Summer

Top Best Slow Cooker Recipes to Make This Summer

1. Everything Greek Pork Pitas, 2. Slow Cooker Ribs, 3. Honey Garlic Chicken, 4. Slow Cooker Cinnamon Rolls, 5. Chicken Fajitas, 6. Crock-Pot Creamy Banana French Toast, 7. Beef and Broccoli, 8. Beef Goulash, 9. Tangy Slow-Cooker Pork Carnitas Tacos. It is surely convenient to have a few quick recipe options available during days filled with activities that don't want to turn on the oven or the grill. Here are a few delectable slow cooker dishes to make during those lazy summer days, from sandwiches to tacos and even cinnamon rolls, perfect for picnics and backyard gatherings, let's find out!

  1. Everything Greek Pork Pitas
  2. Slow Cooker Ribs
  3. Honey Garlic Chicken
  4. Slow Cooker Cinnamon Rolls
  5. Chicken Fajitas
  6. Crock-Pot Creamy Banana French Toast
  7. Beef and Broccoli
  8. Beef Goulash
  9. Tangy Slow-Cooker Pork Carnitas Tacos

Everything Greek Pork Pitas

If you’re sick of making BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, this Greek pork pita recipe works well for easy sandwiches when you want something a little different. You can top it with all kinds of fresh vegetables, but the recipe specifically recommends tzatziki, sun-dried tomatoes, red onion, feta, lettuce, and parsley.

Ingredients:

Greek Pork:

  • 3 pounds pork shoulder, fat trimmed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

For the Pitas:

  • pitas
  • tzatziki
  • toppings of choice like lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, feta, lemon, etc.

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients for the pork in a slow cooker on low heat for 10-12 hours, or in an instant pot on the meat/stew setting (about 45 minutes). Shred the meat and stir it around in all those juices.
  2. Assemble pitas!

top best slow cooker recipes to make this summer

Pinch of Yum

top best slow cooker recipes to make this summer

Punchfork

Slow Cooker Ribs

Ribs that aren’t on the grill? You read that right. The slow cooker actually makes cooking ribs a dream when you don’t feel like making the effort to fire up the grill—or clean it later. These slow cooker ribs are tasty and simple and pair well with practically any of your favorite summer sides.

  • 3 – 3 1/2 lbs pork baby back ribs
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Barbecue sauce (or use 1 cup store-bought):

  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup, such as Heinz Natural (or one without high fructose corn syrup)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp molasses
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar (dark or light)
  • 2 Tbsp steak sauce, such as A1
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Prepared yellow mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp Natural liquid hickory smoke flavor (found in BBQ sauce section)
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp Chipotle chili powder or cayenne pepper
  1. Remove the membrane layer from the back of the ribs, then if the ribs are too wide to fit sideways along the insert of the slow cooker then cut the ribs in half.
  2. Rinse and dab dry then sprinkle and rub both sides of each portion with spice mixture.
  3. Pour 1/2 cup water into a 6-quart slow cooker. Place ribs over water (one layered over the other if you had to cut in half, otherwise curl around inside of slow cooker insert).
  4. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 1/2 – 7 hours or until very tender.
  5. Place a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
  6. Carefully transfer ribs with the curved sides up to a wire rack on a baking sheet (I recommend using two pairs of tongs or tongs and a turner to lift them, they are super tender).
  7. Brush with about 1/2 cup bbq sauce (total). Move oven rack 2 levels below broiler and heat broiler.
  8. Broil ribs until bbq sauce start to set and caramelize, about 2 – 3 minutes (keep a close eye on them).
  9. Remove from oven, carefully turn ribs brush with another 1/2 cup sauce and return to oven and broil for about 2 – 3 minutes. Serve warm.

top best slow cooker recipes to make this summer

Slow Cooking Perfected

top best slow cooker recipes to make this summer

Tasty

Honey Garlic Chicken

For an easy, tasty chicken meal that requires less than 10 ingredients, turn to this honey garlic chicken. Its sweet, sticky sauce has all the allure of your favorite takeout but is made of healthy, natural ingredients. The recipe is only eight ingredients and if you cook Asian food regularly (meaning you own soy sauce), you have all of them in your pantry right now.

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons chili paste sambal oelek, sriracha, or hot sauce of choice
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  1. Place the chicken in the bottom of a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. In a medium mixing bowl or very large measuring cup, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, tomato paste, chili paste, garlic, and rice vinegar. Pour over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or high for 2 to 3 hours, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. If you are available, flip the chicken over once halfway through to coat both sides. (If not, don’t stress; it will still be tasty).
  2. Remove the chicken to a plate and let cool slightly. Whisk the cornstarch into the slow cooker cooking liquid. Cover and cook on high for 15 minutes, until the sauce, thickens slightly, stirring occasionally. If you’d like the sauce particularly thick, you can cook it for a full 30 minutes in the slow cooker or follow the stovetop method below.
  3. For quicker sauce thickening, reduce the sauce on the stove: After whisking in the cornstarch, transfer the cooking liquid to a medium saucepan. Cook on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring often until the sauce thickens, 5 to 10 minutes. (If your slow cooker insert is stovetop safe, you can remove it from the slow cooker and place it directly on the burner, but do not do this unless you are positive your insert is stovetop safe or it may crack).
  4. With two forks (or your fingers if the chicken is cool enough), shred the chicken and place it in the slow cooker. If you reduced the sauce on the stove, add it back to the slow cooker now. Stir to coat the chicken with the sauce. Serve over rice, sprinkled with green onions and sesame seeds.

top best slow cooker recipes to make this summer

RecipeTin Eats

top best slow cooker recipes to make this summer

Kitchen Sanctuary

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Rolls

If you’re entertaining this holiday season and are looking for an easy, make-ahead, no-fuss, and completely indulgent brunch recipe, then slow cooker cinnamon rolls are what you are looking for. They’re fluffy and soft with ooey gooey cinnamon swirls and sweet icing on top. It’s a breakfast classic made easier!

For cinnamon rolls:

  • Cooking spray
  • Plain flour, for surface
  • 400 g ready-rolled pizza dough
  • 110 g packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 4 tbsp. melted butter

For frosting:

  • 115 g cream cheese, softened
  • 125 g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. double cream
  1. Line the bowl of a slow cooker with parchment and grease with cooking spray. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Brush dough all over with melted butter, then sprinkle with brown sugar mixture.
  3. Starting with one end, roll the dough up tightly into a log. Slice into 8 rolls, about 3cm. Place rolls into prepared slow cooker. Place a paper towel under the lid and cook on high for 2 hours.
  4. Use parchment to remove cinnamon rolls from the slow cooker and let cool while making frosting.
  5. In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and icing sugar until no lumps remain. Add vanilla and double cream and beat until combined.
  6. Frost cinnamon rolls and serve warm.

top best slow cooker recipes to make this summer

Dinner, then Dessert

top best slow cooker recipes to make this summer

The Kitchn

Chicken Fajitas

Chicken fajitas are an easy and flavorful weeknight meal. A classic Mexican recipe, juicy chicken is seasoned, seared, and cooked to perfection, then tossed with sauteed bell peppers and onions. A squeeze of fresh lime adds a punch of flavor and the chicken fajitas are served with warm tortillas and toppings. You can’t beat this healthy family favorite recipe.

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of petite diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 3 bell peppers (preferably 1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 green) cored and sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tsp ground coriander*
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  1. Pour half of the canned tomatoes into the bottom of a slow cooker and spread into an even layer. Top with half of the peppers** and half of the onions. Sprinkle garlic in. Top with chicken breasts.
  2. In a bowl whisk together chili powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, salt, and pepper. Evenly sprinkle half of the seasoning over chicken breasts then flip the chicken and sprinkle in the remainder. Top with the remaining half of the tomatoes, then layer in the remaining peppers and onions.
  3. Cover and cook on HIGH heat for about 2 – 3 hours or low heat for 4 – 6 hours, until chicken has cooked through and veggies are tender.
  4. Remove chicken, cut into strips or shred. Ladle out 1 cup of the broth in the slow cooker (mostly tomato liquid) and discard.
  5. In a small bowl whisk together lime juice and honey and add to slow cooker along with chicken and season with additional salt to taste if desired (I sometimes like to add 1/4 cup chopped cilantro too here but this is optional). Gently toss. Serve warm in warmed tortillas with optional toppings.

top best slow cooker recipes to make this summer

Foodie Crush

top best slow cooker recipes to make this summer

Downshiftology

Crock-Pot Creamy Banana French Toast

This creamy crockpot banana French toast is full of amazing flavors! It’s an easy French toast recipe that’s baked in the crock pot for a much easier breakfast the whole family will love. All you need to do is wake up, turn on the crockpot, and pour yourself a cup of coffee.

  • 1 (10-inch) stale (a day or two old bread) French baguette, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 bananas, plus more for serving
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 to 1½ cups of milk
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons butter cut into thin slices
  • ½ cup pecans, optional, for serving
  • Maple syrup, optional, for serving
  1. Grease a 6.5-quart (or larger) crock pot with cooking spray or butter.
  2. Spread cream cheese on both sides of all bread slices and arrange slices in a single layer on the bottom of the crock pot.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mash two bananas; add beaten eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg; whisk until everything is well combined.
  4. Pour milk mixture over bread slices and press the bread down into the liquid; let stand 30 minutes or up to 5 hours.
  5. The liquid should not cover the bread slices, but it should come up about three-quarters of the way up. If it’s less than that, add more liquid.
  6. Arrange butter slices over bread slices.
  7. Cover and cook on low for 3 to 3.5 hours or on high for 2 to 2.5 hours.
  8. Remove lid; garnish with fresh banana slices, chopped pecans, and maple syrup.
  9. Set the dial to “warm” so it stays warm, or serve immediately.

top best slow cooker recipes to make this summer

Diethood

top best slow cooker recipes to make this summer

Beef and Broccoli

When you have a craving for takeout but don’t feel like spending money, this beef and broccoli recipe has your back. Serve the delicious beef and broccoli on a bed of white rice, and make sure to scoop out the extra juices from the crock-pot beef and broccoli and mix them in with the white rice. If you like sesame seeds sprinkle some of those on as well! It gives the beef and broccoli an added flavor that will remind you of your favorite Chinese takeout dish.

  • 1 16 oz. flank steak, sliced thin
  • 2 broccoli crowns, cut into florets (around 4-5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  1. Add the flank steak and broccoli florets to the slow cooker.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, sriracha, chili flakes, grated ginger, garlic, and honey.
  3. Add the sauce to the slow cooker, and mix with the steak and broccoli.
  4. Pour in the beef stock.
  5. Turn the slow cooker on low for 2 hours.
  6. During the last 30 minutes, mix together the cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water to make a slurry. Add the mixture to the crock pot.
  7. Serve on rice, and sprinkle sesame seeds, if desired.

top best slow cooker recipes to make this summer

Taste of Home

top best slow cooker recipes to make this summer

Carlsbad Cravings

Beef Goulash

Another easy crowd pleaser is this beef goulash recipe, the perfect filling meal after an action-packed day outside! Whether you’re serving your family or having friends over for a meal outside on the porch, this beef goulash recipe works for it all. Serve with a crisp green side salad for an extra dose of veggies.

  • 1 pound 90% lean ground beef
  • 21/2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 8 ounces dried multigrain high-protein elbow macaroni (2 1/3 cups)
  • 1 15-ounce can of no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1 14.5-ounce can of no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1 6-ounce can of no-salt-added tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green sweet pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker combine the first 11 ingredients (through pepper). Stir to break up the ground beef. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, stirring once halfway through cooking.
  2. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and cook for 10 minutes more, or until the cheese is melted and the pasta is tender.

top best slow cooker recipes to make this summer

The Cozy Apron

top best slow cooker recipes to make this summer

Vikalinka

Tangy Slow-Cooker Pork Carnitas Tacos

Why head to a restaurant for tacos when you can make this delicious tangy slow cooker pork carnitas tacos recipe right at home? Thanks to this handy slow cooker recipe, you’ll be able to make a large batch of pork carnitas—perfect for a crowd. This recipe can roast on high for four hours, but for best results, let it roast on low for eight. The meat will be falling off by the time you start breaking it apart! Serve it with tortillas, limes, queso fresco (or cotija!) cheese, and, of course, some pickled red onions.

  • 1 pork roast (around 4 pounds)
  • 2 oranges, juiced
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • Queso fresco
  • Pickled onions
  • Limes, cut in quarters
  • Cilantro
  • Tortillas
  1. Place the pork roast in the slow cooker. Rub the taco seasoning on all edges of the roast.
  2. Place in the quartered onion slices around the roast.
  3. Pour on the squeezed oranges, as well as the lime juice.
  4. Cook on low for 8 hours (best results), or high for 4 hours.
  5. Serve on warmed tortillas with flaked queso fresco, pickled onions, limes, and cilantro.

top best slow cooker recipes to make this summer

Eat This, Not That

top best slow cooker recipes to make this summer

Tangy Slow-Cooker Pork Carnitas Tacos

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