25+ Easy and Portable Slow Cooker Recipes for Tailgating
Slow-Cooker Beef Nachos
Who knew you could make nachos in the Crock-Pot? This recipe is surprisingly yummy to have such simple ingredients.
Slow Cooker Beef-and-Sweet Potato Chili
Leaving the peels on the sweet potatoes has three benefits: Prep is faster, you add more fiber, and the potatoes hold their shape better after the 7-hour simmer. Besides, the peels get so tender that you barely notice they're there. If you'd like to change things up, try parsnips in place of the sweet potatoes; they have a similar sweetness and earthier flavor.
Chile con Queso
You can't go wrong with a favorite like classic chile con queso. Diced green chiles can be substituted for roasted green chiles.
Slow-Cooker White Chili with Turkey
Consider dinner covered for the day after Thanksgiving. This comforting slow cooker recipe is made with leftover turkey and will feed a full house. Cornmeal helps thicken this chili, and adds a hint of toasty corn flavor. Choose fine, rather than coarse, cornmeal for the smoothest texture.
Easy Slow-Cooker Jambalaya
Have dinner ready when you come home with this ultimate, slow-cooker Jambalaya. Featuring chicken, shrimp and smoked sausage, this classic Creole rice dish is perfect for the slow-cooker as all the flavors blend together over time in a marvelous way. As a simple one-pot meal, bring Jambalaya to your next potluck as a crowd-pleasing dish that doesn't skimp on flavor or presentation. Don’t be afraid of making too much because leftover Jambalaya still tastes great warmed up the next day with a splash of your favorite hot sauce.
Slow-Cooker Ginger, Sweet Tea, and Whiskey Short Ribs
Short ribs are often considered a cold weather dish, but we gave them a makeover for summer with a bright, tangy sauce (inspired by spiked sweet tea) and a fresh, herbal topping of parsley, scallions, and lemon zest. Serve these easy-to-prepare slow cooker ribs atop grits, mashed potatoes, or egg noodles or alongside potato salad with a tangy, vinegar-based (not mayonnaise-based) dressing.
Slow-Cooker Jambalaya Soup
Slow Cooker Carnitas Tacos
This is going to become your new go-to on taco night. Pork shoulder becomes meltingly tender as it slow-cooks in the chile- and garlic-infused citrus sauce. Searing the pork in a skillet for just a minute adds a depth of flavor you don't otherwise get in a slow cooker. Mildly spicy ancho chile (dried poblano peppers) adds authentic chile flavor to the sauce. Look for dried chiles in the produce or bulk spice department in large supermarkets. To serve taco truck–style, tuck the carnitas into warm corn tortillas and keep the toppings simple with diced white onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. Pair with slaw on the side.
Slow Cooker Shrimp Boil
For a classic summery meal without a fuss, look no further than this slow cooker shrimp boil. With a simple ingredient list and a largely hands-off cooking method, this easy seafood boil is a perfect recipe to plan on for casual warm weather entertaining or even as a low-effort meal to make at the rental house during a beach vacation. We opted to pull the corn out after 30 minutes of cooking as we preferred it on the crisp side, but as long as your slow cooker is large enough, feel free to leave it in the pot as the shrimp and sausage cook.
Blue Cheese-Artichoke Dip
Blue cheese amps up the flavor for a little twist on the traditional artichoke appetizer. The dip holds up well for about two hours after the cook time. Serve with pita chips or toasted baguette slices.
Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
This slow cooker pork carnitas recipe is a perfectly simple and inexpensive way to feed a crowd. Set out a stack of warm corn tortillas along, with a few simple toppings, and allow everyone to pile on the unbelievably rich and tender pork as they please.
Slow Cooker Bourbon-Peach Baked Beans
Skip the canned baked beans in favor of our fuss-free version, which saves up to 300mg sodium per serving. Adobo sauce and bacon build a smoky backbone, while peak-season peaches offer sweet contrast. Bonus: The beans will stay warm in a covered slow cooker for up to 2 hours after being unplugged.
Slow-Cooker Pork Tacos with Fresh Tomato Salsa
Make a pitcher of margaritas, pull out your most colorful linens and dinnerware, and add some dahlias to a flower vase. This easy slow cooker recipe is the only one you need for a fiesta night. Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind for a successful slow cooking experience: Slow cooking requires little fat, so trim the excess from meats and poultry.
Blackberry-Peach Slow Cooker Crumble
Topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or Greek yogurt, this simple summer dessert is a great way to satisfy the sweet tooth while reaping the nutritional benefits of summer fruit. Keep the peach slices no less than 1/2 inch thick; any smaller, and they may lose their shape when cooked.
Slow-Cooker Barbecue Chicken
Does it get much easier than this summer crockpot recipe? Slow-cook chicken breasts in a mixture of bottled barbecue sauce, Italian dressing, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce for a tender, sweet, and tangy barbecue chicken that’s great on a bun or even over a baked potato. This is a stress-free and tasty meal of which the whole family will want seconds.
Slow-Cooker Salsa Chicken
Reader Lacey Houseman, 29, from Thomaston, Georgia says, "I like to toss this together before I leave the house, and a few hours later, dinner is ready."
Creamy Dried Beef Dip
The flavors of dried beef, chopped bell peppers, cream cheese, and sour cream meld perfectly in the slow cooker for an out-of-this-world appetizer.
Crock-Pot BBQ Ribs
If you’re skeptical about ribs in a slow cooker, prepare to be amazed by the tender and delicious results. Cooking ribs doesn’t get easier than this two-step method, and while they serve as the perfect summer entrée, you can make this crockpot ribs recipe just as easily at any time of year. Start by selecting the style you like: baby back ribs, spare ribs, St. Louis style ribs, or country style pork ribs. Combine with your favorite sweet and smoky BBQ sauce and let your Crock-Pot take it from there. These easy slow cooker ribs are fall-off-the-bone tasty.
This hearty and super-easy crock-pot chili recipe takes just minutes to prepare before simmering low and slow for 4 hours. Red wine adds body to this traditional chili recipe, which features classic ingredients like green bell pepper, onion, stewed tomatoes, kidney beans, cumin, and chili powder. Top with shredded cheddar cheese, corn chips, sour cream, and slices of fresh avocado and serve with Buttermilk Cornbread for a satisfying supper no one will be able to resist.
Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs
Barbecue season is here, but we'll let you in on a secret: All you really need for crowd-pleasing ribs is the right recipe and a slow cooker. Savory, tender, juicy, and slow-cooked to perfection, this recipe for Easy BBQ Ribs is our newest and best. And just because it's easy doesn't mean this recipe lacks character. Add our homemade Rib Rub and Fancy Barbecue Sauce for a foolproof meal that's truly special.
Cook and serve this dip in a slow cooker to keep it warm. Makes a great dish for a Derby party!
Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Bourbon-Peach Barbecue Sauce
Smoked paprika comes from a centuries-old tradition in which chile peppers are slowly dried over low-burning fires of Spanish oak and then ground into powder. In the slow cooker, this earthy, aromatic spice adds outdoor smoked barbecue flavor.
Buffalo-Style Drummettes with Blue Cheese Dip
Heating the chicken drummettes in the oven helps to brown them. You can also brown them, in batches, in a skillet on the cooktop.
Slow Cooker Cheesy Cottage Potatoes
Cottage potatoes can be both a side dish and a main dish—especially at breakfast. Either way, they’re always popular. The ingredients are pantry staples, and if you don’t have a bell pepper on hand then just leave it out. Serve this with a good cranberry sauce.
Note: This recipe is ideally suited to a six-quart oval slow cooker, but use what you have.
Excerpted from Stock the Crock by Phyllis Good. Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved.
This is a great use for leftover baked potatoes.
These potatoes also make great hash browns the next morning.
Make it gluten-free
Use gluten-free bread for the bread cubes. Cornbread is also a delicious option.
Make it for picky eaters
If you have veggie-haters, omit the onions and green peppers and increase the amount of potatoes, bread cubes, and cheese. The flavor changes, but it’s still tasty with the rosemary, butter, and cheese.
This classic red chili has chunks of stew meat and ground beef along with tomatoes, red beans, and spices. Fire-roasted tomatoes add a note of smokiness to the mix. If you can't find fire-roasted, use plain tomatoes and add a pinch of smoked paprika.
Slow Cooker Barbacoa Brisket
Slow cooking tougher cuts of meat, such as beef brisket, gives you a meltingly tender texture. For tacos, serve the saucy barbacoa in tortillas with green and red onion, cilantro leaves, jalapeño slices, and fresh lime wedges.