goat cheese dip

Photo © Tara Donne

A Way to Enjoy the Best Part of a Warm Goat-Cheese Salad
If you love the soft, creamy, tangy goat cheese that comes with greens at French restaurants, you'll fall for this beautiful dish from Stephanie O'Dea's new Five Ingredients Or Less Slow Cooker Cookbook. It features a base of garlic- and lemon-laced cream cheese dotted with pieces of goat cheese and topped with sliced cherry tomatoes that add a bright pop of color. To take this party food straight from the slow cooker to the table, place an oven-safe dish inside the slow cooker and put all the ingredients in that. Then, once the cheese is hot and bubbly, and the tomato skins have wilted, lift out the dish (using pot holders) and serve with crackers or bagel chips.

Get the recipe: Baked Goat Cheese with Tomatoes and Garlic
buffalo wing dip

Photo: 1MoreCreative/iStock

A Bar Snack Made Ridiculously Easy
One of the best parts of Buffalo wings is the contrast between the sweet and spicy meat and the cool and creamy dipping sauce that accompanies it. This recipe from O'Dea combines the two into one addictive dish that's bound to be a massive hit at your next party (and also happens to be way less work than deep-frying a bunch of chicken wings). It's as simple as stirring together cooked and shredded chicken, ranch-dressing mix, cream cheese, cheddar and Buffalo wing sauce then setting your slow cooker to high for two hours. The dippers, naturally, are carrot slices and celery sticks.

Get the recipe: Buffalo Wing Dip
brie cranberry dip

Photo © Tara Donne

The Baked Brie with 3 Can't-Miss Additions
There are dozens of ways to make festive, fondue-like baked Brie, but O'Dea's version is one we hadn't tried before. She has you sprinkle tart, dried cranberries over the cheese, along with balsamic vinegar (which turns into a rich syrup when cooked) and finely chopped, fresh rosemary. The result is a savory and sweet complement to the melted, buttery Brie that's perfect with crackers, sliced apples or toast points.

Get the recipe: Brie with a Cranberry Balsamic Sauce
caramalized onion dip

Photo: Magone/iStock

A Delicious Way to Turn Anyone into an Onion Lover
If you haven't tried caramelizing onions in your slow cooker, prepare to be blown away. It can take some time to get these sharp-tasting roots to turn into the rich, savory, silky strands that are so tasty mixed into sour cream—so a slow cooker makes perfect sense. Once the onions are a deep golden color, you coarsely chop then stir them together with sour cream, cream cheese and parsley. Break out the thick-cut potato chips and look out—because this is going to go fast.

Get the recipe: Slow-Cooker Caramelized-Onion Dip
beans in tomato sauce

Photo: Alan Richardson

A Vegetarian Appetizer That Transports You to Greece
Greek flavors shine in this healthy, chunky dip that uses dried gigante or lima beans, which become tender and creamy in the slow cooker. You simmer the legumes in a savory tomato sauce, then sprinkle everything with tangy feta cheese. Pita wedges are a natural accompaniment, though we'd also happily dig in with sturdy tortilla chips.

Get the recipe: Giant Beans in Tomato Sauce