There’s nothing better than sitting down to a wholesome and satisfying home-cooked dinner at the end of a long day. But let’s be honest — who has time to roast a pork shoulder, braise a chicken stew or simmer a pot of chili after work? These delicious recipes take hours to cook on the stove or oven, and with school and work in full swing, those hours are hard to find. Fortunately, there’s a shortcut: the crock pot.
Fall is the perfect time to invest in a new crock pot or dust off the one sitting on your shelf. Master a few crock pot recipes now, and you can come home to the delicious scent of hearty beef stew, smothered pork chops or spiced squash soup all winter long.
There are many recipes for crock pot cooking, and lots of them rely on unhealthy ingredients or processed foods. In contrast to those, we’ve compiled a list of delicious, healthful fall recipes that make use of seasonal fall produce you can find at your Northwest farmers market or local grocery store. These dishes are simple to prepare and certain to make your weeknight supper more relaxing and nutritious.
Chicken, Pork and Beef Crock Pot Recipes
Hearty Quinoa Chicken and Kale Soup: A great way to get your greens, this hearty soup pairs earthy kale with chicken and quinoa for a protein-packed soup. A squeeze of lemon and shower of Parmesan transform an ordinary soup into a delightful dish. (Recipe courtesy Cooking Classy)
Moroccan Chicken and Vegetable Stew: The exotic flavors of Morocco combine with chicken and carrots in this simple, fragrant stew. Try substituting parsnips or cubed winter squash for some or all of the carrots. (Recipe courtesy Martha Stewart)
Irish Stout Beef Stew: How can you go wrong with meat, potatoes and beer? To make this hearty stew nutritious, look for grass-finished beef (available at Carman Ranch of Oregon’s Wallowa Valley) and add some extra winter veggies such as parsnips, rutabagas or turnips. (Recipe courtesy Savory Sweet Life)
Smothered Pork Chops with Apples and Pumpkin: If you’re looking for fall flavors, this dish delivers. A classic combination of pork and apples meld with pumpkin, cider and spices to make a hearty fall supper. (Recipe courtesy My Humble Kitchen)
Vegetarian Crock Pot Recipes
Jamaican Pumpkin Soup: From Gluten-Free Girl, this aromatic soup combines one of fall’s iconic vegetables with fragrant spices and warming ginger. A small amount of coconut milk rounds out the flavors, adding creaminess and balance to this vibrant soup. (Recipe courtesy Gluten-Free-Girl)
Tuscan Chickpea and Winter Squash Stew: This vegetarian recipe is chock full of seasonal veggies and fortified with protein-packed chickpeas. Serve over quick-cooking couscous or quinoa for an easy fall dinner. (Recipe courtesy Food Network Kitchens)
More Fall Crock Pot Recipe Ideas
Homemade Chicken Stock: This delicious, additive-free broth is light-years ahead of the canned stuff in both flavor and nutrition profile. Make a big batch and freeze for later, then use as the basis for soups, stews and braises all winter long. (Recipe courtesy A Girl Worth Saving)
Autumn Harvest Slow Cooker Oatmeal: Why limit your crock pot use to dinner recipes? This flavorful combination of steel-cut oats, pears, cranberries and spices can be tossed into the crock pot at night for a satisfying breakfast on the run. (Recipe courtesy Sarah’s Scoop)