15 Slow-Cooker Dinners You'll Want to Make All Summer
These slow-cooker recipes are the best of both worlds: you get a tasty dinner, but with minimal effort and without sweating over the stovetop. Featuring fresh summer veggies like corn, zucchini and tomatoes, these dinners will bring a little brightness to your summer nights. Recipes like our Slow-Cooker Shrimp Posole Tacos and Slow-Cooker Ratatouille & Goat Cheese Toasts are dependably delicious.
Slow-Cooker Shrimp Posole Tacos
Literally translated, "posole" means "hominy." Traditional posole dishes are soups or stews made with hominy along with pork, chicken or seafood. In these slow-cooker shrimp tacos, the hominy, cumin, oregano and shrimp render classic posole flavors that are amplified by the addition of typical posole toppings: cabbage, radishes, cilantro and lime. Toast the corn tortillas for extra crunch, if desired (see Tip).
Slow-Cooker Barbecue Brisket Sliders
Serve these slow-cooker brisket sliders when company's coming--perhaps to watch the big game--for an easy, crowd-pleasing dish. The crisp, tangy coleslaw is the perfect pairing for the tender, rich brisket. Serve with chips, crudités and cold beer to round out the meal.
Slow-Cooker Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Avocado Crema
A rich, creamy topping made of mashed avocado, sour cream, lime juice and salt takes these spicy slow-cooker chicken tacos to the next level. Lightly toast the tortillas, if desired. Use any leftover avocado cream as a chip dip, and serve with tortilla chips.
Vegetarian Slow-Cooker Pozole
This healthy vegetarian take on the Mexican stew pozole gets tons of flavor from poblano peppers, ancho chile powder and dried herbs and spices, while cannellini beans provide substance, protein and fiber. Chewy hominy--corn that has been treated with lime to remove the tough hull and germ--is integral to the stew. Look for it in cans in the Latin section of your supermarket. Serve the stew with shredded cabbage, radishes, fresh cilantro and sour cream.
Easy Slow-Cooker Shrimp Boil
Tender red potatoes, corn, shrimp, smoky sausage and flavorful Old Bay seasoning give this slow-cooker shrimp boil the classic flavors you love. Because it's all made in the slow cooker, pulling this meal together is a breeze. It's perfect for a party--just serve with lemon wedges, cocktail sauce, bay leaves and ice-cold beer. If you can't find turkey andouille, use chicken andouille instead.
Slow-Cooker Ratatouille & Goat Cheese Toasts
Ratatouille is a classic French dish made with a sundry of fresh vegetables including onion, bell pepper, garlic, eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes. Our take on it includes these classic flavors and makes use of the slow cooker for a hands-free version.
Slow-Cooker Carne Picada Tacos with Avocado Salsa
Loosely translated as "minced meat," the traditional texture of carne picada ranges from finely chopped to ground. Here we start with brisket, which becomes nice and tender in the slow cooker, then shred and chop the meat before serving. The seasoning is flavorful but not too spicy. Blistered jalapeños added at the end will satisfy the heat-lovers in the family. Pile the brisket into warmed corn tortillas, with lettuce, the jalapeños, cheese and avocado salsa for a healthy dinner that'll wake up your taco night routine.
Slow-Cooker Caprese Spaghetti Squash with White Beans
This recipe feels and looks indulgent without being high in calories. The "caprese" components--fresh mozzarella, basil leaves and tomatoes--beautifully shine through, while the white beans add protein and a creamy texture. If you can't find fresh small mozzarella balls, tear a large ball of fresh mozzarella into small pieces.
Slow-Cooker Chile-Rubbed Pork with Corn & Black Beans
With minimal hands-on prep and only a couple hours in the slow cooker, you end up with incredibly flavorful, spice-rubbed pork and a bean-and-corn side dish, which easily converts to a next-day salsa. We promise this isn't like any slow-cooker pork tenderloin you've ever had.
Slow-Cooker Lemon-Pepper Chicken Thighs with Broccolini
What if you could have tender, slow-cooker chicken thighs and crisp Broccolini to feed four with 10 minutes of hands-on time and eight common ingredients? Now, you can, and here's the recipe to prove it. Garnish with fresh oregano leaves and additional kosher salt and black pepper, if desired.
Slow-Cooker Mahi-Mahi Tacos
These slow-cooker fish tacos require only 15 minutes of hands-on prep to whip together, making them a home cook's hero. The balance of cooked fish, tomatoes and onions with the raw cabbage and cilantro gives the dish a light, fresh feel. If desired, lightly toast the tortillas (see Tip) before filling and garnish the tacos with crushed red pepper. Serve with hot sauce, if desired.
Slow-Cooker Lemon-Coriander Shrimp & Grits
Creamy shrimp and grits is a comfort food classic, and everyone at your table will love this version with coriander-accented slow-cooker shrimp. Turn on the slow cooker before picking up the kids from school, and add the shrimp and make the grits right before dinnertime.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Soup with Zucchini & Hominy
This excellent chicken soup--packed with hearty, nutritious ingredients--is easy to make and may become your new standby. It makes enough to freeze a portion for easy lunches or when you need to deliver food to someone in a pinch.
Slow-Cooker Lemony Chicken Noodle Soup
This is a classic chicken noodle soup with bright lemony flavor. Because the noodles are whole-wheat, they have added pleasant chewiness-not to mention more fiber and nutrients-than the regular variety. Pair this delicious soup with crusty bread and red wine.
Slow-Cooker Charred Chile Verde Chicken
Chile verde is a Mexican green chile sauce made with tomatillos, garlic and hot peppers. Here, the sauce is poured over chicken quarters and infuses them with a sweet spice as the dish slowly cooks. Don't skip charring the vegetables--it's key to opening up their bold flavors and giving the sauce its iconic dark green color. Garnish your slow-cooker salsa verde chicken with thinly sliced jalapeño chiles and fresh thyme sprigs, if desired.