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35 Slow Cooker Recipes You’ll Actually Use This Summer

There's no need to heat up the house when you can just plug in your slow cooker. These summer slow cooker recipes are perfect for barbecues and parties.

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Slow-Cooker Memphis-Style RibsTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Memphis-Style Ribs

After my dad and I had dinner at the legendary Rendezvous Restaurant, I was inspired to create a slow-cooked version of tasty dry-rub Memphis ribs. Smoked paprika in the rub mimics the flavor the ribs would get from grilling over hot coals. —Matthew Hass, Franklin, Wisconsin

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Slow-Cooker Potluck BeansTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Potluck Beans

It was the morning of our family potluck and I still needed something to bring. I threw together this recipe while drinking my morning coffee. By the end of the gathering, the beans were all gone and someone had even washed the crock for me! —Mary Anne Thygesen, Portland, Oregon

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Bandito Chili DogsTaste of Home

Bandito Chili Dogs

These deluxe chili dogs are a surefire hit at family functions and tailgates. Adults and children alike love the cheesy chili sauce, and the toppings are fun! —Marion Lowery, Medford, Oregon

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Cuban Pulled Pork SandwichesTaste of Home

Cuban Pulled Pork Sandwiches

I lived in Florida for a while and loved the pork I ate there, so I started making it for myself. The flavorful meat makes amazing Cuban sandwiches, but you can also use it in traditional pulled pork sandwiches or tacos. —Lacie Griffin, Austin, Texas

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Texas Chili FriesTaste of Home

Texas Chili Fries

The delicious chili goes together in minutes and then cooks while you run errands. The only way to make it even better is to pour it over crisp french fries and sprinkle with cheese. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

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Deluxe Walking NachosTaste of Home

Deluxe Walking Nachos

This slow-cooked potluck chili makes an awesome filling for a little bag of walk-around nachos. Cut the bag lengthwise to make loading your fork easier. —Mallory Lynch, Madison, Wisconsin

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Mexican Turkey Meat LoafTaste of Home

Mexican Turkey Meat Loaf

Here's a zesty, flavorful meat loaf you can really sink your teeth into! Pair this with black beans, rice, green salad with lime vinaigrette or any of your favorite Tex-Mex sides. —Kristen Miller, Glendale, Wisconsin

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Huli Huli Chicken ThighsTaste of Home

Huli Huli Chicken Thighs

I'm allergic to store-bought barbecue sauces, so when I found a marinade recipe I could use, I tweaked it a little and began using it with chicken thighs. My fiance loves this over Parmesan couscous.—Erin Rockwell, Lowell, Massachusetts

 

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Lip Smackin' RibsTaste of Home

Lip Smackin' Ribs

No matter what time of year you eat them, these ribs taste like summer. It's feel-good food! —Ron Bynaker, Lebanon, Pennsylvania

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Slow-Cooked Peach SalsaTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Peach Salsa

Fresh peaches and tomatoes make my salsa a hands-down winner over store versions. As a treat, I give my co-workers several jars throughout the year. —Peggi Stahnke, Cleveland, Ohio

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Fabulous FajitasTaste of Home

Fabulous Fajitas

I've enjoyed cooking since I was a girl growing up in the Southwest. When friends call to ask me for new recipes to try, I suggest these flavorful fajitas. It's wonderful to put the beef in the slow cooker before church and come home to a hot delicious main dish. —Janie Reitz, Rochester, Minnesota

 

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Minister's DelightTaste of Home

Minister's Delight

A friend gave me this recipe several years ago. She said a local minister's wife fixed it every Sunday, so she named it accordingly —Mary Ann Potter, Blue Springs, Missouri

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Mexican Beef-Stuffed PeppersTaste of Home

Mexican Beef-Stuffed Peppers

I grew up eating stuffed peppers and thought my husband would immediately love them as well. He didn't at first, but then I created this slow-cooked recipe. Because he loves fajitas and tacos, I created these peppers with all his favorite flavors tucked inside. —Nicole Sullivan, Arvada, Colorado

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Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken LasagnaTaste of Home

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

When I make this tasty chicken lasagna at home, I use a whole bottle of Buffalo wing sauce because my family likes it nice and spicy. Increase the pasta sauce and use less wing sauce if you prefer. —Heidi Pepin, Sykesville, Maryland

 

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Slow-Cooker Berry CobblerTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Berry Cobbler

I adapted my mom's yummy cobbler recipe for slow cooking. With the hot summers here in Arizona, we can still enjoy this comforting dessert, and I don't have to turn on the oven. —Karen Jarocki, Yuma, Arizona

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Slow-Cooked Reuben BratsTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Reuben Brats

Sauerkraut gives these beer-simmered brats a big flavor boost, but it’s the special chili sauce and melted cheese that put them over the top. Top your favorite burger with some of the chili sauce; you won't be sorry. —Alana Simmons, Johnstown, Pennsylvania

 

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Slow-Cooker Cherry  BuckleTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Cherry Buckle

I saw this recipe on a cooking show and came up with my own version. When the enticing aroma of this down-home dessert drifts around the house, it's hard not to take a peek inside the slow cooker. For a decadent treat, top servings off with vanilla ice cream. —Sherri Melotik, Oak Creek, Wisconsin

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Sun-Dried Tomato Spinach-Artichoke DipTaste of Home

Sun-Dried Tomato Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Fresh veggies and crackers will disappear quickly when they're next to this cheesy slow-cooked dip. With smoked Gouda, it has an extra level of flavor that keeps everyone guessing. —Katie Stanczak, Hoover, Alabama

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Slow-Cooker BBQ ChickenTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker BBQ Chicken

Of all the recipes I make in my slow cooker, this is my most treasured. If you enjoy your barbecue sweet with a little spice, this will be your new favorite, too. —Yvonne McKim, Vancouver, Washington

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Peachy Baby Back RibsTaste of Home

Peachy Baby Back Ribs

It's easy to get a smoky outdoor barbecue flavor from your slow cooker. Trust me, I've fooled many people on more than one occasion with these ribs. —Mary Louise Lever, Rome, Georgia

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Spicy Shredded ChickenTaste of Home

Spicy Shredded Chicken

I love Mexican food, but not the high calorie count that often comes with it. This easy dish is healthy, delicious and a definite crowd pleaser! I like to serve the chicken with warm tortillas, rice, beans and salsa. For an equally awesome dish, you can substitute beef or pork for the chicken. —Heather Walker, Scottsdale, Arizona

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Slow-Cooker BBQ Ham SandwichesTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker BBQ Ham Sandwiches

Friends love these barbecue sandwiches and often ask me to make them. We double the crowd-pleasing recipe and serve them at potlucks. —Dana Knox, Butler, Pennsylvania

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Slow-Cooked Strawberry Rhubarb SauceTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

This tart and tangy fruit sauce is excellent over pound cake or ice cream. I've served this topping many times and gotten rave reviews from friends and family. —Judith Wasman, Harkers Island, North Carolina

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Chili Coney DogsTaste of Home

Chili Coney Dogs

From the smallest kids to the oldest adults, everyone in our family loves these hot dogs. They’re so easy to throw together in the morning or even the night before. —Michele Harris, Vicksburg, Michigan

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Barbecued Pork Chop SupperTaste of Home

Barbecued Pork Chop Supper

I start these slow cooker BBQ pork chops in the morning and enjoy a tasty supper later with no last-minute work. We just get to eat! —Jacqueline Jones, Round Lake Beach, Illinois

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Sweet-and-Sour Chicken WingsTaste of Home

Sweet-and-Sour Chicken Wings

These slow cooker wings are a fun appetizer for gatherings. I sometimes like to serve the saucy chicken over rice as a main dish. Either way you do it, these Asian-inspired wings will be a hit! —June Eberhardt, Marysville, California

 

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Shredded Steak SandwichesTaste of Home

Shredded Steak Sandwiches

I received this recipe when I was a newlywed, and it's been a favorite since then. The saucy steak barbecue makes a quick meal served on sliced buns or even over rice, potatoes or buttered noodles. —Lee Deneau, Lansing, Michigan

 

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Brenda's Baked BeansTaste of Home

Brenda's Baked Beans

When I was a kid, my mom made baked beans all the time. Sometimes we'd turn this side into a main dish by adding sliced hot dogs. —Brenda Brooks, Bowie, Maryland

 

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Mini Teriyaki Turkey SandwichesTaste of Home

Mini Teriyaki Turkey Sandwiches

Preparing the pulled turkey in a delicious teriyaki sauce for these snack-size sandwiches is a breeze using a slow cooker. Serving them on lightly-toasted sweet dinner rolls is perfection made easy.—Amanda Hoop, Seaman, Ohio

 

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Farm-Style BBQ RibsTaste of Home

Farm-Style BBQ Ribs

Inspiration struck when I saw a recipe like this one in a newspaper. My version was an instant hit with my husband and friends. When I discovered how easy it is to make in the slow cooker, it got even better. —Bette Jo Welton, Eugene, Oregon

 

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Beef & Veggie Sloppy JoesTaste of Home

Beef & Veggie Sloppy Joes

I’m always looking for ways to serve my family healthy and delicious food, so I started experimenting with my favorite veggies and ground beef. I came up with this favorite that my three kids actually request! This healthy take on sloppy joes reminds me of my own childhood. —Megan Niebuhr, Yakima Washington

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Southwestern NachosTaste of Home

Southwestern Nachos

Guests will go crazy when you serve this cheesy nacho casserole with tender chunks of slow-cooked pork. The recipe makes two heaping pans, and you don’t need to worry about filling the chip bowl—the tortilla chips are conveniently baked right in the dish! —Kelly Byler, Goshen, Indiana

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Nacho Salsa DipTaste of Home

Nacho Salsa Dip

This zesty dip is great for any get-together and allows me to spend more time with my guests. I always have requests to bring it when my husband and I attend parties. —Sally Hull, Homestead, Florida

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Slow-Cooked Blueberry GruntTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Blueberry Grunt

If you love blueberries, then you can't go wrong with this easy dessert. For a special treat, serve it warm with vanilla ice cream. —Cleo Gonske, Redding, California

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BBQ Chicken SlidersTaste of Home

BBQ Chicken Sliders

Brining the meat overnight helps make these BBQ chicken sliders taste exceptionally good. Plus, they're so tender, they melt in your mouth. —Rachel Kunkel, Schell City, Missouri

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