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Cool Meals for Hot Days: 13 Ideas

Updated on July 26, 2011

When the temperature outside is soaring, the last thing you want to do at mealtime is turn on your oven. If it’s really hot, you also don’t want to light your stove or prepare a meal using your outside grill. You probably don’t even feel like eating anything warm. Here are a few cool summer meal ideas – that do not require cooking – that you may want to enjoy when you’re dealing with the peak heat of summertime.

13 Cool Meal Ideas for Hot Days

  1. Cheese and Crackers with Fresh Fruit: Sliced cheese and crackers is a great light meal for a warm day, especially when paired with fresh fruit.
  2. Fruit Salad: Cut your favorite fresh fruits into chunks; combine them in a large bowl and chill.
  3. Chicken Salad: Use leftover chopped cooked chicken or canned chicken that has been drained. Combine with Ranch dressing or mayonnaise and mix in your favorite spices or seasonings.
  4. Cucumber and Onion Salad: Marinate sliced cucumbers and red onions in Italian dressing or Greek dressing in the refrigerator to enjoy as a tasty side dish.
  5. Green Salad: Assemble a green salad featuring your favorite varieties of lettuce and/or spinach topped off by your favorite chopped vegetables, cold meats, crunchy treats (nuts, croutons, etc.) and creamy salad dressing.
  6. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches: Enjoy a tasty, easy-to-assemble PB&J when it’s too hot outside to cook.
  7. Pimento Cheese Sandwich: Spread wheat or sourdough bread with pimento cheese.
  8. Raw Fresh Veggies and Dip: Make a meal out of Ranch dressing (or your favorite veggie dip) paired with celery stalks, baby carrots, broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, sliced squash, sliced zucchini, etc.
  9. Stuffed Celery: Stuff celery stalks with pimento cheese or peanut butter.
  10. Sub Sandwiches: Use store-bought sub rolls or French bread to create tasty sub sandwiches featuring deli meat, cold salad (chicken, turkey or tuna) paired with crisp, fresh vegetables.
  11. Turkey Salad: Make using leftover chopped cooked turkey or canned turkey that has been drained. Combine with Ranch dressing or mayonnaise and mix in your favorite spices or seasonings.
  12. Tuna Salad: Drain canned tuna and combine with Italian dressing or a combination of mayonnaise and pickle relish. Stir in your favorite spices and seasonings. Cool before serving.
  13. Wrap Sandwiches: Use your creativity to combine fresh veggies with your favorite deli meat or cold tuna, chicken or turkey salad.

What Cool Meal Ideas Do You Have?

These are just a few of the “no cooking required” meal ideas that can be enjoyed when it’s hot outside. Share your own ideas and suggestions for warm weather, no-cooking-required meals in the comments section below.


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  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

    Hi, I always wanted to know what peanut butter and jelly tasted like! I think the reason why I get confused is because in America, Jelly is what we call Jam! and what we call jelly is the gelatin dessert kind! how confusing is that? lol great ideas though, I am hungry now! cheers nell

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

    Such cool meals are absolutely the way to go for these summer days. In lieu of cooking we like to make a meal out of hummus, peach/mango salsa, and good corn chips.

    Voted up!

  • profile image

    Fiddleman 6 years ago

    Great ideas for those hot days we are now having, thanks for sharing.