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Half Baked Harvest’s Tieghan Gerard knows comfort food—and her second cookbook, Half Baked Harvest: Super Simple, is chock-full of such recipes. The twist: They can all be pulled off on even the busiest of days. Before the book officially launches on October 29, we’re giving you a sneak peek at a few of her favorite dishes.

What’s your unofficial marker for fall? For some, it’s that inaugural pumpkin spice coffee; for others, the first time they reach for their favorite turtleneck. For us, it’s the moment we pull out the slow cooker. Simmering soups and hearty stews (that you can pop on the stove and forget about until dinnertime) are the ultimate comfort food—and Gerard agrees. One of her favorite recipes from her upcoming cookbook is a poblano chili made for brisk nights and no fewer than eight of your closest friends. 

“I am a firm believer that everyone needs a really good chili in their recipe box,” says Gerard. “Many, many hungry snowboarders have tasted this, and it’s my go-to whenever I have a group to feed—which is rather often during the long snowy season.”

For Gerard, this Crock-Pot classic is a Sunday night dinner mainstay. Don’t get freaked out by the extensive ingredients list. The chopping is minimal and the bulk of cook time entails you letting the cooker do its thing, we promise. Plus, it’s easily riffable: Gerard’s favorite way to serve it is over angel hair pasta with a cloud of shredded cheese melted on top, but she also recommends turning the leftovers into a batch of nachos the next day. No convincing needed on our end. 

Poblano Chili 

Serves 8 Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 3 to 7 hours 

The Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 2 small yellow onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 to 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth 
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 6-oz can tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • For serving: shredded Cheddar cheese, sliced avocado, sliced green onions, cilantro

The Recipe

  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. 
  2. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the beef mixture to the slow cooker pot. Add the poblano peppers, chipotle chili powder, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cinnamon, salt, broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, and bay leaves and stir to combine. 
  4. Cover and cook until thickened slightly; 5 to 7 hours on low, or 3 to 4 hours on high.
  5. Remove and discard the bay leaves and ladle the chili into bowls. Top with Cheddar, avocado, green onions, and cilantro.
  6. Store any leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one day.
Reprinted from Half Baked Harvest Super Simple. Copyright © 2019 by Tieghan Gerard. Photographs copyright © 2019 by Tieghan Gerard. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

See more fall recipes we’re craving: Big-Batch Dinner Ideas That Can Double as Meal Prep for the Week14 One-Pan Recipes to Make When You’re Short on TimeWhat Chefs Make When All They Have Is a Box of Pasta