9 Delicious summer slow cooker recipes for stress-free cooking
About to pop your slow cooker in the cupboard until next autumn? Hold on. A slow cooker is great for delicious summer meals too. Let’s face it, cooking over a hot stove in the summer months isn’t pleasant – and we can’t barbecue every evening. Your slow cooker is perfect for easy summer dinners – prep in the morning, leave to cook, and come home (or in from the garden) to a perfectly cooked, flavoursome dinner. Less time cooking means more time enjoying the lovely weather. Win, win. Try some of our delicious summery recipes below, and you’ll never leave your slow cooker to gather dust in the cupboard again.
The best summer recipes for your slow cooker
From pulled beef tacos to fruity cheesecakes (yes, you can cook desserts in your slow cooker too!) and healthy summer recipes like our lemon and olive chicken, we’ve got lots of scrumptious slow cooker recipe inspiration for you. Which will you try first?
The combination of succulent pulled pork and tangy pineapple makes for a mouth-wateringly delicious twist on the traditional burger. And the zingy slaw, with ginger and garlic as well as lots of yummy shredded veg, makes for a truly delicious side dish that’s perfect for serving at barbecues too.#
Soft or crunchy, however you like your taco shells, you’ll love them stuffed with the spicy pulled beef from our recipe. Topped with tangy pickled cabbage and creamy feta cheese, every bite is a treat for the taste buds. And if you have leftover beef, you can either pop it in the fridge or freeze it to enjoy another night. You could put the filling in buns for super-simple (and delicious) sloppy Joes with a kick.
Otherwise known as Carnitas, this traditional Mexican delight is sure to be a real crowd pleaser. Packed with flavour and lightly spiced, spoon the shredded pork into tortillas and top with sour cream and fresh coriander and you’ve got yourself the perfect summer evening supper. Better still, you can cook extra pork and freeze some for another night.
Get your kitchen roll (or napkins, if you’re feeling fancy) at the ready for these delightfully sticky, sweet and spicy slow-cooker ribs. Packed with summery barbecue flavour, without having to actually get the barbecue out, your slow cooker will cook the ribs to fall-off-the-bone perfection. Mouth watering yet?
These fiery slow cooker chicken drumsticks couldn’t be easier to make and really pack a punch in the flavour department. If you’re not a fan of spice, you can simply forgo the chillies – with garlic, cinnamon and thyme, there’s still plenty of flavour to be had. Lovely as an evening meal with rice and veg, they’re also great for taking on picnics or serving as part of a summer buffet in the garden.
The fresh yet zingy flavours of green olives and lemon make this slow-cooked chicken perfect for light summer suppers. Using a whole chicken, you can serve it with veg and potatoes for a summery twist on Sunday lunch, or serve with salad and a light side dish like rice or couscous. And any leftover chicken can be used for yummy chicken sandwiches for lunch the next day. Win.
Need ‘fakeaway’ inspiration? Look no further than our aromatic Thai Red Chicken Curry. Prep in the morning, leave to cook through the day, and come home to the ultimate Friday night treat. All you have to do is make some rice – and maybe a pack of Thai crackers on the side…It is Friday, after all.
You can’t beat chicken thighs cooked in a slow cooker – the chicken comes out perfectly tender, having absorbed all of the beautiful flavours and juices that it’s bathed in for hours. Perfection. The sweet combination of dates and honey with earthier flavours like courgette and onion, finished off with cumin and saffron, result in a flavour-packed dish that’s perfect for summer evenings on the patio.
We couldn’t leave you without a dessert, could we? And this mouth-wateringly delicious fruity number, topped with juicy clementine slices and pomegranate seeds, is full of wonderful summer flavours and is the perfect way to round off a barbecue or pizza party in the garden. And all made in your trusty slow cooker, proving just how versatile these wonderful machines are.
Want to get the most out of your slow cooker? Here are our top tips
Slow cooking is one of the best ways to enjoy flavoursome, easy meals that get the most out of your ingredients. Not to mention the pure joy of coming home after a long day at work to find a cooked dinner (even better when you’ve forgotten you even made it in the morning – a tasty surprise indeed!). Follow our simple tips below, and your slow cooker will be your new best friend in the kitchen.
- Save money and buy cheaper cuts of meat from the butchers – your slow cooker will transform them into tasty, tender perfection.
- If you have a large slow cooker, make extra portions of stews, casseroles and curries, etc. and freeze extras for quick, fuss-free meals through the week.
- Use your slow cooker to cook joints of meat like gammon, and then use it for multiple meals throughout the week – sandwiches, salads, omelettes or a cheeky ham, egg and chips. Once you’ve sliced the ham, you can freeze it too.
- Don’t lift the lid. Taking the lid off during cooking releases all the precious heat and steam inside – a big no-no as it means your food will dry out and take longer to cook.
- Slow cooking recipes don’t need as much liquid. This is because not much evaporates during cooking, so it’s important to not add too much water, stock or alcohol to your recipe.
- If your recipe calls for a dairy product like cream, don’t add it until the end, or it’ll curdle.
Check out our ‘A beginners guide to slow cooking’ blog for lots more great ideas and advice.
And that’s it, you’re all set for a summer of delicious, quick and easy dinners. We’ve also got everything you need to make the most of alfresco feasts with our range of barbecues, pizza ovens and pretty picnicware. Now all we need is the sun!