These vegan crockpot meals are less than $2 per meal and have so much flavor. I know you're busy like me and need quick recipes to throw together as you run out the door. These are healthy meals that are perfect for meal prep.
These recipes FILL my 4-quart crockpot up! I'm ready for a 6-quart 😉
2 Ingredient Meatballs
This was my first time trying such a creation. I've yet to see anyone make fresh seitan meatballs and throw them in the crockpot to cook. They came out DAMN GOOD!
If you want a TON of food, make a full crockpot of seitan meatballs and add a whole lb of pasta to the mix. Food on top of food! This is the perfect meal prep, high protein, and dirt cheap.
A little over $1 per serving!
*IMPORTANT* It's common practice to make seitan with all sorts of extra ingredients. Folks add oil, tomato paste, cutting in garbanzo flour or mashed beans... I just don't do any of that. Yes, adding these types of ingredients cuts down on the chewiness of the final product, but I can't bring myself to follow the extra steps.
My seitan is made with flour and water, plus a couple of tablespoons of my favorite spice blend. These meatballs might be a bit chewier than you'd like. Use your favorite seitan meatball recipe to make a less chewy meatball, and throw those in the crockpot!
Vegan Seitan Meatballs & Pasta - $1.29 per 6 servings
- 2 cup vital wheat gluten flour - 200g ($9.49 bag, $3.34)
- 1.75 cups of water - FREE
- 2.5 TB salted spice blend (feel free to use half the amount)
- 1 ts ground fennel
- 2 jars pasta sauce ($1.48 jar x 2 = $2.96)
- 1 lb pasta (92 cents)
- .5 oz vegan parmesan garnish ($4.49 container, 56 cents)
Make Seitan: Mix gluten flour with spices. I prefer to oversalt mine. Feel free to use less salt. Mix spiced gluten flour with water with a large wooden spoon. It comes together quickly!
*If your seitan dough is too wet, sprinkle with more gluten flour. If it's too dry, then add a little more water. It shouldn't be sticky/soggy wet or powdery dry. This is a forgiving recipe, so don't overthink it.
Crockpot Meatballs: First, add a layer of tomato sauce to the bottom of the crockpot. Layer meatballs with sauce over and over. Make sure the top layer is pasta sauce since you don't want meatballs to dry out. Cook on low for about 6 hours. You might be able to cook on high for 4 hours, but I'd keep an eye on the sauce since it could burn.
Add the Pasta: Cook pasta on the stove. You can divide the pasta into six bowls or meal prep containers, then add the cooked meatballs on top. If you have a large mixing bowl, I recommend mixing everything before plating it, so the pasta gets coated with sauce.
Garnish with parsley and vegan parmesan cheese (optional).
Burning Pasta Sauce: Since I cooked mine for 9 hours while I was away at work, I did get some burned bit around the edges. I didn't mind the burnt pieces since it tasted like caramelized pasta sauce, but you may want to avoid that. Or at least be aware of that. Six hours is the recommended cook time, but 9 hours was fine.
$7.78 total - $1.29 per 6 servings
I've made a million curries over the years, and this was my absolute favorite! It's such a simple recipe. You can use my spice recommendation or make your own. Feel free to use store-bought curry powder instead of blending spices. This was the pinnacle of flavorful and super cheap to make. This checks all the boxes!!
Veggie Curry - $1.29 per 4 servings
- 1.11 lb potatoes - 700g ($2.38 for 5lb bag, 79 cents)
- 1 lb baby carrots (93 cents)
- 1 TB coriander powder (1 cent)
- 2 ts salt (1 cent)1 ts ginger powder (1 cent)
- 1 ts turmeric (1 cent)
- 1 ts mustard seed (1 cent)
- 1 medium cinnamon stick (1 cent)
- 1 can coconut milk ($1.82)
- 15oz can tomato sauce (72 cents)
- 12oz bag peas (84 cents)
- Peel and chop potatoes. Put potatoes on the bottom of the slow cooker. Add carrots on top.
- Mix spices and salt into coconut milk and pour in to slow cooker. Pour tomato sauce in after the coconut milk. If using a cinnamon stick (totally optional), just push it into the middle of the curry.
- Put the lid on and cook for 4 hours high or 6 hours low. Thirty minutes before eating, mix the frozen peas straight from the freezer. Cook for 30 more minutes, then serve.
Cook Time: Because I cooked mine while I was away at work, my curry was on low for 9 hours and came out perfect. The recommended time is 4 hours high or 6 hours low, but that's not realistic for my life.
Spice Blend: You do not need to use my spice recommendation. Feel free to use what you like, add cumin powder or seed, or use a store-bought curry blend. The sky is the limit!
Peas?!: If you want to skip the peas, just add another pound of potatoes to the bottom of your crockpot.
$5.16 total - $1.29 per 4 servings
Vegan Protein Lasagna
This is a three-ingredient recipe! It couldn't get any simpler than this.
I wanted to make a veggie-filled lasagna, but my slow cooker goes all day while I'm at work. The typical veggies I use (think potatoes) in my ALL-DAY cooks wouldn't be ideal for lasagna. The veggies I would normally use in a lasagna would get soggy cooking for 9 hours, so decided to go fail-proof and use Field Roast Seitan instead.
This was SO much food. I've never maxed my crockpot out before. Each serving was super filling and very hardy.
Vegan Crockpot Lasagna - $2.03 per 6 servings
- field roast frankfurters ($5.12)
- 3.5 bottles pasta sauce ($1.48 x 3.5 = $5.18)
- 1 lb box of regular lasagna noodles ($1.37)
- .5 oz vegan parmesan garnish ($4.49 container, 56 cents)
Field Roast: The frankfurters are seitan links that are cheaper than any meatless crumbles I've seen out there. To turn these links into crumbles, we'll chop each link into a couple of pieces and pulse them in a food processor. This step is super fast.
Lasagna Noodles: I used regular pasta, not the "oven-ready" option. I broke them up to fit in my crockpot. I used about 2.5 full sheets (broken up) per layer, give or take.
Pasta Sauce: I used a lot of pasta sauce on the bottom and top to prevent drying out or sticking. I used 3.5 jars of sauce! Don't skimp on the sauce, or your noodles might dry out.
Burning Pasta Sauce: Since I cooked mine for 9 hours while I was away at work, I got some large burned chunks around the edges towards the bottom. It didn't ruin the dish at all. I just scooped away any of the dark bits.
This may have been because I cooked it for NINE HOURS (hahaha). You may want to avoid that. Or at least be aware of that. The recommended time is 5-6 hours on low, but that's not realistic for my life, so mine got cooked all day. It still came out great except for a few burnt edge pieces.
Cook Time: I have no idea if you can cook this on high. If you know, please leave a comment below. Because mine burned around the bottom edges (granted, after 9 hours), I would be aware of the possibility of burned sauce. I recommend 5-6 hours on low (or until the pasta is soft).
$12.23 total - $2.03 per 6 servings
Vegan No-Chicken and Biscuits Stew
You can make this recipe without the biscuits. I make it all the time with just veggies. It's about $1 per giant serving if you leave out the biscuits. Potato and veggie stew is my staple go-to.
I used to add bouillon to flavor the broth, but then I realized that adding an abundance of salt and dried herbs flavors the stew just fine. I aim for the same salt ratios that the bouillon would offer, maybe 600mg of sodium per serving. That sounds like a lot (and is a lot), so feel free to use less salt 🙂
Given that I've made this stew a million times without the biscuits, I can tell you one major difference the biscuits bring to the dish. May god, the rich buttery flavor these dairy-free "buttery flavored" biscuits offer is OFF THE CHARTS. I removed the lid and was blown away by the cozy, comforting aromas.
I cooked my stew for 9 hours while I was at work. The recipe would have been ready to serve when I came home, but I still needed to add the biscuit dough at the end. From what I saw online, other bloggers said it would only take an hour to cook the dough in the crockpot, but that wasn't my experience.
A checked the biscuits after an hour, and they were pure dough. I checked the biscuits after a second hour, and they didn't seem any different. Because my crockpot was full to the top, I was concerned that they simply weren't getting enough heat being pressed against the lid, so I mixed the dough into the stew. After an hour of the dough being in the center of the hot stew, my food was ready. This recipe doesn't need more than 6 hours on low but mine was tasty after 12 hours of cooking. 12 hours!! How crazy! I would have cooked it half the time if I wasn't at work.
Side note: My 4-quart crockpot was filled to the *brim*. It was practically overflowing. I had to leave out a whole pound of veggies that I prepped for this recipe because it was clear that another ½ lb of potatoes, ¼th pound of carrots, and ¼th pound of celery would not fit. I could have squeezed out another serving or two of food for PENNIES if I was using a 6-quart crockpot.
total $6.69 - 4 portions $1.67 each
- celery ($1.47)
- carrots (98 cents - 49 cents)
- potatoes ($2.38 - $1.19)
- pea (84 cents)
- spices (1 cent?)
- salt (1 cent)
- biscuits ($2.68)
total $6.69 - 4 portions $1.67 each
- Peel and chop potatoes. Add potatoes to the crockpot.
- Throw whole baby carrots in the crockpot or pulse them in a food processor to chop them first.
- Mix salt and herbs into 3 cups of water. Pour water over veggies and cook for 6 hours on low or 3 hours on high.
- Once veggies are cooked, you can thicken the stew by adding a portion of the cooked veggies with a bunch of liquid from the stew to a food processor. Blend til smooth, pour back into the crockpot and mix everything. This step is optional.
- Pull apart the canned dough and cut each biscuit into four pieces. Mix dough pieces into the stew. Cook for 1-2 hours or until the dough is cooked through.
****without biscuits & peas (sub more potatoes, more carrots) for $4.17 total = $1.04 per meal