Let your slow cooker handle the food on game day so you won't miss a minute of the action. Consider these top 10 picks your sports party MVPs.
Related: Get top-rated football party recipes.
Top 10 Slow Cooker Classics for Game Day
These finger-lickin' ribs get a brief bake before they go in the crock pot to cook off a lot of the fat. Winning Play: "The genius of this recipe is the first step - roasting ribs in the oven. This removes fat and liquid that would otherwise cause soupy results in the crockpot. For this, it deserves 5 stars!!" — PEACHESNCREAM2
With 3000+ reviews, this all-time classic football party dip deserves hall-of-fame status. Winning Play: Many reviewers said they use blue cheese dressing instead of ranch to give it an authentic Buffalo chicken vibe, and shredded up cooked chicken breasts instead of using canned chicken.
More: Your party needs these hot and cheesy dips.
A quick 10-minute prep and 4 ingredients is all it takes to get this juicy pot of beef ready for your game day party. Winning Play: " Slice your beef about 1/2 hr before you want to serve it and return it to juice. Wow!"—EUROMOM98
No one can resist these saucy balls. Winning Play: For easier prep, bake the meatballs at 350° F for about 30 minutes instead of cooking them in a skillet, then just pop them into the crock pot. To make it easier still, go with frozen meatballs for a seriously low-prep appetizer.
More: Get our to picks for mini meatballs.
The recipe is ridiculously easy—cocktail weiners get wrapped in bacon and baked with a dusting of brown sugar, then you pop them into your slow cooker to serve warm at party time—but all that simplicity still earns this fan favorite a solid 5-star rating. Winning Plays: Crystal S uses maple-flavored bacon to amp up the flavor; MEOWSIES29 softens the bacon in the microwave to make for easier wrapping; Kaye Lynn recommends using cocktail smokies instead of cocktail weiners; Sarah Jo serves them with a dipping sauce of BBQ sauce and grape jelly.
Four ingredients is all it takes to make this 5-star recipe. Winning Play: Use a boneless pork shoulder instead of pork tenderloin. It's much cheaper and has tons of flavor. A scoop of crisp and tangy coleslaw over the top adds texture and helps balance out the richness of the sauce.
More: Discover the best cheap cuts of meat for slow cooking.
Here's what recipe submitter brightlightz says about this wildly popular dip: "This is my jazzed up version of classic queso dip taken to a heartier level, perfect for football games, tailgating or for taking along to pot lucks in a slow cooker! This is a serious crowd-pleaser that is served hot as a dip, spooned over crisp tortilla chips nacho-style, or rolled up in a warm flour tortilla! The heat can be turned up or down with the addition of jalapenos to taste." Winning Play: "I usually do half Velveeta, half sharp Cheddar. I will serve it with homemade lime-chili tortilla chips and the bottle of Frank's Hot Sauce. NOTE: Use homemade taco seasoning if you can. It's better than the pre-packaged stuff by a mile. I found Bill Echols is the best from this site."—Sarah Jo
Set out hot tortillas and bowls of pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, guacamole, and sour cream, and you've got a DIY taco bar. Winning Play: Reviewer LucyDelRey suggests you spread out the pork on a rimmed baking sheet with some of the juice from the pot, and bake at 400° F for 15 to 20 minutes to give the carnitas a crisp edge that usually comes from frying.
Tangy pickled pepperoncini peppers give this classic sandwich a real kick without being too hot to handle. Winning Play: Heap the sandwich with grilled onions and a slice of provolone cheese. Stick it under the broiler for a minute or two until it gets all melty.
Meaty, thick, and hearty. You can substitute any sausages you like to go with the smokey chipotle peppers, and some reviewers even doubled up on the peppers because that's how they roll. Winning Play: Balance out the spice with sweet cornbread on the side.
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