Slow Cooking in the Summer Months

I know, I know ... slow cooker seem synonymous with Fall and Winter cooking --- but I am here to suggest that you put your crockpots to work this summer and spring when the weather starts to warm up. 

For reals. I'm not joking.

:-)




The weather has warmed, and we're spending more and more time out in the yard. 

I love it.


But I STILL use my slow cookers more often than not for our family dinners, and I urge you to, too.


Slow cookers take up very little electricity to run when compared to your stove or oven, and they do not heat your kitchen up the way those other appliances do. 


You're not going to notice that your AC is struggling to keep the kitchen cool, and you're not going to be standing over a hot stove, trying not to drip into your pasta sauce.

(ew. that's really gross, steph.)


I've listed my favorite ways to use the cooker below --- if you've got a family favorite, add it to the list!


FISH

Love, love, love fish packets in the slow cooker. The fish steams perfectly in a foil or parchment-paper packet and you get a beautiful, flaky finished result without stinking (or heating!) up your kitchen.





FISH


Lemon and Rosemary Chicken
We make this chicken pretty often, and I like to use the leftovers on top of salads or in chicken sandwiches. If you don't want to mess around with a whole bird, dump in a bunch of your favorite frozen boneless, skinless pieces and then add the seasonings.
lemon rosemary chicken

 
Pesto Spinach Lasagna
This lasagna rocks. It's vegetarian, so it's automatically lighter than most lasagnas, and because you've got pesto layered in it each and every bite is absolutely bursting with loads of flavor. 

Put your basil crop to good use this summer!


pesto spinach lasagna


Lentil and Kale Super Food
Kale is good for you. Lentils are too. And together they work to create a great casserole that will keep you swimsuit-ready the entire season. 

(an added bonus? this tastes good. PROMISE.)




Hot Dogs
And let us not forget that you can fit 60 HOT DOGS INTO ONE POT!

and that there is pretty darn impressive.




Basil Chicken with Feta
More basil! This Mediterranean-inspired dish that will keep all the picky people in your house happy.




Cowboy Beef and Bean Sandwiches
although cowboys might not actually eat their sandwiches on rice cakes....?
beef and bean sandwiches


 

Applesauce
And while I certainly have quite a few desserts you can make in the crock, my favorite not-too-sweet dessert in the summer is Applesauce

We eat it both hot or cold --- and the kids love to add whipped cream and ice cream to their bowls for an even more decadent treat.



If you're like us and your playroom or household art area has more broken than whole crayons, no worries! You can melt them down in an aluminum muffin tin to make recycled crayons!

This is a great summer time playdate or girl/boy scout activity.


Enjoy your summer time months! Keep the slow cooker out --- you'll be thankful that you did!


Slow cookers take up very little electricity to run when compared to your stove or oven, and they do not heat your kitchen up the way those other appliances do. You're not going to notice that your AC is struggling to keep the kitchen cool, and you're not going to be standing over a hot stove, trying not to drip into your pasta sauce.




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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at June 09, 2021

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What they say about this recipe

  1. Those Cowboy Beef and Bean Sandwiches were amazing! I did add a few dashes of worcestershire sauce to the pot as well, but it was a great combination of flavors. Adding the pickled peppers and cheese totally took it over the top- and even my kid who doesn't care for beans ate it. They kind of disappeared in the beef. Thank you for pointing that one out again. It's a keeper!

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  2. I personally think slow cooking has a place at any time of the year. Love the recipe ideas you've put together will give some of these a go on the more busier days :)

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  3. Stephanie, I'd also nominate your slow cooker falafel as a great summer slow cooker dish. Pair falafel with minty tabbouleh or some green salad, refreshing yogurt sauce or hummus... it's perfect.

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  4. They will love it! It’s so yummy ; ).

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  5. The cooker with swimming glasses makes me laugh a lot. It is so cute.

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  6. Anonymous4/21/2017

    Some people can't make jello or type. I can't seem to cook a frozen turkey burger in a skillet. I follow the directions, but I end up with a very charred, inedible burger. Butterball might not recommend it, but I spray the bottom of my 4 qt. crock with non stick spray and add 1 very frozen turkey burger. After 1 hour on high and 1.5 hours on low, I have a perfectly cooked burger. ☺

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  7. I think my crockpot tends to be busier in the summer because as a wedding planner, that's my busy season and I don't have the time (or the energy) to come home and cook after running all day. It's heaven to come home to an already cooked meal and a house that smells yummy.

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  8. I use mine for tacos and pulled pork in the summer. I also slow cook corn and zuchinni too. The possibilities are endless. I run a couple at a time! I set them out on the deck.

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  9. Basil chicken is one of my favorites. As a long time chef, often the simplest things are the most amazing!

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  10. currently glamping Ocala National Recreation Area(salt springs)87 degrees,making Pizza Pasta in crock for dinner w neighbors.Always use crockpots 4.5 and 6qt,love your websites and recipes...

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  11. Living in metro Phoenix, my crocks are used most during the summer. Lots of pool parties/potlucks, so a definite win-win. And, using crockpot liners is a must!

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