Slow Cooker Dhansak- Meat Free

One of the things I have been trying to do is cut down on meat.  For no reason other than to get eating more veg and try out new recipes. This is a recipe I found and adapted so I could make it in the slow cooker! It can be made using just a few ingredients, many of which are often lying in your around in your cupboards and freezer so is great as something to throw together when the fridge is looking a bit bare!

Dhansak is an Indian dish based on vegetables and lentils.


  • 1/2 butternut squash
  • Spinach- fresh or frozen
  • 1 onion
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 can of lentils
  • Curry paste- I use the Pataks tikka pots for ease


Start by cutting your onto into thin slices and frying until brown. You can fry in vegetable oil but I like to use fry light.


Whilst they are growing get the rest of your cupboard ingredients ready. I use Pataks paste pots as they are so easy and tasty- in this instance it was Tikka Masala but I just throw in what ever pot I have in the cupboard.

Once they have started to brown add the paste to the onions and cook for a couple of minutes to get the spices going and the onions are all mixed in.

Next cut your butternut squash into chunks and get your spinach ready. I use frozen spinach as we never eat it before it goes out fo date. I do also use ready frozen butternut squash chunks sometimes and that works just as well.

Once cut up just put everything in the slow cooker- your onion and spice mix, butternut squash chunks, spinach, whole can of lentils (make sure you drain them first), can of chopped tomatoes and can of coconut milk.

Next put the lid on and leave on high for the day, mine was on from 8am until 6pm at night. I served with naan bread- and it was delicious! My husband works outside on the farm all day so he is not shy in letting me know if something isn’t tasty or filling and even with no meat he gives this a thumbs up!

You can also easily adapt this recipe by adding a variety of different vegetables if you have any lying about, it makes a really tasty and easy supper that of course is great for Meat Free Mondays!


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