30 Easy Crockpot Recipes to Try This Summer
Summer is hot!
You’re ultra-busy, and who really wants to slave over a hot stove? (Not me!)
So put your crockpot to work with some of these fabulous and easy recipes (that even the kids will love).
Yes, I said crockpot.
They aren’t just meant to be used in the winter time, you know!
So easy to use and clean (pop on a disposable liner), just set it and forget it so you can enjoy swimming, soaking up sun, and spending time with the fam—not fretting over extensive prep work or the overall cooking process!
Each recipe is light, delicious, and oh-so easy to get together. And, they are sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters in your household!
#1. Pineapple Pulled Pork Tacos
Kids love the sweetness of pineapple, and all the flavor and juices will complement the taste of the pork in this tasty recipe from Gluten Free With LB. Adults will love the “break” from traditional meat and cheese tacos, and everyone will feel lighter than air after eating them, not weighed down! Don’t forget to serve them up with some fun extras, like goat cheese and cilantro-yum!
#2. Chicken Pesto Pasta
Pasta is savory and satisfying. It can be heavy in the tummy, but that totally depends on how you prepare it. This crockpot dish from Bren Did is one of my family’s summer favorites because lots of seasonal veggies are needed, and my kids love plucking them from the garden and dicing them up. I buy the basil pesto already prepared, and it adds a zesty, fresh taste to the noodles.
#3. Garlic Parmesan Chicken and Potatoes
Requiring virtually no prep work, this dish via Damn Delicious is my go-to when we are up early and going to be away for the day. The bone and skin on the chicken thighs keeps things juicy and flavorful, and the garlic kicks things up a notch. If your kiddos are sensitive to the taste and smell of it, you can always reduce the amount you use and add more parmesan instead!
#4. Slow Cooker Corn on the Cob
There’s nothing like a juicy and sweet piece of corn on the cob on a hot, summer’s day. Whether you’re hosting a BBQ or are gathering the family together for a nice, grilled dinner, this slow cooker corn on the cob via Cooking Maniac will melt in your mouth. The secret ingredient? Coconut milk. Expect tummies to growl around the house when the aroma of the milk and rich butter fill the air!
#5. Brown Sugar Balsamic Glaze Pork Tenderloins
It will be hard to keep the kids away from this dish once the rich and sweet sauce starts to caramelize! This recipe from Laura's Sweet Spot requires virtually no maintenance until the very end, when you should be brushing the sauce over the meat several times for the last hour of cooking. Perfect to serve when company is expected, or when the family needs a break from burgers and hot dogs (and you need a break from the grill!)
#6. Crockpot Baked Potatoes
Yum! That’s all I have to say about these baked potatoes from Well Plated! My kids absolutely scarfed them down. I set up a toppings bar so each member of the family could adorn them as they pleased. From sour cream, to shredded cheese, bacon bits, and chives, these potatoes came out soft and steamy, and make a great side dish for the fish we caught earlier in the day!
#7. Slow Cooker Pina Colada Lava Cake
I was a bit apprehensive at first to make anything dessert-related in the crockpot. However, I’m so glad I tried this recipe from 365 Days Of Slow Cooking (and so are my kids!) It was warm, gooey, sweet, and delicious—the perfect Fourth of July sweet treat. Top off each scoop of cake with some vanilla ice cream and you have one delicious crowd pleaser!
#8. Slow Cooker Sticky Pecan Buns
I wanted to surprise my kids with something yummy and aromatic when they woke up on their first day of summer vacation. So, I got up early to prep these bad boys via Amy's Healthy Baking. They came out perfect and they were able to be reheated (I just kept them in an airtight container in the fridge). Once the rolls are ready, be sure to remove them all from the pot, otherwise the caramel will harden and the rolls will not release from the slow cooker.
#9. Crockpot Chili Mac and Cheese
If you’re sick of toting potato or pasta salad to summer BBQ’s, consider bringing this crowd pleaser via Tammilee Tips instead. A play on the classic kids’ favorite Mac and Cheese, some spicy chilli livens the dish up. It’s easy to make and comes to the party already hot and easily able to maintain!
#10. Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings
I don’t care how warm it is outside—my family and I are always in the mood for chicken and dumplings. I love this recipe from Spend With Pennies because it takes the effort (but not the taste) out of making it. Plus, it’s a sneaky way to get your children to eat their veggies. I always go heavy handed on the peas and carrots!
#11. Homemade Spaghettios and Meatballs
Kids can be funny about textures from time to time (or ALL the time if they’re from my house). But, many love the size and texture of spaghettios. It simply brings them comfort. And, adults love the meatball component that dish from Shugary Sweets offers. It also freezes and reheats well, so it can be the perfect comfort food to arrive home to after a vacation.
#12. Slow Cooker Summer Chowder
My family is totally into gardening, so we try to get creative with what we eat to ensure we use up our crops. Because we end up with an abundance of zucchini, we make this slow cooker summer chowder via Foodtastic Mom. It is thick, healthy, satisfying, and is also loaded with corn and tomato. We even garnish with our own herbs as well.
#13. Slow Cooker Veggies
I love grilled veggies, but after running around with the kids outside, the last thing I want to do when I get home is stand over the grill. So, we don’t have to sacrifice our health since we have lots of veggies waiting for us (perfectly seasoned) in the crock pot via this recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie.
#14. Easy Crock Pot Peach Cobbler
Picking up lots of peaches at your local farmer’s market and just not sure what to do with them all? Make a cobbler! I’m not a great baker, but this recipe from Recipes That Crock makes making a peach cobbler seriously easy and effortless. If I serve it to guests, I always have whipped or iced cream ready to serve on top of it.
#15. Crock Pot Frito Pie
Fritos and pie? Enough said. And,if you’re looking for a way to get your kids to eat meat, this recipe from Moms With Crockpots is the way to do it. Some oven work is required at the end, but your crock pot will handle cooking the meat and simmer sauce and spices, so you don’t have to!
#16. Crock Pot Caramel Apples
A fun way to celebrate Memorial Day or The Fourth of July is by serving up some caramel apples (you can’t get more American than that!) A cinch to get together and cook in the crock pot (via Stephanie O'Dea), they’ll be ready and cooled in no time. Let the kids dip ‘em or decorate them with their favorite toppings.
#17. Crock Pot “Kid-Friendly” Turkey Chili
It took my toddler a long time to try chilli. But once he tried this recipe via Skinny Taste, he was hooked! It’s made with turkey, rather than beef, which can be strong-tasting to kids. Toss in some corn, bits of bell pepper, and use minimal spices, and you have a successful supper!
#18. Slow Cooker Low Country Boil
This recipe from Food Guy Magazine uses lots of summer time ingredients and is perfect if you want to offer your family or guests something hearty but healthy. The slow cooker simmers the meat and veggies perfectly and the aroma is hard to beat! Slice up some crusty bread and you’re ready to eat.
#19. Slow Cooker Street Tacos
This recipe from Tornadough Alli calls for citrus, so your meat with his a little tang to it-perfect on a hot summer day! If planning on swimming all day, simply prep the meat, set the slow cooker on low, sprinkle in sauce and spices; and voila! Your tacos will be waiting for you post-pool.
#20. Slow Cooker Lasagna
Lasagna doesn’t always have to be heavy! This recipe from Oh My Veggies is ideal for summer days, when the weather is hot and the veggies are plentiful. Dice up eggplant and zucchini, allowing it to replace ground beef. Some layering effort is involved (get the kids to help), but once it’s cooked, this veggie lasagna will look like it came fresh out of the oven.
#21. Crock Pot Butter Ranch Chicken
This recipe from Stockpiling Moms calls for only 3 ingredients, so you can literally have your kids prepare it! And, because it’s so simple (yet so yummy), it’s great to prepare on evenings when you’re going to have zero time to cook because you’ll be too busy running the kids to and from sports practices.
#22. Scalloped Peaches
Scalloped peaches—what a treat! I serve this warm, sweet treat (recipe via Taste and Tell) when the fam is gathered around and having a lazy Sunday. The kids love to scoop them in a bowl and enjoy them while sitting under a shady tree on a soft blanket (shoes off, of course!)
#23. Easy Slow Cooker Stuffed Shells
Stuffed shells are a family favorite. In our house, we are always looking for Italian recipes we can cook for Sunday dinner! This recipe from Easy Slow Cooker Meals turned out to be one of my kids’ favorites. The slow cooker gets the outside of the shells to cook to just the right consistency.
#24. Slow Cooker Applesauce
Applesauce makes a great summer snack for the kids. This recipe from The Healthy Maven is easy to follow and all you need to do is recruit the fam to help you peel and prep the apples. So, the next time your kids are itching for ice cream, give them some chilled, sweet apple sauce instead!
#25. Crock Pot Peanut Butter Cup Cake
Holy moly! This cake via Moms With Crockpots is amazing. In fact, it’s the only dessert I make and take to Labor Day and other end of summer celebrations. The kids love to prepare it with me and enjoy stirring all the ingredients together just as much as they love dousing it in chocolate syrup once it’s ready!
#26. Slow Cooker Cinnamon Rolls
There’s lots of flavor in these rolls, but half the amount of work goes into them. Sounds great to me! The sweet glaze is the best part, and my kids love biting into them on a warm, Saturday morning. Via Sally's Baking Addiction.
#27. Crock Pot S’mores Chocolate Lava Cake
We love to put this cake in the crock pot on days we know we’re going to be sitting around our firepit at night. It is a refreshing break from putting together traditional S’mores with chocolate and crackers, and the kids think it’s so fun to eat it with a spoon but still savor the traditional flavors and ingredients. Via Mama Plus One.
#28. Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole
Chicken, broccoli, and rice, oh my! I’ve never cooked or eaten a casserole I didn’t like.And, neither did my children. Greek yogurt is the secret ingredient in this recipe from Kristine's Kitchen that keeps things nice and creamy. I also like to add extra broccoli and less rice to go heavier on the fiber and lighter on the carbs.
#29. Slow Cooker Mexican Peppers
I love stuffed peppers, but I absolutely hate boiling them to soften them up prior to stuffing them. When I use this crock pot recipe from The Slow Cooking Housewife, I can totally skip over this step and pop them right in the pot. This ensures my family has a healthy meal in between all of our summer festivities.
#30. Slow Cooker Beef Lettuce Wraps
On summer evenings when I can’t bare to grill anymore, I often turn to the crock pot to serve up these Korean beef lettuce wraps from Sweet Peas and Saffron. They are filling, yet light on the tummy. My kids also think it’s super cool to roll up their dinner in an oversized piece of lettuce!
Summer is an incredible season.
With so much to do and see, let your crock pot do all of your cooking for you.
With at least a month’s worth of meals and snacks above, your family will never get bored from what you’re serving, and you’ll have lots of extra time to spend swimming, exploring, but most importantly—relaxing!