15 Light Summer Meals To Make When It’s Too Damn Hot To Really Cook

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There are days when you feel totally motivated to experiment in the kitchen and cook up a storm, and there are other days when it’s too hot outside to function—much less sit in front of a hot stove for an hour. On days like the latter, it’s important to have light summer meals in your recipe arsenal ready to go. Whether you just need a break from the kitchen for a day or would rather sit in front of the air conditioning with a cocktail than mess with four different stove-top burners, these recipes are here to help keep you fed and allow you to spend less time cooking. A win/win situation? We think so.

From easy breakfast recipes that will start your day off on the right foot (both in terms of getting in those nutrients and remaining ridiculously easy) to dinner recipes that require little-to-no actual time cooking, consider this list of light summer meals your one-stop-shop for warm weather recipes. Less time in the kitchen means more time hanging out on the couch with a cool glass of wine—or sitting by the air conditioning trying to remember when the temperature wasn’t 90 degrees. However you choose to spend your time outside of the kitchen, you’re still going to end up with some seriously delicious meals on your table.

Below, you’ll find 15 light and easy summer meals that just about anyone can make. Whether you’re a big fan of unique salads or prefer a chicken salad sandwich (with a twist, of course!), there’s sure to be a few recipes you’ll want to make over and over again. Bon appetit—and stay cool.


1.Toasted Muesli With Almonds, Coconut & Dark Chocolate

STYLECASTER | Light Summer Meals

Cookie + Kate.

Start your day off right with this easy breakfast full of delicious ingredients. This muesli bowl even has dark chocolate in it—and who can resist that?


2.Vegetarian Breakfast Tacos

STYLECASTER | Light Summer Meals

A Beautiful Plate.

The only thing you have to cook to get this amazing breakfast is the eggs. Other than that, these vegetarian breakfast tacos are filled with fresh and tasty ingredients sure to please just about anyone.


3.Grilled Chicken and Asparagus Caprese Spinach Salad

STYLECASTER | Light Summer Meals

Closet Cooking.

This spinach caprese salad just took your next lunch (or dinner!) up a notch. With tomatoes, mozzarella, avocado and even bacon, this salad is one that can’t be missed.


4.Grilled Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Wraps

STYLECASTER | Light Summer Meals

Crem de la Crumb.

Get some fresh air and step out to the grill for a few minutes to whip up this tasty grilled pineapple and teriyaki chicken wrap recipe. Your tastebuds will thank you.


5. Southwestern Steak Salad

STYLECASTER | Light Summer Meals

Joyful Healthy Eats.

There’s no denying that sometimes a salad can be a bit sad, but this southwestern steak salad is anything but. If you love steak, fresh veggies and cilantro avocado dressing, this recipe is for you.


6.Three-Ingredient Tomato Sandwich

STYLECASTER | Light Summer Meals

Cup of Jo.

When you want a meal that’s as delicious as it is quick and simple to make, you can’t go wrong with this three-ingredient tomato sandwich recipe. Bonus points if you grow your own tomatoes this summer.


7. Blueberry Arugula Salad

STYLECASTER | Light Summer Meals

Broccoli and Muffins.

We wouldn’t naturally think to put blueberries and arugula on a plate together, but this blueberry arugula salad is a tasty surprise—and ridiculously light and easy meal to make this season.


8. Pesto Pasta With Grilled Chicken

STYLECASTER | Light Summer Meals


When you feel like stepping out to the grill for a few minutes, get this pesto pasta with grilled chicken recipe started. Then, on days when it’s too hot to function, you can serve it cold as a pasta salad.


9. Almond Poppy Seed Chicken Salad Sandwiches

STYLECASTER | Light Summer Meals

Cooking Classy.

Chicken salad sandwiches are a summer staple for a reason: They’re delicious and easy. This almond and poppyseed rendition is sure to become your new favorite lunch recipe.


10. Roasted Strawberries With Coconut Whipped Cream

STYLECASTER | Light Summer Meals

Dishing Up the Dirt.

Talk about the breakfast (or dessert or snack) of champions. These roasted strawberries with whipped coconut cream are the treat you need in your life this summer.


11. Asian Sesame Cucumber Salad

STYLECASTER | Light Summer Meals

Will Cook For Friends.

Break out the spiralizer if you have one, because this simple Asian sesame cucumber salad requires no cooking—just a little veggie spiralizing.


12. Spicy Cauliflower Burgers

STYLECASTER | Light Summer Meals

Pinch of Yum.

A burger doesn’t necessarily have to be a hunk of meat—or even your typical veggie burger. These spicy cauliflower burgers are here to rock your world this season.


13. Chicken Tacos With Pineapple Pear Salsa

STYLECASTER | Light Summer Meals

Carlsbad Cravings.

You’ve likely heard of mango salsa—but what about pear salsa? These delicious teriyaki chicken tacos feature a pineapple and pear salsa that is sure to spice up your usual taco Tuesday.


14. Cantaloupe Breakfast Bowls

STYLECASTER | Light Summer Meals

Eating Bird Food.

Another easy breakfast (or snack) idea are these cantaloupe breakfast bowls filled with yogurt, granola and plenty of delicious fruits. Um, yes please.


15. Fajita Steak Salad

STYLECASTER | Light Summer Meals

Wholesome Delicious.

You truly can never have too many iterations of a steak salad. For those who want a little bit of a Mexican flare, this fajita steak salad is sure to please.


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A version of this article was originally published in June 2016.

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