Skip The Heat Wave With These Refreshing Recipes To Cool You Down In The Kitchen

Ohhhhh, August. The Sunday of summer, however, still summer. This, in turn, means that we haven’t escaped the heat just […]

Ohhhhh, August. The Sunday of summer, however, still summer. This, in turn, means that we haven’t escaped the heat just yet. In fact, the heat waves occurring across the board have been slightly brutal if I must say myself. Anyways. The heat can be draining. And, there’s nothing worse than coming inside from a hot summer day only to find yourself next to an even hotter oven and/or stovetop. If you’re the cook of the household, check out these refreshing summer meal ideas to keep everyone cooled down and fueled for the weather.

Refreshing, Filling and Healthy


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Herbed Chicken-and-Rice Salad

  • 2 (8½-oz.) pkg. microwavable basmati rice
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh tender herbs (such as dill, parsley, and chives), plus more for garnish
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 large lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallot (from 1 small shallot)
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 ½ cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast (from 1 chicken)
  • 2 cups halved multicolored cherry tomatoes (from 1 [12-oz.] pkg.)
  • 1 ¼ cups (¼-inch) diagonally sliced Persian or mini cucumbers (about 3 cucumbers)
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
  • ½ cup (¼-inch) sliced celery (from 1 large celery stalk)
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped celery leaves
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Microwave rice according to package directions; transfer to a large bowl, and cool completely- about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place herbs, olive oil, lemon juice, shallot, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender; process until smooth- about 30 seconds.
  3. Add chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers, almonds, feta, celery, chopped celery leaves, and parsley to a bowl with cooled rice; drizzle with dressing, and toss to coat. Transfer to a large serving platter or bowl, and garnish with additional herbs.

Easy Egg Salad

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest plus 2 tsp. fresh juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 8 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
  • 2 small stalks celery, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 chopped scallions (about 1/3 cup)


  1. Whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, dill, lemon zest and juice, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, and hot sauce in a bowl. Coarsely crumble hard-cooked eggs into the mayonnaise mixture; gently fold together using a spatula to coat. Fold in celery and scallions. Taste salad, and adjust seasonings. Refrigerate, tightly covered, until chilled, at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours.
  2. Stir salad. Taste, and adjust seasonings before serving. Add it to your favorite slice of bread and you’re set! (Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)

Watermelon Gazpacho

  • 5 cups cubed watermelon (from 1 watermelon)
  • 1 cup peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 jalapeño chile, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Process watermelon, cucumber, onion, and jalapeño in a blender until smooth. Stir in vinegar and salt. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes. Serve in small bowls or glasses.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tacos

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 (8-oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (10- to 11 1/2-oz.) can mild enchilada sauce
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 16 (6-in.) corn tortillas, charred
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage (from 1 small head cabbage)
  • 2/3 cup chopped tomato (from 1 large tomato)
  • 1/2 cup sliced radishes (from 4 medium radishes)
  • 2 small jalapeño chiles, unseeded and thinly sliced (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro leaves and lime wedges, for serving


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and pepper. Add chicken to hot oil; cook until browned on both sides- 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker; add enchilada sauce, vinegar, chipotle, cumin, and cinnamon. Cover and cook on HIGH until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of chicken registers 165°F- about 1 hour, 10 minutes.
  3. Turn off slow cooker. Transfer chicken to a large heatproof bowl; let cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Shred meat into bite-size pieces. Add liquid from the slow cooker to chicken; toss to coat.
  5. Divide chicken mixture evenly among tortillas. Top evenly with cabbage, tomato, radishes, and, if using, jalapeño. Serve with cilantro and lime.

Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad

  • 1 pound fresh broccoli
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup diced red onion
  • ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces bow-tie pasta, cooked (½ of a 16-oz. package)
  • 2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
  • 8 cooked bacon slices, crumbled


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
  2. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, cut broccoli florets from stems, and separate florets into small pieces using tip of a paring knife. Peel away tough outer layer of stems, and finely chop stems.
  4. Whisk together mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add broccoli, hot cooked pasta, and grapes, and stir to coat. Cover and chill 3 hours. Stir bacon and pecans into salad just before serving.

Grilled Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

  • 1 pound medium peeled, deveined raw shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, grated (about 1 tsp.)
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (about 1 tsp.)
  • 1 tablespoon plus ½ tsp. lower-sodium soy sauce, divided
  • ½ cup thinly sliced radishes
  • ½ cup thinly sliced matchstick carrots
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus leaves for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest plus 1 tsp. fresh juice (from 1 lime)
  • 16 large butter lettuce leaves or Bibb lettuce leaves


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F). Stir together shrimp, oil, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce in a medium bowl until combined.
  2. Toss together radishes, carrots, salt, and sugar in a small bowl until combined; set aside.
  3. Stir together mayonnaise, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, and remaining ½ teaspoon soy sauce in a separate small bowl until combined; set aside.
  4. Place shrimp on oiled grates. Grill, uncovered, until lightly charred and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side, and transfer shrimp to a plate to rest.
  5. To assemble each wrap, stack 2 lettuce leaves together; spread ½ generous tablespoon of the mayonnaise mixture on top lettuce leaf. Top with some of the shrimp and some of the vegetable mixture; garnish with cilantro. Repeat with remaining lettuce, mayonnaise mixture, shrimp, vegetable mixture, and cilantro; serve immediately.