I know a lot of people who tend to use their crockpot a lot more in the fall and winter than they do in the spring and summer. I think this is mainly because crockpot cooking is usually associated with rich soups, stews, roasts, and chickens.
Crockpots do make some mean meals in the fall and winter, but they can also be used to make lots of lighter spring and summer dishes too. In fact, cooking with your crockpot in the summer is a great idea because it prevents you from having to stand over a hot oven or stove and sweat, and since a crockpot holds in all of its heat your air conditioner won’t have to work overtime to keep up with the heat from the kitchen.
Using your crockpot in the summer should help you cut down on your summer utility bills and your grocery bill as many crockpot recipes are great ways to use up leftover little bits of random vegetables and more.
Here are some of my favorite easy summer crockpot recipes:
Slow Cooker Enchiladas – This is the exact recipe I use when I make these in my crockpot. They turn out yummy and would be great with some homemade garden salsa or creamy guacamole.
Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Meatballs – I actually use my grandma’s “secret” recipe that has been passed down through our family, but it’s pretty similar to this one. A great side dish for these meatballs is sticky rice, friend rice, or lo mein noodles.
Slow Cooker Mushroom Risotto with Peas – The first time I ever had risotto was at my cousin’s house a couple of years ago, and I fell in love with it! This is a great crockpot version.
Slow Cooker Roasted Vegetable Lasagna – If you are a gardener with lots of vegetables to spare, this is a great recipe to use some of them up.
Creamy and Cheesy Crockpot Chicken and Rice – One of my favorite casseroles is cheesy chicken and rice and this crockpot version is just as tasty. Plus, it keeps you from turning on the oven in the summer.
Cheesy Spinach Crap Dip – I got this recipe from a friend at a potluck. This online version is the exact same one I use and it’s delicious. Whenever I take this to a party it’s always a hit!
You can also use your crockpot to create some delectable desserts in the summer. While I love a good, basic chocolate chip cookie, I rarely make them in the summer because the oven just makes my house so hot. Instead I decided to try out some crockpot dessert recipes.
Here are 2 crockpot dessert recipes that I tried and fell in love with:
Crustless Lemon Strawberry Cheesecake – This recipe combines two things I love: cheesecake and strawberry lemonade flavor. Yum!
Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding Cake – My family absolutely loves peanut butter, so this is a family favorite all year round.
Have you ever used your crockpot to create summer meals and desserts?