It’s the end of summer and it’s officially too hot to turn on the oven. Plus, with the start of fall looming, I’m trying to make every day count, which usually doesn’t leave time for cooking elaborate dinners. Thankfully, summer crockpot recipes are very much a thing and here to save you on these sticky-hot days.
While I usually don’t break out the crockpot until my first batch of chili in the fall, this summer it’s been my secret to meal prepping without wasting daylight. Cooking with the crockpot does require some forethought, but if you set aside 10-20 minutes for prep in the morning, you can spend a carefree day at the beach or by the pool, and come home to the delicious aromas of a ready-to-serve dinner. So go ahead and dust off your slow cooker—these summer crockpot recipes are coming to a dinner table near you.
Featured image by Ashleigh Amoroso.
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The 20 Best Summer Crockpot Recipes on the Internet
Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Why We Love It: Next time you’re craving takeout, take out your crockpot instead and try this easy, healthier homemade Chicken Tikka Masala. This is one of those saucy summer crockpot recipes where the crockpot truly does all of the work. Simply chop up a few ingredients before heading out to work, the pool, or the beach, and come home to the mouth-watering aromas of your favorite Indian comfort food.
Hero Ingredient: The curry powder has some major flavor power.
Why We Love It: Yes, soup is for summer too! Call me crazy, but no matter how hot it is outside, a good bowl of soup always hits the spot. Last week, pozole was the soup of the day at one of my favorite restaurants and it reminded me of this crockpot pozole recipe that Camille picked up on a trip to South Carolina. It’s full of veggies, super tender pork, and all of those Mexican flavors that I never tire of.
Hero Ingredient: The red (mildly) hot chile peppers.
Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls
Why We Love It: Burrito bowls are the ultimate satisfying, lazy-cook meal. This recipe in particular is the easiest method I’ve found, but also the most tasty. The chicken sits in the crockpot with enchilada sauce, chopped onion, and poblanos, leaving you with the juiciest, most flavorful base for your bowl 6-8 hours later. From there, everyone can build their own bowls with the toppings of their choice, making this the most hands-off recipe of all summer crockpot recipes.
Hero Ingredient: While you can cite the beans and avocado for both playing a part in making this recipe super satisfying, the chicken adds heft while also lending a lot of flavor to your bowl.
Sarah Copeland’s Millet and Amaranth Porridge with Figs and Papaya
Why We Love It: PSA: Summer crockpot recipes aren’t just for dinner. Sarah Copeland’s go-to porridge recipe is an upgrade to your morning bowl of oatmeal. It can be prepared in an Instant Pot or a slow cooker, but either way, it’s a simple and delicious canvas for your favorite toppings. While this breakfast takes a little forethought (it cooks for four hours in the crockpot), it requires basically no effort and will make you excited to get out of bed in the morning.
Hero Ingredient: A little drizzle of honey goes a long way.
Crockpot Grilled Fiery Habanero Apricot BBQ Ribs from Half Baked Harvest
Why We Love It: These sweet and spicy BBQ ribs are the answer to your next summer picnic prayers. Why man the grill all day when you can let the crockpot do the work for you? The ribs cook in the slow cooker for 6-8 hours while you’re out and about making the most out of your day. All you have to do is prep the sauce and grill the ribs for 5 minutes before serving. Plus, this summer BBQ sauce is mouthwatering all on its own.
Hero Ingredient: The raspberries, apricots, and habanero chilies all get a standing O for the sweet and spicy sauce.
Crockpot Chicken Piccata from The Defined Dish
Why We Love It: Chicken Piccata is one of the summer crockpot recipes I always turn to. It’s easy, healthy, and delicious, while also having that fresh, summery flavor that I crave. This recipe is great for busy summer days spent carpooling to-and-from summer camps or playing at the beach and is guaranteed to offer you a warm welcome home. It’s also a perfect option for entertaining, as it allows you to spend more time with your family and friends.
Hero Ingredient: Lemon-y flavors are the zest.
Slow Cooker Brisket Tacos from House of Yumm
Why We Love It: This simple and easy brisket is one of the most versatile summer crockpot recipes, considering you can use it for tacos, nachos, burritos, and more. Flavored with chiles, onion, garlic and herbs, it’s even good by itself. This recipe is perfect for entertaining, as you can prep the brisket and let guests choose how they want to eat it. The best part is using the leftovers for breakfast tacos with scrambled eggs and salsa verde on a corn tortilla.
Hero Ingredient: Poblano peppers, please.
Slow Cooker Saucy Sunday Bolognese Pasta from Half Baked Harvest
Why We Love It: Pasta is always a good idea. After a long day in the summer sun, I’m always craving a comforting, hearty meal, and this slow cooker bolognese is a staple. After browning the meat on the stove, the rest takes place in the crockpot while you’re out, and you’ll return to an aroma that will bring you to your knees. Recipe creator Tieghan Gerard shares that it’s like coming home “to a house that smells like your Italian grandma was there cooking all day.” Truly nothing better.
Hero Ingredient: Bacon in this bolognese is brilliant.
Carne Asada Sliders with Spicy Mexican Coleslaw from The Defined Dish
Why We Love It: These slow cooker sliders will steal the show at your next pool party or summer BBQ. They’re a burger/taco hybrid all in a bitesize, slider bun. Can it get any better? Just wait until you add the Spicy Mexican Coleslaw. It brings the perfect, cool and spicy flare to every bite.
Hero Ingredient: A slaw this good should be against the law.
Creamy Green Chile Chicken Tacos from Recipe Runner
Why We Love It: Taco Tuesday just got a whole lot easier. I always love a good shredded chicken taco, but sometimes they can be too dry, and frankly, boring. However, with only a handful of ingredients and a trusty crockpot, you’ll have moist, creamy chicken tacos that the whole family will love. The chicken cooks for 3-5 hours, which also makes this one of the fastest, slow-cooking, summer crockpot recipes.
Hero Ingredient: The enchilada sauce is a whole ‘lada’ yum.
Slow Cooker Four Cheese Mac and Cheese from Damn Delicious
Why We Love It: It’s not a summer barbeque without a big side of mac and cheese. But, since the main dishes tend to require more attention, this crockpot mac and cheese recipe will make your life so much easier. You throw everything in the same pot, even the uncooked noodles, stir halfway through, and you’re done. It’s one of the easiest of all the summer crockpot recipes, and one of my personal favorites. If you want to spice it up, I suggest topping with some toasted breadcrumbs before serving.
Hero Ingredient: Four cheeses is better than one.
Slow Cooker Garlic Lemon Butter Artichokes from The Magical Slow Cooker
Why We Love It: These garlic lemon butter artichokes are a crowd-pleasing appetizer that you need to try this summer. I almost always order artichokes for an appetizer when I see them on a menu, but I never tried to make them myself until I found this easy crockpot recipe. Now, they’ve become a staple appetizer on my entertaining shortlist and my guests rave about them without fail. I suggest whipping up a simple homemade aioli for dipping, but the garlic and lemon flavors are enough on their own, as well.
Hero Ingredient: I’m a garlic girl.
Slow Cooker Thai-Inspired Peanut Chicken with Sticky Coconut Purple Rice from Ambitious Kitchen
Why We Love It: I think my love of Thai food stems from my childhood obsession with peanut butter. Any recipe that involves peanut butter immediately gets my attention, and this peanut chicken rice bowl is no exception. It’s packed with protein and veggies and is perfect for meal prep all year round, but it’s a great summer dinner to come home to. I didn’t have purple sticky rice on hand when I tried this recipe, so I used brown rice instead and it was still delicious. However, the purple sticky rice has really piqued my interest and I definitely plan to use it next time.
Hero Ingredient: It’s peanut butter sauce-y time!
Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs in Marinara from The Whole Cook
Why We Love It: Growing up, my mom’s turkey meatballs were one of my favorite meals. She would serve them over pasta, zoodles, or on toothpicks for snacking. These slow cooker turkey meatballs are about the closest thing that I’ve found to her recipe, and the use of the slow cooker makes it that much easier. This recipe yields 18-20 meatballs, so it’s great for serving a hungry crowd. Plus, they are gluten-free, dairy-free, and Whole-30 compliant, though you’d never know it.
Hero Ingredient: While store-bought marinara works just fine, this homemade recipe is one to save.
Slow Cooker Banh Mi Rice Bowls from SkinnyTaste
Why We Love It: This recipe is like your favorite Banh Mi sandwich, minus the bread. While I still love a good sandwich, I agree that occasionally the bread can overpower the rest of the ingredients, so I love making this version that lets the pork and veggies shine. As the pork cooks in the crockpot, you have plenty of time to prep the pickled carrots and radishes and cook the rice so that when the meat is done, you’re ready to serve.
Hero Ingredient: Pickled ANYTHING is a hero in my book.
Quinoa Black Bean Crockpot Stuffed Peppers from Pinch of Yum
Why We Love It: If you’re looking for some good vegetarian summer crockpot recipes to try, may I suggest these black bean stuffed peppers. They are packed with protein, fiber, and veggies, and the perfect way to use fresh summer bell peppers. There is no pre-cooking or chopping involved and the stuffing is so flavorful that you definitely won’t miss the meat. I like to top mine with avocado or some homemade guac and serve with a side of cauliflower rice.
Hero Ingredient: Black beans take the gold.
Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potatoes from Closet Cooking
Why We Love It: This slow cooker recipe is the key to making perfectly cooked baked potatoes every time. While baked potatoes are easy to make in the oven, throwing them in the slow cooker frees up your oven or simply saves your kitchen from the extra heat the oven can produce in the summer. I’m on Team Baked Potatoes Are a Full Meal, but these make great sides, too.
Hero Ingredient: Bacon bits, always.
Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken from Chef Savvy
Why We Love It: Honey Garlic Chicken is one of my favorite Asian-inspired dishes, and this slow cooker method could not be easier. After mixing up a simple sauce, all you have to do is chop up some garlic, ginger, and green onions, and toss everything in the slow cooker with your chicken breasts. The recipe suggests making extra sauce to serve over rice, and this really makes the meal.
Hero Ingredient: Green onions are the perfect topping.
Slow Cooker Jambalaya from The Recipe Critic
Why We Love It: Looking for something to do with fresh shrimp from the fish market? Make this slow cooker jambalaya your new go-to. It has a short list of ingredients, is easy to prep, and combines all the delicious Cajun flavors you know and love. The recipe notes that the most difficult part of the whole thing is waiting for your jambalaya to be ready to eat, and I wholeheartedly agree.
Hero Ingredient: Summer and shrimp go hand-in-hand.
Slow Cooker Amaretto-Poached Peaches from epicurious
Why We Love It: I saved arguably the best of the summer crockpot recipes for last. These amaretto-poached peaches are the perfect finale for any summer meal. They’re super easy to assemble right before sitting down for dinner, and the peaches will be tender, boozy, and bursting with flavor by the time you’re finished eating. This recipe is the perfect no-stress, low-effort seasonal dessert to enjoy all summer long.
Hero Ingredient: The peaches deliver major main character energy.