52 Cold Recipes For Hot Summer Nights

To paraphrase "The Great Gatsby," life really does seem to start all over again in the summer. When summertime rolls around, long-dormant foodies strip off their sweaters and hit the streets for some fun in the sun. Whether you prefer to soak it up in a sacred solo hammock nap or with friends at the beach, one thing is for sure: You're going to get hungry.

To help you kick off your season right, we've rounded up 52 of our favorite summer recipes for unforgettable picnics, backyard barbecues, and pool parties. There are salads, soups, ice creams, and pastas for entertaining guests.

On the flip side, there's a slew of fresh offerings that take almost zero effort for the dog days when it's too hot to even think about cooking. We've even put a special focus on dishes that feature seasonal produce to help fuel your adventures all summer long. Time to flex your culinary prowess — but more importantly — time for the fun to begin.

1. Mint and Melon Fruit Salad

When the Wiggles said, "Fruit salad, yummy, yummy," they were definitely on to something. This version combines three types of summer melon (cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon), blueberries, and fresh mint leaves for a bright, refreshing side dish at your next picnic.

It's simple enough to assemble for a snack on dog day afternoons, while the melon baller helps to create an impressive visual. Bring this ultra-portable mint and melon fruit salad as a covered dish to garden parties and beach days, and lie back (with a fork in hand) as the compliments roll in.

Recipe: Mint and Melon Fruit Salad

2. Chilled Asparagus Vichyssoise

Soup lovers, rise up. This chilled asparagus vichyssoise is extending soup season to a year-round palooza. Inspired by the traditional French dish, this cool offering is bulked up with Yukon gold potatoes and sautéed leeks. It makes for a great appetizer at dinner parties and would pair well as a side dish with roasted lemon chicken or pork chops.

Plus, with the exception of the food processor or immersion blender you use to purée the soup, this is a one-pot dish. The veggies get sautéed right in the bottom of the stockpot, which means you get a quick and sophisticated dish for entertaining without leaving a sink full of dishes behind.

Recipe: Chilled Asparagus Vichyssoise

3. Classic Cobb Salad

The unofficial king of the side salads. This classic option comes fully loaded with hard-boiled eggs, avocados, cherry tomatoes, blue cheese, bacon, and chicken breast. It's easy to make ahead of mealtime and store in the fridge, keeping the avocados and dressing to the side until serving.

To complete the meal, pair the salad with homemade focaccia or garlic bread and a pitcher of fresh lemonade. It's also hearty enough to enjoy as a standalone entrée on August days when it's too hot to consider eating anything other than a popsicle.

Recipe: Classic Cobb Salad

4. Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

This decadent ice cream was specially created with vegan foodies in mind, but it's so delicious that everyone at your next pool party can enjoy it. Instead of dairy, this ice cream is made with coconut milk, which lends delicate flavor, creaminess, and a welcome refreshing element. (Omnivores would be hard-pressed to spot the difference.)

Serve it as-is in a bowl or cone — or, if you're feeling like a loose cannon, load a few scoops up with chunks of vegan brownies and almond milk whipped cream. Be aware: This recipe calls for the use of an ice cream maker and needs at least four hours in the freezer before it's ready to enjoy. But if you aren't in a rush, this sweet vegan treat is well worth the wait.

Recipe: Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

5. Chicken Pasta Salad

This chicken pasta salad is your new go-to for barbecues, picnics, or a simple at-home side on busy weeknights. A light and refreshing combo of chicken, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, and yellow bell pepper makes the recipe filling without weighing you down. Omit the chicken or sub in chickpeas for an effortless vegetarian version.

No fancy cooking techniques are required either; just boil the pasta, chop the veggies, stir together the homemade dressing, and dump it all together in a big bowl. It's a great crowd-pleasing recipe for novice home cooks or anyone pressed for time. Serve it with a burger or hot dog fresh off the grill.

Recipe: Chicken Pasta Salad

6. Classic Muffuletta

If you've never tried this New Orleans classic before, muffuletta bread is a large, spongy bread with a light, airy crumb that gets sawed into slabs — ideal for sandwiches. To build it, the bread is smeared with a homemade spicy relish made with olives, giardiniera, pepperoncini, and pickled onions. Then comes the main event: meat and cheese.

We recommend soppressata, mortadella, ham, and provolone, but these highly customizable muffulettas can be a thrifty way to use up any leftover deli slices hanging around your fridge. Serve the sandwich with chilled green tomato gazpacho for a summer-friendly soup and salad combo. You could even slice your muffuletta into smaller squares and build a tray of sliders for cocktail hour.

Recipe: Classic Muffuletta

7. Refreshing Cucumber Kimchi Salad

Making kimchi from scratch is a lengthy (albeit rewarding) process. Luckily, this salad inspired by the fermented probiotic superfood is ready overnight, and it only takes 10 minutes of hands-on prep time. Instead of Napa cabbage, this recipe is made with cucumber and white cabbage.

It's milder than its namesake offering but still boasts a complex flavor profile of ginger, garlic, fish sauce, and gochugaru (the Korean spice that gives gochujang its flavor). Serve it with grilled steak, tofu wings, cold-cut sandwiches, Sloppy Joes, or any entrée your gut desires.

Recipe: Refreshing Cucumber Kimchi Salad

8. Avocado Tzatziki Dip

When it comes to snacking, "healthy" and "ready in an instant" often seem to be at odds with each other. This tzatziki dip says otherwise. Avocado, cucumber, yogurt, and fresh dill combine to create a savory profile that's given further dimensionality through the inclusion of mint, garlic, and serrano chiles.

The avocados get blended with lemon juice in a food processor, and then, the other ingredients are mixed in. That's it. It's the perfect dish for entertaining last-minute guests. Enjoy it with celery, carrots, grape tomatoes, pita triangles, or potato chips. You could even use this tzatziki dip as a spread on wraps and sandwiches for lunch the next day.

Recipe: Avocado Tzatziki Dip

9. Jalapeño-Lime Three Bean Salad

Summer isn't hot enough for you already? When the sun comes out, so do warmth-loving foodies — taking to poolside lounge chairs and riverside rocks (lizard-style) to catch a few rays. We see you, and we feel you. That's why we're turning up the heat even further with this jalapeño-lime three bean salad.

There's no cooking required for this one, meaning the stove and oven can stay off and you can get back outside as quickly as possible. (15 minutes, to be exact.) Serve it as a side dish with enchiladas or scoop it directly into your eager mouth with blue corn tortilla chips.

Recipe: Jalapeño-Lime Three Bean Salad

10. Mexican Gazpacho Soup

When many foodies hear the word "gazpacho," the first thing that comes to mind is "tomato." But don't get it twisted. This version is also packed with an entire farmers market of cucumber, orange bell pepper, jalapeño, red onion, cilantro, lime, and (of course) Tabasco. (Think salsa in soup form.)

It's a flavorful, light, and immune-boosting nutrient bomb (because who wants to catch a summer cold?) and a great way to sneak more veggies into your diet. Serve the soup with tacos or grilled fish and a frozen margarita.

Recipe: Mexican Gazpacho Soup

11. Za'atar Egg Salad Sandwich

Za'atar takes an egg salad sandwich from "bland" to "grand." In case you haven't worked with it before, za'atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend with a nutty, slightly lemony flavor. If you can't find a pre-made version in your local grocery store, you can whip up a quick substitute with thyme, oregano, sesame seeds, and sumac.

Labneh and Dijon mustard create the creamy component for this egg salad — a tangy upgrade from mild mayo. Serve it on white bread or in pita pockets, and enjoy your sandwich with blood orange mint lemonade or a sumac-infused martini.

Recipe: Za'atar Egg Salad Sandwich

12. Classic Watergate Salad

Introducing: the only salad you can eat for dessert. Watergate salad had a moment during the 1970s (go figure) but, unlike the eponymous political scandal, the treat definitely still holds up today. It features pistachio pudding with pineapple chunks, mini marshmallows, and whipped topping, but the sweetest part is perhaps its ease of assembly. All the ingredients get stirred together in a mixing bowl with a rubber spatula.

You can add chopped pecans for an interesting textural component, but feel free to employ some creative license here and play around with different ingredients. Mix in canned mandarin oranges or thinly sliced strawberries. Sprinkle in some crushed cashews. Top it with a maraschino cherry — or three. The world is your party, and we're all dancing (and hungry for more).

Recipe: Classic Watergate Salad

13. Tuna Lettuce Wraps

Skip the tortilla and enjoy your tuna salad in a lettuce leaf. (Yes, really.) This offering is crisp and light but still protein-packed and substantial enough to keep you satisfied till dinner. Admittedly, lettuce wraps aren't everybody's style, but this take is anything but boring. Red onion, mustard, lemon, and capers build a flavor mosaic of acid, salt, and brine.

Plus, the tuna salad will keep for up to a full week in the fridge, making this a great dish for make-ahead meal prep. To serve, top each wrap with microgreens, alfalfa sprouts, or chopped green onions and a squeeze of lemon. Alternatively, the filling would also work just as well on some multigrain crackers or in a sandwich.

Recipe: Tuna Lettuce Wraps

14. Savory Avocado Mousse

This guac-adjacent offering isn't just mashed; in true mousse form, it's puréed for an ultra-smooth texture. The kicker here is the Worcestershire, which lends a knockout umami flavor complemented by sea salt and fresh parsley leaves. The spread is also incredibly versatile. It can be used to make elevated avocado toast or served on crackers as a cocktail hour snack. Use it as a dip. Add a dollop to tamales. 

It's ready in five minutes, but if you want to make it the night before and pop it in the fridge overnight, no worries. The lemon juice keeps the avocado base from browning too quickly.

Recipe: Savory Avocado Mousse

15. Chopped Caprese Salad

This light, bright chopped caprese salad boasts all the class and familiarity of pasta without the heaviness. (A welcome, cozy, and indulgent feeling during the winter months, but on a sweaty summer day... not so much.) Halved grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella balls, and basil leaves are married together in a simple homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

Serve this timeless beauty with grilled burgers, brats, fish, or steaks. It'd also pair well with a glass of white wine for an afternoon snack.

Recipe: Chopped Caprese Salad

16. Chocolate-Banana (Vegan) Ice Cream

No ice cream maker appliance is necessary for this sweet and surprisingly healthy vegan ice cream. All you need is a food processor or blender and a freezer. It's an effortless way to add a little more fruit to your daily intake (especially for picky eaters and kiddos running around in the sun all day).

The best part? This dessert is budget-friendly. All it takes are bananas, cocoa, cacao nibs, and maple syrup. Just pop those ripe brown bananas in the freezer and turn 'em into ice cream. No waste, no dairy, and no processed sugar.

Recipe: Chocolate-Banana (Vegan) Ice Cream

17. Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl

When sunny summer days hit, we want to spend our time outside and our money on trips to the beach (or a frozen treat at the local stand). If you're looking for ways to save a little dough without sacrificing any of the season's greatest pleasures, look no further than this ahi tuna poke bowl.

It's a combination of rice, raw (sushi-grade) tuna, jalapeño, cucumber, and red onion, which is as healthy as it is filling. Perhaps most impressively, it tastes like something you'd find on the menu at a fancy restaurant for a fraction of the price.

Recipe: Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl

18. Southwest Pasta Salad

Creamy chipotle-lime dressing is the star of the show in this Southwest-inspired dish — a satiating kaleidoscope of rotini, fire-roasted corn, black beans, bell pepper, onion, avocado, and tomatoes.

Serve it on the side with grilled corn on the cob and barbecue chicken breast. Or enjoy it as a main dish along with a mezcal-based Paloma to amp up the citrusy-smokiness. You could even scoop it into mini tortillas and enjoy it as an appetizer. This pasta salad holds up well in the fridge for days, so, if you're feeling adventurous, why not give all three serving suggestions a try?

Recipe: Southwest Pasta Salad

19. Turkey Sandwich with Pepper Jack and Barbecue Chips

Flash back to the beloved (rowdy, sticky) middle school cafeteria. If you have ever crushed up your potato chips and stuffed them into your sandwich, this one's for you. This turkey sandwich is a playful yet elevated take on the childhood classic.

Mouthwateringly savory barbecue chips meet sour dill pickles and spicy pepper jack cheese for a burst of flavor, but the real kicker here is the homemade spicy mayo. After all, nobody wants a dry lunch meat sandwich. Enjoy this crunchy sammy poolside or pack it in a picnic basket for a crowd-pleasing surprise.

Recipe: Turkey Sandwich with Pepper Jack and Barbecue Chips

20. Creamy Kidney Bean Salad

When summertime rolls around, so does backyard barbecue and picnic season. That means you'll probably be reaching for your tried-and-true pasta salad, potato salad, or macaroni salad... (You get the picture.) Is it starting to get a little predictable? Or even tired? If so, this unique creamy kidney bean salad has come to the rescue.

It's ready in 15 minutes from start to finish and aside from the primary ingredients (carrots, celery, red onion, and kidney beans), there's probably a good chance that you already have everything you need lying around the kitchen. For a vegan version, simply use dairy-free mayo.

Recipe: Creamy Kidney Bean Salad

21. Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad)

Esquites are like a deconstructed elote salad with jalapeños, bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, and lime. And like elote, esquites are all about the sweet corn, which gets slathered in a creamy, spicy sauce and cotija or (if you can't track any down at your local supermarket) feta cheese. For extra-smoky flavor, make your esquites with grilled corn sliced off of the cob. But if you want to cut down on prep time, frozen corn kernels will get the job done too.

Serve it as a side with anything grilled. Or use it as a topping for a salad or baked potato. Scoop it up with tortilla chips. Spoon it into a soft tortilla and enjoy it as a burrito. Innovation is the name of the game in the kitchen, especially with such a versatile dish like esquites.

Recipe: Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad)

22. California Roll

Nailing delicious sushi is all about your rolling technique, and this California roll makes it super-easy on novice rollers. (Like "ready in 30 minutes" easy.) Sticky sushi rice does most of the heavy lifting here. Nori sheets and imitation crab sticks are some of the star ingredients, making this recipe a great excuse to pay your local Asian grocery store a visit.

These California rolls do require plastic wrap and a bamboo sushi mat, so if you're hungry to give sushi rolling a try, just make sure you have these tools on hand. To serve, dunk each piece in spicy mayo or soy sauce, and enjoy it alongside classic pairings like miso soup, edamame, seaweed salad, and ice-cold green tea.

Recipe: California Roll

23. Best Broccoli Salad

Not just for soup — introducing: broccoli salad, the (perhaps unlikely) gem of your summertime dinner table. This dish is a simple way to incorporate more greens into your diet, and it's flavorful enough to entice picky eaters.

Tender broccoli florets are mixed with spiced, creamy Greek yogurt dressing and chunks of turkey bacon, artfully ballet-dancing across the line between healthy and indulgent. (Plus, that turkey bacon also adds a powerful protein boost.) Serve the salad over a bowl of rice or enjoy it as a side dish for meaty entrées like steak and burgers.

Recipe: Best Broccoli Salad

24. Chilled Vichyssoise

This French classic is about as versatile a side dish as they come. If you've never tried it before, vichyssoise is a chilled, puréed potato leek soup blended with heavy cream and spices. It works great as an appetizer on its own — garnished with chopped chives and a generous sprinkle of freshly cracked pepper.

To complete the meal, pair the soup with homemade focaccia and chicken Caesar salad. Can't get enough? No worries. This vichyssoise will keep in the freezer for up to six months to keep the party going well into winter.

Recipe: Chilled Vichyssoise

25. Shirazi Salad

This is one of those dishes that remind you of one of the most fundamental and magical truths of cooking: It doesn't take much to create a lot of flavor. In the case of this humble yet powerful shirazi salad, all it takes are cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, and fresh mint leaves lightly dressed in lemon juice and olive oil.

Plus, it's ready in just five minutes (or even less, depending on how long it takes you to chop a few vegetables). This Iranian dish makes a great vegetable-forward side for foodies who might not care for "normal" lettuce-based salads. Serve it alongside chicken kebabs, rice pilaf, or grilled brats.

Recipe: Shirazi Salad

26. Crave-Worthy Guacamole

When a snack attack hits, guac is probably already pretty high on your list of eligible contenders — but especially so on ultra-hot days when all you want is something healthy and a little salty to replenish and satisfy. This crave-worthy guacamole gets mashed by hand, which means no food processor to wash. That's great news if you're entertaining and don't want to stop interacting with your guests or, frankly, if you're just feeling beat from the heat and would rather avoid a laborious cleanup.

You can make this guac as mild or spicy as you'd like by adding more jalapeños, serrano chiles, and cayenne pepper. Or switch up the flavor profile altogether and add Creole seasoning. Serve it with tortilla chips or dollop it onto an enchilada, and enjoy with a pitcher of sangria.

Recipe: Crave-Worthy Guacamole

27. French Potato Salad

Champagne vinegar, fresh dill, Dijon, and parsley combine to make this French potato salad a slightly fancier version of the beloved cookout staple. Its mildness keeps it versatile enough to pair with virtually any sandwich, entrée, fresh green salad, or whatever else might be on your dinner table.

Plus, it's ultra-portable, making it perfect as a shareable dish to bring to backyard potlucks. Just put it in an airtight container and go. And it's fine if it jostles around in the backseat a little on the drive over. This potato salad is still going to look just fine with a serving spoon in it on the Fourth of July or any outdoor gathering you have planned.

Recipe: French Potato Salad

28. Tasting Table's Ultimate Sundae

Your next ice cream social just got a wowing facelift. Tasting Table's Ultimate Sundae is a textural smorgasbord of chewy, smooth, and crunchy. It's loaded with cardamom-pistachio brittle, gooey coconut cream caramel sauce, jackfruit compote, Sichuan peppercorn hot fudge, and a cherry on top, of course.

It's admittedly a bigger investment of time and energy than grabbing a pint of ice cream at your nearest store, but when it comes to crafting this sundae, hard work truly never tasted so sweet.

Recipe: Tasting Table's Ultimate Sundae

29. Light and Fresh Spring Rolls

These earthy, crunchy spring rolls are a sneaky way to get picky eaters to enjoy some fresh vegetables. We're talkin' cabbage, bell pepper, cucumber, and more. Plus, the recipe includes some tender rice noodles to make each bite chewy and wonderful.

To serve, dip the spring rolls in spicy peanut sauce or sweet chili sauce. Enjoy them as an appetizer, a book club snack, or a side dish with pad Thai.

Recipe: Light and Fresh Spring Rolls

30. Spruced Up Tuna Salad

Here at Tasting Table, we're all about creative adaptations. (Deconstructed grilled cheese sandwich? Yes, please.) But this spruced up tuna salad recipe is a faithful ode to the traditional classic. No unnecessary bells or ribbons here, because as true tuna salad fans already know, simplicity is best.

Serve this on lettuce leaves or pita triangles. Take it to work and eat it as a sandwich on white bread or spread it across a tomato-basil tortilla. Or savor it on its own as a busy weeknight dinner, paired with steamed rice.

Recipe: Spruced Up Tuna Salad

31. No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake

This no-bake strawberry cheesecake only requires 10 minutes of hands-on prep time. All the magic happens in the freezer, where this bad boy sits for two hours and then emerges as a complete, ready-to-eat cheesecake straight out of your confectionery dreams.

No need to turn on the oven on a hot summer day — you can dump all the ingredients straight into a blender and then scoop them into a pie pan. The strawberry part comes from strawberry jelly, so if you've made homemade preserves with the bounty from your garden, this recipe is the perfect opportunity to let your jam flag fly.

After it's finished setting up in the freezer, top your cheesecake with any extra touches your heart desires. We suggest chopped nuts, whipped cream, fresh fruit slices, shaved chocolate, or even gold leaf.

Recipe: No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake

32. Ginger Sushi Burrito

Flex your culinary prowess with this seemingly complicated ginger sushi burrito and leave all the coworkers in the breakroom speechless. "Where did you get that sushi burrito?" they'll implore ravenously with glimmers of envy in their wide eyes. You'll just smile, because you made this sushi burrito yourself.

It's ultra-portable — a huge bonus for lunch on the go on busy days running errands or rushing off to soccer practice or band camp. Need fun weekend plans after the big game this weekend? These burritos call for raw sushi-grade salmon and ahi tuna, which means you have a great excuse to hit up your local fishmonger.

Recipe: Ginger Sushi Burrito

33. Cauliflower Potato Salad

The endless parade of potlucks and barbecues that comes with July is exciting — until it starts to get downright expensive. If you're feeling the financial drag of assembling covered dish after covered dish, we've got you covered this time. 

This reimagined recipe gives your go-to potato salad a refreshing healthy twist. Nutrient-dense, low-carb cauliflower steps in to help fuel your fun-filled days in the sun this summer. It's super-economical to make as well. All it takes are a head of cauliflower, a red onion, and some fresh herbs — and there's probably a good chance that you already have all the other ingredients you need floating around your pantry and fridge somewhere.

Recipe: Cauliflower Potato Salad

34. Refreshing Cucumber Sandwiches

Anyone down for high tea? Jazz up your next afternoon garden party with these refreshing cucumber sandwiches — an instantly delightful visual down to the cutesy toothpicks skewered through the center.

Pair these light traditional bites with a spread of other adorable finger foods like mini quiches or pesto deviled eggs. For the perfect soundtrack to your meal, we suggest tittering afternoon giggles floating on a sublime June breeze.

Recipe: Refreshing Cucumber Sandwiches

35. Creamy Macaroni Salad

Macaroni salad has cemented itself as a summertime staple for a reason. Halved grape tomatoes and chopped celery, dill pickles, bell pepper, and chives come together to compose a texturally compelling yet welcomingly familiar dish.

The star of the show here is the homemade dressing made with Dijon, mayo, sour cream, vinegar, honey, and celery seeds, creating a zesty and tangy profile. Pair the macaroni salad with baked beans and serve it alongside a bucket of grilled, sauce-slathered chicken wings.

Recipe: Creamy Macaroni Salad

36. Classic Ceviche

If you've never tried ceviche before, picture a raw fish side salad with a salsa-like flair. It may sound like a CrossFit exercise for the imagination, but ceviche is a deceptively simple production.

We recommend using snapper, bass, or halibut, but you could also go with tilapia, grouper, cod, or any other white fish that suits your fancy. The fish is cut into tiny cubes and added to a bowl of diced veggies. Everything is then married in a citrus marinade sweetened with a touch of rice vinegar.

Recipe: Classic Ceviche

37. Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

What makes this dish different from the caprese salad recipe we covered a little ways back (scroll up if you missed it) is the dice size of the ingredients. It's closer to what probably comes to mind when most folks envision a "salad" — large slices of tomato and fresh mozzarella dressed with a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

Unlike our caprese salad's fine dice, this one occupies more of a mouthful and demands a little more chewing. This super-light, refreshing, and flavorful salad would pair well with any pasta dish or grilled fish or chicken.

Recipe: Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

38. Easy Benedictine and Bacon Sandwich

Savory Benedictine spread first found its fanbase at the Kentucky Derby, but don't let that intimidate you — "easy" is literally in the name of the recipe. Benedictine is made with cucumber and cream cheese, and in this sandwich, it's rocketed to acidic umami heaven with the accompaniment of pickled red onions, fresh dill, and crispy bacon.

The finished product is a bit reminiscent of a loaded lox bagel but with bacon instead of fish and no capers in sight. (Although, if you wanted to add a few onto this sammy, we wouldn't judge. It might even be awesome.)

Recipe: Easy Benedictine and Bacon Sandwich

39. Colorful Niçoise Salad

This Niçoise salad looks exactly like the foods that Baroque painters used to emulate. A colorful, dramatic, and bulbous draping of heirloom tomatoes, capers, and black olives cascades across a backdrop of boiled eggs, potatoes, and green beans in a salty vinaigrette. 

Pair it with grilled fish, serve it on pieces of crostini, or artfully arrange it on a platter for easy access and an instant pop of color on the dinner table.

Recipe: Colorful Niçoise Salad

40. Ice Cream Nachos

We said what we said. Buckle your seatbelt for what might very well be the wildest ice cream ride of your life. If "ice cream nachos" don't sound like an appealing concept to you, then maybe you simply aren't ready to experience their iconoclastic majesty. (Just kidding... sort of.)

In this salty-sweet monument for the books, a base of tortilla chips is sprinkled with a dusting of cinnamon and sugar — churro-style. Then, the chips are loaded with generous scoops of vanilla ice cream, sprinkles, chocolate drizzle, and whatever other toppings you would normally load onto your fantasy sundae.

Recipe: Ice Cream Nachos

41. Crisp and Creamy Chicken Salad

This crisp and creamy chicken salad was made for slow summer hangouts with loved ones. It only takes 10 minutes from start to finish, so it can be ready for a last-minute get-together as quickly as you can.

For a bulkier meal, this dish works well folded into a lettuce wrap for lunch, but it can also be enjoyed on crackers or baguette slices. Loll on a picnic blanket and snack on these with friends as the afternoon passes you by like a fond daydream.

Recipe: Crisp and Creamy Chicken Salad

42. Creamy Dill Potato Salad

How many different ways can we talk about potato salad? Apparently, lots. It's easy to swim the clear waters of potato salad fandom with such a versatile dish, especially when we're craving a savory side dish and the weather's just too hot to even consider something warm like baked beans or cheesy potatoes.

For a fun, playful textural component, use small Yukon gold potatoes and cut them into halves or quarters. In the bowl, they'll pile together to form a golden yellow salad perfect for loading up a hotdog or two for a full meal.

Recipe: Creamy Dill Potato Salad

43. Cold Summer Ramen

You can eat ramen in the summer without breaking a sweat? (Pinch us. We must be dreaming.) This cold noodle soup places seasonal summer produce in the spotlight with heirloom tomatoes, corn, and spiralized summer squash as noodles.

In true ramen fashion, it's topped with a soft-boiled egg with the classic runny yolk and chilled homemade broth made from corn cobs and miso. Cold ramen is about to be your newest summer fling (that will leave you with a full belly instead of a heartache come September).

Recipe: Cold Summer Ramen

44. No-Bake Espresso Mud Pie

This is the make-ahead masterpiece we've been waiting for. Dark and milk chocolate ganaches and homemade espresso-infused whipped cream meet in an Oreo cookie crust for a hands-off dessert that is oh-so-right. The longer you let this no-bake espresso mud pie set in the refrigerator, the better and firmer the bite.

Garnish the treat with powdered sugar, instant espresso, and a handful of chocolate-covered espresso beans. Serve it with a cup of black coffee after dinner for an unforgettable dessert that'll even help curb your post-meal fatigue with a subtle caffeine boost.

Recipe: No-Bake Espresso Mud Pie

45. Greek-Style Seven Layer Salad

Get ready to taste the rainbow. This Mediterranean flavor fantasia fuses chickpeas, lettuce, cucumbers, olives, red onion, tomato, and crumbled feta. A bold, acidic red wine vinaigrette made with honey, lemon, and mustard unites the seven different levels into a cohesive dish.

Serve this crunchy salad in a deep glass bowl to show off those defined colorful layers. It would pair well with one of the chilled soups we talked about earlier, such as vichyssoise or Mexican gazpacho.

Recipe: Greek-Style Seven Layer Salad

46. Ahi (Yellowfin) Tuna Crudo

Crudo may sound fancy, and admittedly, it is a super-impressive dish, but that isn't because of any fancy cooking technique. It's because crudo lets quality ingredients do the talking. Raw fish can actually be a lifesaver on nights when you know your body could really use a nourishing meal, but you simply don't have the energy to put together anything elaborate. 

Skip the in-case-of-emergency fast food run and whip up this yellowfin tuna crudo instead. The dish is essentially a raw fish and cucumber salad in an umami-bomb dressing made with ponzu sauce and sesame seeds — and making it at home is way cheaper than ordering it from a trendy sushi restaurant.

Recipe: Ahi (Yellowfin) Tuna Crudo

47. Mustard Green Salad

When you think about switching up your salads, you might consider swapping your go-to lettuce with arugula, Swiss chard, kale, baby spinach, alfalfa sprouts, or even broccolini. But it would be a tragic mistake to overlook the unsung hero of the produce aisle: mustard greens. In case you haven't worked with them before, mustard greens have an earthy, bitter taste and a crisp snap.

To balance out the bitterness of the greens, this salad is dressed with a sweet-acidic lemon and maple syrup vinaigrette. Serve it alongside lasagna or, on a cooler summer day, spicy tortilla soup. You could even add in a handful of chopped walnuts or pecans to garnish.

Recipe: Mustard Green Salad

48. Traditional Spumoni Ice Cream Cake

Spumoni is a tri-flavored Neapolitan-esque ice cream striped with chocolate, cherry, and pistachio. Technically, it isn't ice cream at all; it's a semifreddo — the cross between ice cream and sherbet. Unfortunately for foodies around the rest of the world, it can be pretty tough to track down outside of Italy. Luckily, you can create your own take on spumoni fairly easily by purchasing separate containers of cherry, pistachio, and chocolate ice creams.

This spumoni ice cream cake features a layer of pulverized chocolate waffle cones. Admittedly, the dessert takes a bit of extra planning and work to assemble, but it's an unforgettable way to celebrate a special occasion like a birthday party or anniversary.

Recipe: Traditional Spumoni Ice Cream Cake

49. Moroccan Chickpea Salad

This Moroccan chickpea salad is a hearty, healthy vegetarian side dish that can be ready to feed every guest at the cookout in just around 30 minutes. Luckily for home cooks, the flavorful lineup of ingredients — which includes garbanzo beans, kalamata olives, baby spinach, tangy Dijon mustard, dried apricots, paprika, and chopped pistachios — speaks for itself.

Serve the dish with grilled chicken and veggie skewers and a cold gin cocktail to bring out the salad's herbaceousness. A Meyer lemon Tom Collins would work well here.

Recipe: Moroccan Chickpea Salad

50. Thai Smashed Cucumber Salad

Spicy, earthy ginger meets fresh, bright, and briny cucumbers in this flavor-packed Thai-inspired salad. Opt for smaller, seedless cucumbers with lower water content, like Persian or English cukes. For best results, toss all the ingredients together and let the marinade do its thing in the fridge overnight. The next day, once the ingredients have had a chance to meld together and intensify, just pull the bowl out of the fridge and dig in.

Enjoy this spicy, snappy cucumber salad on its own with a tall glass of fermented kombucha. You could also serve it as a side dish for chicken satay or other grilled meats.

Recipe: Thai Smashed Cucumber Salad

51. At-Home Acai Bowl

Allow us to set the scene: You've just opened your eyes. You're in bed, it's your day off... and you're already sweating. Did the air conditioner die sometime during the night? Did you forget to open the window before falling asleep? No. It's just July, and it stays hot from morning till sundown. 

On too-hot-to-function days like this, start your morning off right with this refreshing and nutritious at-home acai bowl. It's delicious and fun, and it takes less than five minutes to throw together. Eating healthy never looked so good — or so easy.

Recipe: At-Home Acai Bowl

52. Corn Salad

This corn salad is a culinary Swiss Army knife: It can function as a side dish, appetizer, snack, or topping. To get the most out of peak sweet corn season this summer, grill fresh ears of corn, then shave the kernels off of the cob. Halved grape tomatoes, diced bell pepper and onion, fresh basil, a generous crumble of feta, and a homemade dressing join the mix, creating a bright, slightly salty flavor profile. Cotija cheese would also work well here.

Pair this recipe with grilled salmon or chicken breast and serve it with a minty lime-forward mojito. Or scoop a spoonful on top of tacos, enchiladas, or tamales. You could even eat it right out of the bowl with tortilla chips... or a spoon. (We aren't looking.)

Recipe: Corn Salad