There are lots of awesome ways to spend a gorgeous summer day, but working over a hot stove is not one many of us would pick. When the temperature heats up and there's summer fun to be had, the last thing you want to be worrying about is what to cook. With a little pre-planning though, you can toss one of these awesome summer slow cooker recipes into your Crock-Pot and have an easy, yummy dinner ready to go in a few hours.
The absolute best thing about using a slow cooker is that you generally don't need to hang out and babysit it all day. You can wake up in the morning, toss all your ingredients in, and set it to cook. Then, you can just go carry on with your day. Whether you're hitting the beach, the park, or the pool, you'll have a great meal waiting for you when you come home. It's so much easier than heating up the grill and won't warm up your house like turning on the oven can, which is another bonus point on a hot summer day.
These 15 slow cooker summer recipes require minimal effort, but they'll bring you maximum deliciousness.
1. Baby Back Ribs
You don't need to light up your grill to get perfect baby back ribs for your next summer barbecue. Five Heart Home shows you how to make sweet and tangy ribs in the slow cooker, with a homemade spice blend to jazz up your favorite barbecue sauce. Finish off the ribs under the broiler for even more flavor.
2. Baked Beans
Baked beans are a great side dish to ribs. Even if you're used to eating them out of a can, it's not that much more work to make them from scratch in the slow cooker with this recipe from Nellie Bellie.
3. Mac And Cheese
I'm up for mac and cheese any time of year and any time of day, really. You don't even need to boil the noodles separately in this recipe from Cookies and Cups — everything will be done right in the slow cooker. The recipe recommends using freshly grated cheese for maximum creaminess.
4. Carnitas Taco Bites
Slow-cooked pork is one of the best things ever, in my opinion. The long cook time makes it so juicy and tender. This carnitas recipe from A Beautiful Plate will turn out best if you rub your cut of pork with spices the night before and let it marinade.
5. Shredded Chicken
Summer makes me so lazy when it comes to cooking, so I love being able to make big batches of things that last a while. This yummy shredded chicken recipe from Wholefully can be turned into so many different meals. Cook once, and you've got chicken for sandwiches, tacos, salads, or whatever else you're craving.
6. Turkey Breast
You can whip up a whole turkey breast in your slow cooker with this recipe from Plain Chicken. It'll be so much better and cheaper than buying sliced turkey at the deli for sandwiches. Bookmark this recipe for November if you're having a small Thanksgiving gathering that doesn't require an entire bird.
7. Stuffed Bell Peppers
8. Deep Dish Pizza
If thin crust isn't for you, you'll absolutely love this thick and doughy deep dish pizza recipe from A Spicy Perspective. Use a piece of parchment paper cut to the size of your Crock-Pot so the dough doesn't stick to the bottom.
9. Chipotle Chicken Tacos
These chicken tacos from Half Baked Harvest are sweet and tangy, thanks to ingredients like fresh squeezed lime and orange juice. The same recipe will work if you'd prefer to make these as pork tacos. It also includes directions for tossing it into an Instant Pot if your slow cooker is tied up with one of these other recipes.
10. Creamed Corn
There's no need to open up a can of creamed corn when you can so easily make it fresh with this recipe from Mama Harris Kitchen. It's the perfect blend of sweet and savory thanks to ingredients like bacon, pimentos, and sugar.
11. Shrimp Boil
Fresh, sweet corn is so easy to find at grocery stores in the summer, and it's a key part of this shrimp boil recipe from Damn Delicious. You'll add the shrimp right at the very end to make sure it doesn't overcook.
12. Chili Cheese Hot Dogs
Yup, even hot dogs can be made in a slow cooker. Instead of boiling them in water, they cook up in a pot of cheesy soup in this recipe from Eating Richly.
13. Pulled Pork Sliders
Pulled pork sliders are an awesome option for summer lunches or dinners. This recipe from Cooking for Keeps shows you how make the barbecue sauce from scratch instead of using a store bought bottle.
14. Spaghetti And Meatballs
Spaghetti and meatballs is a classic dinner, and this recipe from That's What Che Said shows you an incredibly easy way to throw it together. You can use frozen meatballs, and you don't even need to thaw them so there's not much planning ahead necessary.
15. Peach Dumplings
Peaches are at their peak in July and August, according to Hale Groves, so the summer is a great time to throw some in your slow cooker and whip up a delicious, fruity dessert. Recipes That Crock uses crescent roll dough to make the dumplings, a short cut that'll save you lots of time without taking away from the yumminess.