A hearty Vegan White Bean Stew, Slow Cooker Vegetable Cassoulet is packed with flavour and topped with a crunchy breadcrumb topping.
Haricot and flageolet beans are slow cooked with butternut squash, veggies, bay, sage and thyme. All served with a crunchy breadcrumb topping.
You can of course serve veggie sausages or meat sausages with the cassoulet if you wish. But for us, we love it just as it comes from the slow cooker pot.
A bean stew here at the Kitchen Shed is always popular. Whilst Guernsey Bean Jar is a firm favourite, I wanted to try an equally tasty meat free version.
What Is A Cassoulet ?
This is my healthy take on the classic French dish. Just like Bean Jar, cassoulet is primarily a casserole or bean stew which includes a relatively small amount of, usually, cheaper meat.
Originating in the south of France, the meat content of contemporary regional recipes includes ham hock, sausage or confit duck.
A typical humble peasant dish, beans form the bulk of these recipes. And because slowly cooked beans absorb flavours of other ingredients, you can make a meat free cassoulet.
My version ditches the meat. Beans themselves are protein heavy, full of fibre and iron. In addition, beans are good for your levels of cholesterol and blood sugars.
I’ve used butternut squash from the Kitchen Shed pantry as last year’s harvest kept really well. I’ve also used a selection of vegetables: parsnips, celery, carrots, onions and leeks.
By way of a change, I decided to use cider instead of wine and found it worked really well. Bay, sage and thyme infused with the cider to then flavour the slow cooked haricot and flageolet beans.
The optional crunchy topping of breadcrumbs tossed in olive oil, garlic and freshly chopped parsley is definitely a worthwhile finish.
The cassoulet itself can be left to cook all day while you go out and about. On your return, you’ll be greeted by a wonderful aroma and an amazing, delicious one pot meal ready to go.
Slow Cooker Vegetable Cassoulet is a really versatile and extremely tasty vegan bean stew for the whole family. It’s so delicious you don’t even notice it’s meat free.
What Ingredients Do I Need ?
For the stew:
Basic vegetables – a couple of onions, garlic and 450 grams of chopped vegetables. Slow Cooker Vegetable Cassoulet is ideal for using leftover vegetables you may have around in your kitchen. I used celery, parsnip, carrots and leeks.
Butternut squash – adds colour and sweetness as well as being full of fibre, potassium and anti-oxidants.
Haricot beans/navy beans – adds a creaminess to the stew. If you don’t have haricots, use cannellini or butter beans instead.
Flageleot beans – typically used in French casseroles. A more delicate flavour because they are young haricot beans. Flageleot beans can be harder to find but substituting them with haricot or cannellini beans works well.
Tomatoes – a can of good quality chopped Italian tomatoes.
Cider or wine – I used a dry cider. If you prefer to cook without alcohol just substitute more vegetable stock.
Vegetable stock – I used Marigold.
Herbs and seasoning – I used fresh sage, bay and thyme.
For the Crunchy Crumb Topping:
You will need fresh breadcrumbs, garlic, fresh parsley and olive oil for the crispy breadcrumb.
How To Make Slow Cooker Vegetable Cassoulet – Vegan Bean Stew
This hearty stew is easy to make with just 15 minutes tops of prep time. After that, you can leave the slow cooker to do all the work for you.
- Soften onions in a little oil in a large frying pan before adding them to the slow cooker.
- Use the same large pan to gently fry the butternut squash, diced vegetables and garlic for about 5 minutes. Once fried, add them to your slow cooker pot.
- Lastly, add the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker. Leave to cook for four hours on high or eight hours on low.
How To Make The Herb And Garlic Breadcrumb Topping
Toss your breadcrumbs with garlic, parsley and olive oil and then place on a baking tray.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Check halfway through cooking time, moving the breadcrumbs about to prevent burning.
How To Serve
Served with the crunchy garlic and parsley breadcrumb topping your cassoulet is a complete meal.
For a change and a treat, why not try Garlic and Herb Twister Bread ?
Can Slow Cooker Vegetable Cassoulet Be Reheated ?
Yes, Vegan Bean Stew can be made ahead, cooled and stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. Store the breadcrumb topping in a separate container and refrigerate.
Reheat cassoulet in a pan on the stovetop over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. It tastes absolutely delicious after being reheated. Pop the breadcrumb topping on a tray and reheat for 10 minutes in the oven.
Can I Freeze It ?
You can freeze Slow Cooker Vegetable Casserole for up to three months in an airtight container. The optional garlic and parsley crunchy topping can be frozen separately.
Slow Cooker Vegetable Cassoulet – Vegan Bean Stew
- A 4 to 6 person slow cooker – I used a 4.7 litre Crockpot
- 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
- 2 onions – roughly chopped
- 450 g chopped vegetables of your choice I used celery, parsnip, carrots and leeks
- 450 g diced butternut squash
- 2 garlic cloves – crushed
- 400 grams haricot beans – rinsed and drained
- 400 grams flageolet beans – rinsed and drained
- 400 grams chopped Italian tomatoes
- 250 ml cider or wine
- 125 ml vegetable stock
- 2 large sage leaves – chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 85 g fresh breadcrumbs
- 2 garlic cloves – crushed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
- Spray or lightly grease your slow cooker pot.
- In a large frying pan, saute your onions in oil for about 10 minutes until soft and transfer to your slow cooker pot.
- Use your pan again to gently fry the butternut squash, diced vegetables and garlic for about 5 minutes before transferring them to your slow cooker pot.
- Add beans, tomatoes, cider, vegetable stock and herbs to your slow cooker pot and stir well.
- Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve sprinkled with the crunchy breadcrumb topping if using.
Optional: Make your topping
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C / Gas Mark 4
- Toss your breadcrumbs with garlic, parsley and olive oil and place on a baking tray.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, checking halfway through cooking time and move the breadcrumbs about to prevent burning.
- Slow Cooker Vegetable & Cider Cassoulet freezes well. The optional garlic and parsley crunchy topping can be frozen separately.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
Pin For Later
I’m entering Slow Cooker Vegetable Cassoulet into a few challenges this month:
- Farmersgirl Kitchen & Baking Queen74’s Slow Cooked Challenge hosted by Janice over at Farmersgirl Kitchen.
- Credit Crunch Munch created by Camilla from Fab Food 4 All & Helen over at Fuss Free Flavours & hosted this month by Camilla.
- The Extra Veg Challenge created by Michelle from Utterly Scrummy & Helen from Fuss Free Flavours & hosted this month by Helen.
- Corina’s blog challenge Cook Once Eat Twice over at Searching For Spice.
- Charlotte’s Food Year Link Up Challenge over at Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen.
And linking to: Fiesta Fridays