With Delicious Ease: Slow Cooker Recipe Party Ideas
The slow cooker used to be an appliance that typically made chili, beef stew, or a big batch of soup. Today, the slow cooker has evolved, and even the trustiest crockpot is now used for party recipes — from finger-food appetizers to decadent desserts. Your new slow cooker menu is about to get much bigger with seven of our favorite recipes right here.
Homemade Crockpot Chex Mix:
Buying bags of this mix is the easy — but costly — way to do this party snack. Instead, use your slow cooker to make bigger batches. Combine 9 cups of Chex cereal (divided into equal parts of three different cereals like corn, rice, or wheat Chex), 2 cups mini pretzels, 1 cup plain Cheerios, and 1 cup peanuts in the slow cooker. Separately, whisk together 1/3 cup melted butter and 1 tablespoon seasoned salt until the salt dissolves. Then stir in 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce. Drizzle the mixture evenly over the dry ingredients in the bowl. Toss for a minute to evenly coat. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours, stirring every hour so the cereal doesn’t burn. Then, spread the mixture on baking sheets lined with wax or parchment paper in a single layer until it cools down to room temperature. Then, serve or store it in airtight containers for up to 3 weeks.
Chicken/Turkey Cranberry Sauce Meatball Appetizer
Make small chicken or turkey meatballs with your favorite recipe. Add in a handful of dried cranberries or raisins, plus a dash of allspice, for every 2 pounds of ground chicken or turkey you use. While your meatballs cook in the oven, mix together in the slow cooker a can of jellied cranberry and a bottle of barbecue sauce. When the meatballs are cooked, add them to the crockpot. Gently stir to coat meatballs. Cover and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours or high for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Cranberry Kielbasa Bites
Keeping in the spirit of cranberry party recipes, try this surprising and super simple recipe for your next holiday get-together. Slice 2 kielbasa links into 1/4- to 1/3-inch thick rounds. Put them in your slow cooker. Separately mix 1 can of jellied cranberry sauce and 1 jar chili sauce. Pour this mixture over the kielbasa. Cook on high for 90 minutes. Add a toothpick to each piece of sausage and serve hot.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
It's great for any time of the year, and this easy recipe is tasty with unsalted tortilla chips or vegetables. To make, place a pound of thinly sliced chicken breasts, 1/4 cup of chicken broth, 1/4 cup of buffalo wing sauce, and 1 tablespoon of ranch seasoning in your cooker. Cover and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours or low for 5 to 7 hours. Shred the chicken when it's done and return it to the slow cooker. Add in a package of softened cream cheese and 1/2 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Cover and let the slow cooker heat and melt the cheese for about 30 minutes. Stir until smooth and serve hot or cold as a dip.
Chocolate Party Fondue
It’s not a party without chocolate. Fondue has made a comeback and it’s the easiest dessert you can offer a crowd. Dip in strawberries, marshmallows, chunks of pound cake, angel food cake, graham crackers, bananas — you name it. To make this chocolate pot, combine a 12-ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, a 12-ounce jar of caramel topping, and a 12-ounce jar of seedless raspberry jam preserves in the slow cooker. Cook on low for an hour while stirring frequently. Dip your fruits and cake pieces right into the slow cooker; the chocolate stays warm and melted.
Slow Cooker Chocolate Pretzel Cluster Candy
Who knew you could make a variety of chocolate candies in your slow cooker? Make this gift- and party-worthy recipe by combining 12 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips, 8 ounces of semisweet baking chocolate, and 3 tablespoons of butter in the slow cooker pot. Cover and cook on low for 1 hour. Stir the chocolate and keep melting it for about 30 more minutes.
While the chocolate is cooking, cover two cookie sheets with parchment or wax paper. Turn off the cooker. Add an 8-ounce bag of pretzel nuggets and 1/2 cup of holiday M&Ms into the chocolate. Quickly stir to completely coat the pretzels. Drop large spoonsful of the pretzel/chocolate mixture onto your baking sheets. Drizzle a few more M&M candies on each piece. Let the candies set. When they're thoroughly cooled, store the candies in airtight containers in your refrigerator for up to 14 days. You can also freeze them for up to a month.
Homemade Spiced Apple Cider
Move over, summer punch! Here’s a classic recipe for the winter holidays. Combine 12 cups of apple cider, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves, 1/4 teaspoon of ground allspice, 3 cinnamon sticks, and one orange studded with whole cloves in the slow cooker. Cover, cook on low for 2 to 3 hours, and stir occasionally. Keep the cider warm for about 2 hours after it's done cooking. For smaller gatherings, or smaller slow cookers, halve the recipe.