be cooked in a slow cooker for crockpot vegetarian recipes, make sure to keep the size smaller (not too small…you don’t want the vegetables to turn into mush). This way, they will cook through evenly and completely.
- You can vary this recipe with your favorite vegetables, depending on the season. Adding green beans, using white potatoes instead of sweet potatoes, or flavoring the vegetables with different herbs (rosemary, dill, or just salt and pepper if preferred) all work just as well.
- Chicken stock was used in this recipe, but you can easily use vegetable stock to keep it more true to vegetarian crockpot recipe.
Are slow-cooked vegetables healthy?
Trapping steam by slow-cooking vegetables can keep their nutrient-rich elements intact for vegetables slow cooker recipes. You are essentially steaming your vegetables by using a slow cooker.
By using the good fats found in certain olive oils, you can help release their healthy properties even more. If you can avoid peeling some vegetables like zucchini and squash, they’ll pack a healthy punch even more so.
What cannot be cooked in a slow cooker?
Slow cookers seem like the perfect choice when it comes to easy preparation. Not every ingredient works well in a slow cooker, though. Certain starches like rice are best left for a saucepan or rice cooker.
The same goes for couscous or pasta. Any kind of dairy will curdle in a slow cooker. Except for chicken, it’s a good idea to sear any meat you add to your crockpot recipes. Seafood doesn’t cook through correctly here.
Lastly, save your wine for conventional stove top dishes. The alcohol will not burn off so the resulting taste will not be very tasty.
How do you keep vegetables from overcooking in a slow cooker?
Layering is the key element in preventing overcooking (or undercooking) for vegetable slow cooker recipes. In this case, we added the harder vegetables down at the bottom in the liquid so they would soften more.
We added the softer vegetables on top so they would cook evenly, but not require quite as much as the bottom layer. If making a meat and vegetables slow cooker recipe, you would add your protein at the bottom in the same way.
What are the best vegetables for the slow cooker?
More cruciferous or firm vegetables are the best candidates for cooking in a slow cooker. Vegetables like zucchini, squash, and sweet potato (as in this recipe) worked great, but you can also add broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, and more.
Also eggplant, green beans, collard greens, peppers, and cabbage are good choices. If you are craving the addition of softer vegetables like peas, corn, mushrooms, or softer greens, you can still add them in 5-10 minutes before the dish is complete.
How long does it take to cook vegetables in a slow cooker?
Generally it takes at least 3-4 hours on the crockpot high setting or 5-6 hours on the low setting to cook vegetables all the way through. Depending on your vegetable choices and whether you added any liquid, you will want to check each layer of vegetables and test each before you decide that the vegetables are ready to eat.
My Top Slow Cooker Vegetables Recipe
- 2-3 TBSP Olive Oil
- 2 Large Sweet Potatoes
- 2 Zucchini quartered and sliced
- 2 Yellow Squash quartered and sliced
- 2 Carrots halved and sliced
- 2 Parsnips halved and sliced
- 1 Turnip chopped
- 1 Onion chopped
- 2 cloves of Garlic minced
- ½ cup Chicken Stock
- ½ tsp. Dried Thyme
- 1 tsp. Salt
- ½ tsp. Black Pepper
- Parsley for garnish (if desired)
- Chop and slice the vegetables. It’s a good idea to keep the vegetable pieces on the smaller side, so they cook completely and evenly.
- Add olive oil to the bottom of the slow cooker (you can turn the slow cooker on warm to get it started if you like.)
- Add the chopped vegetables to the slow cooker, followed by the chicken stock. Make sure that the harder vegetables (sweet potato, turnip, parsnip) are fully submerged in the chicken stock at the bottom of the pot so they cook through completely.
- Add thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Cover and set the slow cooker to high for 4 hours, or low for 5-6 hours. After several hours, when the vegetables soften, you can mix the layers together more.
- Allow the vegetables to cool completely.
- Sprinkle parsley if desired and serve alone or alongside most any meal.