48 Cold Foods for Hot Weather Days

Updated: May 28, 2024

The best food for hot weather days is quick—and best served cold. No sweat! We have the recipes right here.

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Macaroni Coleslaw

My friend Peggy brought this coleslaw to one of our picnics, and everyone liked it so much, we all had to have the recipe. —Sandra Matteson, Westhope, North Dakota

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Mint-Cucumber Tomato Sandwiches

I jazzed up the quintessential teatime cucumber sandwich to suit my family's tastes. This was my absolute go-to sandwich last summer when I was pregnant. It hit all the right spots! —Namrata Telugu, Terre Haute, Indiana
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Tropical Layered Chicken Salad

This is a fresh and delicious recipe that is a big hit whenever I take it to a potluck—it's always the first to go! —Frances Pietsch, Flower Mound, Texas
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Cobb Salad Sub

When we need a quick meal to share, we turn Cobb salad into a sandwich masterpiece. Sometimes I substitute tortillas for the bread and make wraps instead. —Kimberly Grusendorf, Medina, Ohio
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Antipasto Marinated Vegetables

The colorful vegetables and the tart dressing make this a lively addition to a holiday table. Serve it as a side dish or condiment—it's great either way. Refrigerate for three hours before serving to give the flavors time to blend. —Barbara McCalley, Allison Park, Pennsylvania
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Cool & Crunchy Chicken Salad

When the weather sizzles, get your chill on with a cool chicken salad. Mine uses grapes, pecans and celery for that signature crunch. —Sarah Smiley, Bangor, Maine
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Spicy Asian Ham Sandwiches

We love these sandwiches with ham, but you can use leftover cooked pork instead, if desired. —Janice Elder, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Orzo Vegetable Salad

Heading to a potluck and need something to share? Tangy lemon dressing over cool orzo and vegetables is everything you want in a light side dish. —Terri Crandall, Gardnerville, Nevada
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Root Beer Float Pie

This is the kind of recipe your kids will look back on and always remember. And you don't even need to use an oven! —Cindy Reams, Philipsburg, Pennsylvania
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Edamame Corn Carrot Salad

I came up with this easy salad while brainstorming light, protein-filled recipes. My vegetarian and vegan friends are especially big fans. —Maiah Miller, Monterey, California
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Hasselback Tomato Clubs

This no-fuss, no-bread riff on a classic is perfect during tomato season. Make it for lunch or pair it with pasta salad for a light dinner. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Hummus & Veggie Wrap-Up

I had a vegan wrap that was similar to this once when I stopped at a diner while on a long and arduous walk. I enjoyed it so much that I modified it to my own taste and now have it for lunch on a regular basis. Everyone at work wants to know how to make it. —Michael Steffens, Indianapolis, Indiana
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Grape Salad

Everyone raves when I bring this refreshing, creamy grape salad to potlucks. For a special finishing touch, sprinkle it with brown sugar and pecans. —Marge Elling, Jenison, Michigan
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Loaded Avocado BLT

My husband invented this twist on a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. I like to make it with extra slices of bacon; if you want, you can leave the Gorgonzola cheese out of the avocado spread. —Lori Grant, Kingsport, Tennessee
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Raspberry Pecan Chicken Salad

I gave this sweet-savory chicken salad a little zip with Chinese five-spice powder, which tastes a bit like pumpkin pie spice. Sprinkle some on roasted carrots for an awesome meal. —Lisa Renshaw, Kansas City, Missouri
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Lemony Garbanzo Salad

Everybody goes for this super fresh salad with the cumin-coriander dressing, especially on warm days. —Sonya Labbe, West Hollywood, California
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Copycat Chicken Salad

Inspired by Chick-fil-A chicken salad, this recipe is incredibly easy to make, and your family will love it. The sweet pickle relish gives it that signature taste. I like to use a thick crusty oat bread. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Easy Gazpacho

My daughter got this gazpacho recipe from a college friend and shared it with me. Now I serve it often as an appetizer. It certainly is the talk of any party. —Lorna Sirtoli, Cortland, New York
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Fresh Fruit Bowl

The glorious colors of the fruit make this a festive salad. Slightly sweet and chilled, it makes a nice accompaniment to a grilled entree. —Marlon Kirst, Troy, Michigan
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Havarti Turkey Hero

This is not your ordinary sandwich! Everyone loves the combination of chutney and chopped peanuts. I like to make this when I have company in the afternoon or at night after a game of cards. —Agnes Ward, Stratford, Ontario
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Chocolate Chip, PB & Banana Sandwiches

I love finding new ways to combine peanut butter, chocolate and bananas. I was shocked when my nephews (who are very picky eaters) loved these sammies. —Charlotte Gehle, Brownstown, Michigan
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Greek Salad

The heart of a Greek salad recipe is in the olives, feta, cucumbers and tomatoes. Dress it with olive oil and vinegar, then add more olives and cheese. —Arge Salvatori, Little Ferry, New Jersey
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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Need to bring a dish to pass this weekend? This make-ahead strawberry pretzel salad will disappear quickly at any potluck. —Aldene Belch, Flint, Michigan
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Chicken Salad Party Sandwiches

My famous chicken salad arrives at the party chilled in a plastic container. When it’s time to set out the food, I stir in the pecans and assemble the sandwiches. They’re a hit at buffet-style potlucks. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Chilled Fruit Cups

This refreshing frozen salad is easy to assemble ahead and serve to a group at breakfast - or any time of day. It's a convenient and colorful addition to a holiday buffet. —Andrea Hawthorne, Mozeman, Montana
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Cranberry Waldorf Salad

Cranberries grow in the coastal area about 50 miles from our home. When they become available, I always make this creamy salad. —Faye Huff, Longview, Washington
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Refrigerator Lime Cheesecake

I made this for a Father's Day party, and it was a hit! I guarantee compliments when you serve this fantastic dessert. —Cher Anjema, Kleinburg, Ontario
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Blue Cheese Chicken Salad Sandwiches

I'm a big fan of blue cheese dressing, so I decided to go the "no mayo" route and replace it in this chicken salad. So tangy! Serve the chicken mixture on a bed of lettuce if you're in the mood for salad instead. —Giovanna Kranenberg, Cambridge, Minnesota
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Yogurt & Honey Fruit Cups

A tasty combo of fresh fruit and creamy orange-kissed yogurt, this is guaranteed to disappear fast from your breakfast table. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Loaded Deli Sub Sandwich

When I can't decide between a turkey or roast beef sandwich, I go for both, then pile on fresh, crunchy veggies and two kinds of cheese. Those those that like a little bit of everything, this sub more than satisfies. —Jamie Fanning, Creighton, Nebraska
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Triple Berry No-Bake Cheesecake

I've made many cheesecakes and enjoy them all, but they're usually time-consuming. When I first tried this recipe, my husband said it was better than the baked ones, and that was a big plus for me! —Joyce Mummau, Baltimore, Maryland
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Chicken, Nectarine and Avocado Salad

This salad is really summery and comes together very quickly. Using granola adds crunch and makes it different. I've tried using a various types of granola, and our favorites have been those that aren't overly sweet but have lots of nuts. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Cherry Chicken Croissants

I had a similar chicken salad at a restaurant and created my own version. It may seem like an odd combination, but the ingredients work really well together. My children love it, and it only takes a few minutes to cut everything up—so easy!
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Mango Gelatin Salad

My Aunt Nannette often made this salad as a convenient make-ahead dish. The mango mold has hints of apricot and can be served with pork, chicken and beef—or for dessert. —Debra Sult, Chandler, Arizona
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Tropical Beef Wrap

For my finicky little ones, I create fast, tasty recipes like this tropical sandwich wrap. You can even use up leftover roast beef in a pinch. —Amy Tong, Anaheim, California
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Avocado Fruit Salad with Tangerine Vinaigrette

On long summer days when we just want to relax, I make a cool salad with avocado, berries and mint. The tangerine dressing is refreshingly different. —Carole Resnick, Cleveland, Ohio
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Bacon-Turkey Subs

On balmy fall days, this sweet and smoky sandwich is a big treat. When it gets colder, we pull out our countertop grill to make melts. Just switch to pita bread. —Rachel Bindulski, Corolla, NC
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Avocado & Artichoke Pasta Salad

A squeeze of lime, a sprinkle of cilantro and a little avocado make this a creamy and zingy pasta salad. —Carrie Farias, Oak Ridge, New Jersey
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Avocado & Garbanzo Bean Quinoa Salad

This delicious quinoa avocado salad is high in protein and holds well in the fridge for a few days. If you make it ahead, add avocados and tomatoes right before serving. —Elizabeth Bennett, Seattle, Washington
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Bagel with a Veggie Schmear

I got this recipe from my favorite bagel shop in New York City. Now I make this every time I'm craving a quick and healthy breakfast. I like to add chopped pitted green olives to the schmear. — Julie Merriman, Seattle, Washington
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Tangy Poppy Seed Fruit Salad

For a fruit salad that’s delightful, we combine berries and citrus with a honey-lime dressing flecked with poppy seeds. —Carrie Howell, Lehi, Utah
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Skinny Cobb Salad

This skinny version of Cobb salad has all the taste and creaminess with half the fat and calories. You can skip the coleslaw mix and use all lettuce, but I like the crunch you get with cabbage. —Taylor Kiser, Brandon, Florida
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Tri-Color Pasta Salad

Tackle gatherings with a bright side dish. This tri-color pasta salad with broccoli, tomatoes, olives and a hardworking dressing is one of the easiest cold pasta salad recipes you could take. —Amanda Cable, Boxford, Massachusetts
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Quick Taco Wraps

I was running late one night, so I shopped in my own fridge and came up with ingredients that became taco wraps. Everybody at the table was a happy camper. —Katie Mitschelen, La Porte, Indiana
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Curried Egg Salad

A curry kick gives this egg salad big appeal. We love it when the weather gets warm. —Joyce McDowell, West Union, Ohio