Fall is the time for warm, hearty meals—and what better way to prepare them than by using your slow cooker? Simmer these fall-ingredient (think pumpkins, apples and squash) slow cooker recipes in your pot, and you’ll stay warm into the winter.
4-5 cooking apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter, softened
Lightly butter the Crock-Pot and lay the apple slices at the bottom of the pot. Combine the sugar, flour, rolled oats, nutmeg and cinnamon, and cut in the butter. Sprinkle the topping over the base of apples. Cook on low or auto for 3-5 hours.
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas, rinsed
1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into large pieces
1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves and stems separated and roughly chopped
1 piece Parmesan cheese rind, plus grated Parmesan for topping (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Crusty bread and/or lemon wedges, for serving
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and red pepper flakes and cook 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 cup water, scraping up any browned bits. Transfer the contents of the skillet to a 6-quart slow cooker.
Add the chickpeas, squash, chard stems (not the leaves), the Parmesan rind, if using, 2 teaspoons salt and 7 cups water to the slow cooker. Stir, then cover and cook on low, 8 hours.
Just before serving, lift the lid and stir in the chard leaves; cover and continue cooking 10 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and stir to slightly break up the squash. Discard the Parmesan rind, if used. Ladle the stew into bowls; top with the grated Parmesan, if desired, and serve with bread and/or lemon wedges.
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 15.25-ounce can black beans
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Few drops hot sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium saute pan, brown the ground beef. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook until the onions are translucent.
In a medium slow cooker, combine the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, pumpkin, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and hot sauce. Stir to combine. Add in the cooked beef and stir. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Serve with your favorite chili toppings, such as cheese, sour cream or tortilla strips.
And to try more traditional recipes, take a stab at these:
Slow Cooker Pot Roast
2-3 cups baby carrots (not sliced)
3-4 ribs of celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
One 3- to 5-pound pot roast
Salt and pepper
Flour for dusting
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
8-oz. package fresh mushrooms, sliced thick
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste or ketchup
2 1/2 cups chicken, beef or vegetable broth
Place baby carrots and celery slices in the slow cooker.
Season roast with salt and pepper and lightly coat with flour. In a large stainless steel frying pan, heat vegetable oil until hot. (Try not to use a nonstick pan as you want a good browning on the roast).
Brown the roast on all sides until evenly browned. Place roast on top of carrots and celery in slow cooker.
In same frying pan, melt the butter and add the onions, sauteing for several minutes. Add the garlic and cook briefly, but don't let it brown. Add mushrooms, flour, tomato paste or ketchup, and broth and cook, stirring up any browned bits left from the roast. Stir well for a few minutes then carefully pour this mixture on top of the roast in the slow cooker.
Cover and cook on high for 6 hours. After about 3 hours, you can turn the roast over if you desire (and are at home to do so) but it's not necessary.
When 6 hours is over, remove the roast and place on a rimmed cutting board. With the cover off the slow cooker, keep the temperature on high and stir the sauce, letting it thicken slightly. If desired, stir together one teaspoon each of butter and flour and add to sauce if it needs thickening.
To serve, slice pot roast into chucks and place on top of mashed potatoes or cooked egg noodles with the vegetables and gravy.
Slow Cooker French Onion Soup
4 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons flour
8 ounces of beer
64 ounces of low-sodium beef stock
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Gruyere cheese, sliced
Set your crock pot on high, then add onions, garlic, brown sugar, butter, salt and balsamic vinegar and mix until combined.
Cover and let cook for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are a bit caramely and brown on the edges.
Add in flour, then stir thoroughly and let sit for 5 minutes.
Add in beer, beef stock, thyme, and pepper, then turn heat down to low, cover and cook for 6-8 hours.
Cut french bread into slices.
Fill soup bowls to the top, then cover with slice of bread and a slice of cheese.
Set under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
Adapted from Tyler Florence's recipe
2 pounds ground beef
2 16-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes, drained
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
2 onions, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
First, you want to heat a large skillet on medium-high heat and stir in the ground beef. Cook and stir for about seven minutes until the beef is evenly browned and no longer pink and crumbly. Drain and discard any excess grease in the pan.
Combine the ground beef, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, onions, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 10 hours, or high heat for about four hours.
Once it’s cooked, garnish each serving with cheddar cheese and enjoy!
What is your favorite fall recipe? Tell us in comments.