7 Summer Recipes that Won’t Heat Up the House

Summer heat got you down? Even if you have central air, turning on the stove or oven just seems like overkill on these hot, humid days. Stay cool and be energy efficient by enjoying these recipes that don’t require baking or slaving over the stove for hours. A few recipes require minimal use of the stove top, but for the most part you’ll be free of the heat when preparing these delicious summer recipes.

Remember to save your favorite recipes on Picniic so that you can keep track of the meals your family loves. Categorize recipes you’d like to make for the first time as “to try” to keep them separate from recipes that you’ve already prepared.

As promised, here are 7 family friendly and cool recipes for those hot summer days:


1) Caprese Salad: Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella

Nothing says summer freshness like ripened tomatoes, basil and thick slices of mozzarella. This simple salad is the perfect complement to dinner on the grill or can be served as an entree on hearty slices of baguette. Use a variety of colors of tomatoes to give the dish additional color. Even the youngest members of the family will relish this salad, slurping the juicy tomatoes and delighting in the cheese.


2) BLT Salad

Your favorite sandwich is now a salad! Keep cool by skipping the stovetop and cooking the bacon in the microwave until crisp. Romaine lettuce, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, cheese and a vinaigrette round out this recipe to create a delightful, but hearty salad. Serve with a loaf of crusty bread so that everyone really fills up.


3) Roast Beef Wraps

For an easy, cool weeknight dinner, try these roast beef wraps filled to the brim with meat and dill slaw. Featuring coleslaw, horseradish and dill, the flavors in this wrap really stand out. If you have more sensitive eaters in your family, you can always opt for simpler wraps using your regular sandwich fixings such as roast beef, cheese, lettuce and sliced tomatoes. Serve the wraps with some chips and ice-cold lemonade for a fun and refreshing meal.


4) Chinese Chicken Salad

Pick up some rotisserie chicken from the store to avoid heating up the house and you’re set to make this delicious salad. Featuring a mix of lettuce, cabbage, snow peas, carrots, and shredded chicken, what really pulls this Chinese salad together is the fantastic peanut butter dressing. Cilantro, mint and green onion garnish the dish, giving it a fresh taste.

You can create variations on this dish by adding steamed rice or rice noodles for those in your family who can’t miss out on their carbs. Use your rice maker to avoid slaving over the stove. Rice noodles cook in a matter of 2 minutes or so, so you won’t be stuck over the stove for too long if you choose to go that route. You can serve the noodles or rice alongside the salad, pouring dressing over it all for a full meal everyone will love.


5) Gazpacho

No list of no-cook summer meals would be complete without gazpacho. This famous chilled soup from the Iberian Peninsula is the perfect dish to enjoy during the summer. Cool, smooth and delicious, gazpacho is a soup you can easily modify to your own preferences. This recipe allows you to use your blender to make this delicious cold soup to enjoy. Serve it with a hearty baguette and cheese to make for a more filling meal.


6) Tortilla Chip Dinner with Corn Salad and Guacamole

Chips for dinner!? Why not? Go for baked tortilla chips to keep things healthy. Serve them up with a delicious southwestern corn salad and guacamole for dipping. The corn salad features black beans, bell pepper, lime juice and cilantro. You’ll get your complete protein from the beans and tortilla chips. The corn adds a sweet crunch everyone will simply love. Couple that with a simple guacamole and you’ll have a perfectly rounded out dinner. To make the guacamole, smash ripe avocado and just add salt and lime juice to taste. Your kids are sure to love the idea of chips for dinner. You won’t even feel bad about it given how healthy it is!


7) Zucchini Noodles with Pesto

Offer your family “green spaghetti” today in the form of zucchini noodles with pesto. This delicious cool, summer recipe is the perfect way to use up zucchini from your garden or the farmer’s market. Fresh and delicious, zucchini noodles (also known as “zoodles”) can also be topped with a tomato-based sauce if you prefer. However, to avoid turning on the stove, opt for this parsley-pistachio pesto. All you need to make the “zoodles” is a spiralizer, mandoline or special peeler that allows you to create the long zucchini strips. It’s a great way to get your kids to enjoy their veggies!


Inspired to get “cooking” without overheating? Complete your meal with a dessert of fresh fruit and yogurt or vanilla ice cream. Just like that, you’ll have created a satisfying meal that involves little-to-no contact with the oven or stovetop. The best part about these recipes is that they’re also quick to make so you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen after a long summer day. Keep it simple with these cool summer dishes that are just as satisfying as any hot meal.

Do you have a favorite summer recipe that doesn’t heat up the house? Tell us about it!

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