What To Cook When It’s Too Hot To Cook

When the mercury’s soaring, we don’t always feel like cranking up the oven to cook. Instead of reaching for the phone to dial your favourite take away, reach for this list of easy ideas that make for a healthy, wholesome meal. Our 12WBT dietitian Lisa share her favourite things to eat when it’s just too hot to cook.

Lisa’s Top Tips

Grains to go

Quinoa, brown rice or even some wholemeal pasta can be cooked ahead of time. These smart carbs make a great base to a hearty quinoa/rice or cold pasta salad. Mix it up with a dressing made from natural yoghurt and seeded mustard and some fresh salad vegies.


Get outside and fire up the BBQ. Alongside your steak/fish/prawns/chicken throw on some zucchini battons, mushrooms, eggplant, capsicum and cobs of corn. Brush with garlic, olive oil and some cracked pepper. Yum!


Buy some wholemeal rolls and pack them with salad, add some lean meat/cheese and spread with hummus or avocado. Take your hamper to the beach, park, lake or to a big shady tree.

Hand Food

Meals like tacos, rice paper rolls and burritos are easy to prep with little to no cooking. Pack the filling into it’s casing and you’ve got a relaxed meal that will satisfy the whole family.

Hot Food Enjoyed Cold

Meals like meatloaf and frittata are fabulous cold. They make great leftovers and combined with a large salad, make a nourishing and easy meal.

Freezer Stash

Having meals in the freezer is a top strategy. We have loads of freezer friendly meals in the 12WBT Recipe Index. On the next cool day, do a cook up and you’ll thank yourself later!

Tinned Foods

Chickpeas, kidney beans, corn and lentils can be added to a pre-washed salad mix with some feta or some tinned tuna/salmon for an instant meal.


I love breakfast at dinner. Some poached eggs with spinach, mushrooms, tomato and a slice of wholegrain toast; or a nourishing Bircher muesli with plenty of protein from the yoghurt to keep you full.

Hard boiled eggs

These are a perfect protein you can throw into a salad, smash onto some wholegrain toast or enjoy on their own as a snack.

Vegies Ready to Go

Keeping some vegie sticks on hand is a terrific snack and on a hot day they can be sacrificed to the wok to make a really fast stir fry. Dinner on the table in minutes. Add some prawns for a quick cooking protein or if you are vegetarian, some strips of tofu.


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