We’re well into the dog days of summer, and that means it is hot, hot, hot out there! While it’s tempting to avoid cooking altogether and simply order takeout for the entire summer, you don’t have to sacrifice healthy homemade meals just to avoid heating up the house while cooking.
Because no one wants to turn the oven on to make dinner when it’s hotter than Hades outside, here are some delicious — and healthy — no-cook summer meal ideas.
A classic hot-weather go-to, it doesn’t get much better than summer sandwiches. Forget the PB&J; from egg salad to cucumber, to ham or roasted veggie, there are plenty of options when it comes to summer sandwiches. Don’t forget to add a crunchy pickle on the side for an instant flavor boost!
Not only are salad jars pretty to look at, they’re also jam-packed with healthful veggies. Perfect for using up all the leftovers in your fridge, they’re also a great way to enjoy the variety of seasonal produce available during the summer months. If you’re a fan of meal-prepping or batch cooking, you can easily prepare a week’s worth of salad jars in advance — just make sure the dressing is at the bottom so your greens don’t spoil too quickly.
Grain bowls are another great way to use up all those odds and sods lying in your crisper drawer at the end of the week, and come together in just a few minutes. Simply cook up a large batch of whatever grain you fancy in a rice cooker or Instant Pot (avoiding the heat from the stovetop) and then top with your favorite veggies, protein, and a delicious dressing.
Perfect for seafood lovers, ceviche can be made with your favorite fish, and makes for the ideal protein-packed yet light summer lunch. Serve with some crackers and crudites for a complete meal.
This option is great if you’ve got little ones at home, as you can prepare a large plate with a wide selection of finger foods. Plus, there’s ZERO heating involved with an appetizer plate. Chop up some veggies to go with dip, roll up a couple of cured meats, and don’t forget a flavorful cheese along with some crackers.
Perfect for the hottest of days, or when you simply can’t stomach the thought of hot food on a hot day, smoothies are a great option. You can pack all the essentials — protein, carbs from your favorite fruit, and healthy fats — into an easy-to-sip supper. Toss in a handful of leafy greens such as spinach or kale for an added nutritional boost!
Soup is another one of those meals that great’s any time of year, but especially during the summer months. An excellent cheat is to toss fresh veg into steaming hot broth — it’s OK to use store-bought for this — that’s been heated up in the microwave instead of on the stovetop. Or, pop your ingredients into the slow cooker or pressure cooker for a set-it-and-forget-it lunch or dinner option. Serve with a side salad or fresh bread for a balanced and satisfying meal. And don’t forget about cold soups! Summer is the perfect time to try out that gazpacho recipe you’ve been eyeing up. All you need to do it blend everything together and chill for a light and refreshing summer nosh.
After you take stock of the items you've already got at home, don't forget to add everything to your Flipp shopping list to find the best prices in your area. Saving on groceries will leave room in your budget for a sky-high cone when the ice cream truck rolls through your neighborhood.