30 Easy Summer Dinner Recipes | Midwest Living
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30 Easy Summer Dinner Recipes

Relax and enjoy the taste of summer in these easy recipes, including chicken stir-fry, fish tacos, barbecue chicken, pasta, homemade pizza and main-dish salads.
Shrimp Fusilli with Sweet-Pea Pesto

Shrimp Fusilli with Sweet-Pea Pesto

Frozen seafood is the rushed cook's friend--here, peeled and deveined shrimp let you skip the prep work. Peas, garlic, mint, butter and vinegar form the pesto.

Shrimp Fusilli with Sweet-Pea Pesto

Sloppy Joes

Skip the canned stuff and make this childhood favorite from scratch. Our simple recipe is just a starting point; try one of our variations or experiment with seasonings.

Sloppy Joes

Three-in-One Primavera

Our ready-in-minutes recipe starts with pasta and mixed vegetables—then just pick the sauce that suits your mood. Choose among light lemon-basil, creamy Parmesan or peppercorn-ranch dressing for a pasta salad.

Three-in-One Primavera

Simple Salsa Skillet

For a change in routine, substitute green salsa for red in this easy Mexican-inspired meal.

Simple Salsa Skillet

Chimichurri

This classic Argentinian sauce with fresh parsley and cilantro is made for spooning over grilled meats (especially steak), but we also love it with scrambled eggs or roasted potatoes. The recipe comes from chef Michael Ollier of Certified Angus Beef in Wooster, Ohio.

Chimichurri

Mango-Barbecue Fish Tacos

Fresh fruit and bottled barbecue sauce lend sassy sweetness to low-cal, vitamin-rich grilled fish tacos.

Mango-Barbecue Fish Tacos

Chicken Sausage Sandwiches with Watermelon Salsa

Basil and lime juice flavor the fruity salsa on this ready-in-minutes, low-cal grilled sausage sandwich.

Chicken Sausage Sandwiches with Watermelon Salsa

Coconut Chicken Noodle Bowl

Ready in 25 minutes, this restaurant-style noodle bowl is a breeze to throw together. It uses Vietnamese bahn pho noodles, which you can find at large supermarkets or Asian groceries. It's fine to substitute another rice noodle or vermicelli.

Coconut Chicken Noodle Bowl

Bean-and-Rice-Stuffed Peppers

With only five ingredients, these hearty stuffed peppers assemble in a snap. Team them with corn bread or whole wheat rolls, and dinner's done.

Bean-and-Rice-Stuffed Peppers

Super Simple Peachy Barbecue Chicken

Just three ingredients produce a rich-flavored, sweet-tangy barbecue sauce for drumsticks.

Super Simple Peachy Barbecue Chicken

Linguine in Fresh Tomato Sauce With Garlic-Basil Toast

Kalamata olives add flavor to the homemade tomato sauce in this vegetarian pasta meal. And it's ready in 20 minutes!

Linguine in Fresh Tomato Sauce With Garlic-Basil Toast

Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas

Bottled black bean and corn salsa spices up these quesadillas, ready in just 20 minutes. 

Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas

Loaded Greek Chicken Pizza

Frozen spinach-artichoke dip is the secret ingredient in this fabulous pizza that delivers an authentically salty punch of kalamata olives and feta cheese.

Loaded Greek Chicken Pizza

Lemon-Herb Grilled Chicken and Sassy Baked Beans

Herbed lemon marinade cooks down with honey to a glossy, gorgeous glaze in our Lemon-Herb Grilled Chicken recipe.

Three beans mix in Sassy Baked Beans, a chunky version of the potluck standby. A touch of heat from spicy barbecue sauce and salsa adds to the bold taste of this slow-cooked side dish.

Lemon-Herb Grilled Chicken

Sassy Baked Beans

North Woods Fish Tacos

We trolled the lakes for this south-of-the-Canadian-border specialty. To give extra zip to the marinated whitefish, spoon on sweet-tart Midwest cherry salsa. Roll the chunks of fish in a tortilla along with the burgundy salsa, and finish it off with tangy sour cream.

North Woods Fish Tacos

Chicken Cobb Salad

Why save this classic for when you're dining out? Rotisserie chicken makes it easy to enjoy a Cobb at home. Just add a whole-grain roll, and you've got a well-rounded meal.

Chicken Cobb Salad

Spicy Chicken-Peanut Thai Pizza

If you love Thai peanut sauce, you'll go nuts for this simple pizza. We especially love how the veggies go on after the pizza bakes, so they stay fresh, crispy and colorful.

Spicy Chicken-Peanut Thai Pizza

Fresh Tomato Tart

Geri Boesen, creative director of Midwest Living®, combines Midwest-grown tomatoes with fresh basil in a cheesy tart that uses refrigerated piecrust for easy prep.

Fresh Tomato Tart

Short Ribs with Molasses-Beer Barbecue Sauce

Molasses and mustard perk up bottled barbecue sauce for this beef main dish.

Short Ribs with Molasses-Beer Barbecue Sauce

Potato Chips Meet Fish

How do you get your family to eat fish? By serving them tilapia coated with potato chips, herbs and honey-mustard dressing.

Potato Chips Meet Fish

Beefy Chili Dogs

The all-American chili dog is a natural for summer suppers. Stewing the hot dogs in a seasoned meat mixture makes them extra juicy. Top with cheese.

Beefy Chili Dogs

Mediterranean-Style Snapper

Cook fresh snapper fillets or other firm-flesh white fish with an easy tomato-olive mixture and crumbled feta cheese. Serve with rice, pasta or couscous.

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Mediterranean-Style Snapper

Maple-Bourbon Ketchup

Just three ingredients yield a surprisingly flavor "quickie" barbecue sauce. Try it as a dipping sauce for purchased roasted chicken or breaded, baked chicken breast. You can also toss shredded chicken meat with the sauce for a simple pulled-chicken sandwich. (Bonus points if you add cheddar cheese and toast the sandwich in a panini press!)

Maple-Bourbon Ketchup

Juicy Lucy Burger

Southside Minneapolis is home to this three-napkin burger famous for its molten cheese center. Both Matt's Bar and the 5-8 Club claim its creation. No matter the lineage, it's burgerlicious.

Juicy Lucy Burger

Sausage-Fruit Kabobs

Brush sliced zucchini, apple and sausage with an easy-to-make honey-mustard glaze before cooking. Serve with a skewer of toasted bread pieces.

Sausage-Fruit Kabobs

Greek Orzo Salad

Olives and feta give salty punch to this pasta salad from Surdyk's Liquor and Cheese Shop in Minneapolis.

Greek Orzo Salad

Grilled Portobellos

This simple, flavorful recipe comes from reader Doug Heiken of Grand Rapids, Minnesota. It's a quick, easy recipe to throw together if you have a vegetarian at a cookout.

Grilled Portobellos

Chicken Chutney Salad

Jarred mango chutney and raisins add sweetness and mild spice to this chicken salad; trading the usual mayonnaise for yogurt makes it healthier.

Chicken Chutney Salad

Fast Paella

Paella is a snap when you use precooked turkey sausage, precooked shrimp and pouch rice. Serve this delicious dish with warm, crusty bread to sop up the juices at the bottom of your bowl.

Fast Paella

Shrimp Fusilli with Sweet-Pea Pesto

Frozen seafood is the rushed cook's friend--here, peeled and deveined shrimp let you skip the prep work. Peas, garlic, mint, butter and vinegar form the pesto.

Shrimp Fusilli with Sweet-Pea Pesto

Steamed Salmon with Lemon and Vegetables

A bed of pretty squash and carrot ribbons seasoned with lemon and herbs gently steams salmon in the oven, yielding moist, flavorful fish—with a veggie side dish built right in!

Steamed Salmon with Lemon and Vegetables

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