non dairy vegan mashed potatoes
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Welcome to Slow Cooker Week! We’re sharing all our favorite Crock Pot recipes, tips, tricks, and advice this week—and including the Instant Pot, of course, since it slow cooks too. Here, a slew of recipes that you won’t believe came out of a Crock Pot. 

Slow cookers are a trusty go-to for large pieces of meat like pot roast and pulled pork, but what’s not as known is the fact that they can make many a mean side dish, too. Forget the gloppy casserole ideas of the past, and behold these nine from-scratch sides that are guaranteed to please, whether you’re preparing a weeknight meal or a blowout Thanksgiving feast.

1. Crock Pot Baked Potatoes

Chowhound

There is absolutely no reason why you should be preheating your oven when you can make baked potatoes in the slow cooker instead. Get the Crock Pot Baked Potato recipe.

2. Kamut With Mushrooms and Blue Cheese

slow cooker kamut recipe with blue cheese and mushrooms

Chowhound

Kamut berries are beloved for their buttery flavor and chewy texture, but they often require a watchful eye as they simmer for hours. You’re much better throwing them in the crock pot with sautéed onions, cremini mushrooms, and garlic, then letting the appliance do all the work. Get our Kamut With Mushrooms and Blue Cheese recipe.

3. Easy Slow Cooker Baked Beans

Slow Cooker Baked Beans and Hot Dogs

Chowhound

The best barbecue beans—with robust ingredients like molasses, brown sugar, and bacon—take hours to prepare. Make it easy on yourself and let your slow cooker keep watch over everything. Just be sure to always soak dried beans before cooking them in a Crock-Pot. Get our Easy Slow Cooker Baked Beans recipe. (If you’re more about heat than sweet, our Ranch-Style Pinto Beans infused with ancho chile, jalapeño, and tomatoes are just for you.)

4. Slow Cooker Spanish Rice

Slow Cooker Spanish Rice recipe

Chowhound

Yes, you can cook rice in a Crock-Pot. This easy side dish is infused with tomatoes, stock, and spices and makes enough to feed a crowd. Get our Slow Cooker Spanish Rice recipe.

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5. Slow Cooker Summer Squash

Slow Cooker Summer Squash recipe

Chowhound

Two hours in a Crock-Pot turns sliced zucchini and summer squash into silk. Sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs if you want a little textural contrast, and serve with whatever you like, from chicken to pork chops. Get our Slow Cooker Summer Squash recipe.

6. Slow Cooker Creamed Corn


Creamed corn out of the can will be a thing of the past now that you’ve discovered you can make your own by dumping six ingredients into a ceramic insert. Get the Slow Cooker Creamed Corn recipe.

7. Slow Cooker Collard Greens

Slow Cooker Collard Greens with smoked ham hocks

Chowhound

Sautéing the collards first is essential to this recipe’s success. But if you’re willing to take that extra step, you’ll be rewarded with the ultimate payoff: tender greens with a potlikker so satisfying you’ll dream of bathing in it. Get our Slow Cooker Collard Greens recipe.

8. Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes


Dread the boiling, peeling, and smashing that go into preparing mashed potatoes from scratch? Consider this slow cooker version your solution. Bonus: It can be easily doubled. Get the Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes recipe.

9. Slow Cooker Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers

slow cooker quinoa stuffed peppers

Chowhound

We’re counting this a side, but really, it’s hearty enough to be a vegetarian main course. You can make the grain mixture with scallions, white beans, and feta, up to a couple days ahead, then just stuff the peppers and slow cook until tender. Get our Slow Cooker Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers recipe.

Visit our Slow Cooker Week headquarters for everything else you need to know (and cook).

Header image by Chowhound.

Susannah Chen is a San Francisco–based freelance writer. When she’s not cooking or writing, she’s on the hunt to find the world’s best chilaquiles. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
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