The sweltering summer months are upon us, and just the thought of firing up the oven or cooking over a hot stove seems unbearable. When the temperature starts to rise and the humidity hits, it's time to turn to your favorite no-cook meals. Whether you're hosting a backyard barbecue or attending an afternoon picnic, there are so many delicious, rejuvenating recipes to help you keep cool and stay hydrated.
From veggie-packed gazpacho and crisp salads, to freshly made sandwiches and frozen treats, you'll be inspired to dine al fresco all season long with these flavorful dishes that will help you beat the heat.
Pink Dragon Smoothie
Say good-bye to the $9 smoothie from your local health café. This stunningly vibrant Pink Dragon Smoothie is so on-brand for summer. It has the perfect balance of sweetness from fresh raspberries, cooked beets, and dragon fruit puree, which is rich in fiber. It also calls for a bit of Greek yogurt which adds protein and a luscious, creamy texture.
Good Morning Green Smoothie
Getting your vegetables first thing in the morning has never been easier than with this green smoothie. The combination of cucumber and spinach with a Granny Smith apple and pineapple pieces blends into an invigorating drink that will start your day on the right foot no matter how hot it is.
The Easiest-Ever Guacamole
Nothing says summer like lounging by the pool with a cocktail and a big bowl of fresh guacamole and chips. After whipping up this traditional dip, pop it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes so it gets nice and cold before serving. Don't be surprised if your guests devour it in record time.
Take advantage of fresh summer produce by crafting the perfect summer soup. Gazpacho is a great option as a healthy lunch or snack, and it's beyond easy to make. In fact, this Tex-Mex Gazpacho only requires a blender and about 10 minutes of your time. The only thing that's hot about this recipe is the kick from the poblano pepper!
Lemony Chopped Salad With Pita
What makes the most perfect salad? Fresh ingredients, contrasting textures, and a tasty dressing. This gorgeous chopped salad checks all the boxes since it calls for crispy chickpeas, crunchy veggies, and creamy goat cheese. Fresh herbs and an acidic dressing bring all of the flavors together in perfect harmony.
Every-Citrus Salad With Almonds and Manchego
A bright citrus salad is always a good idea on a hot summer day. The mixture of roasted almonds, salty Manchego, blood oranges, navel oranges, and tart grapefruit is not only stunning, but unbelievably flavorful. You'll be sure to keep this gourmet recipe on repeat.
Spring Pasta Salad
Why make a traditional pasta salad when you can make this fancy one with spring vegetables and a tangy, Dijon mustard vinaigrette? This elegant spring pasta salad pairs well with a juicy grilled steak or flaky white fish. And it's equally delicious when you eat the leftovers right out of the fridge the next day.
Zesty Chicken Salad
Chicken salad is a summer staple because you can make a big batch and eat it all week long. This version is a little different than your standard chicken salad because it has lemon, vinegary pickles, and tons of fresh herbs. Make a simple sandwich with lettuce and tomato, add a scoop to a bed of lettuce, or add it to a snack plate with your favorite crackers and sliced vegetables.
Summer Vegetable Panini With Lemon Aioli and Mozzarella
Whether you're heading to the beach or going for a hike, you may want to think about packing a light lunch. The nice thing about this panini is that you can use up leftover grilled vegetables and make a quick lemon aioli, and voila – you have the ideal summer sandie.
Frozen S'mores Cake
Who said you need a campfire to enjoy s'mores this summer? If you want to impress your friends with an irresistible frozen treat, a s'mores icebox cake is a no-brainer. Just make sure to plan, because while this recipe only takes 25 minutes to make, it needs about nine hours to chill in the freezer.
Lemon-Hibiscus Italian Ice
Take a bite of nostalgia with these three-ingredient homemade Italian ices. Not only are these ices insanely simple to make but they're so beautiful—almost like a grown-up version of a childhood favorite. But don't worry, the kids will still gobble up these frozen treats with no questions asked.
Homemade Snow Cones
There's no need to splurge on a fancy shaved ice machine when you can make snow cones in a standard blender. If your appliance has an "ice-crush" setting, you can achieve the same snow cone standard within seconds. The best part about these is that you can customize flavors by making homemade fruity syrups like mixed berry, sweet peach, or even something a bit more sophisticated like rosemary, grapefruit, and ginger.