Chili certainly gets the most love when it comes to the big game, but that's not all that should be on your menu when hosting the biggest sporting (and some might say, eating) event of the year. This go round, why not give your slow cooker a break from the usual by trying an unexpected slow-cooker snack, meaty main or drink to serve up? With this list of Crock-Pot game day recipes, you'll have plenty to choose from.
In fact, you might need to borrow another slow cooker if you can't make up your mind. (Bonus points if it's decked out in your team colors.)
Slow cooker sides, apps and snacks
What is game day without dips, wings and other not-quite-main-course nibbles?
Slow-cooker spinach and artichoke dip
Game day foods don't exactly have a health halo, but that doesn't mean veggies can't be part of your spread. A creamy, gooey dip like this one will keep everyone happy through halftime and beyond. Get the slow-cooker spinach and artichoke dip recipe.
Slow-cooker French onion dip
French onion dip is another sure bet, but it's also a time suck (if you're going to caramelize the onions properly -- which you should be, or what's the point?). Cooking the onions low and slow in the Crock-Pot is a genius move that means the only hands-on parts are slicing veggies and mixing everything up at the end. Get Chowhound's slow-cooker French onion dip recipe.
Slow- cooker party mix
The name says it all: What spells a get-together more than classic party mix? Try this smoky take on the store-bought version to give your guests something to munch on while they're mingling pre-kickoff. Get Chowhound's slow-cooker party mix recipe.
Slow-cooker chicken wings
Pretty much nothing goes together quite like wings and football. Forgo the overpriced delivery options this year and serve up some tender wings with minimal effort. Try this recipe for a spicy, saucy take that only requires a few minutes of prep time. Get Chowhound's slow-cooker hot wings recipe.
Jalapeño popper dip
The best game day parties have a plethora of dips on the menu, so don't stop at just one (or even two). But do combine the dip with another all-star app (jalapeño poppers, of course). Serve up this cheesy and heat-filled concoction with chips or crackers that are strong enough to withstand lots of dipping. Get the Crock-Pot jalapeño popper dip recipe.
Spiced nuts can work as a welcome addition to a cheese platter or veggie tray or be put out in bowls throughout your home, so even those who aren't watching the game can chow down, too. You won't regret serving this up as a snack. Try this Crock-Pot sweet and spicy nuts recipe.
When warmup is over and you're ready to make the big play, these Crock-Pot main course recipes are all perfect for game day.
Hosting a bunch of meat-loving folks for the festivities this year? Then pulled pork is exactly what you should be serving up to your carnivorous friends and fam. This spicy recipe can work as the centerpiece for nachos, tacos and sandwiches, or eaten solo for those still trying to stick to their New Year's resolutions and cutting carbs. Get Chowhound's spicy slow-cooker pulled pork recipe. (Or try Chowhound's slow-cooker BBQ beef brisket recipe, pictured at the top of this page, in all the same applications.)
Shredded Buffalo chicken
Looking to trade in Buffalo wings for something slightly less messy this year? Then shredded Buffalo chicken is what you're looking for. Serve it up in sandwiches or atop a sweet potato for a filling meal. Don't skimp on the ranch dressing (or blue cheese, if you prefer)! Get the slow-cooker Buffalo chicken recipe.
Slow- bacon compote
If your crew is bacon-obsessed, then this compote will be a sure hit. Spread some on crostini if you want to make your affair a bit more high-brow, or use it as a topping for burgers and watch them disappear before the first quarter is even over. Get Chowhound's slow-cooker bacon compote recipe.
Slow cooker chili
When all else fails, so much can be done with a good chili recipe, so don't be afraid to fall back on your greatest hits. Put it over rice, nachos or serve as-is for a slow-cooker game day hit for the whole gang. Add fresh diced jalapeños and whatever other garnishes you like for extra flavor. Get Chowhound's spicy Crock-Pot chili recipe.
Read more on Chowhound: 11 ways to use up leftover chili
Crock Pot baked potatoes
A baked potato bar is a perfect way to feed a crowd (and adding toppings turns the potatoes into a bona fide main event), but cooking the spuds in a Crock-Pot is an even easier option than using the oven -- and more importantly, it frees that space up for pizza or oven-baked wings. Plus, the naked spuds can be a canvas for practically any and all of the above recipes, including the dips. Get the Crock Pot baked potatoes recipe.
In case you desire something other than a cold one to wash everything down.
Hunting for an alternative to beer to sip on while watching the game? Then slow-cooker cider is exactly what you're looking for. Add in some rum for anyone 21-plus, or leave it virgin for the whole party to enjoy. Even if it's frigid outside, you'll warm right up with this beverage. (As a bonus, your home will smell amazing as this brews.) Try this slow-cooker spiced apple cider recipe.
Any winter occasion is an ideal time to serve up some hot chocolate, for both the kids and the adults. Set up a hot chocolate bar with some of your favorite fixings like chocolate syrup, tons of marshmallows, peppermint and OK, some booze for the grown-ups, and let everyone make their own customized drink. Get the slow-cooker hot chocolate recipe.
This story was written by Kelsey Butler for Chowhound.