Fall is my favorite season. Leaves changing color and falling, college football (especially here in Notre Dame, Indiana…Go Irish!) cool evenings, apples and pumpkins; these months are made of the very best.

A few years ago I was perusing Pinterest in search of inspiration. I wanted an easy recipe with the delicious flavors of fall. We were going to the pumpkin patch that night and I wanted to come home to a dinner that was fitting to our fall celebration. A crock-pot meal was a bonus because there’s something satisfying about a dinner that’s ready when you walk in the door, and that promises quick cleanup.

I picked this because I had all the ingredients already and it seemed pretty foolproof (which was important in my early days of cooking). We’ve adapted it over the years and made little changes based on our taste, but it’s become one of our favorite go-to recipes. We eat it all year, but I think it tastes even better in the fall, and best when you’ve just come inside from the cool evening.

This meal is versatile, too. It’s gluten free, the original recipe is dairy free, and you can adjust the spices to suit the tastes of your family.

I promise you will not be disappointed with the results! Add it to your list of fall recipes to try, after the pumpkin patch or trick-or-treating, or while watching a night game.

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Chicken, Sweet Potato and Apple Crockpot “Stew”

Adapted from StockPilingMoms.com 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 hours
Yields: 6-8 servings


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken brests, whole
  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes (we give them a good scrub and leave the skin on)
  • ½ onion (whatever variety have on hand), roughly chopped
  • 2tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • Salt+Pepper to taste


  1. Rinse the chicken breasts and place them at the bottom of the crockpot
  2. Cut the sweet potatoes into large chunks and place on top of chicken
  3. Add chopped onion and minced garlic to the crockpot
  4. In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, combine applesauce and spices, stir, and pour on top of sweet potatoes and onions, distributing evenly.
  5. Cut butter into 6 pats and place evenly on top of applesauce mixture.
  6. Set crockpot to low setting and leave for 6-8 hours, stirring once or twice toward the end of cooking time.

Tips and Tricks

  • To make dairy free, eliminate butter and add 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • If you prefer a stew with more broth, add 1-2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • Can serve over basmati or jasmine rice, with fresh bread, or alone

As a side note, because this meal is made with so many fresh, healthy ingredients, you have my permission to finish the meal with a hearty slice of apple or pumpkin pie. Bon appetit!

Copyright 2016 Megan Swaim