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Summer holiday celebrations vary across the country, but one thing every good BBQ has in common? A seriously sick spread of food. Luckily, these big-batch, comfort food-style slow cooker recipes for your Fourth of July party will definitely hit the spot.
When it comes to summer BBQ dishes, we’re of the mindset that “less is more.” Why roam the grocery store for unusual ingredients or try to keep up with an overly-involved recipe when a batch of wings or a good ol’ chili dog will suffice? More than suffice, it will thrill! Plus, cooking meals in a slow cooker is an easy way to keep things low-lift, especially when it comes to big-batch recipes to serve to a crowd. All you need to do is throw everything in the pot and let it cook low and slow for a few hours, no monitoring of the oven necessary. When it’s ready, you can simply plate and serve.
For a backyard summer party you can go classic with traditional recipes like pulled pork sandwiches or baked beans, or you can branch out with dishes like sweet and sour meatballs or monkey bread. It doesn’t matter if you’re a traditionalist in the kitchen or the more adventurous type, the end result is sure to be delicious, and none of these recipes require excess effort. The options for a delicious backyard BBQ are truly endless, and there’s a recipe out there for every palette.
From appetizers and desserts to main dishes and sides, you can’t go wrong whipping up any of these recipes in your slow cooker come Fourth of July. Keeping scrolling for 15 backyard BBQ slow cooker recipes that all your party guests are sure to love.
1. Sweet As A Peach
Literally just looking at this photo of these slow cooker peach BBQ ribs has us salivating. Patience is of the essence with this recipe, as it calls for a four-hour cook time, but the payoff is truly worth it. Tangy, sweet and savory flavors come together in this total crowd-pleaser.
2. Ranch On Ranch
Is there anything more American than ranch seasoning?! I think not. Kids and adults alike will love this slow cooker ranch chicken sandwich that you can top with bacon, coleslaw or even ketchup, if that’s what floats your boat. Plus, you can use the homemade ranch seasoning recipe even after this summer’s festivities.
3. Classic Mac
Slow cooker mac and cheese should be a staple at every backyard BBQ, end statement. Cheesy and delicious, flavors like cayenne pepper and dry mustard take this mac and cheese to the next level. Everyone will be asking for seconds, no doubt about it.
4. Creamy Corn Dip
Corn and jalapeño are the dynamic duo we never knew we needed, but now love thanks to this creamy corn dip. A little sweet, a little spicy, this dish is sure to hit the spot. Just make sure you serve this one with a big spoon—no double-dipping over here.
5. Pulled Pork Heaven
Pulled pork sandwiches are a classic BBQ party dish for a reason. While the ingredient list on this one is on the longer side, it’s all well worth it when you take that first delicious bite of your sandwich. This recipe is just for the pulled pork itself, but feel free to add coleslaw and serve on a toasted brioche bun for the full effect.
6. Chicken Cheesesteaks
Slow-cooked chicken underneath a bed of melted cheese? Definitely count us in. There’s nothing more comforting than a big bite of a chicken cheesesteak, and this recipe certainly delivers on flavor. Plus the onion and pepper topping adds a bit of freshness to round out the dish.
7. Baked Bean Bliss
Either you love baked beans or you hate them, but this recipe is for both groups of people. Even your most bean-averse friends will be asking for seconds on this dish, and the time and love that goes into the making of these beans is made clear by the delicious end results.
8. Sweet & Sour Meatballs
The best passed appetizer we’ve ever come across at a party is a good old-fashioned cocktail meatball. These sweet and sour guys are a little different from the traditional meatball flavor, but we’re all for a fun twist. Serve in a big bowl with toothpicks at the ready and you’re good to go.
9. Bananas Foster
Let’s talk dessert for a second! Bananas foster is always a crowd-pleaser, and making a big batch in a slow cooker ensures everyone at the party gets a nice large spoonful. Feel free to double (or triple!) this simple recipe if you’re cooking for a crowd, and don’t forget to serve with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream.
10. Beef & Polenta
The 8-10 hour cook time on this recipe may seem a little extreme, but trust us, it’s worth it. The shredded beef literally melts in your mouth, and if you’re a spice-lover, then this recipe is definitely for you. If you’re not so into the spicy, this recipe also includes a recommended swap for less heat.
11. Chili Cheese Dogs
It’s not a backyard BBQ without hot dogs, right?? And this chili cheese dog recipe takes the classic weenie to the next level. You can either cook the hot dogs in the slow cooker with the chili, or grill them up and have your guests assemble their plate themselves.
12. Monkeying Around
This monkey bread is the perfect party dessert thanks to its pull-apart nature. You can either make this recipe in a cake pan or whip out a few ramakins to create little individual servings. Soft, fluffy and sweet, everyone will be asking you for the recipe by the end of the night. Plus, the leftovers taste just as good in the morning.
13. Something Cheesy
This list would not be complete without a cheese dip, and this recipe definitely delivers. All you need to do is brown the meat, add it to a slow cooker filled with cubed cheese and canned tomato and cook low and slow for 4-5 hours. Simple, straightforward and delicious.
14. Just Wing It
These sweet and spicy wings are the perfect party snack, so long as you have plenty of napkins on hand. Baking the wings in the oven first and then transferring them to a slow cooker with the sauce may seem like a labor of love, but it’ll all be worth it when your guests can’t stop complimenting the flavor.
15. Corn Souffle
You can serve this dish as a side or with the dessert spread—there’s no wrong way or time to eat this delicious corn souffle. Although you can eat the souffle right out of the slow cooker, if you’d rather plate it, make sure to line your slow cooker with foil so you can easily pull it right out.