Summer recipes: 30 foods to cool you down on a hot summer day

summer recipes

Are you struggling to deal with the heat? These delicious summer recipes should help you cool right down.

Feeling hot? When it's hot out, the last thing you want to do is to eat something that's just going to make you feel more uncomfortable! That is why we have decided to put together a list of summer recipes that will keep you feeling light and refreshed.

Read more: Healthy barbecue recipes

We don't often get much sun in this country so it can come as quite a surprise when it makes an appearance! These cooling summer recipes can all be made on the quick, so you can whip up a refreshing treat for the whole family. Some require a little freezer time - but that just means they'll be even more cooling when they come out!

summer recipes

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Smoothies and fruit salads for breakfasts, a homemade lolly to help you through the mid afternoon heat and some light and tasty salads for dinner such as easy couscous salad and delicious potato salad, our collection of delectable summer recipes to cool you down has them all!

Read more: 11 no-cook dinners for summer nights

These summer recipes are not only quick, but they're also super easy. So they're perfect for when the heat has you feeling too flustered to go to the effort of having to spend ages in the kitchen cooking up a complicated meal.

These summer recipes taste so delicious you'll barely be able to believe just how simple they are to throw together, and they're packed full with fruit and veg too to keep your 5-a-day count at a satisfactory level!

When you're finished scrolling through our list of summer recipes, be sure to check out our rum cocktail recipe recommendations - they'll be sure to compliment your food perfectly and create the ultimate chilled atmosphere.

Click through our foods that will cool you down to find lots of chilling and refreshing summer recipes...

Pimms lollies

summer recipes

Summer lollies!

Ice lollies for grown-ups! These cute alcoholic treats look great served on a bowl of ice at your summer barbecues.

Get the recipe: Pimm's lollies

Exotic food salads

summer recipes

Essentials magazine recipe!

An exotic fruit salad is a bit pricey but it's so much more interesting than the usual variety. Great if you want to impress your friends.

Get the recipe: Tropical fruit salad

Frozen fruit

summer recipes

Icy cold fruit!

Freeze green and red grapes, blueberries, blackcurrants and raspberries for a healthy cold snack, or buy them already frozen from the supermarket and just stick them in your freezer until they're ready to be eaten.

Roasted chicken and pepper salad recipe

summer recipes

5 mins' prep!

Can't face a hot meal in the warm weather? Dig into this chunky chicken salad, packed with sweet roasted peppers and topped with crunchy ciabatta croutons.

Get the recipe: Roasted chicken and pepper salad recipe

Homemade cloudy lemon and limeade

summer recipes


There's nothing quite as refreshing as the taste of homemade lemonade - and it's so easy to whip up.

Get the recipe: Homemade cloudy lemon and limeade

Gazpacho recipe

summer recipes

Spanish-style soup!


cold tomato soup recipe is very healthy and really refreshing on a hot

day, plus there's no cooking involved. Just blitz up raw veg and chill

the gazpacho in the fridge.

Get the recipe: Gazpacho

Fresh tomato salsa

summer recipes

Simple side!

Juicy tomatoes offer a burst of refreshing flavour with every bite. A light, homemade salsa will bring a cooling affect to your meals.

Get the recipe: Fresh tomato salsa

Passion fruit and lime puddings

summer recipes

Sweet and delicious!

This creamy, light pudding is the perfect sweet treat if you've got friends over for dinner. The passion fruit, which has plenty of water in it, will refresh your palette and the creamy mousse will cool your taste buds.

Get the recipe: Passion fruit and lime puddings

Frozen yogurt

summer recipes

Healthier than ice cream!

This frozen yogurt is just as tasty as ice cream but a little bit healthier. Serve a scoop with fresh fruit for a refreshingly light dessert.

Get the recipe: Frozen yogurt

Cherry ice lollies

summer recipes


Ice lollies are the perfect treat for kids especially these ice lollies as they're made from yogurt and fresh cherries.

Get the recipe: Cherry ice lollies

Mango and passion fruit sorbet

summer recipes

Woman's Weekly recipe!

This non-fat frozen dessert is easy to make, refreshing and

keeps in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Get the recipe: Mango and passion fruit sorbet

Strawberry ice lollies

summer recipes


Sometimes the only thing that will cool you down is a lolly. And while it's easy to pop to the shops or the ice cream man, it's even more delicious if you make your own. This one is made with fruit too - so it's healthier than that Magnum you had your eye on!

Get the recipe: Strawberry ice lollies

Raspberry ripple ice cream

summer recipes

Woman's Weekly recipe!

This low-fat ice cream with Greek yogurt can be frozen for up to three

months - if it lasts that long!

Get the recipe: Raspberry ripple ice cream

Strawberry smoothie

summer recipes

Strawberry crush!

This strawberry, banana, honey and oat smoothie offers a refreshing

start to the day and gives you two of your five-a-day.

Get the recipe: Strawberry smoothie

Prawn and two-fruit cocktail

summer recipes

Tasty starter!

This prawn cocktail has avocado and grapefruit in it and comes with a delicious spicy mayonnaise and tomato ketchup dressing.

Get the recipe: Prawn and two-fruit cocktail

Mint choc chip and ginger meringue ice

summer recipes

Minty ice cream!

After Eight mints and stem ginger make this a super-simple yet very impressive frozen chocolate dessert.

Get the recipe: Mint choc chip and ginger meringue ice

Summer spice chocolate ice

summer recipes

Can't get anyone to manage another mince pie? We understand, you can hit a wall with those little things. That's why we save ours in an airtight container then give them a new lease of life in this easy mince pie ice cream.

This is more than just chocolate ice cream - warming cinnamon, orange chocolate and cream make this ultra-decadent.

Get the recipe: Summer spice chocolate ice cream

Lavender ice cream

summer recipes

Perfect for a hot day!

Lavender-infused ice cream - deliciously creamy and ideal to make in advance and keep in the freezer for a hot day.

Get the recipe: Lavender ice cream

Raspberry pannacotta

summer recipes

Only 20 mins to prepare!

These creamy Italian jellies only take 20 minutes to prepare. Make them the day before, leave them in the fridge to set and you have yourself impressive low-fat raspberry desserts at just 110 kcals each.

Get the recipe: Raspberry panna cotta

Wholewheat muffins with smoked salmon

summer recipes

Essentials recipe!

A light and tasty breakfast muffin. This is a quick and healthy way to start the day, or you can have it for lunch, guaranteed to keep you going till your next meal.

Get the recipe: Wholemeal muffin with smoked salmon

Tuna and potato salad recipe

summer recipes

Cheap family meal!

This French-style potato salad makes a cool summery lunch and will fill up a family of four for less than £1 per head. Brilliant!

Get the recipe: Tuna and potato salad

Salmon pasta with creme fraiche

summer recipes

Cooling creme fraiche!

This salmon pasta is easy to make and tastes delicious, plus it gives

you a healthy dose of omega-3 too!

Get the recipe: Salmon pasta with creme fraiche

Passion fruit smoothie

summer recipes

Exotic fruit goodness!

Wake up to three of your five a day with this delicious fruit smoothie,

packed full of goodness and lots of flavour.

Get the recipe: Passion fruit smoothie

Tzatziki potato salad

summer recipes

Healthy potato salad!


mayo for our tzatziki, a refreshing Greek yogurt dip, to make this

potato salad much lower in fat and calories, so it's the perfect side

dish for when you're on a diet.

Get the recipe: Tzatziki potato salad

Vegetable noodle salad

summer recipes

Simple oriental salad!

This salad is quick to prepare but looks amazing and has a very refreshing flavour. If you prefer softer veggies, soak them in boiling water for two minutes then run under cold water and combine with the remaining ingredients.

Get the recipe: Vegetable and noodle salad

Pineapple and mango salsa

summer recipes


Exotic fruits such as pineapple and mango are the perfect way to spruce up your meats for the summer time. Juicy and with a lovely sunny flavour, this easy salsa will cool you right down.

Get the recipe: Pineapple and mango salsa

Berry jelly layer

summer recipes

Kids' recipe!

Kids will love this fruity, creamy jelly treat. It counts as one of their five-a-day and it's gluten-, wheat-, egg- and nut-free!

Get the recipe: Berry jelly layers

Easy couscous salad

summer recipes

No cook meal!

This couscous salad is really quick and simple to make - there's no

cooking involved, just soak the couscous in stock for 10 minutes, then

mix in loads of crunchy veg. A great idea for picnics and lunches.

Get the recipe: Easy couscous salad

Iced berry smoothies

summer recipes

Morning treat!

An cool, iced glass of smoothie in the morning will make you forget all about the hot and sticky nights' sleep you just had. A lovely way to start the day.

Get the recipe: Iced berry smoothies

Forest fruits parfait

summer recipes

Summer party recipe!

Spiced with cinnamon, cloves and cassis liqueur, you can freeze this delicious dessert for up to 2 weeks.

Get the recipe: Forest fruits parfait

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Mojito cocktail

Mojito cocktail recipe

Evening tipple!

Refreshing mint and rum make this classic Mojito. The perfect treat in the summer evenings when the kids are in bed!

Get the recipe: Mojito cocktail

Grace Walsh
Features Writer

Grace Walsh is a health and wellbeing writer, working across the subjects of family, relationships, and LGBT topics, as well as sleep and mental health. A digital journalist with over six years  experience as a writer and editor for UK publications, Grace is currently Health Editor for and has also worked with Cosmopolitan, Red, The i Paper, GoodtoKnow, and more. After graduating from the University of Warwick, she started her career writing about the complexities of sex and relationships, before combining personal hobbies with professional and writing about fitness.