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41 Slow Cooker Tailgate Recipes

You can make all the best tailgate recipes right in your slow cooker! From brats and hot dogs to dips and snacks, nothing is out of bounds.

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Slow-Cooker Mac and Cheese

What could be more comforting (or easy!) than a slow cooker mac and cheese? Nothing! This classic casserole is a rich and cheesy meatless main dish, and I’ve never met anyone who didn’t ask for second helpings of the cheesy dish. —Bernice Glascoe, Roxboro, North Carolina

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Spicy Honey Sriracha Game Day Dip

You can easily whip up this creamy, spicy, salty dip. For parties, I love dips in the slow cooker—just turn it to low once the dip is cooked and let your guests help themselves. No need to worry about the dip getting cold and having to reheat it. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Shredded Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

My family loves Buffalo chicken wings, but the frying makes them unhealthy. This recipe takes out some of the fat yet lets us enjoy the same amazing taste. —Terri McKenzie, Wilmington, Ohio
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Slow-Cooker Cheeseburger Dip

This fun dip recipe uses ingredients that I always have in the fridge, so it's easy to throw together on short notice. —Cindi DeClue, Anchorage, Alaska
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Beef Taco Chili

This is one of my husband's absolute favorite dishes. It was voted Best Chili at our county's autumn harvest festival. If you like less broth, use just 1-3/4 cups water and 1-1/2 teaspoons bouillon. —Dana Beery, Ione, Washington
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Ranch Chicken Sliders

When my grandson was younger, we always joked that nothing could make ranch chicken taste better. Then one day Avery’s eyes lit up and he suggested we fry it! Our fried chicken burger was born. You won’t believe how good these little sliders are. —Tamara Hire, Decatur, Illinois
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Hot Bacon Cheese Dip

I've tried assorted appetizers before, but this one is a surefire people-pleaser. The thick bacon cheese dip has lots of flavor and keeps my guests happily munching as long as it lasts. I serve it with tortilla chips or sliced French bread. —Suzanne Whitaker, Knoxville, Tennessee
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Best Italian Sausage Sandwiches

Need a different type of Italian dinner? This rich tomato sauce simmers all afternoon in the slow cooker, ready to top freshly grilled Italian sausages. It's a fantastic combination with lots of crowd appeal! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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BBQ Turkey Meatballs

What's a party without meatballs? We have these at all our big gatherings, but they're also terrific as an easy weeknight meal. This recipe can also be made with ground beef or even store-bought meatballs. —Lisa Harms, Moline, Michigan
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Healthy Greek Bean Dip

This crowd-pleasing appetizer is healthy to boot! Folks will love to eat their veggies when they can dip them in this zesty, fresh alternative to hummus. —Kelly Silvers, Edmond, Oklahoma
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Honey and Ale Pulled Chicken Sliders

Score big with your guests with a little bit of sweet heat! This recipe works well for a football party—the extra liquid in the slow cooker keeps the chicken nice and juicy all day long. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Sun-Dried Tomato Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Fresh veggies and crackers will disappear quickly when they're next to this cheesy slow-cooked dip. With smoked Gouda, it has an extra level of flavor that keeps everyone guessing. —Katie Stanczak, Hoover, Alabama
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Slow-Cooked Cajun Corn

My husband loves corn on the cob, and I love this slow-cooker recipe because I don't have to stand at a hot stove. We like a little spice, so the Cajun seasoning works well for us, but any spice blend works. —Audra Rorick, Lyons, Kansas
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Cranberry Hot Wings

Chicken wings get special treatment from cranberry sauce, a little citrus and a touch of hot sauce in this no-fuss recipe. The wings are a tangy way to heat up a winter night. —Robin Haas, Cranston, Rhode Island
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Spicy Touchdown Chili

For me, football, cool weather and chili just seem to go together. Whether I’m cheering on the local team on a Friday night or enjoying a Saturday afternoon of Oklahoma Sooner football with some friends, I enjoy serving this chili on game day. —Chris Neal, Quapaw, Oklahoma
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Chili Coney Dogs

From the youngest kids to the oldest adults, everyone in our family loves these hot dogs. Inspired by the classic Coney dog, they’re so easy to throw together in the morning or even the night before. —Michele Harris, Vicksburg, Michigan
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Fruit Salsa

Serve this fruity salsa anywhere you'd use ordinary salsa. My son and I experimented with different ingredients to find the combination we liked best. Preparing it in a slow cooker is really convenient. —Florence Buchkowsky, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
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Slow-Cooker Sweet and Sour Meatballs

My family asks for these saucy meatballs all year long. I like to make them with ground beef in the winter and ground turkey in the spring.—Rachelle Stratton, Rock Springs, Wyoming
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Slow-Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches

I have fond memories of my mother in the kitchen preparing her amazing beef dip sandwiches. They always made our house smell like an Old World Italian restaurant. And as good as the aroma was, somehow the taste was even better! Set out a jar of giardiniera for spooning on top. —Kira Vosk, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Sweet & Hot Baked Beans

Baked beans belong at a barbecue. They're sweet with heat when you add pineapple and jalapenos. — Robin Haas, Cranston, Rhode Island
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Hearty Pork & Black Bean Nachos

My husband and I are both graduate students right now, so we don't have a lot of time to cook dinner. Our family loves coming home to this incredible nacho platter, and I love how easy it is to prepare. —Faith Stokes, Chickamauga, Georgia
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Slow-Cooker BBQ Ham Sandwiches

Friends love these barbecue sandwiches and often ask me to make them. We double the crowd-pleasing recipe and serve them at potlucks. —Dana Knox, Butler, Pennsylvania
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Big Batch Cheeseburger Soup

When my mother-in-law gave me her recipe for cheeseburger soup, I changed it a little to make it my own. It's the perfect comfort food to enjoy on a cold winter evening. —Christina Addison, Blanchester, Ohio
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Southwestern Pulled Pork Crostini

As a different take on crostini, these apps are fantastic for tailgating and casual parties alike. —Randy Cartwright, Linden, Wisconsin
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Slow-Cooked Peach Salsa

Fresh peaches and tomatoes make my salsa a winner over store-bought versions. As a treat, I give my coworkers several jars throughout the year. —Peggi Stahnke, Cleveland, Ohio
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Chicago-Style Beef Rolls

I have fond memories of eating these big, messy sandwiches at a neighbor's house when I was growing up. Freeze extras and save for another meal, too! —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Slow-Cooker Pizza Dip

I created this dip for my daughter's pizza-themed birthday party. It was an instant hit and I've continued to take it along to other gatherings. Everyone loves it! —Stephanie Gates, Waterloo, Iowa
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Slow-Cooker Spiced Mixed Nuts

What slow cookers do for soups and stews, they’ll do for mixed nuts, too. The scent of spices is delightful, and the nuts are delicious. —Stephanie Loaiza, Layton, Utah
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Sweet-and-Sour Chicken Wings

These slow cooker wings are a fun appetizer for gatherings. I sometimes like to serve the saucy chicken over rice as a main dish. Either way you do it, these Asian-inspired wings will be a hit! —June Eberhardt, Marysville, California
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Buffalo Wing Dip

If you like spice, you'll love this dip. It's super cheesy, full of rich flavor and really has that Buffalo wing taste! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Sweet & Smoky Pulled Pork Sandwiches

My primo pork is smoky, tender and tastes like it came from a barbecue joint. Without much help from me, it basically shreds itself. —Lauren Adamson, Layton, Utah
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Bacon-Ranch Spinach Dip

During the hectic holiday season, my slow cooker works overtime. I fill it with a savory bacon dip and watch everyone line up for a helping. Keep the recipe in mind for tailgating, too. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Slow Cooker Shredded Turkey Sandwiches

This easy and simple slow-cooked sandwich gets its flavor from bottled beer and onion soup mix. In total, it only takes five ingredients to make the recipe! —Jacki Knuth, Owatonna, Minnesota
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Root Beer Pulled Pork Nachos

I count on my slow cooker to do the honors when I have a house full of summer guests. Teenagers especially love DIY nachos. Try cola, ginger ale or lemon-lime soda if you’re not into root beer. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor
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Cranberry Sauerkraut Meatballs

I tried these meatballs at a birthday party for a friend, and now I make them all the time. They are super easy to make and perfect for a potluck or a Sunday afternoon football game. —Lisa Castelli, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
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Sausage Pepper Sandwiches

Peppers and onions add fresh flavor to this sausage filling for sandwiches. It's simple to assemble, and it's always gobbled up quickly. —Suzette Gessel, Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Five-Cheese Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Whenever I go to an event, I'm always asked to bring this hot dip. Five types of cheese make it a standout and oh-so delicious. I love its party-ready convenience— I serve it straight from the slow cooker, so set-up and clean-up are a breeze! —Noelle Myers, Grand Forks, North Dakota
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Tangy Barbecue Wings

I took these slow-cooked wings to work, and they vanished before I even got a bite! The tangy sauce is lip-smacking good. —Sherry Pitzer, Troy, Missouri
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BBQ Brats

In Wisconsin, brats are a food group! We are always looking for new ways to cook them. This recipe is easy and a hit at any tailgate party or cookout, any time of year. —Jessica Abnet, DePere, Wisconsin
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Jalapeno Popper & Sausage Dip

My workplace had an appetizer contest, and I won it with my jalapeno and cheese dip. Every time I take it anywhere, folks empty the slow cooker. —Bev Slabik, Dilworth, Minnesota
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Chicken Sliders with Sesame Slaw

Everyone loves barbecue chicken sliders. My version has an Asian twist, with spicy, tangy flavors. At our potlucks, they quickly vanish. —Priscilla Yee, Concord, California

Amy Glander
Amy is a book editor at Taste of Home where she gets to pour her passions for food and storytelling into trade and series cookbooks. When she’s not writing or editing, you’ll find her antiquing, cooking and baking from her favorite vintage cookbooks and exploring Milwaukee’s urban beauty with her digital SLR in hand.

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