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Slow cooker Super Bowl: 3 game-winning recipes

Slow cooker recipes allow Super Bowl party hosts to prepare food ahead of time and enjoy the big game. Thinkstock / Special to The Forum

FARGO — Each year, football fans across the country look forward to one special weekend in February. They suit up in their chosen team's gear to cheer them on for the Super Bowl.

And each year, foodies across the nation begin preparing weeks ahead of time, digging through recipes trying to decide what to feed their pigskin-loving guests for the festive event.

But while food is a passion for them, hosts often sacrifice time spent enjoying the game with friends and family in exchange for time spent in the kitchen.

But it doesn't have to be that one.

Slow cookers have made it possible to prepare meals and appetizers ahead of time, so cooks can enjoy the party, too.

Try these three slow cooker game-winning recipes that are perfect for Super Bowl 51.

Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos makes feeding a large group of people easy. Thinkstock / Special to The Forum

Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos

For those throwing a mega-Super Bowl party, slow cooker shredded chicken will feed the crowd. To give guests even more options, opt for a build-your-own-taco bar. Give party-goers plenty of options for topping their tacos by setting out bowls full of lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, black olives and more.

Ingredients:

1 pound frozen chicken breasts

1 package taco seasoning

1 (16-ounce) jar of salsa

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a Crock-Pot and cook on high for 4 hours. Drain chicken and shred with fork. (Tip: Shred with a hand mixer.)

Fill warm tortillas with chicken, lettuce, tomato, cheese or your favorite toppings.

Recipe courtesy of Passionforsavings.com

Five-Ingredient White Queso Dip takes barely any time to prepare and only 20 minutes to cook.

5-Ingredient White Queso Dip

It wouldn't be the Super Bowl without some kind of chip dip. Foodies can eat this dip with chips or take it to the next level with a nacho bar, complete with black olives, peppers, onions, jalapenos, tomatoes, salsa and sour cream.

Serves: 3 cups

Ingredients:

1 pound pepper jack cheese

8 ounces full-fat cream cheese

½ cup full-fat sour cream

1 (10-ounce) can original diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained

¾ cup whole milk (if needed)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon chili powder

Directions:

In a slow cooker, combine the cheese, cream cheese, sour cream and diced tomatoes over low heat. Let the mixture heat until the cheeses melt and a smooth cream forms, stirring often. This should take approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the spices if desired. Add milk if needed. Once melted, serve immediately and turn slow cooker to "keep warm." Enjoy!

(Note: The Baking Fairy has gotten mixed feedback about using low-fat substitutions so she uses full-fat dairy in this recipe for best results.)

Recipe courtesy of Thebakingfairy.net

Baked potatoes in the slow cooker mean a stress-free Super Bowl party. Thinkstock / Special to The Forum

Slow Cooker 'Baked' Potatoes

Sure, a baked potato itself might not seem like enough to feed a crowd. But by adding fun toppings like bacon, cheese, green onions and sour cream, Super Bowl fans will thank the host for a creative meal.

To get extra creative, offer toppings based upon the teams in the Super Bowl. For example: offer guests seafood options to represent the New England Patriots or Grilled Corn and Peach Salsa to represent the Atlanta Falcons.

Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

4 to 6 medium russet potatoes (no more than 10 ounces each)

4 to 6 teaspoons olive oil

Freshly ground sea salt and pepper

1/2 cup water

Directions:

Scrub and rinse potatoes; dry. Lay each potato on a square of aluminum foil (large enough to fully cover), drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil over each potato and rub around potato to evenly coat. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Wrap foil around each potato.

Pour water into a 6- or 7-quart slow cooker. Transfer potatoes to slow cooker. Cover with lid and cook on high heat 4 to 5 hours or low heat 7 to 9 hours, until potatoes are tender. Serve warm with desired toppings.

Recipe courtesy of Cookingclassy.com

Visit alexandrafloersch.areavoices.com for more recipes including Crock-Pot Chili, Jalapeño Popper Dip and Crock-Pot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs.

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