21 Best Summer Recipes for Hot Days

Even when the weather is scorching, you still need to eat! Here you'll find cold recipe ideas—from soups, salads and sandwiches to desserts and drinks—for the days when the kitchen needs to be kept cool and you just can't deal with the blistering heat.

Greek Village Salad

"One of my favorite restaurants makes this salad in the summer. It's perfect for the season; very light, cool and crunchy, with large chunks of vegetables, olives and cheese."


Lynn's Famous Gazpacho

"It had the perfect taste. An excellent meal on a hot summer day after a visit to the farmers market! I loved to make it with local veggies."



"This was so simple to make. A hint to get the most juice from your lemons, roll them on the counter top for a while and then squeeze. I also cut up two limes and added them to the pitcher of lemonade. Very refreshing."

-Audrey M

Classic BLT Sandwiches

"My family loves BLTs, and this is exactly how we make them. I do not measure the mayo, I just put it on. Sometimes my husband will add pepper to his tomatoes. We all enjoy these. We eat them about once a week in the summer."


Lemon Couscous with Herbs & Feta

"I haven't made couscous very often and this turned out delicious! Loved the lemon! Used some fresh mint that I had in the garden and some low-fat feta cheese. This was a great, refreshing salad!"


Spinach Pasta Salad

"This recipe was incredible and was a huge hit at the BBQ—everyone was fighting over the leftovers! Very tasty; I highly recommend it."


Pick-Your-Flavor Ice Cream Cake

"These are great. The kids that I babysit all summer love them, and they are an awesome way to cool down during these hot summer days."


Antipasto Wraps

"This is a really great, easy recipe that's perfect for when the temperatures have reached over 100 degrees. I made it earlier in the day, and then wrapped each one in plastic wrap so that they would be firm enough for dinner. It allowed the flavors to meld just a bit more."


Cucumber & Tomato Salad

"This recipe is excellent! Perfect for a hot summer day. I didn't have any fresh basil on hand so I used dried and it turned out really well."


Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie

"Delicious, low calorie, refreshing way to start the day. Just the right amount of sweetness and flavor for me."

-Lucky in Bayview

White Bean & Tuna Salad

"My new, favorite way to eat tuna. The flavor was great. I put the cans of beans and tuna in the refrigerator before I left for work, which made it easy to throw together and serve immediately."

-Robin Riger

Simple Tomato Sandwich

"I'm 57 years old and have had them every summer since I was old enough to eat... yum! They're a must-have with fresh tomatoes from the garden—anyone's garden. Even when you think of them in the deepest cold of winter they will put a smile on your face and make you feel as if the sun has come out."


Kittencal's Caesar Tortellini Salad

"This was really satisfying with the tortellini mixed in with the greens! I used the Caesar dressing recipe, too, and it was rich enough to coat everything well. I love how quick this was to assemble and it even held up nicely in the fridge."

-Roxygirl in Colorado

Big John's Caesar Salad Dressing

"Hands down, absolutely the best homemade Caesar dressing around. It's very tangy. It's got a great, robust flavor and you don't need a lot."


No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake Pie

"Love it, love it! So easy to prepare and refreshingly cool on a hot day! I was thrilled that I had all the ingredients in my pantry to prepare this."


Mom's Sorta-Muffuletta

"Wow was this a great sandwich! I made a vegetarian version for my daughter and the original version for the rest of the family. Everyone loved it."


Caprese Salad

"This is a delicious, healthy and beautiful salad that takes only minutes to prepare. I look forward to the homegrown tomatoes and basil from my garden."

-Lori Shelton

Tuna Melt Sandwich

"I've made this recipe so many times the paper I printed it on is wearing out! We love this sandwich! Whether you've cooked for 20 years or 20 days, this easy recipe will leave you with a smile on your face! Quick and easy to put together and absolutely delicious!"


Chilled Sorrel Soup

"A tangy, cold refreshing spring soup. Spinach may be used instead of sorrel. Use young, tender leaves of the sorrel."


Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese & Bacon

"What a luscious salad! The dressing alone is awesome and the combination of pecans and blue cheese topped it off. In spite of the featured appearance of the wedge, I think I'd go ahead and shred the lettuce next time; the flavors would be the same and it would be easier to eat."

-Lavender Lynne

Cream of Cucumber Soup

"An absolutely wonderful soup to make for very hot weather. It's cooling and delicious. I grated one big English cucumber through the large holes of my box grater for a little texture. The buttermilk and dill do wonderful things to the cucumber."