With summer weather here and our landlord refusing to repair our broken AC, I’m brainstorming the best ways to get dinner (and dessert) on the table without heating up the house. These are my go-to methods for cooking during the heat of summer, along with over 20 of my favorite Summer recipes.
For Meals During the Summer:
1. Crock Pot: Using the crock pot is one of my favorite ways of making dinner, regardless of the season, but it’s especially nice in the Summer because it doesn’t heat your house up. Here are some of our favorite crock pot recipes:
- I love Crock On! from Stacy Makes Cents. Read my full review here.
- 15 Summer Slow-Cooker Recipes
- Mango Salsa Chicken
- Spinach Artichoke Chicken
- Easy Fajita Chicken
2. Grill: Using the grill is a great way to avoid heating the house up and also a pretty quick and easy way to get dinner on the table. I like to start something marinating earlier in the day and then throw it on the grill when it’s time for dinner. If you’re new to grilling, check out these top 10 best grilling tips to get started.
Here are a few of our favorite marinades:
- Salsa Verde Chicken
- Orange Ginger Marinade
- Grilled Marinated Flank Steak
- Grilled Rosemary Buttermilk Chicken
**Tip: Grill extra meat and use it the next day to top a salad.
And if you’re craving pizza, but don’t want to turn the oven on, make pizza on the grill. I love this Shaved Asparagus and Caramelized Onion Pizza.
3. No Cook Meals (Salads, Snacky Meals): Salads are a great way to get dinner on the table without heating up the house. Some of our favorite salads to make in the summer are:
- Taco Salad (you do need the stove top to cook the meat, but that’s better than using the oven)
- Green Well Salad from Bread and Wine (my favorite salad ever!)
And if you’re looking for a great cookbook filled with all kinds of delicious salads, be sure to check out Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons. We love the Summertime Peach & Chicken Salad (pictured above), Tangy Otsu Noodle Salad, Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad, and the Cinnamon Vanilla Fruit Salad, to name a few.
Snacky Meals are easy and another great way to avoid heating the house up in the summer. Some snacky meal ideas:
- Cheese, fruit, and crackers or bread.
- Veggies, Tortilla Chips, crackers/bread with dips. Try some new salsas, like this peach salsa, or black bean corn salsa. And definitely make some guacamole. Try this Goat Cheese and Roasted Corn Guacamole for something new.
- Sandwich Bar
4. Stove Top: Although using the stove top does heat up the house a bit, it’s not quite so bad as using the oven. The trick is to choose recipes that don’t require hanging over the stove for a long time or having the stove on to simmer something for an extended period of time. So risotto is probably out.
Here are some of our favorite stove top recipes that require only a short time having the burner on:
- Vegetarian Tacos
- Shrimp Tacos
- Quesadillas: Get creative with your quesadillas! Try Strawberry and Leek Quesadillas or Summer Fruit Quesadillas.
For Sweet Treats During the Summer:
I try not to do too much baking during the summer because I don’t want to have my oven on. So when we want a sweet treat we usually go for ice cream or popsicles.
5. Ice Cream Maker: I love making homemade ice cream, and summer is the perfect time for it. I have this ice cream maker.
Here are some of my favorite ice cream recipes:
- Simple, Creamy Vanilla Ice Cream
- Roasted Strawberry Goat Cheese Ice Cream
- Lavender Vanilla Ice Cream
6. Popsicles: Most Popsicle recipes require no heat whatsoever. Kids love Popsicles, but there are lots of fun flavors for all. The possibilities are endless. I use these Ice Pop Molds.
- This list of 10 Ultimate Summer Popsicle Recipes has my name all over it. I’m thinking I’d like to try them all!
- If you make smoothies and you have leftovers, just add the leftovers to your Popsicle mold for delicious frozen treats later on.
- Mix yogurt with some fruit preserves or jam and add to your Popsicle molds for some creamy treats.
- Add your favorite fresh squeezed juice to a Popsicle mold and freeze for later.
- Check out these healthy ice pops and frozen treats
What are some of your favorite Summertime meals? I’m always looking for new ideas!
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