Slow Cooking on Hot Days: Dinner in the Pot Keeps the Kitchen Cool

Summer can be a great time to use a slow cooker, and avoid the heat of turning on the oven and stovetop.

As any busy cook knows, slow cookers aren't just for winter stews and roasts, you can use them for meals year round. We've gathered a few of our favorite summer friendly slow cooker recipes - including Frito pie and tilapia - to inspire your next meal!


Frito Pie with Chili Con Carne

Frito Pie

Erin Kunkel for the Southern Slow Cooker

It's hard to go wrong when you combine homemade chili, onions and cheddar cheese with addictively crunchy Fritos corn chips, and you can serve this decadent treat with your chips piled high in a big bowl topped with warm chili and all the fixin's, or "walking taco" style, with the chili dumped right into an individual serving-size bag of Fritos.

Get the recipe for Frito Pie with Chili Con Carne.

Country Ham and Egg Breakfast Bread

Country Ham and Egg Breakfast Bread

Erin Kunkel for the Southern Slow Cooker

This savory bread pudding combines all the elements of a classic country breakfast - eggs, country ham, coffee and toast. Southerners are fond of red-eye gravy, a delicous sauce made from pork drippings and brewed coffee. This recipe nods to the red-eye tradition with a healthy dose of black coffee used to deglaze the pan in which the ham is cooked. This fluffy, all-in-one brunch-style dish layers sliced bread with eggs, cheddar cheese, and salt-cured country ham bits fried with black coffee - so all you'll need is more coffee (or a mimosa if you're feeling sassy) to make this a complete meal.

Get the recipe for Country Ham and Egg Breakfast Bread.

Orange and Honey Tilapia

Orange and Honey Tilapia

Wrap fillets of this light fish in foil packets. Season with balsamic, mandarin oranges and honey, and you'll have dinner on the table in two hours.

Get the recipe for Orange and Honey Tilapia.

Slow-Braised Pork Shoulder with Tomatillo Salsa

Rori Trovato

A healthier version of carnitas, this dish doesn't involve frying or require added oil. The chile injects just enough heat and the beer brings a balancing tang. You can serve this as a filling for tacos and enchiladas.

Get the recipe for Slow-Braised Pork with Tomatilla Salsa.

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