One-hundred degree heat makes me melt! This summer has been blazing hot here in Kansas City, and even worse back home in Oklahoma. I’ve been avoiding eye contact with my stove. Fortunately, summer produce is at its best and doesn’t need much preparation.
Today, I’m sharing 23 of my favorite summertime recipes, and none of them require the stove or oven. Hallelujah! The list includes breakfast, salads and light meals, no-bake desserts and some cooling drinks. (If you’re looking for refreshing cocktails to sip on your patio, here are all of my cocktails.)
Sometimes you just need a good sauce or dressing to turn summer vegetables into a proper meal—like basil pesto or tzatziki (herbed cucumber yogurt sauce). You can find many more in my new section for homemade condiments, dips and sauces.
If you, like me, are dreaming of cool fall weather and cozy fall clothes already, thought I’d share that the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (affiliate link) has some great deals on Patagonia vests, jackets and sweaters for the whole family. And, my favorite style of high-waisted jeans are half off right now (made in the USA; mine still fit like new two years later).
What else are you craving this summer? I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Your comments really do keep me going, and it’s fun to re-read them as I find a comment to represent each recipe. Have a great weekend!
“How could something so simple and easy be so good? I made this last night and I’ve been putting it on everything (I’ve even been sneaking spoonfuls plain, lol).” – Michelle
“Wow! What a tasty smoothie!! No sweetener, no dairy, and simple available ingredients. This is a winner.” – Rachel
“Wow! That’s all I can say. It’s truly amazing how something this simple can taste so incredibly delicious. Loved it as did my son and his girlfriend. This weekend I am planning on putting together a whole bunch to have for breakfast during the week before work. So easy and convenient plus very yummy. It doesn’t get much better than that.” – Annika
“I made a half recipe of this morning and it was so refreshing and delicious! I also used frozen mango and pineapple but had to add a little bit more coconut water to make it blend in my Vitamix. Thanks, Kate!” – Cathy
“I made this recipe today for breakfast! So delicious. I always want to try the acai bowls at restaurants and markets, but so expensive. I halved the recipe and it served 2 easily and my Vitamix blended it easily still.” – Martha
“Delicious! Perfect for the 5th 90-degree day in a row. Thank you for sharing!” – Johanna
“Wow, LOVE this dressing. Since I’m GF/dairy-free/soy-free its really hard to find Asian recipes that pack tons of flavor and are easy. This recipe SOOOOO hits the spot. Even my omnivore husband asks for a salad with this dressing on the regular! Thank you, Kate!!” – Alina
“I just returned from a mother/daughter trip to Spain and fell in love with Gazpacho. I came home determined to make it myself. Your recipe most closely mirrors what I had there. I am now making it at every entertaining opportunity to share a bit of Spain with my friends. Thanks for a great recipe!” – Mary
“Thanks for the recipe, Kate. I made this tonight and it received rave reviews! It was refreshing as a Greek salad always is, but the Lemon Tahini dressing made it so vibrant. It was so easy and so delicious! Next time I may add beans for a complete meal. The presentation is gorgeous–can’t wait to serve it to guests.” – Judi
“Make these! They are always in my fridge. I eat them every day at lunch. So delicious and super easy to make!” – Paula
“This was delish! I thought it wouldn’t be filling enough for a whole meal, but it was!” – Kathryn
“Thank you, Kate, this is fabulous! I was looking for some new taste and inspiration and your recipes never fail me. The dressing is fantastic and the dried tomato is a must. I will definitely make this again. Thanks again” – Sandra
“Thank you for this bean salad recipe! I made it as part of a big family dinner and everyone was asking me for the recipe. It was so flavorful and really great leftover as well!” – Lauren
“Made this tonight for a quick dinner. It was so delicious! I’ll be bringing this to all the parties/BBQs I go to this summer. I love your blog :)” – Jodi
“This salad is SCRUMPTIOUS. I took it to a Mexican fiesta last weekend and it was a hands-down hit. The pepitas! The feta! THE DRESSING! Such a fresh, crunchy, and tasty salad and a big crowd pleaser, but I have to say, I was happy that I saved a little for myself. I have many favorites, Kate, but this, for now, is my absolute fave.” – Jeanne
“Delicious! I happened to have pretty much all the ingredients at home last evening so I put this salad together to have with dinner. Very easy and so tasty! I used red onion instead of the green because that’s what I had plus I chopped the jalapeno pretty small. It was perfect to have with my veggie burger.” – Annika
“Thanks for posting this recipe! Made it for dinner tonight… it was delicious! My husband loved it. Will definitely make it again” – Denise
“Hi Kate, I had forgotten how delicious this salad is! Served it with slow cooker mac & cheese for dinner last night. I really like that you mix the whole salad at one time, no separate dressing to prepare, and also that the dressing just “dresses” the ingredients and does not drown them!! Perfect summer meal – easy, make ahead, no use of the stove :) Thanks, again, for sharing!” – Kris
“I’m not exaggerating when I say this was the best fruit salad I’ve ever had. Thanks so much for the recipe!” – Melanie
“We made this recipe over the weekend and it was fantastic. I needed a low sugar gluten free dessert and this one was perfect. It was easy to make and everyone raved about it. I used individual tart pans so each person got their own adorable delicious tart.” – Jennie
“I just made it, and it is divine! Thanks for all the fabulous recipes!” – Jenn
“I found my new summer drink – thank you, Kate! I preferred this with bourbon, but my husband liked gin. I think we’ll have to make another batch and try it again.” – Nina
Let me know which flavor is your favorite!
More resources you might appreciate: 13 make-ahead breakfast recipes, 16 recipes that pack well for lunch and 20 simple weeknight dinners. You can shop my essential kitchen equipment here. Don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest for a steady stream of recipe inspiration!