On Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, the culmination of a season's worth of hard work and training, wins and losses, blood, sweat, and tears will take place, rain or shine, in a bowl that has captivated American households from coast to coast for decades. There's also a football game that day. The bowl I speak of is the ever pragmatic slow cooker, which will be stewing up some truly wonderful Super Bowl Crock-Pot recipes. Take a look through these ideas, and tell me you're not at least a little hungrier than you were before.
Your slow cooker is like your offensive line — it keeps you from getting blindsided while you are multitasking and trying to pull off the perfect party. Specifically, it handles most of the work of making delicious, juicy snacks with the turn of a single knob so that you, the charming host, can entertain without having to run to an overflowing pan on your stove.
So, before the final two teams hit the gridiron, check out some of these recipes that call for a Crock-Pot, and that will make your Super Bowl party as memorable as the infamous left shark, or that time Beyoncé broke the Super Dome.
1. Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
These balls will be perfectly inflated whether or not the Patriots make it to the Super Bowl this year. Two hours before you're ready to serve, plop these slightly browned meatballs in the slow cooker with buffalo sauce, and let the Crock-Pot work its magic. Damn Delicious has the details on this touchdown dance-worthy recipe.
2. Carne Asada Beer Chili
This genius creation from Half Baked Harvest is peak football food. I can't think of a single recipe that includes more game day recipe buzzwords than "Crock-Pot carne asada beer chili." It sounds like a bunch of sporty snack words shoved together. Can this recipe go home with the Lombardi Trophy? I think it would be well deserved.
3. Enchilada Stack
I had never even heard of an enchilada stack before I went to New Mexico for my friend's wedding, but boy was I living a deprived life before that revelation was delivered to my table at brunch, topped with a heaping portion of green chile and a fried egg. Now, Damn Delicious is telling me that you can make this masterpiece in a slow cooker, so that's definitely a thing.
4. Sticky Chicken Wings
In some of the more football-centric cities in this country, you have to order your Super Bowl chicken wings up to a week in advance. That's actually crazy, especially considering with one quick trip to the grocery store, you could have these sweet, spicy, sticky little guys simmering away at home. Additionally, these don't require any deep frying, so you won't destroy your clothes/booty/kitchen in the name of drumsticks. Find out how to pull this off at Damn Delicious.
It's sort of a shame that the New Orleans Saints didn't exactly have their most winning season this year, because a Cajun-themed Super Bowl feast would be totally topical and amazing. But don't let that stop you from whipping up this spicy bayou delicacy from A Spicy Perspective.
6. Cheeseburger Dip
Cheeseburger dip is like the Romeo and Juliet of game day noms. Almost no one would've thought to put them together, some people might be a little sketched out, but once you witness the chemistry, you'll believe in the magic. Find out how to make this meaty, cheesy slow cooker appetizer yourself at Pass The Sushi.
7. Pulled Pork Beer Grilled Cheese
Somewhat surprisingly, the beer actually shows up as a part of the cheese in this recipe, which is the best kind of surprise you can find in a barbecue/grilled cheese hybrid football snack. Dip these gooey little pieces of art in barbecue sauce for the whole down home experience. Get the details at How Sweet It Is.
8. Stuffed Bell Peppers
I've always wanted to make stuffed peppers, mostly on account of how colorful and festive they are, but I haven't quite gotten around to it. If you're a Cardinals or Broncos fan and your team makes it through this weekend's Conference Finals, you can actually make stuffed peppers with your team's colors, so may the football gods be kind to you so that those Instagram pics might happen. Find out exactly what to stuff in those peppers at Damn Delicious.
9. Garlic Herb Mushrooms
Vegetarian and vegan football fans rejoice! We have finally reached a game day recipe with absolutely no meat or cheese. Damn Delicious strikes again with this healthy and hearty appetizer. Slow cooked mushrooms are a brilliant substitute for meatballs too, so go ahead and stick a tiny fork in these, because they're a done deal.
10. Barbecue Mac And Cheese
Pork and cheese strike back with this macaroni fan's dream. This grownup interpretation is prefect for serving at a party. Pass The Sushi will guide you to unlocking this culinary achievement.
11. Brisket Pot Roast
If you've got some extra time on what I'll call Super-chef Saturday, pop a big brisket into your Crock-Pot and cook it low and slow for a tender, savory comfort food that will be ready by morning. This old school recipe from The Kitchn will make an awesome entree to serve during the halftime show.
12. Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes
Sloppy Joes make a great entree or delicious little sliders for appetizers. They can also be made with just about any kind of ground meat, and as mild or spicy as you prefer, though this recipe from A Farmgirl's Dabbles calls for beef and a whole cup of chili sauce (yum). Sloppy Joes are also great to make for a party, because you don't have to do much in terms of assembly for each serving — people can even *gasp* serve themselves, because they're, ya know... sloppy.
13. BBQ Beer Pulled Pork Tacos
Shoutout to How Sweet It Is for this fusion recipe, which blends my favorite complementary regional cuisines — Southern food and Mexican food. These barbecue pork tacos are tastefully topped with crispy onion straws and a fresh mango salsa. If you haven't tried them together, know that pork and mangos are basically made for each other.
14. Chicken Tortilla Soup
This is a great Super Bowl recipe for anyone living in a place where it's still super cold outside (I'm looking at you, Northeast). Nothing warms the soul like a piping hot bowl of spicy soup. This recipe is equally convenient since it calls for (very tasty) canned enchilada sauce and pre-made tostada shells. Find this "set it and forget it" gem at A Spicy Perspective.
15. Easy Big Batch Chili
The prep work for this super easy big batch chili should take you a whopping five minutes. Chop up some garlic, two onions, and a bell pepper before dumping in spices, meat, and lots of cans of tomato and beans, and you're ready to go outside and enjoy the rest of your Super Bowl Sunday before the game gets going. Get the details at Pass The Sushi.
For more ideas, check out Bustle on YouTube.
Images: Half Baked Harvest; Damn Delicious (5); A Spicy Perspective (2); Pass The Sushi (3); How Sweet It Is (2); The Kitchn; A Farmgirl's Dabbles