Satisfying Lunch and Dinner Recipes for Hot Weather

These hot weather recipes will keep you cool and get you out of the kitchen quickly. Here are some of my favorite summer lunch and dinner recipes, including sandwiches, hearty salads, and snacks.

Some of the ingredients, like pasta, chicken or hard-cooked eggs, might require some cooking or grilling. Some cooking could be done the evening before when it might be a little cooler.

  • 01 of 12
    Chicken Salad With Apples and Cranberries
    Chicken Salad With Apples and Cranberries. Photo of Chicken Salad © Diana Rattray

    This popular chicken salad is a perfect hot weather salad, and hearty enough to serve for dinner. The salad has lots of flavor and crunch with diced fresh apples, cranberries, and optional walnuts or pecans. Serve in lettuce leaves or in nice soft rolls or wraps for a delicious lunch or dinner. Use a purchased rotisserie chicken or these Basic Baked Chicken Breasts.

  • 02 of 12
    Tuna Pasta Salad With Dill
    Tuna Pasta Salad With Dill. Photo of Tuna Pasta Salad With Dill © Diana Rattray

    This flavorful pasta salad is hearty and delicious. If you don't have chopped fresh dill, a few teaspoons of dried dill weed would work as well. It's easy to prepare and makes a good main dish or side dish for summer meals.

  • 03 of 12
    Macaroni and Black Bean Salad
    Macaroni and Black Bean Salad. Photo of Macaroni and Black Bean Salad © Diana Rattray

    This salad makes a great vegetarian choice, or replace the mayonnaise with your favorite vegan dressing to make it vegan. The southwestern flavors are fabulous!

  • 04 of 12
    Basic Deviled Eggs
    Basic Deviled Eggs. Photo of Basic Deviled Eggs © Diana Rattray

    Deviled eggs are always a hit for lunches or snacks. Top these basic deviled eggs with sliced or finely chopped red onion, sliced grape tomatoes, fresh chopped parsley or chives, or sliced olives or cornichons.

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12
    Tuna Salad Recipe
    Tuna Salad Recipe. Photo of Tuna Salad Recipe © Diana Rattray

    Add fresh chopped celery or finely chopped onion to customize this tuna salad with the ingredients you love. I like hard-cooked eggs in tuna salad, along with the dill relish and dill weed, but tuna salad is very versatile.

    Serve in sandwiches, panini, or on lettuce leaves for a delicious lunch or summertime dinner.

  • 06 of 12

    Chopped Salad With Grilled Chicken

    Chopped Salad With Grilled Chicken
    Chopped Salad With Grilled Chicken. Photo of Chopped Salad With Grilled Chicken © Diana Rattray

    You can't go wrong with this hearty, versatile salad. A combination of chopped grilled chicken, diced ham or bacon, chickpeas, peppers, and lettuce make it a great hot weather choice for lunch or dinner. Serve this delicious salad with your favorite vinaigrette or salad dressing.

  • 07 of 12
    Pasta Salad With Peas and Ham
    Pasta Salad With Peas and Ham. Photo of Pasta Salad With Peas and Ham © Diana Rattray
    I used rotini in this salad, but fusilli, wheels, or a similar pasta would be good as well. It's loaded with flavor and hearty enough for a main dish salad dinner. As with many pasta salads, try to make this in advance and refrigerate for several hours for best flavor.
  • 08 of 12

    Fresh Fruit Salad with Toasted Pecans and Fresh Mint

    Rasmus Bredhal

    This tasty fruit salad with a pecan topping would make a great hot weather meal with a variety of your favorite cheeses. The pecans are toasted to enhance the flavor, and the salad can easily be made the night before.

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12
    Spicy Chicken and White Bean Salad
    Spicy Chicken and White Bean Salad. Photo of Spicy Chicken and White Bean Salad © Diana Rattray

    The spicy dressing for this hearty salad is flavored with cumin and chili powder, along with a dash (or as much as you want) of cayenne pepper. The salad is nutritious and delicious, perfect for a hot summer evening!

  • 10 of 12
    Diana Miller

    This is a delicious salad to serve on a hot summer day, whether for a family meal or a special cookout or potluck.

  • 11 of 12
    Tuna Salad With Dijon Dressing
    Tuna Salad With Dijon Dressing. Photo of Grilled Tuna Salad With Dijon Dressing © Diana Rattray

    This salad is delicious with fresh grilled tuna, but you could certainly make it with a good quality canned or packaged tuna. It's a hearty and flavorful Nicoise-style salad, one of my all-time favorites. Potatoes and green beans can be cooked ahead of time, cut, and chilled until prep time.

  • 12 of 12
    Ham Salad Rolls
    Ham Salad Rolls. Photo of Ham Salad Rolls © Diana Rattray

    These ham salad sandwiches are easy to prepare and make a delicious hot weather lunch or dinner. Serve with chips and a tossed salad for a great satisfying meal.