When the temperatures inch their way up toward the triple digits, as they have in many parts of the country this summer, cooking an elaborate meal is the last thing on our minds. That's why we turn to some of our favorite quick, cooling meals on those hot summer nights. From pasta salads to simple sandwiches, the only thing that's missing from these meals is a perfectly chilled glass of wine.
Yes, you will have to turn on the stove briefly for this recipe, but all of the ingredients are so quick-cooking that you won't heat up your kitchen too much. Plus, the resulting dish is completely worth it.
Sandwiches are one of our go-to summer meals. They are easy to make, often best enjoyed cold, and can be as fancy as you want them to be. This open-faced chicken salad sandwich feels more like a tartine, and can be customized to fit your tastes.
If you're going grain-free, this is the salad to try. It swaps in cauliflower for the couscous, and loads up the rest with fresh veggies and herbs. Make enough to enjoy leftovers, as it gets better the longer the dressing marinates.
The quick-cooking ginger and garlic chicken in this dish is sure to become a family favorite. And the pea shoots add a new texture and flavor to the traditional wilted greens.
Add a little protein to your favorite tabbouleh recipe by swapping in quinoa for the traditional bulgur. This dish is great as a vegetarian main course or as a side dish for your favorite grilled chicken.
While we originally imagined this dish as an appetizer, it also works just as well as a main course when paired with a fresh salad or grilled vegetables. Plus, if you have kids, they'll love a meal that feels like a grown-up cocktail party.
Don't be intimidated by scallops; they are one of the quickest and easiest seafood dishes to cook. Plus, you can pair them with all kinds of flavors, like this white wine and lemon combination.
We're firm believers that BLTs should all come with avocado, making them BLTAs instead. This sandwich also gets an upgrade, thanks to the herbaceous basil mayo.
This simple pasta salad might be one of our favorites for hot days, thanks to the salty feta and briny olives that stud the dish.
This hearty summer salad has a mix of fresh flavors to go with the substantial amount of chickpeas and grains. You won't feel weighed down, but you also won't feel hungry again an hour later.
Learning to make sandwiches for a crowd is definitely a skill to master this summer. Whether for picnics, backyard meals, or road trips, they can't be beat. This caprese sandwich is an upgrade on the classic, thanks to the basil pesto.
Upgrade your classic Waldorf salad into a main course by adding a can of chickpeas to the mix. It keeps the same flavor profile, but adds texture and protein for a complete meal.
The trick to getting the right texture to this updated broccoli slaw recipe is to run the broccoli through your food processor, which shreds it into perfectly sized pieces. Also, make sure you soak the currants in hot water quickly — it plumps them up and improves the texture.
This dish is similar to a ratatouille, with sautéed summer veggies. Topped with a sunny-side-up egg, it's an easy summer meal for any time of day. You can swap in whatever veggies you have from your CSA or backyard vegetable garden.
As much as we love a simple lemon and oil dressing, we also have a soft spot for a creamy, garlicky salad dressing. This chicken- and salami-studded salad is a recreation of a favorite from an Italian restaurant. All that's missing is the red-checkered tablecloth.
Quesadillas are one of the easiest summer meals to make, but there's no reason you have to stick with a black bean and cheese base. This updated sausage and sauerkraut one is just the variation you've been looking for.
Yes, bacon on the grill is a thing, and one that you should try immediately. Just be careful of spatters of bacon grease as the corn cobs cook.
When you have leftover slow-cooker carnitas, this is the perfect meal to make the next night. The creamy avocado, salty chips, and spicy carnitas or pulled pork make for a salad that will leave you satisfied.
Perfect as a light main dish or a flavorful side, this corn salad makes the most of some of our favorite summer ingredients. If you prefer, feel free to swap in basil in place of the mint and add grilled chicken or shrimp.
We'll never get tired of making zucchini noodles; they're one of the best ways to enjoy your summer squash, and coating them in this flavorful pesto makes for a winning dish.
Pan-frying the chickpeas in this dish gives them a bit of crunch, which lends an almost crouton-esque texture to this fresh salad.
Sometimes you can't go wrong with a classic like this simple spinach salad. The shaved Pecorino Romano, pickled red onions, and brown butter dressing really elevate the dish.
Stuffed avocados sometimes fall off our radar, but they are delightfully easy to make. This spicy shrimp version has mango, cilantro, and plenty of chili flakes.
This upgraded caprese sandwich will make anyone a sandwich convert. The avocado spread on the bread makes all the difference.