8 dinners to eat in this heat (no oven!)

 Steak salad with cucumbers and tomatoes

A lot of days this summer, we have some kind of tacos for dinner. Well, actually that’s all year. We don’t have a grill and don’t plan on getting one for our small patio, so we rely heavily on the stovetop and try to avoid turning on the oven, especially on weeks when the temperature rarely drops below 75.

There’s nothing wrong with having tacos often, but I enjoy a bit more variety so I don’t get bored of not only eating the same thing all the time, but making the same thing. So, I thought I would share some tried and true recipes that are refreshing and delicious, perfect for summer.

Keep reading for 8 summer dinners that don’t require you to turn on your oven.

1. Lemon-herb chicken with blueberry balsamic salsa

Lemon chicken with blueberry balsamic sauce

This chicken dinner may look fancy, but it’s not hard to pull off. It just takes a low effort chicken marinade and simple blueberry balsamic sauce.

2. Pan-grilled pork with roasted pineapple salsa

Pan grilled pork with pineapple salsa

This recipe takes a bit of work, but the salsa is great and foolproof. You can easily sub out chicken if you don’t eat pork and adjust the heat to your liking.

3. Dan Dan inspired noodles

Dan Dan inspired noodles

Dan Dan noodles is a noodle dish originating from Chinese Sichuan cuisine. It has a spicy sauce and usually has preserved vegetables with minced pork, chili oil, scallions, and noodles. I have made it three times in the past four months and it has been a big hit with my little family.

4. Steak salad

Perfect steak salad

Perfect steak and fresh greens with some crisp summer vegetables makes for a great summer dinner. I made a really good steak salad recently with leftover carne asada, a bag of salad greens, 1/2 a cucumber, and a whole tomato.

5. Cold noodle salad

Cold noodles with meatballs

I have been meaning to make cold noodles with sesame sauce. I have done a riff on it without a recipe, using a simple sauce made with a few different condiments, leftover meatballs from the night before, some cabbage and carrots.

6. Stovetop burgers

Stovetop barbecue bacon burgers

I thought about writing a blog post on stovetop barbecue bacon burgers, but it’s so easy that I thought it was a little silly. (Why stovetop? I don’t have a grill.) I used frozen Alexia onion rings and they were actually really good. I did use the oven for the bacon and the onion rings so, maybe use different toppings if you’re not turning on your oven. Hey, you could use lettuce and tomato, no problem.

7. Falafel stuffed in pitas with homemade hummus

You can find falafel mix at most grocery stores these days. I buy the Trader Joe’s mix and bake the falafels in the oven. Trader Joe’s also sells frozen falafel balls that just need to be microwaved. It’s pretty easy to make homemade falafel, but I conserve my energy for homemade hummus. Add warmed up pita bread, sliced cucumber, fresh tomato, parsley if you have it, and you’ve got a filling vegetarian summer meal.

8. Barbecue chicken sandwiches

Barbecue chicken sandwiches

Barbecue chicken sandwiches are so easy to make and perfect for when you’re having company over. You can use a slow cooker for the chicken.

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