Summer Slow Cooker: Entrées, Sides, Desserts

June 29, 2021

When it’s too hot to cook, and you don’t feel like grilling (hey, it could happen!) these slow cooker recipes will keep the kitchen cool, and still give you an entrée or dessert, worth the wait! If you tend to store your slow cooker in the summer, bust it out! It’s the easiest way to plan a meal if you’re busy juggling summer activities that tend to take you outside and/or away from home.

Mouth-Watering Summer Comfort

You might consider mac n’ cheese a winter comfort food, but this recipe for Barbecued Chicken Mac ‘n’ Cheese put it right back on the menu for summer. From Better Homes and Gardens, this slow cooker recipe takes tender chicken thighs and a sweet-tangy BBQ sauce with salty bacon and no-boil pasta. The only thing you really have to do before serving is chop up some red or green onion, fry the bacon, add it to the serving dish and stir.

Martha Stewart’s collection of summer slow cooker meals starts with a melt-in-your mouth Pulled Pork and Pickled Veggie sandwich between two halves of a crusty roll. You don’t really have to pull this pork after cooking it for eight hours because it falls apart and the pickled cabbage is the perfect topping.

And her slow cooker vegetarian Greek Stuffed Peppers with cannellini beans, feta, couscous, scallions, garlic and oregano make the perfectly irresistible weeknight meal. Check out Martha’s 10 other slow cooker recipes, including a couple for ribs and more substantive classics, here. 

Asian, Indian, Mexican and American Options

For a little Indian flair, Real Simple’s recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Curry only takes four hours and hardly any prep time. Using fresh ginger, curry powder, coconut milk and coriander seeds – plus chicken legs – the recipe calls for cilantro and steamed basmati rice – which is probably the most prep you’ll have to do! 

Blogger Karen’s Two-Week Summer recipe collection can be made either in a slow cooker or instant pot, and she starts off week one with Teriyaki Chicken Bowls, moves to Mexican Pulled Pork, Greek Spaghetti, a Smoke Sausage Country Boil, and Barbecue Beef Sandwiches. The weekend takes a pasta turn with a Dill Pickle Rotelle Salad and Ground Beef Stroganoff. You’ll never wonder what to make for dinner, with these recipe options that you can pull together in record time.

For 15 more recipes – including several for breakfast and brunch, click through Southern Living’s collection of summer casseroles for the slow cooker. From Meatball Sliders and Easy Enchilada Bake to Sweet Potatoes with Bacon and Barbacoa Brisket, comfort food never tasted so good!

Skinny, Slow Cooking Summer  

In 2021 we made a commitment to healthy eating after gaining the COVID 10+ (pounds) in 2020. The appeal of slow cooking in the summer means keeping the kitchen cool, but still enjoying meals like Taste of Home’s Lamb Pitas with Yogurt dressing – it’s what gyros are made of!  Of the 35 recipes, make sure to try this summer: Poached Salmon, Tequila Poached Pears, and  Asian Wraps with slow-cooked chicken in soy sauce, ketchup, honey, ginger and sesame oil, rolled into rice papers with broccoli coleslaw and chow mein noodles. 

Desserts – Slow Cooker Convenience

Palisade peaches stands are popping up along highways and byways, and if you score a pound of the signature sweets from the Western mountain town, make this slow cooker Peach Cobbler from Southern Living or their Apple and Pear Crisp.

If your fruit preferences run more toward berries, try this slow cooker berry crumble from Taste of Home, or the Food Network’s collection of slow cooker desserts, from brownies and Banana Upside Down Cake, to Cranberry-Walnut Stuffed Apples.

All Kinds of Cooking in Southshore

In the master-planned community of Southshore, the brand new kitchens are perfect for home chefs – no matter the menu – in homes from Richmond American Homes, and Century Communities. Why not explore Life at the Lake and tour the model homes here and find the ranch-style or two-story design that’s right for you — priced from the $400s.