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5 kid-friendly dinner ideas that don’t require an oven

When it’s hot outside, the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven. That’s just a recipe for making your already-hot house feel like an inferno. So, do what any smart parent does and opt out of using the oven for the day.

No, that doesn’t mean you’ll have to wrangle the kids into the nearest restaurant. Instead, make a delicious dinner that doesn’t require the oven, stove or anything else that’s going to raise the temperature. You’ll stay cool, the family will be fed and everyone will be happy.

Here are 5 must-try, kid-friendly dinners for when you’re searching for easy dinner ideas that don’t require an oven.

Wild salmon salad 

Okay, so fish of any kind usually isn’t the first thing you think of when you’re trying to find something to feed your kids, but hold up. This salmon salad is an alternative to tuna salad, but the flavor is milder, which means your child may be more receptive to it; plus, your child will never even know this salad is made with fish if you don’t tell them. (And if you’re really doubtful your child will accept the salmon, you can always swap it out with canned chicken.) 

The recipe only requires a few ingredients and comes together quickly. Serve the healthful salmon salad on bread along with a few fresh-cut veggies and you have a picnic-worthy, refrigerated dinner that’s both light and refreshing. 

Greek salad and hummus pita pizza 

Kids love pizza, but when it’s too hot to turn on the stove, it’s time to look for cooler alternatives, like this Greek salad-inspired pita pizza. A store-bought pita (toasted or not, whatever you prefer) is topped with hummus, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, peppers and feta cheese, for a light and healthful pizza that you can eat with your hands — which is always a plus for kids. Make the experience more fun for them by letting them top their pizzas with the ingredients of their choosing, once they’re cleaned and diced. You can add some other ingredient options into the mix, too, like pepperonis or olives.

A kid-friendly charcuterie board

Sure, you know that a charcuterie board and a couple glasses of wine is a perfectly agreeable dinner, but how do you translate that into something kid-friendly? Put together a kid-approved charcuterie board featuring turkey or ham (roll up some slices of either from the deli and skewer them with a toothpick), sliced veggies, sliced fruit, sliced cheddar cheese and some kid-friendly dipping sauces, like caramel for some green apples or ranch for some baby carrots. Get some wine for you and a juice box for the kids, and you’re good to go. This is also a no-cook dinner that works well for picnics. 

Veggie hoagies 

Upgrade your normal ham and cheese sandwich for a dinner-ready meal that’s hearty and filling, but still cool as a cucumber. These veggie hoagies pile the veggies high, including red onion, artichoke, tomatoes, lettuce and pepperoncini, with some provolone and balsamic for extra zest.

Let your family mix and match their toppings so everyone gets their favorite flavors, pile it all onto baguettes, and then toss the sandwiches in a cooler and grab some potato chips before you head to the beach, park or just the backyard. This is not only a yummy summer-ready, cool dinner, but it’s also a very easy one, with minimal prep work required.

7-layer chicken taco salad 

Make it ahead or wait until you’re ready to eat. Whichever option you choose, this seven-layer chicken taco salad comes together in mere minutes.

Use canned or leftover chicken so there’s no need to cook, and add a mixture of salsa, diced veggies, black beans, cheddar cheese, Greek yogurt and more, for a colorful, varied salad that’s as pretty to look at as it is to eat. This is even a great dish to serve as a side at your next barbecue. It’s entirely filling enough to work as a main dish, though, and just the thing for a Taco Tuesday when it’s too hot to brown up some ground beef for tacos. 

mother and son making dinner
Just Life/Shutterstock

Keep the family fed without ever turning on the oven

Just because your kids rely on you for dinner each night that doesn’t mean you have to slave over a hot stove (especially during the summer). Save yourself some work (and some sweat) by making one of our favorite five no-cook recipes, all of which are packed with flavor, fun, and healthful ingredients that you and your kids are sure to love. 

Need more dinner ideas and ways to keep the family fed this summer? Check out our article on best Facebook groups for feeding even the pickiest of eaters.

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Holly Riddle
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Holly Riddle is a freelance food, travel and lifestyle journalist, who also dabbles in copywriting, ghostwriting and fiction…
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