15 Quick and Easy Summer Recipes for When It's Just Too Hot for the Stovetop
With temperatures rising as the summer season sets in across the country, spending all day toiling over the stovetop is the last thing on anyone's mind. And we don't blame you! That's why few ingredients, simple preparations, and easy clean-ups — think one-pot dinners — coupled with Instant Pots, slow cookers, outdoor grills and air fryers, are all hallmarks of some of our favorite recipes this summer.
From air fryer stuffed veggie chicken breasts and fall-off-the-bone slow cooker pulled pork to 10-minute turkey spaghetti zoodles and flatbread pizzas grilled outdoors, these 15 quick and easy summer recipes are guaranteed to keep your house, and most importantly you, cool this summer.
Instant Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice Bowls
From rapid high-pressure cooking to hours-long slow cooking modes, the meals you make this summer in your Instant Pot will feel like you've spent hours in the kitchen. But we know better! This one-pot chicken and rice bowl is effortless and ready in 30 minutes. "We served it with chips and sour cream on top," says reviewer Jennifer Mreen Holmes. "A definite keeper!"
Fresh greens and vegetables from the farmers' market make for a quick and filling summer meal in this popular French salad with canned tuna, anchovies, and hard-boiled eggs. Recipe creator Bob Cody recommends beefing it up with other in-season vegetables like corn and asparagus, which can be blanched or grilled for more flavor. "Fresh tuna steak lightly grilled and chopped adds so much more flavor and texture," recommends janeane1.
Mexican-Style Air Fryer Stuffed Chicken Breasts
This high-protein dinner provides approximately 30 percent of the daily value of protein, as well as 22 percent of the necessary daily dietary fiber. And, best of all? According to creator Buckwheat Queen, this recipe takes "just over 10 minutes in the air fryer and gives you juicy, tender chicken breasts filled with spicy veggies." Serve with tortillas and a side of pico de gallo using fresh summer tomatoes to complete your meal.
Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken
This slow cooker cilantro lime chicken is perfect for busy summer weekdays. Add in all the ingredients in the morning, let cook over low heat for several hours, and come back to an enticing aroma wafting through the house. "This recipe makes a whole lotta chicken, so I tried it several ways," says reviewer Jeanette Krause. "It was good in crispy taco shells and in corn and flour tortillas. The biggest winner, however, was chicken enchiladas."
Grilled Tuna with Fresh Horseradish
Taking your cooking outdoors by firing up the barbeque grill is one way to keep things cool in your home. And, most importantly, it makes cooking a breeze. Take this grilled tuna recipe in a flavorful horseradish-soy-vinegar marinade — it marinates for 20 minutes and needs only six minutes on a preheated grill! If you find yourself out of hot chile paste, reviewer Jonathan Sheedy recommends substituting with sriracha and increasing the amount of fresh horseradish.
Instant Pot Vegan Chili
Chock-full of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, this vegan chili is what you need to be cooking for your next summertime meatless Monday meal. "This simplest vegan chili recipe, made in the Instant Pot or other multi-functional pressure cooker, is quick, easy, hearty, and perfect for a party," says creator danmann. "Serve topped with tortilla chips and green onions."
Caprese Salad with Grilled Flank Steak
This healthy summer salad recipe is ideal for days when you're short on both time and energy. Fire up the grill as you prepare the salad mix, and watch your meal come together in under 30 minutes. "It can be served in small portions as an appetizer salad, or in large portions as a whole meal," says cookinmama.
Top Tip: Reducing the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan results in an elevated, sweet and tangy dressing.
Air Fryer Breakfast Frittata
Breakfast just got easier and oil-free with this air fryer recipe. For a vegetarian version, swap out the breakfast sausage with veggie crumbles. "Absolutely loved this!" exclaims reviewer Wanda Scruggs. "Added mushrooms, green onions and added an extra egg. Seasoned the egg mixture before cooking frittata. It was amazing!"
Top Tip: If you are worried about the frittata sticking to the cake pan, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
Summer Tomato Salad
One of the best parts of summer is getting to eat all the in-season varieties of tomato. Wondering what to do with your farmers' market tomato haul? This easy tomato salad recipe, which dates back to 1912, has your name written all over it. Though cherry tomatoes and yellow pear tomatoes are what the recipe calls for, any fresh, ripe tomato will do. "I never would have thought that it would be possible for a salad to have this much flavor without a heavy dressing!" says reviewer Sonni.
Grilled Mediterranean Vegetable Sandwich
A loaf of focaccia and oven-roasted or grilled vegetables make for a gourmet sandwich that will have you going back to the kitchen for seconds — the recipe makes plenty of leftovers that can last in the fridge for several days. Reviewer slappysmom recommends roasting the veggies a day in advance, so the peppers have a chance to release their juices. "You can buy roasted red peppers in the jar at the store, which saves a lot of time," recommends Jennifer Corr.
Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork
If you have time, it's best to cook this in your slow cooker on low for 10 to 12 hours. The resulting pulled pork is succulent and flavorful. "I've used a de-boned and a bone-in and the bone-in definitely comes out a little tastier," comments jenleighd. Best served on a toasted roll, the recipe makes plenty of leftovers that can be frozen and eaten throughout the week with eggs or rice.
Summer Quinoa Salad
Turkey Spaghetti Zoodles
This one-pot meal is low carb, paleo, gluten-free AND best of all, it's done in 10 minutes! Recipe creator Megan Olson recommends serving immediately or making ahead — it keeps well in the fridge for up to three days. "Next time I will add sauteed onion and more garlic," says reviewer Kathy Hope.
Instant Pot Khichdi
Brown rice and lentils come together for a filling summer meal in this classic Indian staple, made effortless thanks to this Instant Pot recipe by Buckwheat Queen. "Khichdi is easy to digest, so it is nice for detox or when you want something light," she says. Add chopped carrots, green beans, red peppers, potatoes and cauliflower for a vegetable-filled meal.
Grilled Prosciutto and Peach Flatbread Pizza
Naan — a popular leavened Indian flatbread traditionally baked in a clay tandoor — forms the base of this summery grilled pizza with fresh peaches, ricotta, salty prosciutto, and a tangy drizzle of balsamic honey reduction. "Absolutely lovely! A fresh, bright spin on pizza!" says reviewer Mike Avery.