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My Favorite Summer Slow Cooker Recipes

Updated on June 10, 2015

I got my slow cooker as a Hanukkah present in 2014, and it's made preparing certain meals much easier-and a lot more fun! Stews, soups, sauces, brisket, chili, anything I used to have to stand over a pot on the stove for now cooks perfectly while I leave it. (Checking in and stirring once in a while, of course.) Here are some of the recipes I make it a point to make often.

Classic Meatballs

  1. Ground beef or meat of your choice
  2. Bread crumbs and spices, about 1/2 cup mixed
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1 jar of tomato sauce

Mix meat, bread crumbs and egg together, form into balls. Browning is optional, but recommended for extra flavor. Let sauce simmer in the stoneware pot a bit before adding the meatballs, let cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4.

Spaghetti sauce with meat

This is basically the same as the meatballs, but without the breadcrumbs and egg

  1. 1 Package of ground beef, or meat of your choice
  2. 1/2 cup chopped onions
  3. 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  4. 1 jar of tomato sauce

Add extra spices if you wish, I use a dash of pepper and parsley. Brown the meat, add to simmering sauce with tomato and onion, let cook for ~6 hours, more or less. Keep warm until ready to serve.

BBQ pulled chicken

  1. Chicken breast or thigh-2 thighs or one breast for small portions, 3 thighs or 2 breasts for larger
  2. 1/2 bottle of barbecue sauce
  3. dash of pepper
  4. dash of hot sauce (optional)

Place ingredients into stoneware pot, let cook on low. When meat begins to go tender, carefully pull it off the bone. Remove every trace of bone, keep warm until ready to serve. Best used for sandwiches, serve on soft bread.


  1. 1 package of your choice of ground meat (optional)
  2. 1-2 cans of beans of your choice (important! Unless you soak and properly cook dried beans, they'll be toxic in a slow cooker)
  3. 1 onion, chopped
  4. 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  5. 1/2 bell pepper, chopped (or 1/4 of assorted color peppers)
  6. cumin, chili powder, pepper, a dash of salt
  7. 1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)

Brown meat (if you use it), onions and peppers on the stove. Let beans and tomatoes (and tomato paste, if you wish) simmer on the stove a bit before adding the meat mixture, add spices. Mix ingredients together, let cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4.

The great thing about chili is that it's good for both meat-eaters and vegetarians.

Do you own a slow cooker?

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If yes, what's your favorite thing to cook with it?

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Submit a Comment

  • Larry Rankin profile image

    Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

    Love the slow cooker. Very useful hub.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

    Wow.........your photos make me hungry just looking at them! I need to haul our slow cooker out and start using it now that the summer temps are sizzling here in Houston. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Victoria Lynn profile image

    Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

    OH--and I've got to try that pulled chicken in the slow cooker! Isn't it great for shredding chicken? I've used it for making chicken filling for enchiladas. Keeps me from having to chop raw chicken!

  • Victoria Lynn profile image

    Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

    I love using my slow cooker. It's great in the winter for cooking up hot foods. (I voted for chili in your poll!) And it's great in the summer to avoid heating up the kitchen by using the oven. I never thought about meatballs in the slow cooker. Great ideas. Thanks!

  • poetryman6969 profile image

    poetryman6969 2 years ago

    Some beautiful food. It all looks so good. Voted up.

  • Tanya Fitzmorris profile image

    Tanya Fitzmorris 2 years ago from Brantford Ontario Canada

    Crock pot recipes are so perfect for busy families, I have 4 kids and I turn to my crock pot often :)