16 Easy Summer Slow Cooker Recipes - Real Food Whole Life

16 Easy Summer Slow Cooker Recipes

June 3, 2019 (Updated on September 22, 2021)

four black slow cookers with summer ingredients inside with pink background and navy text

If you’re looking for ridiculously easy summer slow cooker recipes, you’re in the right place! These recipes are all super simple to throw together and my family loves them. Use your crockpot during the warm months to keep your kitchen cool and spend more time enjoying the sunshine while dinner cooks away at home.

four black slow cookers with summer ingredients inside with pink background and navy text

Don’t put away that crockpot just yet! Put it to use this summer to keep your kitchen cool and to create hands-off slow cooker meals that will allow you to play all day and still come home to a delicious, healthy, easy dinner.

To get you inspired, I’ve rounded up my favorite fresh, healthy real food summer slow cooker recipes!

summer is still slow cooker season

There’s no reason to miss out on the convenience & ease that comes with just throwing a bunch of real food ingredients into your crockpot and having more time to spend enjoying the sunshine. All you need to do is switch up the flavors a little bit!

These are simple, vibrant recipes that are inspired by farmer’s market produce & classic barbecue flavors.

Use these recipes on hot nights when you can’t stand to turn on the oven, busy weekends when you’re enjoying time outdoors, or for gatherings like barbecues & potlucks.

These recipes are great for weekly meal prep or whenever you need to feed a crowd simply & easily.

simple recipes that are fast & easy to make

All of these recipes have easy to find ingredients and simplified prep steps. They’re designed to help you make the most of fresh summer produce – like corn, basil, tomatoes, and fresh fruits – while it’s in season (and at it’s most affordable price).

There’s so many things my family & I love to cook in our crockpot, but here’s a few of our favorites we look forward to enjoying every summer:

these recipes are all…

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I’ve included some paleo friendly, whole 30 friendly, and vegetarian options too. Each recipe has simple adaptations and tips waiting for you, like ingredient swaps and making these meals kid-friendly.

I hope you’ll make these delicious slow cooker recipes soon! If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!

Soups & Stews

Rich, sweet and comforting, Slow Cooker Creamy Potato Corn Chowder (Dairy-Free) is super simple to throw together and is oh-so-creamy without the cream! And, since you can use fresh sweet corn or frozen, this easy dinner recipe is sure to become a family favorite any season of the year.

Ingredients: russet potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, broth, coconut milk, onion, garlic, white wine vinegar and other spices

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Simple to make and bursting with fresh summer flavors, Crockpot Loaded Mexican Chicken Soup is perfect any time of year. A great recipe for all your farmer’s market finds, and paleo and Whole30 friendly, too!

Ingredients: chicken breasts (or thighs), chicken stock, zucchini, tomato sauce, leafy greens, onion, chili powder, cumin and other seasonings

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This simple recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken, Veggie, and Quinoa Stew is healthy, hearty and so delicious!

Ingredients: chicken breast (or thigh), stock, quinoa, zucchini, corn, garlic, onion, carrots, chickpeas, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning and other spices

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Light, healthy, and bursting with flavor, Instant Pot + Crockpot Sunshine Lemon Chicken Chowder makes for an easy weeknight dinner.

Ingredients: chicken breasts (or thighs), baby potatoes, celery, cauliflower, onion, chicken stock, coconut milk, lemon juice, turmeric and other seasonings

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Sides & Snacks

Traditional flavors combine in this Slow Cooker Barbecue Chickpea recipe, a satisfying and completely plant-based twist on classic barbecue.

Looking for more recipes that use chickpeas? These 5-ingredient smokey maple roasted chickpeas are the perfect sweet-salty-crunchy combo to snack on.

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Baked beans are a simple side dish everyone loves. These Easy-Prep Slow Cooker Baked Beans are a cinch to make at home, contain no refined sugar, and require minimal prep time. They are perfect for potlucks, barbecues, or make an easy side dish any night of the week.

Did you know you can use your crockpot to cook dried beans too? I'll show you how to do it in this recipe for slow cooker refried bean tacos (another great vegetarian dinner option).

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Make your own pasta sauce at home the easy way with this simple recipe for Slow Cooker 5-Ingredient Fire Roasted Marinara. You’ll love the homemade flavor, how easy it is to prepare, and that there’s none of the processed stuff!

Ingredients: fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, onion, smoked paprika.

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Rich, creamy, and oh-so delicious, Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip (Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free) will be the hit of your next party or gathering!

Ingredients: frozen spinach, artichoke hearts, raw cashews, almond milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, mayo or veganaise

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Main Dishes

Light, bright, and perfect for summer, Slow Cooker Balsamic Tomato Basil Pulled Chicken is super easy to prepare and so delicious.

Looking for a quick grilled option instead? This balsamic grilled chicken with avocado cherry tomato salad has the easiest marinade & similar summer flavors.

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Naturally sweet, tangy and oh-so delicious, Slow Cooker Tropical Pulled Chicken is a breeze to throw together and makes for a healthy dinner everyone will love!

Ingredients: chicken breasts or chicken thighs, gluten-free tamari, honey, grated ginger, canned crushed pineapple, tomato paste, garlic powder, onion powder and salt.

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A sweet and savory summer wonder, this simple, healthy Slow Cooker Peach Chicken with Basil is easy to make, tastes amazing, and will keep your kitchen cool in the warm months and bring a touch of summer in the cold months.

I love pairing fresh fruit with chicken. If you're looking for another great combo, you can't go wrong with this smokey lime grilled chicken with 5-ingredient strawberry salsa!

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The perfect recipe for when you’re short on time but still want a delicious, real food dinner, 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Fajita Salsa Chicken is a snap to prep and requires just a handful of ingredients.

Ingredients: chicken, onion, bell pepper, salsa, lime juice and salt

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Skip the processed ranch packets and make your own to use in this easy, delicious Healthy Slow Cooker Ranch Chicken & Veggies!

Ingredients: chicken breasts, chicken stock, potatoes, carrots, yogurt (traditional or plant-based), mayo, apple cider vinegar, and the easiest homemade ranch seasoning

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The secret to perfect, juicy pork carnitas is to broil the shredded pork for 10-15 minutes after it has been tenderized in the slow cooker for several hours. Serve the carnitas warm as a filling for tacos, burritos or in bowls for an easy weeknight dinner win!

Ingredients: pork loin roast (or pork shoulder), orange juice, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and other seasonings

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Slow Cooker Citrus Chicken (Pollo Asado) yields bright citrus flavors and tender, juicy, fall-off-the-bone chicken. A super easy recipe with delicious results!

Rather cook a whole chicken? I'll show you how to make it happen in this recipe for slow cooker garlic balsamic whole chicken. It's easier than you'd think!

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With just 2 ingredients and minimal prep, you can whip up a batch of homemade refried beans. Fold into a warm tortilla, pile on the toppings, and you’ll have yourself quick and delicious Slow Cooker Refried Bean Tacos for dinner in no time!

Another delicious way to use these refried beans is by making them into a tasty dip! This real food 7-layer dip is gluten-free & dairy-free. Just the thing to bring to your next potluck or get-together.

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5 from 1 vote

16 Easy Summer Slow Cooker Recipes, plus Peach Chicken with Basil

Yield 6
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 10 mins

This healthy Slow Cooker Peach Chicken with Basil is super simple to make & tastes amazing! I love how quickly this sweet & savory dish comes together. Plus 15 more summer slow cooker recipes that'll save you from having to turn the oven on during the warmer months!


  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 large white or yellow onion very thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 6 peaches no need to peel, sliced
  • ¼ cup tightly packed basil leaves thinly sliced
  • hot sauce to taste optional


  • Place the sliced onions in the bottom of the slow cooker, 1 teaspoon salt, garlic powder, and vinegar. Stir in peach slices from 4 peaches, then nestle the chicken breasts into the mix making sure they’re covered with some of the peach-onion mixture. Do not add the basil—that goes in at the end.
  • Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4-5 hours.
  • When ready to serve, turn off the heat, remove the chicken breasts, and stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Stir to combine.
  • Shred the chicken with two forks, then return to the slow cooker, stirring to combine.
  • Top with the remaining sliced peaches and plenty of basil. Add hot sauce to taste and serve. Serve the shredded chicken over rice, greens, or on its own.


This recipe serves 4-6
Omit the onions from the recipe if you have an onion-hater. The dish will be fine without them.
Let them shred the chicken with you in the kitchen. Helping with the prep may inspire them to try something new.
Set aside and serve them some plain shredded chicken prior to adding the rest back to the sauce in the slow cooker.
Serve the basil on the side.


Calories: 163kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 866mg | Potassium: 612mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 565IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition disclaimer
did you make this recipe?Mention @realfoodwholelife or tag #realfoodwholelife!

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