It’s HOT out there. Having a tiny kitchen in a house with no air conditioning does not help! I don’t feel like cooking or baking anything unless it’s absolutely necessary.
But we still have to eat!
No Cook Meal Ideas
It’s beginning to warm up outside and that means that busier days and less time spent inside are on the horizon. But a family still must eat! So just how do we feed our family when we just want to be outside and we would rather not spend extra on our air conditioning costs as we heat up the oven to cook?
There are a few great solutions to this problem. Here are some simple ideas on how to handle to too-hot-to-cook summer days. These meals and ideas are perfect for the days when you don’t want to heat up your home during the day by turning on the oven.
The Beautiful Slow Cooker
One good option is slow cooker meals. You won’t heat up your kitchen and house and you still will get a great filling meal. The only downside to this solution is the meal will be a hot dish so if you are already warm you may not feel like eating a hot meal!
Some of our very favorite slow cooker meals are:
- Slow Cooker Steak
- BBQ Meatballs
- Shredded Beef
- Homemade Vegetable Soup (with fresh garden veggies of course!)
- Scalloped Potatoes
Make It Now, Eat It Later
Another great option is to make up some make ahead or freezer meals. Even though you do have to heat up the oven to make most of those meals, you could try and make as many of them as possible at night when it is a little cooler in the house or when you can open the windows and let in some cooler air while you are cooking.
I love doing make ahead meals at our house (especially for things like sides and breads), here are some of our favorites:
Here are more great no cook meal ideas to try as well when you need some inspiration!
- Taco Salad -with cold refried beans (these are good to have in the freezer) and Homemade Salsa
- Cold Pasta (make the evening before when it’s not hot and refrigerate) – with a sharp or aged cheese and fresh veggies mixed in, topped with a vinegar based dressing.
- Tacos – with cold refried black beans and fresh garden veggies
- Anything Grilled!
- Avocado Feta Hummus
- 7 Layer Taco Dip
- Chef Salad
- Waldorf Chicken Salad or Egg Salad (make the night before) or this Best Creamy Cucumber Salad Recipe
- Chef Salad – with homemade dressing! (Like Ranch Dressing, Dorthy Lynch, Russian Dressing, ect)
- BLT Salad
- Strawberry Spinach Salad
- Sandwiches – with various cold cuts or meats
- Peach Blueberry Salad
- Instant Pot Summer Vegetable Soup
- Spinach, Apple, and Glazed Pecan Salad
Don’t forget the desserts! Here are some yummy desserts to try…no baking required!
- No Bake Cookies
- No Bake Cookie Dough Treat
- No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
- Simple Chocolate Truffles
And of course, there is plenty of fresh garden produce this time of year to feast on! Be sure and make frequent stops at the Farmer’s Market on the days that they are open to be able to indulge in the freshest in-season produce.
Hopefully you’ve been able to find some great inspiration in this article for when it’s just too hot or busy to turn on the oven during the day and put in much effort in the kitchen.
What are some of your favorite no cook meal ideas for hot summer days?
This article on No Cook Meals for Hot Summer Days was originally posted on Little House Living in July 2014 and has been updated in June 2019.