6 Dutch Oven and Slow Cooker Meals for Summer

Though your slow cooker and Dutch oven are surely packed away in a dark corner of your kitchen cabinet, it’s time to take them out and dust them off. It may seem foolish to break out these heavy-duty pots that normally turn out hearty, cold-weather meals, but there really is no better time to put these pots to use for an easy-to-prep, summery spread.

With the right recipes and some seasonal ingredients, a summer cookout can come together in a cinch, so you can have Drip Beef or Shredded Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches waiting and ready as soon as your guests show up with bowls of coleslaw and potato salad. Your pots will do all the work of cooking and braising, so you can pull off a simple and delicious summer meal.

Here are 6 summer-inspired recipes that will keep your pots busy:

1) Shredded Pork and Pineapple Tacos (pictured above)

Making a fiesta in a slow cooker is a great alternative to turning on the stove. These spiced, fork-tender pork tacos get light, fragrant toppings, such as fresh pineapple, cilantro, lime wedges, and piquant pickled red onions. 

2) Chicken Jambalaya

Studded with fresh peas and peppers, this chicken jambalaya is the perfect light meal to make in your slow cooker or Dutch oven.

3) Turkey Roast Dip with Melted Gruyere

This recipe begins with turkey and fresh herb butter roasted together in a slow cooker, and it ends as a baguette sandwich dipped in an herbaceous turkey au jus.

4) Shredded Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches with Blue Cheese Aioli

This clever take on buffalo chicken wings will be the star of any summertime cookout as the chicken becomes meltingly tender in the slow cooker and each sandwich gets topped with crisp celery leaves and blue cheese aioli.

5) Risotto Primavera

Creamy risotto is slowly cooked with seasonal ingredients including fava beans, asparagus, and zucchini. Serve with a lightly dressed salad on the side for a wonderful vegetarian main.

6) Drip Beef Sandwiches

The tantalizing aroma from your Dutch oven will test your patience, but you’ll find it’s worth the wait when the seared beef is braised until tender and falling apart. Top each sandwich with peppers and caramelized onions and enjoy this summertime main with a cold beer.

Bonus recipe:

Slow Cooker Blueberry Butter

Seasonal, lush blueberries are slowly cooked in spices for a luxurious, silky butter bursting with the blueberry flavor of pie filling.