Cool Summer

Cool off with a light and easy summer dinner. From a refreshing gazpacho to cool summer sides and salads, these dinner recipes are made in the shade.

See Popular Cool Summer Recipes

Brain Freeze! Cool Summer Desserts -- Best of the Blogs

Brain freeze -- really, it's a small price to pay for the thrill of that first cold, sweet bite of some delicious treat that's just emerged from the freezer. We're not ashamed to admit that we've even been known to lean in a bit in our anticipation and enjoy the frigid waft of white vapor as it steals from the surface, the summertime equivalent to taking in the aroma of a slow-cooked stew come winter. Ugh!

Cool, Classic Summer Drinks: Lemonade, Sweet Tea & So Much More

Creative drinks are more than just a way to quench your thirst. That's especially true come summertime, when a well-made beverage can showcase the best flavors of the season. The best thing about summer drinks is that they're suitable for all ages; no alcohol is necessary to enjoy delicious summer libations.

Ginger Mint Lemonade Keeps Your Summer Celebrations Cool and Easy

Ginger Mint Lemonade is the perfect make-ahead drink for your summer gatherings, and it's delicious with or without the gin!

Passion Fruit Ice Cream Pie with a Ginger Crust

Food & Wine

This isn't the kind of ice cream pie you'd make for a kiddie birthday party. Instead of a plain cookie crust, Grace Parisi creates a crispy, chewy one with crumbled gingersnaps, dried pineapple, and candied ginger. And instead of the usual caramel or chocolate sauce on top, she prepares a delectable mix of dulce de leche and passion fruit nectar from the supermarket.

Total: 3 hrs

Strawberry-Red Wine Sorbet with Crushed Meringue

Food & Wine

Jean-Georges Vongerichten takes advantage of the first strawberries of summer to make this perfect alfresco dessert. As the red wine-infused sorbet melts, it forms a tart sauce for the sweet, tender berries, which also get topped with crunchy bits of meringue, a splash of aged balsamic and fresh whipped cream.

Total: 3 hrs 30 mins

Spiced Rhubarb Soup with Vanilla Ice Cream

Food & Wine

This silky fruit dessert is delicious on its own or topped with vanilla ice cream. Just be sure to only barely cook the rhubarb, so that it retains its crispness -- and plenty of tangy flavor.

Total: 25 mins

Vanilla Brown-Sugar Pudding

Taste of the South
Total: 3 hrs 35 mins

Lemon Chia Fresca


Serve this bubbly and refreshing Mexican beverage the next time you make tacos, enchiladas or burritos.

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Better Homes and Gardens

The spices that infuse this ice cream are the same ones found in the best pumpkin pies. Splendid as an accompaniment to cake, this ice cream is spectacular on its own too.

Chocolate Toffee Crunch Ice Cream

Better Homes and Gardens

Having homemade ice cream ready and available is simple. Aficionados choose an electric ice cream maker that uses ice and rock salt to freeze the milk and cream mixture.

Total: 30 mins

Citrus-Granita and Orange-Mousse Parfaits

Food & Wine

"I love a hot fudge sundae, but this is more refreshing," says Jimmy Bradley about this light, citrusy mousse layered with orange granita and chopped almonds.

Total: 8 hrs 45 mins

Chilled Black Bean Soup


This satisfying soup of tomatoes, beans and zucchini is the perfect dinner for hot, summer days.

Total: 2 hrs 15 mins

Balsamic Vinegar Pulled Pork Sliders

Summer is made for dinners like this. Slow roast the meat for these Pulled Pork Sliders, then top with coleslaw and pair with a cool glass of lemonade.

Electric Lemonade

Better Homes and Gardens

Bright, sweet, and aromatic, this effervescent cocktail will help you cool down and relax on even the hottest of summer days. When buying lemons, choose those that are firm, plump, and heavy for their size. Skin should be smooth and vibrant, with no tints of green (a sign that the lemon is underripe).

Total: 25 mins

Easy Topped Cupcakes

Better Homes and Gardens

Butter pecan ice cream becomes the frosting on simply made cake mix cupcakes. It's an easy summer dessert that is dressed up with your favorite sundae toppings.

Cardamom Ice Cream

Better Homes and Gardens

The aromatic spice, cardamom, adds a flowery sweet taste reminiscent of ginger but more subtle to this custard-style ice cream.

Summer Fruit Shake

Heart-Healthy Living
Total: 5 mins
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