It’s Getting Hot in Hurr

My new favorite summer recipes (no oven needed!)

Last weekend I discovered something that is probably a duh moment for most people, but apparently took me over three decades to learn – crockpots are your best friend in the summer.

It felt like this:

Dinner will be ready for the hubster and I as soon as we enter the door, our apartment won’t feel like a billion degrees, and I will only endure mild suffering in our un-air conditioned kitchen, which will be offset by delicious food for nearly zero effort.

summer in NY {}

Last weekend I went on a crockpot spree. First I pinned a bunch of recipes using ingredients I already had onto a board called This Week’s Menu. Then I made sweet potatoes in the crockpot (what?!) using this recipe and served it with a lime mahi mahi using this stove top recipe.

Stove top recipes totally count as oven free in summer.

Then I made this taco meat recipe overnight. A-mazing. Don’t even take my word for it. Just make it, wrap it in a brown rice tortilla or whatever your thing is, sprinkle some cheese and veggies in there, and put it in your mouth.

Oddly enough I’m not even doing salad this summer. I’m just serving pre-cooked beets from Costco and organic sugar snap peas from Trader Joe’s, and the husband is loving it. I doubled all of the recipes, and we’ve been eating “cooking-free” all week long.

What about you guys? Do you have a favorite summer recipe? Do you turn the oven off and turn to no-cook, crock pot, or stove top recipes?

Original photos of “Female Baker With Oven” by stockimages from and The Flame by Bobbi Jones Jones. Text added by Stephanie Oh.



  1. Since our definition of “heat wave” here in Seattle is, um, completely different than other parts of the country, I don’t think that much about cooking differently in the summer. We do tend to eat lighter in the warm(ish) weather, though–more sandwiches and salads. However, everyone who knows me knows I am a HUGE fan of the crock pot all year long. I especially like to make meatloaf and potatoes in the crock pot–so easy and so good. As far as summer fare in general, I love to make an enormous pasta salad that we can eat on for a week, usually with diced ham or Krab for extra protein but with tons of veggies (sweet peppers, corn, olives, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, etc.) and often beans and/or cheese cubes as well. I just use a bottled dressing for the salad, which makes it super simple and I can change up the flavor–using Italian dressing one time, then creamy blue cheese the next, etc. I know it’s not as easy to find bottled dressings without allergens, but I think there are definitely some out there–and you can always throw something together at home with oil/vinegar/herbs. I’m going to try and use quinoa this summer as a base for salads, too.


    1. Courtney, that pasta salad sounds sooo good!! I’m already craving it! Ooh, and meatloaf and potatoes are two of my favorite things! Can’t believe I’ve never made that in my crock pot! So many light bulbs going off!


  2. Thanks for the idea! Seriously have had a crockpot for over ten years and have hardly used it. But I think it is going to be a huge time saver for me! My kids and I have multiple food allergies/ intolerances so I literally make just about everything from scratch. Tiring to say the least. Most of my energy is used up in the kitchen. Funny thing is after I read this I pulled it out to start experimenting and it died. Haha! 4 appliances have done that in the last week!! But my amazing mom just bought me a new one that is large enough to use for the fam. Can’t wait to get it. Now just trying to pin recipes that don’t have anything we can’t have! That in itself is going to be a huge task:) But it will be sooo worth it in the end:)


    1. Oh my goodness, Krystle, sounds like it’s been one of those weeks in your kitchen!! 🙂 I can only imagine how much work it would take to cook for a whole family. I hope you find some great recipes that fit your diet. Recently I’ve been checking out Paleo-ish recipes, because it seems to fit a lot of the dietary restrictions I follow. This board is pretty good: There are still some recipes I can’t have but also some good looking ones. Let me know if you find any great recipes, too!


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