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23 Cool And Refreshing Dinners & Sides For When It's Way Too Hot To Cook

Cool off this summer with these chilled recipes.

While a piping hot plate of chicken pot pie or a bowl of roasted tomato soup is delicious during the cooler months, we find ourselves craving more refreshing recipes when it's this hot outside. Here are a bunch of chilled dishes to help you keep cool this summer.

1. Mexican-Inspired Shrimp Cocktail

Eating Bird Food / Via eatingbirdfood.com

Imagine a classic shrimp cocktail and pico de gallo had a baby. That's what you get with this delicious Mexican-inspired shrimp dish made with chopped, ripe tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, and jalapeño. Get the recipe for Mexican-inspired shrimp cocktail here.

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2. Spicy White Bean and Corn Gapzacho

Vegetarian Ventures / Via vegetarianventures.com

Not your average gazpacho, this summery soup is made with white beans, sweet yellow tomatoes, sweet corn, and garlic chili paste or oil for a little spice. Get the recipe for spicy white bean and corn gapzacho here.

3. Cold Spicy Peanut Noodles

Table For Two Blog / Via tablefortwoblog.com, Table for Two Blog / Via tablefortwoblog.com

These spicy, savory noodles will remind you of the classic Chinese take-out dish. The dressing, made of peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, peanut oil, and chili garlic sauce will be your new obsession. Get the recipe for cold spicy peanut noodles here.

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4. Classic Shrimp Louie Salad

Foodness Gracious / Via foodnessgracious.com

This filling salad is filled with hard boiled eggs, tomato, string beans, and avocado on a bed of romaine. If you don't want to make the dressing from scratch, opt for a creamy store bought ranch. Get the recipe for classic shrimp Louie salad here.

5. Crab Salad Sandwiches

Dinner Then Dessert / Via dinnerthendessert.com

This recipe calls for imitation crab meat to keep it very affordable, but if you want to up the ante you can use a combination of jumbo lump crab meat, lobster meat, and chopped shrimp. Get the recipe for crab salad sandwiches here.

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6. Jalapeño Popper Chicken Salad

Spicy Southern Kitchen / Via spicysouthernkitchen.com

Give your standard chicken salad a flavor boost with the help of pickled jalapeños, bacon, and shredded cheddar cheese. Serve it straight over a bed of lettuce, in wrap sandwiches, or as sliders. Get the recipe for jalapeño popper chicken salad here.

7. Cold Summer Ramen

Hip Foodie Mom / Via hipfoodiemom.com

How do you upgrade your instant ramen into a gourmet meal? Take a trip to the farmer's market, stock up on all your favorite produce, then toss it all together with the noodles in a dressing made of soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Get the recipe for cold summer ramen here.

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8. Mark Bittman's Raw Corn Salad With Tomatoes, Basil, Feta, and Mint

Alexandra Cooks / Via alexandracooks.com

All you need are a few simple ingredients to toss up this refreshing salad. Even the dressing calls for just olive oil, lime, salt, and pepper. We like to serve it with some simply grilled shrimp or chicken on the side for a complete meal. Get the recipe for Mark Bittman's raw corn salad with tomatoes, feta, basil, and mint here.

9. Ahi Tuna Lettuce Cups

Foodness Gracious / Via foodnessgracious.com

Seared tuna tastes delicious either warm or chilled. Serve it on Boston lettuce with some thinly sliced veggies and a dressing made of soy sauce, orange juice, garlic, and vinegar. Get the recipe for ahi tuna lettuce cups here.

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10. Chilled Italian Shrimp and Tortellini Salad

Skinny Taste / Via skinnytaste.com

This flavorful pasta salad calls for jumbo shrimp, store-bought tortellini, capers, celery, olives, and red onion all tossed in a tangy dressing made of olive oil, lemon, and red wine vinegar. Get the recipe for chilled Italian shrimp and tortellini pasta salad here.

11. Chili Garlic Rice Noodle Salad

Little Broken / Via littlebroken.com

You can customize this rice noodle salad and add any of your favorite vegetables and protein. Toss it in a sweet-meets-spicy dressing made of chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, honey, and soy sauce. Get the recipe for chili garlic rice noodle salad here.

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12. Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Healthy Nibbles and Bits / Via healthynibblesandbits.com

Start with store bought rice paper sheets, boiled shrimp, and whatever veggies you like best such as avocado, thinly sliced carrot, lettuce, or bell pepper. Whatever you do, don't skimp on the creamy peanut dipping sauce. Get the recipe for Vietnamese spring rolls here.

13. Chilled Cucumber Soup With Chili and Lime

During the summertime, we can't get enough refreshing, chilled soup recipes. Cucumbers are blended with Greek yogurt, lime juice, sesame oil, and herbs. Serve it with a crispy loaf of fresh bread for dunking. Get the recipe for chilled cucumber soup with chili and lime here.

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14. Avocado Salad With Tomatoes, Mozzarella, and Basil Pesto

Julia's Album / Via juliasalbum.com

No cooking required. Now isn't that music to your ears? Get the recipe for avocado salad with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil pesto here.

15. Burrata Bruschetta

Ciao Florentina / Via ciaoflorentina.com

The only cooking required is charing the bread on the grill and roasting some tomatoes until they're blistered and juicy. Get the recipe for burrata bruschetta here.

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16. Lobster Pasta Salad

Bit and Bauble / Via bitandbauble.com

Nothing screams summer like lobster salad. Add ripe heirloom tomatoes and sweet corn and you've got a picnic-perfect dish. Get the recipe for lobster pasta salad here.

17. Cuban-Inspired Fish Ceviche

No Spoon Necessary / Via nospoonnecessary.com

Raw fish gets "cooked" in a zesty mixture of lime juice, orange juice, jalapeños, garlic, and mint. Get the recipe for Cuban-inspired fish ceviche here.

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18. Easy Poke Bowls With Spicy Aioli

A Farm Girl's Dabbles / Via afarmgirlsdabbles.com

The best thing about poke is that you can fill your bowl with any of your favorite ingredients. Start with sushi grade salmon, tuna, shrimp, or even watermelon or beets if you want to keep things vegetarian, then add your favorite veggies from seaweed salad to avocado. Get the recipe for easy poke bowls with spicy aioli here.

19. Mediterranean Hummus Bowls

No Spoon Necessary / Via nospoonnecessary.com

Begin with your favorite hummus (bonus points if it's homemade!), then top it with any protein like grilled chicken or falafel and lots of chopped veggies. Get the recipe for Mediterranean hummus bowls here.

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20. Whipped Cream Cheese Toasts With Smoked Salmon

Eat Well 101 / Via eatwell101.com

There's no wrong time of day to make this easy open-faced toast. Serve it for breakfast, brunch, or dinner. Or better yet, all three. Get the recipe for whipped cream cheese toasts with smoked salmon here.

21. Cold Soba Noodle Salad With Citrus Scallion Dressing

Crowded Kitchen / Via crowdedkitchen.com

This soba noodle salad happens to be vegan, but you can always add anything from tofu to shredded chicken to make it more filling. Get the recipe for cold soba noodle salad with citrus scallion dressing here.

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22. Cold Tofu With Spicy Chili Sauce

Okonomi Kitchen / Via okonomikitchen.com

Whether or not you're vegetarian, give this chilled tofu a shot. Soft tofu gets topped with an outrageously good sauce made of chili bean sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and sesame seeds. Get the recipe for cold tofu with spicy chili sauce here.

23. Greek Orzo Salad

Simply Scratch / Via simplyscratch.com

The best salads call for pasta instead of lettuce. This one takes tiny orzo noodles tossed with chopped tomato, cucumber, pepper, olives, and feta cheese. If you don't have time to make the dressing from scratch, just grab any store-bought Greek-style dressing or toss it with a little olive oil and lemon juice. Get the recipe or Greek orzo salad here.

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