Chill out: 5 cool summer dinner ideas

Five cool and summery dinner ideas with little to no heat required—just bring your appetite!

Photo Credit: Ben Fink, found on

When it’s this hot, the last thing you want to do is get anywhere near a stove or a grill - but your family doesn’t want to eat sandwiches every night.  To help you chill out at dinner time, we went looking for summer dinners that were kid-friendly and low on cooking time. Enjoy this round-up of cool dinner inspiration from some of our favourite blogs!

  1. Cool noodles: You heard us. While you’ll need to turn on the stove for ten minutes to boil the noodles, that’s all the cooking that’s required for these noodle dishes that are meant to be served cold. Vietnamese Bún chả is a cool rice noodle dish served with warm toppings. And to combat heat and humidity, there’s nothing better than the delicate taste of this Japanese summer soba noodle dish from Just Hungry. Kids love washing the soba noodles to bring out the taste (and chill down your dinner!), and the tasty sauce will keep everyone coming back for more. If you’re looking for a more Mediterreanean meal, this Pasta, Steak and Tomato Salad from Sheri Silver is a terrific one-pot cool noodle dish.

    Bun Cha
    Photo Credit: Ben Fink, found on
  2. Chilled soups: These three-minute chilled soups from Simple Bites are guarenteed kid-friendly and delish to boot! Unlike a lot of cold soup recipes, these are easy to make and don’t require cooking, just a blender.
  3. Summer salads: The only problem with summer salads is choosing which one you’ll try first. Will it be this Watermelon and Ricotta Salad from Dash and Bella, Magic Quinoa Salad from Dinner With Julie or Tomatoes with White Beans and Rosemary from Dinner: A Love Story.

    Recipe for Tomato White Bean Salad
    Image source: Dinner: A Love Story
  4. Fast food: In summer, omelettes are a great dinner choice since they’re fast, filling and require very little time in the kitchen. Or, keep your dinners even simpler by just laying out plates of cold cuts, cheese, dips and veggies - everyone can help themselves to what they like and you can stay far away from the hot kitchen. 
  5. Frozen: It’s only fair to finish with a frosty treat! No ice cream maker is no problem with this DIY instant ice cream recipe, or this Granita recipe - hungry family members are all you’ll need to make either one!

    Strawberry Granita
    Image source: Food Wishes

We tweet new recipes and dinner ideas all the time - so if you like what you see here, follow us on Twitter for daily inspiration (and heat wave sympathy). And if you’ve got a hot-weather dinner idea or two, we’d love to hear about it here or the comments!

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