A box filled with fresh fruit and vegetables on display

Recipes for Tastes of Autumn and Slow Cookers Go Together

There’s just something about the bountiful tastes of autumn and slow cookers that go together. Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of testing in my kitchen. While some results have been less than palatable (let me make all the mistakes so you won’t have to), other attempts have turned out even better than I could have dreamed. 

autumn harest vegetables in a wood box

I’m anxious to share three recipes with you and even more anxious to hear how they turn out for you. I have added printable recipe cards for each recipe at the end of this post.

Cheaper and Better

You can make these meals at home for a fraction of the cost of eating out—and I am confident your results will taste a lot better, too.

If you’re keeping track of the cost of meat these days, you’re probably aware that pork remains much cheaper than beef. 

Apple Cider Pork Roast

I just bought a pork shoulder roast weighing about 7.5 lbs., on sale for $14.93  ($1.99/lb.) What a bargain. This is a cut that is ideal for long and slow cooking. Here’s what I did with half of it.

 

A plate of food, with Pork and Sauce

Apple Cider Pork Roast

  • 1 (4-pound) boneless pork shoulder roast
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (optional)
  1. Season the roast with salt and black pepper on all sides.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat on the stovetop. Sear the roast on all sides in the hot oil until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer pork to the slow cooker., but keep the skillet with its juices in place.
  3. Reduce stovetop temperature to medium. Add the sliced shallots and chopped celery to the skillet and cook about 3 to 4 minutes. Pour the apple cider vinegar into the skillet with the vegetables and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until the liquid is nearly evaporated, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Next, pour this shallot mixture over the roast in the slow cooker. Add apple cider, garlic cloves, and bay leaf. Cover, set slow cooker to Low, and cook until fork-tender but not falling apart, about 6 to 8 hours. Turn the roast over every 1 to 2 hours if you are home.
  5. Remove the roast to a plate and cover loosely with foil.
  6. Pour remaining liquid from the slow cooker through a fine mesh strainer into a large saucepan and place it over high heat. Discard the bay leaf and other solids.
  7. Bring sauce mixture to a boil, decrease heat to Medium and cook, skimming fat from the top, until reduced to about one-quarter of the original volume or about 10 minutes.
  8. Remove sauce from heat and stir in Dijon mustard and cayenne pepper if you intend to use that. Slowly whisk in cold butter until incorporated. Sprinkle in fresh herbs and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  9. Cut pork into 1/4-thick slices and serve with sauce poured over the top. Servings: 6 to 8.

Harvest Apple Sauce

If one thing is plentiful this time of year, it’s apples. You can make this homemade apple sauce from any apples available, adjusting the sugar according to whether yours are tart or more sweet apples.

A bowl of food on a table, with Slow cooker and Apple sauce

Harvest Apple Sauce

  • 8 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (from the store or homemade recipe below ).
  1. Combine the apples and water in a slow cooker; cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours.
  2. Stir in the brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice; continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes. Servings: 8

 Creamy Potato Soup

A bowl of food on a plate, with Slow cooker and Black pepper

Classic Slow Cooker Potato Soup

  • 6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 1/2 cups homemade (or 2-10.5 ounce cans condensed) chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 5 large potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white (or black) pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  1. Place bacon and onion in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until bacon is evenly brown and onions are soft. Drain off excess bacon fat. Transfer the bacon and onion to the slow cooker. Stir in the chicken broth, water, potatoes, salt, and ground pepper. Cover, and cook on Low 6 to 7 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and half-and-half. Stir into the soup along with the evaporated milk. Cover, and cook another 30 minutes before serving. Servings: 6 to 8.
A plate of food, with Pork and Sauce
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Apple Cider Pork Roast

If you’re keeping track of the cost of meat these days, you’re probably aware that pork remains much cheaper than beef. So grab a pork roast (on sale!) then long and slow in the slow cooker. This roast exemplifies the best of autumn. So yummy!
Prep Time25 mins
Slow cooking8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 25 mins
Course: Autumn, Entree, Pork
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 85kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 4 lb. boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • salt, pepper
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 1 rib celery
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • cups apple cider
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • tspn Dijon mustard
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, optional to taste
  • 2 tbsp cold butter cut into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, optional chopped

Instructions

  • Season the roast with salt and black pepper on all sides.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat on the stovetop. Sear the roast on all sides in the hot oil until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer pork to the slow cooker., but keep the skillet with its juices in place.
  • Reduce stovetop temperature to medium. Add the sliced shallots and chopped celery to the skillet and cook about 3 to 4 minutes. Pour the apple cider vinegar into the skillet with the vegetables and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until the liquid is nearly evaporated, about 4 to 5 minutes. 
  • Next, pour this shallot mixture over the roast in the slow cooker. Add apple cider, garlic cloves, and bay leaf. Cover, set slow cooker to Low, and cook until fork-tender but not falling apart, about 6 to 8 hours. Turn the roast over every 1 to 2 hours if you are home.
  • Remove the roast to a plate and cover loosely with foil. 
  • Pour remaining liquid from the slow cooker through a fine mesh strainer into a large saucepan and place it over high heat. Discard the bay leaf and other solids.
  • Bring sauce mixture to a boil, decrease heat to Medium and cook, skimming fat from the top, until reduced to about one-quarter of the original volume or about 10 minutes.
  • Remove sauce from heat and stir in Dijon mustard and cayenne pepper if you intend to use that. Slowly whisk in cold butter until incorporated. Sprinkle in fresh herbs and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Cut pork into 1/4-thick slices and serve with sauce poured over the top. Servings: 6 to 8.

Nutrition

Calories: 85kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 78mg | Potassium: 119mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 136IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 0.4mg
A bowl of food on a table, with Slow cooker and Apple sauce
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Harvest Apple Sauce

If one thing is plentiful this time of year, it’s apples. You can make this homemade apple sauce from any apples available, adjusting the sugar according to whether yours are tart or more sweet apples.
Prep Time15 mins
slow cooking8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 15 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 221kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed, light or dark
  • ½ tspn pumpkin pie spice

Instructions

  • Combine the apples and water in a slow cooker; cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours.
  • Stir in the brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice; continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes. Servings: 8

Nutrition

Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.4g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 223mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 51g | Vitamin A: 98IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 0.4mg
A bowl of slow cooker potato soup
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Slow Cooker Potato Soup

This creamy potato soup has comfort written all over it! Budget-friendly and oh, so yummy on a brisk fall or winter day.
Prep Time25 mins
Slow cooking7 hrs
Total Time7 hrs 25 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 306kcal

Ingredients

  • 6 pieces bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • cups chicken broth homemade or 2 (10.5 ounce) cans condensed 
  • 2 cups water
  • 5 large potatoes, diced
  • ½ tspn salt
  • ½ tspn ground white (or black) pepper
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 can (12-oz) evaporated milk

Instructions

  • Place bacon and onion in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until bacon is evenly brown and onions are soft. Drain off excess bacon fat.
  • Transfer the bacon and onion to the slow cooker. Stir in the chicken broth, water, potatoes, salt, and ground pepper.
  • Cover, and cook on Low 6 to 7 hours, stirring occasionally. 
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and half-and-half. Stir into the soup along with the evaporated milk. Cover, and cook another 30 minutes before serving. Servings: 6 to 8.

Nutrition

Calories: 306kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 570mg | Potassium: 1103mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 222IU | Vitamin C: 47mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 2mg
autumn pumpkin spice latte with milk and cream
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix

You can buy it in the supermarket, but boy is it pricey! Make it yourself and save a bundle.
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Seasoning
Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tspn ground ginger
  • ½ tspn allspice
  • ½ tspn ground cloves
  • ½ tspn ground nutmeg
  • ½ tspn ground mace Can substitute ground nutmeg (See NOTE)

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well. Store in an airtight container for up to one year. Recipe multiplies well.

Notes

Note 1: Can't find ground mace? Substitute by increasing nutmeg to 1 tspn. 
Note 2: Recipe for Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte

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2 replies
  1. Mary M Riethmiller says:

    5 stars
    I love all of your recipes and look forward to these autumn ones in a slow cooker. I want to do your applesauce but I don’t see how much water you put in the slow cooker with the apples. Should there be enough just to cover the apples? Or more? Thanks. Mary

    Reply

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