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14 Slow-Cooker Summer Meals That Won’t Turn Your Kitchen Into a Sauna

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.

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Image: The Kitchn. The Kitchn

Shrimp boil

If you’re inviting people over this summer, a shrimp boil is perfect.

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Image: Real Food Whole Life.

Balsamic tomato pulled chicken

This easy chicken dinner takes advantage of summer tomatoes.

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Image: Fit Slow-Cooker Queen.

Pulled chicken with corn and beans

Serve this tender pulled chicken on its own, or spoon it into a sandwich.

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Image: The Salty Marshmallow.

Bourbon-bacon pulled pork

Simple pulled pork is great, but bourbon-bacon pulled pork is better.


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Image: Girl Gone Gourmet.

Tomato sauce

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.

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Image: Real Housemoms.

Tomato soup

Nothing takes you back to summer camp days like grilled cheese and tomato soup.

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Image: Wholefully.

Summer chicken chili

Chili isn’t just for winter months. This refreshing chicken version is great over rice or even a bed of lettuce.

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Image: Williams Sonoma.

Asparagus risotto

Why slave over a pot of risotto on the stove, when your slow-cooker can do the heavy lifting for you?

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Image: Isabel Eats.

Mexican Carnitas

Make these carnitas once, and you’ll wish every day was taco Tuesday.

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Image: Recipe Tin Eats.

Beef brisket with barbecue sauce

Yes, you can have an impressive, meaty centerpiece without turning on the grill.

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Image: Well Plated.

Greek chicken

Whether you’re looking for an easy weeknight dinner or a make-ahead lunch option, Greek chicken is it.

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Image: Honey Garlic Chicken.

Honey garlic chicken

This honey garlic chicken is a well-rounded meal, thanks to vegetables and potatoes.

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Image: Peas and Crayons.

Vegetarian Stuffed Pepper Soup

On meatless Monday, whip up this veggie-forward soup.

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Image: The Kitchn.

Salmon with lemon slices

Forget big cuts of meat; serve up this impressive salmon with a summery salad for a truly show-stopping meal.

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