Summer squashes are a wonderful thing, except for when they’re overcooked into oblivion. Which is easier to accomplish than it seems—you’ve likely wound up with some singed black slices of zucchini or bloated, watery chunks of pattypan at least once or twice before.
If there’s one squash cooking method that’s nearly foolproof, however, it’s the good ol’ slow cooker. The appliance’s low heat easily transforms the veggies into something tender, but stops them from going over to the mushy side. Plus, if you’re cooking your squash in season, the crock will spare you the swelter of turning on your stove or oven during hot weather. With these seven recipes at your disposal, the days of sad summer squash might just be a thing of the past.
1. Slow Cooker Summer Squash
With no more than some salt and pepper for seasoning, this recipe lets squash’s pure, unadulterated flavor really shine. Get our Slow Cooker Summer Squash recipe.
2. Crock Pot Roasted Vegetables
Veggies roasted in the slow cooker have an extra-concentrated taste that comes from sweating in little more than their own juices. Make sure to include (but don’t limit yourself to) summer squash when cooking this one up. Get the recipe here.
3. Spicy Slow-Cooker Veggie Chili with Summer Squash and Jalapeños
A vegetarian chili should be more than just beans and sauce. Chunks of yellow squash and bell pepper ensure that it has plenty of garden-fresh variety. Get the recipe here.
4. Slow Cooker Zucchini Ziti
Instead of having to use one pot to cook your pasta, another to make your sauce, and a third to cook your veg, the slow cooker makes it possible to toss all of your ziti ingredients into one handy vessel. Get the recipe here.
5. Summer Slow Cooker Lasagna with Zucchini and Eggplant
A great lasagna is hot and sloppy just like summer romance. This slow cooker version creates a steamy menage-a-trois between seasonal veggies zucchini, eggplant, and corn. Get the recipe here.
6. Slow Cooker Fritatta with Zucchini, Tomato, and Feta
The slow cooker makes it pretty hard to overcook your eggs, meaning that this fluffy, summery frittata will come out perfectly every time. Get the recipe here.
7. Crock Pot Zucchini & Squash Casserole
Squash casserole is a lesser-known Southern classic that deserves some time in the spotlight. It’s pretty much just summer squash bathed in a luxuriant amount of cream, butter, and cheese—how could you go wrong with that? Get the recipe here.
Miki Kawasaki is a New York City–based food writer and graduate of Boston University's program in Gastronomy. Few things excite her more than a well-crafted sandwich or expertly spiced curry. If you ever run into her at a dinner party, make sure to hit her up for a few pieces of oddball culinary trivia.