Skip to main content

These 5 slow cooker recipes will keep you cozy all fall

Eat, sleep, repeat - all fall and winter

Red Crock Pot
If you ask us, there really isn’t anything better than walking through the door after a long, chilly day to the smell of a delicious meal, waiting for your arrival with its savory scent and promise of nourishing comfort. That’s why we love a slow cooker. Five minutes of morning prep, the push of a button, and off you go to work, nearly forgetting the warm and cozy blanket of comfort food that awaits you later in the evening. But then, you walk through the front door and remember. You say a little “thank you” to your morning self as you inhale the delicious fragrance that’s been floating through your empty house all day. No takeout tonight. You gave yourself a gift this morning. One you now get to enjoy with little to no extra effort. That’s the beauty of a slow cooker.
These are five of our favorite slow cooker recipes that invoke that exact feeling. They’re warming, savory, and delicious and will keep you satisfied all autumn long.
Baby back ribs
DoremiGirl/Flickr

Baby back ribs recipe

Of course, there are many ways to make ribs, and to be honest – they’re all pretty wonderful. They’re ribs, after all. But the ability to cook them while you’re out of the house is a game changer, and for that reason, we love to make them in the slow cooker.

Ingredients:

Method:

  1. Remove the outer membrane from the back side of the rack of ribs.
  2. Pat the ribs dry, then rub completely with the dry rub, making sure to cover all surface area.
  3. Place the ribs in a large slow cooker, then cover with onions, garlic, and broth.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours until ribs are tender.
  5. Remove ribs from the slow cooker and transfer to a large sheet pan.
  6. Brush ribs with barbecue sauce, and broil for 2-4 minutes until caramelized.
Kung Pao Chicken
fernandosadao/Pixabay

Kung Pao chicken recipe

This is one of our favorite slow cooker chicken recipes for its perfect mixture of savory spice and tangy sweetness. Traditional Kung Pao chicken has zucchini instead of broccoli, which you are free to use, but we love the added crunch and texture of the broccoli.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, separated
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 8-10 dried red chili peppers, removed of seeds
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 1/3 cup peanuts
  • Green onions (optional garnish)

Slurry

  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Method:

  1. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper and cook in 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until browned. Place chicken and chili peppers in slow cooker.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together water, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, hoisin sauce, garlic, and ginger. Pour mixture into slow cooker, covering chicken and peppers.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
  4. When the chicken is nearly done, prepare the slurry by whisking water and cornstarch together. Stir this into the chicken mixture and cook an additional 5-10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
  5. While the sauce is thickening, saute the bell pepper and broccoli, then add to the slow cooker, stirring gently to combine. Mix in peanuts.
  6. Garnish with chopped green onions and serve over rice.
Creamy soup
Clay Junell/Flickr

Chicken and gnocchi soup recipe

This soup is the epitome of comfort food. It combines just the right amount of healthy, protein-rich chicken with gloriously starchy potato gnocchi, and it just tastes like a giant hug.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3-4 carrots, shredded
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2-3 celery ribs, diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pound potato gnocchi
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. Add shallots, carrots, celery, garlic, herbs and spices, chicken stock, and chicken to the slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6.
  3. Remove chicken from the slow cooker and shred using two forks. Place chicken back into slow cooker.
  4. Cook gnocchi according to package instructions, drain, and add to chicken mixture.
  5. Create a slurry by mixing cornstarch and whipping cream, whisking to combine thoroughly.
  6. Add slurry to the slow cooker and continue to cook until soup has thickened, about 10 minutes.
  7. Add spinach about 5 minutes before serving.
Tacos
Frankie Lopez/Unsplash

Korean pork tacos recipe

When set to simmer for hours, this recipe takes on a sophisticated complexity that doesn’t come from other cooking methods. We love the cool, crisp bite from the slaw combined with the warm, rich, and savory flavor of the pork.

Ingredients:

Pork

  • 3 pounds pork shoulder 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 jalapenos, diced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, peeled and whole
  • Tortillas (for serving)

Slaw

  • 4 cups cabbage (red, green, or a mixture of both)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped

Method:

  1. Season pork generously with salt and pepper and brown on all sides over medium-high heat in a large pan.
  2. While pork is browning, whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, red onion, jalapeno, ginger, rice vinegar, and sesame seeds in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Place browned pork in slow cooker, covering with brown sugar mixture and garlic cloves.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours or on high for 4 hours.
  5. Using two forks, shred the pork, then continue to cook for 30 minutes.
  6. To make the slaw dressing, whisk together brown sugar, sesame oil, olive oil, ginger, and salt in a medium bowl.
  7. Pour dressing over cabbage, scallions, and cilantro, mixing to combine.
  8. To serve, top tortillas with pork and slaw, garnishing with lime wedges and cilantro.
Pot roast
Founding Farmers/Flickr

Pot roast recipe

In my family, a good crock pot pot roast is the harbinger of fall. Once the air has even the slightest hint of that familiar chill, this is the first meal on the table.

Ingredients:

Roast

  • 2 1/2 – 3 pound chuck roast
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, largely diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen (to be added later)
  • 1 packet dry onion soup mix
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup pepperoncinis, plus 1/4 cup juice from pepperoncini jar
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon, to be added later
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Roux

  • 1/4 cup butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Method:

  1. Combine all of the roast ingredients, except for the roast itself, peas, and lemon juice in the slow cooker, stirring to combine.
  2. Generously season both sides of the roast with salt and pepper, then nestle it into the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Place the lid on and cook for 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low. Cook time will vary based on your slow cooker. When it’s falling apart and no longer chewy, it’s ready. Stir in peas for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking.
  4. Using a large slotted spoon, separate the solids in your slow cooker from the liquid, putting the meat and vegetables into a large bowl. Transfer the liquid to a saucepan and keep warm over medium/low heat.
  5. With the broth warming, make a roux by placing a pan over low-medium low heat, and melting the cubed butter.
  6. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour it makes a paste. Cook for about a minute, stirring gently. Remove from heat and set aside.
  7. To the saucepan liquid, whisk in the roux about a tablespoon at a time until the gravy reaches your desired consistency.
  8. Add lemon juice to the gravy, whisk, and remove from heat.
  9. Return the pot roast to the crock pot and pour gravy over the top, mixing gently to combine. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  10. Serve with mashed potatoes.

Editors' Recommendations

Topics
Lindsay Parrill
Lindsay is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, from where she holds a degree in…
6 classic Italian pasta recipes to make in your own kitchen
Put on your apron, whip up these recipes, and enjoy Italian night at home
Cacio e pepe with mangetout served in a bowl

There's no such thing as too much pasta. One of Italy's greatest gifts to the Earth should be enjoyed thoroughly and often. Before you get started, make sure you've got some quality olive oil on hand and plenty of fresh herbs to throw in the mix. Also, be sure to treat yourself to some high-end pasta (or make pasta yourself if you have the time and skills).

Admittedly, the following classic Italian pasta recipes are ambitious, with some dishes requiring multiple steps. But the payoff of this culinary adventure will be well worth the effort.
Bucatini all'Amatriciana

Read more
Our 5 favorite summer mocktails (they’re all bartender approved)
It's summer mocktail season
A pair of mocktails

Summer is just around the bend, on the verge of treating us to refreshing beverages, outdoor cookouts, and some much-needed time off. For those who prefer a functional daytime drink or are just cutting back, a great mocktail recipe is just the thing. These drinks can have the complexity of their traditional counterparts but, alas, no booze.

Here are a few great summer mocktails to whip up this sunny season.
Pine Creek

Read more
How to make your own hot honey at home (so you can add it to your food and drinks)
The possibilities are endless on how you can use hot honey
Hot honey on meat

The combination of "spicy" and "sweet" holds a lauded position in many international cuisines, with chefs and diners celebrating the way these seemingly contradictory flavors complement each other. From General Tso’s chicken to Mexican chocolate, the popularity of spicy-sweet foods shows no signs of dying down, much to the delight of this writer, a self-proclaimed lover of heat.

In recent years, a condiment that perfectly encapsulates the spicy and sweet appeal has carved out a major niche for itself, and its name is "hot honey." Companies like Mike’s Hot Honey and Bushwich Kitchen (Bees Knees Spicy Honey) successfully sell pre-made versions of this treat, but it’s surprisingly easy to make at home, and we’re here to guide you through the process.   
What is hot honey?

Read more