Summer Meal Plan: Cool Meals for Hot Days

It’s only the middle of June and we’ve already hit 90 degree weather here in Tennessee! While I love sunshine and warm weather, I do not like a hot house. In fact, earlier this week I turned the oven on in the afternoon to fix a roast and could not cool down until I took a cold bath later that night! That’s when I decided to create a Summer Meal Plan.

My Summer Meal Plan consists of recipes that do not require the use of the oven. Instead, I’m opting to use my crockpot, Instant Pot, grill, and griddle as well as eating fresh raw vegetables and fruits, salads, and sandwiches. If I do need to use the oven, I try to turn it on in the early hours of the day before the temperature sky rockets.

Another plus to having a Summer Meal Plan: One less thing to think about! I don’t know about you but when school’s out and the kids are always hungry, I don’t need to be standing in front of the fridge at 4:00 contemplating what’s for supper. So I jotted down our favorite (cool) recipes and put them on rotation.

Here’s a glimpse at my Summer Meal Plan.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal & Baked Peanut Butter Oatmeal (These recipes require an oven but I bake them early in the morning.)

Chocolate Chip Greek Yogurt Pancakes (I make these on the griddle.)

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Breakfast Shakes

Fresh fruit & yogurt parfaits (simply layer fruit with yogurt and granola)

Bacon, sausage, eggs (hard-boiled, scrambled, fried, omelettes)

French Toast (Kate’s specialty), Cinnamon Toast


Most days we eat bean & cheese burritos, nachos, quesadillas, cold sandwiches, freezer meals, or leftovers.

These are some other lunch ideas we particularly like:

Black Beans in the Slow Cooker

Low-Carb Burgers

Pepperoni Pizza Grilled Cheese

Vegetarian Pizza Quesadillas (I add pepperoni.)

Sonoma Chicken Salad (my favorite!)

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Pizza Bagels

Grilled Cheese (griddle)

Soup (I know it’s hot outside, but I find soup always a comforting lunch for us): Tomato, Taco, Cheesy Taco Soup, Chili, Chicken Noodle


Every few weeks I will slow cook a whole chicken, but sometimes I just might pick up a rotisserie chick at the store. There are so many uses for shredded chicken! Here are some favorite (cooler) dinner recipes.

Slow Cooker Chicken, Broccoli, & Rice Casserole

Slow Cooker Barbecue Meatloaf

Melt in Your Mouth Pot Roast with potatoes & carrots

Honey Garlic Meatballs (Crockpot)

Instant Pot Chicken Taco Bowls

Paleo Carnitas (Crockpot)

Slow Cooker Shredded Mexican Chicken

Crockpot Barbecue Chicken

Slow Cooker Beef & Cheese Pasta

In-N-Out Cheeseburgers (grill)

Best Grilled Salmon

For sides, we almost always have salad, prepared by the helper of the day. We’ve had some creative salads! Other favorites are steamed broccoli and green beans cooked in the microwave, raw cucumbers and carrots, and zoodles (zucchini noodles). Sometimes we’ll have crockpot baked potatoes or sweet potatoes.

Snacks (because kids)

3-Ingredient Yogurt Bark

No-Bake Energy Balls

Easy Skinny Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Veggies w/ Hummus or Guacamole

Fruit & raw veggies

Cheese sticks, String cheese

Deli meat

Hardboiled eggs



After two weeks of swim lessons, I am ready for those slow summer days, if just for a week or two. A Summer Meal Plan provides one less thing to plan for so I can enjoy some fun with my crazy kids.

What are your summer time favorites?

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  1. Miss all these faces and love these ideas!