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Three slow cooker recipes to heat up your tailgate

If you’ve been tailgating lately, you know that many people seem to take an awful lot of gear with them. Grills, flat-screen TVs, full bars, stereo systems, custom Giant Jenga sets — we’ve seen it all. So why not bring your slow cooker?

It’s a great tool for whipping up dinner on a busy day, but it’s also a great way to heat up a full meal at your tailgate or keep it warm while you’re enjoying yourself.

You can always go with your favorite chili or stew recipe, but if you’re in the mood for something new, here are three more ideas for what to make with your slow cooker for your next tailgate.

Slow-Cooker Beef and Tomato Stew

This recipe from Martha Stewart suggests serving over brown rice, but feel free to tweak as you see fit.


  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced small
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into ¼-inch rounds
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 2 pounds beef chuck, fat trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 6 tbsp. nonfat plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker and add beef, tomatoes, broth, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  2. Cover and cook on high, 6 hours, stirring occasionally. If you’d like, serve over brown rice and top with parsley and yogurt or sour cream.

Slow-Cooker Barbecue Beef Sandwiches

Who doesn’t love barbecue? Feed 12 of your favorite tailgaters with this surprisingly simple recipe from Southern Living


  • 1 eye-of-round roast (3 ½ pounds), cut in half vertically 
  • 2 tsp. salt, divided 
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 can (10 oz.) condensed beef broth
  • 1 cup ketchup 
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar 
  • ½ cup lemon juice 
  • 3 tbsp. steak sauce
  • 1 tsp. coarse ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 12 Kaiser rolls or sandwich buns


  1. Sprinkle beef evenly with 1 teaspoon salt.
  2. Stir together remaining 1 teaspoon salt, garlic, and next 7 ingredients. Pour half of mixture into a 5 ½-quart slow cooker. Place beef in slow cooker, and pour remaining mixture over beef.
  3. Cover and cook on high for 7 hours.
  4. Shred beef in slow cooker with two forks. Serve in rolls or buns with desired garnish.

Baked Potatoes from the Crock Pot

We borrowed this idea from, and it’s about as easy as cooking gets. You should be able to cook up to 10 or 12 small baking potatoes at a time. Just stab potatoes with a fork, wrap each in aluminum foil, and place them in the slow cooker. Put on the lid (don’t add water) and cook on high for two and a half to four hours, depending on the size and number of potatoes. Just add your favorite toppings, and you’ll have a tasty meal with minimal clean-up.

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