Hot summer evenings have a wonderful way of making us slow down, relax…and want nothing whatsoever to do with cooking dinner in a hot kitchen! Picking up take out can be so tempting on these casual summer nights, but that can be hard on the grocery budget and healthy eating. Instead, try these 42 Healthy Too-Hot-to-Cook Recipes with tips on how to keep your kitchen cool all summer long.
By Shannon, Contributing Writer
Check out our 10-day forecast! Instead of our usual low to mid 70s, we’re seeing temperatures of well over 100.
This is the hottest summer I can ever remember here in North Idaho, and as a long time resident of the Northwest I am not used to this!
Here in the land where it’s common for homes not to have air conditioning, we’re totally unprepared for life on the surface of the sun.
42 Healthy Too-Hot-to-Cook Recipes
In preparation for these hot summer days, I compiled this list of healthy recipes to make when it’s just too hot to cook. I hope this little bit of planning with help you and me both stick to our grocery budget and healthy eating goals.
Plus, I’m including some of my favorite tips for keeping your kitchen cool this summer.
Serve it Cold
There are lots of recipes you can serve cold, or even frozen that are packed with healthy ingredients your family will love. Here are a few ideas.
Meal Ideas Served Cold
- Tangy Puerto Rican Bean Dip
- Healthy Summer Smoothies
- Watermelon Mango Salsa
- Peach Mango Salsa
- Tomato Gazpacho
- Cucumber Tomato Salad
- Cilantro Lime Coleslaw
- Strawberry Spinach Salad
- Italian Picnic Salad
Treat Ideas Served Cold
- Dairy-Free Berry Chia Mousse
- Frozen Watermelon Pops
- Chocolate Almond Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream
- Maple Bacon Ice Cream
When it’s too hot to cook, but you want a snack, try your favorite no-bake treats.
No-Bake Recipe Ideas
- No Bake Raisin Cookies
- Healthy No-Bake Bars
- Cashew Date Cream Stuffed Strawberries
- Strawberry Yogurt Parfait
- Avocado Chocolate Truffles
- No-Bake Chocolate Delights
Cook in the Morning
For recipes that do require some cooking, try getting it done in the morning, and chill for later. For instance, cook your pasta for pasta salad and put it in the fridge until dinner time.
Cook up a batch of hard boiled eggs to serve with your smoothies and have breakfast for dinner. You could also make enough chicken, pasta, or quinoa for leftovers the day before to use in the recipes below.
Cook-Ahead Summer Recipe Ideas
- Egg Salad Sandwiches
- Fresh Hummus
- Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
- Chicken Sandwich Spread
- Pesto Chicken Salad
- Cashew Chicken Salad
- Easy Mexican Layer Dip
- Easy Tuna Macaroni Salad
- Green Bean Salad
- Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes
- Strawberry Quinoa Salad
- Avocado Ranch Dip
Use Your Crock-Pot
I love using Crock-Pot freezer meals to help me serve my family healthy food without necessarily standing in the kitchen cooking each night. Even in summer, you can still use your Crock-Pot. Simply set it up in the morning out in the garage or even on your back patio, so it doesn’t heat up your kitchen.
Summer Slow-Cooker Recipe Ideas
- Crockpot Seafood Paella
- Slow-Cooker Salsa Chicken
- Slow Cooker Lasagna
- Single Serving Slow-Cooker Oatmeal
- Easy Slow-Cooker Bread
Use Your Grill
Don’t forget to use everyone’s summer favorite, the grill! It’s the perfect way to serve up simple, healthy meals to your family without heating up the kitchen. You can use any recipe that calls for baking or cooking meat on the stovetop and grill it instead.
Grilled Recipe Ideas
- Grilled BBQ Chicken with Bacon & Pineapple
- Homemade Real Food BBQ Sauce
- Grilled Pizza
- Greek Wraps with Tzatziki Sauce
- Grilled Asparagus
Summertime is the perfect time to slow down and enjoy some healthy flavors. The great thing is, it doesn’t have to be a time where we bust our grocery budget or eat unhealthy foods just because it’s too hot to cook. Try out some of these healthy recipe ideas on your meal plan this week!
What are your favorite healthy too-hot-to-cook recipes?