17 Delicious Crock Pot Side Dishes For a Cookout | Rock the Grill

17 Delicious Crock Pot Side Dishes For a Cookout

AustinPublished: July 29, 2023
17 Delicious Crock Pot Side Dishes For a Cookout

Are you the designated side dish bringer for your next cookout? Don't stress - we've got the perfect solution for you: crock pot side dishes that are great for any cookout.

These slow-cooked delights save you time and effort and deliver an incredible flavor that will make your guests return for more. Whether you're whipping up a batch of cheesy potatoes, tangy baked beans, or tender mac and cheese, the crock pot is your secret weapon for creating crowd-pleasing sides that will steal the show.

Say goodbye to last-minute scrambling and hello to stress-free entertaining. The beauty of crock pot side dishes lies in their simplicity. Just toss the ingredients into the pot, set it, and forget it until serving. No more juggling multiple dishes in the oven or frantically heating things on the stovetop. With a crock pot, you can focus on enjoying the company of your guests while the flavors meld and develop on their own. It's like having a personal sous chef that works tirelessly while you relax and have fun.

We have some helpful tips to ensure your crock pot side dishes are perfect every time. Prepare to elevate your side dish game and become the hero of every potluck, cookout, or gathering. 

Why crock pot side dishes are a game changer.

Crockpot side dishes are an absolute game-changer for cookouts.

But with a trusty crock pot on your team, you can say goodbye to the stress and hello to some seriously delicious dishes. Just imagine the aroma of slow-cooked beans filling the air or the sight of creamy mac and cheese scooped out of the pot. It's enough to make your mouth water just thinking about it.

The beauty of using a crock pot for your side dishes is that it frees up time and energy to focus on the main event – grilling up those mouthwatering meats. You can simply set it and forget it, letting the flavors marinate and mingle while you mingle with your guests.

Your guests will be mighty impressed when they see a spread of tasty sides coming straight from your crock pot.

Let your crock pot do the heavy lifting, whether you're whipping up some tangy BBQ baked beans, cheesy corn casserole, or even a hearty potato dish.

It's a game-changer that will earn you major culinary points at your next cookout. It's time to level up your side dish game.

The best ingredients to use for crock pot side dishes.

Choosing the right ingredients is vital when creating delicious crock pot side dishes. We learned this the hard way when we attempted to make macaroni and cheese in my crock pot using regular pasta instead of the recommended elbow macaroni. The result was far from satisfying.

After that culinary mishap, we made it a point to research the best ingredients for crock pot side dishes. I quickly discovered that using ingredients that hold up well to long cooking times is essential.

For example, root vegetables like potatoes and carrots are perfect for crock pot cooking because they retain their texture and flavor even after hours of simmering.

Another important consideration is choosing ingredients that release their flavors gradually, infusing the dish with deliciousness. Fresh herbs and spices, such as rosemary, thyme, and garlic, add depth and complexity to crock pot side dishes. Additionally, high-quality broths or stocks can enhance the dish's overall taste.

We also found that incorporating a variety of textures and flavors can take a crock pot side dish from ordinary to extraordinary. Consider combining crunchy vegetables like bell peppers or snap peas with creamy cheese or sour cream. This contrast in textures adds a delightful element to the dish and keeps each bite interesting.

By understanding the importance of selecting the right ingredients, you can create crock pot side dishes bursting with flavor and the perfect texture. So, before you fire up your crock pot, take a moment to choose ingredients that will make each bite utterly delicious.

Tips for perfect crock pot side dishes.

Before we get into our favorite recipes, we wanted to share some tips for making perfect crock pot side dishes. These simple tricks help ensure your sides are loaded with flavor and the desired texture.

  • Choose the right size crock pot for your side dish. This will ensure even cooking and prevent overcrowding. For the best results, get an 8-quart or bigger crockpot.
  • Prep ingredients ahead of time. Chop vegetables, measure seasonings, and gather all necessary ingredients before cooking.
  • Layer ingredients strategically. Place tougher vegetables like potatoes or carrots at the bottom of the crock pot, with more delicate ingredients on top.
  • Use the correct amount of liquid. Crock pots rely on moisture to cook food, so add enough juice to prevent drying out but not too much so your dish becomes overly liquidy.
  • Avoid lifting the lid. Each time you lift the cover, it releases heat and can significantly affect the cooking time. Trust the process and resist the temptation to peek!
  • Utilize low and slow cooking methods. Crock pots are meant for slow cooking, so it's best to cook side dishes on the low setting for several hours to allow flavors to meld and ingredients to become tender.
  • Stir only when necessary. While some dishes may require occasional stirring, most side dishes benefit from not being disturbed. Let the ingredients do their thing and develop rich flavors.
  • Adjust seasonings before serving. Crock pot cooking can sometimes dull flavors, so taste your dish before serving and make any necessary adjustments with additional herbs.
  • Keep it warm. If your side dish is ready before the rest of the meal, switch your crock pot to the "warm" setting to keep it at a safe and ready-to-serve temperature.
  • Don't forget about the presentation. Dress up your crock pot side dish with fresh herbs, a drizzle of olive oil, or a sprinkle of grated cheese to make it visually appealing and even more enticing.

Following these tips will ensure your crock pot side dishes are delicious, flavorful, and perfectly cooked every time. So, wow your guests at your next cookout with these foolproof crock pot side dish hacks.

17 of the best crock pot sides to take to a cookout.

When it comes to cookouts, having a variety of delicious side dishes to complement the main course is essential. And what better way to prepare these sides than with a trusty crock pot? Here are 17 of the top crock pot side dishes that will elevate your cookout to the next level.

Cowboy Calico Beans

A hearty and flavorful dish, Cowboy Calico Beans combines ground beef, bacon, and a variety of beans slow-cooked to perfection. This dish is a wonderful blend of sweet, tangy, and smoky flavors.

Corn On The Cob

Crock Pot Corn On The Cob

Slow-cooking corn on the cob in your crock pot results in juicy, tender kernels that burst with sweetness. It's an easy and hands-off method that frees up your grill for other dishes.

Sweet Corn Spoon Bread

This creamy, dreamy side dish is a delightful cross between cornbread and creamed corn. It pairs wonderfully with grilled meats and veggies.

Old Bay Mac & Cheese

Give your classic mac & cheese a twist with some Old Bay seasoning. This slow cooker version is creamy, cheesy, and has a slight kick.

Fiesta Dip (no Velveeta)

This slow cooker fiesta dip is flavorful and perfect for dipping chips or veggies. And it's made without Velveeta, so you can feel good about serving it.

Garlic Green Beans

These slow-cooker garlic green beans are a tasty alternative to traditional baked beans. They're flavorful and a great way to incorporate veggies into your cookout2.

Crockpot Cornbread

Crockpot Cornbread

Moist and fluffy, this slow cooker cornbread is a wonderful companion to any barbecue dish. Plus, it's super easy to make.

Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes

Layered with creamy sauce and cheese, these slow cooker scalloped potatoes are a comforting side dish everyone will love.

Slow Cooker Boston Baked Beans

These beans are sweet, savory and have a deep, rich flavor from slow cooking. They're a classic cookout side dish.

Mexican Pintos with Cactus

Add some southwestern flair to your cookout with this unique dish. The cactus adds a unique flavor and texture to the pintos.

Mother Earth's Baked Beans

Mother Earths Baked Beans

These beans are sweet, tangy, and perfectly spiced. They're a delicious and earthy addition to any cookout.

Slow Cooker German Potato Salad

This potato salad is tangy, hearty, and packed with flavor. The slow cooker makes it easy to prepare and keeps your kitchen cool.

Slow Cooker Creamed Corn

Creamed corn in the slow cooker is rich, creamy, and incredibly satisfying. It's a crowd-pleaser that goes well with any main dish.

Slow-Cooked Collard Greens

These are tender, flavorful, and a great way to add greens to your cookout spread.

Slow Cooker Barbecued Green Beans

These green beans are cooked in barbecue sauce for a sweet and savory side dish different from the norm. We absolutely love these beans.

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

This mac and cheese is creamy, cheesy, and comforting. The slow cooker makes it easy to prepare and is always a hit.

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Barbecue Baked Beans

These beans are sweet, smoky and have a tropical twist from pineapple. They're a fun and different side dish for a cookout.

Head out to the barbeque or cookout.

Crockpot side dishes are a game changer when it comes to cookouts. Not only do they save you time and effort, but they also infuse your dishes with unique flavors that you wouldn't get with traditional cooking methods. By using the best ingredients, following a few tips for perfecting your crock pot sides, and exploring the top recipes, you'll be well on your way to wowing your friends and family at your next barbecue.

So, why stick to the same old side dishes when you can easily elevate your cookout with these delicious crock pot creations? There's no shortage of options, from cheesy potatoes and creamy macaroni and cheese to tangy baked beans and flavor-packed cornbread. Let your crock pot do the work while you focus on enjoying the company and savoring the flavors of summer.

So gather your ingredients, plug in your crock pot, and prepare to be amazed by the incredible dishes you can create. With these 17 delicious crock pot side dishes in your recipe arsenal, your cookouts will never be the same again.



Professional Backyard Chef

Austin, a trained chef and graduate of the The Art Institute of Washington, has a deep passion for locally sourced ingredients. He spent several years working in farm-to-table restaurants, forging relationships with local farmers and learning about the benefits of fresh, local produce. As a regular contributor to various food and lifestyle magazines, Austin specializes in creating delicious, seasonal recipes for the backyard bistro. His dedication to local ingredients helps readers discover new flavors while supporting their local economy.