During the holiday season, when the presents demand wrapping and the plans need planning, there never seems to be enough time or energy left by the end of the day–the time of day when the much-needed holiday medicine is a soul-satisfying, home-cooked meal.
When I arrived home one evening last week post shopping flurry, juggling a sleigh’s worth of presents, there was nothing more I was looking forward to than the welcoming feeling of a warm, full tummy after a dinner prepared by my personal chef. Except I have no chef, just the delusional, worn-out dreams of someone maxed out on holiday bargains and the thrill of knowing that wishes would soon come true.
With my energy running on empty, I took to Pinterest to see what vegan concoction I could throw together that would take minimum energy and yield maximum results… a.k.a., meals using my Crock-Pot.
After a trying time reviewing pages of soups and stews, I found myself – hours later – in a Pinterest-coma, saving pins of bouquets specially designed for fall weddings; I was lost. Why were there so little filling options for vegans that involve using a Crock-Pot? I would think that us vegans are just as entitled to wanting a meal that saves money and energy and feeds us all week? Or a meal that can cook mindlessly for hours and refuel us at our waning moments, starved after an 8-hour workday? With my tummy grumbling and my mind made up, I shut off my laptop and started dreaming up my own vegan Crock-Pot recipes that would be not only easy but also filling!
This recipe is probably my shining diamond. Not only is it easy, filling, and delicious, it’s a versatile dish that can be served as a party dip with chips, feed a whole vegan family of eight, or serve as a time-saving staple for those like me who want to make one meal that can go in the freezer and be enjoyed all week.
So dust off your Crock-Pots because they’re about to get a heaping serving of deliciousness!
Slow Cooker Taco Casserole
- 3/4 medium red onion
- 1 jar pickled jalepeno slices
- 1 15-oz. can whole black beans
- 1 15-oz. can yellow corn
- 1 12-oz. package soy chorizo
- 2 1/2 10-oz. cans red enchilada sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes and green chilies
- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 bag shredded vegan Mexican cheese (optional)
- Toppings (optional):
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 2 large tomatoes, diced
- 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- handful sliced olives
- 1/4 cup chopped onions
1. Fine dice the red onion. Place ½ cup in the Crock-Pot. Save the remaining ¼ cup for topping.
2. Dice 6-8 slices of pickled jalapeno, including the seeds, then add. If you’re like me and you want some two-punch spice, use some of the leftover slices for topping later.
3. Open the 1 can of black beans into a strainer – rinse thoroughly, then add.
4. Open the 1 can of yellow corn into a strainer – rinse thoroughly, then add.
5. Open the entire package of soy chorizo and crumble into the Crock-Pot.
6. Pour in 2 ½ cans of enchilada sauce.
7. Pour in ½ cup of water.
8. Pour in 1 can of tomatoes and green chilies (liquid included).
9. Pour in ¾ cup uncooked quinoa evenly.
10. Add in 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.
11. Mix ingredients with spoon until well incorporated.
12. Place top on the Crock-Pot and turn on high for 4 hours.
13. Optional: At the end of 4 hours, remove top. Remove inner ceramic bowl from the outer metal Crock-Pot shell. Turn on the broiler. Use a towel to remove any condensation on the outside of the ceramic. Cover top of casserole with 1 cup vegan Mexican cheese. Place in the broiler, uncovered, without lid for several minutes until cheese is melted.
Dice up some cilantro and tomatoes, cube an avocado, chop up a half head of romaine, layer on olives, and toss on some of those onions we chopped earlier for a truly taco casserole! Have a favorite taco topping that I haven’t mentioned? Add that too! Whether it’s a weekday night, a hectic holiday, or a summer potluck, this taco casserole will win both you and your friends over every time!
Related: Vegan Slow Cooker French Onion Soup
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Photos: Missy Ruttencutter