28 Cooling Recipes for Hot Summer Nights

When the summer weather gets too hot, try making one of these delicious, cooling recipes. These dishes are best enjoyed cold, so you don't have to add to the heat in the kitchen. Whether it's a salad, soup or wrap, these recipes are packed with summer produce like tomatoes, avocados and zucchini. Recipes like Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad and White Gazpacho are healthy, refreshing and perfect for those hot summer nights.

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Mexican Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing


Everyone will love this Mexican-inspired pasta salad recipe. We lighten up the creamy dressing with avocado for a healthier version of a picnic favorite.

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Easy Tomato Gazpacho


Many gazpacho recipes are thickened with bread, but this one uses just vegetables, making it a gluten-free refresher for a hot summer day. The key to any flavorful gazpacho is giving it time to rest. The flavors meld and become cohesive when the soup is allowed to sit a bit before serving. Source: EatingWell.com, July 2018

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Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad

This easy pasta salad with smoked salmon and peas and a creamy buttermilk-herb dressing takes just 20 minutes to make. Frozen peas are cooked right in the same pot as the pasta, and the dressing is whipped up in the serving bowl, saving you time and dishes! It's the perfect fresh and healthy dinner to add to your weeknight rotation and would also be lovely for a luncheon or brunch. But given how easy it is, it could also be an elegant take-to-work lunch. Source: EatingWell.com, May 2019

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Salmon-Stuffed Avocados


Canned salmon is a valuable pantry staple and a practical way to include heart-healthy omega-3-rich fish in your diet. Here, we combine it with avocados in an easy no-cook meal. Source: Diabetic Living Magazine, Spring 2019

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Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

This creamy crowd-pleasing pasta salad features the tantalizing flavors of Buffalo chicken with a healthy dose of vegetables. Bring it to your next potluck or picnic, or whip it up for game day. Source: EatingWell.com, June 2018

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Watermelon Radish & Avocado Summer Rolls


Consider the fillings in this vegan summer roll recipe as a starting point--papaya, snap peas and shrimp are all good alternatives. The first thing you layer on the rice paper will be what shows through on the finished roll, so vary what you start with for stunning, Instagram-worthy results. Source: EatingWell Magazine, March 2019

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Green Tomatillo Gazpacho

Make this cold soup in the middle of summer, when garden tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers are at their peak. Start with 1 cup of broth, adding more to reach the desired consistency. Very ripe (and juicy) summer tomatoes will need less broth; less-ripe tomatoes will need more. Source: EatingWell Magazine, Soup Cookbook

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Cucumber Pasta Salad


This light and tangy cucumber pasta salad is fresh and bright. The orecchiette pasta holds the dressing for flavor in every bite, but you can use another small pasta shape if you like. This easy salad is perfect for a warm day or to serve as a lunch dish for company! For a fruitier flavor, try apple-cider vinegar in place of white distilled vinegar. Source: EatingWell.com, April 2020

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White Gazpacho

White gazpacho is made with bread, almonds, grapes and garlic and is one of the traditional Spanish gazpacho variations. In this white gazpacho soup recipe we add cucumbers and honeydew, whir it in a blender and it becomes silky, a little toasty (from the almonds) and refreshing. Source: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2013

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Classic Dill Chicken Salad


We lightened up the creamy dressing in this healthy chicken salad recipe with a combo of mayonnaise and plain Greek yogurt. Dill, grapes, celery and walnuts make up this classic chicken salad but feel free to experiment with your favorite fruit, vegetables and herbs. Serve it open-face on toasted bread or scoop it on top of fresh salad greens. Source: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2016

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Rainbow Veggie Wraps


There's definitely a sushi vibe to these kid-friendly wraps, which are stuffed with vegetables, cheese and hummus and then rolled and sliced. Serve them with store-bought green goddess, a creamy herb-filled dressing, to take it up a notch with ease. They look impressive but they're easy enough for kids to assemble themselves for an easy lunch or dinner. Source: EatingWell Magazine, May 2019

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Lemon Shrimp & Orzo Salad

Lemon Shrimp & Orzo Salad

Consider making a double batch of this easy pasta salad--it's delicious the next day. The orzo will absorb the dressing as it sits, so add a little more olive oil and lemon juice if you'd like. Source: EatingWell Magazine, May 2020

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Veggie Spring Rolls


Don't be intimidated by these vibrant spring rolls--they're easier to make than you might think. Stuffed with fresh raw vegetables, these stunners are an impressive healthy vegan appetizer for your next gathering. Source: EatingWell.com, January 2017

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Cold Cream of Cucumber Soup with Shrimp

This chilled creamy shrimp soup delivers slices of cool cucumber and zesty radishes in each bite. Topped with toasted walnuts, it's a refreshing lunch on a hot summer day. Source: Diabetic Living Magazine

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Noodle Salad with Tofu


We've kept it simple with just rice noodles in this healthy vegan noodle salad recipe, but if you want to go wild, use wheat noodles, glass noodles or even your favorite spiralized veggie noodles. Source: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2018

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Coconut-Lime Pea Soup

The sweet taste of fresh peas pairs nicely with the coconut and lime flavors in this Greek yogurt-based soup. Topped with delicious pan-seared scallops and fresh basil, this island-inspired recipe is ready in just 25 minutes. If you'd like, skip the scallops and serve it cold on a hot day. Source: Diabetic Living Magazine

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Cantaloupe, Arugula & Goat Cheese Salad

Cantaloupe, Arugula & Goat Cheese Salad

Buy a melon that feels heavy for its size and smells slightly sweet. Picking a ripe one ensures the right balance of flavors in this arugula and goat cheese salad. Source: EatingWell Magazine, July / August 2020

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Tuna Salad Sandwich with Sweet Relish


This sweet twist on a classic tuna-salad sandwich is a healthy high-protein lunch that even your kids will love. Source: EatingWell.com, June 2017

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Creamy Pesto Chicken Salad with Greens


For a healthy variation on creamy chicken salad, we've replaced half the mayonnaise with basil pesto. Serve over greens or make it into a sandwich for a healthy lunch. Source: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2015

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Tomato-Basil Zoodle Salad


Spiralized zucchini noodles make the perfect base for this colorful and flavorful salad--think pasta salad without all the carbs! It comes together quickly for a light lunch or easy side. Add grilled chicken, shrimp or chickpeas to make a heartier meal. Source: EatingWell.com, April 2017

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Turkey & Cheddar Lettuce Wraps

Turkey & Cheddar Lettuce Wraps

Crispy green lettuce leaves hold the filling inside this low-carb turkey wrap. It's perfect for lunch or a quick, easy dinner on the go. Source: EatingWell.com, December 2019

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Herbed Yogurt-Rice Soup

The grains of rice disappear into the yogurt as it's simmered and stirred, thickening the soup and giving it substance. Serve warm or chilled, depending on the weather. Source: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2018

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Smoked Salmon & Avocado Spring Rolls

Spring rolls are surprisingly easy to make. Better yet, they're incredibly versatile. Smoked salmon and avocado are a classic spring roll combination for an easy healthy lunch to pack for work--or whip some up for a light party appetizer. Source: EatingWell.com, July 2018

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Smoked Whitefish Salad


Serve this chunky smoked whitefish salad from chef Judi Barsness on toasted crusty bread, on crackers or mounded over a bed of salad greens. Source: EatingWell Magazine, June 2020

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Chicken Salad-Stuffed Avocados


Looking for a clean, packable lunch for work? This healthy homemade chicken salad served inside an avocado instead of with bread is just the ticket. Plus, this recipe makes enough for ready-made lunches for the week! If you have leftover cooked chicken on hand, skip Step 1 and use about 2 1/2 cups shredded chicken in Step 2. Source: EatingWell.com, April 2017

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Tuna, White Bean & Dill Salad


Take canned tuna to new heights by adding cannellini beans, red onion and dill, tossing it in a lemon-pepper-Dijon dressing and serving it over a spinach salad with canned beets. Source: Diabetic Living Magazine

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Creamy Avocado & White Bean Wrap


White beans mashed with ripe avocado and blended with sharp Cheddar and onion makes an incredibly rich, flavorful filling for this wrap. The tangy, spicy slaw adds crunch. A pinch (or more) of ground chipotle pepper and an extra dash of cider vinegar can be used in place of the canned chipotles in adobo sauce. Wrap these up to take as a healthy and portable lunch for work. Source: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2009

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Peach Salad with Tomatoes & Raspberry Vinaigrette


Here's a salad to toss together during the dog days of summer, when peaches and tomatoes are both at their best. Use a combination of lettuces that have different textures and flavors--a tender, more buttery variety with something more substantial and peppery, for instance. Source: EatingWell Magazine, July / August 2020

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