Planning a birthday party, gearing up for the big game or preparing for any celebration that includes loads of appetizing eats can be super stressful for a host. Along with decorating, staging and making sure you have everything you need, you have to sweat over the stove making snacks, apps and treats for guests to enjoy.
But if you have a Crock-Pot or two at the ready, you essentially have an assistant in the kitchen. Since football season is upon us, your living room may start to be full of hungry fans on Sunday afternoons. Here are seven ways you can use your slow cooker to keep them well fed.
1. Double Dips
Trying to decide between nacho cheese sauce or warm spinach and artichoke dip? Why not both? Using a couple of crock pot liners, a piece of cardboard and some foil, your can divide your slow cooker into sections.
2. Finger Foods
Football-friendly apps such as cocktail franks, meatballs and chicken wings are easy to prepare and keep warm in your slow cooker. Keep a stack of small plates and skewers close by for simple serving.
3. Self-Serve Sandwiches
Fix warm sandwich fillings, such as pulled pork, beef au jus or shredded chicken in barbecue sauce, in your slow cooker. Have an assortment of rolls handy or keep buns warm in a second slow cooker for a filling, no-fuss game-day lunch.
4. Get Your Hot Dogs
It’s so easy to make delicious ballpark style dogs in your slow cooker that you may never go back to boiling them. Simply stick them in the pot—sans water—to make tasty steamed hot dogs for a big crowd in no time.
5. Prepare Party Mix
Chex Mix is a must-have munchie for any gathering, and you can make a big, fresh batch of this savory snack in your Crock-Pot. It’s as simple as measuring the ingredients, giving them a stir and turning on the slow cooker.
6. Have A Potato Party
You can load spuds with anything from bacon and cheese to chili or broccoli, making them fun party fare. Whip up a big batch of taters in a snap by rubbing them with oil, sprinkling on coarse salt and stacking them in the slow cooker (no water required). Get the full directions here.
7. Don’t Forget Dessert
You can make many amazing desserts in your slow cooker, such as cake, apple crumble and fudge. Alternatively, heat up jars of sweet sauces in a water-filled crock pot and serve with fruit, cake skewers or pretzel rods for delicious dipping.
Next time you are hosting a get-together, don’t overlook your slow cooker. It can be a game changer on game day or anytime you are feeding a crowd.
Hungry for more? Check out these other handy slow-cooker hacks that will give you more time to enjoy the party.