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Ways to Make Summer Meals Quick & Easy

It’s hot! Here are clever Ways to Make Summer Meals Quick and Easy. Keep your house cool and budget in check with these simple ideas.

We have tons of Summer Entertaining Ideas [1]and a Summer Bucket List [2] to check out!

How To Make Quick and Easy Summer Meals

If you’re like most modern families, you want to find Ways to Make Summer Meals Quick and Easy. You don’t want to spend a ton of time in a hot, sticky kitchen. You also don’t want to spend extra money by eating out.

Use these ideas to help make summer cooking simple and quick.

Make a Meal Plan

Having a list of your family’s favorite meals and rotating through them will enable you to purchase ingredients when they’re on sale. At this point, buy as many staples as you can. Then, when you need an ingredient for their favorite dish you won’t have to run to the store to pick it up, which saves you a trip.

By planning ahead, you can save a ton of money!

Related: Meal Planning for Beginners [3]

Add Fresh Fruits and Vegetables to Your Meals

Rather than cooking all of your veggies, try serving them as raw as possible.

Fruits and vegetables served raw contain more nutrients than those that are cooked. Serving them raw will also keep your kitchen cooler because you’re not turning on the oven or stove.

Plus, it mixes things up so you’re not serving the same thing every season.

According to Healthline [4], “Some nutrients, particularly water-soluble vitamins, are lost during the cooking process. Raw fruits and vegetables may contain more nutrients like vitamin C and B vitamins.”

Related: Grape Salad [5]

Use Your Crock Pot

Your Crock Pot [6] is not only for the winter months! A crock pot will generate less heat, which means your kitchen doesn’t become sweltering hot. It also allows you to cook while you’re away, busy chasing kids around or if you’re lucky out by the pool.

Just place your ingredients in the crock pot in the morning and they’ll be ready to eat when dinner time rolls around.

How easy is that?!

Related: Easy Slow Cooker Recipes for Summer [7]

Crock Pot sitting on the kitchen counter

Batch Cook

Make staple items like sauces or soups in large amounts ahead of time. These can be frozen and then taken out of the freezer when needed.

Batch cooking [8] saves so much time and energy. There’s nothing easier than defrosting a sauce and serving it over pasta, rice or quinoa for a quick meal.

Related: Freezer Tater Tot Casserole [9]

Use Your Grill

Summer wouldn’t be complete without firing up the grill [10]! Not only does it keep your house cool to use your outdoor grill, it can take less than 20 minutes to prepare your meal.

Think steak salad or chicken or meat kabobs [11].

Salad is Your Friend

Eat a variety of salads during the summer months. Salads are generally quick and easy to make.

Most of the ingredients don’t require cooking so preparation time is less. Of course, you can also make pasta salads ahead of time and place them in the refrigerator so they’re ready when needed.

Related: Cobb Pasta Salad [12]

Tossed Cobb Pasta Salad in a bowl. [12]

Cook Once Eat Twice

When you do plan a meal that is going to take some time and effort, be sure to make enough that you’ll be able to have leftovers.

For instance, if you bake or grill chicken, you can use leftovers to make chicken salad sandwiches. Pot roast can be used to make roast sandwiches and the vegetables put in the freezer [13] to use in soup when soup weather returns.

Try to remember to prepare your food once but use it twice!

Related: Healthy Pesto Chicken and Veggies [14]

Meatless Monday (or Tuesday)

Plan at least one vegetarian meal per week. Not only will this give you an entirely different set of recipes and foods to choose from, it will give your body a rest from the protein you eat the rest of the week.

Tip: Visit a farmer’s market for fresh, seasonal produce or pick foods from your garden and use them as the main ingredients in your vegetarian meal.

Related: Pesto Pasta with Spinach and Avocado [15]

The above ideas are by no means exhaustive. However, if you use even one or two of them they can make summer meals quick and easy. An added benefit is that your home will stay cooler, too!

Planning easy summer meals

What to Have for Dinner When It’s Hot Out

These summer dinner recipes so flavorful, yet so easy to make and most take less than 20 minutes to prepare.

Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers [16]
Chicken Lettuce Wraps [17]
Easy Pineapple Meatball Skewers [11]
Cobb Pasta Salad [12]
Curried Couscous with Broccoli and Feta [18]
Pineapple Cucumber Salad [19]