As we find ourselves in the heat of summer, eating hot foods does not seem appetizing or enjoyable. Don't worry, though, as we have rounded up our favorite cold dishes that will keep you satisfied during the warmer months. From salads to ceviches and even chilled noodle dishes, these recipes will make sure to keep you energized and, most importantly, keep you refreshed.
We all love to cook, but there's nothing worse than spending time in a warm kitchen, preparing a hot meal that you can't even enjoy because the weather is too unbearable. We dug deep, though, to find the perfect cold recipes that are not only quick and easy to make, but are sure to wow your friends and family. Since all of these dishes are served chilled or cold, many of these recipes can be made in advance and just kept in your refrigerator until ready to serve. So make some room in your refrigerator for tons of fresh meats and veggies and be sure to check out these 50 cold dishes for hot days.
This "soup and salad" is an elegant combination of sweet and savory. Gazpacho is a classic Spanish chilled soup usually made with tomatoes; here we add watermelon for a sweet, summery twist. A simple crab salad flavored with fresh herbs on the side completes the meal.
In need of some fruity refreshment, but not in the mood for a smoothie or juice? Take a break from the heat and try this delicious pineapple gazpacho recipe for a mid-afternoon snack.
This cold soup can be prepared ahead of time and is an ideal start to dinner on those hot summer days. Make sure to cut extra cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes to add on top, which will add texture and color to the dish.
Love the flavor of the classic BLT sandwich? This pasta salad recipe is ideal for those warmer months when you just feel like eating something simple and refreshing to beat the heat.
This slightly sweet and savory dish is perfect to enjoy during the hot weather as it is best served chilled. Pineapple juice is the key ingredient that makes this recipe so good.
When these simple flavors are tossed with pasta and spinach, they make a delicious, quick, and portable lunch or side dish. Double the recipe for a tasty party appetizer that will feed a crowd.
Tomatoes and fresh mozzarella are a match made in heaven, especially when paired with pasta. The best part about this dish is that the only thing you have to actually cook is the pasta.
This soup is filled with flavors of nuts, roses, herbs, and dried fruits. Serve this fragrant chilled soup sprinkled with sumac for the perfect summer’s lunch.
Two of summer's most cooling and refreshing fruits, avocados and cucumbers, are blended together in this easy and delicious summer soup. A touch of honey and some buttermilk to balance it out gives this soup a sweet-tangy flavor profile that's just right.
The taste of buckwheat noodles combined with the sourness of tamarind, sweetness of pineapple, and hotness of gochujang paste make the most delicious chilled noodle dish. It’s ideal to beat the warm weather.
This chilled zucchini salad is a great side to accompany any protein and can be made in under 15 minutes. A healthier alternative to potato salad, this combination is perfect for your next family cookout or picnic in the park.
This chilled, vegan soup really shows off summer’s sweet, golden corn. It’s one of the smoothest, sweetest, simplest ways to enjoy the staple vegetable.
Summer entertaining should be simple and easy. This recipe allows you to serve a favorite summer appetizer, antipasti, easily on bamboo skewers, so your guests can dig in without any fuss.
A simple superfood salad that takes no time to make. Upgrade your colorful fruit salad with powerhouse ingredients including nutrient-dense avocado and refreshing herbs.
As the weather warms up in most parts of the country, the season of picnics, barbecues, camping, and playing in the yard returns. These healthy bites are perfect for a summertime picnic.
The salad inspired by the South of France. This recipe is a little more meaty than a regular salad with delicious vegetables that really make it into a full meal.
Tropical flavors of mango and citrus complement black beans in this colorful salad. This dish makes a perfect side to bring to your next potluck barbecue or even a picnic in the park.
This is a perfect summer side dish or appetizer that is sure to please your friends. It’s a delicious pairing of sweet, crunchy watermelon and creamy, savory goat cheese.
If you hate the idea of dousing your pasta in mayonnaise, this macaroni salad is perfect for you. The Greek yogurt fulfills all the same duties as mayonnaise would, working as an excellent binding ingredient, but it provides a more unique and refreshing flavor.
Pea shoots can be hard to come by and won’t make or break your salad. They’re well worth a bit of searching, as they’re nutrient-packed, tender, and delicious, but if you can’t find them, you’ll enjoy this combination equally well with watercress.
A healthier version of the classic salad. This recipe is a different take on a Waldorf salad, adding a broccoli slaw. It's a great alternative to dress up some vegetables as a side dish.
A quick and easy salad featuring the bold flavors of the Mediterranean. This recipe has great texture and crunch so you’ll never get bored of eating it.
Fresh, crunchy, sweet, and savory, this salad has it all. All of the vegetables are either shredded or chopped small so that the sweet and tangy dressing can evenly coat each bite.
Inspired by the flavors of Vietnam, this entire dish comes together pretty quickly, and it’s perfect for warm summer nights when you don't want to eat anything hot for dinner.
This quick and easy chicken salad is very satisfying and can be made in advance, making it a perfect dish to bring to the beach or park, or simply to enjoy at home for a hassle-free dinner.
Low-fat mayonnaise mixed with curry paste is the base for this recipe and turns the classic chicken salad into something new and exciting. Serve this dish over mixed lettuces for a gluten-free alternative.
This salad is sure to be a favorite among family members and friends. The sweet and salty combination from the apples and pancetta makes for a wonderful eating experience that leaves you feeling healthy.
This simple salad recipe features a twist on the original. In addition to the classic tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion, celery is tossed into the mix for extra crunch and its clean, crisp flavor.
This dish has all your favorite sandwich ingredients transformed into the tastiest salad. Enjoy this on a hot night and keep cool and refreshed during the warmer months.
A hearty salad with a bright Asian flair makes this dish completely addicting. If you're trying to watch your sodium intake, feel free to adjust the amount of soy sauce.
It's the perfect season to add some fruit to your salads. This is a great salad — it's light and yet still very satisfying. If you have some sesame seeds on hand, that's also a nice addition to this salad.
Nothing beats a delicious, fresh salad in the warm-weather months. This nutritious spinach salad is tart and light yet totally satisfying.
Looking for a quick and easy side salad? With fresh citrus fruit, creamy avocado, and zesty red onion, this salad is packed with healthy ingredients and tons of flavor. This side can be on the table in no time.
Packed with nutrition and bursting with flavor, this easy-to-make apple quinoa salad provides a delicious dose of whole grains. And it’s the perfect complement to kids’ or adults’ lunches, boosting energy levels to get through the day. Quinoa is a complete protein and provides an abundance of nutrition and energy.
A quick and easy chopped salad with enough tasty ingredients to satisfy even the hungriest among us. This salad is a healthy meal in disguise, as it’s filled with all of our favorite ever ingredients.
This light, beautiful salad is the perfect dish to fuel your summer dining. Sea salt makes for a perfect accompaniment in this salad dressing, balancing out the zesty citrus flavors.
Crisp, refreshing, and crunchy, this salad is great as a side to any main or simply enjoyed as a light and healthy snack. This salad gets better the longer you marinate it, so don't worry about making it in advance.
Poké is a raw fish salad that is popular in Hawaii, but the culinary phenomenon has recently taken hold in the U.S. mainland. Traditional poke seasonings include classic Japanese ingredients like sesame oil, green onions, and soy sauce.
Salmon may not be a traditional ingredient in Hawaii, where the classic raw preparation of poke (poh-kay) is applied to many types of seafood. Enjoy this recipe for a perfect light lunch or even as an ideal appetizer for your next dinner party.
Poke is a Hawaiian salad consisting of roughly chopped raw fish, and traditional Japanese flavors such as soy sauce, ginger, scallion, and sesame oil. These poke sliders are simple to make at home, and they don’t require expensive slabs of raw tuna.
Tofu, it turns out, is the perfect substitute to use in poke. Its light and velvety texture mimics the bite of fatty fish like salmon and tuna. When it’s marinated with soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil, you won't be able to tell the difference.
Ceviche is Peru’s flagship dish. Learn to make the fresh and flavorful raw fish dish and you’ll instantly be transported to this beautiful South American country.
Spice up your summer with this refreshing ceviche recipe. Shrimp makes the perfect base to this warm-weather dish. Serve this over greens for a complete and healthy dinner that takes no time at all to prepare.
This recipe has all the best flavors of ceviche, minus the fish. You won’t even miss the seafood in this quick and easy recipe for a plant-based ceviche that is full of zesty flavors.
This shellfish ceviche amps up the flavor by substituting cucumber juice for some of the citrus. For best results, use a small, thin-skinned cucumber variety, such as Korean or Delikatesse.
The refreshing, cooling effect of cucumber is pretty much blown right out of the water with some serious firepower from dried Thai bird's-eye chile peppers (also known simply as Thai chile peppers in some groceries and markets). So if you like to sweat while noshing on some tortilla chips, this is the ticket.
This dish completely encompasses summer's zesty and bold flavors. If you can't find halibut, don't worry, salmon or tuna works just as well.
This dish is refreshing and crisp, while still having the comforting, hearty feel of pasta. The peanut-y sauce is creamy and rich, while the fresh veggies provide a cooling crunch.
This salad features cold noodles throughout. The salad is made with skirt steak, romaine lettuce, radicchio, mango, blue cheese, fried noodles, and a ginger peanut soy vinaigrette.
Bibim guksu is a cold noodle dish that is usually made with thin wheat flour noodles (somyeon) or buckwheat noodles (memil guksu). The noodles are typically mixed in a sweet and sour gochujang sauce along with thinly sliced crisp fresh vegetables.
This delicious sampling of hearty, Mediterranean flavors is a satisfying appetizer you won’t believe you pulled together in a matter of minutes. The balance of sweet and salty makes this dish an instant winner at any backyard barbecue. So keep these recipes in mind the next time you are thinking about the 25 best foods to bring to a party.
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