Easy Dinners for Hot Summer NightsWith much of the country still in the grips of a heatwave, cooking a nice hot dinner for the kids sounds as appealing as taking your toddler along for date night. What to do when it goes from breezy summer weather to Dante’s ninth circle? Here are some quick, easy, and cool ideas that will keep the kids fed when the mercury soars.



  • Assembly line dinner. This is my personal go-to during the summer months. No cooking, just set it out and let the kiddos pile what they want on their plates. I like to set out what is basically a cross between an antipasto and sandwich platter: sliced cheese and/or meats,  vegetables, fruit, crackers, flatbread, olives, nuts.
  • Chicago chef Tony Mantuano’s secret summer weapon is a delicious no-cook tomato sauce that is delicious over pasta, or on toasted baguette slices with some mozzarella and basil.
  • Bookmark this Popsugar page for 25 kid-friendly recipes that are so easy and delicious. I especially recommend the watermelon salsa.
  • Does your town have food carts? Load the kids up in the car and head out for a quick and easy dinner that doesn’t involve a drive-through and the inevitable petrified french fries that surface underneath car seats.
  • The good people of Delish have compiled 63 insanely yummy (and easy!) summer recipes that will keep it interesting until the kids are back in school. Their cilantro lime grilled salmon is swoon-worthy.
  • Want to really shake things up? Stun your kids by announcing you’re having ice cream for dinner. Yes, it’s a sugary treat. Yes, you can probably justify it a little bit by making sure you have fruit toppings available (and don’t forget that dairy has calcium!). Summer is supposed to be fun – so when the AC starts to go into overdrive and your kids are prickly from the heat, why not? You won’t just be making dinner, you’ll be making a memory.


PlanHero Nation what is your go-to dinner for the family when everything starts to melt? For our readers stuck in the heatwave I have to know: who has tried to fry an egg on the sidewalk or bake cookies in their car? I’m assuming the bonus of doing the latter is that it counteracts the smell of old french fries. Leave us your ideas in the comments!