Slow Cooker Cauliflower Indian Stew

Slow-Cooker Cauliflower Indian Stew for a plant-based meal

After The Battle of the Pressure Cooker last week, I decided to go back to basics with my trusty slow cooker. Where the pressure cooker might be called temperamental, the slow cooker is dependable and flexible. There are no “min” and “max” lines other than the top of the pot, and you can add water, not add water, mix ingredients, add spices, etc.

I can’t believe the only other recipe I’ve posted using the slow cooker has been my World’s Easiest Applesauce! It is high time for me to start making more dishes using this wonderful device. I may also have a particular fondness for the slow cooker because my husband introduced me to it when we first started dating. Since we were both working busy jobs at the time, he showed off by making me Curry Chicken (this was nearly 14 years ago so long before we became vegan). I still remember visiting his apartment after work one day and opening the door to the wonderful, warming aroma of a ready-to-go dinner. Come to think of it, that may be the only time he ever cooked me dinner! Now he is not really allowed in the kitchen. 🙂

The slow cooker is perfect for when you are really busy and want to pre-make a meal that will be ready hours later. Since I am inundated with work right now, I shopped in my pantry for supplies:

Slow-Cooker Cauliflower Indian Stew Ingredients for a plant-based meal

You could absolutely use beans that you have cooked yourself in this recipe, but it was all I could do this weekend to open and rinse these canned beans.

There are no tricks to making this recipe. I just started adding the ingredients to the pot, starting with the beans, two chopped onions, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and spices:

Slow-Cooker Cauliflower Indian Stew Ingredients for a plant-based meal

I then added a chopped sweet potato and a whole head of cauliflower broken into florets:

Slow-Cooker Cauliflower Indian Stew Ingredients for a plant-based meal

I let that baby sit on high for hours while I worked my brains out at the computer, and then was treated to this fragrant, hot result:

Slow-Cooker Cauliflower Indian Stew Ingredients for a plant-based meal

The final step was to stir in a can of coconut milk and top my bowl with chopped cilantro and fresh lime juice:

Slow-Cooker Cauliflower Indian Stew for a plant-based meal

For an even heartier meal, you could serve the stew over cooked brown rice. Here is the recipe:

Slow Cooker Cauliflower Indian Stew
Recipe type: Stew
Serves: 8
  • 1½ cups cooked or canned garbanzo beans
  • 1½ cups cooked or canned black beans
  • 1½ cups cooked or canned red kidney beans
  • 2 onions
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 medium sweet potato
  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 2 cups canned no-salt added diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup canned no-salt added tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1½ cups full-fat coconut milk
  • fresh cilantro
  • 2 limes
  1. Rinse and drain garbanzo beans, black beans, and kidney beans. Transfer to a 6½ quart slow cooker.
  2. Chop onions and mince garlic.
  3. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into large chunks.
  4. Wash cauliflower and divide into florets.
  5. Transfer onions, garlic, potato, and cauliflower to slow cooker.
  6. Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, cumin, allspice, ginger, turmeric, and chili powder. Cook on high for 6 hours. Stir in coconut milk.
  7. Just before serving, pull leaves from cilantro and chop. Cut limes into wedges.
  8. Serve stew hot with cilantro and lime wedges.

Just a note, I have a pretty large slow cooker, it is 6 1/2 quarts. A more basic model is usually about half this size. So, if you are using the smaller version, just cut the ingredients in half and you should be fine.

I’m still intending on using my pressure cooker again this week, I’m just going to try making beans and see how that works. But, for now, my slow cooker is the current favorite child. Do you have any favorite slow cooker recipes to share with me? I am all about “fix it and forget it” meals right now!

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  1. Joyce says

    Carrie, just looked over your Cauliflower Indian Stew recipe and it reminded me of an old recipe I’ve had for years that we did in our cooking school. Its called Zuni Indian stew and is quite similar to yours. The method is old school but can be adapted to your method of cooking. I will send it to you. Let me know what you think.

    • says

      Hi Glenda! Yes, you could leave out the coco milk if you want a no-fat meal. Or, you could also use a lite coconut milk if you prefer. Enjoy!

  2. says

    This looks really yummy. My favorite slow cooker recipe is the “crock pot mushroom chili” on the member site at (

    It’s really nice on a cold day when you’re exhausted from work- especially with my favorite chili spice- the McCormick “hot mexican chili powder”- it reminds me of that smoky chipotle in adobo flavor, more smoke than hot.

    • says

      Hi Devon! Thanks for the link! I love your description of the chili spice, I’ll have to check that out. I’m kind of a wimp when it comes to spicy foods, so smokey sounds more appealing than hot to me. 🙂

  3. Robyn :) says

    I have tried your slowcooker applesauce recipe and it was delicious. The only other thing I have made that was good was pot roast :/

    I am not a fan of cauliflower or garbanzo beans, but this recipe still looks quite tasty 🙂

    • says

      Yay! So glad you liked the applesauce, Robyn. I used to make pot roast in my slow cooker, too, but had to throw away that recipe when I went vegan. 🙂

  4. Paula says

    I really love indian food and have no idea what to make in my slow cooker. Thanks for posting it. It looks so yummy. I look forward to more slow cooker recipes as I would love to learn how to use mine more often. Since we don’t eat meat, mine sits on the shelf. The only other thing I’ve made in it is a seitan loaf with veggies.

    • says

      I am excited to use my slow cooker more too, Paula! I also used to use mine for meat but of course I don’t eat it anymore. I think there are all types of yummy and healthy recipes that can be made in the slow cooker. I will post any good recipes that I come up with. 🙂

  5. says

    Yum…I’ve been craving Indian food lately so this looks up my alley. I’ve been inundated with school these days too and my slow cooker is coming in handy! Love to make a basic veggie stew-potatoes, carrots, celery, beans, peas, corn, diced tomatoes, zucchini, veggie broth, poultry seasoning…my go to ingredient right now is fire roasted tomatoes! Give the stew a really good flavor. Served with mixed in greens over quinoa or wild rice, and I’m set! I will try yours, though, for some variation!

    • says

      Hi Shelby! Good luck with your classes, I didn’t realize you were still in school. Do you have to take summer school this year? I do. 🙁 Thanks for the recipe idea and I love your idea to use fire roasted tomatoes. Yum!

    • Laura S. says

      Hi ladies!
      The slow cooker is the way to go! I recently discovered fire roasted tomatoes too and they are awesome…they add that extra little touch of taste! Carrie…I know you’re not too big on the super spicy stuff but this African Stew from Peas and Thank You is soooo good. I actually add more spice to it but you could probably leave it the way it is or put in less spice and it would work fine:

      I’ve also done this PPK Vegetable Korma in the slow cooker by food processing the cashews and water/broth first, then dumping it and everything else into the pot. I usually do 30-60 mins on high then turn to low for 4-5 hours.

      Both have coconut milk so I try to either use lite or less of the regular stuff.

      • says

        Thanks for sharing those two recipes, Laura! I checked out both of them and they look delicious and not too much different than the one I posted. I love learning about new spices, too, even though I’m kind of a wimp when it comes to spicy food. 🙂

  6. Jen says


    This looks absolutely delicious!! I’m wondering if you know the nutritional info – specifically the calories for a 1 cup serving?

    Can’t wait to try 🙂


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