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It’s Too Hot to Cook!
Does the mere thought of cooking in a stuffy kitchen on a hot summer night give you the sweats? So it’s not just me? Who the heck wants to put themselves through that? But honestly, you can only fire up the grill so many times! And ordering take-out can get pricey! Check out
Finding ideas for summer dinners has always been such a pain. Nobody wants to cook after spending all day outdoors in the hot sun. And most of the time your so exhausted from all the day’s activities you just want to relax by the pool with a margarita. Am I right?!?
Grilling is a Go-To for Hot Summer Nights
If grilling is your jam, then these are some fresh dinner ideas. Because you can only grill hotdogs and hamburgers so many times before you get the meat sweats.
There have actually been a lot of new innovative recipes being created for people who love to grill.
Don’t forget, the smoker can also be used much like the grill. So give that a go if you want to try something different. Think smoked salmon, brisket, sausages, etc… Set it up in the morning and you have yummy smoked food by dinner time.
Check Out Some of These Creative Grilling Ideas
- Pizza (grab yourself a pizza grill kit or stone) and create your favorite weekend dish on the grill.
- Grill packets- Mix up your favorite veggies, toss in some olive oil and seasons, wrap in a foil packet, and throw on the grill.
- Grilled salmon (a northwest favorite)
- Kabobs are always a great alternative to the usual grill fare.
- Beer Brats are also one of my faves.
- Grilled fruit is amazing
No-Cook Summer Dinner Ideas
One of my all-time favorite ways to beat the heat in the summer is to not have to cook in the evening at all. If any cooking is needed, it is a good idea to do it in the morning, when there is less heat. And then you can store it in the fridge ready to go for dinner later. Here are some amazing summertime no oven dinner ideas. Heck, most of these
- Sushi is great for when it’s too hot to cook. Just prepare the rice in the morning when it is cooler. And you’ll be ready to roll in the evening!
- I always love a good salad full of tons of veggies and you can add proteins to make it a main dish like eggs and deli meat.
- Of course, there are always sandwiches. Who doesn’t love a good roast beef and tomato sandwich? And if you don’t mind you can heat up the
grill-press and make panini!
- Lettuce wraps are a great alternative to sandwiches if you are trying to eat low-carb
- Pasta salad is also a great low/no-cook option (check out my amazing recipe below!)
- One of my favorite lighter options is to put out a charcuterie board. It’s such a nice treat just to munch on cheeses, fruits, salami, and crackers. And for the adults, it goes beautifully with a nice glass of wine. What a perfect way to end a fun-filled summer day.
Cooking Appliances That Don’t Heat Up the Kitchen
If you have a lot of people to feed or you need to cook something hearty and you don’t have a grill. Don’t worry I got you covered! Here are some appliances you can use to cook dinner without heating up the whole kitchen.
- The Instant Pot is my go-to summer cooking appliance. Because I can use it to make a meal quickly and without heating up the kitchen. Any recipes you can make in the Instant Pot will be great options for summertime no oven dinner ideas! One of my favorite quick and hearty meal ideas for the Instant Pot is cabbage rolls. *You could also use the Ninja Foodi
- A panini press is a great little low-heat appliance you can use to make
cheesysandwiches. It can also be used to grill foods indoors if you don’t have an outdoor grill.
- The Crockpot, much like the Instant Pot, is a great low-heat option to use in the summer. The main difference is, it’s best for foods that need to be cooked throughout the day or when you’ve planned a meal well in advance.
- Rice cooker/steamer is another great appliance you can cook with that doesn’t put off a lot of excess heat.
Enjoy Cooking in the Summertime Without Slaving Over a Hot Oven/Stove
Ultimately, the best options for summertime meals are when you don’t have to spend the evening in a hot kitchen. With a little creativity and some ingenuity, you can make an amazing dinner in the summer and not have to turn on the oven at all. I know it may seem silly but there are safety issues with cooking in an overheated kitchen. Not all of us have air conditioning.
I truly believe the summertime is meant to be spent outdoors with friends and family as much as possible. And isn’t it much better when you can spend your evening staying cool and enjoying great company instead of slaving over a hot stove?
Don’t forget to try out the recipe below for your next summer get-together!
Bacon Shrimp Tortellini Pasta Salad
- 8.8 oz Cheese Tortellini (fresh not dried)
- 2 1/2 lbs Shrimp
- 1/2 lbs Cooked bacon or 3/4 C bacon pieces
- 3 oz Feta
- 1/4 C Sliced black olives
- 3 tbsp Chopped basil
- 1/4 C Lemon juice
- 2 1/2 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tbsp Red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp Minced garlic
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Cook tortellini per package instructions. Remove tortellini from the pot and rinse with cold water. Leave the pot of water on the stove to cook the shrimp.
- After you have shelled and deveined the shrimp place in boiling pasta water to cook for 2-3 min or until shrimp is pink. Remove from stove and rinse with cold water to stop the shrimp from cooking further. Cut shrimp in half and set aside.
- Whisk dressing ingredients together in a bowl.
- In a large bowl toss all ingredients together then add dressing and mix thoroughly.
- Chill and serve.
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