Skip the Stove! The Best Slow-Cooker Recipes for Summer

Pulled Pork
Christina Holmes

Once summer finally arrives, all most people want to do is bask in the warm sun, enjoy the long days, and share delicious food with family and friends. While the summer months generally mean that you (or the barbecue master in your family) will spend lots of time at the grill, everyone has days when they just don't want to cook dinner. That's where the slow cooker comes in. Our summer slow cooker recipes usually require just a handful of ingredients, which can be prepped and placed in the cooker first thing in the morning, then set to cook for seven to eight hours. By 6 p.m., dinner is ready, and you didn't have to do any additional work.

One of the best recipes to make in a slow cooker any time of year, but especially in the summer, is pulled pork, and the Easy-Slow Cooker version pictured here is sure to please your entire family. Sweet, tangy, juicy, meaty—there's so much to love about this preparation of pork, especially when it's piled high atop a soft roll. You could also our easy recipe for Pulled-Pork Sandwiches with Pickled Vegetables—the contrast of tangy red cabbage atop Kansas City-style pulled pork is a delicious combination.

A similarly delicious recipe is our Slow-Cooker Spicy Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches. The shredded chicken thighs taste super sharp and spicy thanks to Worcestershire sauce, yellow mustard, and hot pepper sauce. Serve the chicken on a regular hamburger bun for a casual family dinner; whatever you do, don't forget the potato salad to go along side it.

Another spicy summery main course is Slow-Cooker Chili Chicken Tacos. All you need to build flavor is garlic cloves, tomato salsa, chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo, and chili powder. It's the perfect crunchy, juicy, and spicy bite all-in-one.

Enjoy these easy, family-friendly slow cooker recipes all summer long. They're the perfect excuse to step away from the hot stove.

01 of 15

Slow-Cooker Pork Chop

Bryan Gardner

There's not just one, but two kinds of pork in this comforting recipe—pork shoulder chops and bacon. They cook with sliced red cabbage, onions, allspice, and thyme, then are served with applesauce and sour cream.

02 of 15

Slow-Cooker Queso

Slow-Cooker Queso recipe
Con Poulos

Attending a casual block party or potluck? Bring this queso and the night will never end. Our recipe calls for a combination of pepper Jack and American cheeses, which are both super melty and terrifically indulgent.

03 of 15

Slow-Cooker Vietnamese Baby Back Ribs

Lennart Weibull

Bring the barbecue indoors with these Asian-inspired ribs. Instead of traditional barbecue sauce, these spareribs are flavored with shallots, Vietnamese fish sauce, and honey. Cook for seven hours on low and they'll become juicy and tender.

04 of 15

Slow-Cooker Greek Stuffed Peppers


Plump bell peppers filled with cannellini beans, feta, couscous, scallions, garlic, and oregano make an irresistible vegetarian dish. Serve with lemon wedges for an extra note of brightness.

05 of 15

Garlic Chicken with Barley

Christina Holmes

Barley, peas, and fresh tarragon make this winning chicken dinner both light and satisfying.

06 of 15

Slow-Cooker Marmalade-and-Vinegar Pork

Anna Williams

Orange marmalade, red-wine vinegar, and a tangle of fresh watercress cut the richness of braised pork shoulder beautifully. A bed of fluffy couscous completes dish.

07 of 15

Slow-Cooker Sweet-and-Sour Country Ribs


Give yourself—and the grill—a night off! Start these country-style pork ribs in the slow cooker in the morning, and they'll be perfectly tender by dinnertime.

08 of 15

Loaded Slow-Cooker Baked Potatoes

Romulo Yanes

Yogurt and vegetable broth lend lushness and tang to potatoes, and a topping of sautéed mushrooms and broccoli adds heft. They make a light vegetarian supper or the perfect accompaniment to any of our easy steak recipes.

09 of 15

Slow-Cooker Spicy Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

spicy buffalo chicken sandwich
Stephen Kent Johnson

We like to think of these sandwiches as spicy pulled-chicken Sloppy Joes. They pack a serious flavor punch thanks to the mixture of hot sauce, crushed tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and molasses.

10 of 15

Hawaiian-Style Short Ribs


Seeking the perfect dish for your staycation? Look no further. Put a tropical spin on braised short ribs by pairing them with sweet pineapple, then let your slow cooker do the rest.

11 of 15

Slow-Cooker Chili Chicken Tacos


Lazy summer evenings were made for taco night. Cook chicken thighs low and slow with garlic, salsa, chipotle chiles in adobo, and chili powder for a succulent, flavor-packed filling.

12 of 15

Slow-Cooker Spanish Meatballs

Con Poulos

It's hard to go wrong with meatballs! Our version gets its bold flavors from hot smoked paprika, cumin, and fresh parsley. Serve with crusty bread for an easy, fuss-free dinner.

13 of 15

Soy-Ginger Chicken


Resist the urge to order takeout and make this Asian-inspired chicken dish instead. Serve with steamed white rice for sopping up every last bite of sauce.

14 of 15

Shredded Beef Chuck Roast

shredded beef on sandwich bun
Romulo Yanes

Make this juicy slow-cooked beef chuck roast on Sunday, and you'll have a versatile building block for meals during the rest of the week. Try sandwiches with red onions and horseradish-spiked mayo, toss with pasta, or serve with rice or mashed potatoes.

15 of 15

Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Pickled Vegetables


Sandwich fall-apart tender pork and tangy red cabbage between crusty rolls for a delectable weeknight dinner.

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