When it comes to slow cookery, many people envision large quantities of stew or big roasts. Of course, you can do these main dishes with your slow cooker; but what about something like appetizers? You can cook those in your slow cooker, too! Here are some suggestions and recipes for making slow cooker appetizers.
1. Dips and Spreads
Your slow cooker is perfect for making dips and spreads. Here are some ideas.
Refried Bean Dip
In a skillet, brown: 1/2 pound ground beef and 1 15-oz can of refried beans in 3 tablespoons of bacon grease. Pour this into your slow cooker, and stir in:
- 1 lb. cubed yellow cheese,
- 2 tablespoons taco sauce,
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning,
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt.
Cover and cook on High for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir, and keep on Low until serving time.
Cheese Dip with Sausage
First, brown 1 pound sausage in a skillet; drain and crumble. In your slow cooker, combine: 2 lbs. of cubed, processed cheese loaf (like Velveeta), 1 10-oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies, and sausage. Cover and cook on Low for 1 to 2 hours. Serve with tortilla chips or toasted bread cubes.
Artichoke and Roasted Pepper Spread
In a food processor, combine:
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese,
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise,
- 1 8-oz. package of softened cream cheese, and 1 minced garlic clove.
When smooth, place this mixture in your slow cooker. Add: 1 14-oz can artichoke hearts (drained and chopped) and 1/3 cup roasted red bell peppers (chopped). Mix well, cover and cook on Low for 1 hour. Stir well and serve with crackers or pita wedges.
Putting out bowls of nuts is a traditional gesture of hospitality. And having a steady supply of healthy snacks is easier to achieve with a slow cooker. Try some of these ideas.
In your slow cooker, place 1 lb. of raw almonds. Then combine in a bowl: 2 tablespoons melted butter, 1 tablespoon curry powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of seasoned salt (whatever your favorite is). Pour the butter mixture over the almonds, and cook on Low for 2 to 3 hours covered; remove cover and cook on High without the cover for about 90 minutes.
In a bowl, stir together:
- 3 cups small pretzels or pretzel sticks,
- 4 cups Chex cereal, 1 cup Cheerios, and
- 12 ounces of salted peanuts.
In a bowl, melt 1/4 cup of butter or margarine and stir in:
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder,
- 1 teaspoon celery salt,
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt, and
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.
Pour butter mixture over cereal mixture in slow cooker and stir well. Cook on Low 2 1/2 hours, and stir every half hour or so. Take the lid off and cook another half an hour (still on Low).