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49 Easy Dump and Go Side Dishes

With minimal prep time and your trusty slow cooker, these dump-n-go side dishes make dinnertime so much easier.

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Comforting Cheesy Potatoes

As a four-generation Idaho family, we love our potatoes and cook with them in every way possible. I have served these cheesy potatoes for weddings, family dinners and special occasions. They’ve become a favorite of many. —Karla Kimball, Emmett, Idaho

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Creamed Corn Exps Wrsm17 41295 C04 14 1b 6

Creamed Corn

Five ingredients are all you'll need for my popular creamed corn recipe. It's wonderful no matter what the occasion is. Try it on a barbecue buffet or holiday menu. —Barbara Brizendine, Harrisonville, Missouri
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Orange Spice Carrots

To get my son to eat veggies, I mix and match flavors and spices. My slow cooker orange carrots with cinnamon won him over. —Christina Addison, Blanchester, Ohio
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Scalloped Taters

This creamy and comforting slow-cooked side tastes great with almost any main dish and is a snap to assemble with convenient frozen hash browns. It's a good way to make potatoes when your oven is busy with other dishes. —Lucinda Wolker, Somerset, Pennsylvania
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Slow-Cooker Sriracha Corn

A restaurant here advertised Sriracha corn on the cob, but I knew I could make my own. The golden ears cooked up a little sweet, a little smoky and a little hot—perfect if you ask my three teenage boys! —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Italian Mushrooms

Only four ingredients create a rich and flavorful side dish that we love to eat with beef and mashed potatoes. —Kim Reichert, St. Paul, Minnesota
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Coconut-Pecan Sweet Potatoes

These delicious sweet potatoes cook effortlessly in the slow cooker so you can tend to other things. Coconut gives the classic a fresh twist. —Raquel Haggard, Edmond, Oklahoma
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Spiced Acorn Squash

Working full time, I found I didn't always have time to cook the meals my family loved, so I re-created many of those dishes in the slow cooker. This treatment for squash is one of our favorites. —Carol Greco, Centereach, New York
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Corn Spoon Bread

This slow-cooked spoon bread is more tender than corn pudding made in the oven, and the cream cheese is a nice addition. —Tamara Ellefson, Frederic, Wisconsin
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Lemon Red Potatoes

Butter, lemon juice, parsley and chives enhance this simple side dish. I usually prepare these potatoes when I'm having company. Since they cook in the slow cooker, there's plenty of room on the stove for other dishes. —Tara Branham, Austin, Texas
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Slow-Cooked Bean Medley

I often change the variety of beans in this classic recipe, using whatever I have on hand to total the five cans called for. The sauce makes any combination delicious! It's a gluten-free side dish that's popular with just about everyone. —Peggy Gwillim, Strasbourg, Saskatchewan
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Cheesy Slow-Cooked Corn

My family really likes this creamy, cheesy side dish—and it's so easy to make. Even those who usually don't eat much corn often ask for a second helping. —Mary Ann Truitt, Wichita, Kansas
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Slow-Cooked Broccoli

This family-favorite side dish is quick to fix and full of flavor. Because it simmers in a slow cooker, it frees up my oven for other things. That's a tremendous help when I'm prepping a big meal at home. —Connie Slocum, Antioch, Tennessee
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Italian Spaghetti Squash

This is a unique and easy way to cook spaghetti squash. Be sure the squash is on the small or medium side so that it fits into the slow cooker after being cut in half. —Melissa Brooks, Sparta, Wisconsin
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Potluck Candied Sweet Potatoes

To make it easier to bring this traditional southern staple to a potluck or gathering, I updated it so that it can be cooked in a slow cooker. It's hard to go wrong with candied sweet potatoes when it comes to pleasing a crowd. —Deirdre Cox, Kansas City, Missouri
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Party Time Beans

A friend brought this colorful bean dish to my house for a church circle potluck dinner. As soon as I tasted the slightly sweet slow-cooked beans, I had to have the recipe. I've served the beans and shared the recipe many times since. —Jean Cantner, Boston, Virginia
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Rosemary Beets

We’re a family of beet eaters. For a simple side dish, I use a slow cooker and let the beets mellow with rosemary and thyme. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Slow-Cooked Cajun Corn

My husband loves corn on the cob, and I love this slow-cooker recipe because I don't have to stand at a hot stove. We like a little spice, so the Cajun seasoning works well for us, but any spice blend works. —Audra Rorick, Lyons, Kansas
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Glazed Spiced Carrots

Glazed carrots are a classic side dish for all kinds of special occasions. They're the perfect accompaniment for all kinds of main entrees. This recipe is very easy to put together, leaving your oven and stove top free for other cooking creations. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Parsley Smashed Potatoes

I love potatoes but hate all the work involved in making mashed potatoes from scratch. I came up with a simple side dish that was made even easier thanks to my slow cooker. Save the leftover broth for soup the next day! —Katie Hagy, Blacksburg, South Carolina
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Fall Garden Medley

I like to make this recipe in the fall and winter for special occasions because it's very colorful, tasty and healthy. It's a hearty side that complements many different meat dishes. —Krystine Kercher, Lincoln, Nebraska
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Pecan-Coconut Sweet Potatoes

It's great to be able to make a tempting sweet potato dish well ahead by putting it in the slow cooker. This tasty recipe includes sweet coconut and crunchy pecans. It's yummy! —Rebecca Clark, Warrior, Alabama
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Vegetable Medley

This is a wonderful side dish to make when garden vegetables are plentiful, and if you have fresh corn, use that instead of frozen. —Terry Maly, Olathe, Kansas
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Rich & Creamy Mashed Potatoes

It's a cinch to jazz up instant mashed potatoes with sour cream and cream cheese, then cook and serve them from a slow cooker. For a special touch, sprinkle this creamy mashed potatoes recipe with chopped fresh chives, canned french-fried onions or fresh grated Parmesan cheese. —Donna Bardocz, Howell, Michigan
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Moist Corn Spoon Bread

Enjoy this easy take on a southern specialty that utilizes the convenience of a slow cooker. Here’s an excellent side dish for your next summer party or any special feast. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Sweet and Tangy Ranch Beans

This sweet and tangy side dish uses lots of convenient canned goods, so it’s a snap to throw together. The recipe was sent to me by a friend and it’s nice to serve at a group picnic. —Barbara Gordon, Roswell, Georgia
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Cheddar Creamed Corn

I took this super easy recipe to a school potluck once and it was gone in no time. I’ve been asked to bring it to every function since. —Jessica Maxwell, Englewood, New Jersey
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Maple-Walnut Sweet Potatoes

Topped with dried cherries and walnuts, this side is downright delicious. Even people who aren't into sweet potatoes will grab a second scoop. —Sarah Herse, Brooklyn, New York
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Slow-Cooked Green Beans

I spent hours in search of sides for a cooking demo to present to women from my church. These easy green beans became my star attraction. —Alice White, Willow Spring, North Carolina
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Creamy Hash Brown Potatoes

Convenient frozen hash browns are the secret behind the cheesy slow-cooker potatoes I cook up for potlucks and big group gatherings. —Julianne Henson, Streamwood, Illinois
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Simple Vegetarian Slow-Cooked Beans

When I have a hungry family to feed, these tasty beans with spinach, tomatoes and carrots are a go-to dish. This veggie delight is frequently on our menu. —Jennifer Reid, Farmington, Maine
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Corn and Broccoli in Cheese Sauce

Save room in the oven by making this savory side in your slow cooker. It is a standby in my house. My daughter likes to add leftover ham to create a hearty main course. —Joyce Johnson, Uniontown, Ohio
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Slow-Cooked Vegetables

I like to simmer this satisfying side dish in my Crock-Pot. Vegetables, especially the garden-fresh kind, are my favorite to use for potlucks. My sister-in-law shared the recipe with me. —Kathy Westendorf, Westgate, Iowa
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Honey-Butter Peas and Carrots

This classic combination of peas and carrots is enriched with a handful of flavor enhancers. Slow cooking allows the ingredients to meld for maximum richness. —Theresa Kreyche, Tustin, California
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Creamy Corn

Out of all my corn recipes, this is my favorite. You need just a few ingredients and a slow cooker to make this delicious side dish. Because it cooks on its own, you'll have extra time to prepare the main course. —Judy McCarthy, Derby, Kansas
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Jazzed-Up Green Bean Casserole

This is not your mama's green bean casserole, but she'll still be raving about it! After trying many variations, I decided to give this old standby extra kick. The crunchy texture, cheesy goodness and bacon make it a hit. —Scott Rugh, Portland, Oregon
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Nacho Hash Brown Casserole

This tasty slow cooker recipe will free up your oven and produce the best hash browns ever. Soft and super cheesy, they make a comforting side dish for meat or poultry. —Pat Habiger, Spearville, Kansas
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Mushroom Wild Rice

This is one of my favorite recipes from my mother. With only seven ingredients, it's quick to assemble in the morning before I leave for work. By the time I get home, mouthwatering aromas have filled the house. —Bob Malchow, Monon, Indiana
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Black Bean Potato au Gratin

The addition of black beans and vegetables adds hearty protein and fiber to this tasty side dish. For a southwestern twist, add a handful or two of chopped cooked ham or chorizo sausage and replace the peas with 1 cup of frozen, thawed corn. —Erin Chilcoat, Central Islip, New York
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Stewed Zucchini and Tomatoes

Zucchini, tomatoes and green peppers star in this make-ahead dish that offers a fresh take on traditional vegetable sides. Bubbly cheddar cheese adds a down-home feel. —Barbara Smith, Salem, Oregon
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Slow-Cooker Polenta

This Italian classic is so simple to make, you can now make it any night of the week. —Elisabeth Matelski, Boston, Massachusetts
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Slow-Cooker Italian Mushrooms

For big family gatherings, I love to make these mushrooms—everyone always wants to know what the secret ingredient is! They’re a star as a side dish, and leftovers go well with steaks or a roast. —Becky Schmitz, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
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Slow-Cooked Cheesy Cauliflower

When my main course took up the entire oven, I needed a vegetable that I could make in the slow cooker. After searching for a recipe, I ended up writing my own. My dish turned out better than I could have hoped! —Heather Corson, Casper, Wyoming
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Creamy Red Potatoes

This rich and creamy potato side dish is my go-to for potlucks. It’s super easy to double, so I usually do. Folks almost always take seconds, and I almost always get compliments. —Shelia Schmitt, Topeka, Kansas
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Slow-Cooked Summer Squash

We love squash, but I got tired of fixing just plain squash and cheese. I decided to jazz up the dish a bit. This was a huge hit with my family. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Oregano Green Beans with Toasted Pine Nuts

This super easy side dish is a wonderful picnic or potluck recipe. It’s a beautiful, surprising mix that leaves guests and family raving. You can substitute any kind of nut for the pine nuts or even replace them with fresh berries. —Wolfgang Hanau, West Palm Beach, Florida
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Cranberry-Apple Red Cabbage

When I was looking for something new, I started playing with flavors and came up with this very tasty dish. My German grandmother would be impressed, I think! The colorful side dish is just right with pork. —Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts
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Saucy Scalloped Potatoes

For old-fashioned flavor, try these scalloped potatoes. They cook up tender, creamy and comforting and chopped ham adds a hearty touch. —Elaine Kane, Keizer, Oregon

Dana Meredith
Dana is an editor and writer who shares her passion for travel, food and the beauty of American landscapes. When she's not wielding her red pen, she can be found tending her flower gardens, remodeling her house, creating one-of-a-kind jewelry or dancing to "Uptown Funk."