Satisfying Lunch and Dinner Recipes For Hot Weather

The last thing most people want to do in summer is turn on the oven. You don't need to skimp on nutrition or complete meals with hot weather recipes that will keep you cool and get you out of the kitchen quickly.

Some of the ingredients in these summertime favorites such as pasta, chicken, or hard-cooked eggs, might require some cooking or grilling. Some cooking could be done the evening before when it might be a little cooler.

  • 01 of 18

    Shrimp and Rice Salad With Peas and Celery

    Shrimp Salad With Rice
    Diana Rattray

    Color and flavor abound in this delicious rice salad. Shrimp provides the protein, while flavor and color come from steamed peas, red bell pepper, and a mayonnaise dressing.

  • 02 of 18

    Chicken Salad With Apples and Cranberries

    chicken salad with cranberries
    rudisill/Getty Images

    This chicken salad is a perfect hot weather salad, and hearty enough to serve for dinner. The salad has lots of flavor and crunch with diced fresh apples, cranberries, and optional walnuts or pecans. Serve on lettuce leaves or in nice soft rolls or wraps for a delicious lunch or dinner. Use a purchased rotisserie chicken or basic baked chicken breasts.

  • 03 of 18

    Tuna Pasta Salad With Dill

    Tuna Pasta Salad With Dill
    Diana Rattray

    This tuna and pasta salad will keep you cool. If you don't have chopped fresh dill, a few teaspoons of dried dill would work as well. The salad is an easy preparation and it makes a good main dish or side dish for summer meals.

  • 04 of 18

    Macaroni and Black Bean Salad

    macaroni salad with black beans
    Diana Rattray

    This salad makes a great vegetarian choice, or replace the mayonnaise with your favorite vegan dressing. The Southwestern flavors are fabulous.

    Continue to 5 of 18 below.
  • 05 of 18

    Basic Deviled Eggs

    Basic Deviled Eggs
    Diana Rattray

    Deviled eggs are always a hit for lunches or snacks. Top these basic deviled eggs with sliced or finely chopped red onion, sliced grape tomatoes, fresh chopped parsley, chives, sliced olives, or cornichons.

  • 06 of 18

    Lobster Rolls, 2 Ways

    lobster rolls
    Diana Rattray

    Have it your way. Choose the classic creamy mayonnaise dressing or make it the Connecticut way with melted butter.  

  • 07 of 18

    Tuna Salad Recipe

    Tuna Salad Recipe
    Diana Rattray

    Add fresh chopped celery or finely chopped onion to customize this tuna salad with the ingredients you love. Hard-cooked eggs are delicious in tuna salad, along with the dill relish and dill weed, but tuna salad is versatile.

    Serve the tuna salad in sandwiches made with your favorite bread, panini, or on lettuce leaves for a delicious lunch or summertime dinner.

  • 08 of 18

    Crab Salad with Summer Vegetables

    Crab Salad
    Annabelle Breakey/Collection: Stockbyte/Getty Images

    This is a delicious salad to serve on a hot summer day, whether for a family meal or a special cookout or potluck.

    Continue to 9 of 18 below.
  • 09 of 18

    Steak Salad

    steak salad
    Katie Workman /

    Throw a steak on the grill and toss it onto a salad for a cool and hearty summer meal.

  • 10 of 18

    Tuna Salad With Dijon Dressing

    Tuna Salad Nicoise
    Diana Rattray

    This salad is delicious with fresh grilled tuna, but you could certainly make it with a good quality canned or packaged tuna. It's a hearty and flavorful Nicoise-style salad. Potatoes and green beans can be cooked ahead of time, cut, and chilled until prep time.

  • 11 of 18

    Southern-Style Ham Salad

    Ham Salad in Mini Bun
    Diana Rattray

    Ham salad is an excellent way to use leftover ham, and it makes wonderful sandwiches. Serve with chips and a tossed salad for a  satisfying meal.

  • 12 of 18

    Garden Pasta Salad With Rotini

    Garden Pasta Salad
    Diana Rattray

    This tasty pasta salad features fresh vegetables and a creamy mayonnaise and pesto dressing.

    Continue to 13 of 18 below.
  • 13 of 18

    Simple Shrimp Salad

    shrimp salad
    Diana Rattray

    This shrimp salad is a snap to throw together for a hot summer evening meal. Serve it on lettuce leaves with a side of fresh tomatoes.

  • 14 of 18

    Macaroni Salad with Cheese and Ham

    Macaroni Salad with Cheese and Ham
    Diana Rattray

    Add this delicious macaroni salad to your cookout menu. It's a glorious symphony of flavor and color. Ham and cheese provide plenty of protein.

  • 15 of 18

    Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps

    grilled chicken salad wraps
    Elaine Lemm

    Use soft store-bought wraps for these amazing Caesar salad sandwiches. Grilled chicken breasts and a homemade Caesar dressing provide the filling.

  • 16 of 18

    California Grilled Chicken Salad

    grilled chicken salad
    Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

    This grilled chicken salad provides a healthy fresh mixture of vegetables along with some pancetta and grilled chicken. It's a satisfying salad, perfect for lunch or dinner.

    Continue to 17 of 18 below.
  • 17 of 18

    Taco Salad

    Taco salad
    Diana Rattray

    If you have browned ground beef crumbles on hand, you can have a taco salad in minutes. Get a jumpstart on this dish by freezing well-drained ground beef in 1-pound portions that you can pull out at your convenience to start this salad.

  • 18 of 18

    Pineapple Salad With Walnuts

    Pineapple Salad
    Diana Rattray

    A pineapple salad goes well with all kinds of grilled foods. Serve it along with grilled tuna, salmon, pork, or chicken.