Summer is the perfect time to use your slow cooker. It means that you don’t have to turn on your oven and heat the whole house up. Also, many slow cooker meals can be eaten hot or cold, which is perfect for those scorching hot days when you don’t want a warm meal.
Summer Slow Cooker Recipes
The other great thing about slow cookers is that you don’t need to stand and watch them. You can spend your time sunbathing or relaxing in the pool knowing that your food is being prepared for you!
Slow cookers are also awesome at replicating some summer BBQ favorites. While you might be using your grill most weekends, a slow cooker allows you to enjoy BBQ food effortlessly on busier weekdays.
And, if you want even more meal time inspiration, make sure you check out our favorite recipe collections below!
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- 30 Slow Cooker Pork Recipes Your Family Will Love
Slow Cooker Garlic Steak Bites
If you want to use a tough cut of meat and make it tender, then nothing is better or easier than these slow cooker steak bites. Tons of flavor, rich garlic, and ideal for creating their own sauce to go over any favorite side!
Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas
Making your favorite Mexican dish has never been easier. These fajitas are super fun and easy to make, and while we use chicken, you can use any of your favorite proteins. Customize with toppings like sour cream, cheese, salsa, and guacamole!
Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken
Takeout? Nope! Make this easy version of sesame chicken at home with just a few minutes of prep time. Serve with rice, vegetables, and your favorite eggroll for a healthier and much less expensive meal at home!
Roasted Beef Joint
I know what you’re thinking, a roast in summer? I get it, it’s too much for hot days.
However, once your joint has cooled, you have a fresh supply of deli meat! You can slice it up for sandwiches, wraps, salads, or a charcuterie board.
This recipe makes a succulent, juicy joint you can enjoy for days afterward. Cold cuts are perfect for summer, and this produces some wonderfully delicious cold cuts.
Another roast that will make beautiful cold cuts, this garlicky chicken is perfect for family dinners or light lunches.
Perhaps the best thing about this recipe is just how forgiving the chicken is! Unlike a traditional oven cooked roast, this chicken won’t suddenly dry out on you. It comes out wonderfully tender and deliciously juicy.
I recommend serving this with a light salad or perhaps some pasta during the summer. It won’t be as heavy as a full roast dinner.
Pulled pork is usually made on the BBQ low and slow until the meat just falls apart. It’s not a dish that you can whip up in a few minutes. It also leaves people without a BBQ scratching their heads.
Well, lucky for you, all you need is a slow cooker. It won’t be quick, but it means that you can cook a batch of pulled pork to keep around for sandwiches or burgers. This can be made any day of the week or overnight.
This recipe makes beautifully sticky and succulent shredded beef that you can put in tacos, burger buns, or on top of mash.
It’s ideal for feeding large groups as you can just place it in the middle of the table and let everyone make their own tacos or burgers. This makes it a great choice for summer get-togethers when you don’t fancy pulling the BBQ out.
Sticky BBQ Ribs
These ribs are magnificent. They are sticky, sweet, smokey and tender, and you don’t have to touch the BBQ!
This recipe calls for bottled BBQ sauce, but you are more than welcome to use your own BBQ sauce recipe. If you don’t have one, here is our favorite BBQ sauce recipe.
You will need to finish these ribs off in the oven or on the grill. This is to crisp up that outer layer of the meat. You don’t want to skip this part. Crisping out the outside creates an awesome crunchy contrast to the otherwise tender ribs.
This lamb brings the delights of Mediterranean Greece to your dining table. You might not be sipping ouzo by the sea, but the taste of this lamb will make you think you are.
To serve, we suggest Greek meze like tzatziki, pitta, olives, and chickpea salad. You can serve the lamb hot straight from the slow cooker or chill and reheat it at a later date. It tastes phenomenal either way.
If you are going to chill and reheat it, make sure you spoon off the hardened fat before serving.
Balsamic Honey Glazed Pork Belly
This beautifully sweet and tender pork belly recipe will be a hit with everyone. The honey glaze gives it a sticky and succulent flavor that your family and guests won’t be able to get enough of.
We like this as a summer recipe because the honey gives it a lighter flavor than some other pork belly recipes. Plus, you can pretty much set it to go and leave it alone. That way you’re not waiting around a hot oven.
Asian-glazed Chicken Fillets
These chicken breasts are slow cooked in oyster sauce, soy sauce, and a hint of garlic. The flavor is rich and moreish, while the breasts themselves are beautifully tender.
You can serve these with rice or a simple side salad. The chicken is filling without being super heavy, which makes it perfect for summer.
The sauce does taste phenomenal when mopped up with some rice, especially if it’s been allowed to thicken slightly.
If you’ve never come across deviled sausages before, you are missing out!
This dish is half sweet and sour and half casserole. In essence, the sausages are cooked in tomato-based sauce that has quite a wonderful, complex flavor.
A dash of Worcester sauce, mustard, and balsamic vinegar gives the sauce that sweet and sour sort of flavor.
You can serve these sausages with mash and greens or with boiled potatoes for a bit of a lighter meal.
As a stew, ratatouille is often consigned to winter dishes. However, this does ratatouille a significant disservice. You see, ratatouille is beautiful when made with fresh ingredients. In particular, it’s great when made with fresh summer vegetables.
This recipe uses summer squash, fresh bell peppers, and tomatoes. All are freshly available in the summer.
If you’ve got your own vegetable garden, this is a great way to use up all those tomatoes that ripen in midsummer.
Slow Cooked Eggplant
This is a super easy recipe that you can throw on in the morning and forget about. After 8 hours in the office, you get to come home to a delicious meal packed with rich tomato and summer veg flavors.
To top, you need to crumble some feta cheese over your eggplant. I don’t know what it is about feta, but it just screams summer to me. I suppose it’s the Greek heritage!
Turkish Breakfast Eggs
This low-calorie brunch recipe is packed with vitamin C and gives you 2 of your 5-a-day. Is there a better way to start your morning?
You can set this to cook overnight and wake up to a beautiful, slightly spiced, breakfast. The only thing to decide is where to enjoy your breakfast. Do you sit in the sun or nestle in the shade?
Sweet Potato and Coconut Curry
You might wonder why we’ve chosen curry as a summer recipe. After all, the last thing you want when the sun is blazing is a plate of spicy curry.
Well, this curry is more aromatic than it is spicy. You can certainly make it spicy if you’d prefer, but this recipe is quite mild.
The other reason we chose this curry is because it is coconut based. The coconut flavoring is lighter and less cloying than some other curry bases.
In all, this dish comes together as a delightfully light and aromatic curry perfect for summer. You can enjoy it with rice or on its own.
Eggplant, Pomegranate, and Onion Salad
I know, I know. Salad in a slow cooker? What are we thinking? Well, this salad is a warm salad. It is supposed to be eaten straight from the slow cooker.
What makes it beautifully summery is the addition of pomegranate. Those sharp little pomegranate seeds lift the flavor of this salad, making it taste fresh and light.
I don’t know whether it’s the bright colors or the sweet, juicy taste of the bell peppers, but stuffed peppers have always seemed like a summer food.
This recipe sees the peppers stuffed with black beans and rice. It is a filling, hearty meal without being overbearing or too heavy.
You can add more or less chili powder to change the spice levels to your liking. Personally, I love a little burst of heat with my stuffed peppers.
Barley and Bean Tacos
Tacos are an awesome summer dish because you mix and match the food to suit your appetite.
It is also an awesome dish to prepare for guests for the same reason. I love serving tacos as an alternative to BBQ food during summer gatherings.
This recipe calls for hulled barley, which can usually be found in wholefood sections of the supermarket.
If you can’t find hulled, then you can use pearled barley. In this case, you’d need to reduce the cooking time by about an hour.
Garlic Butter Mashed Potatoes
This recipe is a personal favorite. It's ideal as a side to many weeknight meals, but I personally love using this around the holidays. It takes away from being over the stove while potatoes cook. Instead, they cook easily when I spend time with family and friends.
Baked potatoes are perfect sides for a BBQ or a delicious, healthy lunch food. In summer, I like to have my jacket potato with a salad and some slaw. It’s light enough not to overwhelm me in the heat, but filling enough that I don’t go looking for snacks.
These potatoes take 8 hours on low and about 4-6 hours on high. This means you’re going to want to put them on when you wake up to have a nice lunch. I usually do this if I know I have a busy morning of appointments and errands.
Corn on the Cob
What summer BBQ would be complete with corn on the cob? If you haven’t the time, room, or inclination to cook your corn on the grill then this slow cooker recipe is ideal.
This recipe adds a bit of a tropical twist to your corn by using coconut milk to boil the corn. It is incredibly delicious!
If you like softer corn, then you’ll want to cook it for about 3 hours. 2 hours of cooking produces a firmer, crunchier corn.
Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese is an absolute year-round staple. I would eat it day in, day out if I could.
This slow cooker mac and cheese comes out beautifully creamy and cheesy, just as it should do! Interestingly, this recipe uses cheddar cheese soup, which is not something I’ve come across before. It sounds incredible though!
Boston Baked Beans
These beans are ideal if you’re attending a BBQ and need to bring a dish. They’re also perfect for summer potlucks.
The sweet but tangy sauce complements all kinds of BBQ flavors. Personally, I love them with chicken wings and a baked potato. It is bliss on a plate!
Now, this recipe does take about 12 hours to cook, so you need to be prepared and ahead of schedule. It is not a dish you can whip up the day of the BBQ.
That being said, it is 12 hours well spent. These beans are incredible.
These potatoes are so easy to make. You only need a few ingredients to get delicious ranch potatoes. What’s more, you can even use packet ranch seasoning! This is the supreme lazy cook’s recipe.
Despite the simplicity, these potatoes are so tasty. The Parmesan gives them a light cheesy flavor without being overwhelming. However, if you do want to load up on the cheese, you can add grated cheddar to the pot!
It might seem counterproductive to cook green beans in the slow cooker. After all, when you cook them on the stove, they only take a few minutes.
So, why would you bother cooking them for 2 hours?
Well, these beans are cooked in seasoned broth. After 2 hours of stewing, the beans release a lot of their juices into the broth too. Overall, this gives you 2 things.
First you have deliciously tender green beans, and secondly you have an awesome sauce to dip your bread or potatoes into.
Green Beans with Gorgonzola
For a creamier bean recipe, try this bacon and Gorgonzola green bean recipe. The beans cook in some white wine with water chestnuts, bacon, garlic, and seasoning.
Once tender, you add the sour cream which gives these beans a beautiful tangy taste.
If you don’t want to use wine, you can cook the beans in chicken stock instead. If you do this, you might want to reduce the amount of salt you use to season them. Chicken stock can be quite salty in its own right.
Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole
Cheesy hash browns are an instant crowd pleaser. Whether you’re serving them up at brunch, a BBQ, or as a side to a burger, people love them.
This recipe allows you to batch cook a cheesy hash brown casserole that you can serve to a crowd. Kids and adults alike go mad for this dish, and we can’t blame them.
Mediterranean Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes go with absolutely everything. They are perfect for BBQs, potlucks, sit down dinners, and light lunches.
This recipe uses feta and soured cream to give the potatoes a tangy Mediterranean taste.
Not many people take full advantage of the slow cooker when it comes to desserts. The truth is it is perfect for baking many desserts like these cinnamon rolls.
After making the dough and assembling the rolls, you place them in the slow cooker for 2 hours and go about your day. When cooked, they have a crisp outer but a deliciously soft and gooey center, just as they should be.
This recipe is from none other than Martha Stewart herself, proving that even pro cooks use their slow cooker!
This recipe gives you a beautifully rich cheesecake with just a hint of tang from the Greek yogurt. The base is a classic graham cracker base that provides a slight crunch to the otherwise soft filling.
One of the best things about using a slow cooker to make cheesecake is that the low and slow method helps to reduce the risk of cracking.
This means you are more likely to get an Instagram worthy cheesecake without the splits and cracks.
Salted Caramel Cookie Bars
Salted caramel and butter cookies…need I say more?
These are so delicious. They will be a hit with whomever you serve them too. In fact, I think the biggest problem is going to be breaking up the fights over these bars!
Crockpot Salsa Chicken + Summer Crockpot Recipes
This fast and easy 2 ingredients slow cooker salsa chicken is the perfect addition to your meal plan!
- 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cups salsa
- In a crockpot, cover the chicken with salsa, then add the lid and cook for 3 hours at low heat.
- Remove the lid and shred the chicken combining it with the salsa and juices.
- Serve on tortillas, in salads, or as part of a burrito bowl.
This is a great base for chicken soups, burritos, tacos, or wraps.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 118Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 506mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 20g
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