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Readers' Slow Cooker Recipes for Fall and Winter

Patch readers offer their favorite slow cooker recipes.

Fall and winter are seasons for warm, hearty meals—and what better way to prepare them than by using your slow cooker? Simmer these recipes in your pot and you’ll stay warm through the winter.

Coca Cola Pot Roast

Submitted by Melinda Bartlett-Blante

I just made coca cola pot roast. it was yummy and simple. all you need to do is put in the meat.3 pounds or so. add 1/2 a packet Lipton onion soup mix. add a can of Coca Cola Classic then add the rest of the onion soup mix. cook on High for 4 hours turning about 1/2 way through. we actually cooked on low for the day instead and it came out great

Workingman's Beef Stew

Submitted by Douglas O'Roak

In the morning, add a pound of stew beef (already cut in cubes at the supermarket), a small bag of cut and peeled carrots, a few small Youkon Gold potatoes, cut an onion into quarters, and add a can of Campbell's cream of celery soup. Set the slow cooker on low. When you come home from work, there's a hearty beef stew waiting for you.

Apple Crumble Crock-Pot Recipe

Ingredients:

4-5 cooking apples, peeled and sliced

1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 cup flour 

3/4 cup rolled oats

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 tablespoons butter, softened

Directions:

Lightly butter the Crock-Pot and lay the apple slices at the bottom of the pot. Combine the sugar, flour, rolled oats, nutmeg and cinnamon, and cut in the butter. Sprinkle the topping over the base of apples. Cook on low or auto for 3-5 hours.

Slow Cooker Squash Stew:

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, sliced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas, rinsed

1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into large pieces

1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves and stems separated and roughly chopped

1 piece Parmesan cheese rind, plus grated Parmesan for topping (optional)

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Crusty bread and/or lemon wedges, for serving

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and red pepper flakes and cook 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 cup water, scraping up any browned bits. Transfer the contents of the skillet to a 6-quart slow cooker.

Add the chickpeas, squash, chard stems (not the leaves), the Parmesan rind, if using, 2 teaspoons salt and 7 cups water to the slow cooker. Stir, then cover and cook on low, 8 hours.

Just before serving, lift the lid and stir in the chard leaves; cover and continue cooking 10 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and stir to slightly break up the squash. Discard the Parmesan rind, if used. Ladle the stew into bowls; top with the grated Parmesan, if desired, and serve with bread and/or lemon wedges.

Pumpkin Chili

Ingredients:

1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce

1 15.25-ounce can black beans

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Few drops hot sauce

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a medium saute pan, brown the ground beef. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook until the onions are translucent.

In a medium slow cooker, combine the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, pumpkin, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and hot sauce. Stir to combine. Add in the cooked beef and stir. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Serve with your favorite chili toppings, such as cheese, sour cream or tortilla strips.

And to try more traditional recipes, take a stab at these:

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup

Ingredients:

4 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons flour

8 ounces of beer

64 ounces of low-sodium beef stock

2 tablespoons fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

French bread

Gruyere cheese, sliced

Instructions:

Set your crock pot on high, then add onions, garlic, brown sugar, butter, salt and balsamic vinegar and mix until combined.

Cover and let cook for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are a bit caramely and brown on the edges.

Add in flour, then stir thoroughly and let sit for 5 minutes.

Add in beer, beef stock, thyme, and pepper, then turn heat down to low, cover and cook for 6-8 hours.

Cut french bread into slices.

Fill soup bowls to the top, then cover with slice of bread and a slice of cheese.

Set under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

Adapted from Tyler Florence's recipe

Ingredients:

2 pounds ground beef

2 16-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained

2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes, drained

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce

2 onions, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions:

First, you want to heat a large skillet on medium-high heat and stir in the ground beef. Cook and stir for about seven minutes until the beef is evenly browned and no longer pink and crumbly. Drain and discard any excess grease in the pan.

Combine the ground beef, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, onions, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 10 hours, or high heat for about four hours.

Once it’s cooked, garnish each serving with cheddar cheese and enjoy!

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