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Most of us count down the months until summertime—we look forward to the long, lazy evenings, beach trips and extra time spent with family.
While extended daylight and warmer temperature may be perfect for outdoor activities, there’s one thing that can become distinctly unpleasant in the summertime, and that is heating up an already warm kitchen to make dinner every night (usually during peak temperatures for the day).
Doing your best to avoid turning on the oven, but still managing to put homemade food on the table each evening? Here are 5 recipes for summertime dinner inspiration!
Lemon Pepper Rotisserie Chicken Salad
Rotisserie Chicken is truly a wonderful thing when it comes to making dinner with little to no heat. And chicken salad is perfectly cool meal for lunch or dinner. Serve this one on crackers, hamburger buns or Romaine lettuce leaves for a hearty and refreshing meal.
Italian Caprese Pasta Salad
Pasta salad doesn’t have to be just a forgotten side dish, playing second fiddle at a backyard barbecue! This take on a Caprese salad is perfect for a light dish that kids and grown-ups will love. Boil your pasta in the cool hours of the morning and you can easily have a no-cook dinner on the table in a matter of minutes. Need a little more protein? Add in some rotisserie chicken (see above) or even some sliced deli meat for a little boost!
Fresh Zucchini and Corn Chowder
This fresh summer soup is perfect for making ahead of time, and heating in the crock pot or instant pot! Putting veggies in a soup or stew often makes kids more willing to eat them, and this one is fresh and flavorful. Serve with a side of watermelon, cherries, or ripe summer peaches and your dinner will be a wonderful summer harvest meal!
Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs
Got a grill? No need to wait til the 4th of July to get it fired up! These easy, gorgeous and nutritious chicken kabobs are perfect for a lazy summer evening at home, and the kids can even help skewer the meat and veggies before you throw them on the grill for a few minutes! Serve with a fresh green salad or some grilled corn-on-the-cob and your meal is complete.
Slow Cooker Chicken Carnitas
Everyone loves a good slow-cooker meal and using this handy kitchen gadget is just about the best way to get a hot meal on the table without heating the whole house. This delicious chicken carnitas recipe is tasty twist on typical carnitas. Chop up some fresh veggies, a cool avocado, and a sprig of cilantro and you’ll be enjoying a delicious meal in no time.
BBQ Chicken Cobb Salad
This one is a crowd-pleaser—any salad that includes bacon is bound to please even the pickiest eater! Use rotisserie or precooked chicken and add a colorful variety of toppings to make this salad hearty enough to stand on its own for dinner.