Thrifty Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipe – Chickpea and Sweet Potato Curry

Here’s a great cheap vegan and vegetarian slow cooker recipe to try out – chickpea and sweet potato curry, to be served with naan bread, mango chutney and rice! Despite being the height of summer right now, this hearty crock pot recipe is a great all-rounder for any time of ear, uses cheap ingredients, and can be adapted to suit your own “curry heat” preferences (just switch the curry paste for a milder version, or heat it up)…plus extra veg can be thrown in to bulk it out for the family.

Following on from my declaration that I would put my second-hand (but unused) slow cooker to good use, I set about making a curry for my inaugural slow cooker dinner last Friday evening. The recipe called for six hours of slow cooking, so I needed to get it on by Friday afternoon in time for dinner – easy to do after lunch preparations and handy as I had a really busy afternoon and early evening ahead! It’s also easy to freeze into portions.

The recipe uses North American cups instead of g/oz – I thoroughly recommend in investing in these measures for those using recipes from the internet! Using Cookin’ Canuk‘s chickpea and sweet potato curry recipe as a base, I adapted a few ingredients, bulked out the veggies but used the original recipe as a starting point. I like my curries to have a kick, so I opted for Balti paste. Here is my adapted version:

Thrifty Vegan Slow Cooker Chickpea and Sweet Potato Curry


SERVES: 4-6 portions
PREP TIME: 20 – 25 minutes


  • Rapeseed/canola oil or mild & light blend of oliver oil
  • 2 medium sized onions, chopped or diced
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 2-3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 gala apple, chopped or cubed
  • 2 large tbsps Marigold vegan bouillon powder (have some hot water ready)
  • 1 medium sweet potato (around 3-4 cups)
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 3 medium floury potatoes (eg Maris Piper, Desiree, Picasso – Charlotte potatoes are also a great addition)
  • 1 x 400g can chickpeas
  • 3/4 – 1 cup Patak’s balti paste (switch up if you like a milder/hotter curry)
  • Few sprinkles of brown sugar to take the edge off the tang (or small amount of maple syrup)
  • Coconut milk (optional – I don’t use it)

Chopping sweet potato


1.In a saucepan or deep skillet pan, sweat and brown off the onions, minced ginger, minced garlic and apple in the oil for around 6-8 minutes until soft and tender. Whilst the mixture is sweating, chop up the remaining vegetables.

slow cooker chickpea and sweet potato curry
2. Sweat the garlic for half a minute or so before adding in the curry paste. Stir throughly and continuously for a few minutes, making sure none of the ingredients stick and burn!
3. Put the sweet potato and carrots at the bottom of the slow cooker – they will cook better here. Then add in your curried onion mixture and combine.
4. Add the chickpeas, potatoes, tomato passata or chopped tomatoes, sugar and vegan bouillon powder. If using tomato passata you won’t need extra water… but you may need to dissolve the powder in a little water first before adding to the passata.

chickpea and sweet potato slow cooker curry ingredients

The ingredients before adding tomato passata – I prefer to use passata instead of chopped tomatoes for a more intense flavour and thick curry ‘gravy’ sauce

5. Season with salt and cracked black pepper, and give everything a good stir and then set the slow cooker on HIGH for six hours.
6. If the curry has retained a lot of water, drain some off afterwards and pulse the mixture slightly with a hand blender to give it a dahl-like texture. If you like a creamier curry, this is the point that you can stir in a little coconut milk.
7. Serve with rice, naan and mango chutney. Add shredded spinach, steamed broccoli or crunchy steamed cabbage for extra nutritious and taste plus points!

REMEMBER: slow cookers retain ALL the water content and juices from the food that you cook, so try to keep any extra water levels to a minimum. You won’t need to stir the curry, and if you take off the lid at any point during the slow cooking you’ll need to add around 15 minutes extra cooking time to your six hours.

Slow cooker sweet potato and chickpea vegan curry


  1. I haven’t got around to making a curry in my slow cooker yet. Got to be on my to do list now. Yours looks great.

    • Thanks! I was really surprised at how well it turned out first time. I’m really into curry so I wanted a thrifty version (we’re cutting down on the takeaways) that tasted as good as the restaurants provide… this is so incredibly close! As we get closer to winter I’ll definitely try more stews and comfort foods!

  2. It sounds delicious, and I love the idea of just leaving something in a slow cooker and coming home to a cooked meal all ready.

    • It’s really nice knowing that it’s going to be ready right when you’d have to fart around making dinner. We still had to cook the rice but that was no bother really… plus as I mentioned to someone else, it also makes the house smell lovely and really homely – definitely a bonus! I bet it’ll be even better in the winter!


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