After months of summer salads and light dishes, we'll admit we're just a bit excited to take out a crockpot and make a hearty meal as soon as the temperature drops. The cult kitchen accessory is popular for good reason: Not only does the self-contained unit make meals with little effort, it also simmers food at a low temperature to amplify flavor. If you tend to make the same crockpot recipes, change up your routine by adding a new dish to your repertoire. Ahead, we called on four leading recipe developers and food bloggers to reveal the easy fall crockpot recipes they make on repeat. From fragrant chicken curry to decadent beef cheek ragu, there's something in here for every home cook.
Lentil Soup With Coconut, Spinach, and Lime
The Foodie: Laura Wright started The First Mess to spotlight the things she loves, "Cooking with natural, plant-based foods, eating seasonally, and sharing wholesome meals with the people in my life."
The Recipe: Lentil Soup with Coconut, Spinach, and Lime, a hearty, healthy dish.
The Pro Tip: Keep the right kitchen accessories on hand to amplify flavor, says Wright. "Grating the sweet potatoes and onions with a box grater (rather than dicing them) forces the vegetables to almost "melt" into the soup and form a rich and satisfying soup base," she explains. At the end of the cooking process, don't forget to add lime juice, too. "[It] "wakes up'"all of the slow-simmered spices and the sweetness of the sweet potato."
Slow Cooker Chicken Pumpkin Curry
The Foodies: The Modern Proper is the brainchild of two moms from the Pacific Northwest, Holly Erickson and Natalie Mortimer. Together, they share their love for creating delicious, wholesome recipes and entertaining friends and family.
The Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Pumpkin Curry, a flavor-packed one-dish meal that's also kid-approved.
To prep the pumpkin, scoop out seeds then cube with a sharp knife (you can leave the peel on.) You can also save the seeds to toast as a healthy snack!
The Pro Tip: Timing is everything. "Add the red bell peppers only for the last hour if possible to endure that they aren't too soggy!" they explain.
Slow-Cooked Italian Beef Ragy on Pappardelle
The Recipe: Slow-Cooked Italian Beef Cheek Ragu on Pappardelle, a rich, red wine–infused recipe that utilizes a Le Creuset casserole dish in place of a crockpot.
The Pro Tip: "Relax and forget about it—the longer it cooks and the more days you leave the sauce (2-3 days) the more tender and flavorful it becomes!" says Tuck.
Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soup
The Foodie: Heidi Larsen is the founder of Foodie Crush, a website dedicated to "fresh, seasonal, mostly simple, often healthy, comfort food."
The Recipe: Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soup, a one-pot recipe that's healthier, tastier, and arguably easier than getting takeout. "It's incredibly easy to put together and serve over rice or noodles and is awesome for leftovers the next day—If there are any!" says Larsen.
The Pro Tip: "Be sure to use full-fat coconut milk rather than low-fat so the soup doesn't curdle," she recommends.