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4 Crock-Pot Recipes for Summertime Cooking

Linda grew up in a large family with a mother who was a great cook. She used many of her mother's recipes while raising three boys.

Mexican green peppers, made in the Crock-Pot

Mexican green peppers, made in the Crock-Pot

I love using my Crock-Pot all year round, but I especially appreciate it during the hot summer months. These appliances are commonly used to cook beef, chicken, or soups. But out of necessity, I have found that they do a great job with many other recipes, as well.

Crock-Pot Benefits

  • Easy and convenient
  • Cooks a whole meal in one pot
  • Cheap to use
  • Cooks all day, even while you are not home
  • Does not heat your house (my favorite benefit in the summertime)

Yes, that last reason is why I use the Crock-Pot more in the summer than at any other time of the year. If not for my Crock-Pots (I have three of them), we might well starve rather than make my old house even hotter on a 96-degree day.

My old house has an old kitchen with a huge skylight that allows a lot of heat into the kitchen. That skylight is nice during the dreary winter months, but it's not so great in the summer. In fact, I close off that part of my kitchen, where the stove is located, when the weather turns hot.

Some people say they love the heat, but not me. I try to keep my house cool in the summer, and using a Crock-Pot lets me enjoy good home cooking without heating the house, as a regular stove would.

Recipes I Enjoy During the Hot Summer Months (or Anytime)

I'm going to share some of my favorite summertime Crock-Pot recipes:

  • Meatloaf
  • Stuffed green peppers
  • Beef roast with vegetables
  • Beef, noodles, and mushrooms

If you have more than one Crock-Pot, you can make meatloaf in one while you cook baked potatoes in a second. Using your microwave, you can prepare some frozen or fresh vegetables for a complete, well-balanced supper. Or if you prefer, a nice green salad can complete the meal. Just use some of your own recipes and adapt them to the lower temperature of the Crock-Pot.

Potatoes can easily be baked of boiled using your Crock-Pot

Potatoes can easily be baked of boiled using your Crock-Pot

1. Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground hamburger
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs or quick-cook oatmeal
  • 1 cup tomato juice or tomato sauce (even spaghetti sauce will work)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (chopped green peppers can also be added)

Instructions

  1. Mix everything together, including the beaten egg.
  2. Top with some tomato sauce or ketchup if you prefer.
  3. I spray the Crock-Pot with cooking spray then add the meatloaf and cook.
  4. I use the higher temperature to give the meatloaf a cooked-in-the-oven taste.
  5. It usually is done in 4 hours, but cook to your preference.
This meatloaf is ready to cook

This meatloaf is ready to cook

2. Stuffed Green Peppers (With Variations)

I have a few variations for cooking green peppers in the Crock-Pot. The easiest is the casserole.

Ingredients

  • 2 or 4 green peppers (chopped in large pieces)
  • 1 pound ground hamburger
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 (15-oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. Clean the fresh peppers and chop them into large pieces.
  2. Mix the green peppers with chopped onion, rice and tomato sauce.
  3. Place everything into the Crock-Pot
  4. Then cook about 4 hours on high until the hamburger is done.

Variation #1: Traditional Green Peppers

Ingredients

  • Same as above

Instructions

  1. Core out the green pepper leaving them whole with a hole at the top.
  2. Stuff the green peppers with the hamburger and rice mixture and place the whole pepper in the Crock-Pot with the peppers sitting upright
  3. You may need to add additional tomato sauce over the tops of the peppers.
  4. Add about 1/2 cup of water for the peppers to sit in.
  5. Cook on the high setting until the peppers are done.

Variation #2: Mexican-Flavored Peppers

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground hamburger
  • 4 large green peppers
  • 8 ounces Spanish rice
  • 2 cups Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup salsa (may add an extra 1/2 cup if desired, I recommend using the extra salsa)
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Clean the peppers and make a hole at the top.
  2. Mix the rest of the ingredients together (but save about ¼ or ½ cup of the cheese) and fill the peppers.
  3. Place the peppers in a Crock-Pot and add a small amount of water about 1/2 cup.
  4. Cook on low about 5 hours then add the rest of the Colby-Monterey cheese over the tops of the peppers.
  5. Continue cooking until the cheese is melted and the peppers are tender.
Getting ready to make a meatloaf using my Crock-Pot

Getting ready to make a meatloaf using my Crock-Pot

3: Beef Roast With Vegetables

Beef is wonderfully tender and tasty when cooked in the Crock-Pot. There are many recipes for beef, but one of my family’s favorites is a pot roast with vegetables. This is a good, healthy meal for the whole family,

Ingredients*

  • Beef roast
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Cabbage
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

*I don’t list any amounts here because you can use your own judgment depending upon the size of your Crock-Pot.

Instructions

  1. I cook the roast for about 2 to 3 hours on high.
  2. Add the vegetables and cook 3 to 4 hours longer until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Use your own judgment on the cooking time for the vegetables. I don't care for my vegetables to be mushy.

Recipe 4: Beef, Noodles, and Mushrooms

This is a very easy one-pot meal, and it's one of my favorites.

Ingredients

  • 2 or 3 pound beef tips
  • 3 cups noodles
  • 1 small can mushrooms (drained)
  • 1 package ready-to-make brown gravy
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions (optional)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons beef bouillon

Instructions

  1. Cook the beef tips in a small amount of water and bouillon in the Crock-Pot till tender about 4 hours on high.
  2. Add the noodles, mushrooms, and onion.
  3. When the noodles are tender, add the package of brown gravy.
  4. If it becomes too thick, add more water.

For some variation, sour cream and a can of cream of mushroom soup can be added when everything else is cooked and tender.

Beef, noodles and mushrooms with gravy ready for supper

Beef, noodles and mushrooms with gravy ready for supper

I enjoy these and many other meals done in the Crock-Pot. I love cookouts and steaks and burgers done on the grill during the summer, but sometimes I just want to enjoy a real home-cooked meal, and that’s when I pull out the Crock-Pot and let it do the cooking for me without heating up my house. While supper cooks, I can spend more time writing.

© 2019 L.M. Hosler