10 easy and delicious slow-cooker recipes for your next party

Let your slow cooker do the hard work while you enjoy the party.

Alina Bradford
Alina Bradford has been writing how-tos, tech articles and more for almost two decades. She currently writes for CNET's Smart Home Section, MTVNews' tech section and for Live Science's reference section. Follow her on Twitter.
Alina Bradford
Frigidaire Professional 7-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker
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Parties require a ton of tasty things to nosh while you're having fun. Your slow cooker can end up being your MVP in the kitchen and leave you with a lot more time to socialize. Here are 10 recipes to try. 

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Slow-cooker pulled pork

This recipe very well could produce the most tender pulled pork you've ever tasted. 

Place a pork shoulder, onions, garlic, sugar, chili powder, salt, cumin and cinnamon in your slow cooker for about 6 to 8 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low, or until the pork is fork tender. Then, just shred the pork and add barbecue sauce. 

See the full recipe here.

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Slow-cooker pulled pork enchiladas

If you're looking for a little more of a challenge, this is perfect. You start out by making a variation of pulled pork in your slow cooker, then you wrap it all up in tortillas dipped in a special sauce and cover it with cheese.

Click to the next slide for the full recipe.

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Bake and garnish

Finish the dish by baking it in your oven and garnishing. Check out the full details here.

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Easy slow-cooker chili

Chili can feed a crowd, and it's perfect for a cold day. Luckily, this chili is super-easy to make. 

Just saute onions and bell peppers with a little oil and salt, then add garlic, chili powder and cumin. Add ground beef to the veggies and cook until the meat is brown. Toss it all into the slow cooker with diced tomatoes with their juices, tomato sauce and beans.

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Mix up the beans

I like to add a little variety to my chili. Instead of two (15-ounce) cans of kidney beans, I add a can of black beans and a can of Great Northern beans. It gives the chili a little extra texture and a variety of flavor. 

Stir and cook for about 8 hours on low or 6 hours on high. To finish it off, stir in some diced jalapenos or green chilies. You can find the full recipe here.

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Slow-cooker baked beans

If you're called on to bring a side dish, this recipe will be your slam dunk. 

Soak dried navy or pea beans the night before to prep. Then, the next morning, put them in your slow cooker with bacon, onions, molasses, ketchup, brown sugar and a few other key ingredients. Cook on high for 6 hours or until the beans are tender. 

Here's the full recipe.

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Add bacon

To add an extra flavor punch to your baked beans, try using apple smoked bacon instead of plain.

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Slow-cooker hot wings

Wings made in a slow cooker? You betcha. 

Make the sauce by whisking butter, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, soy sauce, tomato paste, liquid smoke and hot sauce in your slow cooker. 

Throw in your wings and make sure the sauce envelops each wing. Cook on high for 4 hours.

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Bake to add crispiness

Then, place your wings on a baking sheet and cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until the skin is crispy. 

While your wings are cooking, simmer your sauce with some sugar on the stove for 10 minutes. Toss your wings in the sauce and serve. See the full recipe here.

11 of 20 Alina Bradford/CNET

Slow-cooker French onion dip

If you typically make your French onion dip with a packet you bought at the grocery store, it's time to up your game. 

Add olive oil and onions to your slow cooker. Cook the onions on low for 7 to 9 hours or until they're caramelized and soft. Let them cool.

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Add the creamy ingredients

Next, mix the onions with sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Garnish the finished dip with chives. See the full recipe here.

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Taco soup

Nothing warms dinner guests like a spicy soup. 

To make this Tex-Mex wonder, saute onions until they're soft, cook your ground beef separately then add the onions, salt and pepper to the meat. Drain the grease and add the mixture to your slow cooker.

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Finishing touches

Add canned pinto beans, red kidney beans, corn, tomatoes, green chilies and olives, along with their juices. Then, add taco seasoning and ranch dip mix. Stir well and cook on low for 4 hours. Find the full recipe here.

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Slow-cooker party mix

Yes, you can make a dry snack mix in a slow cooker. The trick is in the stirring. 

Put oyster crackers, cereal squares, cheese crackers and almonds in the slow cooker and turn it on low heat. 

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Add the flavor punch

Meanwhile, mix soy sauce, liquid smoke, paprika and butter together in a large bowl. Then, pour it over the mixture in the slow cooker. 

Mix well and cook for about 3 to 4 hours uncovered. Be sure to stir every 30 minutes as it cooks, to help evenly toast the mix. Take a look at the full recipe here.

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Slow-cooker chicken tacos

This taco recipe is so easy, you'll make it your Taco Tuesday go-to. 

All you do is chop up onions, garlic, poblanos and habaneros...

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Add the chicken

Put the veggies and peppers and a few chicken breasts in the slow cooker with cumin, salt, orange juice and vinegar. 

Cook the mixture on high for up to 4 hours or until the chicken is tender. Shred the chicken, mix it with the sauce in the slow cooker, and it's ready for tortillas. Catch the full recipe here.

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Chocolate fondue

You can't forget dessert. What's a better dessert than something you can dunk? Chocolate fondue is a fun, communal treat. You don't need a fondue pot, though.

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Melt it in the slow cooker

A mini slow cooker works, too. You just need to be sure to stir the chocolate often to prevent scorching. Learn more about making fondue here.

Editors' note: This article was originally published Feb. 1, 2017 and has been updated.

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