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Slow cooker appetizers for munchie moods

Spinach and parmesan cheese dip with tortilla chips1 / 2
Cut granny smith green apples on wooden cutting board with knife from side2 / 2

Sometimes finger food is the best type of food.

Whether indulging in appetizers for happy hour celebrations, sports games or as a creative side dish for dinner, using the slow cooker to do the work for you is always a great plan.

Preparing recipes hours beforehand ensures you'll be ready whenever fun walks in the door. From dips to mini sandwiches and even sweet treats, these recipes are sure to breathe life into any mediocre day.

Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach dip could belong in the party food hall of fame. It's been enjoyed for decades. But this version makes it easier than ever. The prep time for this recipe is just 10 minutes. Throw the ingredients in the Crock-Pot in the morning, and the dip will be ready to snack on when you get home.

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

2 (14-ounce) cans artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

8 ounces sour cream

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces cream cheese, cubed

Directions:

Place artichoke hearts, spinach, sour cream, onion, garlic, Parmesan, milk, feta, mayonnaise, vinegar and pepper in a slow cooker. Stir until well combined. Top with cream cheese. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours.

Uncover and stir until cream cheese is well combined. Cover and cook on high heat for an additional 15 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Damndelicious.net

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sliders

These sandwiches are the perfect in-between. They are light enough for apps or heavy enough to serve as a meal. Serve on a bun and top with ranch or bleu cheese dressing.

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

2 pounds boneless chicken

1 (12-ounce) bottle buffalo sauce

1 (1-ounce) package of ranch dressing mix

12 slider buns

2 cups cheddar cheese

1/4 cup prepared ranch or bleu cheese dressing

Directions:

Place chicken, buffalo sauce and ranch dressing mix in slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred. (Tip: Place chicken in a deep mixing bowl, and use a hand mixer to shred chicken faster.) Return to slow cooker and cook on low for an additional 30 minutes.

When ready to serve, top half of buns with cheddar cheese. Place under oven broiler until cheese is melted. Top buns with chicken and prepared ranch or bleu cheese dressing.

Recipe courtesy of Plainchicken.com

Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Dip

If your idea of an appetizer is something that satisfies a sweet tooth, this slow cooker caramel apple dip might be right up your alley. Both the apples and caramel are combined in the same pot and the homemade pie crust dippers seal the deal.

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

5 cups peeled and diced apples

1 (12.25-ounce) jar caramel sauce

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

Pinch of salt

Crust dippers:

1 (14-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough

1/8 cup milk

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Combine apples, caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt into a 3-quart (or larger) slow cooker.

Stir. Cover and cook on high for 1.5 to 2 hours.

In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread out one pie crust at a time onto a baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, spread on the milk. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar mixture onto the pie crusts. Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut the pie crusts into serving strips. Spread out the strips on the baking sheet so they don't bake together. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Repeat with other pie crust. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Themagicalslowcooker.com

Visit alexandrafloersch.areavoices.com for more recipes, including Crock-Pot Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread, Reuben Dip and Slow Cooker Hawaiian Luau Meatballs.

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