25 Summer Slow Cooker Recipes That'll Keep Your Kitchen Cool
Tomatillo Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
The spice is right in this summer slow cooker recipe. Cilantro, lime, tomatillos (those tasty green tomatoes in season come summer), and garlic give the simmer sauce loads of Mexican flair. Allow that green salsa to infuse into each ounce of the chicken during its two-hour shift in the slow cooker, then serve it up for lunch (or dinner) wraps or sandwiches.
Spicy Buffalo Tacos
Taco night is going to be easier (and tastier!) than ever now that you have this summer slow cooker recipe in your arsenal. Poblano chile peppers bring the fire, and fresh veggies from your garden make the perfect topping for these fiesta-worthy tacos.
Test Kitchen Tip: Feel free to use beef, buffalo, or even turkey for the protein.
Tangy Molasses Barbecue Ribs
You’re just 15 minutes of effort away from getting this summer slow cooker recipe all set to “barbecue” itself. The secret for these saucy ribs lies in the rub that calls for brown sugar, dry mustard, smoked paprika, and garlic salt for blue ribbon-worthy meat. Simmer in an easy molasses- and mustard-forward homemade barbecue sauce for finger-licking results.
Braised Chickpeas with Midsummer Vegetables
Put your bumper crop of tomatoes, zucchini, and sweet corn to good use by whipping up this veggie side dish. Serve this summer slow cooker recipe at a potluck or a backyard barbecue for a produce-centric play on a shrimp boil. Everything from grilled steak to smoked chicken to seafood skewers work marvelously to round out the seasonal meal.
Pesto Chicken Sandwiches
Instead of assembling sandwiches one by one for your picnic, pack this summer slow cooker meal that serves eight in one. Slather ciabatta bread with pesto mayo and layer on the slow-cooked chicken, mushroom, and zucchini blend. Slice and split (warning, you might fight over any leftovers!) for a recipe that will likely change your definition of “chicken sandwich.” Now where’s that pitcher of lemonade?
Slow Cooker Corn Chowder
Showcase fresh sweet corn in this summer slow cooker recipe (that can also be made with frozen if it’s not quite ready to pick yet). Fresh thyme and bacon accentuate the starchy vegetable's natural sweetness, while potatoes in the mix make this eat more like a meal than a starter. Just add a fruit salad and dinner is done.
Peach Graham Cracker Upside-Down Cake
Come warm weather, little tastes better than a juicy fresh peach. Here's a remarkably easy recipe to show off the stone fruit du jour: upside-down cake with a crunchy graham cracker crust. And since peaches and cream is one of the best combos of all time, top with ice cream, custard, or frozen yogurt.
Crack open a can or bottle for this brisket’s sauce. Then open another for you, the hardworking cook! Ice-cold brews, chili sauce, onions, and your favorite steak seasoning team up in this slow cooker summer meal. Slice the tangy meat and serve on whole wheat buns for a hearty yet nutritious dinner.
Related: 21 Unique Ways to Cook with Beer
Loaded Creamed Corn with Tomato and Bacon
Slow Cooker Taco Salad
Tex-Mex takeout has met its easy-make match. This easy summer slow cooker dinner recipe is surrounded by fresh ingredients to pep up the meat mixture. Come mealtime, create a salad buffet with all of the fixings (including toppings like salsa, cheese, and sour cream) and allow everyone to build their own bowl.
Related: Our 25 Favorite Mexican Recipes
Slow Cooker S'more Cake
Who needs a campfire? Bring backyard treats into the kitchen with this gooey rendition of a fireside classic. The melty marshmallows, graham crackers, and rich chocolate flavors will transport you back to the summer camps you experienced as a kid.
Related: 17 Delicious S’mores Recipes
Jerk Pork Wraps with Lime Mayo
Try this quick and easy slow cooker summer meal for a fresh summer entrée with minimal effort. Jamaican jerk seasoning infuses slow-cooked pork shoulder with bold Caribbean flavor that's tempered with a creamy lime mayo. Fresh mango salsa and crisp red pepper add sweetness and crunch to the shredded meat wraps.
Herb and Garlic Peasant Bread
Skip the store-bought loaves for all of your picnic sandwiches and swap in this summer slow cooker recipe for light and flavorful homemade bread instead. Leave it in the slow cooker for the day (while you enjoy the beautiful weather) for a fresh loaf that's ready by dinnertime. For a dose of fresh flavor, this carb creation calls for fresh thyme, basil, or rosemary. Pick (literally and figuratively!) your fave from the herb garden.
Chicken Bratwurst and Onions with Broccoli Slaw Salad
Who says you need a grill to make a better-than-ballpark batch of bratwursts? Slow-cook the summer staple in garlic and bubbly apple cider, then top with cool broccoli slaw for a crisp, crunchy finish. Just add a baseball game on TV and a package of in-the-shell peanuts to this summer slow cooker recipe spread and you’ll have the quintessential summer sports experience.
Greek Sloppy Joe Pitas
Attending a potluck? These light and fresh Greek pita sandwiches are perfect for lunch on the go or events where most guests eat while mingling and can benefit from handheld food. Slow-cooked garlicky lamb and veggies, including summery tomatoes, join perfectly with tangy feta cheese for only 300 calories per serving.
Apricot Chipotle Ribs
No need for brushing and basting! These tangy pork ribs are here to save time and cut down on stress for your next backyard bash. The sweet-heat of the slow cooker summer dinner, made with apricot preserves, chili sauce, and chipotle in adobo, will keep all your potluck pals coming back for more. Just be sure to pair with plenty of napkins to mop up that sauce.
Zesty Fajita Bites
Get on a roll with this party-perfect summer slow cooker recipe. One bite is all it will take to convince you that chicken tastes even better when it has sizzled in spicy brown mustard and feisty fajita seasonings. Scoop it onto warm tortillas alongside crisp, seasonal sweet peppers and green onions for bite-size shareable wraps no one will be able to resist.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
All the wing flavors, minus the mess and the fry time! Party guests will line up at the table to satisfy their craving for a crunchy, savory snack with a hint of spice via buffalo chicken. Assemble a platter with this summer slow cooker recipe at the center, and surround it with stacks of seasonal vegetables such as sweet pepper strips and cucumber coins.
Spicy Pulled Pork
Unlike many grilled, barbecued, and smoked meats, after just 15 minutes of prep time, this summer slow cooker meal is ready to set and forget. A cup of Dr. Pepper soda lends a sweet counterpart to the spicy barbecue sauce that drips from each and every bite of the pulled pork. Stack it between toasted crostini for slider-like snacks or stuff it between sandwich buns or inside a hoagie roll to make a meal.
Triple-Chocolate and Peanut Butter Pudding Cake
Cake without the hour or so of oven time? That sounds mighty appealing come summer when we’d prefer to keep the kitchen as cool as possible. Creamy peanut butter and chocolate bar pieces make this nutty summer slow cooker recipe even more luscious. And if you’re craving something chilly, go à la mode. Our favorite way to serve this pudding cake may very well be alongside a scoop of ice cream.
Cola-Chipotle Pork Tortas
A bubbly can of cola transforms ordinary pulled pork into a saucy sandwich filling. The hint of sweetness from the soda balances the smoky kick of the chipotle chile peppers. Stack on fresh avocado slices for a creamy, summery crown. Craving more zip in your slow cooker summer dinner? Top each torta with a pile of grapefruit-infused red onions.
Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Here's a light, lower-carb, and refreshing alternative to heavy sandwiches on a particularly scorching day of summer. Prep your favorite restaurant dish at home with this slow cooker summer meal that’s a healthier take on the chicken lettuce wraps you might order out. Savory teriyaki sauce and spicy mustard give a burst of Asian flavor to every bite.
Fruited Pork Chops
Jalapeño Steak 'n' Mushrooms
Dark Chocolate Fondue with Fruit Kabobs
Colorful and sweet fruit kabobs make for a dreamy warm-weather dessert. The fresh fruit beautifully complements the summer slow cooker recipe featuring rich, dark chocolate fondue made with a splash of hot coffee and whipped dessert topping. Drizzle or dunk—you can’t go wrong with this dark chocolate dessert.