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Summer holiday celebrations vary across the country, but one thing every good summer party has in common? A seriously sick spread of BBQ-inspired 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, I’m 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 please almost any crowd. Plus, making meals in a slow cooker is an easy way to keep things low-lift, especially when it comes to big-batch recipes. 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 take the classic route and serve 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 summer 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 on the Fourth of July. Keeping scrolling for 15 backyard BBQ slow cooker recipes that all your party guests are sure to love.
Sweet As A Peach
Literally just looking at this photo of these slow cooker peach BBQ ribs has me salivating. Patience is key with this recipe—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.
Ranch On Ranch
Is there anything more American than ranch seasoning?! I think not. Everyone 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.
Slow cooker mac and cheese should be a staple at every backyard BBQ, full stop. 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.
Creamy Corn Dip
The combination of corn and jalapeño is 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.
Pulled Pork Heaven
Pulled pork sandwiches are a classic BBQ party dish for a reason. While this ingredient list on the longer side, it will be 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.
Slow-cooked chicken underneath a bed of melted cheese? Definitely count me in. There’s nothing more comforting than a big bite of a chicken cheesesteak and this recipe certainly delivers on flavor. The onion and pepper topping adds a bit of freshness to round out the dish.
Baked Bean Bliss
Either you love baked beans or you hate them, but this recipe works for both types 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.
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 untraditional, but I am here for a fun twist. Serve in a big bowl with toothpicks at the ready and you’re good to go.
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.
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, this recipe is definitely for you. If you’re not so into the spicy, this recipe also includes a recommended swap for less heat.
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.
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.
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.
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 lot of work, but it’ll all be worth it when your guests can’t stop complimenting the flavor.
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.