50 Best Cold Soups, Crisp Salads, and Other Hot-Weather Fare
50 Best Cold Soups, Crisp Salads, and Other Hot-Weather Fare
It’s hot out there this summer, and when the sidewalks are sizzling and body temperatures are rising in sync with the thermometer, the last thing on all our minds is a warm— let alone hot— meal.
The hot summer sun can drain our bodies of energy and nutrients, leaving us feeling lethargic and dehydrated — not to mention how uncomfortable it is to be drenched in sticky sweat. So what can we do? How can we cool down?
Aside from taking a dive in the pool, sitting with our faces inches from a fan, sticking our backside in the freezer, or hiding out inside a heavily air-conditioned room, we can actually seek out cool, crisp, and refreshing foods that will reinvigorate our minds, bodies, and taste buds.
Ice pops, gazpachos, slushy cocktails, and chilled salads are all wonderful ways to cool down this August and feel like we have some semblance of control over the invading heat.
When searching for the perfect recipes to include in this refreshing collection, we sought out foods with ripe juiciness, crisp textures, bright flavors, and touches of acid to help us salivate (no dry, parched mouths here).
Also important to note, this collection avoids ultra-sweet treats like ice cream. The combination of heavy cream and sugar can create a sticky, cloying feeling in our mouths, making us feel hot, heavy, and thirsty — things we definitely want to avoid.
Check out this slideshow for hot weather cooking inspiration; we can at least help you to “think cool” until you get the chance to make some of these delicious recipes yourself.
Arugula, Radicchio, and Fennel Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette
Spicy arugula paired with fresh shaved fennel and tart lemon vinaigrette is great on a hot summer day. It won’t feel heavy on your palate and will wake up your senses with its bright flavors. Check out the recipe here.
Authentic Spanish Gazpacho
Avocado Basil Cucumber Bites
Looking for a quick mid-afternoon snack? Try these avocado basil cucumber bites for an easy treat that will keep you feeling light, fresh, and cool until dinner. Check out the recipe here.
Avocado, Coconut, and Lime Sorbet
The coconut and lime add a tropical panache, but the avocado gives this sorbet a very distinctive, smooth finish. Check out the recipe by clicking here.
Bell Pepper and Snap Pea Salad
This recipe is simple and easy: Fresh snap peas and sliced bell peppers are tossed together in a bowl then seasoned with sesame seeds, sesame oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
BLT Chicken Salad
The sweet and moist roast chicken is tossed with salty and crisp bacon, then combined with juicy tomatoes and crisp green lettuce. Find the recipe here.
Chilled Buckwheat Noodles With Hot-Sour Tamarind Broth
In this recipe, you get the satisfying chew of the buckwheat noodles combined with a tartness from the tamarind and a touch of sweetness from the pineapple. This recipe also calls for spicy gochujang paste, which you may want to use sparingly on a hot, hot day.
Cold Cucumber Noodle Soup
Two very important key words are in this recipe title: “cold” and “cucumber.” In this chilled soup, buckwheat noodles, seaweed, gochugaru, and sesame seeds create cucumber umami bliss.
Cold Sneaky Sesame Noodles
Cold noodles are tossed with cucumbers, scallions, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds then dressed with toasted sesame oil and tahini. Filling and comforting without heating you up! Check out the recipe here.
Cucumber Apple Gazpacho
Gazpachos couldn’t be easier to make: All you need is a blender to smooth the textures and emulsify the flavors. Stay cool this summer with this sweet and refreshing version with cucumbers and apples.
Cucumber Tofu Bundles
Dreamy Bites Ice Cream
OK, how about just a bite of ice cream? You know it will be incredibly hard to resist these delicious little guys on a hot day. Check out the recipe here.
Drenched Watermelon Ice Pops
This ice pop is called “drenched” because it is suggested that you squeeze lime juice over them as you eat it.
French Picnic Lentil Salad
This French lentil salad is delicious whether served cold or at room temperature. It holds up well in the fridge for a few days, so make a lot in advance and enjoy multiple cool meals throughout the week. Find the French Picnic Lentil Salad recipe here.
Fresh Tomato Stew and Burrata
The cool creaminess of burrata is enough to help you feel refreshed, but combined with juicy tomatoes, this fancy summer dish is an absolute winner. Click here to find the Fresh Tomato Strew and Burrata recipe.
Frozen Blueberry Breakfast Bars
Get your morning yogurt and granola in frozen bar form. You can "grab and go" for breakfast or a snack any time of day. Click here for the recipe.
Flavors of mango, peach, white wine, and brandy are blended with ice, resulting in a tantalizing slushie made just for adults. Find the recipe here.
Greek Salad Skewers
Summer appetizers don’t get any easier than these salad skewers stacked with all your favorite Greek salad ingredients. Click here for the recipe.
Green Lemonade Smoothie
Harness the true healthy power of spinach with this recipe. This smoothie will make you feel great and ready to take on a hot day.
Jicama Salad With Mint Crema
Imagine crossing a potato, an apple, and a cucumber, and you have jicama. Jicama is starchy, crisp, and utterly refreshing.
Lemon Mint Granita
You can’t deny the fresh and cooling attributes of a well-made granita. The ice crystals melt on your tongue, releasing a wealth of flavor certain to make you smile.
Mediterranean Watermelon Feta Skewers
Spear cubes of cheese and watermelon between basil and olives on skewers. To serve, arrange the skewers on a platter and drizzle with vinaigrette.
Naeng-Myeon Ice-Cold Noodles
The name says it all: “ice-cold.” Korean naeng-myeon noodles contain buckwheat flour that gives them a springy texture. Get the recipe here.
Organic Lime Fruit Salad
Fresh fruit is tossed in tart lime juice and just a touch of sugar. For this simple fruit salad recipe, click here.
Organic Bruschetta With Garden Tomatoes and Homemade Ricotta
Bread is topped with light, fresh ricotta and sliced tomatoes — you can never go wrong with this dish. Click through for the recipe.
Pineapple adds both a sweet and acidic note to a classic gazpacho. This soup is also garnished with macadamia nuts for an extra touch of richness.
Quinoa Salad With Shaved Raw Vegetables and Carrot-Ginger Dressing
If you’ve only eaten Brussels sprouts and asparagus cooked, you’ll be surprised at how good they are raw and thinly sliced. To find the recipe, click here.
Raw Harvest Kale Salad
When working with kale, it’s important to break down the tough fibers either through massaging with your hands (gloves make this easy) or tossing well with the lemon flaxseed vinaigrette and letting it rest long before serving.
Refreshing Rosemary Lemonade
What can be more refreshing than lemonade? Try this special recipe that incorporates the tartness of lemons with the savory quality of rosemary. Find the recipe here.
Savory Carrot-Coconut Granita With Cucumber Topping
The combination may sound unusual, but this dish is the perfect cold snack or inter-meal palate cleanser. A combination of coconut and carrot juice becomes a savory iced granita, then is topped with crunchy, fresh cucumbers. Interesting? Yes. Will it cool you down? Absolutely. Click here for the recipe.
Sesame Ginger Chicken Salad
This salad is perfect for that leftover chicken in your refrigerator. Shred it and toss with a gingery vinaigrette; no heat, no fuss, just good eats. Find the recipe here.
Shredded Carrots With Tahini Dressing
Sweet, cool carrots are shredded then dressed in flavorful yet light tahini dressing. Check it out here.
Strawberry-Lime Frozen Cheesecake Pops
These cheesecake pops won’t heat up your kitchen. In fact, they’ll cool you off!
This velvety summer soup is reminiscent of strawberries and whipped cream. In a refreshing twist, sour cream and tart lemon juice are swirled into the base making this soup vibrant and acidic.
Thai Style Quinoa Salad
Crisp sliced cabbage, diced cucumber, shredded carrot, sliced scallion, edamame, and diced red bell pepper are all folded into the quinoa in this filling grain salad. Check out the recipe here.
Triple Tomato Panzanella
Juicy tomatoes are so tantalizing on a hot summer day. This salad is perfect as a side or appetizer and is studded with fresh croutons so it will fill you up.
Tuna Salad With Grapes and Lemon Tarragon Dressing
Grapes add a contrasting texture, pretty color, and a welcome subtle sweetness that's quite unexpected in this cool tuna salad recipe.
Tuna Tartare with Cucumber-Cilantro Broth Recipe
Very simple but sensational, this dish is easy to make as the broth can be prepared early in the day and the tuna can be diced and kept refrigerated until ready to mix at the last minute. To find the recipe, click here.
Watermelons are 92 percent water so you know this cold soup will quench your thirst. In this recipe, the sweet flavors of watermelon and tomato come together in a refreshing gazpacho.