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Satisfying Lunch and Dinner Recipes for Hot Weather

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These hot weather recipes will keep you cool and get you out of the kitchen quickly. Here are some of my favorite summer lunch and dinner recipes, including sandwiches, hearty salads, and snacks.

Some of the ingredients, like pasta, chicken, or hard-cooked eggs, might require some cooking or grilling. Some cooking could be done the evening before, when it "might" be a little cooler.

1. Chicken Salad With Apples and Cranberries

Chicken Salad With Apples and Cranberries
Photo of Chicken Salad © Diana Rattray
This popular chicken salad is a perfect hot weather salad, and hearty enough to serve for dinner. The salad has lots of flavor and crunch with diced fresh apples, cranberries, and optional walnuts or pecans. Serve in lettuce leaves or in nice soft rolls or wraps for a delicious lunch or dinner. Use a purchased rotisserie chicken or these Basic Baked Chicken Breasts.

2. Tuna Pasta Salad With Dill

Tuna Pasta Salad With Dill
Photo of Tuna Pasta Salad With Dill © Diana Rattray
This flavorful pasta salad is hearty and delicious. If you don't have chopped fresh dill, a few teaspoons of dried dill weed would work as well. It's easy to prepare and makes a good main dish or side dish for summer meals.

3. Macaroni and Black Bean Salad

Macaroni and Black Bean Salad
Photo of Macaroni and Black Bean Salad © Diana Rattray
This salad makes a great vegetarian choice, or replace the mayonnaise with your favorite vegan dressing to make it vegan. The southwester flavors are fabulous!

4. Basic Deviled Eggs

Basic Deviled Eggs
Photo of Basic Deviled Eggs © Diana Rattray
Deviled eggs are always a hit for lunches or snacks. Top these basic deviled eggs with sliced or finely chopped red onion, sliced grape tomatoes, fresh chopped parsley or chives, or sliced olives or cornichons.

5. Tuna Salad Recipe

Tuna Salad Recipe
Photo of Tuna Salad Recipe © Diana Rattray
Add fresh chopped celery or finely chopped onion to customize this tuna salad with the ingredients you love. I like hard-cooked eggs in tuna salad, along with the dill relish and dill weed, but tuna salad is very versatile.

Serve in sandwiches, panini, or on lettuce leaves for a delicious lunch or summertime dinner.

6. Chopped Salad With Grilled Chicken

Chopped Salad With Grilled Chicken
Photo of Chopped Salad With Grilled Chicken © Diana Rattray
You can't go wrong with this hearty, versatile sandwich. A combination of chopped grilled chicken, diced ham or bacon, chickpeas, peppers, and lettuce make it a great hot weather choice for lunch or dinner. Serve this delicious salad with your favorite vinaigrette or salad dressing.

7. Pasta Salad With Peas and Ham

Pasta Salad With Peas and Ham
Photo of Pasta Salad With Peas and Ham © Diana Rattray
I used rotini in this salad, but fusilli, wheels, or a similar pasta would be good as well. It's loaded with flavor and hearty enough for a main dish salad dinner. As with many pasta salads, try to make this in advance and refrigerate for several hours for best flavor.

8. Fresh Fruit Salad with Toasted Pecans and Fresh Mint

Fresh Fruit Salad with Toasted Pecans and Fresh Mint
Photo of Fresh Fruit Salad with Toasted Pecans and Fresh Mint © Terri Wuerthner
This tasty fruit salad with a pecan topping would make a great hot weather meal with a variety of your favorite cheeses. The pecans are toasted to enhance the flavor, and the salad can easily be made the night before.

9. Spicy Chicken and White Bean Salad

Spicy Chicken and White Bean Salad
Photo of Spicy Chicken and White Bean Salad © Diana Rattray
The spicy dressing for this hearty salad is flavored with cumin and chili powder, along with a dash (or as much as you want) of cayenne pepper. The salad is nutritious and delicious, perfect for a hot summer evening!

10. Crab Salad with Summer Vegetables

Crab Salad with Summer Vegetables
Photo of Crab Salad with Summer Vegetables © Terri Wuerthner
This is a delicious salad to serve on a hot summer day, whether for a family meal or a special cookout or potluck.

11. Tuna Salad With Dijon Dressing

Tuna Salad With Dijon Dressing
Photo of Grilled Tuna Salad With Dijon Dressing © Diana Rattray
This salad is delicious with fresh grilled tuna, but you could certainly make it with a good quality canned or packaged tuna. It's a hearty and flavorful Nicoise-style salad, one of my all-time favorites. Potatoes and green beans can be cooked ahead of time, cut, and chilled until prep time.

12. Ham Salad Rolls

Ham Salad Rolls
Photo of Ham Salad Rolls © Diana Rattray
These ham salad sandwiches are easy to prepare and make a delicious hot weather sandwich lunch or dinner. Serve with chips and a tossed salad for a great satisfying meal.

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