Slow-Cooked Summer: 3 Crock Pot Meals to Get You Through the Heat

Slow-Cooked Summer: 3 Crock Pot Meals to Get You Through the Heat
It is too hot to cook. Like, seriously, you’d rather slum it with a box of ice pops and deal with the sugar rush than turn on your oven. However, since it’s not exactly feasible to subsist entirely on popsicles for the summer, here are our top three easy, delicious crock pot meals to sate your appetite and keep you from slaving away in a sweltering kitchen.

Slow-Cooked Summer: 3 Crock Pot Meals to Get You Through the Heat

Southern-Style Ribs

I don’t know if they’re geographically accurate in name, but my local grocery store sells something called “southern-style” ribs. They’re not exactly ribs, but they’re not just pork, either; they usually have a few bones, but they’re mostly meat. Whatever they are, they’re delicious in the crock pot.

  • 2 pounds Southern-style ribs
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce, plus more for drizzling
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 head broccoli, trimmed into florets

Turn crock pot to high. Place ribs into pot and season with salt, pepper, and barbecue sauce. Add onion and garlic; place broccoli on top. Put a lid on it.
Cook ribs on high for one hour, then turn heat to low and continue cooking for 4 more hours.
Remove ribs, onions, and garlic from the pot and place in a serving dish. Drizzle with more barbecue sauce. Serve with macaroni and cheese.

Garlic Chicken

We make a pretty mean roasted chicken, but there’s no way we’re going to leave the oven on that long during warm weather. The solution is a seasoning-encrusted crock pot chicken breast stuffed with garlic.

  • large chicken breast, bone-in
  • McCormick Roasted Garlic & Herb seasoning
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1 head garlic, peeled
  • baby carrots

Turn crock pot to high. Stuff chicken breast with garlic cloves. Place chicken into pot breast side up and season liberally with Roasted Garlic seasoning. Tuck onion quarters and carrots around chicken. Put the lid on.
Cook on high for one hour, then turn heat to low and cook for 4-6 more hours.
Serve with buttered rice.

Mom's No-Peek Beef

As a kid, I thought this was called "no peek" to keep the hands of prying children out of the pot. In fact, there's a wonderful transformation that happens if you truly let this recipe relax in the crock pot for a long time - it mellows out into a dreamy dinner delight.

For the Stew:
  • 2 pounds stew meat
  • 8-ounce package mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 packet dry onion soup mix
  • 1/2 cup red wine (recommend Bordeaux or Pinot Noir)
  • 1 can organic cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
For serving:
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 cups butter noodles

    Combine all stew ingredients into a crock pot. Set on low and allow to cook for 6-8 hours. No peeking!
    When ready to serve, boil butter noodles. Add sour cream to crock pot mixture and stir. Serve noodles topped with stew.

    Photo credits: Carrie Keplinger, Carrie Keplinger, and Andy Hayes.

    Ciaran Keast

    Ciaran Keast loves art, semicolons, books, cats -- and all the tea, ever. When they're not posting tea photos on social media, you'll catch them at almost every Plum Deluxe event.
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