The cool, crisp breeze of fall is right around the corner, which means it’s time to hunt down that Crock-Pot that’s hiding in the back of your kitchen cabinet. Nothing spells autumn like a tender, slow-cooked meal that fills your home with the aroma of deliciousness.
It’s fair to say that pumpkin spice lattes and candles, along with going apple picking in your adorable new sweater, are at the top of the list when it comes to capturing the mood of fall. For us, though, it’s all about the food!
If you’re fortunate enough to experience all four seasons each year where you live, then you know why we’re so excited.
Slow cookers are the ultimate meal transforming tool to have in your kitchen. Not to mention, they fill your home with the best aromas. Your neighbors will be seriously jealous if they catch a whiff.
Here are five reasons we love our slow cooker:
- Dump-and-go: The name is super catchy, but we know it doesn’t sound quite enticing at first. However, once you make a dump recipe, you’ll understand why it’s so exciting. The slow cooker literally allows you to dump in ingredients, press a button, and walk away. A few hours later, you have a delicious meal ready to eat.
- You save money: Another advantage of the slow cooker is its ability to make delicious meals at a small price. Because it slow cooks your food, you won’t need any expensive cuts of meat. Find the cheapest cuts of beef and pork when they go on sale, and it’ll taste amazing after hours of low-and-slow.
- You save time: As if saving money isn’t enough of a motivator, you’ll love saving time, too. Aside from a little prep work and button pressing, you’ll have a meal made with minimal effort or dishes to wash.
- It opens up space on your stovetop: Slow cookers are really special around the holidays when your oven is on all day and full of casseroles and roasts. That’s where your crockpot comes in. You can cook an entire meal or a side dish without worrying about timing things with one oven.
- It’s convenient for busy bees: Whether you have errands to run, are working from home, or tending to the kiddos, slow cookers spend the afternoon working in the kitchen so you won’t have to.
With the busy new school year starting, you’ll love turning to your trusty steed of a workhorse for those magically tender meals that fill your home with wondrous aromas.
If your slow cooker is decades old and on its last leg—or if you just don’t own one yet (gasp!)—we recommend the six-quart slow cooker by Crock-Pot. It’s standard, easy to use, and gets the job done like a pro. You can choose between black or red.
Then, scroll on down to our recipes to discover some new favorite recipes because slow-cooking season is almost here.
If you’ve yet to invest in an Instant Pot, the time is now! From its stellar cooking times to extreme versatility, this kitchen appliance is a real game changer for all home cooks.
Cook rice, steam veggies, make yogurt, and, yes, slow cook all of your favorite fall classics with this ingenious culinary appliance. The quick one-touch programs and easy clean-up make mealtime a breeze.
If you already have a slow cooker or Instant Pot, there’s no surprise there, but don’t forget they both make a fantastic gift. Be sure to wrap one up for any new homeowners, college students, or newlyweds in your life.
Now, let’s delve into our favorite subject: Yummy dishes you can make in your slow cooker this fall!
We’ve all experienced the delicious duo of sweet and savory tasting meals, and this apple cinnamon pork chop recipe is a fine example. Pork chops are famously paired with apples, and for a good reason—the two work in tandem to create a mouthwatering experience for your tastebuds.
The recipe doesn’t require browning the chops, but for a proper Maillard reaction to work, you’ll appreciate taking the extra step.
Drizzle a hot cast-iron skillet with oil and add your salt-and-peppered pork chops in. Sear each side for about 20-30 seconds to achieve a golden-brown crust before adding it to your crockpot.
When fall comes, making a squash soup becomes almost essential, and this cozy butternut squash soup is a perfect example. Coconut milk and butternut work together in creating that lusciously smooth texture, but the apple and onion create a unique touch you’ll love eating.
Nothing quite beats the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you scarf down beef stew on a cold night. Actually, there is one thing that might beat it; and that is letting your crockpot do all the hard work for you. Meanwhile, your home will smell amazing, too.
White chicken chili is one of those intensely flavored meals that you feel good about eating. Filled with tender shredded chicken, chiles, corn, and cannellini beans, you’ll love the heartiness of each bite.
We always top ours with crushed tortilla chips, fresh avocado, and, of course, a generous dollop of sour cream.
For less of a stew-like concoction and more of a meat and potatoes type of dish, be sure to turn to this Salisbury steak recipe. After browning the beef patties, your slow cooker will help cook the mushrooms onions and finish those steaks all while swimming in beef gravy.
We love corn chowder, especially infused with southwest flavors thanks to the spicy kick from a chipotle pepper soaked in adobo sauce. The corn offers a sweet crunch, while the crisp bacon adds a briny taste, too.
On top of that, you’ll enjoy the rich and creamy soup filled with hearty potatoes, carrots, and onion. The varied flavors work wonders once infused together over an afternoon in your crockpot.
If you’re looking for a vegetarian meal to fill your tummy, we’ve found it for you. This Thai-style curry infused into sweet chunks of pumpkin and chickpeas makes for amazing flavor, and the curry will turn your home into aromatic bliss.
Be sure to save some room in your heart (and tummy) for a classic chili, too. The longer it simmers away in your slow cooker, the better the flavors marry into one another.
Packed with incredible flavor and loads of protein, all to be topped with a generous dollop of sour cream. If you’ve never made chili, this recipe is beyond worth trying! For easy clean-up, be sure to try out slow cooker liners.
Bolognese sauce is a delicious ragù filled with hearty helpings of beef, mirepoix, some white wine, and milk made just right for a heaping pile of pasta.
Let your slow cooker get to work and enjoy the delicious scent of meat sauce fill your home. Be sure to serve over a plate of pappardelle with some garlic bread for sopping up the extra sauce.
Dill pickle fanatics will love this unique and flavorful pot roast infused in pickle juice, gravy, and powdered ranch. Serve the fall-apart-tender roast over a buttery pile of mashed potatoes and cooked carrots with warm crusty bread.
Hopefully, these recipes will either inspire you to whip out that old reliable slow cooker or finally purchase one. Oh yeah, and don’t forget the mulled wine, which you can also make in your slow cooker.