Summer, arguably, is even more appropriate for slow cooking than winter, since in summer, you want to be able to plug in an appliance and get the heck out of the kitchen.
Instant Pot 6-Quart 7-in-1 Pressure Cooker, $79 from Walmart
It can go slow too.
Here, to keep you cool and well fed through the rest of the season, are 15 summer slow cooker recipes from breakfast to dessert.
Smoking brisket is a worthy pursuit, but the cut’s need for long, slow cooking perfectly suits the Crock-Pot too, just like this recipe perfectly suits summer’s need for delicious, fall-apart BBQ beef sandwiches. And while you can throw any hunk of protein in with a good store-bought slow cooker sauce for a truly effortless dinner, this from-scratch option is hardly any more difficult; it all gets dumped right into the ceramic crock before the beef, and slowly simmers together. Get our Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket recipe.
Have a vegetarian in the family or just want to do without meat for dinner? No problem; vegetarian slow cooker recipes are doable too, and these quinoa-stuffed peppers with salty feta and herby scallions make a great meatless main. Get our Slow Cooker Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers recipe.
Related Reading: 11 Stuffed Pepper Recipes We Can’t Stop Eating
Filipino adobo is a perfect summer party dish. Set it out in a big platter to let guests help themselves—it’s equally good hot, warm, or even cold. This recipe is so easy—the Crock-Pot does all the work, while you go do something else. Get our Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo recipe.
Rub the pork shoulder with dark brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon, then cook it on a bed of garlic and onions in the Crock-Pot. When you come back six to ten hours later, you’ll have juicy pork you can shred and serve in a sandwich with your favorite BBQ sauce. Get our Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork recipe.
Related Reading: The Best Slow Cooker BBQ Sauces
Pork, dried chiles, and tomatoes slowly turn luscious over as many as 10 hours in the slow cooker, then get turned into a memorable filling, rolled into sauce-dipped tortillas and baked under a blanket of cheese. Get our Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Enchiladas recipe.
Your chili game should be strong this summer—make a whole delicious crock of this chicken and smoked-chile recipe, then set it out on the warm setting for your everyone to help themselves between lounging about with a book or a beer (or both). Get our Slow Cooker Chipotle Chili recipe.
For these easy, tasty ribs, you make a bacon-bourbon barbecue sauce for marinating and simmering the ribs. After 4 or 5 hours, when the ribs are tender, you brush them with more sauce and give them a quick turn in the broiler—but on the grill will also work. Get our Slow Cooker Bourbon Ribs recipe.
The versatile combo of soy sauce, fresh ginger, orange zest, brown sugar, star anise, cinnamon, and sherry forms both a cooking and flavoring medium for chicken thighs on the bone in this super-easy recipe. Get our Slow Cooker Asian-Style Chicken Thighs recipe.
The Provençal combination of olives and fennel is ideal for summer. Here, it flavors moist, slow-cooked chicken thighs. Open a bottle of rosé, slice some good bread, and toss a salad: a nearly effortless dinner is done. Get our Slow Cooker Chicken with Olives and Fennel recipe.
This spicy chicken chile verde is packed with flavor from the garlic, onions, peppers, and tomatillos in the mix. Serve with a side of rice or black beans and continue Taco Tuesdays even through the hottest months. Get our Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde recipe.
We figure if the original Boston settlers had had Crock-Pots (instead of analog bean pots and wood-burning ovens) they would have made baked beans this way. Combine the ingredients and let them simmer for 6 hours. Get our Easy Slow Cooker Baked Beans recipe. (And if you want to pair them wieners, you can cook hot dogs in the Crock-Pot afterward.)
Related Reading: Easy Slow Cooker Summer BBQ Sides
Chill the rosé, a six-pack of Franziskaner, or maybe even a cucumber salad. This is a perfect base for a lazy summer day lounging at home (not like you can really go many other places right now…). Depending on when you want to eat, you could start cooking right before going to bed, or prep and refrigerate the ingredients the night before, then pour the mixture into the Crock-Pot in the morning. Get our Slow Cooker Cheesy Sausage Breakfast Casserole recipe.
Poolside snacking table, cooler full of beverages, and a bowl of this crunchy, salty, slightly spicy, and reviving munch. Everybody wash your hands before returning to the pool, now (or picking up the remote control for the TV, as the case may be). Get our Slow Cooker Party Mix recipe.
Even making a cake should be a breeze in summer. This may be the ultimate dump cake—you actually cook it right in the mixing bowl. Get our Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake recipe.
Related Reading: 9 Irresistible Crock-Pot Chocolate Desserts
Peaches’ peak season is during the hottest parts of summer, so use your slow cooker to whip up this peach dessert. By using the slow cooker, you avoid turning on your oven and heating up your kitchen. Don’t forget the ice cream when serving this—homemade doesn’t have to be hard if you try mason jar ice cream, or an easy food processor ice cream hack. Get our Slow Cooker Peach Crumble recipe. (And see even more easy no-bake desserts.)
Visit our summer headquarters for more ideas on what to eat, drink, and do before it’s over.