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Favorite Summertime Dinner Ideas

When summer temperatures rise, the last thing you want to do is heat up your house by turning on the oven. Do you know what else isn’t appealing? Standing over a hot stove top or grill. 

In the summer you want something cool, refreshing, and easy to make for dinner. I’ve gathered together three of my favorite summertime dinner recipes that are perfect for hot summer days. 

Summer Dinner Ideas – No Oven Required!

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Looking for some new summer dinner ideas?  We have some tried and trued summer favorite dinner ideas on this list and best of all, no oven required!

Traditional Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Chicken Salad Sandwiches are a favorite summertime dinner at my house. This is a family recipe, and in my opinion it’s the best chicken salad sandwich. Even better than most Chicken Salad Sandwiches served at restaurants. 

To start, I normally begin by cooking some chicken in my instapot or I use left-over rotisserie chicken. My favorite brand of mayonnaise for this recipe is Best Foods or Hellman’s, it honestly makes a difference in the flavor.  You’ll also want to use real lemon juice too. 

chicken salad sandwiches


  • 2 cups Diced Chicken
  • 1 cup thin sliced celery 
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Salt 
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¾ cup Mayonnaise 
  • 1 cup halved seedless grapes
  • ½ cup chopped cashews
  • Croissants to serve on


Toss the chicken, celery, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix in mayo and then carefully fold in grapes and cashews. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve on croissants or pita bread. 

Santa Fe Chicken Salad Wraps

My favorite Santa Fe Chicken Salad Wraps recipe comes from the blog

chicken wrap summertime dinner ideas
Picture from Together As

This recipe consists of three parts: first the Chicken Salad “filling”, second the Santa Fe Dressing, and third the wrap’s additional ingredients to pull it all together.


Chicken Salad:

  • 3 cups chopped or shredded chicken
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans. Drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz)  fire roasted corn. Drained. 
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, chopped finely. 

Santa Fe Dressing:

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise 
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon each of black pepper, chili powder, and Cumin


  • Large burrito style flour tortillas
  • Halved cherry tomatoes
  • Shredded lettuce 
  • Sliced avocado
  • Shredded cheese


The first step is to make a creamy cilantro dressing. Then create the chicken salad by mixing the chicken, black beans, corn, and bell peppers. Then mix in the dressing. After that wrap the chicken mixture up in a tortilla with cheese, shredded lettuce, cherry tomatoes and avocado. 

With only 320 calories per wrap, this summer time dinner won’t derail your efforts for a trimmer summertime body. 

Strawberry Salad

This Strawberry Salad is also a family favorite recipe. We serve this salad at our summer BBQs and it always gets devoured. It’s served with a sweet poppy seed dressing and crunchy toffee bits that balance the flavor of the strawberries and romaine salad well. 

strawberry salad summertime dinner ideas


For the Salad:

  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ½ red onion – thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. Strawberries – sliced
  • 3 Romaine hearts – chopped
  • ½ – 1 cup toffee bits. 

Poppy Seed Dressing:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise 
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds.


Mix the salad ingredients together in a bowl – except for the toffee bits. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Then make the poppy seed salad dressing. Pour the dressing over salad and add the toffee bits right before serving or the salad will get soggy. 

Cold Chicken Wraps – Caesar or Southwest style

chicken wraps

This is super easy and super yummy! It’s also very versatile because it can be done in a variety of ways. You can boil several boneless chicken breasts ahead of time, shred them into small pieces by hand and put in the fridge for later.

Or if you want to make things even easier, purchase a high quality canned chicken. No matter your preference, take your chicken and mix it with either chipotle ranch or Caesar dressing. Make sure all of the chicken is covered in the dressing.

Pull out whatever flavor wrap your family prefers then add your vegetables and other items. For the Caesar variety – romaine lettuce, tomato, chopped onions, and parmesan cheese work best.

For the southwest variety – iceberg lettuce, a little but of corn, a pinch of cheddar cheese, and a scoop of avocado or salsa and you are good to go!

Come & Get Them Sloppy Joe’s

Brown 1-2 lbs of ground beef in a skillet on the stove. Drain any fat that remains.  Add chopped onions, chopped green peppers, and your favorite pre-packaged sloppy joe mix and a small amount of water.

Continue to stir the ingredients until the onions and peppers are well cooked and the mix covers all of the beef. When you are done dump the ingredients into a bowl that has a lid.

You can either place it in the fridge and microwave it later or bring it out to the picnic table with some hamburger buns and enjoy!

Cold Cuts & Pasta Salad


This one is super easy! Before hitting up the deli for your favorite meats, boil up a box of tri-colored pasta. Take the pasta and dump it into a large serving bowl. Allow the pasta to cool in the fridge for a while.

When that’s done, take it out and add some Italian dressing to it (this will depend on how flavorful you want it to be). Top it off with cubed Colby jack cheese, sliced pepperoni, and your favorite veggies (green olives, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers are great!).

Make a quick trip to your favorite deli to buy the meats and cheese for your sandwiches. Place the meats and cheeses onto a serving platter along with bread and condiments that your family enjoys. Voila!

Dressed Up Hot Dogs


Whether you choose to cook your hot dogs on the grill or on a stick over the fire pit in your backyard, add a little pizzazz to them by topping them off with more than just ketchup in mustard.

Switching things up and adding unique toppings to this summer staple will not only be fun for your kids but can also open up their taste buds to a whole variety of new foods. Here are a few ideas to spice up your favorite dogs.

If none of these ideas appeal to you, don’t forget old standbys like BBQ Chicken on the grill, eating any breakfast meal for dinner (cold cereal, pancakes, etc.) or opting for something super easy like a charcuterie and cheese platter for everyone to share.

Another great idea for cooking in the summer is to use your slow cooker! Go here for dinner ideas to make in your crock pot.

Hopefully these summertime recipes help you feed your family while still keeping your cool. What are your favorite summertime dinner ideas?

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