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.
Related To:

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.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Your Favorite Slow-Cooked Dishes

Fall is a great time to bust out the slow cooker. Get Food Network's favorite slow-cooked recipes.

Which Cooker is Best for Your Kitchen?

Find out which one of these convenient cookers is the best fit for your kitchen.

10 Unexpected Things to Make in Your Slow Cooker


The slow cooker's ability to cook dinner while you're away at work is only one of its many merits. Breakfast, lunch, dessert, party food and even holiday gifts are made infinitely easier when left to the gentle heat of a slow cooker. 

The First Recipes That Should Hit Your Slow Cooker

If you haven't dusted off your slow cooker just yet, there's no time like the present. Get these hands-off meals in your slow cooker now that summer is over.

Summer Slow-Cooking: How to Up Your Grill Game

You can easily cook larger quantities of accompaniments that go well with whatever you have on the grill.

All the Ways to Use Your Slow Cooker this Fall

Here's all the best ways to use your slow cooker this season from Food Network.

The Busy Parent's Best Friend: A Slow Cooker (Plus 8 Kid-Friendly Recipes)

The good news is that you don't have to be a kid or a parent to love these slow-cooker standbys.

6 Mocktails for Kid-Friendly New Year’s Eve Parties

Fancy drinks don’t have to be limited to the over-21 crowd at your New Year’s Eve party. Just follow these simple instructions for creating festive mocktails kids love.

Stocking Your Pantry for the Holidays

Before the urge to bake for the holidays strikes you, purge your pantry. This purging may cost you, but the baked rewards will be well worth it.

How to Build Your Own Gingerbread House

Follow Food Network's simple recipe and easy-to-follow tips for making a show-stopping gingerbread house from scratch.