11 Easy Slow Cooker Recipes for Summer

11 Easy Slow Cooker Recipes for Summer

Everyone knows that slow cookers are great for hearty winter meals. But they’re also ideal for those steamy summer days when it’s just too hot to turn on the stove. Set that slow cooker to run while you’re out of the house and you won’t even have to deal with the small amount of heat that does come out of your CrockPot.

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11 Summer Slow Cooker Recipes to Beat the Heat

While traditional slow cooker dishes (think: pot roast) might seem too heavy to enjoy in August, with the right recipe you can have a light, low-calorie meal on the table with very little prep. Plus, many of these recipes can also be made ahead of time and enjoyed cold or at room temperature. Just toss in your ingredients, then head out to cool down at the pool. From breakfast to dinner (and everything between), check out these low-effort recipe ideas below.

Breakfast Recipes (Under 300 Calories)

Easy Slow Cooker Recipe for Quinoa Oatmeal

1. Slow Cooker Quinoa Oatmeal (203 calories)
Just because school’s out doesn’t mean your morning breakfast routine should suffer. With this recipe, oats and quinoa bake overnight to offer a protein and fiber-rich meal. Each pot yields six servings — so if you’re cooking for one portion it into individual containers to enjoy all week long. Don’t forget to add toppings, either. We suggest fresh summer berries, cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup. Photo and Recipe: Chelsea / Chelsea’s Messy Apron

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11 Easy Slow Cooker Recipes: Frittata

2. Slow Cooker Zucchini, Tomato and Feta Frittata (178 calories)
Rather than baking your frittata in the oven, make this protein-packed dish in your slow cooker. In addition to being in-season, shredded zucchini helps your eggs hold their shape. Don’t have any on hand? Spinach, sweet potato or broccoli would work well, too. Dish out your eggs alongside a slice of whole-grain bread or a small salad for a well-rounded meal. Photo and Recipe: Eleni / The Foodie Corner

Snacks & Side Recipes (Under 200 Calories)

Easy Slow Cooker Energy Bars Recipe

3. Slow Cooker Quinoa Energy Bars (157 calories)
Too busy shuttling kids to the camp to sit down for a snack? These energy bars offer the perfect combination of protein and fiber to keep bellies full while on-the-go. Once cooked, the almond butter, quinoa and chia seeds come together to create a thick and gooey bar. Dried fruit adds just enough sweetness, and roasted almonds bring the crunch. Photo and Recipe: Food Faith Fitness

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Easy Slow Cooker Bread Recipe

4. Slow Cooker Bread (172 calories)
When it’s 90 degrees and humid, the last thing on anyone’s mind is baking bread. Luckily, it’s easy to make a homemade loaf in a slow cooker without turning your kitchen into a sauna. After it’s done, slather a slice with a scoop of nut butter or some chia jam for a hearty snack. Photo and Recipe: Emma Christensen / The Kitchn

Dinner Recipes (Under 400 Calories)

11 Easy Slow Cooker Recipes: Curry Bowls

5. Healthy Quinoa Chicken Curry Bowls (315 calories)
If you rely on bland chicken dinners to justify your summer ice cream cravings, we’ve got a treat for you. This low-cal dish is a winner, thanks to its rich mix of curry paste, garam masala, ginger, garlic, onion and tomato paste. Just simmer it in a slow cooker for six hours for a dinner that will be flavor and satisfying. Photo and Recipe: Lindsay / Pinch of Yum

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Easy Slow Cooker Recipes: Sloppy Joes

6. Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Quinoa Sloppy Joes (234 calories)
Sloppy joes are an easy go-to for summer BBQs. But most versions are far from healthy. This one defies that stereotype by packing in 13.5 grams of lean protein per serving, thanks to quinoa and ground turkey breast. Instead of a traditional bun, try serving your ‘joe between two slices of roasted sweet potato instead. Photo and Recipe: Ashley / The Recipe Rebel

Easy Slow Cooker Recipe: Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps

7. Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps with Sesame Cucumber Salad (374 calories)
There’s nothing like a crisp lettuce wrap to cool (and fuel) you on a hot night. The slow cooker works magic by infusing your beef with soy sauce, honey, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil and garlic chili paste over the course of eight to 10 hours. Don’t skip out on the radish and cucumber salad — the freshness and crunch completes each bite. Photo and Recipe: Denise / Sweet Peas and Saffron

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Slow Cooker Pork Recipe

8. Slow Cooker Kalua Pig (379 calories)
Yes, this recipe has to cook at least 16 hours. But we promise it’s worth the wait. Plus, it doesn’t get simpler than this: All you need is pork butt, salt and bacon. Even better, leftovers are practically guaranteed. A five-pound roast can easily make 12 servings or more, depending on how you use it. Photo and Recipe: Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo

Spaghetti Squash Slow Cooker Recipe

9. Spaghetti Squash Thai “Noodle” Bowl (145.9 calories)
This noodle bowl boasts all the same flavors as Pad Thai, but with a fraction of the work (and calories!). Instead of rice noodles, low-carb spaghetti squash is topped with steamed broccoli and Thai peanut dressing. Customize the toppings however you like — chopped peanuts, lime wedges, cilantro or Sriracha are sure to satisfy. Photo and Recipe: Amanda Plott / The Skinny Fork

RELATED: 9 Creative Low-Carb Noodle Recipes

Slow Cooker Tostadas Recipe

10. Slow Cooker Beef Tostadas (324 calories)
This Mole-spiced beef tastes just as delicious as it looks — and we bet it pairs well with your favorite summer cocktail, too. Cocoa powder, chipotle chiles, coriander and cumin give the recipe deep, rich flavor. Serve your beef with fresh corn tortillas, or atop a bed of lettuce, and garnish with salsa, avocado and bell peppers. Photo and Recipe: Regan Jones / Healthy Aperture

Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken Recipe

11. Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken (334 calories)
It’ll be easier to resist the urge to camp out in front of the AC and order takeout with this recipe in your back pocket. Thanks to a few hours in a slow cooker, the simple sauce (garlic, ginger, soy sauce and lime) infuses protein-rich chicken breasts with a ton of flavor. Pair it with steamed broccoli or cauliflower rice for a low-carb, high-fiber meal. (Pro tip: The recipe calls for store-bought garlic-ginger purée, but you can opt for freshly grated garlic and ginger instead.) Photo and Recipe: Skinny Ms.

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