Slow Cooker Vegetables
When you are looking for the best vegetables to cook in the slow cooker, you are probably looking for something beyond carrots and potatoes or veggie puree. Any meal is made better with fresh, seasonal produce and every vegetable you add to a dish increases its nutritional value. Learn how long to cook vegetables in your slow cooker recipes.
Over here at The Smart Slow Cooker our focus is getting family dinner on the table, so slow cooker vegetable side dish recipes are not something we tend to focus on — we prefer to add veggies to slow cooker meals and be done. To do this, you have to know when to add vegetables to a slow cooker for the best results.
Vegetables to throw in at the last minute
These vegetables help your slow cooker dishes finish on a fresh note and give your meals texture. Fold these veggies into your slow cooker 5-10 minutes before dinner time.
Baby Bok Choy — This is a favorite slow cooker vegetable. Bok choy is quick cooking, healthy, and crunchy. You can add baby bok choy leaves to almost any Asian-inspired crock pot dish.
Greens — Fold tender baby spinach or other greens into your slow cooker soups or pasta sauces at the last minute to up the nutritional value. Some will require a few more minutes of cooking.
Green Peas — Add fresh or frozen green peas to your slow cooker curry dishes.
Tomatoes — Fresh or canned diced tomatoes work to give your dishes a burst of flavor.
Corn — Use fresh or frozen corn kernels for a burst of sweet flavor and color.
Hominy — Add to Slow Cooker Pozole or other soups near the end of cooking.
Sugar Snap Peas
Vegetables that might need just a little longer
These veggies are suitable for slow cooker meals if you are able to add them at the appropriate time. Plan to add them about 20-30 minutes prior to eating.
Mushrooms — Slice before adding mushrooms to the crock pot.
Vegetables that can cook for 2-3 hours
Collard Greens — Some greens can hold up to longer cooking times or be added near the end of cooking time.
Eggplant — To cook a whole eggplant in the slow cooker, just prick it a few times and cook on HIGH for at least 3 hours. Scoop the flesh and puree it for baba ganoush.
Recipe: Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers
Vegetables that can cook for longer periods
These veggies are your typical list of slow cooker vegetables for a reason — hard root vegetables and dried beans hold up to longer cooking times. The vegetables listed here retain their shape and flavor even when cooked for hours.
Dried Beans — Beans are the best long-cooking vegetable for the slow cooker. Why? They actually require a longer cooking time. Learn how to cook beans in the slow cooker to maximize texture and flavor.
Recipe: Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes
Other Slow Cooker Vegetables
These vegetables are actually super convenient to prepare in the slow cooker — freeing you up to focus on other things in the kitchen.