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New and energy-efficient takes on tasty fall meals

A bowl of honey garlic tofu cooked in an air fryer
Tofu crisps up nicely in the air fryer, making a great, plant-based protein for a honey garlic dish.

Save time and energy by cooking with small appliances

Autumn brings a symphony of flavours and aromas, with meals that warm the body and soul. We're serving up a few recipe ideas – from spring rolls to egg tarts – plus links to other great recipes you can prepare with small appliances that do the job faster and use less energy.

Cooking with a small appliance uses up to 75% less energy than cooking the same meal with your oven or stovetop. Here are some small appliances that will help you save time and money in the kitchen.

Don't miss out on a chance to win so great prizes in our Smart Energy Contest that runs through October 29, 2023. Enter today and each week for a chance at weekly prizes. Plus, you could dish up savoury savings with our grand prize package featuring a Ninja Foodi Deluxe Pressure Cooker, Nutri Ninja Blender Duo and Breville Smart Oven air convection toaster oven.

Slow cookers and Instant Pots

  • The magic of a slow cooker is that you can prepare delicious, flavourful meals without standing over a hot stove for hours. It's less work for you, and reduces your home's energy use, too.
  • What they're great for: stew, soup, sauces, lasagna, pulled pork, curry.

Toaster ovens

  • Much smaller and efficient than regular ovens – in some cases, not much bigger than the toaster they replace – they're a convenient option that saves time and energy. Ideal for reheating small dishes or toasting buttered foods.
  • What they're great for: roasted vegetables, toasted nuts, small batch cookies and muffins, pizzas, hot sandwiches and quesadillas.

Air fryers

  • The healthier, more efficient option to pan frying, air fryers use hot air to cook food faster with less energy. And with no oil needed, you get that fried crunch with fewer calories.
  • What they're great for: vegetables, tofu, fried chicken, reheating leftovers, battered or breaded fish.

You can cook these dishes with small appliances

You can make a fall meal special without spending a lot of time or using that big oven. Time saved in the kitchen means more time to spend with your family and friends.

Knock it out of the park with air fryer soy sauce chicken wings from Tiffy Cooks. It's a recipe that leans in on five-spice powder, honey and garlic to deliver a sticky spicy spin on wings that can be done in 35 minutes. Another option is this air fryer sesame chicken from Honest Food Talks. If you prefer a plant-based option, try this air-fried tofu with honey garlic sauce.

Want to add some Ukrainian flair to your fall dinner, while also pleasing any vegetarians among your family and friends? Borscht is the perfect fall recipe, and this Instant Pot borscht from Olena Osipov of iFoodReal offers up options to add meat to the mix, or to go all-veggie with beans as the protein.

And turkey can stay on the menu, too, with a twist. The tandoori turkey breast from Spice Cravings can be prepped in an Instant Pot then crisped for a final five-minute touch under your oven's broiler. A nice touch is the option of subbing out gravy for a cilantro lime crema.

At Toaster Oven Love, a dynamic duo has put together a list of 18 toaster oven side dishes to help make things easier when cooking up a big holiday or family meal. It's a tempting batch of toaster oven recipes that includes sweet and spicy maple roasted Brussels sprouts, off-sweet balsamic roasted cranberries, roasted cabbage wedges, and garlicky oven roasted mushrooms.

A bowl of tasty curry cooked in a slow cooker
Re-imagine turkey leftovers with recipes such as slow cooker turkey curry.

What you can do with that leftover turkey

Your go-to for holiday turkey leftovers might be turkey-cranberry sandwiches. But if you want to shake things up with an ethnic twist, here are a few ways to literally spice things up that use small appliances.

The website is the work of a couple from London, England who have embraced all thigs slow cooking. We love the sound of their slow cooker turkey curry, but you’ll need to have the likes of garam masala, coriander, turmeric, and sweet paprika on hand to nail this recipe.

Over at, an Arizona cook has a delightful Instant Pot turkey soup that starts by making turkey stock – also with an Instant Pot – out of the turkey carcass. has an easy-to-prepare leftover chicken chili recipe, and if you’re into egg noodles, try this Instant Pot turkey tetrazzini recipe from a cook in Idaho who calls herself The Typical Mom.

A few easy air fryer recipes

Spring rolls

Ingredients: frozen spring rolls. For the sauce, 1/4 cup fish sauce, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/3 cup water, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 clove garlic, 1 small Thai chili pepper (chopped).


  1. Preheat the air fryer to 205°C (400°F).
  2. Place spring rolls in the air fryer and air fry for 4 minutes.
  3. Make the sauce by mixing the fish sauce, sugar, water, lime juice, garlic, and chili pepper in a bowl.
  4. Flip your spring rolls and air fry for an additional 4 minutes.

Egg tarts

Ingredients: 2 eggs, 380g of sugar, 250ml of milk, 4 frozen pre-made tart shells.


  1. Preheat the air fryer to 160°C (320°F).
  2. Mix eggs with sugar and milk. Stir well.
  3. Place tart shells into aluminium holder and poke holes in the shells with a fork.
  4. Fill tarts three-quarters full with the egg mixture.
  5. Air fry until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Air fried pork belly bites

Ingredients: 1 1/2 pounds pork belly, patted dry, cut into 1-inch pieces; 3 tablespoons oil; 1 tablespoon brown sugar; 1 teaspoon garlic powder; 1 teaspoon salt; 1 teaspoon pepper.


  1. Preheat the air fryer to 205°C (400°F).
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oil, brown sugar, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Add the pork belly pieces to the oil mixture, covering each piece.
  4. Lay the pork belly pieces in a single layer in the basket of your air fryer.
  5. Air fry the pork belly cubes for 18-20 minutes, shaking and flipping them a few times throughout the cooking time.

Air fried steamed buns

Ingredients: 5 small frozen/fresh steam buns, 1/3 cup condensed milk.


  1. Arrange the steam buns into the air fryer and air fry for 3 minutes at 205°C (400°F).
  2. Flip the buns and continue air frying for an additional 2 minutes. Once the second frying is complete, the steamed buns should be evenly golden on all sides.
  3. Serve and enjoy with a side of condensed milk.