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Slow Cooker Vegan Savoury Mince

A simple recipe for vegan savoury mince in a rich gravy cooked in a slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Vegan Savoury Mince

Slow Cooker Vegan Savoury Mince

I use my slow cooker a lot more in the winter. 

I'm afraid it's rather neglected in the summer, but it's been getting a good workout these last few months.

My latest recipe is a gorgeous vegan savoury mince made in the slow cooker. 

Meat-free mince, onions, carrots and mushrooms all slow cooked in a heavenly rich gravy and served with creamy mashed potatoes and peas.

What is savoury mince?

Savoury mince is mince cooked in stock or gravy with vegetables. 

The vegetables are secondary in this dish. 

If you add more vegetables than mince, it becomes a stew.

Savoury mince can be cooked on the cooker top in a pot, if you don't have a lot of time (or a slow cooker) or it can have a long cook in a slow cooker.

What is meat-free mince made from?

Meat-free mince is made from soya protein which is also called TVP, an abbreviation for textured vegetable protein.

It's usually lightly seasoned and is available frozen, chilled or dried.

All three types are high in protein and all need a lot of other flavours added to it for best results.

Frozen meat-free mince

Most supermarkets sell an own-brand meat-free mince in their freezer section. 

It's a good ingredient to keep in your freezer to make savoury mince, chilli, bolognese and sloppy joes

It's inexpensive, has a long freezer life and is easy to add straight into dishes cooking on the hob or in a slow cooker

Chilled meat-free mince

Chilled meat-free mince is a relatively new product which can be found in most big supermarkets.

It can be added straight into dishes just like frozen soya mince, but it's more expensive and sold in smaller quantities. 

It also has a shorter use-by date.

Dried meat-free mince

Meat-free mince was originally sold dried and called dried soya mince or dried TVP mince

It has always been sold in health food shops. 

Dried soya mince has a much longer shelf-life than the other types, but isn't usually seasoned and needs more flavours added to it.

It also requires more liquid to bulk it out from dried into a mince.

Slow Cooker Vegan Savoury Mince Served with Mash and Peas on a white plate

Should meat-free mince be browned before it's added to a slow cooker?

Most recipes say you should brown mince before adding to a slow cooker, but meat-free mince doesn't need to be browned first. 

It can be added straight in with the other ingredients and stock or gravy. 

It will absorb all the other flavours while cooking.

Can you put frozen meat-free mince in the slow cooker?

Frozen meat-free mince can be added straight to the slow cooker. 

There is no need to defrost it first.

You can also add frozen meat-free mince straight to the pot when cooking on the hob.

Which vegetables are added to savoury mince?

The vegetables added to savoury mince varies from recipe to recipe, but the basic vegetables added are onions and carrots, but mushrooms are popular too.

Some people also add sweetcorn or peas to savoury mince.

For more Scottish recipes have a look at my recipe index of Scottish Recipes for Vegans and Vegetarians

Slow Cooker Vegan Savoury Mince on a plate with mash and peas

Should stock or gravy be added to mince?

Savoury mince can be made with vegetable stock or a vegetable-based gravy. 

If you're adding vegetable stock, it's a good idea to toss the mince and vegetables in some flour to help thicken it into a gravy.

Gravy often has more flavour and can have a thicker consistency, depending on the quantity of gravy granules added.

I like to use Bisto onion Gravy Granules in savoury mince and served in a gravy boat with dishes like my mushroom and lentil wellington or my veggie haggis and red lentil nut loaf.

Can you freeze savoury mince?

Once savoury mince has been cooked and cooled, it can be frozen in portions in freezer bags or any sealed freezer-proof container.

It can be kept for a few months in the freezer or a few days in a sealed container in the fridge.

To serve, defrost in the fridge overnight for use the next day and then heat in a pot or in the microwave

10 ways to serve leftover mince

Here are a few suggestions of how you can use up any leftover savoury mince.

  1. Mash - served with creamy mashed potatoes (or Scottish clapshot) and peas
  2. Shepherds Pie - baked in a casserole dish and topped with mashed potato
  3. Baked Potato - poured over a baked potato
  4. Sloppy Joes -served as sloppy joes on a soft roll (bap, bread roll, bun)
  5. Pie - cooked in a casserole dish topped with puff pastry until the pastry is crisp and golden
  6. Mini Pies - baked into small shortcrust pastry pies, made in a muffin tray
  7. Lasagne -mix tomato puree into the mince and layer between sheets of lasagne, then top with vegan cheese or white sauce and vegan mozzarella
  8. Gnocchi - as an alternative to potatoes, serve savoury mince with gnocchi
  9. Bread - served simply with buttered crusty bread
  10. Tacos - Fill taco shells with savoury mince,  vegan sour cream (or creme fraiche, shredded iceberg lettuce, slices of tomato and avocado 

Close up of Slow Cooker Vegan Savoury Mince served with mash and peas

Easy slow cooker recipes

If you're looking for more easy slow cooker recipes, check out my easy vegetarian and vegan slow cooker recipes, including soups, stews, pasta and vegetables cooked in a slow cooker or crockpot.

Also check out Baking Queen 74. She isn't vegan, but she does have quite a few recipes that are suitable for vegans or easily tweaked.

Slow cooker tips

Here are some general tips for making the best slow cooker meals.

  1. The general rule when converting a recipe to a slow cooker recipe is to reduce the recipe by a third.
  2. Don't worry about cooking onions and garlic first, just chop them and throw them in with the other ingredients.
  3. Prepare your ingredients the night before in the fridge, then in the morning fill your slow cooker and set to low for 8 hours, so dinner will be ready when you get home in the evening.
  4. Sauces don't reduce in a slow cooker, so to thicken them add a little flour to coat the ingredients before adding the liquid.
  5. The cooking time on high is half the time of cooking at low. So if you high cook for 3 hours, you low cook for 6 hours.
  6. When using herbs in the slow cooker, add dried herbs at the beginning of the cook or fresh herbs right at the end.

Slow cooker mistakes

It's easy for things to not quite go as planned when you're cooking in a slow cooker, if you don't have a lot of experience.

Here are a few things to look out for.
  1. Only fill a slow cooker pot between half and three quarters.
  2. Don't allow food to cool in the slow cooker as it retains heat and cools slowly which can lead to bacteria growing. Remove contents from the pot to cool and then chill or freeze.
  3. Don't add too much liquid to your dish. The liquid won't evaporate in the slow cooker like it does in a pot.
  4. Add wine sparingly, the alcohol won't burn off the same way as it does in a pot on the stove and it can be an overwhelming flavour.
  5. Don't keep lifting the lid, in fact try not to lift it at all. Each time you do liquid from the lid pours into the dish making it watery and you reduce the temperature in the slow cooker. LEAVE IT ALONE!

What is the difference between cooking high or low in the slow cooker?

When you cook in a slow cooker on high the temperature is double than that of a slow cook on low, so you double the time for a low, long cook.

A dish cooked for 4 hours on high should be cooked for 8 hours on low.

Is it safe to leave the slow cooker on all day?

Yes, if you follow the instructions that come with the slow cooker, it is safe to leave on all day. 

Make sure it is on a flat, stable, heat-proof surface; make sure the lid is on securely; cook on low and make sure you have the correct amount of liquid in the slow cooker.

How To Make Slow Cooker Vegan Savoury Mince


Slow Cooker Vegan Savoury Mince - Step 1 - Veggie Mince in the pan

Step 1 - Veggie Mince

Add the veggie mince to the slow cooker pan. There is no need to defrost it or prepare it in anyway, just pour it in.

Slow Cooker Vegan Savoury Mince - Step 2 - Onions in the pan

Step 2 - Onions

Next add the sliced onions. You can saute them first if you have time, or just throw them in like I have.

Slow Cooker Vegan Savoury Mince - Step 3 - Garlic and Herbs added to the pan

Step 3 - Garlic and Herbs

Now it's time to add in the crushed or finely chopped garlic and dried herbs. Never add fresh herbs to a slow cooker dish unless you are adding them at the end. The will go brown and wet and won't give you the flavour you are looking for.

Slow Cooker Vegan Savoury Mince - Step 4 - Carrots added to the pan

Step 4 - Carrots

Now add diced carrots to the dish. They add a bot more texture and interest to the savoury mince.

Slow Cooker Vegan Savoury Mince - Step 5 - Mushrooms added to the pan

Step 5 - Mushrooms

Next add the chopped mushrooms, which will add more flavour to the dish.

Slow Cooker Vegan Savoury Mince - Step 6 - Sauce and Seasoning added to the pan

Step 6 - Sauce & Season

Add the tomato puree, brown sauce or BBQ sauce (yes I forgot to photograph it), salt and pepper.

Slow Cooker Vegan Savoury Mince - Step 7 - Gravy added to the pan

Step 7 - Gravy

Add the gravy and mixed everything together well.

Slow Cooker Vegan Savoury Mince - Step 8 - Slow Cook Then Serve

Step 8 - Serve

Once the mince is cooked, give it a good stir. If you think there is too much liquid, you can add some more gravy granules. Sprinkle them over and stir well into the mince.

Serve with mashed potatoes (in Scotland we call this mince and tatties) and peas.

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Slow Cooker Vegan Savoury Mince. A hearty winter slow cooker stew, cooked slowly in acrockpot for a popular family meal. This easy recipe can be made the night before and put on in the morning before work, so dinner is ready for you when you get home. #veganslowcooker #slowcookermince #slowcookrstew #crockpotstew #vegancrockpot #mince #savourymince #veganmince #veganstew

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Slow Cooker, Vegan
Yield: 4-6

Slow Cooker Vegan Savoury Mince

Slow Cooker Vegan Savoury Mince

A simple recipe for vegan savoury mince in a rich gravy cooked in a slow cooker.
prep time: 12 Mcook time: 8 hourtotal time: 8 H & 12 M


  • 454g/ 16 oz frozen meat-free mince
  • 2 onions, halved and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 5 medium chestnut mushrooms, diced
  • 700 ml/3 cups onion gravy (made with 4 tbsp onion gravy granules & 1 vegetable stock cube)
  • 4 tbsp brown sauce (or BBQ sauce)
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper


How to cook Slow Cooker Vegan Savoury Mince

  1. Add all the ingredients to your slow cooker pan and stir well.
  2. Set to low and cook for 8 hours.
  3. Serve with mashed potatoes and peas or other green vegetables.
  4. Enjoy!


Don't keep opening the lid of the slow cooker to check or stir, you will let in water from the lid and reduce the temperature each time.
If there is too much liquid, you can add more gravy granules at the end, just sprinkling some over and mix in well for a couple of minutes.
Once savoury mince has been cooked and cooled, it can be frozen in portions in freezer bags or any sealed freezer-proof container for 3-4 months.
Keep leftovers chilled in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Never leave to cool in the slow cooker as bacteria can grow in the warm environment. Remove leftovers to a bowl to cool a little before chilling in the fridge.
Fat (grams)
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Created using The Recipes Generator


  1. I love this and how easy it is! I love slow cooker meals, and being able to throw everything in and forget about it during the day!

    1. Yes it's a great way of cooking, so easy and great results.

  2. This sounds good! My sister wants to go vegan so will be sending her this recipe!

    1. I hope she enjoys it. Do send her my vegan slow cooker stovies too, they are really good.

  3. Such a hearty delicious meal! The gravy sounds perfect!

  4. I love slow cooker recipes. This one is so flavorful and will be a hit with my family.

    1. I hope you all enjoy it. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

  5. I love finding out about new products such as mince! I can think of all kinds of recipes to use it in starting with this!

    1. Hi Beth, yes once you've made this you could use it in lots of ways like making shepherds pie.

  6. I like the sound of these - I think my mum used to make a similar dish with meat when I was a kid - and I like that it would be a great way to use up leftover gravy - I always make too much gravy! I might give them a try like I did with your stovies which had home made vegan mince and no slow cooker!

    1. Yes my mum made it when I was wee too, although I already didn't like meat, so she would just give me the mash, vegetables and gravy.


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