Planning your Fourth of July cookout? Here's my best piece of advice: Your slow cooker is just as important as the cold beer, fireworks, and red, white, and blue dessert. From meaty mains to all the sides, these are the crowd-pleasing slow cooker recipes that will make your Fourth of July party complete.
I know burgers and hot dogs are a July 4th classic, but if you want to change things up a little this year and still keep things easy, break out your slow cooker for a DIY sandwich bar. The slow cooker pulls double duty by cooking the meat, and then keeping it warm. Set out your favorite rolls or buns and all the fixings.
- Slow Cooker Roast Beef Po' Boys
- Slow Cooker Hawaiian Brisket Sandwiches
- Slow Cooker Ranch Chicken Sandwiches
- How To Make Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches
- How To Make Sloppy Joes in the Slow Cooker
The slow cooker is ideal for cooking big, meaty cuts like brisket, pork shoulder, and even a ton of chicken thighs and breasts. Once cooked and shredded (or sliced), these meats can be served as is straight from the slow cooker, piled inside pillowy rolls for sandwiches, or wrapped in tortillas or big lettuce leaves.
- Slow Cooker Pesto Chicken
- Slow Cooker BBQ Shredded Chicken
- Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
- Slow Cooker Peach Carnitas
- How To Make the Best Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker
- Slow Cooker Maple-Mustard Pulled Pork
- Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef
Veggie-Friendly Sides for a Crowd
If the cookout spread seems like it's going to be pretty maxed out with salads and slaws, break out your slow cooker for a make-and-take veggie side. Ratatouille and caponata are great for when you're inundated with summer veggies, and delicious served as is or with toasted bread rounds. Mac and cheese is also a surefire crowd-pleaser.
- Slow Cooker Ratatouille
- How To Make Slow-Cooker Caponata
- Slow Cooker Corn Pudding
- How To Make Creamed Corn in the Slow Cooker
- How To Make Mac and Cheese in the Slow Cooker
Here's how to tackle summery desserts without heating up the kitchen. A cobbler is always a win this time of year. If you have lots of fresh berries or stone fruit at home, turn it into a fruit sauce to be spooned over ice cream, trifle, pound cake, or pie.