As the cold starts to set in and the leaves begin changing, you may be bracing yourself for a season full of hearty, comfort food and pumpkin spice lattes. A crowd favorite comfort food this time of year is a good crockpot recipe you can share with your friends and family.
If you liked our summer soup series and you’re on the hunt for a few comforting crockpot recipes for the fall, you’ve come to the right place. A good crockpot recipe can be as nutrient-dense and healthy as it is comforting.
In this article, Nutrisense dietitians share their go-to fall crockpot recipes that are packed with protein, fiber, and nutritious vitamins and minerals. From their own crockpot creations to their favorite internet finds, you’ll be sure to find a hearty recipe to try this fall!
What Foods are Good for Slow Cooking?
Crockpots are a great way to add extra flavor to everything from meat to vegetables. The biggest benefit of cooking with a crockpot is that you can quickly toss all your favorite ingredients into the pot and leave it simmering for hours with no extra effort involved!
Cheaper Cuts of Meat
Short ribs, pulled pork, and meatballs are some classic crockpot creations that require minimal work once you prepare your ingredients and get them cooking. For cheaper cuts of meat, a slow cooker is a great way to allow the meat to soak in its juices, absorb extra flavors, and become tender.
Beans and Other Legumes
If you’re making any kind of soup, anything from beans to chickpeas to lentils are an easy and delicious option to toss into your crockpot. You can soak your legumes or pulses in water overnight and then leave them cooking throughout the day in a crockpot to have a high-protein and high-fiber dinner ready after a long day of work.
Sturdy vegetables such as celery, onions and bell peppers are great options to throw into a crockpot stew for extra fiber, vitamins, minerals, and flavor. Root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes are also crockpot favorites and in the case of potatoes, are a great source of resistant starch when cooled and reheated.
Six Dietitian-Recommended Fall Crockpot Recipes
Here are six of our favorite Nutrisense dietitian-recommended recipes to try out!
1) Meatballs Simmered in Tomato Sauce Recommended by Jillian Buckley, RD
This recipe is Jillian’s own take on homemade meatballs. It’s as easy to prepare as it is delicious and healthy. She shares, “I love this recipe because it’s warm, comforting and very easy to make!”
To make this recipe, simply mix the ingredients together, form them into balls, and sear them in a well-oiled pan until they are slightly browned. From there, all you’ll need to do is place the meatballs in a crockpot, top them with a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes and simmer on high for two to three hours.
Pair your creation with sourdough, gluten free bread, or a no-bread sandwich option, and enjoy it any way you like as you watch the leaves fall outside your kitchen window.
For the meatballs (roughly 6 servings):
- 1 ½ pound veal/pork/beef mix
- 1 ½ ounces shredded Parmesan
- 1/4 cup full fat ricotta
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 handful chopped parsley
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup panko
- 28oz crushed tomatoes
2) Classic Beef Stew Recommended by Marie Funk, MS, RD, LDN
Marie also loves hearty, comfort foods during the fall. She says, “I love this meal because it's hearty, warm, and filling!” And who can argue with that? With plenty of blood sugar-friendly protein, fiber-rich vegetables, and spices, a beef stew is guaranteed to be a hit.
To make this recipe, simply add the meat and potatoes to the crockpot, top them with your vegetables, and pour the crushed tomatoes, coconut aminos, and water over top. After you season with salt and pepper, all you’ll need to do is cover the pot and cook it on low for seven to eight hours. Pair this high-protein stew with some complex carbohydrates or your bread of choice.
- 2 ½ pounds stew meat
- Handful of frozen green beans
- 3 whole carrots (peeled and sliced)
- 3 russet potatoes peeled and diced into large pieces
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 1 (14 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos (or red wine)
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 bay leaves
3) Crockpot Chicken Fajita Soup Recommended by Jordyn Wallerius, MS, RDN, CD
Jordyn explains why this crockpot chicken recipe by Eating on a Dime is her go-to fall meal: “Fall just feels like soup season, and my family loves this crockpot chicken fajita soup. This recipe is so simple and can be customized for different preferences based on the toppings you choose. I like to swap out the chicken breast for chicken thighs instead, but any cut of chicken could work here!”
You can have this on its own or pair it with fiber-rich veggies and even top it up with healthy fats like sliced avocado.
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/2 cup onion chopped
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
4) Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs Recommended by Andrew Sisisky, CNS, LDN
Andrew loves that this recipe is easy to prepare and is a great high-protein meal to enjoy with a big group. A win-win in our book!
- 5 pounds bone-in English-style beef short ribs
- Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 medium Asian pear, or Fuji apple peeled and chopped coarsely
- 6 garlic cloves peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 scallions roughly chopped
- 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
- ½ cup coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar coconut vinegar, or white balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 cup chicken or beef bone broth
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro coarsely chopped (optional garnish)
5) Instant Pot Pesto Zuppa Toscana Recommended by Katrina Larsen, MS, RDN, LD, CDCES
Who doesn’t love a hearty, creamy zuppa toscana? This recipe from Half Baked Harvest includes pesto for a nice spin on the typical flavors found in this soup. Plus, the torn kale brings some great vitamins and minerals to the party!
No potatoes on hand? Katrina says, “Substitute in any type of canned white beans (such as navy beans or cannellini) for some extra protein and added fiber.” This is a great versatile recipe that can be tweaked to suit your needs and preferences.”
Try it out for yourself! It’s easy to throw together in your crockpot and is sure to keep you warm during the colder months.
- 4 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
- 3/4 pound ground spicy Italian chicken sausage
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 4 small yukon gold or russet potatoes peeled and chopped
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1/3 cup basil pesto, homemade or store-bought
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 bunch kale, roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup heavy cream or whole milk
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan or asiago cheese
- Fresh thyme, for serving (optional)
6) Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili Recommended by Randi Yow, RDN, LDN
Like Jordyn, Randi loves soups for the fall season. She shares, “Fall and winter means soup and chili season in my household! We love this soup because it is full of flavor and a lighter Mexican type dish! Also I love that I can throw all the ingredients in and let it cook all day!”
This recipe is also a great way to use up lots of kitchen staples and other common ingredients that you may already have on hand. A simple, easy, delicious meal that is healthy to boot? Count us in!
- 1 ½ pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium bell pepper, any color; diced
- 1 small jalapeno, seeds and membranes removed and finely diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 ½–2 cups organic chicken broth
- 1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
- Juice of ½ lime
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Lime wedges for garnish, optional
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Heather has worked in healthcare and nutrition for over 15 years, with bachelor's degrees in Microbiology and Philosophy and a master's degree in Nutrition Science. Her professional background includes nutrition and diabetes research, nutrition education, medical writing, and extensive clinical work in a functional neuroendocrine specialty practice.