30 Summer Slow-Cooker Recipes to Make All Season Long
The cold and dreary days are over, and you’re thinking of retiring your slow cooker for the season. Not so fast, hotshot: You really should be using this wonder appliance throughout the summer. Your Crock-Pot can get classic summertime dishes like pulled pork sliders, barbecue ribs and even a peach cobbler on the table in no time. Here, 30 summer slow-cooker recipes to make from now through Labor Day.
1. Crispy Slow Cooker Carnitas
A giant batch of fork-tender pork for tacos, salads, rice bowls and beyond? This calls for a fiesta. Use it for lunch and dinner within three days after making, or keep it frozen for up to three months.
2. Slow-Cooker Pulled Chicken
Quesadillas! Tacos! Wraps! Burritos! You'll get some serious mileage out of this set-it-and-forget-it recipe. We like to serve them with brioche buns, shredded lettuce and sliced tomato, but the choice is yours.
3. Slow-Cooker Garlic-Herb Mashed Cauliflower
Your cheeseburger is looking a little lonely. Meet its new best friend, buttery and bursting with smashed garlic cloves, chives and rosemary. Trust us, you won't miss the potatoes.
4. Slow-Cooker Chicken Teriyaki
Consider this your kids' new favorite dinner. Nothing beats walking in the door to the smell of honey-soy chicken after six hours of low-and-slow TLC. Just steam some white rice when you get home for serving.
5. Slow Cooker Corn and Jalapeño Dip
Meet the barbecue's most popular appetizer. Pepper jack, Parmesan, cream cheese and sour cream make an ooey-gooey base for canned corn and diced jalapeño. Top it with chives and bacon crumbles before serving with tortilla chips.
6. Buffalo Chicken Dip
A dish of this stuff doesn't last long at a picnic. While you can totally make this on the stove or in the oven, we're guessing that's the last thing you want to do on a hot summer day. Just combine the ingredients and cook on low until the cheese is melted.
7. Crock-Pot Corn Chowder
We love this summer staple right off the cob, but we also don't mind switching it up and eating it by the spoonful. Onion, celery, potato, thyme and chicken broth make it a dish you'll crave year-round. The secret to keeping it creamy yet light? Evaporated milk.
9. Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork
Pile this on a bun with light and tangy coleslaw and you can't go wrong. This is an easy win at any potluck. And leftovers work great in sandwiches and quesadillas to boot.
10. Slow-Cooker Chicken Enchilada Casserole
We're always up for a plate of enchiladas. But assembling them can be time-consuming. Enter this genius Crock-Pot casserole. Think chicken, black beans, corn and all the fixings, melty and ready for some chip-dipping action.
11. Honey Buffalo Chicken Taquitos
Every once in a while you need a good finger food. The kids won't mind taste-testing this mess-free twist on wings. Especially since they're wrapped in corn tortillas and fried until crispy.
12. Slow-Cooker Baked Beans
Summer's a busy season for these sweet little gems. They make an appearance at pretty much every barbecue. Hang in the yard with a cocktail while these finish cooking inside.
13. Crockpot French Toast Casserole
Brunch on the deck? We're so ready. Even better, almost all the work is done the night before. That means it'll be finished once you wake up, giving you plenty of time to make mimosas.
14. Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs
Give the grill a break and whip up a rack of these indoors. The homemade barbecue sauce is a real keeper (we're talking blackberry preserves and molasses, y'all). And of course, these bad boys will fall right off the bone after five hours.
15. Slow-Cooker Korean Short Rib Tacos
Oh, gochujang. Where do we even begin? This sweet-and-spicy fermented chili paste works wonders on beef in the Crock-Pot. Top with shredded cabbage for crunch and pickle spears for a briny finishing touch.
16. Slow-Cooker Mediterranean Frittata
A gorgeous breakfast that requires basically zero effort? We're there. This Mediterranean-style dish is prime for brunch on the porch. Extra goat cheese, please.
17. Slow-Cooker Meal-Prep Burrito Bowls
Isn't it funny how there are even fewer hours in the day during the summer? That's where meal prepping comes in. Try this mix of slow-cooked pork shoulder, black beans and vegetables. And don't even get us started on the Greek yogurt-lime crema.
18. Slow Cooker Sriracha Meatballs
Pepper jelly. Sriracha ketchup. Sesame oil. These meatballs are onto something when it comes to drool-worthy condiments. Have them over jasmine rice or serve with toothpicks and ranch.
19. Slow-Cooker French-Dip Sandwiches
Think tender slices of beef chuck on soft long rolls with a melty slice of provolone, baby arugula and lemon juice dipped in savory au jus. Your daily turkey and Swiss could never.
20. Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef
Canned green chiles and chipotles in adobo bring all the heat to fork-tender beef chuck. Try swapping beef stock for your favorite Mexican lager. Don't want to wait for the slow cooker? This is a job for the Instant Pot.
21. Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese
Ribs, brisket and pulled pork somehow taste even better when nestled next to a scoop of mac. You'll never guess the secret ingredient. OK, OK...it's cheddar cheese soup.
22. Crockpot Beef Chili
Nothing beats a balanced, hearty chili. This one has heat from smoked paprika and chili powder, plus sweetness from cinnamon and maple syrup. Top it off with cheddar cheese, avocado and sliced green onion.
23. Easy Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls
These are one way to get the kids out of bed. Store-bought dough makes this ridiculously easy to assemble. And we think this goes without saying, but you might want to make double of the vanilla glaze.
24. Slow Cooker Loaded Potato Soup
Everyone's favorite game-day side in liquid form. And that's including all the beloved fixings, from the bacon bits to the sour cream.
25. Slow Cooker Shrimp Boil
This Southern classic is basically the OG one-pot dinner. The recipe is traditional—red potatoes, cut corn cobs, andouille sausage—and makes feeding a crowd a breeze. Don't be shy with the Old Bay.
26. Slow Cooker Greek Tacos with Lamb
Your fave Mexican handheld just went Mediterranean. It turns out ground lamb is the taco filling you didn't know you needed. Finish it with feta crumbles and a drizzle of tzatziki and *chef's kiss.*
27. BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza with Brussels Sprouts
Boy, does the slow cooker know what to do with pork. Here, pork tenderloin and your fave BBQ sauce transform into a crowdpleaser the kids will ask for over and over again. Brownie points if you make your dough from scratch.
28. Slow Cooker Crispy Chicken Carnitas
If you've ever wondered if there's such a thing as too many tacos, our answer is a hard no. Then again, this crispy, juicy meat tastes great on salad, in a pita or straight out of the slow cooker. The choice is yours.
29. Crock Pot Peach Cobbler
'Tis the season for making anything and everything with stone fruit. This baby's got an entire stick of butter and eight whole peaches, so we figure it's a solid place to start. We'll bring the vanilla ice cream.
30. Slow-Cooker Oreo Cheesecake
If you've ever wondered why restaurant cheesecake is always so much better than what you attempt to make at home, it's the special equipment. You may not have an industrial water bath, but you do have a slow cooker. And that means a pro-level dessert is totally within reach. Look out, Cheesecake Factory.