Best Cold Dinner Ideas

Cold Dinner Ideas
@The Kitchn

It’s the middle of summer, and the last thing you want to do is turn on your oven.

But you still have to eat.

Here are some delicious cold dinner ideas that will help you get through the heatwave without breaking a sweat!

Chicken Salad

One of the best cold dinner ideas is chicken salad.

This dish is perfect for a summer night or any other time you want a light, refreshing meal.

Chicken salad is also easy to make ahead of time, so it’s perfect for busy weeknights.

Cook up some chicken (rotisserie chicken works great), chop some vegetables, and mix everything with a light dressing.

Serve over a bed of greens or on a whole grain bun for a complete meal.

Chicken Parmesan

Egg Salad

Egg Salad @Continental Desi Kitchen CDK

Looking for a quick and easy cold dinner idea?

Egg salad is a classic for a reason!

This dish is simple to make and can be tailored to your liking with different mix-ins and seasonings.

Plus, it’s a great way to use up any leftover eggs you have on hand.

Serve egg salad on a bed of greens, in a sandwich, or on its own as a light meal.

Potato Salad

Potato Salad @betty crocker

Potato salad is one of the best cold dinner ideas because it’s easy to make and can be served with a variety of different toppings.

Here’s a simple recipe for potato salad:


-4 large potatoes, peeled and diced

-1/2 cup mayonnaise

-1/2 cup sour cream

-1/4 cup diced onion

-1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

-1 tablespoon white vinegar

-1 teaspoon salt

-1/4 teaspoon black pepper


1. Cook potatoes for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and let cool.

2. Mix the mayonnaise, sour cream, onion, parsley, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add the cooled potatoes and stir until evenly coated.

3. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Tuna Salad

Tuna Salad @12tomatoes

If you’re looking for a delicious and easy cold dinner idea, look no further than tuna salad!

This dish is perfect for a summer night and can be made in advance so you can enjoy your evening without having to cook.

Tuna salad is a versatile dish – you can add whatever veggies or fruits you have on hand, and it will still taste great.

We like to add diced avocado, cherry tomatoes, and red onions, but get creative and add your favourite ingredients.

Once you’ve assembled your salad, dress it with a light vinaigrette or mayonnaise, and you’re good to go!

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad @very well fit

Looking for a delicious and easy cold dinner idea?

Try a classic Caesar salad!

Add in your favourite protein, like chicken or shrimp, and top with a zesty dressing and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Pasta salad

Pasta salad @inspired taste

This cold pasta salad is the perfect dish to bring to a potluck or picnic.

This salad is made with rotini pasta, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and a simple vinaigrette dressing.

You can also add in some shredded chicken or turkey if you want to make it a heartier meal.


Coleslaw @inspired taste

Looking for a delicious and easy coleslaw recipe?

This Coleslaw is the perfect addition to any summer picnic or barbecue! Made with just a few simple ingredients, this coleslaw is sure to be a hit with everyone!


One small head of green cabbage, shredded

One small head of red cabbage, shredded

Two carrots, peeled and grated

1/2 cup diced red onion

1/4 cup white vinegar

Three tablespoons mayonnaise

One tablespoon sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp Cocktail @savory experiments

This shrimp cocktail recipe is the perfect easy appetizer for any party!

It only takes a few minutes to throw together, and everyone always loves it.

The key to making a really good shrimp cocktail is to use fresh, high-quality shrimp.

I like to use jumbo shrimp for this recipe, but you can use whatever size you prefer.

Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Another tip is to make the cocktail sauce ahead of time so that it has a chance to develop its flavour. This recipe makes a pretty large batch of sauce, but you can always halve it if you don’t think you’ll need that much.


1 pound fresh, uncooked shrimp

2 cups ketchup

1/2 cup prepared horseradish

1/4 cup lemon juice

One tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

One teaspoon of hot sauce (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

Crab Cakes

Crab Cakes @delish

If you love crab cakes but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen, then this recipe is for you.

These crab cakes are quick and easy to make, and they’re just as delicious as the ones you’d find at a restaurant.

All you need is a few simple ingredients and a little bit of time, and you’ll have a tasty dinner that the whole family will love.


1 pound of fresh crab meat

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup bread crumbs

One egg

One tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning

One tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pepper to taste

Beef Tenderloin

Beef Tenderloin @food network

Whether you’re looking for an easy, no-fuss meal to feed a crowd or want to change your weeknight dinner routine, these beef tenderloin recipes are the perfect solution.

From an elegant filet mignon to a hearty pot roast, these dishes will satisfy even the most discerning palate.

And best of all, they can all be made ahead of time so you can enjoy a stress-free meal.

So go ahead and give one of these delicious recipes a try tonight!

1. Filet Mignon with Mushroom Sauce

This dish is the perfect way to impress your dinner guests. The tender filet mignon is cooked to perfection and topped with a rich mushroom sauce.

2. Roast Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish Sauce

This recipe for roast beef tenderloin is simple yet elegant. The horseradish sauce adds just the right amount of flavour to the dish.

3. Slow Cooker Pot Roast

This pot roast is made in the slow cooker, so it’s incredibly tender and flavorful. Serve it with mashed potatoes and carrots for a complete meal.

4. Beef Tenderloin Tips with Gravy

These beef tenderloin tips are simmered in a delicious gravy made with red wine and mushrooms. Serve them over mashed potatoes or rice for a hearty meal.

5. Grilled Beef Tenderloin

This recipe for grilled beef tenderloin is rubbed with a flavorful spice blend before being cooked to perfection. Slice it thinly and serve it on a bed of greens for a healthy, satisfying meal.

Rack of Lamb

There are few things more impressive than a beautifully cooked rack of lamb.

Whether you’re entertaining guests or want to treat yourself, this dish impresses you.

And while it may seem like a complicated dish to prepare, it’s quite simple.

With just a few hours of prep time, you can have a delicious and elegant meal that is sure to please.

Here are some of our favourite cold dinner ideas featuring a rack of lamb:

1. Rack of lamb with roasted potatoes and green beans

This classic combo is always a winner. The rich flavour of the lamb pairs perfectly with the crispy potatoes and fresh green beans.

2. Rack of lamb with creamy mashed potatoes

For a richer dish, try pairing your rack of lamb with creamy mashed potatoes. The smoothness of the potatoes will complement the succulent meat perfectly.

3. Rack of lamb with pasta primavera

This light and healthy option are perfect for summertime dining. The fresh vegetables in the pasta primavera will contrast nicely with the rich flavours of the lamb.


Salmon Burgers @serious eats

If you’re looking for some new and exciting salmon recipes, we’ve got you covered.

From salmon burgers to smoked salmon pasta, we’ve got delicious cold salmon recipes that will leave you wanting more.

1. Salmon Burgers

These salmon burgers are packed with flavour and are easy to make.

All you need is a pound of salmon, some bread crumbs, an egg, and your favourite seasonings.

Form the salmon into patties and cook on a preheated grill for about 4 minutes per side.

2. Smoked Salmon Pasta

This smoked salmon pasta is a delicious and easy dinner option.

Cook some pasta according to the package directions.

In a separate pan, sauté some garlic in olive oil.

Add in some smoked salmon and cook until heated through.

Add the cooked pasta and some cream to the pan and toss to combine.

3. Salmon Salad

This salmon salad is a healthy and flavorful lunch option.

Start by cooking some salmon according to your preference.

Once it’s cooked, flake it into small pieces using a fork.

In a bowl, combine the salmon, diced celery, diced red onion, diced cucumber, chopped parsley, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and Old Bay seasoning.

Mix well and serve on top of greens


When it comes to cold dinners, soup is always a great option.

There are so many different varieties of soup, and they can all be easily made ahead of time and reheated when you’re ready to eat.

Plus, soup is a great way to use up any leftover vegetables you have in the fridge.

Some of our favourite cold dinner soups include:

-Tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons

-Butternut squash soup with roasted pepitas

-Creamy chicken noodle soup

-Roasted red pepper soup with grilled cheese croutons

-Cauliflower soup with crispy bacon


Sandwiches @delish

If you’re looking for a quick and easy meal, sandwiches are the way to go.

They’re perfect for lunch or dinner, and there are endless possibilities when it comes to fillings.

From classic PB&J to more sophisticated combinations like roasted vegetables and goat cheese, there’s a sandwich out there for everyone.

And the best part is that they can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for later.

So if you’re looking for some cold dinner ideas, here are a few of our favourites.


When it comes to cold dinner ideas, quiche is always a good option.

Quiche is easy to make ahead of time and can be eaten cold or reheated. Plus, it’s a versatile dish that can be made with a variety of different ingredients. Here are some of our favourite quiche recipes:

– Spinach and feta quiche:

This classic quiche is made with spinach, feta cheese, and eggs.

It’s perfect for a light lunch or dinner.

– Quiche Lorraine:

This quiche is made with bacon, eggs, and Swiss cheese.

It’s rich and flavorful and perfect for a hearty meal.

– Ham and Gruyere quiche:

This quiche is made with ham, Gruyere cheese, and eggs.

It’s perfect for a quick and easy meal.


Casserole @delish

When it comes to cold dinner ideas, casseroles are always a great option! They’re easy to make ahead of time and can be reheated easily, making them perfect for busy weeknights.

Plus, they’re always a hit with the whole family.

Not sure what kind of casserole to make? Here are some of our favourites:

-Chicken and Broccoli Casserole:

This classic casserole is packed with flavour and protein.

Plus, it’s a great way to use up any leftover chicken you have on hand.

-Taco Casserole:

This Tex-Mex-inspired casserole is loaded with all your favourite taco toppings.

It’s perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal.

-Pizza Casserole:

This casserole is a fun twist on everyone’s favourite food.

It’s packed with all of your favourite pizza toppings, so you’re sure to love it!

Pasta dish

One of the best cold dinner ideas is a pasta dish.

You can easily make a delicious pasta dish by cooking the pasta ahead of time and adding your favourite sauce and toppings.

This is a great option for a quick and easy meal that can be enjoyed hot or cold.

Creamy pasta salad

If you are looking for a more substantial cold dinner idea, consider making a creamy pasta salad.

This dish is made by cooking the pasta ahead of time and then adding a variety of toppings, such as vegetables, cheese, and meat.

You can also add a dressing to the salad to give it a more flavorful taste.

Cold chicken sandwiches

Another great cold dinner idea is to make cold chicken sandwiches.

This dish is made by cooking the chicken and adding it to a sandwich with your favourite toppings.

You can also add a variety of sauces and dressings to the sandwich to give it a more flavorful taste.


There you have it – our top cold dinner ideas.

We hope you found some inspiration for your next meal and that you enjoy trying out some of these recipes.

Cold dinners are a great way to mix up your weekly menu; they can be just as healthy and delicious as hot meals.

What do you think?

Written by Philip Watson

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