Our Favorite Slow Cooker Recipes for Springtime

published Apr 21, 2017
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With the weather warming up, it finally feels like it’s time to come out from under that blanket on the couch and breathe in some fresh air. We’re craving less time inside the house, which means a slow cooker is more valuable than ever.

Just because it’s no longer braise and stew weather doesn’t mean your slow cooker should be tucked away for the season. Here are lighter, more spring-appropriate meals that give you freedom to get outside.

(Image credit: Diana Yen)

Tacos fit the bill for a crowd-pleasing dinner any time of year, but there’s just something about the warmer weather that makes them even more appealing — maybe it’s the ability to be finally able to eat them al fresco, while sipping that margarita.

(Image credit: Jeff Roffman)

Consider making fruit butter in your slow cooker a real change in how you’re thinking about this appliance. When that first crop of strawberries make their way into your grocery cart, this vibrant butter should be on your must-make list. Your toast will thank you.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Prep a whole bunch of these kits when you have a spare Sunday and then toss them in your slow cooker all spring long whenever you’re having a brunch gathering or are just looking for an easy dinner.

(Image credit: Diana Yen)

This French stew of zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, tomatoes, and herbs is truly best in summer, when those vegetables are at their seasonal best, but you won’t regret enjoying it early. It’s a dish that’s extra comforting on those cool spring evenings, but still light and fresh-tasting.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Cooking salmon in your slow cooker prevents any chance of the fish overcooking and ending up dry. This simple preparation needs nothing more than roasted potatoes and asparagus to call it dinner.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

After the chicken is cooked and it’s resting, a quick gravy comes together in a matter of minutes on the stovetop to pour over the chicken. Save any leftover meat and shred it for salads and sandwiches thoughout the week.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

You may think that casserole season is over, but this one feels a bit brighter, and yet it’s still creamy and comforting — ideal when it’s one of those more brisk spring days.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Taco Tuesdays are always a hit, but how about adding Fajita Fridays to the rotation this spring? Set out a big bowl of the spicy, stewed chicken, lots of flour tortillas, and all the fixings, and have the whole table DIY their dinner.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

A solid snack mix fits the bill at just about any gathering, at any time of year, but since spring is a season where those gatherings really kick into high gear, it’s a good idea to keep this easy recipe at the top of your list.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

No, you didn’t read that wrong: It’s totally possible to cook crispy-skinned chicken thighs in the slow cooker. The key is to cook them skin-side up and leave enough space around each thigh to keep them from steaming rather than crisping. Pair them with a simple salad and you’ve got dinner.