11 Easy Slow Cooker Appetizers that Make Entertaining Low Stress

Meatball Sliders with cheese and sliced tomatoes
Photo: Blaine Moats

Looking for no-fuss appetizer recipes? Bust out your slow cooker. Including juicy meatballs, creamy dips, and spicy wings, our top-rated slow cooker appetizers are the ultimate party starters.

01 of 11

Slow Cooker Philly Cheese Steak Dip

Slow Cooker Philly Cheese Steak Dip
Blaine Moats

No need to act like a short-order cook to assemble a sandwich for every guest. Share this slow cooker meat appetizer instead; it delivers everything you love about a Philly cheesesteak (roast beef, peppers, mushrooms, cheese) in a cozy, creamy dip. Scoop it up with toasted hoagie roll pieces and everyone will feel like they've been transported to a sandwich shop walk-up window in the City of Brotherly Love.

02 of 11

Meatball Sliders

Meatball Sliders with cheese and sliced tomatoes
Blaine Moats

This saucy meatball recipe is an adorable—and surprisingly easy—way to get any party started. Gather a jar of marinara, frozen meatballs, and just a handful other pantry staples, and you're all set for snack success. The entire recipe requires just 10 minutes of prep. Set, forget, then nestle the slow cooker meatball appetizers inside cocktail buns alongside roma tomatoes and smoky provolone cheese.

Buy It: Crock-Pot 4-Quart Cook and Carry Slow Cooker ($50, Bed Bath & Beyond)

03 of 11

Crunchy Ranch Party Mix

Crunchy Ranch Party Mix
Karla Conrad

If it's made with ranch, it's got to be good. Upgrade your favorite party mix in low-maintenance style: Turn to this simple slow cooker appetizer for parties featuring a packet of dry ranch dressing mix. A dash of hot sauce adds just enough kick.

04 of 11

Sweet-and-Hot Nuts

Sweet-and-Hot Nuts in bowls
Karla Conrad

Although we suggest a mix of cashews, pecans, hazelnuts, and almonds, there's no need to go nuts tracking down all of those varieties if you don't have them on hand. Combine any of your favorite nuts with a sweet-and-spicy blend of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and cayenne for an easy slow cooker appetizer or healthy snack. One recipe makes 22 servings; perfect for a crowd!

05 of 11

Gluten-Free Supreme Pizza Fondue

Gluten Free Supreme Pizza Fondue
Blaine Moats

This snack tastes like your favorite slice, just with the "crust" on the side. That way, this semi-homemade slow cooker appetizer recipe can fit a low-carb and gluten-free diet if needed. Whether you scoop it up with vegetable slices, mini mozzarella balls, or bread pieces, the garlic-infused, turkey sausage-spiked tomato sauce will steal the show. Start with jarred marinara sauce to make it ultra easy.

Buy It: Rao's Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce ($7, Target)

06 of 11

Zesty Fajita Bites

Zesty Fajita Bites
Andy Lyons

Five ingredients—including juicy chicken thighs and zesty fajita seasoning—get this slow cooker meat appetizer ready to party. We call for regular flour tortillas, but feel free to try this with corn tortillas (for a gluten-free fix) or any flavored wrap you like. Just don't skip the pepper strips, which add a welcome fresh element and satisfying crunch.

07 of 11

Marinated Mushrooms

Marinated Mushrooms on appetizer board
Karla Conrad

Dress up your next charcuterie board with a warm element or two, such as this slow cooker appetizer recipe. Simmer shiitake mushrooms and artichokes in red wine, beef broth, dill, and garlic. Voilà: a hands-off, healthy snack that might just distract everyone from the store-bought meats and cheeses.

08 of 11

Caramelized Onion and Swiss Dip

Caramelized Onion and Swiss Dip
Blaine Moats

You pretty much can't go wrong with any recipe that starts with caramelized onions, white wine, and cheese. Need even more convincing to add this ooey-gooey slow cooker appetizer recipe to your party menu? Think of it like a European riff on queso. (Yes, please!) And the fussiest part, caramelizing the onions, is done for you in the slow cooker. Offer it with a variety of veggies for a refreshing, crunchy, light counterpart to the luscious and rich cheese.

09 of 11

Molasses-Lime Meatballs

Molasses-Lime Meatballs recipe with stickers on white pan
Andy Lyons

Shh ... it will be our little secret that these slow cooker meatball appetizers sneak in some extra nutrition. Made with lean ground beef and turkey sausage held together by a bit of fiber-rich oats, these meatballs will satisfy carnivores and calorie counters all at once. A sweet yet tangy molasses-lime sauce adds bold flavor to the bite-size snacks.

10 of 11

Barbecue Weenies

Barbecue Weenies on royal blue plate
Jacob Fox

One of the best-loved slow cooker appetizers out there has to be a little smokies recipe (aka little weenies). Part of their appeal is how incredibly easy they are to make. Here, you have to measure only one ingredient, then simply dump all three ingredients into the slow cooker for a couple hours and you're done. There's no excuse not to try them!

11 of 11

Mango-Habanero Pulled Chicken Bites

Mango-Habanero Pulled Chicken Bites
Mango-Habanero Pulled Chicken Bites. Jason Donnelly

When you hear "BBQ chicken," you probably envision an overflowing entrée sandwich at a potluck or your favorite BBQ restaurant. This slow cooker appetizer for parties takes the concept of shredded chicken and shrinks it into snack size on little crostini. With sweet mangoes, spicy habaneros, and aromatic garlic, each ounce makes a big impact.

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