Your New Holiday Party Best Friend: The Slow Cooker

When you’ve got multiple dishes in the works for a party, the trusty slow cooker has your back.
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SLOWCOOKER PEPPERMINT HOT CHOCOLATE Food Network Kitchen Food Network Confectioners’ Sugar, Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, Whole Milk, Vanilla Extract, Kosher Salt, Dark Chocolate, Peppermint Candies, Mini Marshmallows, Peppermint Schnapps SLOWCOOKER SPICED NUTS Food Network Kitchen Food Network Maple Syrup, Unsalted Butter, Cinnamon, Orange Zest, Kosher Salt, Cayenne Pepper, Pecans, Cashews SWEET AND TANGY SLOWCOOKER BBQ TURKEY THIGHS Food Network Kitchen Food Network Dried Cranberries, Cider Vinegar, Honey, Ketchup, Tomato Paste, Paprika, Mustard, Garlic, Onion Powder, Kosher Salt, Black Pepper, Turkey Thighs SLOWCOOKER SWEDISH MEATBALLS Food Network Kitchen Food Network Beef Broth, Worcestershire Sauce, Pork, Turkey, Breadcrumbs, Eggs, Allspice, Onion Powder, Kosher Salt, Black Pepper, Unsalted Butter, Flour, Sour Cream, Lingonberry or Red Currant Jelly, Flatleaf Parsley SLOWCOOKER STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING Food Network Kitchen Food Network Pitted Dates, Whole Milk, Baking Soda, Flour, Baking Powder, Salt, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Light Brown Sugar, Unsalted Butter, Eggs, Orange Zest, Cooking Spray, Light Brown Sugar, Heavy Cream, Nutmeg

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Yep, you read that right. When you’ve got multiple dishes in the works for a party, the trusty slow cooker has your back. It frees up oven and stove space, and its low-and-slow cooking method will bring out the best in meatballs, spiced nuts, sticky pudding and even hot chocolate. For a retro touch, you could even serve these genius party dishes from Food Network Kitchen straight out of your appliance.

SLOWCOOKER SPICED NUTS Food Network Kitchen Food Network Maple Syrup, Unsalted Butter, Cinnamon, Orange Zest, Kosher Salt, Cayenne Pepper, Pecans, Cashews

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Oven space is always at a premium during the holidays, and these slow-cooker spiced nuts won't claim any of it. They're so good and so easy, though, that you'll want to use this method year-round.

SLOWCOOKER SWEDISH MEATBALLS Food Network Kitchen Food Network Beef Broth, Worcestershire Sauce, Pork, Turkey, Breadcrumbs, Eggs, Allspice, Onion Powder, Kosher Salt, Black Pepper, Unsalted Butter, Flour, Sour Cream, Lingonberry or Red Currant Jelly, Flatleaf Parsley

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Leave the chafing dish in the basement. This version of Swedish meatballs is an hors d'oeuvre you can make and serve in the same pot.

SLOWCOOKER PEPPERMINT HOT CHOCOLATE Food Network Kitchen Food Network Confectioners’ Sugar, Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, Whole Milk, Vanilla Extract, Kosher Salt, Dark Chocolate, Peppermint Candies, Mini Marshmallows, Peppermint Schnapps

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Made and served in the same pot, our slow-cooker cocoa is thickened and enriched with dark chocolate. Set up an add-ons bar beside the cooker (mini marshmallows, crushed candies and peppermint schnapps take cocoa to a whole new holiday level), then stick a ladle in the pot and let guests help themselves.

SWEET AND TANGY SLOWCOOKER BBQ TURKEY THIGHS Food Network Kitchen Food Network Dried Cranberries, Cider Vinegar, Honey, Ketchup, Tomato Paste, Paprika, Mustard, Garlic, Onion Powder, Kosher Salt, Black Pepper, Turkey Thighs

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Cranberries lend a wonderful tartness to our sweet-and-sour barbecue sauce. Pair it with its seasonal best friend, turkey, braised in a slow cooker.

SLOWCOOKER STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING Food Network Kitchen Food Network Pitted Dates, Whole Milk, Baking Soda, Flour, Baking Powder, Salt, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Light Brown Sugar, Unsalted Butter, Eggs, Orange Zest, Cooking Spray, Light Brown Sugar, Heavy Cream, Nutmeg

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

The slow cooker is a perfect fit for this pudding-like cake: The gentle, moist heat keeps the cake nice and supple until it's doused at the end with nutmeg-laced toffee sauce. Make the cake a day ahead, and store it in the slow cooker (the fridge is quite full enough during the holidays!).

Get more holiday recipes, videos and tips at Food Network’s Holiday Central.

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