I’m big on using slow cookers these days – some of you may remember them as crock pots. They save me so much time and energy and the meals are delicious. If you haven’t tried one lately, now is the time.

My hubby became a vegan about a year ago, so I’ve had to learn many new recipes. While this one is vegan, it is a hearty, healthy meal that can be enjoyed by meat eaters. Just throw it in the slow cooker, head out to do whatever, and dinner is done. Keeps my vegan triathlete happy. I suppose if you must, you could add meat, but why not give vegan a try!

Slow cooker greens and beans

Greens & Beans: One of my favorite meals.

Hearty Healthy Vegan Slow Cooker Beans and Greens

For this recipe, you will need a 5-6 quart slow cooker. It will seem like a lot, but it freezes well.

Chop the following and put in your slow cooker as the first layer:

  • 1 large onion
  • 4 carrots
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 3 celery ribs

If you do not like to chop or are short on time, you can do one of two things:

  • Buy the ingredients pre-chopped; most grocery stores sell it as a soup starter
  • Prep the night before when you are making dinner and just put the pot part of your slow cooker in the refrigerator. You can do this for everything except the potato.

The next layer add:

  • 1 large Yukon potato or two if they are small, peeled and chopped
  • 5-6 cups cabbage; if kale is in season, I will use it instead or half and half; I always believe the darker the green the better.

The final layer add:

  • 28 oz tomatoes
  • 28 oz white kidney beans; be sure to rinse these
  • 6 cups vegetable broth; make sure it comes close to covering everything

Season with:

  • 3/4 tsp each Basil and Marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp or more to taste of crushed red pepper flakes – if you like it a bit spicy.
  • I use what I have in the freezer that I have made, but if I run out, I just use what’s in the pantry.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours. If you are around, stir on occasion to mix things up, but totally not needed.

Options:

  • If you like a smoother soup, you can use your immersion blender to blend right in the slow cooker. Do not blend it all as the mixed textures are good together.
  • Another option if you like it a little richer is to add 2 tbsp tomato paste with the final layer.
  • I like to serve it with a crusty whole grain bread for yummy dipping.

Enjoy!