Summer Dinner Ideas (Hot and Cold): The Saturday Weekend Review #330

Check out our Top 10 Hot and Cold Summer Dinner Ideas, especially if you don’t want to be in the kitchen during the humid days.

We’re meal planners in the CBB house, and we rotate our favourite summer dinner ideas based on grocery sales.

When you’re only feeding two people it’s easy to pre-make dishes that you can enjoy cold or hot.

Our son as you may or may not know is a picky eater due to Autism but we always offer what we eat.

This summer our focus is on our son as he starts online summer camp and soccer practices.

I want to help him ride a bike on his own without training wheels and learn how to swim.

We also decided that it would be best if his summer is filled with both fun and education.

For example, helping us with the community garden, splash pads, friends and grade 2 curriculum.

Using a schedule for our son is imperative to him so he knows what’s going on.

Setting a timer is how things get done in our house and it works like a charm.

Every day he is up at the same time as he would for a typical school day.

We don’t make him get up however going to bed at the same time each night helps keep him regulated.

This summer he’s going to love the activities we have planned for him.

Today, I will share with you our favourite cold and hot summer dinner ideas to prep in advance.

The motto for summer 2021 is more family time and less cooking.

Let me show you what summer dinner ideas we choose. Let’s go.

Summer Meal Ideas
10 Summer Dinner Ideas Cold and Hot Foods

Creating Summer Dinner Ideas Together

In the meantime both Mrs. CBB and I sat down to choose 10 Summer Dinner Ideas for the two of us.

The last thing we want to do is spend our summer days indoors cooking. No thanks.

Although I man the charcoal grill and Mrs. CBB tackles meal prep in the kitchen.

Ideally, you want to create or source online recipes that everyone in your family will eat.

This is why we feel it’s important for a family or a couple to discuss summer dinner ideas.

Our grocery budget is $600 a month which gives us more than enough room for our creations.

We chose meal prep and BBQ for the win.

Summer supper ideas should be both cold and hot and rotated through a weekly meal plan.

If you’re budgeting for groceries, I hope you create your summer dinner ideas around what’s on sale.

Cold Summer Dinner Ideas

Cold Peanut Noodle Salad

Cold Peanut Noodle Salad Full Recipe- Make sure to PIN it.

  • 8 ounces noodles 
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots 
  • scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup peanuts, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon black sesame seeds

Peanut Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup peanut butter 
  • 3 tablespoons sriracha 
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons hot water

Creamy Shrimp Salad

Creamy Shrimp Salad

Shrimp is definitely part of our summer dinner ideas especially since it’s so easy to make.

This Creamy Shrimp Salad from The Fed Up Foodie is a must-try so I’m Pinning that for later.


  • 2 lbs shrimp
  • Mayonaise 
  • 2 lemons (both juice and lemon zest)
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Fresh Dill (or 3-4 tsp dried dill)
  • Chopped chives (or green onions)
  • Minced celery
  • Garlic Powder
  • Minced Red Onion
  • Salt (My favorite all-time salt!!!)
  • Black Pepper

Classic Italian Rapini

classic italian rapini
Classic Italian Rapini

Italian Rapini is good hot or cold. Add oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to make a cold salad or cold between bread.


  • 3 bunches or 1lb of raw rapini
  • 1 teaspoon salt for the pot of water
  • 6 cloves of organic garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced onions
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

Summer Tortellini Salad

Summer Tortellini Salad

Find the full recipe here.


  • 20 oz cheese tortellini, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 ear sweet corn, kernels removed (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium cucumber, chopped
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • Basil vinaigrette
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese and chopped basil for garnish

Worlds Best Tuna Macaroni Salad

Tuna pasta salad is a must in our house during the summer because it’s easy to make and inexpensive.

Although I use regular macaroni elbow pasta, Mrs. CBB uses a keto pasta that she buys on Amazon.

We also buy chunk light tuna on Amazon since we find it cheaper, as is Hellman’s mayo unless we make it ourselves.

The best easy tuna macaroni salad. Tuna pasta salad.
Tuna Pasta salad is excellent for picnic foods

Hot And Cold Summer Dinner Ideas At The CBB House

Summer meal ideas
Hot and Cold Summer Dinner Ideas at Canadian Budget Binder House

Generally these are the types of meals we would make in the summer which include a protein and salads.

I enjoy grilling meat, vegetables and Atlantic salmon on the charcoal grill outside and the salads are made in advance.

  • Cold tuna salad made in advance
  • Hard-Boiled eggs
  • Pre-made salads at night when it’s cooler outside
  • Steak, Salmon, Chicken Wings, Thighs, Breast, Whole Chicken. I marinade everything a day or two in advance.

Hot Summer Dinner Ideas

Shredded Chicken Tacos

Find The Full Recipe Here.

Christine from the blog Jar of Lemons has this fantastic Siracha Shredded Chicken Taco that is perfect in the summer.

If you don’t like chicken you can cook ground beef, turkey, lamb or chicken in advance.


  • 2 thinly sliced chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp Sriracha
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup chopped red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup chopped peppers
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1 lime

BBQ Extra-Juicy Avocado Chicken Burgers

Find the full recipe here.


  • 1lb Chicken Mince
  • 2 tbsps tomato puree
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 ripe large avocado cut into chunks
  • 1 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese or Grana Padana
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 jalapeno (seeded)
  • 2 tablespoons hemp hearts or Almond Meal
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Butter for basting and water for moisture

Vietnamese Summer Spring Rolls (Hot or Cold)

Summer rolls
Summer Rolls {Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls}

Find the full recipe here.

At Mama Loves Food she sure does present her recipe creations with lots of colour.

We both adore spring rolls any way we can get them. They are easy to prep in advance, along with popular dipping sauces.


  • Rice paper wrappers 
  • Rice noodles – thin rice noodles.
  • Lettuce – butter lettuce, but my favourite Vietnamese restaurant uses an iceberg
  • Veggies – Carrot and cucumber, julienned.
  • Herbs – Green onion or scallion, fresh mint, fresh cilantro
  • Protein –summer rolls often include chicken, pork, or shrimp.
  • Dipping sauce 

Spanish Potato Tortilla

The great thing about the Spanish Potato Tortilla or the Pasta Frittata is that they are cheap.

You can also enjoy them hot or cold which means you can put them on the grill to warm them up.

I’m a fan of both the tortilla and pasta frittata as one is made with potatoes and the other pasta.

I know, obvious, right? haha.

Discussion: What are your go-to summer dinner ideas? Share them in the comments below.

Recent CBB Posts That You May Have Missed

Below is a recap of the blog posts I’ve published in the past week.

Support CBB and I’ll continue working to bring you the best information in frugal living and finance.

If you’re on Pinterest follow my Pinterest Social Media Account. Let’s PIN together.

Finance Read Of The Week

Tamara who blogs at Autism Finance Mom is a mom to a son with ADHD and Autism.

She blogged about the financial burden it can cost to a family until resources are available.

Once a child in Ontario gets a diagnosis for Autism there are financial opportunities to help your child.

Over the past 4 years we’ve been paying out of pocket for just about everything our son needs.

Keep in mind he was not diagnosed but we worked on ways to keep him focused at school.

Luckily my work benefits covered the occupational therapy for him but that’s about it.

The other gadgets include the $50 timer (excellent) balancing toys, trampoline, weights, and a $200 hanging swing/tent in his room.

That’s only scratching the financial impact’s surface; however, we are fortunate to have money set aside.

Although she is an American blogger, she is right when she says to do your research to see what options are available.

As well, budgeting any extra expenses that may pop up or top up your emergency savings.

We’re pretty new to this but I’m sure you’ll read more about this new bend in the road for our family.

If you have a child with ADHD or Autism in Canada and would like to share a bit about your story, please email me at subject: Autism/ADHD.

Thoughts Corner

Never give up trying. Often times we meet  brick wall before we celebrate success. Quote
Often times we meet brick wall before we celebrate success

I often told myself when I failed at something in life that I wouldn’t give up.

There had to be a way to achieve my goals without letting goal if I hit a brick wall.

Let me tell you that has happened many times, and I’ve worked exceptionally hard to make my dreams come true.

What I’ve learned is that you can’t do everything all at once because something will lack attention.

On my life’s journey having balance in structure as a student, husband, dad, career leader, and jack of all trades needed my time.

These days if the house doesn’t get renovated as fast as we’d like, so be it.

Choose the most important parts of your journey and spend a bit of time being the best you can be.

It won’t be easy but you’ll be grateful you did it. Also, don’t forget time to take care of yourself.

I know it sounds ridiculous with only 24 hours in a day where at least 8 hours is sleep but you can do it.

Landscape And Garden Tip Of The Week

No front lawn just vegetable garden
Ditching The Lawn For A Fruit and Vegetable Garden – CBB house.

I stumbled across this story about Five Reasons To Ditch The Lawn And Plant A Front Yard Garden.

It reminded me in some ways of how our views on gardening have changed over the years.

I also think I’ll be writing a post on this topic and share the reasons why we’ve went this route.

For example, we used to have 5 large ferns in hanging baskets at the front of our house.

Although they looked great we switched them up one year and planted strawberries instead.

We haven’t looked back and enjoy sweet strawberries all summer long.

You’ll find pots all around our house filled with parsley, basil, dill, chives and garlic chives.

In larger pots you can expect to see tomatoes galore, bell peppers and cucumbers.

At the community garden we have radishes and beets growing as our leeks didn’t seem to take.

The point is that both Mrs. CBB and I wanted to forget buying flowers and start growing food.

We did not ditch the entire yard for a garden however our friends did up the road.

When we walk by the house you’ll see potatoes growing, tomatoes, garlic mixed with some flowers.

Their entire backyard is a garden and since they are vegetarians the growing season is important.

It’s quite inspiring to tell you the truth and doesn’t look as bad as you’d think.

Saving money, getting exercise and teaching their children about gardening is a big win for them.

Saturday Search Term Giggles

kermit the frog
Google Search Terms for Canadian Budget Binder

These are keywords that readers typed into their search engine and landed on this blog.

I get quite a few of these every single day and pick some of the best to feature right here.

  • Canadian Disney World – Oh, you mean Wonderland.
  • How To Not Get Fired – Show up for work and do your job
  • House Shopping In Canada – I wouldn’t buy right now
  • Keto Foods that don’t make you fart – Haha, the best one yet.

That’s all for this week CBB Friends. I’ll catch you in 2 weeks for the next Saturday Edition.


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Have a great week.

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