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36 Best Crockpot Party Recipes (For Apps, Desserts — Even Punch!)

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best crock pot recipes

Enough with the boring vegetable trays.

Your crock pot is a workhorse, great at getting fuss-free dinners out on busy weeknights. But don't sell the slow cooker short — you may think of her as just a sensible pair of clogs, but she's got a sexy stiletto side as well. 

She can make dips, she can make apps, she can make desserts, and she can even make punch. Basically, anything you'd want to bring the party to the next level can be achieved with a crock pot.

So enough with the boring vegetable trays. Throw together one of the best crock pot recipes that's really crowd-pleasing for your next party, all with that sly little minx of a slow cooker sitting in your cabinet.

1. Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip

If you're looking for a classic snack for game day or a super-simple appetizer for busy weeks, this spinach artichoke dip is for you. It's also about as healthy as spinach artichoke dip gets, with 10 ounces of fresh spinach and Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.


RELATED: 30 Best 4-Hour Slow-Cooker Recipes (For A Quick, Slow Meal That Tastes Amazing)


2. Bacon Brown Sugar Sausages

Once you see how simple these little sausages are to make, you'll be hard-pressed to throw a party without them. Brown sugar and bacon? Go on, admit it — you're a little upset you didn’t think of these yourself.

3. Slow Cooker Queso Dip

Elevate a classic queso dip by adding ground beef and taco seasonings to it. And by making it in your slow cooker, you can have hot and creamy queso ready no matter how long the party lasts.

4. Party Meatballs

These balls are a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, and so simple to put together. Use store-bought meatballs, grape jelly, and chili sauce to make an app everyone's sure to devour.

5. Slow Cooker Crab Dip

This crab dip will make you feel like you're throwing a casual get-together on the shore in Maryland, even if you're just hanging out in your basement. Pour in extra Old Bay seasoning to really bring out the flavor of the crab.

6. Loaded Potatoes

You can serve comfort food at your next party without actually having to cook it — let your crock pot do all the work! Just layer in baby potatoes, cheese, cooked bacon, and chives, and step away for five hours.

7. Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo Chicken dip requires almost no prep work and can be made ahead of time so you're free to prep your party. It also travels well, in case you're getting ready for a potluck.

8. Party Mix

Party Mix is always a crowd favorite. This recipe lets you serve up an extra bold version without much extra work, thanks to your slow cooker. Just remember to give it a few stirs while it's cooking to make sure none of the bits get burned.

9. Caramelized Onion Dip

Caramelizing onions is a pain. I find that most recipes lie about how long it will take, so it makes sense to cook a big batch of them in your slow cooker to save yourself time in the future. Or you could just leave them in there and make a dip like this one!

10. Pumpkin Maple Cornbread

"Baking" cornbread in your slow cooker makes the outcome unbelievably moist, and frees up your oven for other party foods. Adding pumpkin and maple syrup give this recipe a little more sweetness than traditional cornbread.

11. Jalapeño Sweet Corn Dip

This dip is sweet and crispy, but you can add more jalapeño to it if you want to up the heat. And if you're craving it when it's not summer, frozen sweet corn works just as well as the fresh stuff.

12. Next-Level Buffalo WIngs

Buffalo wings are delicious, but they're also a mess to make. That's where your crock pot comes in — with only one pot to clean (or zero pots if you use a plastic liner or some tin foil), you'll start making wings every week.

13. Ultimate Pizza Dip

Cheesy dips like these are great in a slow cooker because you won't end up with an oily, hardened mess halfway through the party. Crisp up the pepperoni in a pan before adding it in so it doesn't go soggy.

14. Slow Cooker Ribs

Slow cookers are great for making tough cuts of meat super-tender. So why spend hours braising ribs when you can get the same results and be totally hands off? This recipe finishes the ribs on the grill to give them that smokiness we all crave.

15. Chili Mac

The secret to getting well-cooked pasta in a slow-cooker is to only add it in for the last 15 minutes. You'll get chewy (but not mushy) macaroni that sops up all the chili. Don't forget to serve with the best fixings, like sour cream, green onions, and cheese.

16. Chicken Carnitas Tacos

Using chicken instead of pork for carnitas makes them a little bit lighter. These go in the broiler at the last minute to crisp up the edges of the meat, making them perfect to add into burritos, enchiladas, and of course, tacos.

17. Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken

This recipe isn't technically a traditional Hawaiian dish, but it sure is tasty. You'll end up with a sweet and tangy thick sauce that makes the chicken perfect to serve over rice or even on hamburger buns.

18. Pizza Sloppy Joes

You've probably already made sloppy Joes in your crock pot. You've probably even brought them to a party. That's why you should try pizza sloppy Joes, made with marinara sauce and mozzarella, to up your game a little.

19. Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is great for a crowd. It's moist and delicious and there are about a million ways to serve it. Robyn from Add a Pinch thinks the best cut of meat for this is a shoulder blade roast, also known as a Boston butt (hehe).


RELATED: 30 Best Comfort Crockpot Recipes For Two People (Who Love Leftovers)


20. Cream Cheese Chicken Taquitos

Taquitos are a fun finger food that are filling enough to be dinner, so they're great to have on hand at a party. You can control the amount of heat in this version by only using the sauce from the chipotle peppers can (for mild) or throwing in the peppers as well (for hot).

21. French Dip Sandwiches

If you're looking to spice up a tailgate or game night, go with a French Dip sandwich. It's made with beef roast and Swiss or Provolone, and then dipped into a tangy gravy.

22. Mississippi Roast Sandwiches

Mississippi Roast is a delicious beef roast (thanks, entire stick of butter) that was invented in the 1990s. You can make it a more traditional roast by serving it sliced with carrots and mashed potatoes, but for a party, you really can't beat these sandwiches.

23. Crock Pot White Chicken Chili

This is the ultimate in dump-and-go recipes, but it's also super comforting and made with healthy ingredients. That combination makes it perfect any time of year, whether your party is snowed in or about to hit the beach.

24. Slow Cooker Short Ribs

Usually you think of braising or grilling short ribs, but you can get the same, if not better, results in your slow cooker. The outcome seems like a really fancy treat for your guests, but in reality the recipe is pretty much effortless.

25. Deep Dish Pizza

Why would you make Chicago-style pizza in a crock pot? I'd argue there’s something really beautiful about combining two venerable Midwestern traditions. Patriotic, even. But also, it's pretty much impossible to burn a crust in a slow cooker. And if you have a bunch of slow cookers, you can have all kinds of pizzas ready for your party.

26. Slow Cooker Monkey Bread

Monkey bread is a perfect party dessert because you inevitably end up crowded around the plate, all eating it together. And when you bake it in a slow cooker, you don't have to fuss with things like proofing the dough or assembly!

27. Brownie Pudding

Even the most novice, no-nothing bakers can pull off this dessert. You'll get a gooey, chocolatey, delicious mess by throwing brownie mix, pudding mix, and milk into a crock pot. And your guests will love it.  

28. Cherry Dump Cake

This cake is over-the-top amazing, especially when you learn it only has three ingredients. If baking were always this easy, I'd do it every day.

29. Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

These are a hybrid between a chocolate chip cookie and a blondie, which really are the best desserts possible, if you ask me. Switch things up by topping them with butterscotch chips, white chocolate, or even just your favorite candy bars crumbled up.

30. Crock Pot Pecan Pie

Seriously, you can cook ANYTHING in a slow cooker. Including pie. Trim your crust to make sure it doesn't cook unevenly, or just make do with having a bit of extra crispy crust in some spots.

31. Slow Cooker Cinnamon Buns

The slow cooker seals in moisture, so crock pot cinnamon buns come out even more gooey and delicious than ones that were baked. These are great for a brunch or shower, or even an unexpected dessert.

32. S'mores Cake

S'mores are too much fun to only eat in the summer when you're around a bonfire. Give any party a campy vibe with a s'mores lava cake baked right in your slow cooker. It's rich and tasty and completely hands-off.

33. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Crock pot cheesecake is dense, moist, and sweet — everything you want cheesecake to be. The peanut butter and chocolate drizzle topping on this one really sets it apart, making it the ultimate over-the-top party food.

34. Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler

Peach cobbler is the perfect summer treat, and with this version, you don't have to heat up the house with your oven or stove. Just dump everything into a slow cooker and spend the next two hours enjoying the summer.

35. Salted Caramel Fudge

This recipe makes a lot of fudge, but your party guests won't mind. It’s a moist and flavorful fudge with a balance of sweet and savory that makes it easy to eat way more than one square.

36. Outrageous Brownies

If you prefer gooey brownies to cakey ones, the slow cooker is your friend. These brownies are so gooey they're almost not brownies at all — you could eat them with a spoon and pass them off as lava cakes if you really wanted.


RELATED: These 10 Ingredients Are All You Need In Your Kitchen Pantry


Catherine LeFebvre is a writer and editor living in LA with her goldendoodle, Grover Cleveland. Her husband and son live with them too. She’s done time with Martha Stewart (here, not here), Food Network, and Nickelodeon. You can follow her on Instagram @discolefebvre.

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