Summer isn’t exactly peak slow-cooker season. While the kitchen appliance is a no-brainer for hearty fall and winter dishes like stews and braises, it’s not the first thing you think to use when you’re craving a tomato-y chicken dish or a blueberry dessert. Which is a shame, because the slow-cooker is actually perfect for summer meals.
Not only that, but cranking up your slow cooker instead of your oven means you get delicious, slow-cooked food without the 400-degree kitchen. And sure, you can do a lot on the grill in warmer months, but some nights that feels like too much of an ordeal. Having some go-to summer slow cooker meals at the ready will make it easier to get through the season without relying on takeout and salad.
Below are some great summer slow-cooker meals that taste impressive but are foolproof. No matter what you’re in the mood for this summer, you’ll find it here.
If you’re inviting people over this summer, a shrimp boil is perfect.
Balsamic tomato pulled chicken
This easy chicken dinner takes advantage of summer tomatoes.
Pulled chicken with corn and beans
Serve this tender pulled chicken on its own, or spoon it into a sandwich.
Bourbon-bacon pulled pork
Simple pulled pork is great, but bourbon-bacon pulled pork is better.
If you make enough batches of slow-cooker tomato sauce over the summer, you won’t have to buy any all year. Cook up some quick pasta and dinner is good to go.
Nothing takes you back to summer camp days like grilled cheese and tomato soup.
Summer chicken chili
Chili isn’t just for winter months. This refreshing chicken version is great over rice or even a bed of lettuce.
Why slave over a pot of risotto on the stove, when your slow-cooker can do the heavy lifting for you?
Make these carnitas once, and you’ll wish every day was taco Tuesday.
Beef brisket with barbecue sauce
Yes, you can have an impressive, meaty centerpiece without turning on the grill.
Whether you’re looking for an easy weeknight dinner or a make-ahead lunch option, Greek chicken is it.
Honey garlic chicken
This honey garlic chicken is a well-rounded meal, thanks to vegetables and potatoes.
Vegetarian Stuffed Pepper Soup
On meatless Monday, whip up this veggie-forward soup.
Salmon with lemon slices
Forget big cuts of meat; serve up this impressive salmon with a summery salad for a truly show-stopping meal.