You know the crock pot as the ultimate kitchen macgyver—your savior when time (or culinary prowess) is short. Throw the ingredients in, forget about it, and have one pot to clean. And because there’s a particular fall holiday that demands some slaving in the kitchen (ahem, Thanksgiving) we’ve assembled a list of recipes that are just as festive, but way less taxing. After all, you have pumpkin patches to scour, apples to pick, and Halloween parties to dress for.
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1. Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oats
The canned coconut milk gives creaminess to the normally chewy texture of steel cut oats, which the long cook time makes even more luscious.
2. Cranberry and Pumpkin Granola
Dump in the ingredients before the gym, and have a post-workout snack (and breakfast for the week) waiting for you when you get back.
3. Kale, Roasted Red Pepper, and Feta Frittata
Finally, the words "quick," "easy," and "brunch" appear in the same sentence. This frittata is the ultimate crowd-pleaser for brisk fall mornings.
4. Banana Bread Quinoa
Blogger Claire from The Realistic Nutritionist claims it's like eating the moist part of banana bread (minus gluten, plus protein) straight from the oven.
5. Cider Beans
Cut the labor in half by combining the ingredients with seven cups water in your crock pot for seven hours on high.
6. Creamy Pumpkin Risotto
Risotto is synonymous with lots of stirring and steam to the face. Skip both of those and head straight for the warm, creamy taste of fall (without dairy).
7. Easy Naked Apple Butter
No added sugar and a hint of spices lets the apple flavor shine and creates a canvas for your own variations (maybe add some pumpkin!).
8. Slow Cooker Spicy Cashews
Impress your friends with this party appetizer or keep it to yourself as an afternoon snack. And with a cook time of 75 minutes, is it really that slow?
9. Slow Cooker Squash Lasagna
You don’t even have to boil the noodles—just layer the ingredients and walk away! Consider this classic recipe with an autumnal twist the Meatless Monday anthem for the season.
10. Cider-Braised Chicken Tacos
Beer. Cider. And Apple-Pomegranate Salsa. These are the only tacos you'll ever need for a fall football tailgate.
11. Veggie-Stuffed Peppers
Not everything that comes out of a crock pot is pretty, but these are ready to plate straight from the cooker.
12. Pumpkin Maple Pulled Pork
This slow-cooker classic gets dressed for fall with pumpkin puree and maple extract, making it salty and sweet at the same time.
Soups and Stews:
13. Chicken Sweet Potato and Kale Stew
The mustard adds an unexpected bite, and if you prefer to not have chopped chicken, you can shred it at the end of cooking.
14. Root Vegetable Stew
This wins the gold medal for using the most seasonal vegetables in one dish: butternut squash, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and onion.
15. Fall Harvest Chili
Pumpkin and chili might not seem like a natural combo, but with cumin, white beans, parsnips, butternut squash, and ground chicken, this is the perfect dinner to transport you straight to autumn.
16. Black Bean Soup and Toasted Cumin Seed Crema
The time you save on the soup you can spend towards the toasted cumin seed crème fraiche—which is totally worth it.
17. Fall Turkey Thai Soup
You can sub the Asian Long Beans for green beans and your tastebuds will be none the wiser.
Desserts and Beverages:
18. Pumpkin Bread with Walnuts
What it lacks for in looks it makes up for in flavor with a no sugar-rush blend of honey and molasses.
19. Pumpkin Spice Latte
This recipe gives you instant access to the ultimate symbol of the season, the PSL, at home, which is better for your body—and your wallet. Skip the whipped cream to save calories.
20. Ginger Cider Hot Toddy
Skip the booze for a morning or evening tea. Or keep it—we won’t judge.