Slow cookers are usually thought of for fall and winter comfort foods–soups, stews, and pot roast. Now that it's summer, we're looking for the same ease and low-stress meal prep that the slow cooker allows but with a different menu. These Summer Slow Cooker Meals are my family's favorites and easy enough for you to try anytime this season.
10 Summer Slow Cooker Meals
With just 6 ingredients, this makes a full meal that's satisfying and savory. If you prefer to make your own teriyaki sauce, it's easy enough to do.
Prep some tilapia filets in aluminum foil and cook on high for 2-2.5 hours. Serve with a fresh salad or veggies from your garden for a light summer meal. Stephanie's Foil Packet Tilapia recipe is so easy–just mayo, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese–and the fish comes out flaky and tender. If your kids haven't tried it, tilapia is a great “first fish.”
Sloppy joes are a kid fave, and they're easy to load into the slow cooker when you've previously browned your ground beef or ground turkey and frozen it. This recipe calls for mushrooms and onions, but you can also add chopped peppers or zucchini for an extra veggie.
This has become one of the most-requested meals at our house, especially by my husband. I love how easy it is, and it uses ingredients I often have on hand (like diced tomatoes), so it gets made often.
With just three ingredients, this Moo Shu is easy to pull together and easy to serve in either wheat or white tortillas as wraps.
My famly just loves Greek flavors, so this is always enjoyed. Layer chicken breasts or thighs in the slow cooker, then cover with a can of diced tomatoes, a can of artichoke hearts, and a can of olives (my kids prefer black to green). Cook on low for 6-8 hours, then serve over rice, pasta or quinoa to sop up the juices. I usually sprinkle a little Feta cheese on top for a little tang.
This is the recipe I pull out whenever we have company over the summer. It's easy to double–or triple!–if needed, and it always comes out great. The sauce is a great mix of mustard and vinegar barbeque flavor, and it's made from scratch. You could also just use a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce. Sometimes we'll do BBQ Chicken instead of pork.
Shredded Chicken Tacos
This is one of the most versatile “dump” recipes you'll ever use: just combine chicken breasts or thighs with a jar of salsa (or salsa verde), or a can of diced tomatoes with green chiles. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, and then shred the chicken. It's moist and delicious, which makes for great tacos served in flour tortillas with all the fixings. With the leftovers, I usually make quesadillas another day, or roll enchiladas to stick in the freezer.
Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
This Chicken Cacciatore recipe from Eat at Home includes a homemade sauce, but you can just use a jar if you don't have the ingredients on hand. Serve over pasta for an easy meal.
Slow Cooker Fajitas
Instead of peppers and onions with an Italian sauce, change over to Mexican and make fajitas instead. Just layer strips of raw chicken breast with sliced onions and bell peppers in your slow cooker, add 2 teaspoons each of chili powder, cumin, paprika and garlic powder (in lieu of a Taco seasoning packet), and cook on low 6-7 hours. Serve in tortillas with salsa, sour cream, and other sides.
What are your favorite summer slow cooker meals?