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Home Cooks Are Sharing Their Favorite Go-To Meals For Hot Summer Weather

"Summer life improved drastically when I realized I was an adult and I can have snacks for dinner.”

I dunno about you, but where I live, the weather is starting to get HOT. And when I can no longer walk down the street without dripping in sweat, the last thing I want to do is touch (or even look at) my stove or oven.

In preparation for summer, u/pambannedfromchilis asked the home cooks of Reddit to share their favorite "no-cook or cool foods" for hot days, and I'm pleased to report that they're A) exceptionally delicious, and B) not all salads.

These are some of the best responses — and for good measure, I even added some of my personal favorites that are made on repeat all summer long. Stay cool, folks! 🥵

1. "Pasta alla crudaiola. It's one of my summer favorites, and it's ultra simple. Just smash up some garlic with olive oil, salt, and pepper, add diced fresh tomatoes and any hard cheese you'd like, then toss together with pasta and fresh basil."

Pasta alla crudaiola

2. "Smashed cucumber salad (or pai huang gua) is so easy and SO refreshing. It's a traditional Chinese dish that's commonly served during super hot months, and it's really just a matter of cutting and smashing some cukes and letting them marinade in a simple dressing. The best part: The longer it sits, the better it gets."

3. "Greek. Salad. All. Day. You have your basics: tomato, cucumber, olives, red onion, and the all-important feta cheese tossed with olive oil and vinegar. Once you have that, the rest is up to you. Wanna add pasta or other grains? Go for it. Leafy greens? That too. You can even spoon it over bread."

4. "Charcuterie boards. Summer life improved drastically when I realized I was an adult and I can have snacks for dinner."

charcuterie board

5. "Liang ban ji. Chinese cuisine has hundreds of cold dishes which normally require some cooking, but are best made in advance and served cold. This one is my favorite..."

liang ban ji - cold chicken in scallion and ginger sauce

6. "Here in the UK, we do a 'Ploughman's Lunch.' It's basically a snack plate of whatever you want — we do sausage, cheese, olives, pickles, some different mustards, and some cut up fruit thrown into the mix."

ploughman's lunch

7. "Egg salad, but don't hard boil the eggs! When you really want egg salad but don't want a pot of water boiling in your house, There is no compelling reason why egg salad has to be made from hard-boiled eggs specifically."

egg salad

8. "Mul naengmyeon is a cold Korean 'noodle soup.' It's just thin buckwheat noodles that are boiled and rinsed in cold water, and the broth is cooled and added to the noodles with ice."

Mul naengmyeon

9. "I love making cold soba noodle salad with leftover chicken, leftover veggies, plus raw veggies like peppers, carrots, and celery."

sobad noodle salad

10. "We eat lots of tacos, where the only thing you have to cook is the protein. You can obviously eat them with the protein still warm, but they're also great at room temperature using leftovers with a cool salsa or slaw."

plate of chicken tacos with sliced limes on the side

11. "Pasta salad. There are satisfying cold foods out there that aren't sandwiches!"

pasta salad

12. "I make Vietnamese summer rolls wrapped in rice paper. They're so nice on hot days — you'll feel full without feeling weighed down, since being full of heavy or oily food on hot days sucks."

vietnamese summer rolls

13. "Tomato sandwiches. The secret is to season the heck out of 'em. Perfectly-ripe tomatoes with lots of salt and pepper sandwiched between two slices of bread (with mayo, of course) is as good as it gets, and it takes all of one minute to prepare."

tomato sandwich two halves

14. "In Bulgaria, we make tarator. It's a cold soup that's one of the most delicious and refreshing meals you could eat on a hot day, and it's made in 5–10 minutes."

tarator cucumber yogurt soup

15. "Curry chicken salad. It's so easy when you use store-bought rotisserie chicken and eat it with pieces of store-bought naan."

curry chicken salad with crackers

16. "Homemade 'sorbet' is the best warm weather dessert. Just blitz some frozen fruit with Greek yogurt, a splash of liquid (like milk or almond milk), and a dash of vanilla extract in the food processor."

sorbet in food processor

17. "Watermelon salad is a great side (or app). Just watermelon chunks, big pieces of feta cheese, and torn mint leaves. So easy, but so impressive."

watermelon salad with feta and mint

18. "I love making poke (or poke-inspired) bowls, and if you, like me, always have leftover rice in the fridge, there's no cooking required! If buying and preparing raw fish intimidates you, I've also been known to use pre-cooked shrimp...or imitation crab...or honestly, canned salmon or tuna."

poke bowl

19. "Rotisserie chicken-based salads are my best friend during the hot summer months here in Louisiana. You can pretty much make them to match whatever flavor profile you desire."

rotisserie chicken in salad

20. "Cucumber sandwiches. Just to say it, cuke sammies are highly underrated."

cucumber sandwiches

21. "My wife and I like to make gazpacho with parmesan crisps for really hot days. Keeps in the fridge damn near forever as well."

gazpacho in a bowl

22. "Mexican shrimp cocktail (or coctel de camarones). Serve it in a halved avocado, and it's a meal that's perfect for hot weather."

mexican shrimp cocktail

23. "Homemade veggie flatbreads. If I know there's going to be a series of really hot days, I'll make a huge batch of pizza dough and roll it into large, thin squares..."

Veggie flatbread

24. "Coconut shrimp in the air fryer. When I do have to cook, I utilize my Instant Pot (and air fryer lid) a LOT more than my stove or oven, since it doesn't generate all that much heat. So even making coconut shrimp is much less heat-producing than frying them in oil on the stove."

25. "We occasionally enjoy what I call 'dip for dinner.' We'll just pick up some store-bought hummus, baba ganoush, cut up some veggies for dipping, and finish with some pita or pita chips."

baba ganoush on a platter with veggies

26. "For the vegetarians out there: chickpea salad sandwiches! They can usually be made with all store-bought ingredients, so you just have to mix it together and store it in the fridge. If you don't want to eat it with bread, you can even have it with crackers as a 'dip.'"

chickpea salad sandwiches

27. "Caprese salad for the win — no cooking, just slicing and arranging!"

caprese salad

28. "BLTs! Yes, you do have to cook the bacon...but you can easily do that in advance (or buy the already-cooked kind). Everything else is cold, and it truly only takes a minute to assemble."

BLT on a platter

29. "I'm from Poland. During hot days, I love chlodnik — a cold beet soup. It's so simple. Just top it with yogurt and herbs, but you can also add things like radishes, cucumbers, or even hard-boiled eggs if you'd like."

chlodnik beet soup

What's your favorite meal to "cook" (or assemble) as the weather starts to get warmer? Drop it in the comments below! 👇