It is a tradition in New Orleans that Mondays were wash days. And red beans and rice would simmer on the stove all day for dinner. Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice is an easy way to prepare this traditional dish.
When we visited New Orleans a few years ago, my son and I went to the National WWII Museum. At the time they had a full-service restaurant, but it doesn’t seem to be open anymore. We had lunch there and that’s where I had my very first Red Beans and Rice done the New Orleans way. It was amazing. We went back for a second time to have more Red Beans and Rice, but it is only served on Mondays. You can find it in most restaurants on Mondays so if you are in New Orleans on a Monday then it is a must to grab a bowl. And from that day on, I have been in search of a good easy recipe and one that’s done in the slow cooker. I’m all about good food, but not about complex recipes. I think I finally have it.
It is simple, hearty ingredients. I usually use canned beans for my recipes, but I decided to go old school using dried red beans. I’ve never had much luck using dried beans until now. It worked. All you need is the red beans, celery, peppers, onion, garlic, Cajun seasoning, salt, smoked sausage, and rice. For the peppers, I use red and yellow peppers as I’m not a fan of green pepper, but if you have a green pepper, you can use it. Use what you have on hand. For the sausage, you can make this with smoked sausage or plant-based. I used Field Roast Italian Garlic and Fennel. I make my rice in the rice cooker so this meal is truly press buttons and not worry about it until dinner time. Something I can get behind when I have busy work days that start early and end late.
When doing research for this post and in my search for basic recipes that I could learn from to make Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice, I realized that tomatoes in any form were not part of the traditional recipe. And New Orleanians are very passionate about the fact that it doesn’t have tomatoes. So don’t think about putting any tomato products in it. In fact, I’m nervous about how this recipe will e received.
Looking for other vegetarian slow cooker recipes? Find them here.
Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice
- 1 pound dried red beans
- 1 package of vegan sausage or smoked pork or beef sausage
- 3 celery ribs, chopped roughly
- 2 peppers (red or yellow), chopped roughly
- 1 yellow onion, chopped roughly
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- 7 cups water
- Hot cooked rice
- Hot sauce, optional
- 1. Combine the first eight ingredients in the slow cooker setting it on HIGH for 8 hours stirring halfway through.
- 2. Serve with rice.
My guys are fans of zucchini so what to do when presented with 4 big zucchini? Make Slow Cooker Thai Curried Soup that’s what. They won’t know it is zucchini. I know, I know trickery isn’t very nice, but I didn’t want to waste it. I didn’t feel like making zucchini bread as I need to something to throw in the slow cooker for dinner as I had to go off island in the late afternoon and I knew I wouldn’t feel like cooking when I got home. So slow cooker is also my go-to when I have long days.
Soup is good anytime. Even in the summer. Especially if it is made in the slow cooker. Six ingredients makesSlow Cooker Thai Curried Soup quick and easy. That only ingredient you might not have in your pantry is Thai Red Curry Paste, but it is worth having a jar handy. Dump and go about your day enjoying a home cooked meal later in the day.
It was a hit with my guys so I’ll be making it again. My guys thought that shrimp or chicken would taste nice so if you aren’t plant-based, you can add it.
Looking for other vegetarian slow cooker recipes? Find them here.
Slow Cooker Thai Curried Zucchini Soup
- 3-4 Medium to Large Zucchini, chopped
- 1-2 Tablespoons Thai Red Curry Paste
- 3 cups Vegetable Broth
- 1 can Coconut Milk
- 1 Tablespoon Palm Sugar or Brown Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1. Chopped your zucchini and put in slow cooker.
- 2. Add the rest of the ingredients stirring well.
- 3. Turn on slow cooker to High for 4 hours.
- 4. Purée soup with a blender.
- 5. Check seasoning and make adjustments.
Yes, you read that correctly: slow cooker curry dump. Doesn’t sound very appealing, but this curry is yummy and a family favorite. It is my go-to plant-based curry for the slow cooker on busy days which seems to be every day as a restart my business. It is all about convenience these days and you can make this recipe year round. And the slow cooker provides it for me to make healthy, hot meals for us without fuss.
What makes this is a slow cooker curry dump is that there is minimal preparation for this meal. For me, all of the items in the recipe are pantry items like canned coconut milk, baby yellow potatoes, canned fire roasted diced tomatoes, squeezable mince ginger, frozen peas, and bottle minced garlic. I always have fresh cilantro in the fridge. So like my black bean quesadillas, I always have ingredients to make it on hand. When making this recipe you can add a can of chickens or if you have some extra veg, you can throw in some sweet potatoes, butternut squash, or eggplant. The base of the curry is the coconut milk, fire roasted tomatoes, curry powder, minced garlic, fresh ginger, salt, and cilantro.
I throw it all in the slow cooker. And to make life even easier, I make rice in the rice cooker. While I resisted in getting a rice cooker, I have to say how much I love it and it is used 2-3 times a week. I use it to make rice, but also porridge.
- - 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
- - 2 T curry powder
- - 1 T minced garlic
- - 2T grated fresh ginger
- - 1 tsp kosher salt
- - 1 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- - 2 handfuls of yellow baby potatoes halved or 2 large potatoes diced
- - 1 cup frozen peas
- - Chopped fresh cilantro
- 1. Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker
- 2. Cover and set to high
- 3. Cook 4-6 hours
- 4. Serve over rice
The Quintessential French Summer Dish
Ratatouille is the quintessential French summer dish using the garden’s harvest. Up until recently I never made ratatouille before. Shocking I know. No clue why I haven’t. Glad that changed.
Simple Dish, Complex Favors
I came across “Ratatouille Reimagined: 8 Ways to Enjoy” in Forks Over Knives, Summer 2021 magazine. They had the basic recipe then 8 additional ways to serve it. I had all of the ingredients so I made it. There are two ways to make it. The traditional way is to slice then arrange veg in a dish and bake. Since it was hot and I was lazy, I took the slow cooker option which is basically chop, dump, stir, then forget until dinnertime. While it doesn’t look as fancy, it tastes delicious.
Ratatouille makes a diverse base where you can build a bunch of different meals. Good idea to make a big batch where you can handle it out. Over the week, I made it with pasta by adding canned white beans topped with fresh basil, and nutritional yeast and then to finish it off, Provencal chili by canned dark kidney beans and corn over brown rice and topped with avocado and cilantro. Both tasty and filling meals. I used canned diced tomatoes and Newport Sea Salt’s Herbes de Provence.
Looking for recipes for eggplant that can be served at room temp or cold? Try Turkish Eggplant Tomato Casserole.
- 1 pound tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 15-oz can diced tomatoes undrained
- 1 pound zucchini, halved and thickly sliced
- 1 medium eggplant cut into chunks
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped chunky
- 2 cloves garlic minced or 1 tablespoon minced jarred garlic
- 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
- 1 bay leaf
- 1. Prepare all veg and place in slow cooker.
- 2. Set on high for 4 hours stirring halfway if you remember.
The slow cooker has saved the day many times over the past three months. Slow Cooker Chickpea Butternut Squash Curry has been to the rescue a couple times one. I kept buying butternut squash saying I’m going to make x or y, but then it just sits there in the fridge with the great potential to end up in the compost bin. It is a simple and quick recipe to throw in the slow cooker then forget about it until you need to make the rice or heat the naan.
Now back to my slow cooker saving the day. This year has flown by and I have been on it by the seat of my pants. Between managing a busy family, working at the lighthouse foundation, servicing my public relations clients, attending graduate school, and launching a new business, let’s just say cooking hasn’t been top of my action list. We are attempting to eat well while adding plant-based meals without resorting to pizza or Chinese delivery. And we have done that more than we would like to admit since September. The slow cooker provided us with hot wholesome meals after long days.
This recipe is made with simple ingredients, but packs a lot of flavor. It isn’t spicy nor sweet. Just a nice balance of flavors. Add rice or naan to round it out. I buy the pre-cut butternut squash. I have no patience to peel then cut one up so I do the pre-cut.
If you are looking to add more plant-based meals to your diet then this is a good one to start with since it is so flavorful.
Slow Cooker Chickpea Butternut Squash Curry
- 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
- 2 T curry powder
- 1 T minced garlic
- 2T grated fresh ginger
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 14.5 oz can chickpeas, drained
- 1 small butternut squash (about 2.5-3 lb), peeled and diced or sweet potato
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Combine all ingredients except for cilantro in the slow cooker
- Cover and set to LOW
- Cook 8 hours
- Add chopped fresh cilantro
- Serve over rice
Completely Cheesy Slowcooker Vegetarian Spinach Lasagna
Lactose intolerance folks it maybe advised to look away in regards to this very cheesy spinach lasagna. Unless you wish to torture yourself with a recipe with four different cheeses. It is hard to resist the dairy goodness in this one.
An amazingly simple vegetarian slow cooker meal for anytime of year. It is really a dump and go… OK not exactly dump, but layer and go recipe. If you are the industrious type then you can make your own tomato sauce; however, sauce out of the jar is OK. I use Rao’s. It is the really big jar since there is nothing worst with lasagna is to have dry lasagna. And of course uncooked noodles. Not that you will have that issue with it being in the slow cooker for 4-8 hours. I am a cheese addict so the more cheese the better and the cheese in this recipe is very generous.
While meat lasagna tends to be heavy, this spinach lasagna is very light. If you wanted more veggies, then I would saute them first to soften then add to the cheese mixture. Veggie lasagna coming out of the slow cooker does sound rather nice.
Just a reminder, this will feed a crowd. It is a lot of food. Either throw a party adding a salad and bread or expect to enjoy this everyday for lunch for two weeks. Not that that is a bad thing mind you.
Looking for more slow cooker meals? I have a whole section on that.
Slowcooker Vegetarian Spinach Lasagna Recipe
- 4-6 cups tomato sauce
- 12 to 15 no boil lasagna noodles
- 1 32-ounces container light ricotta cheese
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 5-ounces container fresh baby spinach
- 3 cups low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
- Spray the inside of the crock pot with cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, feta cheese, salt, pepper, chopped garlic, oregano, parsley and eggs; mix until thoroughly combined then add the spinach making sure it is mixed well.
- Spread tomato sauce on the bottom of the pot.
- Arrange a layer of the noodles over the sauce.
- Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over the pasta.
- Sprinkle a layer of mozzarella and 1/3 of the parmesan cheese over the ricotta mixture.
- Top with a cup of tomato sauce.
- Repeat these layers until all the ingredients have been used up .
- Top the lasagna with a layer of lasagna noodles covered with tomato sauce and sprinkled with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 3-1/2 to 4 hours or LOW for 6 to 8 hours.
- Turn off the crock pot and let stand 30-45 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.