11 Slow Cooker Side Dish Recipes

I love my slow cooker. You can do basically everything in a slow cooker. From foods that can cook all day, to classic BBQ, all the way to even gorgeous desserts like cheesecake, the slow cooker can do it all.  Slow cookers save time and keep the house cool. And they are an awesome way to prep food for a crowd! I absolutely love using my slow cooker for gatherings. It makes my life so much easier.

SlowCookerSides

If you’ve never used your slow cooker to make side dishes, pull it out and give it a try! These 11 side dishes you can make in your slow cooker are the perfect thing. These recipes are easy to put together and are definitely crowd pleasers. They pair well with summer food and some of them are perfect for parties and holiday dinners.

11 Easy Slow Cooker Side Dishes

loaded-cheesy-potato-casserole

Loaded Cheesy Potato Casserole

honey glazed carrots in the slow cooker done

Honey Glazed Carrots in the slow cooker 

slow cooker corn casserole

 

Corn Casserole in the Slow Cooker

hashbrown casserole

 

Hashbrown Casserole in the slow cooker

Winter Squash in the Slow Cooker

Acorn or Butternut Squash in the slow cooker

homemadeapplesauceingr.jpg

Homemade Apple Sauce in the Slow Cooker 

bakedbeansdone_thumb.jpg

Baked Beans in the Slow Cooker

scalloped potatoes done

Scalloped Potatoes in the Slow Cooker

sweet potatoes and apples done

Sweet Potatoes and Apples in the Slow Cooker

slow cooked apples and butternut squash

Apples and Butternut Squash in the Slow Cooker

 

pinterestsides

Slow Cooker Beer Brats (or Italian Sausages)

Slow Cooker Beer Brats

I’m not going to lie.  I was skeptical when my sister told me about Slow Cooker Beer Brats.  I’m not a fan of beer and the thought of cooking a brat in it didn’t sound too good.

But she said they turn out so flavorful – not tasting like beer, but just so good.  The fact that they cook in the slow cooker was a plus for me too.  I love a good slow cooker recipe!

So I tried them and my sister was right.  You’ve got to make these!

We topped them with ketchup, mustard, diced onion, mild banana peppers.  I was out of relish or we would have added that too.  These brats can handle a lot of toppings.

One thing that surprised me is how the brats browed during the cook time.  I didn’t expect that since they were cooking partially submerged in the beer.

This recipe couldn’t be easier, since it has only two basic ingredients.  This is summer cooking at its simplest – 2 minute prep, slow cooker doesn’t heat up your house, go have fun while it cooks – my kind of recipe!

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

Slow Cooker Desserts Series

Slow Cooker Dessert Series

Let’s talk about dessert. You probably know that I have a huge sweet tooth, and I absolutely love having something delicious to sit down with at the end of the day. Bonus points if it includes ice cream! You also probably know by now how much I love my slow cooker.

Did you know that there are dozens of sweet, decadent desserts that you can make in the slow cooker too? I took my love of slow cookers and my love of desserts and decided to take slow cooking to a sweeter place than tacos and soups. Once I tried making dessert in the slow cooker, I was hooked. Now I’m always looking for ways to convert favorites into slow cooker desserts that I can whip up without turning my oven on at all.

I love making cobblers and crips in the slow cooker because they are super easy desserts by nature, and I like easy! You can add a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream, and it is the perfect summer treat. But there’s more to slow cooker desserts than cobblers. You can make cakes and it makes even something fancy like cheesecake in it too. There are literally so many sweets you can make in the slow cooker–and I’m excited to keep trying more things and finding new favorite treats to make in the slow cooker!

SlowCookerDessert

In the mean time, these are some of my favorite slow cooker sweets. If you’ve made dessert in the slow cooker, I’d love to hear what your favorites are!

11 Slow Cooker Desserts

  1. Pineapple Upside Down Cake
  2. Salted Caramel Cobbler
  3. Bananas Foster Bread Pudding
  4. Blueberry Crisp
  5. Chocolate Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust and Nut Topping
  6. Brownies and Cherries
  7. Apricot Crisp
  8. Chocolate Cobbler
  9. Salted Caramel Apple Cake
  10. Apple Caramel Crisp
  11. Chocolate Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Sauce

plus Sweet Heat Chex Mix!

pindessertslowcooker

Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken Sandwiches

Slow cooker cilantro lime chicken sandwiches

Slow cooker sandwiches are one of my favorite meals.  They work so well for several scenarios:

  • They can handle a long cook time.
  • They are perfect for feeding people in shifts.
  • The leftovers make great lunches or dinners.
  • Sandwiches don’t require complicated side dishes – also great for shift eating.

For these Cilantro Lime Chicken Sandwiches, I used a new Hidden Valley® Ranch Dressing flavor. Hidden Valley® has four new flavors :

  • Hidden Valley® Ranch Buffalo dressing
  • Hidden Valley® Ranch Honey BBQ dressing
  • Hidden Valley® Ranch Sriracha dressing
  • Hidden Valley® Ranch Cilantro Lime dressing

Any of the flavors will work in this recipe, but we really liked the taste of the Cilantro Lime dressing.  It added a brightness to the chicken with the fresh taste of cilantro and the citric splash of lime.

The dish starts with chicken and seasonings.  Creamy dressing is added near the end of cooking and served with the sandwiches too.

I picked up my ingredients from Walmart.  It’s so easy to run into Walmart and grab everything I need at once.  There’s a coupon for Hidden Valley® you can download here that will save you $0.75 on a 12oz or 16oz bottle.

In addition to the Hidden Valley® Ranch Cilantro Lime dressing, I used quite a few spices to season chicken tenders.

spices for cilantro lime chicken sandwiches

Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken Sandwiches

Serves: 8 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 - 2.5 lbs. boneless chicken or chicken tenders
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. thyme
  • ½ - 1 cup Hidden Valley Ranch Cilantro Lime dressing
  • 8 sandwich buns
  • lettuce and tomato for serving, optional
Instructions
  1. Place chicken in slow cooker.
  2. Sprinkle spices over chicken, tossing to coat chicken with spices.
  3. Cook on high 5-6 hours or low 7-8 hours.
  4. Shred chicken.
  5. Stir dressing into chicken, using enough to make it as creamy as you'd like.
  6. Serve on sandwich buns, topped with lettuce and tomato if desired.


Cilantro Lime Chicken Sandwich

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf ofHidden Valley® Ranch. The opinions and text are all mine.

Chicken Curry in the Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry has become one of my favorite weeknight dinner recipes.  Rachael first shared the recipe on Eat at Home a few years ago.  I’ve made it so many times since then.

One reason this recipe is perfect is that it is so simple.  I have it memorized, which makes it even faster – no need to go searching for the recipe.  Four ingredients go into the slow cooker, with one ingredient added just before serving.  So easy!

We love this served over rice with baked sweet potatoes along side.  You can also make it paleo/low-carb by serving it over cauliflower instead of rice.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry ingr

You can use any cut of boneless chicken – breasts, thighs or tenders.  Control the heat by using mild salsa, or hot salsa if you like it spicy.  I use mild and the dish isn’t spicy at all.  Mild curry powder also keeps it from tasting too hot.

Chicken Curry in the Slow Cooker

Serves: 6-8 servings

Ingredients
  • 3 lbs. boneless chicken
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 3 Tbs. curry powder
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 cups rice, cooked
Instructions
  1. Place chicken, onion, salsa and curry powder in slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high 5-6 hours or low 7-8 hours.
  3. minutes before serving remove chicken from slow cooker.
  4. Add coconut milk to slow cooker. Stir into sauce.
  5. Return chicken to pot.
  6. Serve over cooked rice.

One easy way to remember the ingredients is this:

3 ingredients go in – chicken, salsa, onion.  Then 3 Tbs. curry powder.  Three (ingredients) before three (tablespoons).  Finish with the coconut milk.

 

 

 

 

 

Slow Cooker Sausage Jambalaya

You’re going to love this slow cooker recipe from Kate! It’s perfect comfort food for fall and winter.

We’re having a beautiful fall here – cool mornings that turn into warm afternoons and so many gorgeous leaves. I’ve been spending a lot of time outside so I’ve been adapting some of my favorite stove-top dinners into slow cooker meals to make dinner easier. This is a meal I’ve been making forever but I’d never tried it in the slow cooker because I wasn’t sure how the rice would come out.

Jambalaya

It was great! And so easy – a dump and go, my favorite kind of slow cooker recipe. It starts with the trinity of all jambalaya recipes – onion, celery and garlic – and then adds a few more simple ingredients to make a great dish. The flavors here are just a little spicy – if you like things more mild you can decrease the amount of chili powder. And if it starts to thicken up too much, you can stir in some additional chicken stock.

Ready to get started? Here’s what you’ll need:

JambalayaIngredients

Slow Cooker Sausage Jambalaya

Serves: 4 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • ¾ cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 lb. precooked Andouille sausage, coin sliced
Instructions
  1. In the slow cooker, stir together the onion, garlic, celery, red pepper and spices. Stir in tomatoes and broth. Stir in brown rice until thoroughly combined. Fold in sausage.
  2. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Kate is a home cook and mom  from New Jersey. In addition to sharing recipes with Eat at Home readers, she blogs her cooking adventures at Kate’s Recipe Box. When she’s not in the kitchen, you can find her reading or tending to her garden.

Slow Cooker Kielbasa with Potato-Apple Slaw

This slow cooker recipe from Kate sounds amazing!  Don’t be afraid to try the sauerkraut.  I’ve found that in recipes it isn’t nearly as “krauty” as it is when you have it straight from the jar or can.

Apple season is my favorite. As soon as they start appearing in the market, they start working their way into every meal I can possibly squeeze them into. This is one of our standard fall dinners.

Apples pair so well with kielbasa. The potatoes bulk up the slaw to make the whole dish more filling and the sauerkraut adds a great bite. The whole thing just tastes like fall and couldn’t be easier! If you’re looking for a simple, seasonal dish, this is a great go-to.

KielbasaSlaw

To make it, you’ll only need a few simple ingredients:

KielbasaSlawIngredients

Slow Cooker Kielbasa with Potato-Apple Slaw

Serves: 4 servings

Ingredients
  • 3 large potatoes, shredded
  • 3 Gala apples, peeled and shredded
  • 1 15 oz. can sauerkraut, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup sherry cooking wine
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. kielbasa, coin-sliced
Instructions
  1. In the slow cooker, toss together the shredded potato, shredded apple and rinsed sauerkraut.
  2. Stir in cooking wine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If it's still too bitter, stir in a teaspoon or two of sugar.
  3. Stir in sliced kielbasa.
  4. Cook on low for 6 hours.

Kate is a home cook and new mom  from New Jersey. In addition to sharing recipes with Eat at Home readers, she blogs her cooking adventures at Kate’s Recipe Box. When she’s not in the kitchen, you can find her reading or tending to her garden.

Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken

I can’t wait to try this recipe from Kate.  She is fantastic at coming up with slow cooker recipes.  That works out great, because she’s also the one who puts together our Slow Cooker version of Weekly Meal Plans.

We’ve been in a huge take-out rut for most of the summer. There’s been so much going on that it’s been easier to grab something while we’re out and about than to try to work in time to cook. The Eat at Home Challenge was a great reminder that I can do better for my family – so I doubled-down my efforts to actually plan. One of the things I started playing with after the challenge were at-home versions of some of our take-out favorites.

Peanut chicken from our local Thai place is always a huge hit. It took me a few tries to get a sauce that was close but I finally hit on a version we love! And this takes even less effort than getting in the car and driving to the Thai place. Truly a win-win!

ThaiPeanutChicken

Ready to make your own Thai take-out at home? Here’s what you’ll need:

ThaiPeanutChickenIngredients

Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken

Serves: 6 serving

Ingredients
  • 2½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • ⅓ cup teriyaki glaze
  • 2 Tbsp. champagne vinegar, rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • Brown rice, for serving
Instructions
  1. Place the chicken in the slow cooker. Top with the sliced peppers.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, coconut milk, teriyaki glaze, vinegar and red pepper. Pour over the chicken and toss to coat.
  3. Cook on low for 6 hours.
  4. Remove chicken to a cutting board and shred. Whisk peanut butter into the sauce remaining in the slow cooker, until smooth. Return chicken to the slow cooker and toss to coat. Cook for an additional 15-20 minutes.
  5. Serve chicken and peppers over rice.

Kate is a home cook and new mom  from New Jersey. In addition to sharing recipes with Eat at Home readers, she blogs her cooking adventures at Kate’s Recipe Box. When she’s not in the kitchen, you can find her reading or tending to her garden.

‘Sweet Heat’ Slow Cooker Chex Mix

This recipe from Kim looks amazing! This is the kind of thing my family would devour at the beach!

I love a Chex Mix for several reasons…I can make a huge batch at once, there are tons of different flavor variations, it’s great to have on hand for hungry kids that are constantly in and out of the kitchen, and it’s super easy to throw in a ziploc bag and carry with you on long car trips or to the beach. However, we’ve been experiencing quite the heat wave this week, so turning on my oven, and opening it every so often to stir up a batch of chex mix was not appealing to me.

Crock Pot Chex Mix EAH

Crock-Pot to the rescue!! Yes, the slow cooker comes in handy all year long! I couldn’t quite decide which direction I wanted to go with this mix…did I want sweet? Did I want spicy? I kind of wanted both, so that’s what I did. A sweet and salty combo with just a little bit of heat. You could easily increase the heat on this, but I knew my kids wouldn’t go for it, so I kept it mild. It actually sneaks up on you – the first few bites taste sweet and salty, and then you get a little kick from the cayenne.

Sweet Heat Chex Mix EAH

And yes, those are little Minion cheese crackers. According to my 7 year old, the Minions taste better than the traditional square crackers! As with almost all chex mixes, you can add whatever you like or have on hand.

'Sweet Heat' Slow Cooker Chex Mix
A sweet and salty combination with just a little heat, that comes together easily in your slow cooker.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of each:
  • Corn Chex cereal
  • Rice Chex cereal
  • Wheat Chex cereal
  • Cheerios cereal
  • Pretzels
  • Cheese Crackers
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 bag Pretzel M&M's (or candy of choice)
Instructions
  1. Place all of the cereals, pretzels and crackers into slow cooker.
  2. In a small microwave safe bowl, melt butter.
  3. Add brown sugar, Worcestershire, seasoning salt, cinnamon and cayenne to butter. Mix well.
  4. Pour butter mixture over cereal mixture and stir to coat.
  5. Cover with lid and set slow cooker on low for 2½-3 hours, stirring every 30 mins. (Make sure to stir down to the bottom to make sure it doesn't burn)
  6. NOTE: to prevent condensation from dripping onto cereal, you can place a clean dishcloth between the lid and slowcooker base.
  7. Once done, spread out on wax paper to cool.
  8. Add M&M's and store in air tight container.

Just beware…it’s hard to stay out of!

Kim M. is a contributing writer for Eat at Home, as well as the mom behind the mayhem at Makin’ it Mo’Betta. There you will find kid-friendly recipes, quick and easy meals, and many more desserts!

Paleo Chicken Roll Ups — 30 Days of Whole Foods Slow Cooker Recipes

Sometimes we get this idea that food made in a slow cooker won’t be pretty. Well here’s proof that the slow cooker can turn out some gorgeous looking food, too! Convenience and great looks? That’s definitely a double win!

chixproscaspara

 

I love this recipe because it’s so simple. There’s literally five ingredients in the entire thing. And it really is quite easy to put these Chicken Roll-ups together.  It just takes a bit of smashing and pounding. Exciting, right?

This recipe is Paleo friendly. So if you are looking for a delicious, gorgeous meal that stays within your dietary needs, I say give this one a try! But it’s so good that even if you aren’t eating paleo, you’ll want to make it.

Click on over to Paleo Pot to get the full recipe and instructions

30 Days of Whole Food and Garden Fresh Summer Slow Cooker Recipes

 

We’re sharing 30 days of healthy slow cooker recipes that use whole foods or garden fresh produce. Click here to see all the recipes in this series. Don’t miss a post! Sign up to get them delivered to your inbox by clicking here. 

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