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Summer is here (officially June 20)! Many of us are already dealing with the heat that comes along with the season. I recently asked readers about their favorite meals to make on hot days.
Several people mentioned that they use the air fryer or toaster oven instead of turning on their oven which is a great tip! If you’re stuck in a rut in terms of what to make this summer, this list should give you some ideas.
Here are some reader tips and recipes:
I do not cook on hot days. There are too many wonderful salads, both vegetable or fruit. All you have to do is add protein. Also, chicken salad, pasta salad, cheese and crackers, etc. Absolutely no big meals for dinner. Keep it simple.
Traeger works great. You just set it and forget it outside. Can grill, smoke, bake etc… Also, use air fryer & countertop toaster oven. Anything not to turn my oven on!!
Chicken wraps made with precooked chicken tenders that I heat up in the air fryer.
Anything I can cook in the air fryer or indoor grill, with a side of Bush baked beans because they taste great and it seems more like a barbecue!
My favorite summer meal: a pot of green beans, a bowl of cucumbers and onions in vinegar, fried potatoes, sliced tomatoes, and cottage cheese. My grandma made biscuits and cornbread every morning before it got hot.
No cooking on super hot days. Only preparing. Beans salad is a go to. Packed with protein, refreshing vinegar/oil dressing, and tastes great right out of the refrigerator, served with or without bread. Here is a delicious looking bean salad recipe.
Super hot days are chef salad days, sub sandwich days or at most something in the air fryer (small homemade pizzas, hot dogs, chicken nuggets).
When our 4 boys were home, I’d do summer meals on the grill or in the Crockpot or turkey roaster plugged in on the screened porch. Sometimes, I’d cook before bed so the kitchen would cool overnight while we were sleeping, and we’d reheat portions in the microwave as needed.
One of our favorite easy hot day meals is grapes, cheese chunks, rotisserie chicken, and a salad. We also grill out and only eat veggies and fruit with our meat.
Cold tuna and macaroni salad and I have garden tomatoes if they are ready to enjoy.
I love making cold meals on the hottest days – our family favorite is mandarin chicken salad, yum! Here is a Mandarin Chicken Salad recipe.
We have a couple of favorites. The first is made with leftover baked ham which I cube. I add small cooked seashell macaroni, chopped sweet onion, chopped lime pickles (sweet), mayonnaise and celery seed. The second is pita pockets with provolone cheese and a salad made with chopped cucumbers, green peppers, tomatoes, scallions, and sometimes radishes, sometimes purple cabbage.
Pesto Pasta Salad is versatile and delicious! Cook some pasta and throw in a spoonful of pesto (my favorite is Costco pesto). Add chicken or shrimp, cherry tomatoes, and spinach.
Got tomatoes to use? Check out the yummy Bruschetta Pasta recipe from Naptime Kitchen!