All it takes is that first summer heatwave for me to banish the oven and remind me how much I adore my slow cooker. During the week I lean on it for easy, make-ahead suppers that won't heat up the kitchen; come the weekend it's the ticket to cookout and picnic favorites, like pulled pork and baked beans.
And it seems like we're all on the same page because those were just the kinds of recipes you were saving last month.
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These bite-sized meatballs can be served as an appetizer or the main course, and are a guaranteed potluck hit.
Leave the takeout menu where it is — this is the easiest and most delicious way to get your fill of tikka masala without heating up the kitchen.
This classic recipe starts with a quick roast in a screaming-hot oven to help the bold-flavored spice rub stick to the meat before cooking low and slow for up to 16 hours.
And for those times you want a simpler approach to pulled pork, without the prep, this is the version for you. Once it's shredded, mix it with your favorite sauce, then pile it on soft rolls or stuff it into tortillas for taco night.
Here's my advice to you: Add this to your next Sunday meal prep session, then stash it in the freezer. Spoon it over a pile of zucchini noodles and you've got an effortless summer supper.
This meaty main is a total crowd-pleaser and one of my favorite ways liven up a cookout from the standard burgers and dogs.
Sure, sloppy Joes are quick and simple to cook on the stovetop, but this is the version I always lean on in the summertime. It means dinner doesn't heat up the kitchen and I can get some chores done around the house while it cooks.
This recipe cooks all night, so all that's left to do in the morning is make a couple of eggs. Eat it in a bowl or stuff it into a tortilla for a portable breakfast.
For potlucks and picnics, I love making the pork in advance and then setting out tortillas and fixings for a DIY taco bar.
I can't think of summer cookouts and picnics without thinking about baked beans. They're a side dish staple, and your slow cooker is the absolute easiest way to bring them to the table.