These cheesy slow cooker lentils are almost zero effort to make, they’re tasty served in a million different ways, and you can use whatever veg you have on hand!
I love using my slow cooker as it requires minimum effort (like, practically zero), to produce healthy, hearty food that I’m genuinely excited about eating. These cheesy slow cooker lentils are the perfect example – chuck it all in the pot, and a few hours later you’ll come back to an awesome meal. What could be better?!
No effort slow cooker meal
These slow cooker lentils really are about as close as you can get to a zero effort meal.
Dump everything in the Crock-Pot.
Wait a while.
Stir in some cheese, if you like.
I never do slow cooker meals that require any amount of pre-cooking, as it totally defeats the point for me. I want my dinner to cook itself while I work, exercise, or play with my kids (or, let’s be honest, just sit and watch TV), I don’t want to have to do loads of prep beforehand. So all my slow cooker recipes really are dump-and-go.
Slow cooker lentils
All you need to make these cheesy slow cooker lentils is:
- dried green lentils
- various vegetables (I used mushrooms and peppers, but see below for more ideas!)
- chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock, to make the lentils nice and saucy
- grated cheese
That’s all there is to it. No weird ingredients, nothing you’ll struggle to find – just simple ingredients that you can throw straight in the slow cooker.
After a few hours, the lentils will be soft, the vegetables will have cooked down into the sauce, and the mixture will be rich and full of flavour.
I like to stir a bit of grated cheese through the saucy lentils before serving. The heat from the lentils will melt the cheese completely, making the sauce nice and creamy, and adding lots of flavour. You can skip the cheese if you’d prefer, but you might want to add some extra herbs or spices to make sure it’s still tasty.
What vegetables can I use in my slow cooker lentils?
As I said, I added mushrooms and peppers to my lentils. Just cut everything into bitesized pieces, and in it goes.
This kind of meal is great for adapting, though, so feel free to mix things up. Just make sure you stick to vegetables that are tasty after being slow cooked for a long time. I would avoid green veggies like broccoli, for example, that turn to complete mush when you overcook them.
Here are some other vegetables that would work well:
- aubergine (eggplant)
- fresh tomatoes
- potato / sweet potato
If you really want to use softer vegetables like broccoli or courgette (zucchini), just add them about an hour before you want to serve.
Can I use frozen vegetables?
The only bit of prep needed for these slow cooker lentils is a tiny bit of chopping vegetables. If you can’t even face doing that (no judgement whatsoever, I’m the same 5 days a week), you can totally use frozen sliced veggies instead.
My go-to frozen veg are peas, sweetcorn, sliced mushrooms, diced onions, and sliced peppers. I use these all the time, as they’re so so handy. Just add them to the slow cooker with the lentils and other ingredients, and you’re good to go.
Just be aware that if you’re adding a whole load of frozen stuff to your slow cooker, it will take a little longer to come to temperature, and therefore might take a bit longer to cook. Make sure everything’s thoroughly cooked and piping hot before you serve.
How to serve cheesy slow cooker lentils
This is my favourite type of recipe, because not only is it insanely easy to make and so flipping delicious, it’s also really versatile, and can be served in all sorts of ways.
Some ideas for you!
- on its own, as a stew
- spooned over rice or pasta
- scooped up with tortilla chips
- over a jacket potato
- inside flour or corn tortillas, to make lentil tacos
- as lentil soup (just add a bit more liquid when cooking!)
I served my cheesy slow cooker lentils on their own in a bowl, with a couple of slices of garlic bread for dipping. Utterly perfect.
Cheesy slow cooker lentils
- 300 g (~ 1 1/4 cups) dried green lentils
- 6 medium mushrooms, diced
- 2 bell peppers, diced (I used yellow and red)
- 400 g tin (~ 1 1/3 cups) chopped tomatoes
- 350 ml (~ 1 1/3 cups) vegetable stock
- 100 g (~ 1 cup) grated cheddar cheese
- Black pepper
- Add the first 5 ingredients (lentils through veggie stock) to the slow cooker, and mix well to combine. Cook on high for 3 1/2 hours, or until the lentils are soft.
- Add the grated cheese, and mix well until it's completely melted (you can put the lid back on for a few minutes to help it melt, if needed). Season to taste, and serve warm. I garnished mine with a little semi-dried parsley and some finely grated cheese.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/3 of the recipe.