Wherever you are, there’s a chance that it’s currently HOT! We’re in the middle of a heatwave in the Portland area and I’m avoiding turning my oven on at all costs. I’ve rounded up my favorite summer meals to beat the heat and keep you far away from pre-heating to 350º F. All of the dishes below could pass for dinner with a few solid lunch options in there as well. I made sure that any recipe that requires the use of a stovetop keeps it to a minimum. Here we go, the best meals for summer cooking!
Grain bowls are right up my alley these days. Chocked with everything I need for a satisfying meal – sweet fruit, decadent cheese, hearty grains, crunchy nuts, shredded rotisserie chicken, and a creamy balsamic dressing. It’s so nice I’ll have it twice – for lunch and dinner!
I regularly pick up a $5 rotisserie chicken at Costco to avoid having to roast basic chicken. The cost is close to the same, along with the flavor. I really like using a rotisserie chicken for this creamy chicken salad with grapes, pecans, and celery. All sandwiched in between a buttery croissant…YUM!
While this dish isn’t necessarily served “cold” it’s the best option for a soup lover on a hot day. It comes together in less than 20 minutes, utilizes pantry ingredients, and maximizes bright, fresh flavors. This is a staple in our house.
Whether you’re entertaining or making a big batch of protein to use throughout the week, everyone needs a few standby slow cooker recipes that can be used for everything from tacos to salads.
If you are bypassing meat altogether, yet still looking for a hearty summer meal, this quinoa burrito bowl is perfect. Quinoa as a base is awesome and black beans mixed in topped with creamy avocado, cilantro, and cotija makes this the perfect summer combo.
This noodle based salad with crisp bell peppers and cabbage paired with avocado and peanuts all tossed together in a rice vinegar based vinaigrette is so refreshing. It also looks as good as it tastes!
I’ve been using my Instant Pot more these days and I just made these BBQ sliders last night! It was easy enough to make a double batch that I took extras to a friend that just had a baby.
Sloppy Janes (the partner to the classic Sloppy Joe)are my ultimate summer food. These are made on the stovetop but come together quickly. I like the ground turkey base and the slightly sweet sauce. Served on Hawaiian rolls I find them irresistible. I also think watermelon and corn on the cob as sides are a must!
Another grain bowl option – this time with light and bright Mediterranean flavors. Lemon, feta cheese, dill, and shrimp tossed together in a creamy dill yogurt dressing. I also love the farro grain used in this recipe. I buy mine at Trader Joes and it cooks quickly – just ten minutes in boiling water on the stovetop.
You can’t have summer without tacos! This meatless version is sweet yet hearty and comes together in a skillet so quickly. The flavors are big and bold but the process is simple and easy. Top with all the classic taco toppings but don’t forget the pickled onions. They are the BEST!