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What to Eat When It’s Too Hot to Cook

Turning on the oven during a heat wave? Not with these recipes! Beat the heat this summer with breakfasts, mains, sides and desserts made without the stove.

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Cool and Creamy Watermelon Pie

This simple pie is so refreshing that it never lasts long on warm summer days. Watermelon and a few convenience items make it a delightful dessert that doesn’t take much effort. —Velma Beck, Carlinville, Illinois

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Fresh Shrimp And Avocado Nachos Exps Sdjj18 214141 B02 15 2b 9

Fresh Shrimp and Avocado Nachos

I'm a fan of shrimp, and my family loves nachos. When I combined those favorites and added fresh avocado, the result was a cool yet satisfying snack. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
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Fruit and Cheese Board

Who says cheese and sausage get to have all the fun? Make this fruit charcuterie board a party go-to with any that are in season. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Chicken & Bacon Roll-Ups

My children like these so much that they ask for them every day for lunch during the summer. Whenever I have leftover chicken or turkey breast, this is a delicious way to use it up. —Patricia Nieh, Portola Valley, California
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Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

This recipe is so flavorful and fresh tasting. The teachers and staff at my school love it because it's fun to put together. —Laureen Pittman, Riverside, California
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Layered Lemon Pie

This is a great ending for almost any meal that kids and adults all enjoy. The creamy lemon filling is always a hit with my husband. —Elizabeth Yoder, Belcourt, North Dakota
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Gouda Turkey Club

With this recipe, two can enjoy the taste of something new and elegant in minutes. All you need to add is the ambiance for a bistro meal at home. —Karen Harris, Littleton, Colorado
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Turkey And Apple Arugula Salad Exps Hca18 180202 C08 25 5b 12

Turkey and Apple Arugula Salad

This satisfying salad proves that turkey can be enjoyed outside of the holidays. Peppery salad greens, sweet grapes and rich walnuts combine to create a flavor sensation. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Spinach and Turkey Pinwheels

Need an awesome snack for game day? My kids love these easy four-ingredient turkey pinwheels. Go ahead and make them the day before—they won’t get soggy! —Amy Van Hemert, Ottumwa, Iowa
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Zesty Marinated Shrimp

These easy shrimp look impressive on a buffet table and taste even better! The zesty sauce has a wonderful spicy citrus flavor. I especially like this recipe because I can prepare it ahead of time. —Mary Jane Guest, Alamosa, Colorado
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Chicken Salad Party Sandwiches Exps Hca18 162930 C03 14 2b 9

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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No-Cook Fresh Tomato Sauce

Try this sauce at times when you have a box of pasta or a store-bought pizza shell and need a sure-fire topping. Dinner is served. —Julianne Schnuck, Taste of Home Designer
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Easy Mint Thins Exps Hcbz21 129180 B05 25 8b

Easy Mint Thins

My friends often try to guess the ingredients, but I never tell them how simple they are to make. They taste just like the Girl Scout cookie, and they're perfect for Christmas and bake sales. —Jennifer Setser, Morgantown, Indiana
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Buttery Radish Baguette

My dad and brother are crazy for radishes, and this peppery baguette appetizer is a big-time favorite. Add a sprinkle of fresh dill or parsley on top. —Kathy Hewitt, Cranston, Rhode Island
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Easy Southwestern Veggie Wraps Exps133493 Th2237243a10 06 2bc Rms 4

Easy Southwestern Veggie Wraps

I developed this recipe when corn was in the farmer's market and big, red, juicy tomatoes were in my garden. To make this wrap light and healthy, I use fat-free sour cream, whole grain tortillas and brown rice. Although it's vegetarian by nature, change it up with a large chicken breast, diced small. —Cindy Beberman, Orland Park, Illinois
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Frosty Watermelon Ice

Here's a fun twist on watermelon. It's so refreshing on a summer day, and you don't have to worry about seeds while you're enjoying it. —Kaaren Jurack, Manassas, Virginia
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Artichoke Caprese Platter

I dressed up the classic Italian trio of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil with marinated artichokes. It looks so yummy on a pretty platter set out on a buffet. Using fresh mozzarella is the key to its great taste. —Margaret Wilson, San Bernardino, California
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Turkey Focaccia Club

My family thinks this sandwich is pure heaven thanks to the cranberry-pecan mayo. It's so good that they ask me to make it all year long. —Judy Wilson, Sun City West, Arizona
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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 do all lettuce, but I like the crunch you get with cabbage. —Taylor Kiser, Brandon, Florida
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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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Creamy Pineapple Pie

Creamy Pineapple Pie is a light and refreshing dessert that's quick to make and impressive to serve. This is one of our favorite ways to complete a summer meal. —Sharon Bickett, Chester, South Carolina
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Cucumber Salad Boats

Scoop out the seeds and fill fresh cucumbers with your favorite salad for a crunchy and refreshing light lunch. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Curried Chicken & Peach Salad

This is a very healthy and simple salad to make; even my non-cooking husband can whip it together in minutes. We’ve served this to friends over the years, and they always ask for the recipe. —Radelle Knappenberger, Oviedo, Florida
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Crabby Snack Mix

I love boiled Maryland crabs and crab fries dipped in cheese. With those favorites in mind, I created a crunchy snack mix spiced with seafood seasoning. One handful is never enough!—Mrs. Karyn Gordon, Cinnaminson, New Jersey
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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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California Sushi Rolls

This tastes as good as any restaurant or store-bought California roll. Plus, it's one of the easiest sushi recipes for when you're first learning
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Pastrami Roll-Ups

For a book club event, I created pastrami roll-ups with cream cheese and a pickle. Those tasty bites quickly pulled a disappearing act. —Merritt Heinrich, Oswego, Illinois
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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
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Classic Avocado Toast

This is such an easy way to add avocados to your diet. Use healthy multigrain bread and top with sliced radishes and cracked pepper or lime zest, or chipotle peppers and cilantro. You'll want to make this avocado toast recipe every morning! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Shrimp & Feta Cucumber Rounds

I love the contrasting tastes and textures of these rounds. Each bite balances the refreshing burst and crunch of cucumber with the rich flavor and creaminess of the filling.—Donna Pochoday, Morristown, New Jersey
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Waldorf Turkey Pitas

Living in New York City means not having a lot of time to prepare meals. This recipe is quick, easy and healthy, making it perfect for my lifestyle. —Kevin Sobotka, Staten Island, New York
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Turkey-Jalapeno Sandwiches

When turkey sandwich meets modern Thai, it’s a fun mix of classic and trendy food. I love it when my mixing and matching turns out so tasty. —Stacy Mullens, Gresham, Oregon
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Zucchini Ham Frittata

This frittata is so quick to make--it cooks in the microwave in just minutes! Add a red pepper garnish for a colorful look. —Mildred Fox, Fostoria, Ohio
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Blackberry Frozen Yogurt Exps23148 Fft2434558d08 08 10bc Rms 3

Blackberry Frozen Yogurt

You could also use boysenberries, raspberries or strawberries for this delicious dessert. — Rebecca Baird, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Tomato Avocado Sandwiches Exps144054 Sd143205a01 31 4bc Rms 6

Tomato & Avocado Sandwiches

I'm a vegetarian, and this is a tasty, quick and healthy lunch I could eat for every meal. At my house, we call these sandwiches HATS: hummus, avocado, tomato and shallots. These are ingredients I almost always have on hand. —Sarah Jaraha, Moorestown, New Jersey
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Honey-Lemon Chicken Enchiladas

Honey, lemon and chili flavors blend wonderfully in enchiladas. My family devours this dish, so I also use the chicken filling for soft tacos with toppings. —Kristi Moak, Gilbert, Arizona
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Herbed Goat Cheese Baguette Slices Exps156273 Thhc2377560b02 27 6bc Rms 2

Herbed Goat Cheese Baguette Slices

This fun appetizer is guaranteed to wow guests! It takes just moments to whip up the herb-infused goat cheese spread. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Greendale, Wisconsin
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Summer Sub Sandwich

Being originally from the Northeast, we love submarine sandwiches. So I came up with this hearty ham-and-cheese combination that's good either hot or cold. —Jennifer Beck, Concord, Ohio
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Chicken & Apple Salad with Greens

My favorite memory of eating this dish was when my mom made it for lunch on weekends when we were home from school and could have something other than "brown bag" lunches. Happy memories of childhood and late summer days just make this salad extra special. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Pork & Vegetable Spring Rolls

I thought rice paper wrappers would be a quick, fun way to put salad ingredients into a hand-held snack or meal. I also make this with shrimp or add in cranberries. Go ahead, experiment! —Marla Strader, Ozark, Missouri
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Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwiches

Parmesan cheese and dill make this the most incredible chicken salad I’ve ever tasted. These sandwiches are a simple entree to serve at parties, showers or picnics.—Jaclyn Bell, Logan, Utah
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Garden-Fresh Grilled Veggie Pizza

I have four gardens, including one just for herbs, so I always have a pretty good spread of produce. I created this loaded-up pizza as a fun summer appetizer using some of my best garden goodies. —Dianna Wara, Washington, Illinois
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Overnight Oatmeal

Start this breakfast the night before so you can get some extra sleep in the morning. My husband adds coconut to his, and I stir in dried fruit. —June Thomas, Chesterton, Indiana
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Italian-Style Veggie Wraps

Yummy! There are so many great flavors and textures in these wraps. Feel free to experiment with the ingredients—use mozzarella, pepperoni or any combo you like. —Maria Simmons, Rio Rancho, New Mexico
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Microwave Egg Sandwich

If you're looking for a grab-and-go breakfast for busy days, this high-protein sandwich is low in fat and keeps me full all morning. Plus, it's only about 200 calories! —Brenda Otto, Reedsburg, Wisconsin
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Black Forest Icebox Cookies

These rich chocolate wafers are the perfect complement to the creamy filling's sweet-tart tones. Chill for up to four hours; any longer and the wafers get too soft to pick up with your hands. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Salmon Bean Wraps

Here’s a healthy wrap low in saturated fat and full of the wonderful nutrients in avocado, black beans and smoked salmon. It’s super easy and perfect for a quick lunch. —Jess Apfe, Berkeley, California
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15-Minute Meat Loaf

I combined a few awesome-tasting meat loaf recipes to create this flavorful version, which my husband loves. And because it's made in the microwave, the entree is ideal for busy nights. —Deb Thompson, Lincoln, Nebraska
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Smoked Salmon Roulades

Elegant, scrumptious and easy to make are the type of appetizers that should be added to anyone's recipe file. You're sure to impress your guests with these colorful bites.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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BLT Tortillas

I first sampled these BLT wraps at a bridal luncheon years ago. Now I frequently make them for our weekly neighborhood dinners. —Darla Wester, Meriden, Iowa
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Turkey Pinto Bean Salad With Southern Molasses Dressing Exps Fbbz19 135882 B04 10 3b 7

Turkey Pinto Bean Salad with Southern Molasses Dressing

This salad is a welcome alternative to the usual post-Thanksgiving fare. It's a tasty main dish loaded with good-for-you protein.—Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
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Dressed-Up Meatballs

Frozen meatballs and a jar of sweet-and-sour sauce make this microwave meal a last-minute lifesaver when racing against the clock. The flavorful sauce is dressed up with a hint of garlic and nicely coats the colorful mixture of meatballs, carrots, green pepper and onion. —Ivy Eresmas, Dade City, Florida
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Triple Berry No Bake Cheesecake Exps Tohcom19 138951 B01 30 6b 3

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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Smoked Salmon Bagel Sandwiches Exps107276 Cw1996976c04 05 3bc Rms 3

Smoked Salmon Bagel Sandwiches

A memorable pesto salmon I tried in Hawaii inspired these super convenient sandwiches. Pack them in a lunch or serve them on a brunch buffet.—Sherryl Vera, Hurlburt Field, Florida
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Rainbow Strawberries

Dip fresh strawberries in melted candy-coated discs to create a rainbow of color. Or get adventurous and make a unicorn. The creative possibilities are endless. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Garbanzo-Stuffed Mini Peppers

Mini peppers are so colorful and are the perfect size for a two-bite appetizer. They have all the crunch of pita chips but without the extra calories. —Christine Hanover, Lewiston, California
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Cod Delight

I used to make this in the oven, but then I discovered that microwave lets me enjoy it even faster. It's a pretty dish to serve company. In fact, many of my friends and family now cook this at home. —Nancy Daugherty, Cortland, Ohio
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No-Bake Cookie Balls

I go for these quick bites when I'm short on time or don't want to turn on the oven. I make them a day or two ahead to let the flavors blend. —Carmeletta Dailey, Winfield, Texas
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Cobb Salad

Made on the fly by Hollywood restaurateur Bob Cobb in 1937, the Cobb salad is a world-famous American dish. Here's a fresh take, with all the original appeal and an extra special presentation. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Cool Summertime Oatmeal

Start this breakfast the night before so you can get a few extra z's in the morning. My husband adds coconut to his, and I stir in dried fruit. —June Thomas, Chesterton, Indiana

Caroline Stanko
As Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.

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