Crockpots should be every college student’s best friend. They make cooking 100x times easier: all you have to do is throw ingredients into your slow cooker, leave it there while you’re out for a couple of hours and voila! Your food is ready; minimal effort required.

You can make a week’s worth of food in your slow cooker and even freeze the leftovers, making it easy to eat real meals instead of takeout on days when you’re too exhausted to cook. Don’t think that slow cookers are limited to just cooking dinner foods, however. You can make just about anything in a slow cooker, from breakfast to dessert. Read on to find out what delicious slow cooker recipes you should try this fall:

1. Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal


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Oatmeal is a warm and comforting breakfast on chilly autumn mornings, and this recipe makes good use of all those apples you probably have lying around at this time of year. The fiber from the oats will keep you full until lunchtime and the cinnamon not only boosts your memory, but also jumpstarts your metabolism.

2. Turkey Tacos


Photo by Shayna Starr

If you’re anything like me, you crave Mexican food 24/7. This recipe allows you to start your slow cooker in the morning and have food ready by the time you finish classes. It’s an easy way to cook meat and also ensures that your meat will be tender and flavorful.

3. Chili


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No fall recipe roundup is complete without chili. Beans are cheap and are a good source of protein, and all the spices in the chili help ward off the inevitable cold of winter…

4. Beans and Sausage


Photo by Katya Simkovich

Cue cold weather. As the rain (and probably snow) begin to kick in, stay warm with this hearty, protein-packed meal.

5. Pumpkin and Blueberry Cake


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Yes, you read that right. You can even make cake in your slow cooker. You won’t need to worry about your cake burning in the oven anymore or accidentally setting your apartment on fire (oops). This is an especially good Thanksgiving recipe (for those of you who like planning far ahead, like me) because you can cook this in the slow cooker during dinner and it will be ready by the time you finish eating.

6. Mulled Wine


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No need to mess with simmering wine in a saucepan anymore. Like in every recipe on this roundup, the slow cooker presents an easy, no fuss way to make just about anything, mulled wine included.

7. Apple Pumpkin Butter

pumpkin butter

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The best way to use fall’s favorite produce? Make it into fruit butter. This is guaranteed to rival Trader Joe’s pumpkin butterMy favorite motto: why buy it when you can make it yourself?

Bonus: Gooey Chocolate Cake

chocolate cake

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Not your typical fall recipe per se, but who can resist a deliciously gooey chocolate cake?