Kick-Off Game Day with 5 Slow Cooker Foods That Really Impress


September 09, 2021 | Food Lion
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Football season has officially arrived, and that means it’s time to grab your jersey from the closet and get ready to cheer on your favorite team with your family and close friends. Now, the big question you’re probably asking yourself is, “What should I make?”. When it comes to Game Day, you want to cook foods that are easy to prepare and come together quickly. That way, you don’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen away from the television. After all, you don’t want to miss any of the excitement. So, what’s the solution? Set it and forget it-style cooking, which means slow cooker foods, of course! 

From appetizers and snacks to main dishes and sides, we have five slow cooker foods listed in this blog to help you plan your Game Day menu and allow you to watch the whole game from start to finish. We’ll kick things off with a couple of slow-cooked starters that are sure to score big points with your loved ones!  

Slow Cooker Starters

Slow-Cooker Crab Dip

Slow Cooker Crab Dip in blue serving dish surrounded by crackets on plate

When it comes to Game Day foods, dips are a fantastic go-to. And this dip recipe allows you to put the ingredients in the slow cooker, cook for three hours, add some bell peppers, cook for another 30 minutes and serve! Keep it hot by leaving your slow cooker on the “warm” setting. 

Besides being super easy to make, this slow cooker food is also pretty tasty as well. With sweet crab meat, onions, creamy mayonnaise and sour cream, Parmesan cheese and various seasonings, our Slow Cooker Crab Dip recipe is savory and flavor-packed. Serve with crackers or sliced toasted bread. Or, for a gluten-free pairing, try red bell pepper slices.

Buffalo Ranch Slow Cooker Drumsticks

Buffalo Ranch Slow Cooker Drumsticks on serving tray with dipping sauce in small bowl

Buffalo wings are another Game Day staple and an easy appetizer you can make in the slow cooker. Our Buffalo Ranch Slow Cooker Drumsticks recipe only requires three ingredients - hot wing sauce, ranch dressing mix and chicken drumsticks. And preparing these wings is as simple as three steps:

  1. Cook the unsauced chicken on HIGH for three hours.
  2. Remove the juices from the slow cooker. Combine the wing sauce and seasoning packet. 
  3. Pour the sauce over the chicken and cook for an additional 30 minutes. 

Then, switch the slow cooker to the “warm” setting and allow your friends and family to enjoy them throughout the game. Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing along with the classic accompaniments of carrots and celery sticks. 

Slow Cooker Main Dishes & Sides

Easy Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos

Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos on plates, dish of salsa verde, tortillas

For your main dish, something that’s handheld makes for a convenient meal. After all, you and your guests want to watch every first down and each field goal, right? So, something you can eat with your hands over a plate on your lap is an excellent option, something like tacos. And these Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos, like the other recipes in this blog, are made in the slow cooker, making them an easy and convenient entree. They’re also very tasty and fairly affordable since you only need five ingredients, plus some salt to make them, including:

  • Chicken strips
  • Garlic powder
  • Oregano
  • Salsa verde
  • Corn or flour tortillas

Serve with your other favorite taco toppings or enjoy them as-is. The choice is yours! 

Slow-Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

Slow-Cooker French Dip Sandwiche on wood plank with cruet of aus-jus, broiwn checked kitchen towel, rustic wood table

Not in the mood for tacos to enjoy while cheering on your favorite team? How about a sandwich instead? Our French Dip Sandwich recipe is a slow cooker food that your loved ones are sure to enjoy. Cheesy, filling and oh-so comforting, preparing these sandwiches is as easy as browning the beef roast, adding it to your slow cooker (along with a few other ingredients) and cooking it on low for five hours or so. Then, slice your hoagie rolls in half, add the beef (sliced) and a layer of cheese. Bake the sandwiches for five minutes and enjoy with an au jus dipping sauce. 

For Game Day, we also recommend slicing the sandwiches into thirds to make it easier to eat while watching the football game. Keep them warm by covering the platter of sandwiches with aluminum foil. 

Slow-Cooked Side: Creamy Mac & Cheese

 Slow Cooker Creamy Mac and Cheese  in white dish on red napkin with fork, cutting board, noodles, milk, shredded scheese

Our last slow cooker food in this blog is a cheesy side that’s usually baked in the oven. This Slow Cooker Creamy Mac and Cheese is so simple to prepare. Just mix your ingredients together, add them to a greased slow cooker and in a couple of hours, you have a delicious mac and cheese side dish that’s ready to eat! 

Want to make this dish even more special for Game Day? Put together a macaroni and cheese topping bar! Cook up some bacon and chop it into small pieces. Freshly chopped produce like green onions and bell pepper would also taste great, as well as additional shredded cheddar cheese and blanched broccoli. What does blanching involve? It’s simple! Bring a small pot of water to a boil, drop your chopped broccoli pieces into the pot and cook for a couple of minutes. In the meantime, prepare a bowl of ice water. Drain the broccoli and place it immediately into the ice water to stop the cooking process. And there you have it - blanched broccoli! 

The countdown to kickoff has officially begun. Which of these slow cooker foods will you plan to make for your football game-watching event with your family or close friends? You may also be wondering, what if I only have one slow cooker and don’t want to bother with cooking in the oven or on the stove? Leave the meal prep work to us and place a catering order with your local Food Lion. From fruit and vegetable platters to sandwiches, crispy chicken and dessert options, our trays are easy to carry, ready to enjoy and come with everything you need to serve up a fantastic meal - totally stress-free. Talk about something to cheer about! 

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