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27 Unmissable Slow Cooker Recipes For This Fall

27 Unmissable Slow Cooker Recipes For This Fall

I recently got my first slow cooker, and it has changed my life. I grew up with a busy working mom who would throw random food into a Crock Pot in the morning, and then we’d get home for dinner and bam! A delicious meal! In college, I had nowhere to put a slow cooker and no money to buy one. After I moved to NYC, I turned to ordering delivery, with just the occasional cooking night in. Now that I am an actual real-life adult, it was finally time to get a slow cooker and make magical dinners very, very slowly.

There are a lot of different slow cookers on the market, and they all work similarly. According to Wikipedia: A slow cooker maintains a low temperature (low in comparison to baking, boiling, or frying) and simmers food, which allows for unattended cooking over several hours. The heating element heats the contents to a steady temperature in the 79–93°C (174–199°F) range. The contents are enclosed by the crock and the lid, and attain an essentially constant temperature. The vapor that is produced at this temperature condenses on the bottom of the lid and returns as liquid. Some water-soluble vitamins are leached into the liquid.

I have a new slow cooker, so it has a digital timer, a stirring arm, a warming setting, and a remote. But it works the exact same way my mom’s old Crock Pot from the ’70s works, and just as well! Fun fact: Crock Pot is actually a brand name, slow cooker is what it is. All Crock Pots are slow cookers, not all slow cookers are Crock Pots. In 1940, Irving Naxon patented his cooking device, the Naxon Beanery, inspired by stories of cholent from his Jewish grandma. In 1970, The Rival Company bought Naxon and rebranded the device as Crock Pot in 1971.

Now that fall has officially and decidedly arrived (brr!), it is time to break out those hot, stew-y, comfort food fall favorites. Many of these can be pre-prepared. Chop up the ingredients, portion them into freezer bags, and freeze. Pull out a large portion and throw it into the pot in the morning before work, and come home to a house smelling of dinner! I like to make a big slow cooker meal on Sundays, and it is actually three full meals for my fiance and I!

On to the foods of fall:

Chilis:

There are a lot of chili recipes out there, and here are a couple really good versions of fall’s favorite dish. One of the things I like about chili is that you can make it a bit healthier using ground turkey instead of beef. Because of the simmering and how many ingredients and seasonings there are, most people seem to agree that you can’t taste the difference! Also great about chili is that you can really up your seasonings and spice levels! Any of these chili recipes would be great on these Chili-Cheese Nachos by Chowhound, and make a great party food, appetizer, or gooey snack.

1. Easy Slow Cooker Chili by BettyCrocker.com.

This recipe is super simple, and doesn’t ask you to cook the meat or onions in a skillet before putting it into the slow cooker!

Chili1

    2. Laura’s Quick Slow Cooker Turkey Chili, courtesy of Allrecipes.com.

    This one looks great, has excellent reviews from home cooks everywhere, and is a healthier option at only 276 calories per portion!

    chili2

      3. Spicy Crock Pot Chili by DadWithAPan.com.

      This one has jalapenos and this dad says it is a hit at all potlucks. He does cook the meat prior to putting it in the slow cooker, so it takes a bit longer to make than when you don’t precook your meat. You can also change the meat type, or spice it up or down to your tastes!

      chili3

        4. Vegetarian White Bean Chili With Poblanos by Potluck.OhMyVeggies.com.

        For the veggies out there!

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        chili4

          5. To go with your chili: Slow Cooker Cornbread! Cornbread In A Slow Cooker from 365daysofcrockpot.com.

          How amazing is it that you can make cornbread in your slow cooker? One-pot meals are really stepping it up!

          cornbread

            Soups:

            Soups are the epitome of a cold night. Imagine: hot soup with some crusty bread for dipping, while you get curled up, possibly near a fire. I love soup! Let’s see some great soups you can make in a slow cooker!

            6. Cheesy Potato Soup from BettyCrocker.com.

            This has a short prep time, is creamy and delicious, and is garnished with bacon! Life is great.

            soup1

              7. Easy Crock Pot Taco Soup by TheFrugalGirls.com.

              This website is great for quick and easy recipes, especially in a slow cooker! This is like the above chili, but with a taco kick! I love the garnishing with tortilla chips, too. And if you like that, they also have a similar-but-different Chicken Tortilla Soup.

              Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 7.19.17 PM

                8. Crock Pot Clam Chowder also by TheFrugalGirls.com.

                I never once tried clam chowder while living in Florida, but since moving to NYC, this has become one of my all-time favorite soups. I cannot wait to make this now that it’s cold out!

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                  9. Thai Curried Butternut Squash Soup by GarnishWithLemon.com.

                  Nothing says fall like butternut squash! Look at this creamy concoction!

                  soup4

                    Side dishes:

                    10. Comforting Cheesy Potatoes by JuliesEatsandTreats.com.

                    These look so amazing and would be perfect with a comforting meatloaf or turkey meal!

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                    sides1

                      11. Slow Cooker Pizza Pasta by AndreaDekker.com.

                      Here is a really interesting take on pasta! This is cheesy and amazing and has the zing of pepperoni!

                      sides2

                        12. Buffalo Chicken Tater Tot Casserole by CrockpotGourmet.net.

                        This photo is convincing enough on its own:

                        sides3

                          13. Bourbon Maple Baked Beans by AverieCooks.com.

                          If you like baked beans, this is a to-die-for version with a tangy kick, and it includes bourbon and barbecue sauce!

                          sides4

                            Meat dishes:

                            14. Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan by Fullbellies.blogspot.com.

                            This is a fantastic chicken recipe that is different from your standard baked chicken or fried chicken! This is a hearty comfort food meal that I can’t wait to make!

                            meat1

                              15. Meatloaf by WellnessMama.com.

                              Meatloaf is a great comfort food, and you should use this simple slow cooker meatloaf recipe as a perfect base, and add your own zing and spice to it to fit your tastes!

                              meat2

                                16. Brisket in Onion-Ale BBQ Sauce by MidwestLiving.com.

                                Like meatloaf, brisket is a soothing, tasty comfort food with tender meat and thick sauce for sopping up. And this onion-ale BBQ sauce is a winner!

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                                meat5

                                  17. Chicken & Shrimp Jambalaya by MidwestLiving.com.

                                  At only 238 calories per serving, this Cajun spiced recipe is full of flavor and healthy too!

                                  meat3

                                    18. Pulled Pork by FearlessHomemaker.com.

                                    Pulled pork sandwiches are perfect for game time or dinner time. And slow cooker pulled pork is so tender that you barely need to chew!

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                                      19. Turkey Breast With Cranberry Sauce by TheCreativeBite.com.

                                      What says fall more than Thanksgiving? Get the taste of Thanksgiving anytime with this turkey and cranberry recipe!

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                                        Stews:

                                        Stews are the perfect autumn slow cooker meal. You can set it and forget it, and come home to a hot soupy stew with great fall vegetables, perfect potatoes, and melt-like-butter meats.

                                        20. Classic Beef Stew by RealSimple.com.

                                        A great stew warms you up and is filling, full of chunky vegetables and hunks of meat, smothered in a sauce you can’t live without. Make this more fall-specific by adding sweet potato chunks or butternut squash!

                                        stew1

                                          21. Chicken & Cornbread Dumplings by MyRecipes.com.

                                          This amazing meal is not a soup, not a classic meat dish, and more than a stew, but this is just so great that I had to share!

                                          stew2

                                            22. Harvest Pork Stew from AllRecipes.com.

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                                            Adding apples to this stew, with the butternut squash and more, makes it perfect for fall, and the apples give it the exact needed amount of sweetness for this still-savory dish!

                                            stew3

                                              23. Spicy Chicken Stew by MyRecipes.com.

                                              Kick it up with chili powder and salsa in a very cool chicken stew!

                                              stew4

                                                Desserts:

                                                24. Crock Pot Monkey Bread by blogs.babycenter.com.

                                                We all know monkey bread is made in a bundt cake pan in the oven, and now we can make it in the slow cooker? Yes, please!

                                                dessert1

                                                  25. Triple Chocolate Brownies from MarthaStewart.com.

                                                  Mmmmm, brownies. Warm brownies on a cold night, maybe with some vanilla ice cream? Heaven!

                                                  dessert2

                                                    26. Double Apple Cake from MyRecipes.com.

                                                    Apples and spiced cider define fall for me, and cider would pair perfectly with this amazing cake! It’s also a quick recipe, taking less than 1.5 hours!

                                                    dessert3

                                                      27. Cardamom Rice Pudding with Fresh Peaches by CookingLight.com.

                                                      This is a no-stir rice pudding, and would be yummy with fresh peaches of course, but also spiced apples, fresh berries, some maple and brown sugar… the possibilities are endless!

                                                      dessert4

                                                        I hope this inspires you to curl up in some comfy pajamas by a roaring fire on a cold night, and to break out that slow cooker for fall!

                                                        Featured photo credit: jeffreyw via flickr.com

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                                                        Last Updated on September 18, 2020

                                                        7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                                                        7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                                                        Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

                                                        Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

                                                        1. Exercise Daily

                                                        It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

                                                        If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

                                                        Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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                                                        If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

                                                        2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

                                                        Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

                                                        One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

                                                        This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

                                                        3. Acknowledge Your Limits

                                                        Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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                                                        Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

                                                        Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

                                                        4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

                                                        Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

                                                        The basic nutritional advice includes:

                                                        • Eat unprocessed foods
                                                        • Eat more veggies
                                                        • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
                                                        • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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                                                        Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

                                                          5. Watch Out for Travel

                                                          Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

                                                          This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

                                                          If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

                                                          6. Start Slow

                                                          Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

                                                          If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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                                                          7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

                                                          Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

                                                          My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

                                                          If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

                                                          I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

                                                          Final Thoughts

                                                          Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

                                                          Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

                                                          More Tips on Getting in Shape

                                                          Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

                                                          Reference

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