Cool Summer Meals: 7 Quick & Easy Options

Looking for cool summer meals? We have seven quick and easy options that any family can use. Enjoy delicious meals without added heat strain!

If you are like most families, you want to find ways to make summer meals quick and easy. No one wants to spend their time sweating in a hot kitchen. If you’re like me and on a budget, you also don’t want to spend extra money by going out. Check out our seven ideas for making summer cooking simple and quick:

Using the grill can help take the heat out of the house to create cool summer meals!

Create Cool Summer Meals with a Plan.

Make a meal plan. Having a list of your family’s favorite meals will enable you to purchase ingredients when they are on sale. Buy as many staples as you can. Choose in-season fruits and veggies as well as dishes that can be served cold. When you need an ingredient for their favorite dish you won’t have to run out to the store to pick it up. You’ll already have that item on-hand.

Add Fruits & Veggies.

Add as many fresh fruits and vegetables to your meals as you can. Rather than cooking all of them, serve them as raw. Fruits and vegetables served raw will have more nutrients than those which are cooked. Serving them raw will also keep your kitchen cooler.

Use the Grill, Slow Cooker or Instant Pot!

Use the grill, slow cooker or Instant Pot. Slow cookers and the Instant Pot will generate less heat which means your kitchen won’t become sweltering. It also allows you to cook while you’re away or otherwise engaged. Place the ingredients in the slow cooker the first thing in the morning and they’ll be ready to eat when dinner time rolls around. Instant Pot dishes like my Chicken Salad with Strawberries, Feta, and Pecans is ready in less than an hour. How easy is that?

Grilling outdoors can still be hot for you, personally; however, you’re going to eliminate heating up your kitchen. This also aids in reducing the amount of work that your air conditioning unit does!

Batch Cooking.

Make staple items like sauces in large amounts ahead of time. These can be frozen and then taken out of when needed. By making your sauces in large batches, you’re only heating your kitchen up once for numerous meals. These can be created in your slow cooker/Instant Pot, too!

Eat Salads!

Eat a variety of salads. Salads are generally quick and easy to make. Most of the food items don’t require cooking so preparation time is less. Of course, you can also make pasta salads ahead of time and place them in the refrigerator so they’re ready when needed. We love a Classic Caesar Salad — you can even add cold, cooked chicken and create a main entree!

Save Leftovers.

If you’re not used to eating leftovers, now is the time to try it out! For instance, if you bake or grill chicken, you can use leftovers to make chicken salad sandwiches. Pot roast can be used to make roast sandwiches and the vegetables put in the freezer to use in soup when soup weather returns. Try to remember to prepare the food once but use it twice.

Go Vegetarian!

Plan at least one vegetarian meal per week. Not only will this give you an entirely different set of recipes and foods to choose from, it will give your body a rest from too much protein. Visit a farmer’s market or pick foods from your garden and use them as the main ingredients in your vegetarian meal.

There are numerous ways to make cool summer meals quick and easy — do you have any ideas? Share with us below in the comments!

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  1. That chicken salad sounds delicious! And I see what you mean about using a slow cooker. Good idea!

  2. Tanya M Leatherman

    I have been using my air fryer a ton!!! And that ceasar salad (I can never spell that right) looks refreshing….that might be what’s for dinner tonight! Cheers!

  3. Always on the lookout for easy summertime meals! The chicken salad sounds so yummy. I have fresh strawberries in the fridge & it’s supposed to be 90 tomorrow!

  4. Great tips for quick summer meal. I love salads and that chicken salad looks great!

  5. Terrific ideas! Thanks to your post I was inspired to clean my fridge. Leftovers are for dinner tonight!

  6. I didn’t know the value of a slow cooker until I had one myself. I definitely am a fan of batch cooking and leftovers. Some of my favourite meals taste infinitely better on the second day!

    • I agree! My husband and I both try to always set aside enough to take for our lunch to work. There are some dishes that are definitely better the second day (chili being our #1!)

  7. Reheated ribs from the freezer, store-bought potato salad, and corn-the-cob from the farmer’s market. Not all cool foods but easy to fix and we’ll eat inside in air-conditioned comfort.

  8. Thank you for laying out the “how-tos” in such an easy way! Love that. Ok, what I really love is that Chicken Salad Recipe – and done in the InstaPot? Perfect! Wow!

    • Thank you! I like to try and keep all that extra fluff out of recipes and add some information that can be helpful. Ever since I bought an IP, I have kicked myself for waiting so long. They’re amazing!

  9. we are definitely doing a lot of brunches and smoothies this summer 🙂

    • Smoothies are always a wonderful option! I love finding new recipes where I can “hide” vegetables in them. My youngest is pretty picky so I love sneaking those good vitamins in on him.

  10. I’m always looking for new and delicious meals. I use lots of vegetables in my meals especially in the summer with garden freah ones. We also stocked up on 40 pinds of boneless chicken breasts so we have the mean meal then use leftovers for salads. Thanks for all your tips!

  11. Thank you for your encouraging ideas !

  12. I am so horrible I have two Instant Pots and haven’t ever used them and just added a Pressure Cooker and haven’t opened it either. It’s so hot in Texas and our Window Units don’t keep our home cool so I don’t cook. I know it’s a poor excuse when I want to lose weight but it’s the truth.

  13. These are great ideas. I do a lot of batch cooking.

  14. Love my slow cooker!

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