Step away from the stove.
There’s nothing more fun than a summer spent down South, but there’s also nothing hotter. When the temperature starts to spike, the last thing you want to do is stand over a hot stovetop or have the oven heat up the entire kitchen at dinnertime. To keep your house cool, your wallet safe from too many dinners out, and your family dinners on track, we rounded up the best summertime dinner ideas for hot days. These recipes take minimal effort, and taste great. With refreshing salads, no-fuss sandwiches, and a few slow-cooker spectaculars, you won’t touch the oven or stove when it’s too hot to cook. Dinner tonight? Done!
Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwiches
Recipe: Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwiches
Use that rotisserie chicken to the bone with these delicious sandwiches that are perfect for lunch or dinner. The chicken salad mixture can be made a day ahead for extra ease when assembling your sandwiches.
Herbed Shrimp-and-Rice Salad
Recipe: Herbed Shrimp-and-Rice Salad
Microwave rice and cooked shrimp make this easy recipe the healthiest dinner you’ll get on the table in just 15 minutes. It’s pretty enough for luncheon company, too.
Recipe: Burrito Bowls
Did you ever think such a beautiful meal could come together in just 10 minutes? Better believe it! With microwavable rice and easy toppings, these burrito bowls are even easier than takeout. If you have a spare rotisserie chicken or leftover steak or shrimp, feel free to add a protein.
Heirloom Tomato and Chicken Toss
Recipe: Heirloom Tomato and Chicken Toss
This colorful dish is the prettiest no-cook recipe we’ve ever seen! There isn’t a better way to show off produce that’s fresh from the farmers’ market. Our test kitchen recommends serving this salad with a side of crusty bread to soak up all the tomato and dressing goodness.
Zucchini Noodle Salad
Recipe: Zucchini Noodle Salad
This no-cook recipe is light but full of flavor. Top with rotisserie chicken or cooked shrimp for extra protein and feel free to throw in any fresh farmers’ market produce you bring home, too.
Tropical Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Recipe: Tropical Chicken Lettuce Wraps
These healthy lettuce wraps are no-cook and all good. The light chicken salad mixture brings both heat and sweet for a 15-minute recipe that’s anything but boring. Serve in lettuce wraps, wheat wraps, or over a bed of greens.
Slow-Cooker Pork Tacos with Fresh Tomato Salsa
Don’t turn on your oven in this heat! Let the slow cooker do the work on the pork, and throw the tacos together with a healthy salsa recipe when you get home for dinner.
Smoked Salmon-Avocado Salad
Recipe: Smoked Salmon-Avocado Salad
You already have most of the ingredients for this simple no-cook recipe on hand. This easy salad would make a perfect light dinner or weekday lunch.
Recipe: Watermelon Gazpacho
We didn’t know a five-ingredient recipe could look and taste fancy, but this chilled soup is proving otherwise. If watermelon is your favorite summer fruit, this recipe is a unique, fun, and delicious way to prepare it.
Chicken Noodle Bowl with Peanut-Ginger Sauce
Would you believe us if we told you these beautiful noodle bowls only require the use of your microwave? Time to see for yourself! You’re going to make this easy one-bowl recipe all the time.
Shrimp Cobb Salad with Bacon Dressing
The only thing you have to prep for this salad is the bacon, and once you taste this dressing, you won’t mind the few minutes you spent cooking the bacon. This light recipe feels so much more indulgent than it is.
Salmon Bagel Sandwiches
Recipe: Salmon Bagel Sandwiches
Stay cool with this recipe that you can eat from brunch to dinner. Cook the salmon ahead in the slow cooker and assemble the best bagel sandwich you’ve ever had.
Recipe: Ham Salad
This retro Southern recipe is ideal for having on hand when you don’t feel like cooking. Serve on a buttery croissant (or between two slices of whatever bread you have), with a side of crackers, or over leafy greens for a quick, comforting meal.
Southwest Chicken Tortillas
Recipe: Southwest Chicken Tortillas
Microwave rice and cooked chicken make this recipe quick and easy, but a homemade chipotle lime crema makes it taste like it took hours. Taco Tuesday has never been easier (and that’s saying a lot).
Wedge Salad with Turkey and Blue Cheese-Buttermilk Dressing
This homemade salad will be so much more satisfying than the pre-packaged one from the store.