Cold Dinners for Summer

Cold dinners are so important in the summer. Ovens can heat up your house so quickly! Check out these easy cold dinner ideas for your summer meal plan.

Cold tortellini pasta salad on a red and white checked plate with a fork and text that reads "cold dinners for hot summer nights"

Before we decided to have kids, I told myself I would NOT be pregnant during the summer. I love summer and didn’t want to be pregnant and uncomfortable. Well, guess what I did for all 3 of my pregnancies? Was pregnant in the summer. All 4 (one set of twins) of my kids were due and born in September. Not one of my smartest decisions.

The summer I was pregnant with my twins, I refused to use my oven. They were born early September and honestly, no one thought I would make it that far! I was desperate for recipes that didn’t require the use of my oven or stove. I was so incredibly uncomfortable that I didn’t need the extra stress of the heat from the oven.

What do you eat on a hot night?

On a hot night, it’s a good idea to pick a cold food to eat! The last thing you want on a hot night is to use your oven and have it heat your entire house. It’s already super hot outside – why add to it?

Curious about my 20 minute meal planning system? Check out my meal planning notebook here.

What are good cold foods?

Head to your grocery store for ideas! Browse through the aisles with a coffee in hand and see what strikes your fancy. The grocery store is a great place to get some dinner inspiration when you’re looking for something specific.

Cold dinners

  • Pasta salads: Pasta salad is one of my favorite things to make in the summer time. My favorite is an Italian pasta salad. I make one every year for our Memorial Day party and for Father’s day because my step dad requests it! Mine is simple and is just pasta, Italian dressing, chopped veggies and Italian cheese.
  • Cereal: I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. Cereal is absolutely an acceptable dinner idea!
  • Sandwiches: This is a go-to in our house all year round because it requires no cooking on my part and everyone gets to customize their dinner, which means everyone eats!
  • BLTs: You can cook the bacon in the morning before it gets super hot and toss it in the fridge for later. Although if you’re anything like me, you’ll have to lock it up so you don’t eat it all before dinner.
  • Roll ups: These are similar to sandwiches but just in a tortilla. My kids like tortillas over bread.
  • Cold soups: I didn’t realize until recently that cold soups are a thing. Again, you’d have to make them in the morning before it gets too hot (or late at night the night before).
  • Salads: I really like salads because like the sandwiches, you can customize salads!
  • Grilling: Fire up the grill and cook some meats and veggies! Then bring the food inside and enjoy it in the air conditioning.

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