These delicious and ingenious recipes require little work from you and don’t heat up your kitchen, letting the family enjoy a cool home and a home-cooked meal with almost no effort.
1. 10-minute black bean tacos
Five minutes on the stovetop and a can of black beans and some spices make these super satisfying tacos a breeze to prepare. And The Kitchn doesn’t forget to make the toppings easy, too: prepared slaw, salsa and a few avocado wedges are all you need for a complete (and quick) meal.
2. Slow cooker root beer pulled pork sandwiches
With just four ingredients, Mom on Timeout knows cooking doesn’t get much easier than this pulled pork recipe. Kids will love the not-so-secret ingredient (root beer) and parents will love how the slow cooker does all the work without heating up the kitchen.
3. Margherita grilled flatbread pizza
If you’re already outside, fire up the grill and keep the kitchen cool with Wide Open Eats’ grilled pizza. The trick to making this recipe is to skip making homemade pizza dough and use store-bought flatbread instead.
4.Creamy zucchini noodles
This is where everyone’s favorite macaroni and cheese meets healthy veggies, plus Spend With Pennies’ version limits the time sweating at the stovetop (you can make it in just three minutes!). It’s a great way to use up the excess of zucchini we often find in our summer gardens, and if you want to add a bit of protein, top it with grilled shrimp or chicken.
5. Vegan watermelon poke bowl
If your kids scoff at the idea of raw fish on their dinner plates, swap it out with watermelon in Well Vegan’s vegan poke bowls. Watermelon cubes are marinated then served on top of rice and veggies for a colorful and cool summer meal.
6. Grilled summer steak salad with corn
Fresh corn, basil, radishes and tomatoes are the key components in Little Broken’s amazing steak salad. Ribeye is a great cut to cook, but also consider hanger steak or flank steak.
7. Grilled chicken breasts with strawberry cucumber salsa
Head out to the garden or farmer’s market and pick fresh strawberries and cucumbers for Kveller’s fun salsa that’s perfect for summer. And, while you’re outside, fire up the grill to quickly cook chicken marinated in bright citrus flavors.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in July 2019, and updated in August 2021.