Top 10 Slow Cooker Potluck Dishes

We're approaching a 3-Day weekend, and many of us will be attending barbecues, picnics, and family events.

Don't arrive empty-handed!

Remember, all you need is an outlet -- be creative and bring an extension cord.

It's so much nicer for the host to know she doesn't need to give you refrigerator or oven space!


Don't arrive empty handed! These are the best crockpot slow cooker potluck recipes, ever! Kid friendly for birthday parties, church events, PTA meetings, etc.

Instead, load up your slow cooker with one of the following crowd-pleasing dishes.

I've listed the recipes in countdown order--- if you have a favorite, please chime in below.

  1. Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup.
    This is filling, delicious, and is different enough to gain lots of attention on the buffet table. Easy to stretch by serving rice, and fixen's like sliced avocado and tortilla chips.

    Lima Bean Casserole Cassoulet.
    I love serving this to guests and listening to the conversation. "what type of beans are these?" "I'm not sure. some sort of large pinto beans or something?" I usually wait until the pot is practically empty before coming clean that they were lima beans.

    Honey Lentils.
    Delicious, nutritious, vegetarian, and such a fun offering to bring to a picnic. I get the nicest emails about these lentils! (this is vegetarian, not vegan, because of the honey. If you wanted to make it vegan, use maple syrup instead.)

    Pesto Spinach Lasagna.
    I need to run to the store to pick up the ingredients for this! You have never had a better vegetarian lasagna. So so good.

    CrockPot Barbecued Pulled Pork.
    Eat in sandwiches, on top of a bed of lettuce, or just eat it right out of the crock. This is the meal slow cookers were invented for!

    Peperocini Beef Sandwiches.
    This is such a non-recipe recipe. All you need to do is throw a whole jar of peperocninis in with a beef chuck roast! Shred the meat, serve in hoagie rolls with a bit of Swiss or Provolone cheese. SCORE!

    Pomegranate Beef.
    When we host a dinner for new friends, I usually make this. This keeps picky older relatives happy, along with the kids (note to self: I need to update some of these photos!).

    I've made this for television audiences, and served it at the Disneyland Food & Wine Festival, where the kitchen chefs gave rave reviews, which made me cry. This recipe was also featured on!

    Cream Cheese, Sausage,  and Rotel Dip
    (mommy crack). The ingredients are odd, the taste is not. Make this and you'll be happy.

    Potluck Beans.
    We can't have a potluck countdown without potluck beans, now can we? These beans have bacon. Nuff' said.

    Original Taco Soup.
    Feeds a bunch, easy to throw together, and everyone LOVES it. This has been our number one potluck bring along for the past 12 years.

Honorable mention: Black Beans with Cilantro.
I ran out of numbers--- this is a great bean recipe.  :-)

Enjoy your long weekend!

Don't show up empty handed! These are the very best crockpot slow cooker take-along dishes from A Year of Slow Cooking

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at June 03, 2022

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What they say about this article

  1. That's the slow cooker I use. I love it! I admit that I haven't yet used all the fancy features since I am always home, but it's nice to know they are there if I need them. I second the recommendation. I won't be doing much celebrating on Memorial Day, as we are holding Potty Training Bootcamp this weekend. Yay!

  2. They all look so good. Especially that lasagna one.

  3. Too funny about the lima beans. I've actually loved them ever since I was little and that recipe sounds fabulous to me.

  4. Oh my. Cream cheese, sausage and rotel dip? HERE I COME! =]

  5. I love your #10 - Salsa chicken and black bean soup. I haven't made the others, but I'm looking forward to trying them out. But, oh, which one to start with? Decisions, decisions!

  6. These all look great, but I think I'm going try the Honey Lentils first!

  7. Melinda5/25/2011

    I hate to nitpick, but the Honey Lentils aren't vegan. Honey is an animal product.

  8. Michelle in Ory-gun5/25/2011

    I'm thinking of either sloppy joes, or the Salsa Chicken-as-nachos (both from your 1st cookbook) for this weekend. Hubby is taking the kids to a family get-together and has to do dinner for 12 on Friday night. He will be happy if I give him something easy!

  9. Melinda, you didn't nitpick! you're absolutely right. I fixed it. thank you!

  10. Mmmmmm, these look good! I think I'll have to do something in the crockpot at least once this weekend! :)

  11. I was just wondering where I could find a great breakdown! I'll do the beans and maybe a crockpot dulce de leche to serve w/ ice cream and pound cake.

    Just a thought: I'd love to see a few groupings on your site for manly meals, kids faves and for entertaining.

    Otherwise, keep up the amazing work. I'm trying my hand at the yogurt tonight!

  12. Hi! I have a super-random question. I have 4 chicken thighs in my fridge and was planning to use them in the "Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken" recipe (I made it before with a whole chicken and the breasts were too dry). I was just reading the "Brown Sugar Chicken" recipe and it calls for TWELVE thighs! Are 4 thighs too few to cook in a crock pot? Thanks!

  13. Super delicious collection. Which should I pick?

  14. @mackenzie, if you're only cooking 4 thighs, I'd suggest placing an ovensafe dish into your cooker (corningware, pyrex) and placing the food into it to create a smaller cooking vessel.

  15. Yummy! Thanks for sharing!

  16. I made your honey lentils and it was delicious.

  17. Love your recipes, but have always wondered--is there an easy way to print them? With all the ads and links on the page, printing the web page as is does not work. I've tried cutting and pasting to a Word document, but I'd love an easier way to save the recipes I try. Any hints? Thanks!

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. updated for Karen!
    There is now a "print friendly" button at the bottom of each recipe. You can pick pictures or no pictures, and choose the size font you'd like. Yay! :-)

  20. The Taco Soup and Potluck beans are both winners in my book. I've taken them to many events and always received compliments! The leftovers are wonderful too... Thanks Stephanie for such wonderful recipes!!

  21. Also, to stretch #10 (Black Bean Salsa Soup) and make it a little more of a balanced meal, add a can or two of white corn kernels. Also makes it look more attractive. If long cooking this, add an hour or two before the end, or heat separately (stove/microwave) and add before serving. I took 6 quarts of this to our last church potluck and every little bet went.

  22. So happy to have found your blog. I love the slow cooker, especially in winter, and always look for new recipes. You're doing such a great job!

  23. Hi Stephanie, testing to see if I can leave a comment!