10 Cool Recipes for Hot Summer Days

Summer starts with hamburgers on the grill, blueberry crisp, veggie kabobs. But the hotter it gets, the less likely we want to cook.

By August, there are nights when I might give everyone a bowl of cereal and call it dinner.

This summer, I’m coming prepared. I rounded up 10 recipes I can go to in the dog days of summer. So parents, we have you covered, whether you need a snack, dinner or something sweet, remember this list on those 100-degree days.

10 Things to Make When It’s Too Hot To Bake

1. Strawberry Parfait Pie

This pie is a favorite for summer for two reasons: It’s easy enough for kids to make, and you don’t have to turn on your oven to have a perfect pie. Use any favorite fresh fruit – peaches, plums, bananas, blueberries, blackberries. Hint: If you use a premade graham cracker crust, there’s no need to bake it.

Strawberry Parfait Pie

  • 1 (9-inch) graham cracker crust, baked
  • 1 small package strawberry gelatin
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries
  • Whipped cream
  1. Prepare the crust.
  2. In a medium bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the hot water. Add the ice cream by spoonfuls, stirring until melted. Chill in freezer until thickened but not set. Fold in the fruit and turn the mixture into the pie shell.
  3. Chill until firm. Garnish with whipped cream. Drizzle with chocolate sauce for an extra treat.

2. Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Mix cooked orzo pasta with pesto. Hollow out cherry tomatoes, then fill each with the pesto pasta. Healthy, pretty and tasty.

3. Pulled Pork Tacos

Keep your kitchen cool with these great tacos, adapted from Epicurious. Serve with slices of lime, cabbage, lettuce, tomato and cheese.

Pulled Pork Tacos

  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3 1/2 to 4 pound pork shoulder, rinsed and patted dry
  • (16 ounce) jar mild salsa
  • Corn or flour tortillas
  1. Mix seasonings together in a small bowl.
  2. Place pork shoulder in a Crock Pot. Rub all over with seasoning mixture. Pour salsa around the pork. Cook on low heat for 8 to 12 hours.
  3. Using tongs, place pork on a plate or cutting board. Using two forks, shred into bite-size pieces, removing the fat as you go.
  4. Add a scoop or two of the liquid from the Crock Pot, then stir to combine. Liquid should be used sparingly. You don’t want soup, but you also don’t want dry pork.
  5. Fill tortillas with pork.

4. Peach-Strawberry Smoothie

This simple smoothie makes enough for two. In a blender, combine 1 cup fresh peaches, 1 cup fresh strawberries, 1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt, 1 tablespoon sugar or honey (if using plain yogurt) and a handful of ice. Blend until smooth. Pour into chilled glasses.

5. Iced Café Latte

Make the smoothie for the kids, and this one for the grownups. This makes a pitcher – perfect for poolside or the patio after dinner.

Iced Café Latte

  • 6 cups strong coffee
  • heaping tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup half and half
  1. Pour coffee into pitcher. Add other ingredients, to taste.
  2. Refrigerate. Serve over ice.

6. Chilled Corn Salad

Five minutes is all it takes to make this super easy salad. Use fresh corn if you have it for this recipe adapted from Southern Living. It serves 4.

Chilled Corn Salad

  • 1 (12-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or basil
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients. Cover and chill at least 4 hours.

7. Chicken with Mango Salsa

Start with a rotisserie chicken, and you’re halfway there to having dinner on the table. Serve the salsa on top of the sliced chicken. Or, place the chicken and salsa on top of salad greens for a main course salad.

Mango Salsa

  • 1 large mango, finely chopped
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped purple onion
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine all ingredients. Stir well. Let sit for 30 minutes for best flavor.

8. Tortilla Rollups

These are great for an afternoon snack. Use whatever fresh veggies you have on hand. Bonus points for fresh herbs from your garden. To make: Spread hummus over flour tortillas. Sprinkle with radish sprouts, grated carrot and thin sliced bell pepper. Sprinkle with chopped basil and salt and pepper. Roll tightly. Use a serrated knife to cut into circles.

9. Bruschetta

Double for a crowd or hungry kids. My kids like this with goat cheese spread on the crostini before it’s topped with the tomato mixture.


  • 1 large tomato, minced and drained
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, slivered
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper

1. Mix everything together and allow to sit at room temperature for about an hour.

2. Pile onto crostini (thin sliced toasted French bread). You may want to strain some excess juice before serving.

10. Ice Cream Sandwiches

You can say these are for the kids, but you’re going to want one, too. You’ll need two dozen bakery cookies to make a dozen ice cream sandwiches. Place one scoop of ice cream between two cookies. Gently press cookies together. Roll ice cream edges in sprinkles or mini chocolate chips. Eat immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for later.

Categories: Food