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39 Easy Summer Side Dishes for the Slow Cooker

These easy side dishes come together in your slow cooker, so they won't warm up your house on hot summer days. Bonus? They're easy to pack for a picnic.

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Slow-Cooked Summer SquashTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Summer Squash

We love squash, but I got tired of fixing just plain squash and cheese. I decided to jazz it up a bit. This was a huge hit with the family. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

Check out these slow-cooked dinners, too.

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Cowboy Calico BeansTaste of Home

Cowboy Calico Beans

This is a tradition at the table when my girlfriends and I go up north for a girls' weekend. The husbands and kids are left at home, but the slow cooker comes with us! —Julie Butsch, Hartland, Wisconsin

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Slow-Cooked Corn on the CobTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Corn on the Cob

I like to eat corn all year long, so I came up with this recipe. It's my favorite side to serve when I make sloppy joes. You can use a butter substitute for a skinny version of this corn. —Teresa Flowers, Sacramento, California

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Buffalo Wing PotatoesTaste of Home

Buffalo Wing Potatoes

I was getting tired of mashed and baked potatoes, so I decided to create something new. This potluck-ready recipe is an easy and delicious twist on the usual potato dish. —Summer Feaker, Ankeny, Iowa

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Black-Eyed Peas with HamTaste of Home

Black-Eyed Peas with Ham

Here's a regional favorite I grew to love after moving to the South. You'll never want black-eyed peas from a can again! Serve the dish as a side with grilled chicken...or make it your main course and round out the meal with greens and corn bread. —Tammie Merrill, Wake Forest, NC

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Mediterranean Slow-Cooker Mashed PotatoesTaste of Home

Mediterranean Slow-Cooker Mashed Potatoes

I love to use my slow cooker when family comes over. On Sundays when I make my special turkey meat loaf, this is a no-fuss side dish that tastes amazing! —Kristen Heigl, Staten Island, New York

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Creamy Jalapeno CornTaste of Home

Creamy Jalapeno Corn

This comforting and creamy corn side dish is appealing to almost everyone. It gets its spicy kick from jalapeno peppers.—Judy Carty, Wichita, Kansas

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Oregano Green Beans with Toasted Pine NutsTaste of Home

Oregano Green Beans with Toasted Pine Nuts

This super easy side dish is a wonderful picnic or potluck recipe. It’s a beautiful, surprising mix that leaves guests and family raving. You can substitute any kind of nut for the pine nuts or even replace them with fresh berries. —Wolfgang Hanau, West Palm Beach, Florida

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Slow-Cooker Citrus CarrotsTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Citrus Carrots

These carrots are yummy and so simple. The recipe is from my mom, who tweaked it a bit to suit her tastes. You can make this dish a day in advance and refrigerate until needed. Then just reheat it in the slow cooker right before the party. —Julie Puderbaugh, Berwick, PA

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Onion-Garlic Hash BrownsTaste of Home

Onion-Garlic Hash Browns

Quick to assemble, this is a simple recipe I’ve cooked many times. Stir in hot sauce if you like a bit of heat. I also like to top the finished dish with a sprinkling of shredded cheddar cheese. —Cindi Hayward-Boger, Ardmore, Alabama

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Slow-Cooker Vegan Baked BeansTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Vegan Baked Beans

This version of vegan baked beans doesn't need an oven. The slow cooker makes it the ultimate hands-off party dish. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Moist Corn Spoon BreadTaste of Home

Moist Corn Spoon Bread

Enjoy this easy take on a southern specialty by using the convenient slow cooker. Here's an excellent side dish for Thanksgiving, Easter or any special feast. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Green Beans in Bacon Cheese SauceTaste of Home

Green Beans in Bacon Cheese Sauce

I like to take this side dish to potlucks, because it's easy to make and is always popular.—Karen Lewis, Pleasant Grove, Iowa

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Slow-Cooked Ranch PotatoesTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Ranch Potatoes

Even after seven years, my family still asks for this tasty potato and bacon dish. Try it once and I'll bet your family will be hooked, too. —Lynn Ireland, Lebanon, Wisconsin

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Slow-Cooked BroccoliTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Broccoli

This family-favorite side dish is quick to fix and full of flavor. Because it simmers in a slow cooker, it frees up my oven for other things. That's a tremendous help when I'm prepping a big meal at home. —Connie Slocum, Antioch, Tennessee

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Cheddar Creamed CornTaste of Home

Cheddar Creamed Corn

I brought this super easy recipe to a school potluck once and it was gone in no time. I’ve been asked to bring it to every function since. —Jessica Maxwell, Englewood, New Jersey

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Slow-Cooked Boston BeansTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Boston Beans

These slow-cooked beans have a little more zip than usual Boston baked beans, and the rum helps lighten the flavor. —Anne Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts

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Marmalade-Glazed CarrotsTaste of Home

Marmalade-Glazed Carrots

This side dish is ideal when you’d like to serve your vegetables in a different way for a special dinner. Cinnamon and nutmeg season baby carrots that are simmered with orange marmalade and brown sugar. —Barb Rudyk, Vermilion, Alberta

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Garlic Green Beans with GorgonzolaTaste of Home

Garlic Green Beans with Gorgonzola

I updated this green bean holiday side dish by adding a touch of white wine, fresh thyme and green onions. It's delicious, easy to make and my family loves it! —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada

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Sweet and Tangy BeetsTaste of Home

Sweet and Tangy Beets

Fresh beets are delicious when combined with aromatic spices and a hint of orange. These have the ideal balance of sweet and sour flavors. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Easy Slow-Cooker Mac & CheeseTaste of Home

Easy Slow-Cooker Mac & Cheese

My sons always say I'm the best mom in the world when I make this creamy mac-and-cheese perfection. Does it get any better than that? —Heidi Fleek, Hamburg, Pennsylvania

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Cheesy SpinachTaste of Home

Cheesy Spinach

My daughter often serves this cheese and spinach blend at church suppers. Even people who don't usually eat spinach like this flavorful dish once they try it. There are never any leftovers. —Frances Moore, Decatur, Illinois

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Parsley Smashed PotatoesTaste of Home

Parsley Smashed Potatoes

I love potatoes but can't stand the work involved in making mashed potatoes from scratch. I came up with this simple side dish that was made even easier thanks to my slow cooker. The best part is I can use the leftover broth for soup the next day! —Katie Hagy, Blacksburg, South Carolina

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Honey-Butter Peas and CarrotsTaste of Home

Honey-Butter Peas and Carrots

This classic combination of peas and carrots is enriched with a handful of flavor enhancers. Slow cooking allows the ingredients to meld for maximum richness. —Theresa Kreyche, Tustin, California

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Corn Spoon BreadTaste of Home

Corn Spoon Bread

This slow-cooked spoon bread is more tender than corn pudding made in the oven, and the cream cheese is a nice addition. —Tamara Ellefson, Frederic, Wisconsin

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Chutney-Glazed CarrotsTaste of Home

Chutney-Glazed Carrots

Carrots slow-cooked with chutney, Dijon and ginger make a zippy side for a barbecue or potluck. We love serving these carrots with grilled chicken or beef roast. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada

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Slow-Cooked Cajun CornTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Cajun Corn

My husband loves corn on the cob, and I love this slow cooker recipe because I don't have to stand at a hot stove. We like a little spice, so the Cajun seasoning works well for us, but any spice blend works. —Audra Rorick, Scott City, Kansas

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Fiesta Corn and BeansTaste of Home

Fiesta Corn and Beans

Bursting with southwestern flavors, the zesty veggie medley here can be served as a side dish or a meatless meal-in-one. The dollop of yogurt is a cool, creamy finishing touch. —Gerald Hetrick, Erie, Pennsylvania

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Italian MushroomsTaste of Home

Italian Mushrooms

Only four ingredients create a rich and flavorful side dish that we love to eat with beef and mashed potatoes. —Kim Reichert, St. Paul, Minnesota

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Simple Vegetarian Slow-Cooked BeansTaste of Home

Simple Vegetarian Slow-Cooked Beans

When I have a hungry family to feed, these tasty beans with spinach, tomatoes and carrots are a go-to dish. This veggie delight is frequently on the menu. —Jennifer Reid, Farmington, Maine

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Shoepeg Corn Side DishTaste of Home

Shoepeg Corn Side Dish

I took this dish to a potluck and everyone asked for the recipe. If shoepeg corn isn't available in your region, then regular canned corn works well in this recipe, too. —Gloria Schutz, Trenton, Illinois

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Pineapple Baked BeansTaste of Home

Pineapple Baked Beans

Sweet and tangy pineapple dresses up these hearty baked beans. Brown the beef while you open cans and chop the vegetables, and it won't take long to get this ready for the slow cooker. —Gladys De Boer, Castleford, Idaho

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Slow-Cooked Potatoes with Spring OnionsTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Potatoes with Spring Onions

I love the simplicity of this recipe, as well as the ease of preparation with my slow cooker. And everyone always likes roasted potatoes, even my pickiest child! If desired, top with shredded or crumbled cheese. —Theresa Gomez, Stuart, Florida

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Slow-Cooked Green BeansTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Green Beans

I spent hours in search of sides for a cooking demo to present to women from my church. These easy green beans became my star attraction. —Alice White, Willow Spring, North Carolina

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Truly Tasty Turnips with GreensTaste of Home

Truly Tasty Turnips with Greens

This savory dish is a hit at every church dinner. Adjust the seasonings as you please to make the recipe your own. —Amy Inman, Hiddenite, North Carolina

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Slow-Cooked Cheesy CauliflowerTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Cheesy Cauliflower

When my main course took up the entire oven, I needed a vegetable that I could make in the slow cooker. After searching for a recipe, I ended up writing my own. My dish turned out better than I could have hoped! —Heather Corson, Casper, Wyoming

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Smoky White Beans & HamTaste of Home

Smoky White Beans & Ham

I had never made or eaten this dish before meeting my husband here in Kentucky. Now I make it at least once a week. I serve it with some homemade sweet cornbread. Delicious! —Christine Duffy, Sturgis, Kentucky

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Spanish HominyTaste of Home

Spanish Hominy

I received this recipe from a good friend who is a fabulous cook. The colorful side dish gets its zesty flavor from spicy canned tomatoes with green chiles. —Donna Brockett, Kingfisher, Oklahoma

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Scalloped Potatoes & HamTaste of Home

Scalloped Potatoes & Ham

I adapted an oven recipe to cook itself while I’m away. It’s ready to serve when I get home, making it a real winner in my book! —Joni Hilton, Rocklin, California

Hazel Wheaton
Hazel is a writer and editor who has worked in the publishing industry for over 25 years in the fields of travel, jewelry arts and food. As the editor of the Taste of Home Christmas Annual (among other titles), she's in the holiday spirit all year round. An enthusiastic baker, she's known for her cookies, cakes and other baked goods. And she still wishes she could cook like her mother.

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