Ann Hodgman

9 Tasty Reasons to Get Your Slow-Cooker out This Summer

slow cooker recipes summerWhen I think “slow cooker,” I think “rich, filling winter stews.” (Which is why I’m not sure where my slow cooker is hiding at the moment.) But believe it or not, a slow cooker is one of your best friends in hot weather. You can throw a few ingredients into it and and take off for the beach — or the office — secure in the knowledge that when you get home, dinner will be waiting and your kitchen will be nice and cool. Unlike ovens and stovetops, slow cookers throw off almost no heat.


And who says they’re only for hearty food? Not every recipe has to be served in a ski lodge. Pretty much anything cook-able can be prepared in a slow cooker — including fresh-tasting dishes with seasonal ingredients.


In fact, I’m going to go hunt down my slow cooker this very minute.





Chilled Red Pepper Soup

slow cooker recipes summer

Slow-cooked recipes don’t demand to be served hot. You can make them ahead and chill them before serving. (Duh! Why didn’t I think of that?) Let this colorful soup be your introduction to a revolutionary concept.




Spicy Mustard Stir-Fry Bites

slow cooker summer recipes

Sliced on the diagonal, these fajitas make a great appetizer, but no one will arrest you for serving them whole. Or, in my case, for eating a whole fajita’s worth of “bites.”




Slow-Cooker Spicy Chicken Nachos

slow cooker recipes summer

Here’s another Tex-Mex appetizer that works great for summer parties (when, sadly, most guests still expect to be fed no matter how sweltering your kitchen may be). Cuisine from hot-weather regions is often your best bet for — well — hot weather. And the last time I checked, both Texas and Mexico were definitely on the warm side.




Shredded Pork Tacos

slow cooker recipes summer

While we’re on the wrap/tortilla topic: pork is exceptionally well suited to slow cooking. Lots of the pork available in supermarkets is way too lean to be flavorful, but even boring old pork tenderloins will stay juicy when simmered at a low temperature.




Shrimp Stir-Fry

slow cooker recipes summer

The Accuracy Police will notice that this shrimp isn’t exactly stir-fried. But since today’s lesson is that you can slow-cook almost everything, I’m sending the Accuracy Police to the principal’s office.




Plum-Glazed Pork Loin

slow cooker recipes summer

Plums are in season! Pork (as noted above) is a perfect meat for slow cooking! Therefore, this exceptional slow-cooked plum-glazed pork loin.




Slow-Cooker Marinara Sauce

slow cooker recipes summer

It’s a sad fact of life that many families demand spaghetti year-round. Here’s a marinara sauce that doesn’t require you to stand at the hot stove stirring, stirring, stirring. (We also have a recipe for a one-pot spaghetti whose sauce and pasta can be done together in a slow cooker.)




Chicken and White Bean Stew

slow cooker recipes summer

The pastel palette of white chili seems perfect for warm weather. This easy chili-inspired stew will taste even better if you make it a day ahead.




Summer Fruit Compote

slow cooker summer recipes

Okay, dessert’s covered for the rest of the summer …




Take it slow and easy — explore all our slow-cooker recipes!



4 Responses to “9 Tasty Reasons to Get Your Slow-Cooker out This Summer”

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  • Marlana says:

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  • Cleotilde says:


  • Judy A Thomas says:

    I love this site. I am newly retired and have time to check out recipes with foods that both my husband and I enjoy. Thank you for giving us variety and additional health in our food choices!

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