Soup or stew on a crisp autumn day—this is how most of us imagine using a slow cooker. But summer is also a great time to pull out this versatile appliance, sit back and let time do the work. Forget turning on the oven (and then turning up the air conditioning), a slow cooker or two can make summer parties a breeze. And whether you leave the slow cooker on the kitchen counter or plug it into an outlet on the patio, slow cooker recipes will free you up to attend to guests and really enjoy your own gathering.
What summertime menu must-haves can you make in a slow cooker? That list is limited only by your imagination. To get you started we’ve included slow-cooker recipes for classics like Low Country Boil, Beef Barbecue and Brats, Peppers and Onions in Beer. For those eating lighter, we’ve also rounded up a Mediterranean Chicken & Quinoa Bowl along with cool Chicken Lettuce Wraps. And because a party isn’t a party without dessert, you’ll also find slow-cooker recipes for Blueberry Cobbler and Triple Chocolate Cake. (Yes, you can make those in a slow cooker.) All you need for these easy recipes: a few ingredients, a Hamilton Beach® slow cooker or multi-cooker and a long, lazy summer day.
Classic Summer Slow Cooker Recipes
A low country boil is traditionally cooked in a large pot of boiling water, which is about as cool and breezy as it sounds. Our test kitchen experts came up with a way to prepare this summer classic in a slow cooker, which takes the heat off of you.
The slow cooker is tailor-made for making barbecue, which is typically prepared using low heat for a long period of time to soften the meat and make it flavorful. This shredded beef falls apart just as it should, leaving you to wonder why you ever cooked it any other way.
Never thought of putting beer in your slow cooker? Think again. This fun slow cooker recipe is perfect for a summer party and great for feeding a crowd any time of year.
Twists on Tacos & salsa chicken
These delicious pork tacos put a new twist on slow cooker pork barbecue with tortillas, red cabbage, jalapenos, black beans and corn. Prepare the pork barbecue in advance and then simply assemble the tacos for an easy summer meal.
For another twist on pork tacos, try this multi-cooker recipe that sautés the pork in coriander, cumin, paprika and oregano. Finished with cilantro and sour cream to balance out the spice.
This slow cooker recipe allows the chicken to absorb the flavors of salsa, tomatoes, corn, black beans and green chilies. Can be adapted for spice lovers and tamer palates.
Slow Cooker Recipes for Lighter Fare
This is an easy recipe to prepare ahead and store in the fridge. Perfect for guests who are looking for something cool and light.
Made with soy, rice vinegar, sesame oil and ginger, this slow-cooker chicken has an Asian flair and serves up nicely over rice and wrapped in bib lettuce leaves. Easy to prepare ahead of time.
Scrumptious Slow Cooker Desserts
No need to forgo dessert just because you don’t want to turn on the oven. This lovely blueberry cobbler cooks for two hours in the slow cooker and makes vanilla ice cream taste even better.
You don’t have to bake to make a cake. This decadent chocolate cake cooks on LOW for 3 to 4 hours in the slow cooker. Sour cream and pudding make it moist and truly indulgent.
More delicious slow cooker recipes: