How to Use Your Slow Cooker for Holiday Entertaining 2021


A slow cooker can be used to provide a variety of snacks for a holiday event. You can make cocktails, side dishes, main dishes, and sweets using a slow cooker. Just make sure to plan ahead. Many slow cooker meals are best served fresh, so prepare the meal so it's ready just as guests arrive.


Apple Cranberry Holiday Wassail

2 quarts apple cider

1 quart cranberry juice cocktail

1/2 cup honey

18 whole allspice

8 whole cloves

4 cinnamon sticks, 4 inches each

1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

3 strips orange rind, about 1 inch wide

3 strips lemon rind, about 1 inch wide

1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons dark rum

Chocolate-Bourbon Fondue

1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk

1/2 cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

2 tablespoons bourbon

2 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

4 ounces milk chocolate chips

3 pints of medium strawberries

Spinach-Artichoke Dip

A 10 ounce bag fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped

A 13.75 ounce can quartered artichoke hearts, chopped and drained

An 8 ounce brick low-fat cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 cup light sour cream

1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup finely-chopped white or red onion

4 minced garlic cloves

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

Mushroom Risotto

4 tablespoons butter

8 ounces of thinly sliced portabella mushrooms

1 diced shallot

1 teaspoon of minced garlic

1 and 3/4 cups Arborio rice

4 cups chicken broth

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup peas

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese


Method 1 of 5:Using a Slow CookerDownload Article

1Clear the counter space surrounding your slow cooker. With a slow cooker, you usually add the ingredients and then walk away. It's safe to leave the slow cooker on unattended, but you need to make sure there's nothing flammable nearby. Clear the countertop where you placed the slow cooker for safety.

During the holidays especially, there may be many items on your counter. It's especially important to keep things like plastic containers filled with cookies away from the slow cooker, as these items are flammable.

2Free up oven space by making a side dish in a slow cooker. Over the holidays, you're probably cooking a lot, especially for parties. A slow cooker can come in handy here. If you need the oven for a main course, try preparing a side dish in the slow cooker. This can cut down on your total cooking time.

3Use a slow cooker for dips and drinks. Dips and drinks can be a big hit at holiday events. These types of snacks can easily be made in a slow cooker. Slow cookers generally require less maintenance during the cooking process, so making your refreshments in a slow cooker allows you to focus on decorating while everything's cooking.

Also, things like fondues can easily be served in a slow cooker. This will cut down on dishes you need to do after a party.

4Keep time in mind regarding holiday events. If you're planning a holiday party, you need to keep an eye on time. See how long your recipe takes to cook. Make sure you get a dish into the slow cooker in this time frame. It's a good idea to have a little wiggle room, however, as you may sometimes have to cook things a little longer than the recipe recommends.

Method 2 of 5:Making Apple Cranberry Holiday WassailDownload Article

1Mix your cranberry juice and honey. To start, take a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Add the cranberry juice and the honey. Mix them together until the honey is dissolved.

2Tie the spices in a cheesecloth. Lay out two pieces of cheesecloth on top of one another. Place your allspice, cloves, and cinnamon sticks on the cloth.

Using all four corners, tie the two pieces of cloth into a satchel.

Tie your satchel tight so nothing escapes during the cooking process.

3Add the cheesecloth to the slow cooker. Gently lower your satchel into the cranberry mixture in the slow cooker. Let it go and allow it to float in the mixture.

4Add the rinds and vanilla bean and then cook your ingredients. Place your lemon rinds and vanilla bean in the cranberry juice mixture. Cover the slow cooker. Turn to the low setting. Allow it to cook for 5 hours.

5Discard the satchel and rinds. After five hours have passed, remove the cheesecloth and discard the ingredients in it. You should also remove and discard the citrus rinds.

Use utensils, like tongs, during this process to avoid burning your fingers.

6Add the rum and serve. Add the rum to the mixture. Stir a few times. You can serve this drink directly from the slow cooker. You can also pour it into a pitcher.

Method 3 of 5:Making Chocolate-Bourbon FondueDownload Article

1Combine everything but the strawberries. Take a four cup measuring cup. You should combine all of your ingredients in here, except for the strawberries. Stir the ingredients together until you have an even mixture.

2Cook your ingredients in a slow cooker. Add your mixture to a 6 quart slow cooker. Cover the cooker. Allow the ingredients to cook on low heat for an hour.

3Stir until everything is melted. After an hour has passed, remove the lid from your slow cooker. Use an iron whisk to stir the ingredients together. Keep stirring until everything is melted and you have a smooth, even consistency.

4Cook the melted mixture. Once everything is melted, cover the slow cooker again. Allow it to cook for 30 more minutes, with the heat reduced to the warm setting.

5Serve with the strawberries for dipping. Once your dip is ready, you can serve it from the slow cooker. You can dip using fondue forks or skewers, if you have them. You can also use regular forks.

If you don't like strawberries, you can dip other types of fruit.

Method 4 of 5:Making Spinach-Artichoke DipDownload Article

1Mix all your ingredients in a large mixing bowl. You should mix your ingredients using a wooden spoon. Stir the ingredients together until they're more or less evenly combined.

Keep a spatula on-hand. Some ingredients, like cream cheese, are sticky and may need to be scraped off the side of the bowl periodically.

2Cook the mixture in your slow cooker. Place your mixture in a 6-quart slow cooker. Make sure to mist the slow cooker with a no-stick spray before adding the ingredients.

Cook the mixture on low heat.

It should cook for about 2 hours. However, if it's not warmed completely after this time passes, cook it for a little longer.

3Stir your dip and serve. Stir the dip again after it's cooked. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Place the dip in a serving dish and serve it with crackers or pita bread.

Method 5 of 5:Making Mushroom RisottoDownload Article

1Cook the shallots and garlic in the butter. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add your garlic and shallots. Cook them for about five minutes.

Stir the mixture frequently.

When you're done cooking, the mushrooms should be brown and the liquid from the butter should be absorbed.

2Add the rice. You should mix your rice with the shallots and mushrooms. You do not need to cook the rice, as it will cook in the slow cooker. Just coat the shallots and mushrooms in rice.

3Add the mixture and broth to the slow cooker. Coat the slow cooker with a layer of non-stick cooking spray. From there, add your rice mixture. Pour in the broth and a splash of salt and pepper.

4Cook your risotto. Allow everything to cook for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes on high heat. When your risotto is done, the rice should be tender. All the liquid should be absorbed.

If the rice is not tender, or if there is still liquid in the risotto, allow it to cook for a bit longer.

5Add the cheese and peas. Once the risotto is cooked, mix in the parmesan cheese and peas. You can now serve your risotto. It is best served hot, so try to serve it shortly after cooking.