Ahh…summer. For most foodies, the freedom from classes prompts an increase in time spent in the kitchen, creating the recipes that were bookmarked as “for later” during a hectic finals week.

However, there is one drawback to these lazy, sun-filled days: sometimes it’s just plain hot. And the last thing you want to do is turn your oven on and create even more heat. Do I look someone who would like to live in a sauna? No, thank you.

Never fear, Spooners, we’ve got you covered. Check out this awesome list of recipes that will satisfy your tastebuds without killing you from heat stroke. Better yet, choose a dish from each category to make yourself a classy three-course meal.


Cucumber, Avocado & Tomato Salad


Photo by Maggie Gorman

It’s light, refreshing…and it has avocados in it. Which we know you’re obsessed with. 

Watermelon Salad with Balsamic Reduction


Photo by Tiare Brown

This one’s a little more adventurous, but it only takes one bite of this genius salty-sweet combination to fall in love.



Photo by Piril Dobrucali

Soup isn’t just for winter. This cold summer dish is both light and refreshing. An added bonus: it’s super simple. Toss all the ingredients into a blender and you’re good to go.


Grilled Meal Packs


Photo by Hannah Lin

Might as well make use of those extended daylight hours while you have them, right? These entrées are easy to assemble and incredibly versatile: pick your veggies, pick your protein and plop it on the grill.

Real Mac’ n’ Cheese in a Mug


Photo by Alex Weiner

Okay, this one doesn’t exactly scream summer, but hey—when has this classic pasta dish ever let you down?


Grilled Banana Boat S’mores


Photo courtesy of Mike Lang at anotherpintplease.com

If you already used your grill for your entrée, this one’s a no-brainer. Caramelized banana, melty chocolate and gooey marshmallows combine to create this mind-blowing dessert.

Berry Cheesecake Parfaits


Photo by Katherine Richter

Because who doesn’t like cheesecake? Make these mini desserts your own by adding in different fruits, chocolate chips or even shredded coconut.