13 Slow-Cooker Recipes Perfect for Spring and Summer

Spiceologist

13 Slow-Cooker Recipes Perfect for Spring and Summer

Just because the weather is warming up doesn’t mean the slow-cookers need to be shelved
13 Slow-Cooker Recipes Perfect for Spring and Summer

Spiceologist

13 Slow-Cooker Recipes Perfect for Spring and Summer

13 Slow-Cooker Recipes Perfect for Spring and Summer

13 Slow-Cooker Recipes Perfect for Spring and Summer

Thinkstock

Don’t retire your slow-cooker just yet: Slow-cooker recipes are just as good in the spring and summer as they were in the winter and fall. Just as this clutch kitchen device welcomed you home with warming meals during the colder months, it can again save you in the spring and summer by keeping you from slaving over the hot stove as temperatures outside rise.

Use fresh spring and summertime produce in classic slow-cooker entrées, like soups and stews to make them seasonally appropriate. Enjoy the lighter side of slow cooking with zoodles, springtime risotto, and light chicken dishes. Even make your own mock barbecue indoors with recipes for slow-cooker ribs and tender pulled pork that would stack up next to any smokehouse favorites.

What makes your slow-cooker produce delicious meals time and time again? The low and slow principle that makes it safe to leave your slow-cooker working while you run errands, go to work, or even sleep is the same cooking technique used for long braises that develop layered, concentrated flavor. Why deny yourself such effortless dishes just because the seasons have changed?

For more ways to use your slow-cooker all spring and summer long, check-out these 13 recipes that will keep your slow-cooker humming all year long.

Risotto Milanese

Risotto Milanese

Thinkstock

Add a swirl of pesto made with fresh spring herbs just before serving to add bright, herbaceous flavor to this creamy slow-cooker risotto.

For the Risotto Milanese recipe, click here.

Slow-Cooker Barbecue Ribs

Slow-Cooker Barbecue Ribs

iStock/Thinkstock

Broiling gives the ribs great smoky flavor and gives them a barbecued appearance. It's not necessary to broil this slow-cooker recipe, but it is highly recommended to boost the flavor and texture. — Pillsbury

For the Slow-Cooker Barbecue Ribs recipe, click here.

Slow-Cooker Butter Chicken

Slow-Cooker Butter Chicken

Use a blend of tandoori spices and coconut milk for this sweet, spicy, and rich chicken dish that is perfect served with steamed rice, fresh cilantro, and cucumber salad.

For the Slow-Cooker Butter Chicken recipe, click here.

Slow-Cooker Caribbean Chicken Drumsticks

Slow-Cooker Caribbean Chicken Drumsticks

Daniel J. van Ackere/ America's Test Kitchen

The mildly spicy, tangy jerk chicken spices mingle with fresh lime juice for the ultimate spring or summer time dinner. Serve with warm tortillas and a cooling green mango slaw if you like.

For the Slow-Cooker Caribbean Chicken Drumsticks recipe, click here.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Verde

Slow-Cooker Chicken Verde

Danielle Walker

With only 10 minutes to prep and five main ingredients, you will be surprised at the incredible flavors of this dish. Serve it over cauliflower rice and sautéed summer squash or a simple salad to complete the meal. — Danielle Walker

For the Slow-Cooker Chicken Verde recipe, click here.

Slow-Cooker Cuban Pulled Pork With Chipotle Mayo & Jicama Slaw

Slow-Cooker Cuban Pulled Pork With Chipotle Mayo & Jicama Slaw

Holistic Squid

There’s nothing quite like throwing a few simple ingredients into a slow-cooker and coming back at the end of the day to a hot and savory meal. This dish in particular combines the rich, flavorful meat with a bright and crunchy veggie slaw and a sexy silky homemade mayo that makes it a favorite any time of the year. — Emily of Holistic Squid

For the Slow-Cooker Cuban Pulled Pork With Chipotle Mayo & Jicama Slaw recipe, click here.

Slow-Cooker Granola Bars

Slow-Cooker Granola Bars

Thinkstock

Even if a snack is healthy, it doesn’t have to taste that way. Oats and dried fruit come together for this crunchy, slightly sweet granola: the perfect addition to yogurt and ice cream, and a great snack on its own. If you want extra crunch, add some chopped nuts. — Fabiana Santana

For the Slow-Cooker Granola Bars recipe, click here.

Slow-Cooker Meatballs With Garden Vegetable Sauce

Slow-Cooker Meatballs With Garden Vegetable Sauce

Holistic Squid

Because of all the extra veggies, the sauce is light but savory, with just enough cream (or coconut cream) to make it extra satisfying. You could serve these on their own, with rice, or over pasta, but I love to spoon these slow-cooker meatballs over simple zucchini noodles (learn how to make zoodles here), using up the abundance of summer squash and adding some extra lightness to this dish on a hot day. — Emily of Holistic Squid

For the Slow-Cooker Meatballs With Garden Vegetable Sauce recipe, click here.

Slow-Cooker Minestrone Stew

Slow-Cooker Minestrone Stew

Thinkstock

Make this a springtime minestrone soup with fresh asparagus, peas, crunchy carrots, and other seasonal produce.

For the Slow-Cooker Minestrone Stew recipe, click here.

Slow-Cooker Mushroom Spinach Lasagna

Slow-Cooker Mushroom Spinach Lasagna

Thinkstock

At your next barbecue, save time slaving over the hot barbecue smoker with this slow-cooker pulled pork that is fork tender and delicious.

For the Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches recipe, click here.

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Shutterstock

At your next barbecue, save time slaving over the hot barbecue smoker with this slow-cooker pulled pork that is fork tender and delicious.

For the Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches recipe, click here.

Slow-Cooker Sort of Tortilla Soup

Slow-Cooker Sort of Tortilla Soup

Food Fash

This light tortilla soup is made with a tomato base seasoned with pungent chili powder and cumin spices. Then add tender chicken, spicy jalapeños, fresh cilantro, and avocado for a delicious bowl of tortilla soup sans the tortillas.

For the Slow-Cooker Sort of Tortilla Soup recipe, click here.

Slow-Cooker Spinach and Ham Frittata

Slow-Cooker Spinach and Ham Frittata

Thinkstock

Use fresh, sweet spinach and ham in this springtime frittata recipe you can make in your slow-cooker for brunch.

For the Slow-Cooker Spinach and Ham Frittata recipe, click here.