Crockpots are wonderful help year-round, and there are plenty of delicious summer slow cooker meals to get you through the heat of summer.
We love our slow cookers during the cooler months of the year, but come spring and summer, this amazing kitchen appliance goes back in the cabinet. If you ask me, that’s a mistake!
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Why use your slow cooker in the summer?
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. Below, you'll find a big list of summertime slow cooker meals.
These are my top reasons to use your crockpot in the summertime:
But guess what doesn’t heat up the house? Your slow cooker. It puts up a lot less heat and it’s portable.
That means that on a really hot day when your air conditioner is barely keeping up, you can go plug in the slow cooker on the porch and have dinner cooking while you hang out in the backyard with the kids.
In fact, your crock pot uses less energy than your stove or oven, so it also lowers your energy bill.
Perfect for sides
Your slow cooker also comes in handy anytime you’re grilling in the back yard. No more slaving away in the kitchen fixing side dishes while everyone else gets to hang out in the yard or around the grill.
Instead, do a little prep work in the morning and start a side dish in the slow cooker. Then you can grab a cold drink and join the fun in the yard.
Of course those same side dishes will also come in handy at the annual company barbecue or the extended family 4th of July cookout. Next time you’re asked to bring a side dish, cook it in the slow cooker and bring everything along.
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Less to clean
The last thing any of us want to do at the end of a hot summer day is to clean pots and pans. Cooking dinner in the crockpot makes it a one-pot meal, so there's a lot less to deal with. Plus, you can use slow cooker liners to make it even easier!
Feed a crowd
It's helpful that slow cooker meals are so easy to scale up. Often, we get summer visitors here in Washington, DC, and it's simple to just double up an easy crock pot recipe like pulled pork sandwiches or make a big batch of taco meat.
You can cook 40-50 hot dogs all at once in a crock pot to feed a whole party. Or, stuff your slow cooker full of potatoes to make a fun Baked Potato Bar. I've used the slow cooker to feed the swim team Traveling Tacos.
Cook once, eat all week
No one wants to be stuck in the kitchen when you can be at the pool. Summer is a great time to cook a LOT of something–like shredded chicken, beef or pork–and then use it multiple times during the week. That first night, we usually have tacos. Then the leftover meat can be used in so many ways, like on top of a salad, in a sandwich, or put into another meal altogether.
Summer Slow Cooker Recipes
Summer Slow Cooker Meals
Summer crockpot meals that work year-round. These summer slow cooker recipes are great for summer nights.
Slow cooker Chili Verde is made of tender and juicy pieces of pork slow-cooked together with mild green chilis. Serve for dinner with warm tortillas and fresh salsa, or take along to the next potluck, this Chili Verde Pork delicious and amazingly easy!
This slow cooker chicken adobo is a great meal to add to your weeknight rotation. The tender chicken and sweet and tangy sauce are perfect served over rice or with some roasted vegetables. Enjoy takeout-style food in the comfort of your own home.
Slow Cooker Chinese Spare Ribs. Falling off the bone Chinese spare ribs in the slow cooker. Perfect for sharing and the only washing up is the slow cooker. Loaded with your favourite Chinese spare rib flavours including garlic, BBQ sauce and honey.
Lasagna tastes amazing any time of the year, but cooking it in the oven when it's hot outside is NOT amazing. Use your Crockpot to enjoy your favorite pasta without heating up the house. Bonus: this method is even EASIER than the traditional method!
This easy to make slow cooker pork recipe is simply delicious! The root beer pulled pork recipe is sweet and tasty – perfect for family dinner, leftovers for lunch, or when you are craving a pulled pork sandwich.
For this recipe, I just used chicken thighs, along with marsala wine and Progresso’s Recipe Starters in Creamy Portabella Mushroom. This cooking sauce gave my slow cooker chicken marsala the most wonderful flavor and lots of rich creaminess. You can serve this chicken over pasta, but I choose white rice, mainly because it’s so easy to cook in my rice cooker. I just kept my rice warm in the cooker sitting by the rice cooker. It was a great dinner to serve my family.
Monday 10th of June 2013
We love our crock pot lasagna. Super easy and somehow it works :)
8 lasagna noodles, uncooked
1 ob ground beef
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 (28oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1/3 c water
15 oz ricotta cheese (or sometimes I use cottage cheese)
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
break noodles, place half of the noodles in bottom of greased slow cooker. Brown beef and drain. Stir Italian seasoning into meat and spread half of the cooked meat over the noodles in crock pot. Layer half of the sauce and water, half of the ricotta cheese, and half of mozzarella cheese over beef. Repeat layers. cover and cook on low heat 5 hours.
Saundra Y. Alford
Sunday 9th of June 2013
If desired, brown the chicken in hot oil; drain. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Arrange chicken in slow cooker. Combine tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, garlic, oregano and sugar; pour over the chicken. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours. Remove chicken and keep warm. Turn cooker to high heat setting, stir mozzarella cheese into sauce. Cook uncovered, till cheese melts and sauce is heated through. Serve chicken and sauce over hot cooked spaghetti. Serve with Parmesan cheese. Serves 6 to 8.
Hal from Swagbucks
Friday 7th of June 2013
Thanks for posting these! My current slow cooker go-to is Bison stew:
2lbs cubed Bison Round Roast
8-10 carrtots, chopped
3-5 stalks of celery, chopped
2 brown onions, brunoised
1 tbsp parika
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2-4 cups of organic beef broth
Cook on low for 8 hrs.
It's delicious and makes enough for me to take a lunch to work every day!
Friday 7th of June 2013
I love that u posted this...I am in need of tasty crockpot meals for summer. My one problem is that everytime I try chicken in the crockpot it turns out dry and really just not good. I'm using boneless chicken breasts and following recipes in regards to weight and time. What am I doing wrong? Can't wait to try out these recipes!
Sunday 23rd of June 2013
Try boneless skinless chicken thighs...they seen to hold up better
Friday 7th of June 2013
I had the same problem because slow cookers tend to heat really hot nowadays (compared to the pots made 30 yrs ago) so a recipe for low heat for 6-8 hrs should be more like low for 3-5. What I have found to work is using frozen chicken breasts. They tend to be moister and can stand to cook for longer. See if that helps.