On hot summer days, the last thing I want to do is turn on the stove. It’s already hot and in my non air conditioned apartment, cranking up the oven can make it almost unbearable. And true story, you can only sustain yourself on salads and ice cream for so long. So what’s a girl to do? Crockpot of course. (Can I use crockpot as a verb? I’m going to start trying.) The crockpot is the perfect little solution for summer meals since it emits almost no heat and creates perfect summer barbecue and slow cooked meats. Here are some of my favorite summer slow cooker meals, what are yours?
On a side note, to really prepare for summer and stay away from my stove, I invested in this new crockpot from Ninja that lets you brown and sear meat right in the bottom, which means no extra dishes and no extra stove time. So far I am really loving it.
1. Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken, 106 calories, 4 P+
This Jerk Chicken comes from the Caribbean, it always seems like the perfect summer meal bringing together sweet and spicy elements. Surprisingly, jerk chicken is pretty easy to make at home and takes a simple blend of spices and citrus. Blend up some jerk sauce, add some chicken, and in just 6 hours you have a delicious, island inspired meal.
2. Barbecue Chipotle Beef, 155 calories, 5 P+
Beef, barbecue, and smoky spice from the chipotles make this a great summer recipe for sandwiches, tacos, and more. It only involves 3 ingredients – beef, barbecue sauce, and chiptole peppers so it couldn’t be any easier and you may even have everything you need at home already.
3. Carnitas, 225 calories, 6 P+
I love, love, love Mexican food and would be happy eating tacos pretty much everyday. One of my favorites is Carnitas but since it is usually cooked in a vat of oil or lard, I try to stick to this at home version without all the extra calories. Slow cooked with some simple spices and a little heat, this carnitas recipe makes the perfect main dish for taco night or a summer gathering.
4. BBQ Beer Chicken, 245 calories, 7 P+
Nothing really says summer like barbecue sauce and beer, so combining them in one dish (!!) makes the perfect outdoor summer meal. This meal also couldn’t be any easier. All you do is dump some chicken, your favorite barbecue sauce, beer, and some spices into the crockpot and come back a few hours later. Topped with some fruit salsa, it’s delicious.
5. Hawaiian Chicken, 192 calories, 4 P+
Chicken, teriyaki sauce, and pineapple make for a refreshing and delicious summer crockpot meal. I love having the leftovers mixed into salad, cold Asian noodles with vegetables, or wrapped up in lettuce leaves for lunch so whip up a big batch.
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