Summertime Recipes To Break That Hot Weather Cooking Rut

I absolutely love the way we eat during the summer. As often as possible, we opt for a cold salad of some kind for dinner. On some really hot nights, nothing tastes better than just a big plate of fresh fruit. Sometimes we’ll go the sandwich route and other times we all crave something a little warm that is a bit more substantial. But the overall theme is summery fare.

Unfortunately, about this time every year, I start to get into a summertime dinner rut. I begin to long for the days when comfort food and soup are on the menu more often than not. But I hate to speed summer up any more quickly than it already moves. So instead, I look for inspiration wherever I can.

If you’re in the same boat as me and could use a little summer meal inspiration to keep you going, here are some summer favorites from our house. Many of these are the meals that I turn to again and again this summer.


BLT Panzanella


Simple Curry Chicken Salad


Ranch Chicken & Bacon Pasta Salad

Simple Chicken & Grape Pasta Salad

Chicken Pesto & Couscous Salad

BLT Pasta Salad

What are some of your favorite summertime meals? And do you get in a seasonal cooking rut like I tend to do?

9 thoughts on “Summertime Recipes To Break That Hot Weather Cooking Rut

  1. I try not to get in a rut. I’m constantly looking for new summer “no cook” meals to try. Some of our favorites include corn & black bean couscous, greek pasta salad, & sandwiches of various sorts. My favorite of all is bruschetta. We top french bread with fresh mozzarella cheese, tomatoes & fresh basil & drizzle on a balsamic vinegar reduction, olive oil, salt & pepper. That’s the classic that started it all. Often times we do what we call a bruschetta buffet…lots of toppings & let everyone make their own at the table…fresh mozzarella, fresh parmesan, carmelized onions, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, fresh basil, balsamic reduction, olive oil, etc. We eat outside most of the time when I serve this…family tradition. We love it!

  2. I looooove your pasta salad recipes! They have inspired me to make all kinds of fun, yummy pasta salads. Definitely my new fav summer food – especially the Ranch Chicken and Bacon pasta salad. Took that one to a church dinner and I’m pretty sure the bowl got licked clean! 🙂

  3. Kai, Here’s the recipe. It comes together in literally no time. Hope you enjoy it!

    (original recipe came from

    Black Bean & Couscous Salad
    1 c. uncooked couscous
    1 1/4 c. chicken broth
    3 T. olive oil
    2 T. fresh lime juice
    1 t. red wine vinegar
    1/2 t. cumin
    8 green onions (optional-I don’t usually add)
    1 red bell pepper
    1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro (I usually just add a palmful of dried & it works fine)
    1 c. frozen corn kernels
    15 oz. can black beans, drained & rinsed well
    salt & pepper to taste

    Bring chicken broth to a boil in 2 qt. pan. Stir in couscous. Cover & let stand 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, & cumin. Add green onions, red pepper, cilantro, corn, & beans. Toss to coat. Fluff couscous well. Add to the bowl with the vegetables & mix well. Season with salt & pepper & serve at once or refrigerate until ready to serve.

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