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22 Fall Dump Dinners That Will Feed a Crowd

Crisp leaves and cooler weather; casual dinner parties and no-fuss recipes that feed a large group of friends…these are a few of our favorite things. It only makes sense, then, to combine them all together. Big-batch recipes for fall? Genius. Big-batch fall recipes that are also made in one pot, one pan or one trusty slow cooker? Even better. Presenting 22 fall dump dinners that will feed a crowd.

15 Low-Maintenance Dump Dinners That Basically Make Themselves


1. 30-Minute Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Orecchiette (4 Servings)

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, ready in <30 minutes, high protein

Salty, savory and tangy, this pasta is ready for fall. As written, it makes four generous servings, but can easily be scaled up for a larger crowd.

2. Cheater’s Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon (6 Servings)

  • Time Commitment: 8 hours, 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, slow cooker recipe, beginner-friendly, special occasion–worthy

Don’t tell Julia Child, but we’re taking some major shortcuts with this classic French dish. Namely, we’re throwing everything into our slow-cooker and never looking back.

3. Cheater’s Italian Wedding Soup (8 Servings)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, slow cooker recipe, kid-friendly

Parmesan, pasta, beans, kale and juicy meatballs…all in one bite? Say no more, we’re already on our way to your place.

4. Slow Cooker Chicken Potpie Soup (8 Servings)

  • Time Commitment: 7 hours, 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, slow cooker recipe, beginner-friendly

The secret to making this as low effort as possible is in the store-bought biscuit dough. No one will know you didn’t make it yourself (but they’ll gobble it up).

5. Slow Cooker Pasta e Fagioli (6 Servings)

  • Time Commitment: 7 hours, 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: slow cooker recipe, make ahead, high protein

This hearty, make-ahead soup calls for a crackling fire, a candlelit table and many, many cocktails.

6. Creamy Vegan Lentil Roasted Vegetable Bake (8 Servings)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegan, crowd-pleaser

Hello, ultimate cold weather comfort food. The caramelized roast vegetables are reason enough to make this on repeat…but the cashew cream puts it over the top.

7. Slow Cooker French Onion Soup (6 Servings)

  • Time Commitment: 7 hours, 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: slow cooker recipe, one pot, beginner-friendly

No need to toil over a hot stove when you could press a button on your Crock-Pot and get back to that Netflix queue of scary movies waiting for you.

8. Cheater’s White Wine Coq au Vin (6 Servings)

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, special occasion–worthy, gluten free

This elegant meal has “impromptu dinner party” written all over it. Your guests will be so impressed with the flavorful, white wine-infused sauce that they won’t even suspect it took you less than an hour to make.

9. Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup (6 Servings)

  • Time Commitment: 7 hours, 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, slow cooker recipe, kid-friendly

No need to bundle up when you’ve got this creamy beauty—she’s kind of like a blanket in a bowl.

10. 30-Minute, One-Pot Cheater’s Bouillabaisse (6 Servings)

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, ready in <30 minutes, one pot

We shaved 90 minutes off the cooking time of this rustic French soup. Serve it with a bottle of wine and wait for the compliments.

11. White Turkey Chili with Avocado (8 Servings)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: one pot, gluten free, beginner-friendly

If you’re not serving a big batch of chili at your game-watch party, is it even fall?

12. Skillet Gnocchi with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe (6 Servings)

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, one pan

You had us at gnocchi, and again at one-skillet dinner. Thanks to a few smart shortcuts (store-bought pasta, for one), this meal takes a mere 30 minutes to make. 

13. Autumn Braised Chicken Escabèche with Roasted Apples and Grapes (6 Servings)

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, high protein, one pan

Escabèche is just a fancy way of saying “pickled,” but don’t let that raise your eyebrows. This chicken skillet is packed with fall fruits and a sweet-and-sour sauce that’s obsession-worthy.

14. One-Pot Creamy Pumpkin Mac and Cheese (6 Servings)

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, one pot, beginner-friendly

’Tis the season for all things pumpkin (and we admit we’re not mad about it at all). The squash adds a certain je ne sais quoi that we can’t resist to this crowd-pleaser.

15. Curried Kale, Potato and Lentil Soup (8 Servings)

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: gluten free, dairy free, vegan, one pot

Comforting yet healthy is our M.O. when it comes to cool-weather cooking. This one-pot lentil soup is just the ticket.

16. Baked Chicken and Mushroom Risotto (6 Servings)

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, gluten free

Earthy mushrooms just scream “autumn,” so why not add them to this hands-off risotto? Oh, we almost forgot to mention: You hardly have to stir anything.

17. Healthy Instant Pot Turkey Chili (8 Servings)

  • Time Commitment: 33 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Instant Pot recipe, <500 calories

Throw everything in your Instant Pot and, in record timing, you can marvel at the tasty results. (Just don’t skip the sour cream and cheese.)

18. Freekeh Vegetable Soup (8 Servings)

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pot, vegetarian, dairy free

Thanks to the addition of hearty, smoky freekeh (it’s an heirloom grain), this veggie soup rivals even the heartiest of meat-based stews.

19. Split Pea Soup with Ham

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: gluten free, dairy free

Raise your hand if your mom used to feed you this classic every week from September to November. Yep, that’s what we thought. (We bet hers wasn’t this effortless to make, though.)

20. Super-Easy One-Pot Lasagna (6 Servings)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, kid-friendly, one pot

Behold, the dump dinner to end all others. If we had known you could whip up a big batch of lasagna in a single pan, we would’ve been doing this years ago.

21. Pomegranate-Sumac Chicken with Roasted Carrots (8 Servings)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 20 minutes (+ marinating time)
  • Why We Love It: sheet pan recipe, special occasion–worthy

Now that it’s cool enough to return to your oven, it’s time to embrace the sheet-pan meal. This one’s packed with warm Middle Eastern spices and will have your crowd begging for the recipe.

22. Slow Cooker Spicy Green Chicken Chili (6 to 8 servings)

  • Time Commitment: 6 hours, 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: slow cooker recipe, make ahead, gluten free

Switch up your usual watch party fare with this new take on chili. FYI, it freezes beautifully, so you can make it in advance or stash leftovers for later.