40 Crock-Pot Summer Recipes for Easy Meals on Hot Days

slow cooker chicken wings
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It can be tough to find a meal that everyone in the family loves and that is also quick, makes for a minimal mess, and even offer up enough food for leftovers. Thankfully, Crock-Pot cooking usually means getting all of those benefits out of a dish. And the best thing about using a slow cooker in the busy summer months is that it doesn't heat up the kitchen the way the stove and oven do. On some of those brutally hot days, even standing over an outdoor grill is just too much to bear.

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Of course, it's not hard to assume that most slow-cooker recipes are meant for cooler, fall and winter months. After all, this kitchen appliance does a mean job cooking cold-weather comfort foods from chili to stews, pasta sauces, and hearty meat dishes -- even desserts. But to conclude that it's not useful on BBQ and beach days as well would certainly be a mistake!

From scrumptious, summery sides like German potato salad or black-eyed peas to festive entrées like a Santa Fe chicken salad or barbacoa tacos, the slow cooker definitely comes in handy for prepping both entrées and small bites fit for hot nights and fun, school-free days.

All summer Crock-Pot cooking requires is thinking a bit more creatively and seasonally! Many of these summer slow-cooker recipes incorporate fresh ingredients that are in season during the warmer months, like zucchini, tomatoes, and berries. Some are perfect to serve at a BBQ and others can go in the Crock-Pot before the family heads to the pool and will be ready for al fresco dining at dinnertime.

frittata Crock-Pot Recipe
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Crock-Pots dinner recipes slow cooker