5 Potluck Dishes You Can Make in a Slow Cooker
Photo: © Kelli and Peter Bronski, 2014
Beef—especially the ground variety—is what many party-goers may expect when they see a pot of chili. Surprise them with this lightened-up version, which relies on pork roast. Its mild flavor pairs nicely with tomatoes, fire-roasted green chilies and tomatillos. This recipe, from Kelli and Peter Bronski's new Gluten Free Family Favorites, goes easy on the spice, relying on cumin, oregano and garlic powder for flavor instead of peppery chili or cayenne, so it'll appeal to spicy-food-adverse palates. (You can always offer hot sauce as an accompaniment.)
Get the recipe: Slow Cooker Green Chili with Pork
Photo: © 2017 by Time Inc. Books
If you're unsure of the other guests' tastes, this friendly chicken recipe is a safe bet. It's super simple, calling for chicken thighs, butter, honey, mustard and, as a surprise ingredient, a smidge of curry powder. Together, the ingredients combine to form a subtly sweet, just-a-tiny-bit spicy dish that's fantastic with rice, potato salad, green beans, salad or any other standard potluck side. Garnish the platter with thin strips of lemon zest for a beautiful presentation.
Get the recipe: Honey Baked Chicken
Photo: Mark Boughton
Tender, falling-apart beef short ribs are hard to beat, but many recipes require a significant amount of attention, either over the stove or on the grill. This shortcut take has you place everything—the ribs, wine, tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, parsley and bay leaf—into the slow cooker and leave it for eight or nine hours. It's great with a salad, especially one that includes some escarole or radicchio; their bracing flavors are a good match for the rich meat.
Get the recipe: Wine-Braised Short Ribs
Photo: Christina Holmes
This throw-it-all-in-the-pot pulled-pork dish is the ultimate low-effort party food. While traditional recipes can involve brining the meat for 12 hours, and then smoking it for at least another 10, this one essentially involves putting all the ingredients in the cooker and returning in six hours. It combines onion, bay leaves, crushed and whole tomatoes and boneless pork shoulder with one magical ingredient: chipotle in adobo sauce. The pepper adds just the right amount of smoky heat, which you can temper with coleslaw and pickles on the side.
Get the recipe: Pulled Pork
Photo: © 2017 by Andrew Thomas Lee
Get the recipe: Beer-Braised Pork Tacos