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Fall has arrived, and with the season comes a plethora of festive autumn meals. My favorite? Tasty slow-cooker pumpkin recipes, of course. When I think of fall food, images of juicy Honeycrisp apples, perfectly roasted squash, and decadent apple pies certainly come to mind, but the true star ingredient of autumn is (without a doubt!) the pumpkin.
When it comes to cooking and baking, pumpkins are actually far more versatile than you might think. The most classic way to serve up the unofficial mascot of fall is in a sweet pumpkin pie or chocolate chip-dotted pumpkin bread, but you can also utilize pumpkin’s more savory side by incorporating it into chilis, soups, salsas and more. Plus, you can use pumpkin in easy, tasty breakfast dishes like oatmeal and pancakes to start your day off on a seasonally-appropriate note. You can even make your own Pumpkin Spiced Lattes at home—sorry, Starbucks!When it comes to pumpkin dishes, the possibilities are truly endless.
If you’re so inclined, you can even cook an entire pumpkin in your slow cooker, and use the pumpkin “meat” for a variety of recipes. Use it as the base of a sweet pureé for your pies, or add a scoop to a creamy curry recipe for the ultimate burst of pumpkin flavor. Using your slow cooker to perfect your pumpkin dishes is a great, fresh alternative to buying canned pumpkin at the grocery store.
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Don’t have a Crock-Pot yet? Consider this a sign to buy one. These recipes are super easy to make in a kitchen of any size, since all you need to do is toss the ingredients into your slow cooker and let it simmer low and slow for a few hours, then take your pumpkin and utilize it in the recipe of your choice. From pumpkin cobbler to pumpkin risotto, you’ll be a hit at any potluck or Friendsgiving party for which you choose to whip these up.
Scroll down for 12 of our favorite slow-cooker pumpkin recipes, and dive headfirst into the joy that is the fall food. Happy slow-cooking!
1. Pumpkin Cobbler
A recipe on the more traditional side, this sweet pumpkin cobbler has everything you could ask for in a pumpkin-flavored dessert. In this recipe, all you need to do is beat the eggs, add the ingredients to the slow cooker, drizzle with butter and let it all cook low and slow for three-four hours. Easy and delicious.
2. Slow Cooker Pumpkin Soup
Treat yourself to a big bowl (or several bowls, TBH) of slow cooker pumpkin soup this fall—featuring actual pumpkin (not canned!), creamy coconut milk and cashews. It’s the hearty treat you’re going to want to make over and over again.
3. White Chicken Chili With Pumpkin
Chili is always the perfect choice for a cold fall evening or brisk autumn day, but white chicken chili with pumpkin is a total game-changer. Don’t forget the Monterey jack cheese on top! You deserve it.
4. Slow Cooker Pumpkin Rice Pudding
Rice pudding is one of the most underrated desserts of our time, and adding a pumpkin spice flavor just makes it that much better. This warm and comforting dessert is probably one you’ve never made before—but it’s soon to become a staple in your household. This pumpkin rice pudding is a variation of Kheer, or Indian Rice Pudding, and requires only six ingredients and four simple steps to make.
5. Roast Beef with Pumpkin & Salsa
This roast beef with pumpkin and salsa is a little more involved as far as slow cooker recipes go, but the pay-off is so worth it. After browning the meat on the stove, you’ll combine it with all of the seasonings (pumpkin spice included!) into your slow cooker. After a few hours, it will be ready to enjoy on a tortilla, in a salad, or any way you like to enjoy roast beef.
6. Slow Cooker Whole Pumpkin
The recipe you’ve been waiting for: An entire pumpkin cooked in a slow cooker. After washing your pumpkin and removing the seeds and stringy bits (don’t forget to save the seeds to roast later!), all you have to do is cook the pumpkin in your slow cooker for two to three hours. Then, you can use the meat in any recipe that calls for canned pumpkin for a fresher taste.
7. Slow Cooker PSLs
That’s right, no need to trek out to Starbucks to get your pumpkin spice latte fix! They’re actually super easy to make right at home in your slow cooker. You’ll need coffee (of course), pumpkin puree, a few different spices, your milk of choice, and a can of whipped cream to top it off. You’re welcome!
8. Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
Oatmeal is the ultimate comfort breakfast food, and adding a pumpkin pie flavor only makes it that much better. Prep this delicious recipe the night before and let it cook low and slow overnight for about six to eight hours. Then, enjoy it the next morning alongside your PSL (if you can handle pumpkin overload!).
9. Pumpkin Chili
Pumpkin is the perfect unexpected ingredient to add to a fall chili recipe. This one calls for pumpkin pureé along with chili powder and cayenne, so you get the perfect blend of sweet and spicy. The recipe may look involved, but all you really have to do is brown the meat, then add it to the slow cooker along with the rest of your ingredients.
10. Pumpkin Risotto
OK, yum. This slow cooker pumpkin risotto recipe is so easy, you could practically make it with your eyes closed. Just toss all of the ingredients (except for the parmesan) into the slow cooker and let them cook for two to three hours. That’s it. That’s the recipe. Eat up!
11. Pumpkin Pie
The most classic of pumpkin desserts, slow cooker-ified. Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger help round out the pumpkin flavor in this slow cooker pumpkin pie recipe. It’s a little more involved than just throwing your ingredients into a pot, but follow the instructions and you’ll be good to go in no time.
12. Paleo Pumpkin Curry
I’m sorry, did someone say pumpkin and tofu? Turns out, the two are great together for a tasty, slow-cooked curry! This slow cooker pumpkin curry is slightly sweet with some savory notes thanks to ingredients like coconut milk, pumpkin pureé, red curry paste and lime. Enjoy with naan or on its own!