26 Satisfying Slow Cooker Side Dishes

From potatoes and vegetables to rice, corn bread, and even mac and cheese, these easy side dish recipes are ideal for your next potluck or weeknight meal.

Cathy Long

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Slow Cooker Risotto

    This slow-simmered dish combines wheat berries (available in the natural foods section of many supermarkets), fresh mushrooms, Asiago cheese, sweet peppers, and various herbs.

Makes: 12 servings
Serving size: 12 to 14 side-dish servings
Prep   40 mins 
Cook  4 hrs 4 hrs.
Stand   15 mins 
Vegetable Casserole

    Polenta, spinach, tomato, radicchio, Italian cheese, and two kinds of beans simmer with garlic and basil pesto to create this delicious vegetarian dish.

Makes: 8 servings
Prep   20 mins 
Cook  4 hrs  to 6 hrs (low) or 2 to 2-1/2 hours (high)
Stand   5 mins 
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Curry

    Taste a spoonful of this colorful curry and you'll discover a delicious combination of spices -- curry powder, coriander, crushed red pepper, and cinnamon.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep   25 mins 
Cook  7 hrs  to 9 hrs (low) or 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours (high)
Stand   5 mins 

    For a terrific side dish, try this recipe that combines two kinds of corn, lima beans, and sweet pepper with a generous helping of smoked Gouda cheese and plenty of sour cream.

Makes: 12 servings
Prep   15 mins 
Cook  5 hrs  to 6 hrs (low) or 2-1/2 to 3 hours (high)
Stand   10 mins 
Orange-Sage Sweet Potatoes with Bacon

    Take a break from the usual candied sweet potatoes and serve these herb-accented golden slices instead.

Makes: 10 servings
Prep   15 mins 
Roast  5 hrs  to 6 hrs (low) or 2 1/2 to 3 hours (high)
Balsamic Root Vegetables

    Potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and onions mixed with balsamic vinegar make the perfect accompaniment to any meat.

Makes: 8 servings
Prep   15 mins 
Slow Cook  9 hrs  to 11 hrs (low) or 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hours (high)
Rustic Garlic Mashed Potatoes

    Chicken broth seasoned with garlic makes these fluffy mashed potatoes especially flavorful.

Makes: 12 servings
Prep   25 mins 
Slow Cook  6 hrs  to 8 hrs (low), 3 to 4 hours (high)
Southwestern Polenta with Corn and Chiles

    Corn, diced green chiles, and Monterey Jack cheese turn ordinary cornmeal into a tempting side dish for any occasion.

Makes: 12 servings
Prep   20 mins 
Stand   30 mins 
Slow Cook  7 hrs  to 9 hrs (low) or 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours (high)