16 Family-Friendly, Slow-Cooker Dinners You'll Want to Make this Fall
If you're looking for a healthy dinner that everyone will love, these recipes should do the trick. The slow cooker takes all the work out of these meals, so you can spend time with the family and settle in with a delicious meal at the end of the day. Recipes like our Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash and Slow-Cooker Braised Beef with Carrots & Turnips are packed with flavor and fall veggies.
Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash
This slow-cooker turkey and butternut squash chili is the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. The sweetness of the butternut squash tames the kick from cayenne, making this easy crock-pot chili just right for kids and adults alike. For those who prefer a spicier chili, just pass hot sauce at the table.
Slow-Cooker Turkey & Kale Minestrone Soup
Adjust the heat level in the dish by choosing either hot or mild Italian sausage. You can add red pepper, too, to make it extra hot. Serve this slow-cooker minestrone with crusty bread, if desired.
Slow-Cooker Braised Beef with Carrots & Turnips
The spice blend in this healthy beef stew recipe--cinnamon, allspice and cloves--may conjure images of apple pie, but the combo is a great fit in savory applications too. Serve over creamy polenta or buttered whole-wheat egg noodles.
Slow-Cooked Ranch Chicken and Vegetables
This creamy, veggie-packed chicken dinner comes together easily in your slow-cooker-and makes enough for another night's casserole (see associated recipe)!
Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili
Grab your crock pot for this delicious and easy slow-cooker vegetarian chili with beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, bell peppers and sweet potatoes. The recipe requires just 20 minutes of active time: after a bit of chopping, you just dump the ingredients in the slow cooker and let it do the work. Adding a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of cilantro just before serving brightens up the flavors. Top it with some shredded cheese, if you'd like, or serve it as-is to keep it vegan. Either way, this healthy chili is sure to become a go-to when you want a satisfying and healthy dinner.
Kale, Wild Rice & Chicken Stew
Chicken thighs get perfectly tender in just a few hours in the slow cooker. Plus, cooking everything together low and slow infuses all the flavors together for complexity in every bite.
Slow-Cooker Brisket & Onions over Buttery Mashed Potatoes
This brisket is seasoned with tangy mustard, sweet turbinado sugar and pungent garlic. Substitute brown sugar for the turbinado, if desired, and use the tube variety of tomato paste so any leftovers stay fresh longer. We recommend serving this braised beef over mashed potatoes, but it'd be just as delicious over rice, spaghetti squash or pasta.
Lentil & Root Veggie Soup
French green lentils and black lentils hold up well to long, slow cooking without becoming mushy. Save the rinds from used-up blocks of Parmesan in a resealable plastic bag or tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. They give soup broths a rich, savory flavor.
Slow-Cooker Chicken with Rosemary & Mushrooms over Linguine
The classic pairing of shallots and mushrooms gives this easy slow-cooker chicken recipe a timeless quality that's sure to please everyone at your table. Swirling the stock and flour together at the beginning is a pro tip for creating a thick sauce that moistens the final dish and helps all the ingredients come together.
Slow-Cooker Indian Lamb & Butternut Squash Stew
We call for lamb shoulder because it's tougher than other cuts and holds up well throughout the long cook time. If you can't find shoulder, use boneless leg of lamb in this slow-cooker butternut squash stew.
Slow-Cooker Chicken & Honey-Glazed Root Vegetables
his beautiful slow-cooker chicken dish should be a standby for day-of decisions to host dinner. In the spring, substitute baby white turnips and baby carrots for the regular varieties. To reduce prep time, cut the vegetables the night before; refrigerate. Place in the slow cooker with the browned chicken the next day.
Curried Chicken with Sweet Potatoes & Snap Peas
A slow cooker makes easy work of this colorful coconut curry dinner-but don't just toss everything in at once! Reserving the bell peppers and snap peas until the end keeps the vegetables crisp.
Moroccan-Spiced Pot Roast and Veggies
Pumpkin pie spice, cumin and cayenne pepper add Moroccan-inspired flavor to this slow-cooker pot roast dinner.
Slow-Cooker Creamy Butternut Sauce & Tortellini
Butternut sauce is an innovative alternative to traditional tomato sauce for pasta-based recipes. This sauce is smooth and rich with complex flavors from the squash, onion, garlic, tomatoes and wine. The half-and-half makes it extra creamy.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Sausage with Cabbage & Apples
The cabbage comes out tender without being mushy and gives the slow-cooker chicken sausage a slightly sweet flavor. A splash of vinegar at the end perks up the whole meal with a bit of acidic brightness. There are several varieties of smoked chicken sausage from which you can choose. We recommend using an apple-flavored smoked sausage to complement the apples and vinegar.
Layered Brisket Dinner with Tangy Mustard Sauce
Perfectly seasoned red potatoes and baby carrots accompany this filling brisket dish.