Easy Slow Cooker Recipes for Entertaining
Chill out with these healthy holiday recipes using your slow cooker.
When you're entertaining, the trick is keeping the cold foods cold and the
hot foods hot for the duration of the festivities. This keeps the food looking
appetizing, and, more important, is vital for preventing food poisoning. (Any
food that sits out at room temperature for two hours or more is suspect.) Those
are a few of the reasons the slow cooker is my favorite, totally easy way to
keep hot dishes and appetizers safely hot during a party. Try some of my
healthy holiday slow cooker recipes below, and it may become your favorite
party trick, too!
With a slow cooker, there are no flames to worry about, no fuel to
replenish, no candles to burn out. Just plug it in and set it. The LOW setting
will keep the food hot during the party, and HIGH warms it up beforehand. (Give
your dish about one hour on HIGH before the party to get it to the ideal
I have two slow cookers in my kitchen just for entertaining. I often have a
hot vegetable spread in one, and a lean meat appetizer sizzling in the other.
To get you started entertaining with your slow cooker or cookers, here are five
slow cooker recipes that are perfect for a holiday party.
Slow Cooker Recipe No. 1: Spinach-Artichoke Heart Dip
You can make this dip ahead of time, keep it covered in the refrigerator and
then, about an hour before the party, spread it into a slow cooker crock and
heat on HIGH until bubbly.
1 tablespoon minced or chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped green onions
10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and gently squeezed of
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts (water packed), drained and
1 recipe Alfredo Sauce (see below)
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/3 tablespoons shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat the inside of the crock of the slow
cooker with canola cooking spray.
- Add garlic, green onions, spinach, artichoke hearts, Alfredo sauce,
mozzarella cheese, and Parmesan cheese to a large mixing bowl and stir to
- Spread mixture into the bottom of the prepared slow cooker crock and heat
on HIGH until bubbly (about an hour). Serve warm with slices of wheat baguette
bread, reduced fat-tortilla chips, or reduced-fat whole grain crackers.
1 tablespoon whipped butter or stick butter
2 cups fat-free half-and-half (or substitute whole or low-fat
4 tablespoons Wondra quick-mixing flour
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
4 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
Melt butter in medium, nonstick saucepan. Stir in 1/3 cup of the fat-free
half-and-half, 4 tablespoons Wondra flour, and nutmeg and pepper. Slowly stir
in remaining half-and-half. Bring mixture to a gentle boil over medium-high
heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to gently boil, stirring
constantly, until sauce thickens (about 4 minutes). Stir in 1/4 cup shredded
Yield: 16 servings
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members Journal as 1/2 cup cream-based
Nutrition Information: Per serving (just the dip): 75 calories, 6 g
protein, 5 g carbohydrate, 3.5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 11 mg cholesterol, 2 g
fiber, 150 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 42%.