Between the Halloween parade at school, the mad dash to Costco to buy an economy-sized bag of candy, then pulling together a costume for yourself, cooking an elaborate meal on Halloween can be a low priority. Fortunately, these 17 Halloween slow cooker recipes will simmer and sizzle all by themselves while you run around all day taking care of those (downright frightening) last minute details.
With candy as a dessert (and let's be real, probably an appetizer too), your family (and you!) will appreciate a hearty meal to sop up some of that sugar. Halloween is a lovely and strange holiday; after all, on what other occasion would you happily send your kids out to collect food from strangers? To celebrate this year, you could start a new holiday tradition and make something special in the slow cooker.
And if you already have dinner planned out (pizza delivery, anyone?) there are also some sweets your kids will love, and even one "adult-only" cider recipe, because grown-ups deserve treats too. Your slow cooker already looks like a cauldron, so you might as well throw on a witch hat and work some culinary magic. Read on for the 17 Halloween slow cooker recipes that will have your family saying, "bone appetit!"
1. Pumpkin Chili
This pumpkin chili from Brooklyn Farm Girl will fill your crew up before you head out to trick-or-treat. Made with pumpkin, ground turkey, beans, vegetables, and Mexican spices, it's hearty, warming, and feels very fall. You'll be reaching for this recipe all autumn.
2. Butternut Squash Soup
I look forward to squash season each year, and it doesn't get much tastier than this creamy butternut squash soup from Gimme Some Oven. It has a slight sweetness that kids can appreciate, plus it's packed with healthy ingredients like apple, carrot, and onion. Plus it just so happens to be naturally vegan and gluten-free.
3. New England Clam And Corn Chowder
Sure, clam chowder may not sound like a Halloween meal, but I love that the soup has some protein in it thanks to the clams and the bacon. Rachel of Baked By Rachel described the soup on her website as, "hearty, flavorful, and super easy." Just make sure to save room for dessert.
4. Apple Cider
Your whole house will fill with the sweet, spicy smell of apples and cinnamon as you cook this all day. If you want to distract your kids from the mounds of candy at their fingertips, you could try serving them a hot mug of cider from Dinner At The Zoo as they sort through their loot. It's worth a try, and I bet you'll love it too.
5. Pumpkin Butter
Pumpkin butter is the oft forgotten sibling to peanut or almond butter, but it's just as delicious and versatile. You could cook up a big batch of this recipe from Jelly Toast and have enough to share with friends. Pumpkin is an excellent source of potassium and beta-carotene (according to the BBC) and you can spread it on toast for a healthy Halloween breakfast.
6. Macaroni And Cheese
Maybe your goal is just to get your child to eat something hearty, and you know what's always sure to be gobbled up? Yep, that's right: mac and cheese. This recipe from Cookies And Cups doesn't even require you to to cook the pasta before pouring it into the slow cooker, so it really couldn't be much easier.
7. Classic Chili
A cup of hearty, warm chili from Taste And Tell is always welcomed on a fall evening. You can season it with whatever works for your family, but lime, tortilla chips, sour cream, and avocado are all good options. In my experience, chili freezes well and is easy to thaw when you need a solid meal on a busy day.
8. Baked Apples
Baked apples feel indulgent, but they're a fruit, so they have to be at least kind of healthy, right? If you've been apple picking this fall, chances you have tons of apples lying around that you need to use up, and this recipe from Recipes That Crock is your answer. Paired with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, you just may end up preferring this to candy.
9. Mashed Potatoes
Most kids are down to eat mashed potatoes, and this recipe from Two Peas And Their Pod will fill their bellies. These are creamy, garlicky, and topped with butter — what could go wrong? You can consider this a trial run for Thanksgiving.
10. Hot Chocolate
When I saw this recipe from Five Heart Home, I had to stop what I was doing and make a cup of hot chocolate, so sorry in advance if this pic interrupts your day. Topped with marshmallows, the creamy chocolate makes for a nice way to unwind after a cold, spooky night of trick-or-treating.
11. Vegan Lasagna Soup
It's not everyday that lasagna and soup get to team up. Best of all, this soup is vegan (the "cheese" is made from cashews) and filled with vegetables. This is the perfect healthy base that your kids will love.
12. Coconut Milk Steel Cut Oats
Jury's still out on whether or not breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, but when your kid is going to be inhaling candy all day long, it's never a bad idea to give them a filling, fiber and protein-filled start. Not only is it healthy, this recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe tastes amazing.
13. Ginger Rum Apple Cider
I promised there'd be a slow cooker cocktail on the list, and I'd never let you down. This recipe from Sugar And Soul mixes apples, cider, cinnamon sticks, rum, and ginger for a warming fall treat. If rum isn't your thing, or you want to share with the younger set, just leave out the alcohol and it's still delicious.
14. Pulled Chicken Tacos
Everyone loves tacos, right? Regardless of how excited they are to put on their costume, your kids will be psyched to eat this slow cooker pulled chicken recipe from Jen Elizabeth's Journals. It's tangy and smoky and a little bit sweet (thanks to the maple syrup).
15. Pumpkin Pie Cake
I had no idea that cake could be made in a slow cooker, but clearly I have a lot to learn because this unique take on pumpkin pie looks amazing. You'll need to make a foil collar, which Trish of Mom On Timeout explains how to do here. Served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, this cake is the perfect fall dessert.
16. Beef And Broccoli
Okay, so I know beef and broccoli doesn't seem like a traditional fall recipe, but I had to include this one from Table For Two because my family would always get takeout Chinese food or make-your-own pizza on Halloween night. This savory dish is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, and is almost as easy as ordering out.
17. French Onion Soup
I'd eat this french onion soup every day if I could. It feels indulgent and satisfying without being overly filling, so you'll still have room for lots of dessert. It's worth noting that if you're already familiar with the Cook Nourish Bliss blog, this recipe is from before she transitioned to featuring only dairy-free recipes and it does contain cheese.